Much ado about Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin “Bebe” Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress today, on the invitation of the Speaker of the House and over the objections of President Barack Obama. Increasingly the support of Israel seems to have become a partisan issue or, put more accurately, a defense against the terrorists who threaten Jews, Christians, Americans, Westerners but most of all, Jews who live in Israel, is the real issue separating the Israeli Prime Minister who alone among most world leaders, has actually spoken at a past Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
And therein – with CPAC – is the origin of my modest proposal, as I will explain. For as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become embroiled increasingly in controversy about his plan to publicly decry efforts to appease terrorists and strengthen American and Israeli efforts to fight instead of appease this implacable and hateful foe of the West, I suggest a look at how CPAC has handled criticism from its opponents in the past.
Let me briefly summarize my Modest Proposal right at the start. Netanyahu yesterday spoke to 16,000 people at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference (AIPAC).
These numbers are comparable to CPAC’s registration in recent years, although their admission price is a slightly higher at $599 for next year.
CPAC has encouraged moderate Republicans to register for the annual CPAC for many years so they can vote for their choice for President – a strategy that has worked to expand the size of the conference and help them rebut the idea that conservatives aren’t open minded. To further encourage moderate Republicans to attend CPAC they have added to their agenda more moderate speakers – notably Governor Jeb Bush among others – for years.
Similarly, CPAC has created a discount rate for students, added Libertarian speakers and co-sponsors. The Libertarian groups have heavily subsidized students – and even Libertarian adults – to attend CPAC to listen to their speakers and to vote for their candidate for President.
Why would moderates and Libertarians come to CPAC you are wondering, when their leaders always go to great pains to criticize conservatives and make sure they are not mistaken for conservatives? Simple: they get a vote at our conference, and they know that afterwards, the mainstream media and even most every conservative media outlet, will report what “the conservatives of CPAC” decided.
This boosts attendance at CPAC, puts them even more in the news, and at least for the leaders of CPAC, shows that they are not at all having a war of ideas between conservatives vs moderates and versus Libertarians – none of whom regard the conservatives as their allies. Instead, it is all one big happy family at CPAC.
My modest proposal to Bebe and AIPAC is simple: copy CPAC, and have a reduced rate for the people who don’t like you, put them on the agenda as speakers, and have their organizations co-sponsor the annual AIPAC conference. Announce you are doing it right now to show your ecumenical spirit. Feel free to point to CPAC as your example.
For example, they could have HAMAS and ISIS as co-sponsors, along with various leftwing interest groups and websites such as Media Matters for America, Huffington Post and Daily KOS.
I’m sure that somebody at CPAC figured out a long time ago that it makes sense to pay attention to that old adage from the Nixon days to explain why he had some of his enemies in his Administration. Nixon’s explanation was: “I’d rather have them inside my tent pissing out, instead of outside, pissing in.”
The most important next step for Bebe and AIPAC is to then schedule delegates to vote on the key issues of the day, such as whether Benjamin Netanyahu should be reelected Prime Minister, whether the United Nations should condemn Israel, whether the U.S. should cut off all financial support for Israel, whether the convention supports the pending appeasement treaty between President Obama and Iran to allow them to build nuclear weapons and of course, whether it is an act of war when their neighbors allow terrorists to attack over the border to employ terrorist tactics to kill Israeli civilians, whether the US should stop bombing ISIS to the limited extent it is doing so, and is there any problem with the destruction of Israel by the terrorists.
I am sure that Hamas, ISIS, Daily Kos, Media Matters for America, et. al., will have plenty of other suggestions for ballot topics to vote on.
Of course, taking these steps will assure that the AIPAC conference will become larger than ever, perhaps the largest of any convention in American history. Especially if you ask the State Department to give passports to all the people who want to attend, listen to the ISIS, Hamas, Daily KOS speakers etc., and vote to condemn Israel.
Like CPAC, you could hold the vote announcement for the last day of AIPAC to build maximum interest and reporting by the media, even though they already know [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] is going to win every year at CPAC. AIPAC can also develop its own traditions as time goes by and the media can pretend to be surprised and report the “news” as if it was totally unexpected, as they do with the Pauls every year.
In America and Israel you have a lot of people criticizing Bebe for speaking out for Israel’s survival. If only the AIPAC Jews could be as open minded about welcoming their opponents to their convention, subsidizing their attendance, giving them co-sponsor status and speaker slots and being nice to them, they could get the same results that the CPAC conservative leaders have, year after year.
Before you laugh this off, keep in mind that this is a serious problem I am trying to address here.
For without a doubt, if one listen to the mainstream media and even reports on more fair media outlets like Fox News, the Israeli Prime Minister is in real trouble with every Obama Administration official planning to boycott the speech and not meet with him while he is in town.
That includes not just the President who has publicly spurned the head of state of this most reliable ally of America in the middle east, but also Vice President Joseph Biden, the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel – everyone in the Obama Administration.
