So who did CPAC deem a 2013 "All-Star" worthy of an invitation to this year's "main event?" Among others, Allen West, Grover Norquist, Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, John McConnell, Wayne LaPierre, Sarah Palin (oh yes, they did), Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Bibby Jindel and Eric Cantor. Doesn't this line-up convince us all that Conservatives are looking forward at a new generation of leaders with new ideas to propel the party forward? Hardly.
Allen West who once claimed he had a higher security clearance than the Commander In Chief and then went on to claim most Democrats in Congress are Communists, was asked to speak, even though his own GOP Party gerrymandered his Congressional District to ensure he lost last November. What did West say to the enthusiastic and forward thinking CPAC crowd? “There is nothing on this green earth that a liberal fears more than a black American who wants a better life and a smaller government." Really? Liberals fear a black man who wants a better life? Isn't Obama black enough for CPAC. Oh I get it, West thinks that Liberals fear Black Men that want smaller government so that certainly could not include Obama. What did Grover Norquist say when it was his turn to speak? He told the group the use of an anti-tax position by Conservatives is a "Strong Marketing strategy for Republicans" and that "Republican elected officials who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle, they damage the Republican brand." Nice. I am sure Coca-Cola enjoys references of rat heads in their products. But come on Grover. All that money you funneled through Jack Abramoff and into your pocket didn't damage your credibility? I know, the money you helped siphon from Indian tribes was a grift, and that is certainly different from a tax. Isn't it nice how forgiving Conservatives can be when they want to?
So what did "All-Star" Rick Santorum say to CPAC? Santorum repeated the talkin point he knew would score BIG with Conservatives; "Face it -- the left can always promise more stuff." Wow, that's deep Mr. Santorum, real deep. Anyone feeling a little deja vu, like November 7th, the day the GOP lost and claimed it was all because Americans voted to "for free stuff?" Paul Ryan took the main stage pontificating "We don't hide behind our beliefs," Ryan added. "We argue for them, because a budget is more than just a list of numbers; it's an expression of our governing philosophy. And our budget draws a very sharp contrast with the left. It says to the people in unmistakable terms: 'They are the party of shared hardship, we are the part of equal opportunity." Well said Mr. Ryan, well said. You just articulated why most Americans will NEVER support your political agenda. Why? Because Ryan actually has bought into the notion that democracy is based upon an economic system that ignores working Americans' aspirations and instead permanently renders them reliant upon "Job Creators", who in turn fill the pockets of the GOP's Super PACS. He claims the mantra of the GOP is "Equal Opportunity" while the Democrats are "shared hardships?" Equal Opportunity for whom? Perhaps he thinks we should consult Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia for his definition of "equal opportunity!" And what about Rick Perry? What did he say to the adoring crowd? Sorry, I forget!
What gems did former GOP Poster Boy Bobby Jindel say to the Conservative collective? "You had the opportunity to hear over 70 political speeches over three days," Jindal said to the crowd. "If I were given the choice to hear 70 political speeches or to get waterboarded, I'd have to think about that." Seriously Bobby? Take a look at your poll numbers in Louisiana...you are already "under water!" And what nuggets of guidance did Mitt Romney present to the gaggle of Conservative wonderfuls? "As someone who just lost the last election, I'm probably not in the best position to chart the course for the next one." At least Romney was the first to say something genuine. Oh, and then came Rand! Rand Paul, the filibustering (er, "Filiblustering") darling of the Libertarian/Anarchist crowd? He told them, "The GOP of old has grown stale and moss covered. I don't think we need to name any names, do we? "The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. if we're going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP." If the crowd truly believed Rand Paul, then why did they invite so many of the _____________(fill in the names we don't need to name)? Funny how much Rand Paul reminds me today of Huey Long (and shouldn't there be a permit required to have such bad hair?). He says what people want to hear, but in the true fashion of a demagogue. Maybe it's just me. But Rand Paul, the new GOP "Kingfish?"
Speaking of bad hair, need I even bring up what Trump had to say? Oh why not, it is too juicy not to include. Trump said; "I'm continually criticized by total lightweights all over the place. It's unbelievable. When you see these guys on television, they can't buy a clean shirt, and they're saying 'Donald Trump, he's nothing." How can anyone say Trump is a "nothing?" He is the Sarasota County Republican Club's 2012 "Statesman of the Year!" Didn't ELO have a song that included the phrase "Ego Trip?"
Okay, that's enough quotes from CPAC. I'm not sure anyone wants to know what Sarah Palin has to say anyway. My point is that Marco Rubio summed up the event in his speech when he told fellow Republicans that "We don't need a new idea. There is an idea: The idea is called America, and it still works." So there we have it! The "Next Generation of Conservatives" are the same old Conservatives of the past. So much for solutions to "New Challenges!" Something tells me Conservatives have more than a few challenges ahead of them, and most are not that new.