Sunday, October 11, 2009

Americans for Prosperity's Defending The Dream summit emphasizes social media

Laura Ingraham speaking at the summit

I attended Americans for Prosperity's third annual Defending the American Dream summit earlier this month in Washington, D.C. along with 2000 others, and was amazed at the energy there. Obama's bailouts and push for nationalized healthcare have gotten Americans riled up, with tea party protests all over the nation like we've never seen before under other presidents. Americans for Prosperity has been one of the key organizations assisting the protesters logistically, providing a way for grassroots organizers to network and organize. So it was thrilling to see many of the most active protesters over the past year come together at this summit.

Americans for Prosperity is one of a few leading organizations on the right that sees the value of bloggers and social media, and the conference heavily emphasized the role of bloggers, who had their own special press room for blogging.

Steve Schippert from Wizbang blog reported on keynote speaker Newt Gingrich's speech. Gingrich said the socialist wing of the Democrat Party is going to lead them to defeat in the next election. He writes that Newt,

Tells story of gas rationing in the 70's when you could only get gas on certain days depending on whether your license plate ended in an odd or even number. A father would have his son go out and switch the license plates on the cars to get gas when needed.

If you're a conservative and you hear of 13 year olds figuring out how to get around a program, you want to repeal the program.

If you're a liberal and you hear that story, you want to install program police at every gas station in the country.

Regarding Obama on economics, Newt said, "Yes we can. But not his way." Gingrich also quipped, "Bowing to a Saudi king is not an energy policy."

Schippert relayed that Hot Air columnist Ed Morrissey talked about ridiculous examples in the tax code like deductions for pets. Unfortunately they all came from Republicans.

Writing for, Jillian Bandes covered a speech that took place at the healthcare protest rally at the U.S. Capitol during the summit,

“[The health care bill] was supposed to go for a vote in July. Then September. Then October,” Rep. Patrick McHenry, (R-S.C.) told a rowdy crowd. “Last night, Steny Hoyer said it would be two more weeks. What they’re trying to do now is twist arms.”

Over 2000 people showed up to the healthcare protest at the U.S. Capitol, which was also covered by Jim Jess at the Examiner. He relays a speech by Shona Holmes, a Canadian whose medical care was delayed due to rationing in Canada:

She said the Canadian government was quite proud that its citizens only have to wait 100 days for a MRI, a time frame that would be unacceptable in the U.S. Holmes received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in the United States and said she would have died without the timely medical attention she received. She only had to wait a week for her MRI. Ironically, two of her doctors were Canadians who left Canada due to its socialized system and now practice in the U.S.
Jim Jess also quotes Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) saying that 53 new government agencies would be created under H.R. 3200, the Democrats' healthcare reform bill.

Karyn McDermott of the Examiner relayed what AFP President Tim Phillips told a packed audience at dinner Friday night,
When the President and his friends on the left say 'hope' they mean their hope is in the government for the solution of the challenges we face today.
Legendary blogger John Hawkins of Right Wing News (left, with legendary Twitterer Tabitha Hala aka Pink Elephant Pun) wrote up an entertaining synopsis of the summit which included lots of photos here. He said Newt Gingrich was the best speaker at the summit: "He had a combination of ideas, gravitas, and raw charisma that was difficult for anyone else to match." Hawkins himself got a lot of applause speaking on a panel when he said he interviewed and raised money for Joe Wilson.

I agree that Newt was tremendous, but was also impressed with Rep. Mike Pence from Indiana, who does a really funny imitation of George W. Bush. He is the dark horse candidate for president in 2012. Watch Mike Pence imitate George W. Bush here.

Leslie Carbone, former Director of Tax Policy at the Family Research Council and author of Slaying Leviathan: The Moral Case for Tax Reform, attended the conference and gave an interview about her book here.

Arizona's Sean Noble, Chief of Staff for Rep. John Shadegg, gave a rousing speech at the "Tribute to Ronald Reagan" dinner.

Bill Smith from ARRA News Service covered several of the speeches, including one by Steve Herman CainMoore from the Wall Street Journal. Moore said, “Since we passed the economic stimulus bill we’ve lost $3 million jobs." Smith also covered Fox News contributor and talkshow host Herman Cain, who said liberals S.I.N.: They SHIFT the subject. They IGNORE facts. They NAMECALL. Cain found out that liberals think HE is racist.

Overall, it was very inspiring to see how the Obama administration's policies have rallied so many people into action. Watch for AFP to take the lead in rallying Americans to revolt against this administration.
Some of us bloggers hanging out

Pictures from "Tribute to Ronald Reagan" dinner
Pictures from Saturday morning's general session
Videos from AFP's national town hall at the Capitol
Recap of summit from Tim Phillips
Large collection of videos from summit
My pictures

The 2nd worst person in the world, AFP's Erik Telford
, with Kerry Pickett from The Washington Times

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