CPAC 2014: #MakeDCListen Style

Yesterday concluded the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.

The lavish  Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor played host for a second year in a row. Unlike most D.C. area residents, I took immense joy in the 10-minute drive across the Potomac. This year marked my third CPAC conference, and the second time I attended on behalf of the company I work for.

The rush and heyday of these political conferences certainly give us seasoned political junkies a natural high. High-profile speakers, cool swag, a nice location, and plenty of events/parties leave attendees satisfied. It’s interesting how much CPAC has changed in the last few years…

Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on this year’s conference:

The Good

Big reunion – CPAC is a great event for reunions with activist friends. I certainly enjoyed seeing hundreds of people I know from  D.C. and outside the D.C. area. Given how busy life is, people rarely get the chance to be around so many like-minded people. CPAC is perfect for reuniting with new and old friends.

Unparalleled networking - If you come to CPAC, expect to network with big wigs and get your name out there. This is a great opportunity to land an internship or job in the D.C. area. Don’t take it for granted.

Blog Bash – Hands down, Blog Bash is the best party at CPAC every year. I’ve had the pleasure of attending it since 2012. One can’t go wrong with a piano bar! Definitely attend one if you haven’t already.

The Bad

Recycled, uninspiring speakers -  Apart from Senators Cruz, Lee, Paul, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and a few others, I–along with countless others–found much of the speakers lineup to be  unexciting. This led many of us to jokingly (and seriously) classify the conference as “Squishfest.” Establishment Republicans aren’t going to lure in new people to the cause. Fresh conservative faces will.

Media everywhere - It’s an election year, and the general election is roughly two years away. The horse race is about to commence–brace yourselves.

Hypersexualizing CPAC - Apparently, the hook-up scene is the most newsworthy topic from CPAC to write about. Really?! Media outlets – especially one in particular – need to stop sensationalizing this. (What happened to maintaining personal responsibility?) DC is a morally bankrupt place — ask those of us who live here and abstain from such. Stop reporting on this crap and focus on important issues, like, saving the country from impending financial collapse.

What are some personal highlights from this year’s CPAC?

Hanging out with the lovely Dana Loesch:

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Meeting Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):

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And ensuring that all conservatives #MakeDCListen:

Having fun at the Jobs Growth booth. #MakeDCListen

Until next year, CPAC? We shall see.

Keep Calm and Cruz On: #StandWithTed As He Filibusters ObamaCare

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#StandWithRand Part Deux?

It looks like a second filibuster on the U.S. Senate floor is currently underway as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is using this session to pose objections to funding ObamaCare. The Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action, and countless grassroots activists have mobilized great support to #DefundObamaCare. Americans are seeing the implications of government-run healthcare firsthand and have had enough.

You can watch the live debate unfold here on C-SPAN2. I’m causally live-tweeting at @Gabby_Hoffman.

Join me and the millions of other Americans as we #StandWithTed.

 

Get Used to Bold, In-Your-Face Conservatism

Credit: blurbrain.com

Credit: blurbrain.com

In recent days, there has been much uproar about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the campaign to fully #DefundObamaCare.

Cruz, who’s been in office since January, has stood out from many of his GOP colleagues for boldly articulating conservatism. He hasn’t wavered on campaign promises. He’s also been a tireless defender of strong national defense, traditional values, and economic freedom. Cruz has irked the GOP establishment and rightly so – they aren’t acting like contrarians.

Imagine that – a U.S. senator who’s actually doing his job? How radical!

It’s no surprise that the Old Guard, chiefly Senator John McCain and Karl Rove, is attacking Sen. Cruz. Why? Because they fear him.

To the John McCain’s and Karl Rove’s of the world: Your ilk — the kind that seeks to grow its influence, win or lose, at the expense of principles — is a hindrance to our success as a movement. It was recently revealed that McCain said “he “f***ing hates” Ted Cruz (he previously called Cruz and Rand Paul “wacko birds“), while Karl Rove adamantly worked to defeat Cruz in the U.S. Senate primary in Texas and has routinely bashed him.

Their blatant arrogance, their continual caving to our opponents, and their tireless efforts to undermine conservative candidates has shown through. They could care less about the ramifications of awful legislation like ObamaCare because it’s easier to settle for the status quo. They don’t care about the values that make this country great because they want to be nicey nice with the very people who wish ill on her. They are a gutless, spineless bunch that obstructs and prevents us from implementing true, lasting change. They cave on ALL issues – fiscal and social – because politics is just a game to them.

Enough is enough.

We in the grassroots, along with ordinary Americans struggling to keep their businesses afloat and those who wish to lead a good life, desire real leadership. We like Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, and others because they actually do their jobs, follow through with promises, and aren’t afraid to shake things up. If people like them upset you, John and Karl, tough luck. President Reagan said it best: “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

Empty GOP platitudes are now a thing of the past. Get used to bold, in-your-face conservatism.

Clip of the Day: Motivation from Winston Churchill

“Never, never, never, never give up!” – Sir Winston Churchill

(h/t: Josh Perry)

New Townhall Column: CRNC Report Fails to Offer Conservative Alternative for Young Voters

I’ve penned a new column at Townhall today. I offer criticism of the College Republican National Committe (CRNC) report and its failure to make a convincing case for conservatism to young voters.

Below is an excerpt:

Aristotle once opined, “Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.”

Not surprisingly, millennials bought the Left’s redistributionist policies and class warfare rhetoric again in 2012.

What explains this disturbing trend? How can it be reversed? The answer: making the moral, convincing case for conservatism to our peers.

