January 31, 2013
Finally: My thoughts on the National Review Institute Summit
First, thanks to Dan Holland and the CapitalHQ crew for inviting me and being such gracious, ebullient hosts. If there were any “glitches” over the weekend, they certainly didn’t show.
Predictably, few people on the stage were as right wing as I am. Dr. Krauthammer remains convinced that those “hardworking Mexicans” are natural conservatives. He’s still cute, though!
Krauthammer et al are obsessed with “winning XYZ states” and basically “dragging a guy with an ‘R’ after his name” (as Mark Steyn puts it) into the White House. I chatted with a client about this last night; a veteran of U.S. conservative politics, he muttered disapprovingly, “Shirts and skins…” Exactly. Is this the future of Western civilization or fantasy football?
Joe Scarborough is running for something. 2016? It was SO obvious.
Other than Scott Walker, who has a great tale to tell out of Wisconsin, most of the politicians just delivered rubber chicken boilerplate speeches. People were more impressed with Ted Cruz than I was. Tom Cotton was ok.
99% of the speakers are living in either the past or a fantasy world: No, most people on welfare LIKE being on welfare; No, not every woman regrets her abortion or longs to be a mother; America is not the same America it was in 1980; we didn’t have TWO Carter terms…
I was going to join half the attendees I spoke to in wishing for a moratorium on Ronald Reagan references, until I read this.
Speaking of which, the crowd was MUCH younger than I expected. The bad news is, a lot of the young men were disconcertingly “Omega House.”
Good news: fewer women are dressing like Coulter/Palin clones these days. Skirts have gotten longer and heels shorter. I wasn’t the only girl wearing pants.
I wore this on Saturday night. I LOVE Shabby Apple! Alas, my shoes were a half-size too big, but they were the last ones left in that color, which is a perfect match to the dress, dammit. Anyone know a good Toronto shoe doctor?
Anyway: if you’re Canadian, the weird thing about the NRI Summit is how WHITE it is. I counted three black people and two Asians among the attendees. Whereas as I’ve said before, the two most diverse events I’ve ever attended in supposedly multicultural, liberal Toronto were both “right wing”: a fundraiser at Rob Ford’s house, and a “do” in honor of Mark Steyn at Conrad Black’s. Look at the makeup of the Conservative Party now, due to the hard work of Kenney and Co. Why can’t Americans replicate that? Did we get all the “good” immigrants? (Ha ha, just kidding…)
The gay Tea Party guy on the “marriage” panel was refreshing. He is anti-gay marriage and told us that he’d recently moved back in with his ex-wife so he could provide a “real” family structure for their children. When he’s asked, “How can you be gay and conservative?” he answers, “How can you be liberal and an adult?”