Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

February 27, 2013 - 6:06 am
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

The calendar turns toward another Conservative Political Action Committee meeting, but I won’t be there.

It’s not spite or any disagreement within the movement that’s keeping me away. The PJ empire is launching Next Generation TV and that effort is rightly taking the lion’s share of our resources. Like any organization investing dollars in getting people and stuff from one place to another, we have to make choices, and the choices we’ve made make sense. If you’re at CPAC this year you’ll see Allen West, Michelle Fields and many of our other folks, just not me. I’m sure you’ll get over it.

To tell you the truth, I was not really looking forward to going anyway. I’m not verklempt about the dust-up over GOProud. CPAC owns its brand and can do what it wants. A robust movement welcomes different points of view, though, so I don’t stand with S. E. Cupp for boycotting CPAC, nor do I stand with CPAC itself on this. If it were up to me, GOProud would be allowed to sponsor, but it isn’t up to me, and I’m not going to grandstand or trollface over it or any of the other issues I have with CPAC management. I think we’re all doing it wrong, and by handing leftist Chris Hayes the control in this particular fight, we’re really doing it wrong.

We’re also doing a whole lot else wrong. Conservatives go to CPAC, hear some good speeches, see some of our celebrities, network among ourselves, get energized, mix and mingle, and that’s all fine. I’ve been a part of all of that myself. The liberal media come in, treats us as an anthropological study of icky subjects that should be quarantined, and we end up with a fun week inside and bad optics outside. Leftist troublemakers sneak in and do their best to present us at our worst. So there’s all that. For me, though, I just wonder if our annual meeting among ourselves, so many of us in one place reporting on the same speeches and the same parties, is really where so many of us ought to be.

We have CPAC, we have the various Americans for Prosperity events, the RedState Gatherings, on and on and on. They’re all essentially the same event, with differences in nuance, repeated at various venues and scales. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all fine. I’ve attended all of them and spoken at a couple. My old blog was among the catalysts that got bloggers credentialed at CPAC in the first place. I’ve been on the attendee side and on the sponsor side and the side that puts on the show. But the thing is, while we’re all spending time and treasure to attend these events, where are we not, and what are we not covering, and who are we not talking to and hearing from?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Try and look up a dictionary or encyclopedia description of conservatism and you get a bunch of contradictory mush that would relate quite well to what CPAC or conservatives believe (e.g., a bunch of mush). The only president in my lifetime who [mostly] did not espouse a bunch of mush was Reagan. He was also the only president in my lifetime who had huge numbers of Democrats vote for him.

There is a connection between the above sentences. The reason so many Democrats voted for Reagan was that he espoused clear and simple principles that both Republicans and Democrats believed he would actually uphold. Reagan was the LEAST moderate Republican president since Calvin Coolidge. Naturally, the Republican establishment and Republican/Democrat progressives loathed Reagan and they didn't like Coolidge either.

