CPAC: Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan speaks at CPAC 2013 (Zachary Maxwell)

Paul Ryan speaks at CPAC 2013 (Zachary Maxwell)

(originally from Washington Times Communities)

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, former vice presidential nominee, came to the CPAC 2013 stage with blaring loud music, amid the cheers and applause of thousands of standing conservatives.

He began by drawing attention to the fact that Senate Democrats passed a budget for the first time in almost 4 years. Then he attacked it. “They call their budget a foundation for growth. … Wow, I feel like saluting already. But when you read it, you find that the Vatican’s not the only place blowing smoke this week.” The Democrats’ budget calls for over $1 trillion in new tax revenue!

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, just passed his own budget as well. The key? “It’s simple. We stop spending money we don’t have!”

Although it may often seem like a manufactured fiscal crisis, distant from everyday Americans, Ryan argued an economic crisis would be a “moral failure.” The ballooning national debt and government spending will lead to skyrocketing interest rates, leading to real problems for Americans’ standard of living. “A balanced budget is a reasonable goal because it returns government to its proper limits and focus.”

“Work gives people more than a paycheck,” said Ryan. The pride and dignity that result improve community inclusiveness, benefitting society as a whole. A budget that encourages spending outside of our means will harm the important ideal of hard work.

After continually stressing the importance of a balanced budget, Ryan attempted to define the Republican party in one phrase, “We are the party of equal opportunity.”

Stay tuned for more live CPAC updates from @HuizingaDanny or @WTCommunities.

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12 responses to “CPAC: Paul Ryan

  1. As far as area along the spectrum, it’s less diverse in a similar way that Catholics are a “less diverse” group than Christians in general. But that’s not to say that Catholics are all the same, there are many different shades within the denomination. So it is misleading to call them all the same.

    • Both Catholics and the Protestant Reformed are conservative on such matters as Right to Life, Women in Office, and Gay Marriage. However, Catholics are far more diverse politically, socially, and theologically than are the Protestant Reformed, who are much more monolithic in all these areas. Just for fun, is CPAC more like Catholics or more like Protestant Reformed politically and socially and theologically? (By the way, I kept my assessment of diversity modest; I did not intend to say or imply ‘all the same.’)

      • I wouldn’t be able to give a perfectly accurate response, but I’d say Protestant Reformed – but not necessarily. Here’s the thing – likely, you would barely find any liberals at CPAC (1-2% of attendees approve of Obama’s job performance for example). But that’s to be expected given that it’s CPAC, not LPAC. So they are almost all conservative, and significantly so (“moderates” generally do not go to any of these political conferences). That being said, there is a significant diversity on social issues between conservatives and libertarians at the conference. Foreign policy also had a pretty even split as far as isolationism and interventionism.

        However, they’d be more like Baptists (and not Catholics or Protestant Reformed) in that there is no “denomination” requiring certain beliefs to attend the conference. Theoretically, anyone could show up and buy a ticket – there’s just a high degree of self-selection uniformity. i.e. Who’s going to pay to hear Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin speak if they hate them?

        • I like the comparison to baptists. Thanks. Where would you put yourself on the isolationist vs interventionist continuum? i’m more on the isolationist side.

          • That’s a good debate that crosses party lines – I think I would agree with you, but again, there are exceptions. The compassion part of me does feel an obligation to aid other countries in cases of genocide, etc.

            I’d have to read some good things by people on both sides before coming out one way or another. Possibly a good blog debate in the future?

  2. I hope Ryan’s last statement will eventually be true. That’s a wonderful and powerful goal. However, I think the color of the vast majority of faces attending will reveal that that goal remains elusive.

    • Not quite sure what you mean. It’s ironic because right now, I’m listening to a black conservative woman talking onstage about how she thinks this is the most diverse CPAC ever.

      • I’m sorry, I don’t see the irony as you intend. I don’t wish to be contrary, but from the pictures I’m seeing, the crowd is considerably more white than the corresponding distribution one sees in our population at large. If it’s more diverse than ever, excellent! However, GayProud was there in 2011, but not in 2013. I see that as a significant retreat from diversity. Every four years, one of the saddest things for me to see is the make-up of the crowd at the Republican National Convention as contrasted to the Democrat National Convention. In my book that speaks volumes more than the color of any particular speaker or any particular comment.

        • I guess, for me, that’s unconvincing. Looking at a crowd and trying to judge their credibility by their race seems more stereotypical to me.

          Timothy Christian High School is considerably less racially diverse than the general population, as are many private schools. Does that mean they are racist or less tolerant? I find it hard to judge an entire group based on something so shallow.

          • For me, it’s much more convincing. I was not implying racism at all. I do think it reveals fewer common values, interests, concerns, etc. I think the makeup of a crowd, in that regard, says something much less shallow than speeches that ‘preach to the choir.’ A diverse crowd may be an indication of less parochialism. I think we have to confess that most Christian schools such as Timothy and Calvin (where I taught) are quiet parochial in their emphases. Since our country is quite diverse, and getting more so, the diversity of a crowd is likely to be quite an accurate predictor of how parochial or how broad a range of values, interests and concerns are represented. For better or worse, wise or unwise, I prefer the political party where diverse voices are heard, well-represented, and reveal a sense of ownership.

        • Also, two quick comments. GOProud was at the conference this year, though they did not receive an official invite. Secondly, the conference is put on by the ACU, which is not the Republican Party. (It’s more conservative-libertarian than mainstream)

          • …and less diverse or more diverse than the Republican party? Thanks for the clarification and thanks for the summaries. I appreciated them.

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