I’ve largely avoided talking about the idiocy emanating from CPAC this week, as the nation’s top conservative “thinkers” come together to pander to people hoping to ingratiate themselves to the self-same group. Political masturbation isn’t really my forte, and frankly I find it rather distasteful when done so publicly. Yea, right, Trump is a serious candidate. You can see how serious on Thursdays at 8 on NBS.
Im going to stay away from too much policy and direct this one at how they all missed what can only be called an EPIC SEA CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST TOWARDS DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT. I mean, seriously, can you stop bashing the President, or taking offense at every little thing, for one dang second to sit back and just go “wow!”?
Didn’t think so…
The would-be contenders – and others who addressed the gathering – struck a series of common conservative themes, such as reducing the size of government as well as projecting strength and muscle abroad. All attacked President Obama for his domestic and foreign policies.
But for the most part, they had little to say about the nation’s policy toward Egypt, whether to praise the demonstrators whose protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down, or to offer the principles that should guide U.S. policy as the American and Israeli ally takes the next steps toward democracy.
It was left to Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) to step into the vacuum. The libertarian conservative, who drew an enthusiastic audience of supporters, offered a contrarian view. In a party that has championed the spread of freedom as part of its recent foreign policy and whose leaders helped keep Mubarak in power for decades in the name of stability in the Middle East, Paul stood out as a dissenter.
Saying he disagrees with the idea that the United States has “a moral responsibility to spread our goodness around the world,” Paul added to cheers from the crowd, “We need to do a lot less a lot sooner, not only in Egypt but around the world.”
Romney devoted much of his speech to economic issues. He called the president’s economic program “the most expensive failed social experiment in modern history.” On foreign policy, he said, “The cause of liberty cannot endure much more of Obama’s ‘They get, we give’ diplomacy.”
Pawlenty won his biggest applause when he called for a more muscular foreign policy. “Bullies respect strength, they don’t respect weakness,” he said. “So when the United States of America projects its national security interests here and around the world, we need to do it with strength.” He called on Obama to “get tough on our enemies, not our friends,” adding, “Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country.” That, too, produced a standing ovation. [We are bullies]
So we’ve got Paul saying we shouldn’t do anything (more on him later, his first witness for his “End the Fed” hearing was a freakin’ secessionist), Romney not saying anything, Pawlenty just saying “let’s go be bigger bullies” [he’s got a tough guy image to project, after all], all of them saying that Obama is wrong about everything, NONE OF THEM ACKNOWLEDGING THAT EGYPT IS FREE, and the best one…for last…a double dose of Santorum….
On Thursday, the opening day of the conference, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) set himself apart by mentioning the turmoil in Egypt. He took a different tack than Paul, accusing Obama of siding against Egypt, which he described as an American ally in the Middle East.
He accused Obama of siding with Iranian leaders during those demonstrations two years ago.
“And so what does this president do when faced with that situation? He sides with that regime,” Santorum said. “This time, what does the president of the United States do? He sides with the protesters.”
He said the administration sent a message of weakness in each case. “President Obama has refused to look at the situation in Iran and Egypt and around that world and to call evil, evil. To identify the enemy,” Santorum said. “This is someone who doesn’t believe in truth and evil and America.”
I’m pretty sure here that Santorum wants us to bomb the protesters, Mubarak, and Iran, just to be sure we kill at the Mus, errr, “evil” in the world.
That, BTW, got him a pass from the Victimized One. It’s all right to make up stuff about the President (he, in no way shape or form, took Iran’s government’s side during those protests), and then condemn him for supporting Revolution and Freedom…but you better not criticize the Mama Grizzly, or the way she raized her Babby Grazzlies.
Santorum touched off a media firestorm Tuesday with remarks that appeared to denigrate Palin, and the response from the former Alaska governor and her supporters was swift and unforgiving. The episode proved instructive: Not only is the Republican outline against Palin taking shape, but so too is the Palin outline for how she’ll fight back.
Asked why he thought Palin wasn’t attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, he responded: “I have a feeling that she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them.” He added that Palin had “other business opportunities” as well as “all these kids” to look after as a mother, both of which caused constraints on her time.
Though Santorum later insisted otherwise, his comments seemed to imply that Palin was more interested in cashing in on her celebrity than running for office, a critique rarely voiced in public by Republican officials.
Santorum might have been all right if he had kept up the attack. Two problems: one, he’s a pussy and doesn’t know when he’s got the right of it (Palin is very weak to the profiteering hillbilly charge, as the evidence speaks for itself) and two, he doesn’t have one of the most powerful corporations in the world at his back.
Santorum’s remarks were delivered to a small audience via the Internet. Palin’s response came on Fox News. And she didn’t hold back, asserting that she took particular offense to his suggestion that she as a mother had “other responsibilities” that he as a father of seven does not.
“My kids don’t hold me back from attending a conference,” [And I don’t hold them back from gettin’ knocked up. -ed] Palin said in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. “I will not call him the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. I’ll let his wife call him that instead.”
The story dominated conservative media, with Fox & Friends calling it the “first political kerfuffle of the 2012 presidential campaign.” Palin-friendly bloggers and pundits savaged Santorum for the remarks.
Within a day, Santorum was walking back his comments.
And there you have the first skirmish in the 2012 Presidential Campaign (Sacrificial Lamb version). This is probably how it will play out… the meta-game, if you will…
- Everyone will “Attack Obama” (that’s the slogan) relentlessly regardless of conditions on ground (Egypt being the obvious and HUGE foreign policy victory for Obama the scope of which is still being measured by some and ignored by all serious Republican candidates).
- Somebody says something off-hand about Sarah Palin, that could, possibly, be seen as offensive by someone who is hyper-sensitive about everything.
- Romney ignores his record in Massachusetts and elsewhere, smiles a lot, has great hair, nails the talking points.
- A bunch of other guys all say varying degrees of the same thing (Thune, Pawlenty, Daniels).
- A celebrity gets thrown in the mix so Fox’s Entertainment division has a reason to push the story (2008: The dude from Law and Order, 2012: the guy from Celebrity Apprentice)
- Palin takes huge offense to whatever was said and dominates media coverage of whatever event happened by playing another of her never-ending stack of victim cards (Only Al Sharpton had a more exposed playbook, using cards of the same type all the time. Think of the Palin as a white Sharpton, and you’ll probably have the right of it; good at turning a phrase and a dime, never a serious candidate).
- I do a snarky post about the whole thing.
And that’s pretty much it.
Oh, and I’ll call it now…Romney wins the nod. (and gets slaughtered in the election, much like Cain did to Abel….and that, my friends, <——- wins the obscure-theological-slam-of-the-week award.)