Hi, I’ve gotten a press badge to a huge Republican fundraiser. I will liveblog the speeches as long as my batteries hold out. My compatriot Evan is also blogging at The New Argument..

7:52 “Ladies and Gentlemen, kindly take your seats, the program is about to begin, kindly take your seats, thank you.” They are 22 minutes late so far.

Observations so far: I think there wre more black people in the intro band than the entire rest of the convention (minus security officers).
We’re at the Press Box. Various Republican dignitaries stride by to show the press that they’re here. Eric Cantor seems to like this technique quite a bit.

I just heard that there are 2000 fundraisers and 150 members of the house here.

8:00 No sign of food for the press. So hungry. AAAAND Palin, Newt, etc, just walk on stage, get panned by the cameras, and walk off. Is this some sort of sign of their r’approchement?

Some random guy just walked by. He said something about “Are you the Press? Watch what they’re eating!” Any ideas what that means?

8:02 Rep Paul Ryan: We have a special guest today. Actor John Voight is going to MC. (Now, I’m not really into pop culture, but who the hell is Paul Voigt? This is their stellar MC?)

…and Paul Ryan shushed the crowd. Um ok.

8:11 John Voight is up. Speechifying. Talking about how Republicans should copy Obama’s success. Blames Obama’s success on Hollywood. Many vague references to technology. Obama campaigned as a

“My greatest concern is for the safety of Israel”. “In my point of view, the Palestinians only want to destroy Israel” . “Are we supposed to sit around and wait for the newest Holocaust?”

Speaking a Jew and Israeli, this blatant abuse of my country of birth for political aims is rather offensive.

“Everything Obama has attempted has turned disastrous”.[ ed- Tell that to Liddy Ledbetter. ] Voigt quotes Pravda: “The United States is sliding towards Communism”. Apparently only Republicans can free us from “this False Prophet, Obama”, who has “oppressed” the United States.

8:17 Orrin Hatch is on deck. Voigt still on stage. Voigt: Orrin Hatch “is very impressive physically. I saw him and thought what a handsome fellow… I feel a special closeness to Orrin Hatch … he’s the man for me”.

8:20 Apparently Hatch’s role was to introduce the tenor who sang the Star-Spangled Banner

8:25 The montage for the Star-Spangled Banner: Soldiers, Guns, Airplanes, Flags, Bombs, many more flags, and the Vietnam memorial. Further confirming the link between nationalism and militarism.

8:26 And now they’re sing a psalm by Saint Francis of Assisi. I wonder how Eric Cantor (the only Republican Jew in Congress) feels about that.

8:29 Mitch McConnell is up. Makes another crack at Hollywood. And another. What is this, the 1950’s? Newt Gingrich is “a great idea man” who has “suggestions”. Also, Obama is radical, in case you forgot. And terrorists would hate staying in a Cuban cell rather than aVirginian one. I guess the land of Castro has become suffused with his Sauron-style evil, chilling the bones of any detainees there.

8:34 Apparently calling John Boehner orange is safely bipartisan

8:35 Apparently Obama and Pelosi have a vendetta against people who follow the law.Damn those lawmakers who hate the law and stuff.Why did they forget to fearmonger about Harry Reid?

8:40 Overheard in the press box: “John Voight did his best to call Obama a terrorist, but he’s an actor. [Sarah Palin] stole the show.” (By walking across the stage once.)

9:10 John Cornyn, head of the NRSC, is up. So far tonight, I’ve hard of Newt being called “an idea guy”, “the man with ideas”, and “an idea factory”. Big lead up to this supposedly clever man.

9:14 There are more minorities in Senate fundraising videos than exist among the funders in this room. Also, apparently Obama has a ruthless regime that tramples freedom and also resembles Jimy Carter’s. Now, Jimmy Carter is many things, but fearsome isn’t one of them.

9:15 Orrin Hatch just spent 20 seconds on his speech. I guess his heart just isn’t in it, poor guy. Now Pete Sessions.

9:18 The mere mention of Bob McDonnel, GOP candidate for Virginia, gets more applause than anyone not named “Palin”. Also apparently Nancy Pelosi is vying with Obama for most feared enemy of the GOP. Pete Sessions is afraid of girl! ;-P

9:20 “The American People realize that we can’t tax, borrow, spend and regulate their way to prosperity”. Look, I like cheap shots as much as anyone, but seriously. Keynesianism isn’t, like, some wild theory. It was in the first economics class I ever took.

9:23 So there’s a montage of Republicans talking about how much they hate the stimulous bill on TV. There was a point where there was a voice over Nancy Pelosi, so that it sounded like she was saying “the biggest spending increse in history”. Neat trick, I guess.

9:25 Paul Ryan. “This is not about Republicans defeating Democrats. THis is not what it’s about. This is a start of an effort to take our country back.” Hm… He should start a conference. He could call it something like “Take Back America” or something. And now for the Europe bashing. And again, Newt is “a man of ideas”. The people here are really clutching onto this guy like he’s their last hope. Now a montage of how awesome Gingrich was in 1994. Newt is the future!

