Several other Redstate contributors have spoken about CPAC and what an experience it was all told. I shall be adding to that number with a few observations of my own. I am a veteran of conservative conferences in various parts of the world ranging from the UK to Estonia. I have to admit that I would not have imagined CPAC, which I attended first in the 90s which I found rather dour, could top them all. I was refreshingly proven wrong.
What people found who attended was a revitalised and rejuvenated conservative movement that for the most part has welcome the influx of tea party energy. People were smiling and having a good time while discussing how to deal with the challenges that face us all. Instead of moaning and groaning about everything they were able to focus on what matters. Social conservatives, libertarians, fiscal conservatives and other types chatted about what to do about our socialist governance.
There were some bears at the picnic in the form of knuckle-dragging types who wanted to limit the conservative movement to a few select people like them. There were also Paul cultists who were loud but not as many in number as they might claim. The two groups gathered together in corners to discus their pet hates like homosexuals or Israel/neo-Cons/Jews. While it was obvious they were there, their attitudes did not distract from the main task at hand. The reaction of the main hall to various pronouncements about these groups, booing, made it very clear how most who attended felt.
Almost everyone realised that getting it right in the primaries upcoming and in November was far more important than worrying about a straw poll of preening presidential hopefuls. While people had their favorites, it was obvious they knew that 2012 was not the issue right now.
I would be amiss if I did not thank Redstate for the wonderful blogger lounge which housed many of my blogging colleagues both old and new. The levity of almost all participants made the task of writing about the event all the more easier. I would like to thank all those bloggers, video-diarists and radio hosts who interviewed me and allowed me to speak of my new book And Glory (along with tea party issues and conservatism in general). It was very pleasing that all of the Bank of Kev panels, three of which I was on, were so well attended.
I am already looking forward to next year’s CPAC which will be no doubt bigger and better. Take inspiration not from the gay-bashers or curmudgeons, but from Andrew Breitbart in his call to arms.