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A Reagan CPAC flashback; ACU issues statement

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 5, 2007 04:41 PM

Ronald Reagan, CPAC speech, February 2, 1982:

We must ask ourselves tonight how we can forge and wield a popular majority from one end of this country to the other, a majority united on basic, positive goals with a platform broad enough and deep enough to endure long into the future, far beyond the lifespan of any single issue or personality.

We must reach out and appeal to the patriotic and fundamental ideals of average Americans who do not consider themselves “movement” people, but who respond to the same American ideals that we do. I’m not talking about some vague notion of an abstract, amorphous American mainstream. I’m talking about ” Main Street ” Americans in their millions. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors—blue-collar workers, blacks, Hispanics, shopkeepers, scholars, service people, housewives, and professional men and women. They are the backbone of America, and we can’t move America without moving their hearts and minds as well.

Fellow Americans, our duty is before us tonight. Let us go forward, determined to serve selflessly a vision of man with God, government for people, and humanity at peace. For it is now our task to tend and preserve, through the darkest and coldest nights, that “sacred fire of liberty” that President Washington spoke of two centuries ago, a fire that tonight remains a beacon to all the oppressed of the world, shining forth from this kindly, pleasant, greening land we call America.


The American Conservative Union has issued a statement:

The American Conservative Union and the Conservative Political Action Conference today issued the following statement:

The just completed 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference on March 1 – 3, 2007, was the largest in the 34 year history of the event, featuring 33 panels on a variety of public policy issues, 24 stand alone speakers including public officials, writers, student activists, media personalities and comedians.

ACU, the event’s primary sponsor and CPAC strive to provide a platform and forum for a variety of differing views and personalities. ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse every speaker or their comments at the conference. As such, ACU and CPAC leave it to our audience to determine whether comments are appropriate or not.

“Ann Coulter is known for comments that can be both provocative and outrageous. That was certainly the case in her 2007 CPAC appearance and previous ones as well. But as a point of clarification, let me make it clear that ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse the use of hate speech,” said David A. Keene, ACU Chairman.

What this means for the 2008 CPAC remains unclear.

Here’s what conservative bloggers thought of the speech.

Speaking of hate speech, Patterico chronicles it on the Left.

And John Hawkins finds plenty of example of the other F-word on liberal blogs.

Doesn’t make it right. But it’s definitely worth pointing out.


My friend Captain Ed has come under ugly attack, and responds with his trademark graciousness.

Readers of this blog have enthusiastically cheered when I criticized the Left for their incivility. For almost a solid week, we debated the Edwards blogger scandal, where Edwards hired two women who routinely used hateful epithets in describing Christians (“Christofascists” and “Godbags”, as I recall), and people wanted his hide for it. I blasted Howard Dean for his announcement that he hated Republicans and everything for which we stand. This blog has spent the last 42 months taking on that kind of rhetoric, with thousands of posts and thousands of hours of my time.

That takes little courage, however. How brave is it to criticize those who hate and attack me?

It isn’t enough to scold your opponents for their incivility; one has to have the courage to criticize their allies for it as well. That takes more fortitude, because it means alienating those who one presumes have become friends. It means weathering with some grace the kind of comments that people have thrown at me since Friday afternoon. Some may not want to generate that kind of storm, and after today, I don’t blame them a bit.

If one wants to change the tone of political discourse, then one has to start with one’s self, and hold one’s own side accountable for their incivility.

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