The day began with an impassioned call from Tea Party favorite Andrew Breitbart, who has built a formidable Internet-based, non-mainstream media empire at Breitbart.com. He is perhaps most well-known for his release of the Shirley Sherrod video footage that revealed the underlying racism of the NAACP, and the ineptitude of the Obama administration as it reacted to the video in haste.
Breitbart has made a living exposing the deep hatred and violence of community organizers such as ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union).
According to Breitbart, “I don’t know why I originally decided to take on the Institutional Left, maybe because I thought it would look good on a resumé, but I realized it’s so much fun.... I don’t know if I’m a sick, twisted person, but I’m always on Craigslist looking for rallies just to go.”
Breitbart humorously regaled his audience with tales of his numerous encounters with the Left, particularly organizations such as Code Pink, ACORN, and unions. Based on his experiences, he has determined these groups to be “hate-filled, racist sheep.” “These people I’ve confronted are monsters,” said Breitbart.
His overall message was that the average citizen can take on community organizers.
Following Breitbart was Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, whose strong leadership and fiscal conservativism helped him turn the state's $720-million budget deficit into a budget surplus. This remarkable turnaround helped earn him the 2006 Governor of the Year award. Additionally, the Americans United for Life named the Magnolia State the safest place for an unborn child as a result of Barbour’s pro-life agenda.
Though Barbour’s message was highly critical of the Obama administration, he indicated his confidence in the newly-elected Republican officials. However, he added that the 2010 midterm results should be considered only “a good start”; the true success cannot be measured, he said, until “we have a Republican president in 2012.”
David Horowitz, the former Marxist radical-turned-anti-communist, surprised his audience when he delivered a controversial speech about the questionable connections between members on the panel of the American Conservative Union — the organization responsible for the annual CPAC conferences — and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In an exclusive interview with The New American, Horowitz stated that while he may not be invited back to CPAC in the future as a result of his speech, “It is my mission to wake up the conservative movement.”
Congressman Joe Walsh highlighted the importance of repealing ObamaCare by any means necessary, whether it take place at the judicial, state, or legislative level.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the address given by conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who is famous for her politically-incorrect approach to politics and liberalism. The author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and their Assault on America, and If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans, Coulter brought her usual brand of sarcasm and dry humor to the podium. With her distinctive talent for turning a line, she delivered the following one-liners to an appreciative audience:
It’s always a problem when people who don’t really like America are asked to defend it.
I hear Democrats talk a lot about finding a path to citizenship. We have a path to citizenship. It’s called legal immigration.
Every time I see Obama, he is on the golf course. It’s like he’s trying to get his handicap lower than his approval ratings.”
Heavily criticizing the Obama administration for its failed foreign policies, Coulter exposed her own neoconservative philosophies, including her approval of the war in Iraq and the implementation of “democracy” in Iraq.
When asked who she believes would be a good Republican presidential candidate in 2012, Coulter responded, “Either Chris Christie or Mitt Romney.”
A number of worthwhile seminars took place throughout the day, ranging from those focused on defending free speech and the negative impact of over-taxation to the Ground Zero mosque and the threat of public sector unions.
The Liberty Political Action Committee hosted a fascinating forum on the repeal of the Patriot Act and celebrating the failed vote in the House of Representatives that would have extended several provisions of the Act.
The overall purpose of the forum seemed to assert that the Patriot Act is an assault on civil rights and on the Fourth Amendment.
One of the most anticipated events of the day was the announcement of the results of CPAC’s 2011 presidential straw poll. This year’s winner was Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who surprised the establishment last year when he won the CPAC presidential poll for the first time. Those in attendance this year were unsurprised by the results, as the support for Paul was evident throughout the entire three days of events.
Paul won with 30 percent of the vote, followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who held 23 percent of the vote.
Finally, the day ended with the CPAC keynote address, delivered by Florida Congressman Allen West, a retired Lt. Colonel. West drew a number of standing ovations by asserting the importance of maintaining conservative ideals of small government and fiscal conservatism. West declared, “Most bad government results from too much government.”
West also criticized the mainstream media and the Left for calling Obama’s critics “racist.” An African-American, West said, “Obviously they don’t know who’s delivering your keynote address.”
West asserted that the conservative agenda should continue to be the reduction of regulations, subsidies, government intervention, and spending.
“If government was out of the way of the private sector, the financial meltdown of 2008 would not have happened,” West contends.
West also maintained that the Republican agenda should continue to be to fix the federal tax code, cut corporate business tax rates, eliminate the death tax, and cut federal spending.
On national security, West criticized the Obama administration’s unwillingness to cite radical Islam as America’s enemy. He announced, “Political correctness has no place in our national security.”
He drew a standing ovation when he added that the United States must continue to stand with its greatest ally, Israel.
According to West, the American people must “honor its language, as it is what bonds the American people.” Likewise, he believes that the American people should “never allow multiculturalism to grow on steroids and always respect and honor the American culture.” He contends that if allowed to grow out of hand, “tolerance can lead to cultural suicide.”
West also touted the importance of protecting traditional values, such as that of traditional marriage and the sanctity of life. “We cannot allow the destruction of the American family.... The strength of America is in the strength of the bonds of the American family.”
West's message heavily endorsed the restoration of faith and religion, and closed with optimism, “We are to have a new dawn in America.... Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. Never forget that the American motto is ‘In God, We Trust.’”
CPAC 2011 boasted the sale of 2,000 more tickets than in the past and this year’s group proved to be youthful and energetic. If the increased attendance (over 11,0000) and the swell of impassioned and energetic attendees this year are indicative of the future of American conservatism, it may appear that there is room for hope for the future of the Republic.
Photo of Rep. Allen West: AP Images