At Saturday’s general session of the RightOnline conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund told the audience of 1,100 conservative activists that they will win in November, but opposition is already planning to derail the victory.
Fund said he is doing double duty this weekend, covering both RightOnline and the Netroots Nation conference, a gathering of liberal — or “progressive” — activists. He said that the attendees at Netroots Nation are sullen, depressed, and confused. “People don’t seem to want to change America quite the they way they want to.”
Fund said that at the time of last year’s Netroots Nations conference, the health care bill was sinking in the polls. Liberals were told that all they had to do is to pass the health care bill, and the American people will embrace it. Fund asked “Well, how’s that working out for you?” The health care bill is as unpopular as it was on the day it passed.
He told the audience that a new poll says that 55 percent of Americans believe that the word “socialist” best describes President Barack Obama. Even his own party is having questions, Fund said.
In the last 18 months, Fund said that the American people — having been disappointed by both political parties — have decided to take things into their own hands: “Politics is too important to be left just to politicians.”
Fund said that by harnessing the power of the Internet and new media, conservatives have been able to create a political force that has astonished the entire political community, telling the audience that they now have more power to influence government than any previous generation.
As evidence, Fund said that conservatives have scared their adversaries into a panic. They have lashed back using scare tactics, including the charge of racism. Referring to BigGovernment.com‘s $100,000 reward for video evidence of an alleged ugly racial incident on Capitol Hill, he noted it has gone unclaimed.
Fund said there is now evidence as to why the charge of racism is made. Quoting Mary Francis Berry, Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and an influential civil right leader, he said: “Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.”
Fund said there’s good news: “You’re going to have a big victory in November.” But already the “beltway party” — that being the members of both parties who want to spend your money — is already plotting to thwart you. He said that Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader, told a newspaper that “We don’t need any more Jim DeMints here in the Senate.” (DeMint is a conservative South Carolina senator who opposed increased spending during the Bush administration, and opposed bailouts.)
Fund told the audience that a major problem is the upcoming lame duck session of Congress, where members of Congress who have just been defeated may vote on major legislation. He also said we have to be wary of Democrats who campaigned as moderates, but inevitably govern as liberals. President Obama fits in this category, he said.