And, there are now up to 55 Senators and Congressmen who will boycott this important speech before a joint session of Congress, an unprecedented snub of any foreign leader, let alone one as important to America as Israel.
The idea for my “Modest Proposal” for Bebe, as you can see, has its roots with the Conservative Political Action Conference, which he has addressed in the past, making a rather fabulous impression on all of us present, including the undersigned, many years ago before anyone thought he’d ever become Israel’s Prime Minister.
CPAC was in a roughly analogous position to Bebe in the past. There were two groups that were fairly reliably negative about CPAC, in years past, back to the time when it began, back to the time when people like M. Stanton Evans and Congressmen Philip Crane led the American Conservative Union, and when Young Americans for Freedom was the actual original organizing sponsor of CPAC.
The problem the strong conservatives of YAF and ACU, in conjunction, as they used to say, with secondary CPAC sponsors Human Events and National Review, had back in those early years, circa 1974 and later, was what to do about moderate Republicans and Libertarians?
Both moderate Republicans and Libertarians had strong issue differences with the then strong conservatives of YAF and ACU which controlled CPAC. In fact, to this day, these two groups have strongly attacked conservatives on their websites, in the mainstream media. They do not just seem to disagree with conservatives, but actually dislike or even hate them, as you can see by simply visiting their websites and Facebook pages and reading what they say about us. If you doubt me, just google “[mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]” (this also worked a few years ago if you googled “Rick Santorum”) for some real strong hate speech from these two groups that sounds just like Daily Kos, Media Matters, etc.
But few of those leaders now befriended by CPAC, attack CPAC any longer. Of course not, some of their favorite people are speakers at CPAC and they are praised by many of the other speakers at CPAC.
This has required some pretty major changes on the part of CPAC leaders. After all, CPAC wasn’t created to invite its opponents to come and debate them as much as to have speakers challenge them with our ideas.
But as the years went by, YAF faded as a strong conservative organization (they are resurgent today as a project of Young America’s Foundation), and ACU took complete control of CPAC. And slowly but steadily, one of the major changes that took place is – both moderate Republicans and Libertarians started playing a major role at CPAC, every year. I am not sure what year this started happening but it goes back more than 10 years at the least since this post Stan Evans, post Phil Crane, post YAF change started to take place.
Today, everyone who has participated in CPAC anytime starting the last 10 years, ONLY knows about a CPAC that has moderate GOP leaders speaking, and Libertarians, who actually disagree with most conservatives on many major issues. Most famously we have seen Jeb Bush as the keynote speaker two years ago of the only CPAC banquet and this year as a featured speaker.
For those like the undersigned, and many of my sources, we do remember the original CPACs – smaller, more consistently conservative, more of an “in your face” conservative philosophy. Just like Bebe Netanyahu’s speech at AIPAC yesterday and as expected to the Joint Session of Congress later today.
And, year after year, we have seen Ron Paul and now [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], win every Presidential straw poll, for the simple reason that CPAC has welcomed and even helped subsidize the attendance of student libertarians.
Long ago, when Young Americans for Freedom was the major sponsor and organizer of the conference, there was no youth student rate. The other organizations participating in CPAC had the attitude back then, that if YAF wanted to use ITS OWN MONEY to subsidize students, that was its business. But no reduced rate for students or YAFers, sorry. So, 10 or 20 and 30 years ago, student conservatives had to come up with the same $300 or so, to attend, which adults did, to attend CPAC.
Now for some years, there has been a student rate for CPAC that is around $100, FAR lower than the $250 or $300 rate charged to adult conservatives. And, every year, Libertarian organizations subsidize students to come and listen to the Libertarian speakers and panels they have at CPAC, and then vote for their issues in the straw poll, for Ron Paul and in the past three years [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], and win the Presidential election every time.
When adult conservatives actually pay up to $800 more than a student libertarian to attend CPAC – hotel and conference registration – versus $900 versus $100 – it is easy to see the result (see graphic I have attached to illustrate this).
The result is that 1000 Libertarian youth and adults subsidized by a libertarian group, vote in a poll that has 3,000 of the over 10,000 CPAC attendees voting. Every year the conservatives split their vote in all directions for various favorites. The Libertarians all vote for R. Paul, who wins with 25 percent of the vote every time.
The media then reports the increasingly libertarian crowd of conservatives and the “surprise” that R. Paul won again. Some of them, either out of ignorance or sympathy for the anti-conservative cause, report that the conservatives are surprisingly (a word often used in such reports) more libertarian than ever. Noted conservative Laura Ingraham actually spoke like this on Fox News yesterday.
None of the media ever report the actual truth about this – that 1000 delegates sent by one or more Libertarian groups (all or most expenses paid) voted, while conservatives split. Not anywhere do such reports take place.
