Results of CPAC straw poll shows not much has changed in the GOP
CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference held their conference in Washington last week. All the Conservative stars were present. They mostly pandered to what they perceived as a base that provided them little wiggle room.
In fact, Mitch McConnell appeared on the stage brandishing a rifle handing it off to Tom Coburn before giving his speech. Ted Cruz gave his constant cry of repealing Obamacare. Donald Trump gave a speech in which he said President Obama will be a worse president than the ’late Jimmy Carter’. President Jimmy Carter is still alive. There were a lot of these moments.
Meet the Press with David Gregory had a very substantive debate on the future of the GOP. He intertwined it with the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ assent to the papacy. Just as Pope Francis is attempting to rebuild a dying church with empathy and concern for the many, could the GOP present the same successful appeal?
Judging from the results of the straw poll the answer is at best inconclusive. Judging from Ralph Reed’s statement, the answer is not yet. He said the base wants somebody that is an unapologetic defender of unalloyed, undiluted conservatism. Really? Has he not seen that the country is moving on issues like support for marriage equality, legalization of marijuana, and a more equitable society?
It was pointed out that one of the conferences, that was empty at CPAC was likely the most important. It was a conference on minority outreach. Words are fine. Actions are much more important. That empty room tweeted across the country told a story. Not a story of inclusiveness but one of unconcern for a problem endemic to the GOP. One would think CPAC would be sufficiently cognizant of the severity of this issue that it would not have allowed such an eventuality.
Andrea Mitchell had an interesting observation. She believes that Jeb Bush is the one potential GOP candidate that could bring an appeal and a humble message that would attract.
Ralph Reed attempted to promote the GOP as the party that cares for the poor and the middle class. He was immediately put in check by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). She made the reality very clear. The GOP has neither reached out substantively to minority communities nor have their policies done anything to assist the poor or move the middle class forward.
Check out the most relevant snippets from the debate on what CPAC revealed below.