Many Republican and Democrat progressives will tell us that the US is a very different place than it was in the early 1980's. This is typical progressive thinking...they believe that the world is constantly changing and that principles and morality must also change accordingly. It is why progressives believe in moral relativity and show disdain for those of us who believe principles are eternal and not just purist artifacts from a different age.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The point of this essay has, I think, become a meme of the Republican consultancy class, and -- with genuine respect to Mr. Preston -- I believe it is deeply flawed. As so often happens to us all on the conservative side, we unconsciously internalize the values of the Left; and given their dominance in education and media, how could we not? In the case instant it's my view that we are being asked to pander to the lowest common denominator of a traditional civil society in precipitous decline. Oscar awards indeed!
Many of the most visible persons and groups mistakenly courted by the Right are rent-seekers recruited, defined and organized by the Left, and I think we should concede that they are intractible and completely in opposition to conservative principles. "Outreach" (based on empathy that too often tolerates the intolerable) is costly -- both in terms of money wasted and the creeping compromise of principles. One has only to look at the modern church to see that the strategy, while corrupting the institution itself, has failed miserably because it has ceased to offer clear, contrasting alternatives to secular life.
The Left portrays a small but vocal cadre of True Believers as the American mainstream, and I think uncommitted voters accept that view because conservatives have failed to unite around minimalist, clearly-articulated first principles that offer a bright-line contrast. The great strength and virtue of the Tea Party, I think, lies in the fact that they have demonstrated that the elevation of Constiturional principles can transcend lesser differences.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No. I think that our greatest problem lies within. We conservatives need to stand tall and exert our will. It is the GOP leadership in Washington that has made a laughing stock out the Republican "brand." We cannot get anywhere if we remain a party with a conservative core and an effete, distant leadership that refuses to listen to the folks that put 'em there. Since Reagan, we have been forced (by Washington and New York elites) to run one "compassionate conservative" after another, and it has been a disaster. Ours is not a problem of outreach or image projection. Rather is an internal war between Reaganites and Rovians: that is what is holding us back. Conservatives need to retake the party and the Republican caucus on the Hill. THEN we can turn our attention to prettying ourselves up for the low-information masses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
For generations, the left got their point into the mainstream, and convinced a lot of people, using fiction and drama. Movies, television, novels, magazines, comic books...even coloring books for kids. There's a mountain of good nonfiction (the "book" equivalent of CPAC choir-preaching) but the people we need to reach to change the culture will not read those. And the left made their inroads before the digital revolution. Do-it-yourself culture changing has never been easier or more affordable -- self-publishing and indie publishing, ebooks; make your own music and movies; sell, play or show them online. The major bottleneck is distribution and promotion. So we need to make that a DIY project to. Help promote conservative novelists, film makers, musical artists and their books, film and music to the public. Send tweets, post reviews and links on your blog or website. Fiction, drama, music -- powerful culture changers conservatives virtually never use.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Take it from an EX Republican. The GOP lost me at Bush 1.

If the GOP wants to save itself, it's going to have to clean house and start appealing to centrists.

Stop worshiping extremists like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck. They are poisoning the well. Stop using Atlas Shrugged as the GOP platform. Ayn Rand was an atheist and a hack. Her ideas do not work. Stop with the obsession over passing hundreds of abortion and contraception bills. Take it down at least a couple of notches. Quit whining about the military dollars being cut a few percent. It doesn't matter.

Republicans as a party are going to have to move more to the center. Otherwise give it up. The country has changed, the GOP has to change with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Those "extremists" have the following they do and the staying power they have, precisely because they give a public voice to what MILLIONS already were thinking before they even said it.

Therefore, are they really so "extremist"?

Is it "extremist" to demand respect for immutable lines between "tissue" and beings with the unalienable right to live ... lines that are not subject to arbitrary revision/replication by those with a utilitarian worldview, that might not view your life or mine as worthy of that unalienable right?

As for the other issues ... we've tried it your way. We have given the real extremists - the ones who believe they "know better" than the rest of us because they possess the mere appearances of education and intellect - an inch, and they have taken mile after mile.

The country has changed ... because millions have been led to "outsource" their responsibility and initiative to those who "know better". Not because sound principle has changed.

If we continue to stand for sound principle, instead of seeking approval by moving to the "center", the nation will come back to those principles ... it may take a long time, and it may be painful, but consequence and events will drive it back.

If we don't continue to maintain a "lighthouse" of sound principle, in the face of the storms of human hubris ... will the nation know where to come back to, in the aftermath of the storms?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Basically, the GOP should just become Democrats?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The 'C' in CPAC stands for conservative - if it were a 'big tent' as this author claims it should be it would aptly be named RPAC - 'R' standing for RINO. The RINO side of this party we share seems to want their way into every facet of every organization that is considered Republican. But when push comes to shove they take to whining about candidates that the conservative side of the party want to nominate and withhold support for the conservative candidate.

I'd tell the RINO's where to go but I'd get tossed from these forums.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd like to tell them where to go and what to do when they get there, but they're already headed in that direction anyway.

Too bad they are taking so many others with them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I promise I'll get off of this soap box, but while we're on the subject of doing it wrong... If you're blowing off CPAC to work on Next Generation can you start making them more interesting? Bring back Week in Blogs, Hair of the Dog, Kruiser Control & PJ News Break!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not too thrilled with Next Gen Video. It has technical glitches.