A new College Republican National Committee (CRNC) report on why Republicans lost the youth vote in 2012 was released last week. Although well-intentioned, the report — 95 pages in length — fails to offer tangible solutions to the problem.

Continue reading at Townhall.

New Townhall Column: ‘Gang of Eight’ Amnesty Plan Undermines Immigration

th amnestyToday I have a new column out in Townhall.com discussing my thoughts on the “Gang of Eight’s” so-called immigration reform bill.

Here is an excerpt:

“America is a nation of immigrants, built by immigrants and we need to honor that heritage by fixing our broken immigration system, while upholding the rule of law and championing legal immigration,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a statement last week when offering an amendment to the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill.

Cruz, the son of a legal Cuban immigrant, is absolutely correct.

Immigration is the foundation of this great nation. Millions of immigrants from all over the world have flocked here to better their lives. Anyone who comes here and becomes American can make it if they work hard and realize their full potential. That is why legal immigration must be encouraged.

Sadly, lawmakers are more interested in trading our sovereignty for votes and political favors a la amnesty.

Continue reading at Townhall.com

Jim DeMint is Right: Principled, Sound Conservatism is the Way to Go

We often hear a lot of talk about how “divisive” social issues are or how “extreme” conservatism is. Some individuals-either out of fear or sheer disdain for conservatism-feel inclined to tell us to abandon traditional values despite them being in line with limited government.

Pro-freedom, pro-life, and pro-family? Goodness gracious – you must be a fascist! (Thank you, revisionist history.)

Many conservatives like incoming Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint have made the case for constitutional, sound conservatism.

What is sound conservatism, and how does it ensure our movement’s success?

Princeton University professor and renowned scholar Robert P. George observed that economic and social conservatism are synonymous. I discussed this topic in a November 2011 blog post:

Renowned conservative thinker Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University expounds on this by presenting the case for sound conservatism in “No Mere Marriage of Convenience: Uniting Social and Economic Conservatives.”

He writes, “Sound conservatism, as a matter of principle and not mere pragmatism, will honor limited government, restrain spending, and provide honest money and low taxes — while at the same time upholding the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and the innocence of children.”

During a speech at CPAC 2013, incoming Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint had this to say about sound conservatism:

Economic and social conservatism go hand-in-hand. They’re natural allies. Strong families, churches and voluntary institutions build strong character and economic independence. And government must always remember we are endowed by our creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is true for you and me, and it is true for the unborn. When government understands its limited role, it can be smaller, people can be freer and our economy can create prosperity for everyone. And when government grows larger with programs like Obamacare that consume so much of our lives, it tramples on both economic freedom and religious liberty. This has united conservatives of all stripes to fight to end Obamacare so we can all be free to live our own lives.

When people call for the removal of social issues from the conservative movement, they are essentially telling the majority of constitutional conservatives-including fiscal conservatives-to shut up and give into so-called pragmatism. This should cause you great distress…

Those of us who believe in sound conservatism cannot allow the dilution of values to take place. It is our duty to champion limited government, the sanctity of life, marriage,  fiscal sanity, strong national defense, American sovereignty, personal responsibility, reverence for the Constitution, and individual rights.

My fellow conservative Hobbits and wacko-birds: Principles, not pragmatism, always win.

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Young People Should Be Thankful for Senator Ted Cruz

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The 113th Congress was sworn in this past week. Divided government still dominates in the nation’s capital (Democrats still control the presidency and the U.S. Senate), and President Obama promises to be more partisan and equally tyrannical in his second term. Nevertheless,  my generation should look forward to the addition of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the 113th Congress.

Cruz, a conservative champion and fearless defender of the Constitution, promises to be a much-needed conservative voice in the U.S. Senate. With Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) resigning to assume Ed Feulner’s post at Heritage Foundation, Cruz will likely take over DeMint’s role as the stalwart conservative voice in this respective chamber.

Earlier this morning on Fox News Sunday Cruz said, “I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise. I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.”

He also criticized the nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to the Secretary of Defense post citing his long-track record of being anti-Israel and being a detriment to healthy U.S.-Israel relations.

If you haven’t watched the entire interview, you can view it below.

A few days earlier, Senator Cruz published a column in the Washington Post urging Republicans to promote “opportunity conservatism.”

He writes, “So let me suggest an alternative course: opportunity conservatism. Republicans should conceptualize and articulate every domestic policy with a single-minded focus on easing the ascent up the economic ladder.”

Cruz adds, “That does not mean adopting the wealth-redistribution policies of the left. Among other problems, collectivist approaches to our economy simply do not work. They fail to produce economic prosperity or to improve the material conditions of the populace. And they lead to bankruptcy and economic collapse, as Europe demonstrates daily.”

And then he finishes with this point: “Why do millions of people from all over the world come to the United States? Because no other nation has offered such opportunity. Nowhere else can so many come with nothing and achieve anything.”

Senator Ted Cruz understands the problems that my generation faces. As a first-generation American born to a Cuban father, Cruz notions that freedom and prosperity-not welfare and government handouts-best uplift people.

As a young person, I’m largely drawn to Ted Cruz and his conservatism because like him, I’m also a first-generation American born to immigrant parents. (My parents are from the Baltic Republic of Lithuania. They escaped from it before the USSR collapsed.) Additionally, Cruz knows how to articulate conservatism and win arguments by clearly stating the problems we face and how to solve them. If young people are looking for a serious leader, then Ted Cruz is the right guy to confide in.

Welcome to Washington, D.C., Senator Cruz! My generation is counting on you.

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