Thursday, February 10, 2011

CPAC 2011 Thursday Evening

Got back to the big ballroom and Donald Trump was speaking. I'd heard earlier today he was coming and he talked like he was running for president. I confess I don't know much about him except that he's a real estate developer and sometime-rich-guy who goes on television and says, "You're fired" to people. I never watched the program, but I've heard. I have a hard time taking guys with comb-overs seriously and his is one of the most flamboyant I've ever seen. If you're losing your hair, accept it with dignity. It doesn't make you a bad person.Trump addressing the crowd

"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.

Good night.


Irregardless NH said...

It was thrilling to see Donald ("You go to war with the army you have")Rumsfeld presented with the vaunted CPAC Defender of the Consitution Award. He's in the proud tradition of other august DoC's, including Rush Limbaugh and AG John Ashcroft.

C'mon on: It just doesn't get any better than that!

And who presented the laurels to Rummy? Why, none other than Dick ("Deficits don't matter") Cheney. (One wonders what the 'fiscally prudent' TeaParty types make of that?) (Oh, never mind...)

The only question, of course, is which Constitution - the Soviet Union, Cambodia or China - did Secretary Aspartame supposedly defend?

Just askin'

aliledar said...

Love it, Tom, and I'm so glad you're there so I can feel that I'm there too.

Anonymous said...

Dick Cheney said this week that Mubarak is a "good man".

It takes one to know one, I guess!


Irregardless NH said...

That'd be "Five Deferments Dick", no? A real American patriot.

Question to all those CPAC youngsters cheering Darth Cheney...wonder how quickly you'd change your tune if a military draft were reinstated.

Anonymous said...

Sweet God! Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush should all be in jail.

Anonymous said...

It's beyond disturbing to see guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld venerated for illegal and immoral acts.

Anonymous said...

From the video I saw someone shouted "War Criminal" not draft dodger.

I personally think Ron Paul is a bit too much. However, his love of the constitution is genuine. Unlike Cheney or Rumsfeld who have no regard for it at all.

Tom McLaughlin said...

"Not draft dodger"?

There were lots of shouts. I was there to hear them. You saw a video.

Anonymous said...

War crimanal, draft dodger...they both fit. That's why Tom like him. Dick likes Mubarak, Mubarak liked Sadam and told Dick not to invade Iraq, and Tom likes all fits together nicely.

Anonymous said...

Anyone talking about NOT voting for an extension of the Patriot Act?

The Commodore said...


It seems as though there are lots of differences in opinion, solutions and most importantly PASSION in solving our problems.

Millionaires are generally clever, some others are thoughtful, but not good speakers.

We had a great example of passion and great speaking ability, lots of hopeful ideas for change... and...what did we get.

Once fooled, all are wary. What are we looking for in 2012?

Time will tell. Keep up the good reporting.

Jeff Bailey

Tom McLaughlin said...

Thanks Jeff. I see you've figured out how to leave a post. Old dogs can learn new tricks, huh?

Sally Rasmussen said...

Tom, when I lived in Maine, I thought you were simply repulsive. Now that I read your posts from Afghanistan, I want to vomit. You make me ashamed to call myself an American. Damn you for your part in destroying our once great country.

Tom McLaughlin said...

My posts from Afghanistan? What are you talking about?