I jotted down a few notes as I watched Beck’s speech on Fox. Sorry but they are not in the best of order because I wanted to concentrate on the speech. However, they are my first impressions.
This was an excellent speech by Beck. In some aspects this was a tough love speech for Republicans. While many of the speeches at CPAC were a little bit of a “yahoo” for Republicans doing well in 2010, Beck’s speech was a reminder to Republicans that after getting elected we expect them to stand for something. This was a speech from the conservative/ Tea Party perspective.
One immediately noticed the Tea Party perspective from the choice of music played at Beck took the stage, "Uprising" by Muse. The song kicks in right at this part of the lyrics:
“They will not force us,
They will stop degrading us,
They will not control us,
We will be victorious"
Is this not how Tea Partiers feel about big government, elites and the media?
When Beck mentions Rush Limbaugh’s appearance last year at CPAC, I could not help but contrast the two speeches. Rush’s speech was inspirational to conservatives. Rush let conservatives know that just because Republicans lost power, conservatives need not despair and that we ourselves could move conservatism forward. Beck’s speech is now building on that momentum by keeping conservatives focus on our principles as we move forward in opposition to the progressive agenda.
You could tell during some parts of the speech that his words were not being well received, particularly when he called out Republicans. You could tell from the silence, which tells me that the CPAC audience is predominantly Republican rather than truly conservative. This should give you some idea of the differences between Republicans and the Tea Parties. The Tea Parties are not just expecting Republican victories; they are expecting the Republicans to walk the walk after those victories. Take note Republicans, the days of simply enjoying power because the Democrats to fuck up are over.
One of the things that keep coming back to my mind while listening to the speech was how it contrasts with speeches by liberals. Many on the left often paint a picture of America as this down and out place that requires a great hero to save it. Beck’s speech paints an America were we the individual is the hero. We are the ones who will save the day by recognizing the true problems and doing the hard work to solve them.
Items of note:
Hello Mr. Chalkboard: This was a nice touch by Beck, bringing his trusty sidekick the chalkboard to CPAC. No Sheeples Here has a very funny Automotivator that goes: “the chalkboard is mightier than the teleprompter”. Oh, so true.
Calling out Progressivism: Anyone who has watched Beck for more than a few episodes, will know his number one foe … Progressives. By introducing this topic, Beck is able to serve up the tough love Republicans desperately need. Here Beck uses the phrase:
“… it is going to be a very good year, but it is not enough just to not suck as much as the other side”. Is this not the very game so many Republicans play when they serve up Democrate-Lite policies?
Alcoholism and Tiger’s apology: Beck used both of these examples to paint an accurate picture of the Republican’s failure. Beck, a recovered alcoholic himself, sees the need for Republicans to admit their mistakes (big spending, big government programs) and like Tiger, needs to come clean with the American people about it.
The Big Tent: “America is not a circus” says Beck in answer to some Republicans calling for a bigger tent. I could not agree more. Watering down ideals for the sake of a few votes has not bought Republicans any glory, just look at Bush and McCain for that.
Politicians and letters: I am so glad Beck mocked this stunt. I cannot stand the compassion pimps on both sides of the aisle who “read letters” from someone to make an emotional appeal for government action. The so-called “letters” are the biggest bunch of BS you will ever hear, enough of them already!
Liberty’s poem: This had to be the best part of the whole speech. It resonated with me deeply, because it has been way too long since I have heard anyone in this administration speak passionately about American exceptionalism.