A final thought on CPAC and the future

The CPAC conference is winding down with Rush Limbaugh scheduled to wrap things up in about an hour. It's been a fascinating couple of days with a lot of wheel spinning and Dem bashing but more thought given to the state of conservatism than I believed would have been the case. Much of what was said on the panels was, by necessity, very general and superficial. But I was heavily engaged in such discussions with several people at a few of the many receptions I attended.

This kind of networking, I am convinced, will be how the right reforms. But who will do this reforming? Who are the heavy hitters who will steer conservatism into a new era?

There are many of the movers and shakers in the movement who are givng "what comes next" a lot of thought. Right now, it is a churning process; ideas bubble and froth from below, get chewed on and evaluated at the top, and are sent back for further examination, clarification, and if necessary, alteration. In this way, while the reform will be inspired by a "bottom up" model, the parameters of change will be determined by the few lobbyists, consultants, lawyers, intellectuals, and scholars who function as "wise men" for the movement.

In this, people like Rush Limbaugh will be crucial. If Rush can be convinced, his megaphone could move the process along. It will take years, not months, before any kind of change would be noticable if only because it will take place like osmosis rather than a thunderclap from above announcing a new conservatism.

The key is Obama and his policies. Hopefully, the president won't do any permanent damage to the country. But Obama's presence and his policies assure a united movement which will make initiating change a little easier.

Whether it can be done in time is an entirely different question.

The CPAC conference is winding down with Rush Limbaugh scheduled to wrap things up in about an hour. It's been a fascinating couple of days with a lot of wheel spinning and Dem bashing but more thought given to the state of conservatism than I believed would have been the case. Much of what was said on the panels was, by necessity, very general and superficial. But I was heavily engaged in such discussions with several people at a few of the many receptions I attended.

This kind of networking, I am convinced, will be how the right reforms. But who will do this reforming? Who are the heavy hitters who will steer conservatism into a new era?

There are many of the movers and shakers in the movement who are givng "what comes next" a lot of thought. Right now, it is a churning process; ideas bubble and froth from below, get chewed on and evaluated at the top, and are sent back for further examination, clarification, and if necessary, alteration. In this way, while the reform will be inspired by a "bottom up" model, the parameters of change will be determined by the few lobbyists, consultants, lawyers, intellectuals, and scholars who function as "wise men" for the movement.

In this, people like Rush Limbaugh will be crucial. If Rush can be convinced, his megaphone could move the process along. It will take years, not months, before any kind of change would be noticable if only because it will take place like osmosis rather than a thunderclap from above announcing a new conservatism.

The key is Obama and his policies. Hopefully, the president won't do any permanent damage to the country. But Obama's presence and his policies assure a united movement which will make initiating change a little easier.

Whether it can be done in time is an entirely different question.