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CPAC 2013 Stands With Rand

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this week in National Harbor, just across the river from Washington, DC, did not appear to be a depressed gathering of Republicans and conservatives still reeling from last November’s presidential loss. There was friendly rivalry between supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), but I saw no evidence of divisive infighting and vicious internal attempts to gain mainstream media publicity at the expense of fellow party members.

But then again an impressive contingent of off–duty police officers was probably more than enough to keep John McCain and Lindsey Graham from attending the conference.

The opening day of CPAC 2013 evolved into a faceoff between two potential Republican presidential candidates: the aforementioned Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Judging by the crowd’s reception, Paul was the winner.

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Rubio — America’s foremost spokesman for regular hydration — did not address immigration, the issue he’s been most associated with this year. Instead the bulk of Rubio’s speech, once we got past the H2O jokes, was fairly standard — although he did touch on the call for a remodeled Republican party.

Rubio said the goal of the Republican Party should be to “create an agenda to apply our time–tested principles to the challenges of today” because average Americans are asking, “who is fighting for them?”

Specifically, Rubio believes the US should be the best place in the world to create middle–class jobs and to facilitate that the country must solve the federal government’s debt and spending problem. Republicans should stress pro–growth energy policies that include both oil and gas. On the home front, he wants every parent to have an opportunity to send their children to “the school of their choice.” And we need real heath care reform that empowers Americans so they can buy insurance from any company, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

The young senator also addressed leftist critics and predicted they will downplay his speech and claim that he didn’t offer any new ideas. “We don’t need a new idea. The idea is called America and it still works,” Rubio responded as the audience applauded.

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It would have been the best conservative speech of the day, if Rand Paul had not made an appearance.

It was a standing–room only crowd that anticipated Paul’s appearance and it erupted in applause as he brandished the binders he used during his drone filibuster in the Senate and declared, “I was told I only had ten measly minutes, but just in case I brought 13 hours worth of information.”

Paul — who gives hope to the curly–haired since no one will ever call him ‘blow dried’ — began by explaining that the motivation for his filibuster was to question whether presidential power has limits: “We want to know will you or won’t you defend the Constitution?”

As an audience member called out, “Don’t drone me, bro!” Paul explained that the president’s good intentions are not enough. “No one person gets to decide the law,” he said. And that’s his philosophy in a nutshell: leaders must defend and abide by the Constitution even when it’s not convenient.

Paul then moved to compare his conservative philosophy with that of Obama’s, which has proven to be you can have your cake and eat your neighbor’s, too. He quoted Ronald Reagan who said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

With that in mind he proposed a five–year plan to balance the budget. Paul’s blueprint cuts the corporate income tax in half, creates a flat personal income tax of 17.5 percent, erases the regulations “strangling American business” and eliminates the Department of Education entirely giving the power and the money back to the states.

Paul observed without mentioning names that the GOP “of old has grown stale and moss–covered.” His new GOP will need a big tent because it will “embrace economic and personal liberty. Liberty needs to be the backbone of the Republican Party and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

And the crowd did, giving him a standing ovation that easily eclipsed the response to Rubio’s earlier speech.

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About Michael R Shannon

Michael R. Shannon is a speaker and political commentator who has entertained audiences on four continents and a handful of islands. His dynamic, laugh–out–loud commentary on current events, politics, and culture has connected with audiences in a wide variety of settings including corporate meetings, association conferences, Christian fellowship, political gatherings, university seminars and award dinners. He is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with Added Humor!)" available at: http://tinyurl.com/lcqs87c

6 comments

  1. Zbigniew Mazurak

    LOL, what a joke CPAC has become. Its straw poll has been and remains a joke.

    The winner of that straw poll is a leftist libertarian who supports deep defense cuts, says that sequestration isn’t enough and isn’t a real cut in defense spending, supports isolationism and a “containment” of Radical Islam and a nuclear Iran, spreads the blatant anti-defense lies and propaganda of the Soros-funded CATO Institute and other liars like VDR, and, while lecturing others about the Constitution, hypocritically sponsors or cosponsors legislation which would blatantly VIOLATE the Constitution, specifically, the 10th Amendment, such as a National Right to Work Act and the “Life at Conception” federal abortion ban bill.

    This is a guy who doesn’t have the faintest clue about the Constitution, yet endlessly pontificates about it.

    This is a guy who thinks that the best way to deal with Radical Islam is to try to “contain it”.

    This is a guy who thinks that the US should forego any notion of a preemptive strike on Iran and should instead adopt a policy of “containment” toward that country.

    This is a guy who wholeheartedly supports the biggest scam ever attempted against the American people, the so-called Balanced Budget Amendment, which would legalize all unconstitutional federal spending as long as it doesn’t exceed 20% of GDP, and thus transform the US Constitution from one authorizing only a limited government of enumerated powers into one authorizing an UNlimited government with unlimited, general powers.

    And this is the choice of 25% of CPAC attendees? This is the choice of libertarians?

    No wonder why these guys and girls are called Paulbots – because they really are blind, obedient robots, blindly supporting their idol (previously Ron Paul, now Rand Paul) and repeating whatever garbage he utters or writes. Pathetic.

    Oh, and by the by, I might also add that several questions in the CPAC straw poll are rigged and biased in favor of leftist libertarianism and against conservatives, especially defense conservatives.

    For example, to the question of what is most important for you, only the defense-conservative option “My priority is to protect America’s national security” has a negative connotation (wrongly) attached to it “… regardless of the cost and size of government”, as if military spending were a Big Government program and a huge burden on taxpayers (in reality, military spending amounts to just 4.22% of America’s GDP and a paltry 17% of the entire federal budget).

    • Rand Paul resonated with the conservatives at CPAC. He is wrong on Iran, but he is right on life.

      I think you are confused about the balanced budget amendment. It would be a vast improvement over the situation we have now and I do not believe it would have any of the negative effects you fear.

  2. Rand Paul deserves the vote. He’s a star amongst the right. The only other person to stand a chance against him was Doctor Ben Carson.

  3. CPAC had a splenderferous list of speakers & was successful directing attention to those newer faces in the Conservatieve party(s) which are somewhat fractured at the moment. These are the warriors that will lead our fight in Washington & replace ssome of the reperbates. Are we CHEATING them by thrusting them into the presidential campaign mode when they have just begun to fight the fight they were elected to do? Are we asking that they NOT give 100% to their jobs & focus on legislation? “Dreams of sugar plums” tend to dimish effective reality. Im certain there is a President among them.

    2014 looms just ahead…The House isn’t a shoo in & the Senate desperately needs all the help it can get. Let’s see ‘which’ of these newly commissioned legislators can help out new recruits applying for admittance. If Paul, Rubio or others from the dias are as influncial as presumed, we’ll see the ‘action’ & the strongest leader.

    I live in “Libertarian Country” in SW Texas & thought the presentation given by Shannon to be excellant..I also noticed that Rand Paul is not shown to be the heir apparent…let’s ‘conserve’& stockpile our enegies for now….& let these brave men & women devote themselves to their ‘present’ job.

    2014 is in the hands of ‘we the people’. Regime change starts with you & I. Senate races have started, “let’s win this one for the Gipper”

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