“They embrace a culture of defeat…death, and we have to fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” - Karl Rove, in Hendersonville on Saturday, April 28, talking about Democrats or terrorists. I'm not sure which.
179 old white delegates gathered at West Henderson High School to hold their annual 11th district Republican Convention. Every county in the district had a section, and the empty half of the auditorium held the press, the non-delegates, and the Hooligans. Clay County didn't bother sending anyone at all, though an imaginary source told me that they stayed away because Rove's pheromones cause Clay county women to swoon and Clay County men to feel desperate and insecure.
I couldn't be bothered paying too much attention to the election of officers (everyone ran unopposed) or to the business of the convention itself, so Drama Queen and I busied ourselves interviewing the GOP stars on display, Gubernatorial candidate and Senator Fred Smith, Representative Carolyn Justus, D.A. and likely future candidate for Congress Jeff Hunt, former (and future?) candidate for Congress John Armor, former Representative and candidate Keith Presnell, and a fellow who was looking into the effects of all that illegal immigration. The interview vids will be posted over the next couple of days, as will the Rove speech in its boring entirety.
Rove spent the afternoon meeting with local Republicans. He arrived at 12:30 via commercial air, before the Rove protesters had a chance to set up in their free speech zone through the woods and across the street from the venue. The local dailies will have photos up soon, and I'll update this post when they do.
Aside from a little fire and brimstone during the introduction to the Pledge of Allegiance (UNDER GOD!), the scene was stale and torpid until Commandant Rove took the stage. Below are some quotes from The Architect himself:
On his MC Rove performance - "“Long after I have left this Earth, I will be remembered for making a complete fool out of myself."
On Tax and Spend Democrats - “Democrats will balance the budget on the backs of the working man” ... “commitment to raise taxes by 400 billion dollars” ... “If you work in this country, then your taxes are going up.” ... “Raising taxes 500 dollars per child per year.” ... “26 millions small business owners” ... “They’re going to tax you at death”.
“Why are they so anxious to raise taxes? They want to spend it.”
On Bush's fiscal responsibility - "It was tough to go up to hill and say, “we want you to cut back on government spending”. “now that we see a balanced budget on the horizon, they [Dems] want to raise your taxes.”
Quoting Osama bin Laden - “Given the choice between a strong horse and weak horse, people will always choose the strong horse."
On the "pork" in the supplemental - “A war supplemental spending bill should not be an opportunity for bribes.”
On Democrats' efforts to change the course in Iraq - “We have one Constitution, one President, and we should have one foreign policy.”
And my personal favorite - “Our philosophy of government is held by the majority of Americans whether they know it or not, whether they’re aware of it or not.”
Stay tuned for the video highlights, and know that somewhere nearby, Karl Rove is holding forth on the quality of western North Carolina barbecue.
A big Hooligan shout out to David Sawyer, Chair of the 11th District Republicans, who was entirely accomodating, giving us press credentials and access to everything except the back room. Your willingness to invite us is a sign of good faith, and we won't forget it.