The Great Distractions of CPAC

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 9 2012 3:35 PM

The Great Distractions of CPAC

Situated across the hall, on the mezzenine floor of CPAC: Two panels. One, an unofficial session in a too-small rented room, is sponsored by Pro English; guests include the lion-maned VDare.com founder Peter Brimelow.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"Our first speaker, Serge Trifkovic, could not be here," explains ProEnglish's executive director Robert Vandervoort. "I'll read his speech. He apologizes in advance for not having read it; the world "Weltanschaung" trips him up, hard.

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There is media here from the Washington Post, Mother Jones, TalkingPointsMemo, the American Prospect, and a few sources I probably missed. Why? Brimelow has been labeled a spewer of hate speech by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Who's going to show up and support him? As Rosie Gray finds out, it's Rep. Steve King.

"I've taken so much criticism on my life that has just been completely unjustified, you know, a fabrication of the hardcore left," King said. "I'd want to see whatever evidence that is before I comment on it."
When told that the white nationalist designation had come from the Southern Poverty Law Center, King laughed.
"I wouldn't take them seriously," he said. "No, not at all."

The other panel is a seminar on conservative dating, probably the most-promoted (on Twitter, at least) event of the conference. Inside: Maybe 20 students, at least 25 reporters. They want color, and Wayne Elise provides it.

Elise mostly stuck to his tried and true methods for dating in general. In comparison to “Mystery,” who promotes using memorized pickup lines, Elise instead espouses broader tips and tricks.
Like the following four examples:
1.”How do you make them feel comfortable? You talk about your weaknesses,” Elise said. One audience member chimed in with a good one liner to lighten the mood: “I’m Rush Limbaugh’s drug dealer.”
2. On dates, “try to outlaw questions,” Elise said, prompting some quizzical looks from participants. “Say ‘I’m not going to do any questions, I’m going to make statements.’ Why? Because statements say something about you.”
3. Here’s a tip: “When you walk up and you’re talking to the cute girl in a group dont just talk to the girl. Bring other people in.” In a related tactic, should you see a hot girl in a bar do not approach — instead befriend a less attractive group and then recruit them to help you seduce her.
4. Good date idea? “Tell her you want to take a polaroid camera, walk around Soho in New York or somewhere comparable here, Georgetown maybe, and take pictures together — that’s a fun date.” But one Republican consultant from Sag Harbor, New York had a better one. “A gun club works really well for that thing,” he said. “It’s conservative, its fun, most women haven’t done that before…you get to look like you know what you’re doing.”

I became convinced that these events were staged to distract the media while somebody stole the Hope diamond.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.