The Games are on! We're not talking about the ones in Vancouver, but the ones in Washington, D.C. The Conservative Political Action Conference is underway in the land of the wicked to showcase their best to the nation and rally the faithful. The right-wing is on a roll in American politics as right-wing Members of the House and Senate beat back such socialist ideas as access to health care for all Americans; a sustainable planet; and the U.S. criminal justice system.
Would-be right-wing leaders are now in competition to build their own base among the faithful. They are bringing their best to Washington to try and win Gold in the hearts and minds of potential right-wing followers. Some are seeking to lay groundwork for a campaign for Congress or the White House, while others want to lay claim to more listeners, readers and bloggers, so that they might move the direction of their movement and the Republican party ever more to the right.
So, as our skiers, skaters and hockey players compete for the gold in Vancouver, right wing bomb throwers, bloviators and fear mongers have assembled to go for right-wing gold in Washington DC, inspiring their base and informing the rest of the country as to what is in store if they get their way in November.
We think that this is a good idea. The more Americans know the truth about those being showcased at CPAC, the more they might think twice before being taken in by their focus group driven campaign commercials and casting their votes this fall.
AND, we would like you to help out. Who among these right-wingers deserve to win the Gold Medal in the Right-Wing Olympics? Unlike the ELITE, Perrier sipping judges at the Olympics - most of who are not even American - we thought that we would let YOU, the PEOPLE decide who wins our Gold Medal competition.
The competitors caught a break when they learned that Gold Medalist extraordinaire Sarah Palin would be a CPAC no-show. Maybe this will be their chance to draw attention to themselves and prove to their base and to the country that there are even wackier right-wingers than Ex-Governor Palin.
Let's help them out! Here is our line-up of finalists for a medal in the Wacky Right-Wing Olympics. Please help by casting YOUR vote for who you think is the wackiest of them all. OR, if you think that there is someone who is deserving of being on the list of finalists, please make a pitch and we will include them in the voting. (After all, we are NOT elitists and there is not a drop of latte to be found around this Web site!)
We will announce who wins the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and feature their wackiest comments next week!
Richard Army went from being Majority Leader in the House of Representatives under Newt Gingrich, to a lobbyist for a firm representing the largest and most powerful insurance, pharmaceutical and stock brokerage firms in the nation. This credentialed him to become a leader in the "populist" "anti-Washington establishment" "Tea-Party movement." He brought his A Game to the Wacky Right Olympics, swinging away at President Obama before an adoring crowd. He called Obama "the most incompetent president perhaps in our lifetime." And went on even further to impress the judges with these messages to the President: "You're intellectually shallow. You're a romantic. You're self-indulgent. You have no ability," He capped it all off with a triple axle of right-wing venom: "There's nothing so arrogant as a self-righteous income-redistributor."
Rep. Michele Bachmann, conservative warrior woman, has been a fire-brand of late with her heated battles against the U.S. census and calling out the Obama Administration as some sort of "gangsta government" during a brief flirtation with that hippity-hoppity language the kids use. At CPAC she's wowed the crowd with her breathy, conservative rendition of "Reach Out and Touch Some Liberals Hand (And Turn Them Into A Conservative)," challenging the crowd to convert a liberal into a "Pat Buchanan, WorldNetDaily-reading conservative."
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, has been bringing the right wing thunder since 1994. With a sparkling rhetoric that hints to only the most finest grade of bile and bitterness. Gingrich has proudly stayed in the spotlight, even contemplating presidential runs, with such illuminating turns of phrase as the Democrats believe "The time for socialism has finally arrived" and declaring "victory or death" in the name of conservatism.
Dick Cheney can't get much love in the polls or from the public, but at CPAC he is a rock star worthy of standing ovations, cheers of "Cheney! Cheney!" and waves upon waves of fawning adoration. He's the king of the conservatives, the dark lord of the Sith. At CPAC he made a strong, pithy opening, calling out Barack Obama as a "one-term president." He honestly didn't have to say or do much. Often his grouchy, half-grin smirk is enough to secure him high placement on the podium. After all, he's been going strong all 2009 and well into 2010, openly admitting to pushing for waterbaording in his first term as Vice President and generally being ... well ... very Dick Cheney about everything from pushing to keep the Gitmo gulag open to just making up facts as they suit him.
Glenn Beck.Need we say more? Beck enters this competition a strong favorite, and has really stepped up his performance over the last year or two. His stardom has already been secured, having won gold at the 2009 World Championships for truly graceless performance in which he called the President a racist who "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people." True fans of this rising star, however, fondly remember how he contemplated killing filmmaker Michael Moore, saying "I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out" as well perhaps the most introspective, and accurate, statement of his career: "You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one - I can't speak for you, but I'm on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show."
Liz Cheney is scion of one of the nation's most prominent dynasties and eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Although less practiced than some of her competitors, expectations are high that she will one day fill her father's formidable shoes and proudly admit to committing her own war crimes. She's well on her way to that glory, having recently founded an organization whose mission is to defend her father and save that international symbol of torture, Gitmo. Last summer, she signaled her intent to compete in these Olympics by refusing to repudiate the truly ludicrous and racist birther movement, explaining away the crazy by demurring that it simply shows that "people are uncomfortable with having for the first time ever, I think, a president who seems so reluctant to defend the nation overseas ..."
John Ashcroft was once described this way when he served as US Attorney General: "John Ashcroft believes that the best way to protect the American way of life from religious fanatics is to eliminate the civil liberties that define the American way of life - is himself a religious fanatic." Ashcroft opened his remarks by telling the CPAC crowd that he was the only US Senator in history to lose an election to a dead man. He then went on to lose SERIOUS right-wing points by telling a Huffington Post reporter covering the convention: "When you have a person in the criminal justice system, you Mirandize them," This will needless to say infuriate those frothing at the mouth about following the rule of law and not elevating the status of would be mass murderers like the underwear bomber to enemy combatant.
Mitt Romney in the past has attacked President Obama for "failing America" and contrasted this "failed" administration with that of George W. Bush (and we are NOT making this up!): "... he pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists and was not afraid to call it what it is -- a war. And he kept us safe."
Grover Norquist, the D.C. based leader of "Americans for Tax Reform" and a weekly gathering of right-wing DC operatives, generates heated opinions, including those with whom he will share the spotlight at CPAC. CPAC speaker Tucker Carlson once called him "a mean spirited, humorless, dishonest little creep." Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, described him as "the single most effective conservative activist in the country." And then there was the attempt at humor at CPAC by Jeff Babbin, editor of Human Events: "And let me just say, I'm really happy to see Grover today," said Babbin. "He was getting a little testy in the past couple of weeks. And I was just really, really glad that it was not him identified as flying that airplane into the IRS building."
Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and pro-torture cheerleader, is slated to speak at this year's CPAC, but he's been hitting the slopes of distortion, half-truths and other undesirables all year long. He's ripped with love of water boarding and ready to go, calling CIA members who tortured people "heroes," claiming people who were tortured LOVED IT and declaring that it's our patriotic duty as Americans to torture terrorists who just happen to be Muslim because ... um ... apparently he thinks their faith dictates that they can't talk unless they've been waterboarded 83 times.
This post originally appeared on New Security Action's Security Check Blog. New Security Action is a new organization pushing for a more progressive stance on national security. We are fighting to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Learn more here.