Guest Blogged by Special BRAD BLOG CPAC Correspondent Daniel Borchers
EDITOR'S NOTE: The BRAD BLOG has obtained media credentials to cover this year's "Conservative Political Action Conference" (CPAC) which began on Thursday, and will be taking place this weekend in Washington D.C. We've asked Dan Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Brother Watch & Coulter Watch, to cover the event as our correspondent. We've written about Borchers --- who was escorted out of CPAC in 2002 for distributing material critical of CPAC darling Ann Coulter and disallowed media credentials in the years following --- in several previous articles here, here, both of which include videos he's compiled showing Coulter to be a detriment to the Conservative Movement. As well, we wrote about Borchers in an article for the February issue of Mother Jones. We're pleased to have him corresponding for us from "Bloggers Row" at CPAC this year. This is his first dispatch...
If you think all conservatives think alike, guess again. CPAC is a great place for an education in Conservatism.
The 33rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Washington, DC, February 9-11, 2006. CPAC features prominent national speakers, with thousands of students in attendance. White House officials, senators and congressmen, special interest groups and media personalities all converge at this largest annual gathering of conservatives to network, debate political issues, channel grassroots activism and define the direction of Conservatism for the coming year.
Conservatives of all stripes coalesce at CPAC, though anti-war paleoconservatives have been scarce in recent years. Neoconservatives predominate. Pro-market conservatives abound. Cultural conservatives thrive. Libertarians are free to liberate (to whatever degree they can) the Conservative Movement from the pro-security and pro-life wings of the party. This year, even the legalization of marijuana is formally debated.
You can find conservatives opposed to the Iraq War, Muslims supporting President Bush and an organization against the war on Christmas.
This year's theme was modestly called, "The Conservative Agenda for America." Among this kaleidoscope of conservatives, what that agenda will be remains to be seen. Unquestionably, the majority at CPAC favor President Bush and the neoconservative. What, exactly, unites these disparate threads of Conservatism? I suspect a mixture of freedom and faith, family and fortune.
As this year's CPAC Conference progresses, I'll file additional reports and photos. (See below for a selection of photos from the first day.)
(Ed Note: Photos from CPAC Day 1, taken by Dan follow, along with photos of Velvet Revolution's "ImpeachMobile" which was parked out front, and a report from the driver about the various "friendly gestures" they received from CPAC attendees, and a group he described as "Hitler Youth")...
UPDATE: Borcher's dispatch from Day 2, including details (audio and video) from Ann Coulter's big keynote speech is now posted here...
(Ed Note: This above is a sample of one of the photo boards at the the Free Republic booth. Note the comments about "GOOD GUYS" versus "CODE PINK...AMERICA-HATING LEFTIST SWINE" and "COMMIES" next to some of the photos. Click here for a larger detailed version of this, and another adjacent photo board.)
Ed Note: The Velvet Revolution "ImpeachMobile" was also parked outside of the Omni Shoreham Hotel yesterday where CPAC is taking place! One of our drivers --- The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR --- reported that after weeks of getting thumbs-up signs while driving around DC, the rolling billboard received quite a different response out of CPAC...Here are a few choice quotes from their report:
"The vendors here really seem to be hate mongers."
During the late evening, we received a call from one of the drivers who reoprted that "Hitler Youth" wearing "strange uniforms" seemed to be dogging them. "In unison," he said, "they all gave us the finger and told us to 'go fuck ourselves.' When the police told us we had to keep moving, we did, but both the police and the Hitler youth followed us."
We asked for photos, if they were able to snap any, even though it was late in the day. They send back a few, which were too hard to really make out to much. Here's a couple of them, lightened a bit, with an explanation from the driver below it...
Eventually, Dick Cheney, who came to speak to CPAC on the first night, rolled right by the "ImpeachMobile" in his motorcade...Said the VR truckdriver: