CPAC loves a little Tory flogging in the morning

By Roy Edroso
Saturday, March 8, 2014 10:25 EDT
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We’ve been fans of alicublog writer Roy Edroso for years. Is there anyone who understands the angst of conservatives better than Roy? He’s our man on the ground at CPAC — Ed.

Dan Hannan, Euroskeptic Secretary-General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, told the yanks at CPAC Saturday morning what Tories expected of them, which for some reason fascinated the crowd. “Why is a British conservative coming to CPAC and talking about domestic U.S. politics?” he asked. Because “we’re family,” he answered himself, “joint heirs to a common inheritance of freedom.” As portrayed by Hannan, democratic values are an Anglophone thing — “we call them Western values, even universal values,” he said, “but we’re just being polite” — but let it be known, in a chilly Albion way, that he and the ghosts of Winston Churchill and Oliver Cromwell were disappointed in their youthful republican friends across the pond. When leaders behave in an unconservative way, Hannan instructed, “you need to correct them or replace them… if you vote for candidates who believe health care is the business of the state, don’t complain when your health care is as badly run as everything else run by the state.” In the mists of time, a bulldog let drop a tear of shame.

At the end, to great cheers from an audience that usually celebrates a bunch of limey-killers called the Tea Party, Hannan roared, we swear to God, “Act worthy of yourselves!” and stood a moment beside his podium, glaring as if to make sure no one had filched an extra portion of meat.


Overheard on the CPAC shuttle between the Gaylord Convention Center and Union Station in Washington Friday night, between an older conventioneer and a younger one.

[On Donald Trump's speech:]

Younger: I don’t know. Like when he said we should have just taken the oil in Iraq, that it would have improved our image abroad…

Older: What Mr. Trump doesn’t realize is, we already have their oil.

Younger: Or when [Trump] said, “Obama has the lowest rating of any president ever.”

Older: He’s just being rude. How do you think people reacted?

Younger: I think they reacted positively, because of his name recognition. On TV and whatnot.

[The younger man says he lives in New York.]

Older: I have a brother who works in New York. He’s not wealthy, but his ex-wife is. She wants to send their daughter to Dalton. You know what I heard they teach there? They say, “mothers can be fathers and fathers can be mothers.” Based on what they’re teaching it’s not a good school no matter what it costs.

Younger: Huh. I have to ask my friends about that.

[The older conventioneer is interested to hear that the younger man is Catholic.]

Older: If you lead a moral life, it makes you attractive to people… Do you speak Chinese? The government is looking for people who do.

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