November 22, 2013

The Breakers, Palm Beach

The Breakers, Palm Beach

I just flew back from Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, and boy are my arms tired of the old narrative. I was on a panel with James O”€™Keefe and Sonnie Johnson called “€œChanging the Narrative,”€ and we all talked about how dangerous it is for the GOP to remain stuck in the past.

The speakers at this conference bore impressive pedigrees and included Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz, Pamela Gellar, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Bill Whittle, Robert Spencer, and conference founder David Horowitz. Just as New York City is an island of lunacy surrounded by hundreds of miles of reality, walking around The Breakers Palm Beach Hotel felt like a wee bit of sanity in a world gone mad.

While trying to register, I strolled by Jihad Watch‘s Robert Spencer, who was sitting in the lobby checking his email. After a brief introduction, I asked some totally predictable questions like, “€œDo you ever think of quitting?”€ and “€œDo you have bulletproof windows?”€

“€œWe all talked about how dangerous it is for the GOP to remain stuck in the past.”€

“€œIf I stopped doing what I do, I wouldn’t suddenly become immortal,”€ he replied.

I told him of a recent revelation where I realized it’s not a choice between “€œDo they hate us because they”€™re inbred?”€ or “€œDo they hate us because of Israel?”€

It’s both. They hate us because they”€™re inbred and also because of Israel.

He disagreed and said it was neither. “€œIt’s because the book says to kill us and they think God wrote the book.”€ We then talked about seemingly random attacks on Vancouver and Glasgow and how little our foreign policy in Israel has to do with terrorism in the Philippines right now. The conversation ended with both of us agreeing that nobody kills more Muslims than Muslims do.

This is fun. I”€™ve gone from an environment where my views get me kicked out of dinner parties to a place where we”€™re all invited to a luncheon with Ann Coulter. People still disagree, but this environment provides stimulating discussion instead of shrill finger-pointing. If only Breitbart were alive to see this. Charles, James, Sonnie, “€œChanging the Narrative”€ panel organizer Tracy L. Connors, and me rushed to the Venetian Ballroom to hear Coulter speak.

I”€™ve heard Christopher Hitchens described as “€œfreakishly good”€ at debates. Ann’s the same way. From the moment she strides up to the podium, the audience is captivated. They may not agree with her, but she’s obviously done her homework and it behooves her opponents to hear her out if they don”€™t want to make fools of themselves. Coulter had many points to cover in an hour-long talk that felt like five minutes. She said Obamacare is a mess and we need to kick the Democrats when they”€™re down. She also made it clear that we shouldn”€™t assume Obamacare will hang itself. “€œGovernment incompetence doesn”€™t go away,”€ she warned. “€œLook at the public school system.”€ (I”€™m paraphrasing, but all speeches from the event will be on the Freedom Center site shortly.) Coulter peppered brilliant jokes with dense political discourse. She spoke of immigration and lamented our policy of choosing brothers-in-law above skilled workers. “€œWe”€™ve done enough for everyone else,”€ she said (again paraphrasing). “€œIt’s time for America to have a little “€˜me”€™ time.”€

Ann listed exactly what combination of states Republicans would need to take over the White House and did so without looking at her notes. She has the good looks of a woman with a 90 IQ but talks with the intelligence of a hideous nerd. She ended with some contempt for libertarians, which I think is a mistake. Her new book is called Never Trust a Liberal Over 3″€”Especially a Republican, and if it’s about ostracizing everyone who doesn”€™t adhere to paleoconservative values I strongly disagree (though I”€™d probably go to the gym before challenging her on it). We need Republican liberals like me. In fact, that’s what my talk was about.


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