Mar 6, 2007

Have You Noticed What the Conservatives Said at their Recent Political Action Conference (CPAC)? Let's Give Them More Exposure!

An icon of the Conservatives, Dick Cheney--most likely to be the most unpopular veep in modern US history--addressing CPAC.

I watched snippets of the Conservatives' Political Action Conference that took place a few days ago. It's where Ann Coulter was applauded for calling John Edwards "faggot." I don't know why C-SPAN covered such an event but I'm glad it did, because everyone in America should see what the conservatives talk about when they get together. Their presidential candidates attended and spoke at this CPAC along with other admired stars of the conservative universe. Of course, there are many shades of conservatism and GOPers, but, really, does that rhetoric (and advocated policies) represent the majority of the right wing and its voters?

As usually, the straw man--the biased liberal media that ..dominates everything--got a beating at this conference, but you should hear what the conservatives' brightest stars have been saying. Those views aren't limited to a private conference, but are peddled daily on talk radio (where conservatives dominate), mainstream radio and TV, cable channels, and newspapers. Actually, I do want to see the progressives exposing more of the garbage spewed by icons of the right, like Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, just to name a handful. Any public official, any candidate, any aspirant for elective office who shares these views must be exposed and must be made accountable. Why, we should give such talk more exposure, take it outside their conservative enclaves and present it to the rest of the country. Let's see whether such views are indeed accepted by most Americans.

We often don't want to deal with the ridiculous, but at times we should. I don't think most Americans realize what today's GOP stands for. These conservatives in control of the Republican party are indeed extremists. Of course they have to talk in a special language with buzz words, simplistic notions and plans, because that's why most of their activist base understands and needs to get motivated. But, this base of wingnuts is not enough to win elections; the independents and other mainstream voters have to be convinced too--usually not be reason, but by the politics of fear, and the "good guy" approach. That was the strategy of the folksy Dubya.

Ideological and some very ..practical reasons prevent me from being a Republican, but even if this weren't enough, I simply don't find their arguments all that good. Not all conservatives are stupid by any means. Some of them, like George Will, are smart and articulate... when they talk to us or the general public; but not when they talk to their base where a bumper-sticker mentality prevails. Yes, use the magnetic ribbon that says, "Support the Troops," on your SUV, but stop there. Don't bother to think further. Not only their arguments aren't sophisticated but purposefully are simplistic. I'd urge everybody to read the speeches (at least of the stars in the conservative camp) at that CPAC show and draw your own conclusions.

I'd also suggest that you pay attention to what the conservatives are saying today. Maybe you should subscribe to a couple newsletters. For example, I've been getting daily emails from This right wingnut outlet was a presenter at the CPAC (along with Just see what they're talking about; it'll be an educational experience, and, I hope, a reason for all progressives to be on the offensive and expose those people for what they are. Nothing more, nothing less.

Check this video from The Nation magazine's Max Blumenthal. It's from the recent CPAC. Do watch it, you may learn something about the cons.

PS. It's not about Ann Coulter's bigotry; she'd be irrelevant if no one were listening. Kos puts this succintly, "Ann Coulter exists because the conservative movement craves her brand of hatred, and she delivers the goods." I've said this many times before, all those wingnuts are relevant because they have many followers. No one would, for example, take Pat Robertson, Falwell, et al, seriously if they were just representing themselves. As a matter of fact whenever they say something incredibly stupid & inconsiderate, memberships & contributions in their organizations go up. They deliver the goods many theocons want to consume.

PS2. You may want to watch Mr. Bean's video (under Picture of the Moment on the right column)for laughs. He's addressing a Conservative party conference. Even if this is kinda old, it's still relevant--at least here with our own cons.

UPDATE 3/9/07
There has been some reaction from conservative blogs and others against Ann Coulter, because as they say, correctly, she's a distraction to the message the conservatives want to put forth. But, why do the conservatives keep giving Coulter such wide media exposure? Is she expressing a significant segment of their base? They may, now, deride her but is the anti-gay, anti-abortion, culture-war rhetoric what's left of GOP's platform? Well, they do believe that Darwin's theory of evolution is a ..liberal sham and should be replaced by creationsim (of a certain kind).
Here's a clip that caps the whole issue; it includes some great comments by Rachel Maddow.