CPAC: Day 2, sort of

19 02 2010

I survived the first day and, more importantly, the first night, but I’ve been having some trouble connecting to the Internet.  I’m typing this from the main ballroom, but I’ll probably be uploading this from the lobby—one of the few places where WiFi is free and readily accessible.  Had I realized this was going to be an issue, I would have signed up for “Blogger’s Credentials” or whatever in order to access the super top-secret CPAC bloggers WiFi network.

Then again, I’m not necessarily a blogger, just someone who happens to have a blog.

I hit a lot more events yesterday that I did today; I didn’t find today’s scheduled speakers didn’t really do much for me, though I’m trying to hold my seat for the upcoming Ron Paul speech.  That should be very, very interesting—both what the man has to say, and how the (obviously) conservative audience here reacts to Paul’s less-than-conservative stance on issues like national defense.

Yesterday, though, featured some notable individuals: Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Thaddeus McCotter, Mitt Romney, and others.  Notice something?  They’re practically all Republican politicians.  Despite the apparent anti-establishment, “throw the bums out” sentiment of the Tea Party movement, there were sure a lot of establishment types here.

Rubio was likable enough, and seems to be fairly confident and ready for the national exposure he will probably get after November.  Coming from a family of Cuban immigrants, he certainly has a picture-perfect politically correct American Dream backstory to back him up.  Perhaps predictably, he spoke of the opportunity that we take for granted in America and the necessity of preserving that opportunity.

But there was also another theme that Rubio touched on—a theme that was carried over by many of the other speakers present yesterday: the importance of this upcoming election, which Rubio himself called a “referendum on the very identity of our nation.”  I’m not sure if this is supposed to instill fear and panic in all of us, or just make us more determined to succeed in the midterms, but judging by the reaction of the crowd, I’d say the latter is more likely the case.

Finally, for once, people are fired up and determined to “take back our country” (a clichéd phrase which will probably drive me crazy by the end of the weekend).  Only problem is, many of those gathered here seem all too willing to run back to the same Republicans who squandered what would become the Shortest Permanent Majority ever (so far) a few brief years ago.

Maybe I’m just being cynical.  After all, the perpetually folksy Jim DeMint and the perpetually tanned John Boehner were apologetic enough, and they’re stressing a return to Constitutional Government.  I’d like to believe DeMint when he says that “if American is going to survive and thrive in the future, the federal gov’t must do less, not more,” but he is a politician (if a far more consistent one than most), and the task of setting this country on the right course is going to take a hell of a lot of principled political will.

I think I might separate my brief thoughts on Romney, who I’ve deemed Mr. Snappy, so they don’t get buried in a massive post, but he spoke roughly halfway through the day.  He was followed by Michigan’s own Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who I will also comment on later.

Towards the end of the day, I got to hear Tucker Carlson speak on a panel about technology and the new media.  Though he no longer wears bow ties, he’s still a pretty cool guy; with his media background, he was able to provide some great insights into the state of the so-called “Main Stream Media” (a term that Carlson derided, as it should be up to us to decides what constitutes the mainstream).  Basically, it’s as bad as we all know it to be.  So that’s nice to know.

Minority Leader John “The Situation” Boehner and NRA President (I think) Wayne LaPierre wrapped up the day.  Boehner, as I said before, promised us that the Republicans were really, really not going to screw things up this time and encouraged us to all get behind him to reclaim the House.

Lastly, there was LaPierre.  I love that guy.  I’d love to have his job.  Basically, he gets paid (pretty well, I’d hope) to tell morons in government or the media off.  Last year he built his informed rant around the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment, as we frankly didn’t know what expect out of the new Administration as far as firearms are concerned.  Since we’ve seen that Obama, Holder, Pelosi et. al. are too busy covering their own backsides to worry about the political suicide that is gun control, that was less of a theme.  Instead, he addressed issues of “truth and justice” as they apply to firearm fact reporting, handing of actual criminals, and the right to self-defense.

I’ll post this as soon as I get a reliable internet connection that I don’t have to pay through the nose for, and I’ll also have more updates on Romney, Ron Paul, and whoever else I end up seeing today.

Oh, and I still don’t have a camera cord, which is stupid, but I’ll get the pictures up soon.

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