Friday, February 18, 2005
CPAC 2005: My Date with Ann Coulter
The main attraction at CPAC, in my opinion, was the speech given by Ann Coulter on Friday afternoon. I arrived in the auditorium early, at least I thought--only to find it was standing room only.
Coulter came out amidst blaring rock music and a standing ovation from a welcoming crowd.
The long and the short of Coulter's address was: (A) Republicans have won because we're right, (B) Conservatives need to be ever vigilant against liberalism, (C) we need to practice "The New McCarthyism". The new McCarthyism, as defined by Ann, is that we "define, attack and destroy" liberalism and anything that threatens the conservative agenda.
Typically, the liberals are the ones to go on the offense, while the conservatives sit back and watch. Ann mentioned specifically how we've nailed several people in the liberal media, while they have outed someone from the "prestigious" (sarcastic tone) Talon News agency. She also pointed to the irony that while Democrats claim to love gay people, their favorite name to call Republicans is "gay".
A good point that Ann made was that Republicans are discussing the issues. We're planning and working to make America a better place. Democrats, on the other hand, are fighting each other. They're fighting over who will run in four years. They're fighting over who should be their leader. They're fighting to get themselves back into power, rather than focus on the issues at hand.
Dan Would Rather We Not Mention...
One touching part of Ann's speech was when she talked about the conservative Internet grass roots activists, i.e., the Blogosphere, and the sinking of Dan Rather's career.
"CBS is planning a tribute to Dan Rather... the memo went out a month ago but everyone assumed it was a fake...Cue the Surprise Guest...
Ronald Reagan was way ahead of his time predicting we’d bring the Soviet Union down; it was much tougher to bring Dan Rather down. We waited 35 years to get Dan Rather. Sleep well, Richard Nixon."
What happened next floored me. Coulter was going to take questions, and brought out someone to help her. She introduced someone who has been a "conservative voice in the media" (raised my eyebrows) and then introduced... Matt Drudge!
This was probably the best scene of the entire day. The entire crowd jumped to their feet in about .15 seconds. The rock music blared, Drudge ran out on stage to face a screaming crowd of well groomed, suit wearing conservatives. It's not every day you see something like that.
The one point Drudge made during Q and A that I remember was about the ever-shifting political and moral values of the liberal left. The example was Hillary, who now claims to be pro-life. As Drudge correctly pointed out, and he should know:
"[The Democrats] are also counting on people not remembering from one election to the next. But the Internet, to their horror, keeps track of these things."True, true. The Internet was around in '96, but wasn't mainstream. The Internet was around in 2000, but really became a factor in 2004. Now you have an entire block of the voting population that followed this election online, and in four years they will remember the stories. They will remember the headlines. They will Google the truth. The Internet does keep track of these things.
The closing point Ann made was that the Conservative movement has a tremendous following from the youth of America. I have to say, this impressed me more than anything else at CPAC. The attendees were young, bright, and numerous. As Ann said, "We are sweeping the youth of America while they are going the way of the Whigs."