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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Live from CPAC: all hate, all the time

The annual CPAC meeting

CPAC Day Two--Special Report: Ann Coulter and Her Crazy Ramblings

By Conventioneer - Feb 10th, 2006 at 8:10 pm EST

Wow. Conventionette and I just had the pleasure of hearing Ann Coulter speak--and I'm still in shock. I want to preface this post by saying that every person who was at the speech today and applauded at some of the things she had to say (especially all of the comments about the Muslim religion) - you should be ashamed of yourselves. I was taken aback at the amount of applause Ms. Coulter received when she referred to Muslims as "rag heads." It is disappointing to see that such divisive and incendiary comments were welcomed with such gusto from the crowd.

Her speech today jacked up the crazy conservative meter straight to ten; it was without a doubt the most highly attended speaking event that Conventionette and I have seen thus far at the event, any everyone was in a fervor to see the spokeswoman of (to use a phrase of another conservative) "bass-ackward" conservatism. The two guys sitting next to us were die-hard Coulter fans, so we pandered to their misguided love and got them to talk to us a little about Ann. One thing that I still have trouble grasping is why so many people think Coulter is so attractive (as these two clearly did), because she's super bony and I swear today when she was speaking I saw an Adam's apple. But this is beside the point.

Aside from a more aggressive stance on enforcing love for America across the world through the use of war, Coulter went through the typical conservative channels, as I'm sure she knew this would get the best response from the crowd--she sure does love those applause--attacking (among others) Hilary Clinton, the "mainstream media," and the Middle East. Her speech about going to war with Syria was pretty popular with the crowd, as well. Moving on to less weighty issues, she mentioned that she was glad conservatives had all the pretty girls--a comment which Conventionette was especially happy about. But then again I'm sure Coulter didn't expect any progressives in the crowd.

Most infuriating were Coulter's comments about the Muslim faith. I daresay she spent the longest part of her speech just demonizing Muslims, focusing on the recent events with the comics of Mohammed in Denmark. Amidst laughter and applause, Coulter made several jokes about the violent nature of the Muslim faith and its followers. I myself am not Muslim, but I was still insulted by how well received these comments were. The youths around us were eating it up, jabbering about how great she and her comments were.

The low point for me was during the Q and A session when a young man from Muslims for America came up and very respectfully requested that she not use the term "rag heads." He argued for the peaceful way in which many Muslims live their lives, and really just didn't want her to use such a hateful term to describe a religion whose majority is not violent or malevolent. I was moved, and I applauded as loud as I could for the guy.

But I'm not exaggerating when I say that Coulter's response put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day; she basically told him "Well, I make a couple jokes about Muslims, and they kill 3000 Americans--fair trade." It was, in short, appalling. Reader, if ever you find yourself wondering "why do these fundamentalist Muslims hate us so much?" You can be sure that hateful opinions such as this and hateful people such as Coulter are a cause.

I made sure to head down to the Muslims for America booth after the speech was over to shake the kid's hand and let him know not all Americans think that way (not the ones trying to sell books, anyway). He handled everything with great poise--even telling Ann "thank you" after her disrespectful response to his request. Afterward, we talked for a bit--he was a pretty cool dude.

Anyway, back to Angry Annie--Conventionette and I brought a tape recorder with us to the conference, and we recorded both Coulter's speech and the Q and A session. Check back on the site later for Conventionette's post on Coulter, as she has the tape recorder and will be providing some quotes from the event that are nothing short of shocking.

In closing, I just want to say that Coulters speech and the response of the attendees both depressed and angered me. I didn't really care for her before, but now I can say without hesitation that I think she is an abhorrent human being. Not because she is a conservative, so right-wingers that may be reading this, don't get your undies in a bunch--rather I say this because Coulter is a person who resorts to incendiary, malicious comments and attacks in order to pander her image to the crowd.

While I'm sure that this will help her sell more copies of her next book, it does absolutely nothing positive for a country she supposedly claims to love.

CPAC Day Two, Part Two: Get Up, Stand Up
By Conventioneer - Feb 10th, 2006 at 5:31 pm EST
I asked for it, and I got it. I've been telling Conventionette all weekend that I'm disappointed in the lack of conservative crazies coming out to support this convention--which is true. But that all changed just about an hour ago when Conventionette and I heard Ann Coulter speak. Interested? You should be--but you're going to have to wait. Ms. Coulter's speech deserves its own post, and nothing less. So keep checking in to the Campus Progress website because we'll have (a lot) more on that later.

For now, there are several other events that went on throughout the day that were pretty entertaining, so read on, because though they can't compare to Ann, they were pretty crazy.

