The 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), hosted by the American Conservative Union, took place on February 9-11 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C. To wrap up Republic of Gilead's (belated) observations on the conference, here are a few choice quotes from CPAC speakers.
In C-SPAN's video coverage, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) lambasted the White House and liberals for launching "orchestrated" attacks on opponents.
"You all know the liberal playbook. Here's how it works. Pick a target. Freeze it, personalize it, and then polarize it. But rarely have we seen those tactics employed with the kind of zeal we see today. The White House and its lieutenants have made an art form out of the orchestrated attack. They've shown they'll go after anybody or any organization they think is standing in their way."McConnell also claimed that President Obama is forcing religious institutions to violate their consciences or suffer the consequences, a reference to recent controversies over contraception coverage.
"This is why a president who claims to value diversity is telling the men and women who run religious schools and hospitals and charities in this country that they now face a choice that no one in the United States should ever have to make: violate your conscience, pay a penalty, or close your doors."Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recounted a story about a bill he read at a small business committee meeting chaired by a Democrat.
"They were providing educational benefits for our wounded warriors, and it's a great thing, and you set aside those educational benefits for--"combat wounded veterans" was the language in the bill. And I read through that and it lifts my heart to see that, but it said combat wounded veterans and women and minorities, and however you want to look at this society, combat wounded veterans need our special honor, and being a woman or a minority doesn't fit you in that category, I'm sorry."Annoyed, King said that he struck the women and minority language from the document, replacing it with "everybody but white men." Later, King claimed that the U.S. was slipping into a "totalitarian state."
"What happened to our liberty, America? How did this creep in on us? How did a nation born of freedom and liberty lose its freedom and liberty in this way? How does a nation that's blessed by an extraordinary supply of America exceptionalism submit, inch by creeping inch, to the totalitarian state that's descending upon us?"Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) told the audience that the U.S. is a "Judeo-Christian nation."
"Before Obama was elected, no one had ever heard of a United States president saying to the world that the United States is not a Judeo-Christian nation. I'm here to say we are."Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) boasted about his unfriendly state policies toward Planned Parenthood.
"Last year, I proudly signed a budget that ended all state funding for Planned Parenthood in my state. [Audience applauds] Since then, there's been about a dozen of those clinics that have shut down in the state of Texas. [Audience applauds] But you see, because left-wing, pro-abortion radicals don't like what we did, President Obama has invalidated a waiver that provides health care for more than 100,000 women in my home state. They literally set aside funding for preventative health care because we refused to subsidize abortion. But why are we even subject to this decision to begin with? Nowhere in the Constitution does it say health care should be run by the federal government."Finally, Perry accused the Obama administration of launching a "war on faith," caricaturing the recent controversies over contraception coverage by religious institutions as a "pro-abortion agenda."
"Our founders also protected and defended religious freedoms in our Constitution and our young nation. Today, even our religious freedoms are under attack from the Obama administration in Washington. This Justice Department tried to insert themselves in the hiring decisions of religious organizations by challenging the ministerial exception. Fortunately, they failed on a 9-4 vote, I might add. Even those left-wing justices of the Supreme Court thought that was too far a step. Now, though, this administration is assaulting the Catholic Church and people of faith across our nation by forcing their pro-abortion agenda on religious hospitals, on charities, and on employees. The Obama administration's war on faith must be defeated."I wish I could have been at 2012 CPAC to witness the wingnuttery myself! Maybe next year.
For more information on CPAC 2012, visit cpac2012[dot]conservative[dot]org. To read additional commentary, visit the following links.
American Independent: At CPAC, leaders urge steering birth control conversation toward abortion
Salon: The two Americas clash at CPAC