Like a surprising number of other people in the world who don't live where they can get DSL or cable modem, I am on a dialup connection that has very poor reliability, and I cannot stop the video to let it finish downloading and then restart it without it going all the way back to the beginning. The upshot is that it just doesn't work so I don't waste my time there.

Also, unlike the YouTube vids, I can't embed them on my blog where I can surround them with my comments and analysis.

EPIC FAIL.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Try and look up a dictionary or encyclopedia description of conservatism and you get a bunch of contradictory mush that would relate quite well to what CPAC or conservatives believe (e.g., a bunch of mush). The only president in my lifetime who [mostly] did not espouse a bunch of mush was Reagan. He was also the only president in my lifetime who had huge numbers of Democrats vote for him.

There is a connection between the above sentences. The reason so many Democrats voted for Reagan was that he espoused clear and simple principles that both Republicans and Democrats believed he would actually uphold. Reagan was the LEAST moderate Republican president since Calvin Coolidge. Naturally, the Republican establishment and Republican/Democrat progressives loathed Reagan and they didn't like Coolidge either.

Many Republican and Democrat progressives will tell us that the US is a very different place than it was in the early 1980's. This is typical progressive thinking...they believe that the world is constantly changing and that principles and morality must also change accordingly. It is why progressives believe in moral relativity and show disdain for those of us who believe principles are eternal and not just purist artifacts from a different age.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You got that right.

When the GOP tries to imitate the Demonrats in order to try to co-opt their support, they LOSE. That's because people who don't believe there's a difference between right and wrong will vote Dem no matter what.

Our problem now is that people who do believe that there is a difference between right and wrong have no place to go. Evidently the GOP expects us all to emigrate.

We just might do exactly that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Progressives do not believe in the difference between right and wrong because they say that the world is constantly changing. Anybody with principles understands that all principles are eternal. Principles existed before this world and will exist forever. Agree or disagree, chose your side!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The primary motivation of many to support Progressive politics is the desire to avoid ever having their mellow harshed about their choices in life, with credible, principled criticism.

Therefore, such as these gravitate to Progressive ideology precisely because of the relativism you describe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The point of this essay has, I think, become a meme of the Republican consultancy class, and -- with genuine respect to Mr. Preston -- I believe it is deeply flawed. As so often happens to us all on the conservative side, we unconsciously internalize the values of the Left; and given their dominance in education and media, how could we not? In the case instant it's my view that we are being asked to pander to the lowest common denominator of a traditional civil society in precipitous decline. Oscar awards indeed!
Many of the most visible persons and groups mistakenly courted by the Right are rent-seekers recruited, defined and organized by the Left, and I think we should concede that they are intractible and completely in opposition to conservative principles. "Outreach" (based on empathy that too often tolerates the intolerable) is costly -- both in terms of money wasted and the creeping compromise of principles. One has only to look at the modern church to see that the strategy, while corrupting the institution itself, has failed miserably because it has ceased to offer clear, contrasting alternatives to secular life.
The Left portrays a small but vocal cadre of True Believers as the American mainstream, and I think uncommitted voters accept that view because conservatives have failed to unite around minimalist, clearly-articulated first principles that offer a bright-line contrast. The great strength and virtue of the Tea Party, I think, lies in the fact that they have demonstrated that the elevation of Constiturional principles can transcend lesser differences.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why Mr. Preston is completely mistaken, and why the answer is not about being "more inclusive" and trying to imitate our enemies:

http://1389blog.com/2013/02/23/newt-gingrich-why-karl-rove-and-stuart-stevens-are-plain-wrong/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We are going to continue to lose elections until we start doing what the left does: influence the low information voters by making entertainment that subtly sends a message. We do not need more serious documentaries -- or even light-hearted ones. We need to be making movies that entertain and educate at the same time. But rich conservatives would rather waste their money on election campaigns, not realizing that entertainment is how you get the low information voters on your side.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In addition to that:
1) Stop vote fraud at all costs. I mean AT ALL COSTS - including secession, armed insurrection, you name it. Without honest elections we have NO republic, NO constitution, absolutely nothing whatsoever worth fighting for.

2) Stop supporting the RNC, which is a false-flag operation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dem power elite. Instead, support conservative candidates directly, and support state GOP and Tea Party organizations - but only if they deserve it.

