Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

CPAC 2014

Every year, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) yields an interesting look at the conservative/libertarian movement in America, from professional political figures trying out their latest (or well-worn) pitches on the faithful to more grassroots figures (often a little nutty, but more sincere).

Roy Edroso has written a series of a pieces that can be accessed through posts one, two and three. (As I wrote over at his place, I appreciate his kindness with the people who aren't, um, professionally evil.)

Media Matters: "This CPAC Panelist Thinks It's A "Liberal Lie" That A State Has Ever Banned Gay Marriage." That would be Michael Medved, who apparently has taken reactionary petulance to the level of braying ignorance.

John Hudak of The Brookings Institution tweeted up a storm, including this picture of a near-empty minority outreach panel.

TBogg: "Christine O’Donnell is waving, not drowning in a sea of obscurity" (there's also a Balloon Juice thread on the subject).

Also from TBogg: "Watch: Sarah Palin revises kid’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” for an enthralled CPAC crowd." (Word salad as political performance art. The audience ate it up.)

Jim Newell at The Guardian has written a series of posts, including "Perry and Norquist use CPAC to talk tough on appropriating liberal policies."

Dave Weigel's CPAC series includes Conservatism in America, 2014."

Digby has a few commentaries, including "The jawdropping, stunning, breathtaking chutzpah of Michele Bachmann" and "So much for the GOP's youth outreach."

Wonkette has a few posts, including "Reaganpalooza! A Children’s Treasury of Douches Near But Not Officially Part of CPAC."

Charles Pierce also has a CPAC series.

Balloon Juice posted and rounded up many other pieces on CPAC, in "Return of the CPAC," "Dueling Social Theories at CPAC," CPAC for Kooks" and "CPAC Roundup."

Finally, a NSFW piece on CPAC-related (and mostly gay) Craig's List casual encounter ads. (This happens every year, but some of the ads this time, are... creative.)


Paul Wartenberg said...

I have to ask, is there a Democratic or Liberal gathering that works on the same level of hype and aggressive posturing as CPAC? The closest thing I can think of is those Daily Kos gatherings, but I doubt they get the number of heavy hitters that CPAC draws.

Batocchio said...

Hmm, I can't think of anything directly equivalent. CPAC does attract the conservative/libertarian faithful, but it's strongly connected to the conservative establishment, too. (For example, Mitch McConnell, Grover Norquist, and many Fox News regulars.) Some left-leaning institutions do hold conferences, but apparently more irregularly and they're not as big – certainly not in the sense that Democratic candidates feel compelled to attend, or else.

Netroots Nation (which used to be called Yearly Kos) is more independent. It also used to be stalked by the Right Online convention (started by Andrew Breitbart and funded by the Kochs), but that seems to have faded. Netroots Nation got a fair amount of attention from the Democratic presidential contenders in 2007, and there were some notable names when I attended in 2011 (I wrote about it here). Both Clintons have spoken there, as has Pelosi. For good or for ill, Netroots tends to attract the more liberal/progressive political set versus the more corporate Dems. When I attended, I thought there was some preaching-to-the-converted, but there were also hardcore policy discussions and sessions emphasizing practical activism. Some liberal bloggers have attended every one of the Netroots conferences and might be able to give you a better gauge.