Occasionally you will see reports of how one of the most popular CPAC speakers such as former Secretary of Defense and then Vice President Dick Cheney, was given what I have called a “standing-booing ovation” by CPAC. It is always a puzzle to the media. Not to anyone who has read this far. The former Director of the National Security Agency was similarly booed at this past CPAC and Rick Santorum is usually good for some boos from this crowd.
The Libertarians doing the booing are often shown on TV and they appear to resemble 1960’s leftists in dress, appearance and obviously with the loud booing, in manner. If you actually speak to them (as I have) they will tell you they are pro-drug and anti-war and don’t like conservatives. Exactly like the 1960’s leftists.
Past exit polls have shown that most GOP primary voters will vote for ANY of the GOP candidates who gets the nomination, if their choice does not win. Except the R. Paul voters, most of whom report that last time they voted for Obama or the third party Libertarian candidate, and if R. Paul does win, they will do the same thing again.
Some of the CPAC speakers say the key to success with young people in the future, is for the GOP to become pro-drug and anti-war, ie. adopt the left’s position on these issues.
I know. There are people who will say that my Modest Proposal for AIPAC and pro-Israel forces in America, is absurd.
But then, look at CPAC. The same sort of idea has been their policy for years, and how many articles have you read pointing out the absurdity of giving those who hate you, a vote at your convention every year, and helping the news media report every year, that conservatives just repudiated their own top spokesmen and their own positions on so many issues – from the supposed CPAC favorite [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], to marijuana and other issues?
By the way – will anyone bother to report the massive repudiation of the President by his own Party’s Democrat Senators and Congressmen today, or will they all be making a fuss about the 55 who follow the President in boycotting the Prime Minister of our strongest ally in the middle east speaking to this Joint Session of Congress? There are 232 Democrat Senators and Congressman, so if the President could only get 55 to boycott, what media outlet is going to start reporting that 76% of his own party’s top leadership in America, attended the speech and repudiated their President to do it?
Perhaps it will be just as rare to see such a report, as this one about CPAC: a clear majority – 56.2% of CPAC voters present voted for the 8 strongest conservatives listed, while less than half that number voted for the Libertarian, and the support for moderate Republican candidates was in single digits.
Before I conclude with the vote totals from the CPAC Presidential contest (including who in my view are the strong conservatives who comprised 56.2% of the total vote), I will say that while CPAC still seems worth attending, if you can only afford the time/money to attend one conservative gathering, perhaps you might want to consider the REDSTATE gathering on August 6-9 later this year, in Atlanta, Georgia. Their price is similar to CPAC. They expect to have many of the same speakers as CPAC. But they include three breakfast events and two lunch events in their price, and their hotel costs half the CPAC hotel cost. Check it out elsewhere at REDSTATE or here.
For those coalition minded conservatives who reside in Northern Virginia or within driving distance, there is the upcoming monthly series of the Freedom Leadership Conference (FLC), planned for the Marriott Hotel at Fair Lakes, VA. The conference began 16 years ago as the annual Western Conservative Conference but then moved east after three years. FLC is expected to resume in March or April this year as was just decided last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference where the FLC leadership met.
FLC has attracted past sponsors such as Human Events, Washington Times National Weekly Edition and several dozen other conservative organizations and publications, large and small. It is now experimenting for a second time with a series of weeknight monthly conferences for a year, check out Freedom Leadership Conference if you reside within drive distance or want to subscribe to their free email newsletter, here.
Here’s the results of the CPAC Presidential Straw Poll with my own notation of how conservative candidates outpolled [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] by two to one and by an even larger margin versus Jeb Stuart and Chris Christie (combined). It also shows the sad low single digits that [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] has sunk to since he became an advocate for illegal amnesty for illegals. I do not believe Donald Trump is a conservative, although I reported him as such here because his speeches are perfectly crafted for a CPAC audience – and often stronger than anyone else on important issues.
% of the CPAC Vote/Candidate (* = strong conservative)
25.7 [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ]
21.4 Scott Walker*
11.5 [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]*
11.4 Ben Carson*
8.3 Jeb Stuart
4.3 Rick Santorum*
3.7 [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]
3.5 Donald Trump*
3.0 Carly Fiorina*
2.8 Chris Christie
1.1 Rick Perry
0.9 Bobby Jindal
0.8 Sarah Palin*
0.3 Mike Huckabee
0.3 John Bolton*
0.1 [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ]
0.1 George Patacki
I urge coalition-minded conservative readers to follow Freedom Leadership Conference on Facebook, or to visit their website and sign up for their free email newsletter, at Freedom Leadership Conference (or both). As a very longstanding Human Events and REDSTATE subscriber and Young Americans for Freedom supporter (from the mid 1960’s), I am a coalition conservative and welcome new like-minded friends at Facebook. So find me – Glenn Ryt – and mention this article.