3) Win elections by respecting, and NEVER betraying, the conservative base. The conservative base consists of Second Amendment people, pro-life people, and anti-tax/small-government people. The first contributes plenty of money. The second puts out a superhuman effort to get out the vote. The third votes in huge numbers if you can get your message to them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Organization? Local control? "message vs. messenger?" Look no further than Italy's recent elections.
See, Italy's communal "societies" run all underground political/social/ economic activities...period. Fraud& corruption is the Italian way of life. Brings one to comment on Illinois' election (2/26/2013) of Robin Kelly (pro-Gun Control) for Rep. Jackson's vacated seat, over Debbie Halvorsen (pro-2nd Amendment).
How was this possible, one asks? Well, America's Progressive New Left Activist's (Illinois)game plan was on full dispaly for all to see. Worked in 2008 election where online contributions funneled to Obama's campaign "Chicago style" machine (small amounts)propelling him into office. This "test" case gained force in 2012 with rampant entitlements plus "deep pocketed" contributors (large amounts)dumped into Obama's campaign machine!!! Now, is being perfected in local, district and individual campaigns (Illinois is one example, Texas is next). Need proof? Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Arizona) won re-election. By November 30, 2012 an anti-Arpaio campaign was launched by a national coalition of Progressive New Left Activists. They registered and submitted (by December 31) some 150,000 initiative signatures for recall elections to be held 2013. Also, by December 31, 2012, this national coalition of New Left radicals had amassed a "war chest"of some $1.5 million dollars (in ONLY 45 days, in Arizona!!). This is only made possible with some really "deep pocketed" backer (ex: Bloomberg, Soros et al)...enter the "national Progressive New Left Activist" Party. Wake Up America. Communists are quickly taking over everything America. See OWS was an abject failure...New Left Activists learned their lessons.
Coupled to this Progressive New Left Activist movement across all of America is Progressive New Left Activists complete dominance over all repetitious use of all social media 24/7, entertainment and print formats...this began in the"Dot.Com"; bubble and has accelerated into the 21st Century.(Harper Reed, anybody, and his "Dream Team" Techies!!!)

Both "message vs messenger" meme are Progressive New Left Activist's forte (in the realm of ideas in America). Know what? They're in the winners circle(MSNBC, anybody?)...and 2014 is next year. Can CPAC ..or similiar, overcome this "distance?" Remains to be seen! Pray. Amen. This is just a taste of 2016!!! Italy, in the USA? It's possible!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The federal government is funneling huge amounts of tax money under various guises to various hard-left individuals and organizations - meanwhile bankrupting everyone else.

They already have demonstrated that they can steal any election at will. After all, they own the Justice Department, and thanks to George Soros' "Secretary of State" project, they own the electoral mechanism in a lot of the states too.

The bottom line is that we don't have a republic.

Our forefathers would have been shooting by now.

http://1389blog.com/2013/02/25/just-sayin-8/

Instead, they are turning in their graves in disgust at the present-day American citizenry that sadly resembles certain characters from The Wizard of Oz: No brain, no heart, no courage, and the man behind the curtain is just as much a fraud as he ever was.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't know. It would seem that we need internal networking, otherwise we feel along in a hostile world, surrounded by the liberal media [redundancy, I know], liberal government officials [again with the redundancy], liberal cultural elites [again] and the wonky demographics of the coastal populations.

But I also agree that we need to get our message out to the groups described by the OP.

We need a multifaceted attack plan to turn the tide.

Still, I'm glad Christie got the snub.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, for many reasons, among them:
http://1389blog.com/2012/11/17/four-islamists-on-nj-gov-chris-christies-muslim-outreach-committee/

At least up to today, the despicable Muslim Brotherhood mole Grover Norquist isn't on the roster either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't know. It would seem that we need internal networking, otherwise we feel along in a hostile world, surrounded by the liberal media [redundancy, I know], liberal government officials [again with the redundancy], liberal cultural elites [again] and the wonky demographics of the coastal populations.

But I also agree that we need to get our message out to the groups described by the OP.

We need a multifaceted attack plan to turn the tide.

Still, I'm glad Christie got the snub.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All