Here is the agenda for CPAC. Let me know if you want anything in particular covered.
Highlights so far:
–Deroy Murdock of National Review going after Dubya and Karl Rove. Murdock was speaking at an event sponsored by PJTV. He said that the failures of the Bush administration “left the Republican Party with neither principles or power.” He later said “Karl Rove should fly back to Texas,” this led to a smattering of applause and cheers from the audience.
– Joe the Plumber looked sad when the hall for him was barely a 1/4 full. When will his 15 minutes of fame be over? Patrick Ruffini wrote a kick-ass piece about why Joe the Plumber is bad for the GOP and should become a bricklayer. Joe the Plumber sucks.
– Mike Huckabee making lame jokes about lame Americana crap and a packed auditorium eating it up. bleh
– Brief interview with Andrew Klavan about conservatives in Hollywood.
– More to come. For up-to-the minute observations follow me on twitter
– Holly Robichaud is here. Hoo-Ray.
– One of the more promising signs about this gathering is the amount of young people that are here. CPAC is overrun with young people, not just college students either. This may be due to the $25 registration fee for students.
– Even Joe Scarborough is getting in on the “last eight years sucked hard” theme. “The party has to reform or get out of the way. We can’t keep electing politicans who save they’re going to cut taxes and reduce spending and then do the opposite.”
Nearly every speech that I’ve been fortunate enough to hear at this event has recognized that the last eight years really damaged the Republican Party. This is a very good sign and shows that there is hope for the party at the national level. There was a constant emphasis that the party lost much of its credibility on fiscal issues (along with everything else.) The doubling of the national debt under the Bush administration destroyed any clout the national GOP had on fiscal issues. There is no denying this. Joe Scarborough, a charter member of the Republican Revolution of 1994, said in his speech that the last eight years were a complete deviation from the ideology of Ronald Reagan and an abandonment of conservative principles. “The party has to reform or get out of the way. We can’t keep electing politicians who say they’re going to cut taxes and reduce spending and then do the opposite,” he said.
Tucker Carlson – sans bow tie – was very critical of the Bush administration. “Listening to George Bush speak was like watching a drunk man cross an icy street. He would slip on a preposition and eat it,” he said.
Carlson emphasized the need for the next conservative leader to be an effective speaker and have a strong command of the English language. “Pick someone articulate and appealing,” he said.
Carlson was somewhat happy with the development of conservative media institutions but sited a need for more. “Some media institutions that conservatives created survived and others failed. The ones that placed an emphasis on accuracy and actual reporting survived. The ones that pushed ideology failed,” he said.
CPAC would not be complete without potshots at the evil-Muslim-liberal-zombie press. “The love the press has for the Obama administration is the kind you have to be a 14 year old boy to understand,” he said.
Carlson encountered hostility from the crowd when he suggested the New York Times did “accurate reporting.” I just wanted to ask why he stopped using bow ties.