9:30 Newt! “John Voight has given you your battle-cry for the next year and a half”. “Do not tell me it can’t be done is about the best way of thinking of 2012 and 2010 as you can imagine.”

9:37 Newt went on about historical GOP victories, like electing Reagan in California, etc. Now he’s talking about the referendums in California as a harbinger of GOP success. “We must be inclusive and not exclusive”. “I am happy that Dick Cheney is a Republican, but I’m also happy that Colin Powell is a Republican.”

9:41 “I am not a citizen of the world.” Let’s bring on that nationalism! Newt is unhappy that Obama makes speeches that aren’t about the U.S. Apparently the GOP doesn’t like diplomats. Also Newt demands that we reshape our court system so that “one nation under god” go back in the pledge of allegiance. “We are the only country [that declares its rights come from god]”.

9:44 Newt talks about “Christian principles” of the “temple of liberty”. So he wants to be inclusive, except to Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddists, etc?

9:51 Newt really doesn’t like foreigners. Still bashing Europe. Doesn’t like the idea that judges in the US might look to judges who happen to live elsewhere for wisdon.

9:52 Newt keeps pimping this movie he’s in. Well, I guess that’s one way to prove your capitalist bone fides.

9:53 Newt pronounces al qaeda in a foreign accent. OMG HES A TERRIST

9:59 Oh yeah. A while back, Newt mocked civil libertarians. Get that? The GOP idea man doesn’t want you, libertarians.

10:00 Newt’s big idea: Let’s actually teach our children American History. omgbrilliant why didn’t I think of that before?

10:01 Newt: We need to compete with India and China through economics. At least he didn’t say through having bigger nukes. That’s a step forward.

10:04 Newt accuses Jimmy Carter for the Arab Oil Embargo. Apparently he wanted Carter to cave to anti-Semitic / anti-Israel Arab demands . But I thought Republicans loved Israel? *I’m sooo confused!*

10:10 Newt applauds illegal license plate switching. Apparently Obama has a vendetta against both law-abiding citizens and criminals! Further confusion

10:11 Newt mistrusts foreigners and hates their laws, except for when they cut his taxes.

10:12 I’ve heard more references to Jimmy Carter/Ronald Reagan than current events. The future is Newt!

10:14 Newt compares himself to Calvin Coolidge

10:16 Newt wants to burn oil shale, coal, drill for oil, and burn natural gas. If he wants to pollute the atmosphere this much, why did Al Gore put him in that T.V. ad?

10:20 Newt wants to make the EPA more entrepreneurial and innovative. How? Maybe he’ll tell us if we give Republicans more money!

10:21 In the same minute, Newt attacks University professors, then laments that not enough people are going to college. Wait what?

10:23 Education is a civil right. Commends Al Sharpton. Newt is saying good things about education. … and then he blames unions and wants to sell off the education system.

10:24 Newt says that prisoners should be recognized for having dignity and rights. Good!

10:25 “This admnistration would destroy the healthcare system. … I am fundamentally opposed to comparative effectiveness review” . So apparently our system isn’t broken already, and apparently efficiency is bad.

10:26 Sorry, looks like “a washington bureaucrat” is more fearsome than Nancy Pelosi + Barack Obama put together.

10:27 …and it’s over. Time to interview some people. Goodnight all.

8 comments on “At the NRSC/NRCC Senate-House Fundraiser”

  1. Carrie Says:

    John Voight is Angelina Jolie’s father… duh.

    Otherwise, he is not at all noteworthy.

    …Lame.

  2. Jason Paul Says:

    How did you get the press pass?

  3. Leigh Says:

    It’s Bob McDonnell, not McDonnell, learn more about the Virginia Politicians, they (and by they I mean Mark Warner) might be your president someday!

  4. Sahar Says:

    Sorry, you said McDonnell twice. Can you clarify further? I’ll fix it.

  5. Rio Says:

    Love it, thanks! Saved me from another re-run of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Sarah Burris recommended your blog, I’ll be sure to thank her too. Also, it’s Jon Voight, no “h.” Check out “Midnight Cowboy,” sometime.

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Joel (CPL '08) Says:

    Hilarious Sahar. I really don’t know how you got into that one.

  7. Carrie Says:

    It’s just an H, Rio. Embrace the misspelling.

    Besides, one great movie doesn’t make you a great man. However, three great movies does make you James Dean.

  8. Arthur Says:

    Ha, how’d you get credentialed for this? I guess my movement’s really itching for ANY and all coverage.
    Also, why is there still scary rhetoric like,”Also Newt demands that we reshape our court system so that “one nation under god” go back in the pledge of allegiance. “We are the only country [that declares its rights come from god]“.

    9:44 Newt talks about “Christian principles” of the “temple of liberty”. So he wants to be inclusive, except to Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddists, etc?”
    going on?
    Our country needs a huge dose of humanism. Only at the political level, but direly so