Just before lunch, I had the pleasure of listening to Sen. Mitch McConnell speak, entering the main hall amidst cries of "Mitch, Mitch, Mitch, Mitch," and applause. The beginning of his speech was pretty standard--Roberts and Alito are good, legislating from the bench is bad, etc. He even poked fun at the opposing party, stating (with a hint of a gleam in his eye) that it was "Fun to watch the Dems agonize" over Roberts and Alito. He then began an argument which Conventionette and I have been hearing about the unchecked misrepresentation and misinformation coming out of the "mainstream media." He even stated that the mainstream media is mislabeling the economy as bad, when in reality, "Americans have more money in their pockets." Tell that to the people of New Orleans.

He talked a little bit about the reserved political strategy of the GOP, using Basketball as a metaphor to make the comment that "It is easier to score on offense." That may be true, but any good basketball coach will tell you (my father is one) that it is a team effort and strong defense that wins games.

The final thing I wanted to address about his speech is that he made the comment that proof that America is safer is evident in the fact that we have not been attacked again since 9/11--which is nothing more than a horrible argument. Any statistician or economist would be able to tell Sen. McConnell that there is a huge difference between Causation and Correlation. Just because two events are correlated does not necessarily mean that one caused the other. Please, any time you hear anyone make this argument, tell them "Correlation does not imply causation."

The next big panel was covered in a post by Conventionette, and that was the Marriage amendment panel. All I want to say about that is I find it interesting that wherever moral issues are concerned, the right wants the government to step in and "do the right thing." However, when it is economic issues that are up for discussion, their motto is "smaller government." It always has been and still is thoroughly confusing to me.

The next act was probably the most entertaining--a mini-debate over the war on drugs. The gentleman making the "con" argument for the war on drugs (read: it is bad) attacked the war's place in the conservative ideology, stating that it was contrary to the conservative principle of smaller government. He also said it was costly and ineffective. Personally, I thought he made a really good point and the debate rocked because the crowd got really really into it. The "pro" debater basically argued that communities lack a moral structure and the government's intervention is required to protect people from themselves.

From there it evolved into an argument about personal responsibility and personal judgment vs. the slippery slope argument that marijuana (almost inevitably, according to the "pro war on drugs" side) leads to other, more dangerous drugs, and that people that smoke marijuana become lazy and end up sleeping all day.

It really deserves its own post as well, I might elaborate on it later because everyone got so fired up and everything--basically, it was just a lot of fun to be there.

Yea, so I know this is pretty long, but there's been a lot of conservative craziness today, and even more to go, so stay tuned! Same bat channel, same bat time.

CPAC Day 2: A Moment of Justice (Finally!)
By Conventionette - Feb 10th, 2006 at 3:13 pm EST
Thank goodness for tape recorders, because Conventioneer and I witnessed some crazy and amazing stuff in the panel on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Here are some high (or low, depending on how you're looking at them) points from the transcript (bold emphasis added by me):

Alan Chambers of Exodus International on why homosexual rights aren't civil rights: "Homosexuality is transient. It's not something that's permanent it's not something that's immutable it's something that can be changed. Therefore… this is not about removing rights of people but about protecting the rights we already have… The truth is we all have the same rights. No one has more rights than the other. The fact is the issue of marriage and hate crimes and those types of things seek to make certain people more equal than others and that's something that we're trying to rally against."

Peter Spriggs of the Family Research Council on the secret homosexual agenda: "What homosexuals want is an unlimited smorgasbord of relationship options whose only common denominator is that all of them are subsidized by the government. They do not want to participate in marriage as a normative institution. And that's I think Alan and I and most of us in the pro-family movement think that marriage should not just be an option--it should be the norm for people in a sexual relationship or for people raising children--and homosexuals don't believe that."

Scott, a dude in the audience who is gay and affiliated with the Log Cabin Republicans got up courage I probably wouldn't have had if I were in his shoes--he got up to the mic and directly called the panel on the bullshit that is the "pro-family" label. Check out this moment of awesomeness that finally allowed me to clap in good conscience:

"…with all due respect… you just said 'what homosexuals want"--how in the world can you speak for all homosexuals? … I don't know what you want because I'm not you, so with all due respect please don't speak for all homosexuals… Everyone likes to throw around the labels anti-family, pro-family--as a gay person, I would like to know how I am anti-family. Because roughly six months ago I was holding my grandfathers hand as he died, and I sat there at his bedside for two weeks… holding his hand while he died… sir, with all due respect, I am pro-family in every sense of the word… I am a proud Republican, I am a patriot, I support this president, I support this war on terror--this is where we need to be putting our focus, not on a constitutional amendment [against homosexual marriage]."

Holy shit, that was amazing. How refreshing to hear someone use the question time to address an actual error in the panel's judgment instead of just patting them on the back like everyone else! Bonus points for you, Scott. Of course, they didn't answer his question about why gay people are inherently "anti-family," but still. Small victories must be celebrated.

posted by Steve @ 1:07:00 AM

1:07:00 AM

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