CPAC 2010 Wrap Up
A week later and I finally find time to post my thoughts on the recent gathering of conservatives and the GOP in Washington DC – CPAC 2010. Besides, I like having the last word on this conference.
Before I jump into my review of CPAC 2010, there are a few people that I need to profusely thank for taking this conference to a higher level.
I have to send much love to Kevin Mckeever, Bank of Kev, who generously sponsored myself and several other talented up and coming bloggers at this year’s convention. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to speak on a panel at CPAC. Love, love, love you, Kevin!
Erick Erickson, thank you for organizing a fabulous Red State blogger lounge, and for credentialing my good blog. This was the first time I had official CPAC blogger status and I loved every minute of it! So, same time next year?
Many kudos to Lisa De Pasquale and the American Conservative Union for organizing this event – over 10,000 registrants for this conference, amazing! The move to the Marriott was a definite plus with far more room and a more logical layout of conference space. The Omni Shoreham is a labyrinth compared to the Marriott.
My thanks to all of you!!
I took a look at my review of CPAC 2009 before sitting down to write this review. You can read it for yourself HERE . In 2009, the RNC was on life support after a disastrous election cycle, and I had predicted the conservative movement was just getting started. Flash forward to 2010, one finds the RNC is still alive and the conservative movement, spearheaded by the Tea Party movement, is kicking ass!
As I recall from the 2009 conference, there were numerous groups actively seeking email addresses for their newly launched grass root organizations. I was one of them, promoting PACC – Pennsylvania Conservative Council, a recently formed grass root political organization based in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Over the course of a year, PACC has been instrumental in changing the political landscape in Chester County, Pa. We organized around a central message of individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of law. Sound familiar? Various Tea Party organizations in 2009 adopted a similar message, broadcasting it across the nation. They swept into this CPAC 2010 after a string of electoral victories and you could sense the joy in the air.
In many ways, 2010 CPAC was a different animal than previous years. For starters, I was no longer an outsider covering this event for my blog, I garnered credentials that opened doors and I grabbed every opportunity afforded me. A nearly non existent wireless internet connection coupled with a temperamental netbook lead to less time blogging during the conference and more time to brush up on my interview skills.
Through Bank of Kev sponsorship, I had the opportunity to work closely with the most talented bloggers in the blogosphere: Andrew Ian Dodge, Doug Welch, Joy McCann, Bruce Carroll, and the legendary Larry O’Connor. I have to give props to another extraordinary blogger: Robert Stacy McCain who used the pervasive internet down time to round up conservative celebrities and introduce them to his fellow bloggers. Congratulations to CPAC 2010 blogger of the year, Ed Morrissey , this is a well deserved honor for this remarkable guy.
This year witnessed an increased presence of Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty at CPAC. The conference was saturated with supporters to the point where I was questioning whether this was a wholly owned Campaign for Liberty conference. In that vein, I strongly questioned the wisdom of CPAC for entertaining Karen Kwiatkowski, a Ron Paul supporter and retired LT who stood on the wrong side of the liberation of Iraq.
Sadly, the most important panel discussion of this year was not on the CPAC agenda. Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and the Freedom Defense Institute hosted a panel on Jihad: The Political Third Rail — What They Aren’t Telling You. Radical islam is a spreading threat to our freedom and way of life, yet for reasons unknown, CPAC did not support this discussion. I have to give many thanks to Pamela Geller for organizing and promoting this event during the conference. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to attend this event. Everyone should read Cheryl Prater’s detailed account of this event. Videos of the speakers have been posted on Atlas Shrugs. Find time to watch the videos, as it is important to understand the threat we face from radical islam.
The high note of the conference was the rejection of Ryan Sorba’s castigation of CPAC for hosting GOProud, a conservative gay organization. I’ve just one thing to add; Ryan Sorba, STFU! Conservatives are stronger when we find common ground in fiscal responsibility and government intrusion, rather than excluding people due to a single issue purity test. That is a dem tactic – see Joe Lieberman. I am so happy to see the attendees of CPAC’10 make such a strong statement of inclusion. BTW: Meet my new blogger buddy – Bruce Carroll a wonderful blogger and human being.
Another delicious victory was achieved when bloggers were able to stop Code Pink director Susie (medea) Benjamin and Tighe Berry from interrupting Glen Beck’s speech. Kudos to Doug Welch for recognizing Susie as she slunk through the blogger lounge on her way to the ballroom floor.
The low note of this conference came from MSM journalists covering CPAC; Mike Madden (Salon.com), Tommy Christopher (Mediaite), and Kate Zernike (Jason Blair Times) spent their time pedaling trash video commentary, finding racism in a speakers native dialect and discussing imaginary sex slavery. All that and they still have not hit rock bottom. Of course, it isn’t CPAC without the obligatory Max Blumenthal confrontation. Only this time, he is getting his ass chewed out by Andrew Breitbart and Larry O’Connor. There has been speculation that CPAC’10 will be the last for Max.
I’m looking forward to CPAC 2011 and the gaining momentum of the conservative party. Stay tuned!
Of course, there will always be photos (and video) :