A CPAC Discussion


While waiting to pick up my credentials at the Omni Shorham, and people watching. Well, more people watching than credentialing. Ed Morrissey strolled by, so did Joe the Plumber. Cool, no?

I bumped into Dr. Melissa Clouthier while checking in to CPAC and as we were chatting, Ed Morrissey strolled by..again. A great conversation ensued in the Omni Shorham’s lobby amongst the three of us over the state of the RNC and the tone of CPAC 2009.

Ed stated he would like to see more coalition building in the RNC and is curious to see if there is much finger pointing at this year’s CPAC. He also observered that Obama, like Reagan, had the edge in this past election cycle by paring his economic message down to the simple phrase “A tax cut for 95% of Americans”. Republicans and conservatives need to acquire better communication skills in order to win elections. Speaking of the bailout boondoggle, Pelosi and Co. dropped the ball by excluding Republicans from the construction of this monstrosity, and it might come back to bite them in 2010.

Melissa stressed that conservatives had to hold to fiscal responsibility. The big tent idea aside,there have to be core values, one of them being fiscal responsibility. That Republicans lost the election to a junior senator from Illinois owning the placard of fiscal responsibility. Hello! RNC..are you listening?? She noted that the recently adopted spending bill has lit a fire under the GOP/conservative activists – I heartily agree!

I’ll tell you what, It was great just to listen to their exchange. My thoughts on the big tent theory? Do the Dems really have one? It seems as though you are required to conform to the Dem orthodoxy or you are booted from the party – ala – Senator Lieberman. Anton Checkhov observed “Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.” That is the Dem’s “Big Tent”theory in a nutshell. It is not that they are the party of tolerance, quite the opposite, actually. They simply used the abject hatred of George Bush to bring all types together. This was also the litmus test for inclusion in this ‘tent’. Does the RNC need to emulate this behavior?

As for CPAC? I’m with Melissa, a fire has been lit and this is the place for conservative activists to network and build coalitions. A big part of that will be building organizations that seed fiscal conservatives into the framework of the State GOP. Want to know how to go about that? Check out PACC. Other urgent needs are to re-tool our party message and take back ownership of fiscal responsibility. No small tasks, indeed.

Oh, with all my high tech photo gear I brought with me, you’d think that I’d have photos for you. Well, it does not matter how high tech your gear is, it doesn’t work when you leave it at the hotel.

UPDATE: Senator Inhofe interview:

Senator Inhofe will be available for blogger interviews between 9:30-11:00am tomorrow morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Senator Inhofe has been one of the leading Congressional voices on today’s hot-button issues, such as opposing massive government spending and tax raises in the Stimulus Bill/Bailouts, opposing the unnecessary closing of GITMO, spreading the truth about Global Warming alarmism, and fighting back against Democratic attempts to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

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The graphics on that CPAC banner seem awfully familiar, not sure why…