CPAC 2006: Republican Party Animals
Just in time for Lincoln's birthday, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) will arrive in Washington. Next Thursday, February 9th, hundreds of right-wing activists, high-profile Republican politicians and conservative groups of all stripes will descend on the capital to give lie to the Great Emancipator's words, "with malice toward none; with charity for all."
The CPAC 2006 speakers include Vice President Cheney, whose scheduled remarks are said to include a primer on Senate floor etiquette. UN Ambassador John Bolton will lecture on how to win friends and influence people. The 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls will also be on the agenda, with Virginia Senator George Allen supposedly speaking about the New South, while Newt Gingrich is said to address the gathering on "The Sanctity of Marriage."
The compassionate conservative agenda will also be display in presentations covering a broad range of issues. Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo, the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly and a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps will discuss topics such as "Immigration Reform: How Many and Whom?" Former Georgia Representative and Bush illegal wiretap foe Bob Barr will speak on "Preserving Civil Liberties in the Fight Against Terrorism" to what will likely be an empty room. And as the trial of Bush sugar-daddy and former Enron chief Ken Lay heats up in Houston, the Wall Street Journal and Free Enterprise Fund will rail against the "burdensome and unconstitutional" Sarbanes-Oxley law.
Celebrity book signings are also high on the agenda for America's budding reactionaries. Former Iran-Contra felon and current Fox News star Oliver North ("War Stories") will be joined by soon-to-be former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum ("It Takes a Family"). Bush bath water drinker Fred Barnes will also be hawking his screed, "Rebel in Chief." A plan to distribute signed posters of the Republican leadership was supposedly scrapped at the last minute.
More than anything else, though, CPAC is all about celebrating the conservative ascendancy. Even with President Bush's dismal poll ratings and a national consensus that the country is going in the wrong direction, the Republican Party Animals are set to surpass 2005's "Conservatives Gone Wild" conference. After-hours parties are rumored to include casino games hosted by Jack Abramoff and Bill Bennett, and "Pin the Feeding Tube on Terri Schiavo."
For those of you who missed the fun and frolic at CPAC 2005, you can read about it here. And don't forget to check out the commemorative t-shirts.