October 12, 2007

CLC 07: Dick Armey Live Blog

Former Representative Dick Armey addresses the Conservative Leadership Conference in the first event of the day. It's 8:15 in the morning here, and there isn't much of an audience for the opener. The auditorium is about one-quarter full, but people continue to stroll into the room.

8:19 PT - Armey starts off by praising Nevada as a "pretty little ol' state. It would make a fine county back in Texas ... but only western Texas."

8:20 - "I believe in individual liberty," and from that free-market economics flow. This is a key point, but he isn't choosing to follow up on that theme at the moment.

8:21 - "Politics is juvenile delinquency," focusing on short-term goals rather than long-term benefits. Armey notes that heroes always focus on policy criteria while fools and scoundrels focus on politics.

8:24 - People in public office do not naturally serve the electorate, but naturally act to serve themselves. That's why it's important to hit them when they get out of line.

8:25 - "I'm a natural-born nonpartisan. ... I don't like politics, and I don't like political parties." He wants to focus on freedom, not partisan bickering.

8:33 - He's getting some traction on Armey's attack on the two-party system. That's probably due to the large number of Ron Paul supporters here at the CLC. Now, most of Armey's criticism goes at the Democrats; "I don't see a lot of lovers of liberty in the Democratic Party; I see a lot of big-government supporters."

8:35 - "The Republican Party [in 1980] was about freedom." That's why he ran as a Republican for Congress. He asserted that for 4-5 years after the Contract with America, people had reason to be happy with the Republicans. He says that he didn't understand how limited the support for that effort was until he and Newt Gingrich left. The Republicans got "short-sighted and delinquent".

8:38 - Armey endorses the Republican Party, because "they're salvageable". Groups like this need to keep the party honest, discipline them when necessary, and keep them on the path of liberty. It's an interesting and somewhat unexpected twist on his speech, which almost sounded like a call for splintering.

8:42 - "If you're not willing to stand up for liberty and be a mensch, don't come around me." Armey tells the group that they need to protect the heroes in Congress today, and help breed more of them. He attacks those critics who claimed he "gave up" on the effort, saying that he sacrificed a million dollars in earnings every year he was in Congress. Activists need to understand that politics is a difficult arena, and it takes hard work every day. I said something almost identical yesterday on my panel.

8:47 - He finishes with a gasp-inducing moment: "I love that document [the Constitution]. I hate the Duke police department [which should have been the Durham District Attorney's office]." It got big applause after the gasp. It was a well-received speech, and effective as well, but I wonder how many of the people here will remember his call to remain in the Republican Party, and why.


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Comments (9)

Posted by swabjockey05 | October 12, 2007 11:25 AM

The reason to stay in the Repub party is because...it is "salvageable"?

Not very motivating. Especially knowing that once it is "salvaged", how long before the "centrists" (socialist wannabes) take it down the same path it is on now?

The only thing "saving" the Republican party is the fact that the Dhimmicrats are so loathsome. If parading the Hildabeast, the Burglar and the rest of the Dhimmi lackeys and stooges in front of the electorate isn’t enough to get a Republican candidate (ANY of them) elected, the Repub party is finished.

Posted by diane | October 12, 2007 11:32 AM

As far as "Durham Police Department" versus "Durham District Attorney," the hoax and frame-up were well under way before Nifong ever heard of the case. That's not to let Nifong off the hook; just noting that he was not the originator and was not acting alone.

Posted by patrick neid | October 12, 2007 11:43 AM

His recent comment that Hillary will be the next president because, among other reasons, she is more intelligent are not very helpful.

Posted by Scott | October 12, 2007 12:01 PM

Protect heroes in congress? Is this a reference to Ron Paul? Should it be?

Posted by Mike M. | October 12, 2007 12:37 PM

The reason to stay in the Repub party is because...it is "salvageable"?

Not very motivating.

Yeah, no kidding. You know things are seriously bad when even someone as deep into the system as Dick Armey basically admits that we've sunk this low. When you have a leading Presidential candidate of a major party openly consorting with and taking money from criminals and fugitives, you know we've got the most corrupt government we've ever had.

Personally, I'm far less interested in whether the Republican party is salvageable than I am in the question as to whether America is salvageable. For the first time in my life, I'm not too certain that the answer is "yes".

Posted by Carol Herman | October 12, 2007 1:27 PM

Hey! I read Tom DeLay's book! Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich can share "the putz" award. Their leaderships stank to the high heavens.

As a matter of fact, you can call what happened in 1992, a dramatic "win" for the repubicans.

WHile you can look, in awe, at the Ma & Pa Kettle SHow! To see how the old vaudeville was run, once the manager, with the hook, got fired.

And, vaudeville died.

Posted by hunter | October 12, 2007 1:45 PM

Armey can get his sanctimonious disloyal cowardly butt right off the stage.
That poultroon declined to take the simple responsibility he had in the Plame leak, and allowed a bunch of anti-American hacks to pretend that a great crime had been committed regarding Plame.
One simple statement from him would have not only been right, but would have made a huge difference.

Posted by Adam Graham | October 12, 2007 8:05 PM

It was a heck of a speech. Still, I must say, the Republicans did start busting the spending caps on Armey's watch. I'd have liked to hear more of this while he was in office

Posted by burt | October 13, 2007 8:27 AM

Dick wins the " I am desperate to stay relevant and get liberal media attention by trashing Republicans" award. The man is pathetic and begging for a big lib media consultant gig.
You don't get those gigs by saying anything positive about the RNC !

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