CPAC 2011 Thursday Evening
"Ron Paul has zero chance of getting elected," he shouted soon after I got there and set up in the media lounge. Yes, I was not allowed back into the Bloggers' Lounge. I made a friend on the ACU Board (they put on CPAC) in the bar last night who offered to help me get in if they refused me, but I don't think I'll take advantage of it right now. I sat next to Joe Klein this afternoon with the mainstream media, but I didn't recognize anyone else yet and I don't want to read their badges. Many were taking notes using the old technology - pen and pad. Nobody does that in the Bloggers' Lounge. Most, however, were banging their laptops like I was. It's a quiet bunch and everybody keeps to themselves. I can deal with that.
Well, Trump is pissing off the Paulies. They're booing him vehemently and they comprise about a quarter of the people down there on the floor. Another quarter stand up and cheer. Most people are annoyed with them. They are different. I kind of like Trump. He's fiesty. The Paulies aren't ruffling his feathers or his hairdo. It's going to be interesting to have him in the race for president, especially in the debates. He's talking like he already announced he's running. He must have said it before I got here.Newly-elected Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Rand Paul is at the podium. He says the proposed budget cuts Republicans are offering don't go nearly far enough and he's right. He's talking about going after entitlements. Right again. He says Social Security is going to have to gradually raise the retirement age. Right again. I haven't disagreed with anything he's saying. He's not a dynamic speaker, but I like what I'm hearing.
“The notion that the Commerce Clause can [allow Congress to] do anything," he said, is going to have to change.
Hmm. Can't disagree with that.
He says fellow doctor/Senator Tom Coburn asked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan: “Could the Congress make people eat three vegetables a day?” She said it could.
Hmm. I like vegetables in my later years, but I want eating them to be my idea.
"How many Tea Party people are out there?" he asks. About a quarter of the crows responds. “[Because of the Tea Party] this town is now talking about the debt and deficit incessantly," he says.
That's good. I like Rand Paul. He suggests cuts to the budget totaling $500 billion so far. I hope we get more like him elected in 2012.
Cheney and Rumsfeld
Next, someone introduces someone else who introduces former Vice President Dick Cheney who will introduce Donald Rumsfeld. Hundreds of Paulies are filing out of the hall and I walk down from the media lounge to the floor so I can get better photographs. I had to wait for them as they filed out.
They were obnoxious. The were shouting “Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” as they walked the aisles. Others in the crowd were clearly angry. “Shut up!” some said with hostility. Most of these rude and obnoxious Ron Paulies were young men - boys really - with longish, Justin Beiber-like hair and lots of stickers plastered over their shirts and jackets. I think Ron Paul is a little strange, but I like and respect him though I agree with Trump that he'll never get elected. He's speaking tomorrow or the next day and I'll probably attend. I liked most everything I heard from his son, Senator Rand Paul, too, but I don’t like their supporters. They don’t reflect well on their heroes. Not at all.
Someone else yelled "Draft Dodger!" as Cheney was speaking, but he seems undaunted. I'm sorry this happens at CPAC and I like Dick Cheney very much. Always have. I like Rumsfeld too. They're big boys and they can take it.Rummy at the podium
Rumsfeld says nice things about the United States and our military. Lots of former military in the crowd. Many are my age - Vietnam era. I feel at home. Rummy plugs his book. He'll be available in the exhibit hall to sign copies.
I'm tired now and I'm going outside to find a place where I can buy a bottle of red wine and some hard Italian cheese. After that, I'll probably go to bed - if I'm smart, that is. I was up late in the lounge last night. Not good to do that two nights in a row, and besides, I've got a good book to read: "The Faithful Departed" by Philip Lawler. I like the title. It's both a phrase and a sentence, depending on how you want to interpret it. It's about the decline of the Boston Archdiocese in the late 20th century and I was there for much of it.
So far, it rings true. Very true.