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Beck to GOP: Apologize — and mean it!

Posted by Richard on February 22, 2010

Allahpundit has the complete video of Glenn Beck's keynote speech at CPAC. I don't have time to watch it tonight, but it sounds like a humdinger. I love the pull quote:

“It’s not enough to not suck as much as the other side,” said Beck, on how Republicans can regain their ideals. “The first step to redemption is admitting you have a problem. … When they do say they have a problem, I don’t know if I believe them. … They’ve got to recognize they have a problem. … ‘I’m addicted to spending and big government.’”…

Beck went on to compare GOPers to Tiger Woods, who recently gave his first public apology for his cheating candal. Beck said some people believed he was only sorry because he got caught. Beck, to GOPers in Congress: “You got caught. Are you sorry?”…

More Beck: “One party will tax and spend. The other party won’t tax, but spend. It’s both of them together. I’m tired of feeling like a freak in America.”

If CPAC is any indication, the conservative movement has become decidedly more libertarian, as well as more energized. Limited government, fiscal sanity, and other economic liberty issues are at the forefront. Social conservatism has taken a back seat or faded altogether. For instance:

  • A warmly received Dick Cheney said he's OK with gays serving openly in the military.
  • Ron Paul was the top vote-getter among potential presidential candidates in a straw poll of attendees. 
  • In that same straw poll (PDF), 80% said their most important goal is "to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government," versus 9% who chose "to promote traditional values by protecting traditional marriage and protecting the life of the unborn."
  • The poll found that 52% chose reducing the size of the federal government and 33% chose reducing federal spending as one of their top two issue priorities. Only 5% chose promoting traditional values, and 1% chose stopping gay marriage.
  • A speaker who criticized the inclusion of the gay Republican group, GOProud, was roundly booed. (To be fair, Ron Paul's straw poll finish was booed too. But I can think of some pretty good reasons for that, even from a libertarian perspective.) 

My experiences with the Tea Party movement tell me that the "conservative" grass roots of America are already pretty libertarian in many respects. About half of the 10,000 attendees at CPAC are 25 or younger, suggesting that conservatism is going to move even closer to libertarianism in the future. 

That's change I can believe in! Hopenchange, man, hopenchange!

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2 Responses to “Beck to GOP: Apologize — and mean it!”

  1. David Bryant said

    I’m not even sure what the traditional political labels mean any more. The self-styled “conservatives” of today (the noisy ones, at least) don’t want to maintain the status quo, or even go slowly. They’re all for radical changes, and the sooner the better. By what possible stretch of the imagination can one call that “conservative”?

    I heard a report about the CPAC convention on NPR on Monday. They did drag up some tired old shibboleths of the left (Dick Armey / Freedom Works, and Grover Norquist, and their dark influence on the impressionable young Tea Party crowd), but mostly they hammered away at the libertarian streak that was on display at the convention. I didn’t hear anyone say “wild-eyed libertarian”, but the implication was there, in the sarcastic tone of voice, and the conviction — felt, if not quite vocalized — that those outmoded ideas can never work.

    At least the reporters at NPR didn’t try to tie libertarians to Lyndon LaRouche. And the guy who had attended the convention was pretty fair when Renee Montagne tried to drag the 9/11 “truthers” into the conversation. Yes, there were some of those at the convention, he said. But I was at a cocktail party in New York over the weekend, and I heard a few of the people there talking that way, too. I know for a fact that the guys at the cocktail party aren’t “conservatives” — they were drinking cocktails at a party I was invited to attend, for Christ’s sake!

  2. rgcombs said

    Check out Big Journalism for several interesting recent posts about some of the “reporting” on CPAC and related matters. Some of these “journalists” still haven’t figured out that their targets have video cameras, microphones, and this thing called the Internet, and they know how to use them. 🙂

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