Elephants in the Room: 10 Things I Saw, Heard & Learned at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

Wherein conservatives descended upon Camp Hill, Pa., for a GOP love fest.

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Mar. 27, 2012

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Last week, Gingrich claimed that Obama is trying to hide ties to some of his “Muslim friends” and didn’t correct a supporter who publicly claimed the president was a radical Muslim. The attention Gingrich got from that seems to have resonated because his closing speech of the weekend could have been titled, “Obama’s not a Muslim, but … ”Some arguments included: Obama’s not a Muslim, but he “apologizes to Islamic fanatics while he is attacking the Catholic Church”; he’s not a Muslim, but he believes “that we are worthy of no respect [while] everyone else on the planet is worthy of apology, appeasement and weakness”; he’s not a Muslim, but he “bows to a Saudi King,” who, if you haven’t heard, was one of “the primary funders of, organizers of, and participants in 9/11”; he’s not a Muslim, but he won’t “put crosses back up”; he’s not a Muslim, but he “apologize[s] to people who are killing young Americans.”

10. So, Here’s What I Learned

Modern conservatism is not based on actual ideas. That’s the most obvious takeaway from the conference, in which not one panel or speaker didn’t base his/her argument on either dismantling, stopping, destroying or killing some government entity or an idea the president is currently floating and/or convincing others to do so. Rather, modern conservatism is based on anti-ideas: specifically, that the only reason to even exist in the political realm is to stop the other side. It wasn’t always that way, by the way. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative public-policy research organization, actually came up with the individual mandate in health care, which they now call unconstitutional. George H.W. Bush was the first president to back cap-and-trade legislation when he decided he wanted to be known as the “environmental president.” But today, even Gingrich, who’s known as the GOP’s “idea man,” spent his PLC speech accusing Obama of every treasonous activity under the sun, including persuading Americans to buy the Chevy Volt—which Gingrich calls ‘un-American’ because it cannot fit a gun rack.

The reason behind all of these anti-ideas, of course, is that if you say no to everything, then power always stays where it already is: consolidated at the top. That’s great for these politicos, but how does it help their old pal, average Joe? Well, the GOP’s message for him is clear: Joe, without the welfare queens, community organizers and environmentalist bureaucrats in the way, you might just reach the top someday yourself. So—until then, vote Republican.

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1. Joe said... on Mar 28, 2012 at 12:58PM

“Grover Norquist is an egotistical, dangerous motherfucker. He says liberals cause dependency? How about the dependency conservatives cause by not investing in things that get us further off oil? Or by not investing in public transit, making us all more dependent on cars. Or dependent on the government to tell us who we can and can't marry, which they like to do so much.

This whole thing's their fault in the first place. They make the people who actually care about other people dependent on Democrats, because they're the only ones who fight against the dirty air, dirty rivers, toxic waste, and other horrible shit that'd ruin our health and lives if Republicans got everything they ever wanted.

And what about welfare? If they didn't get a major hardon for giving tax breaks to companies who end up off-shoring American jobs, then people wouldn't have to go on Welfare so much.

These people need to open their goddamn eyes. Republicans created the very shit they hate.”

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