Off to CPAC to see what’s up

I’ll be heading down to the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington, DC for a one-day visit on Friday. While I’m down there, I look forward to hearing from (and maybe interviewing?) the authors of a new book on Kermit Gosnell and his crimes. That’s one book-signing I’ll stand in line for.

Yes, the President will be speaking, but as longtime readers know, that’s not something for which I’d travel to Washington. I’m going for the lower-profile events. I know from other CPACs that the most worthwhile material comes not from the big names but from the lesser-known speakers, from the conversations in the hallways, and from the breakout sessions.

The tweeting and Instagramming will commence as soon as I’m off the train Friday morning and will continue until I get back to South Station 24 hours later. Those so inclined are welcome to follow along at @leaven4theloaf.

Some notes from my trips to earlier CPACs: Ten Hours at CPAC (2015), Notes from CPAC 2014, Encountering New Faces and Old Friends (2013)

Taking a field trip to CPAC

Author Eric Metaxas signing books at CPAC '14. The CPAC on-site bookstore is a treat.
Author Eric Metaxas signing books at CPAC ’14. The CPAC on-site bookstore is a treat.

I’ll be heading down to Washington tomorrow for a much-too-short one-day stop at the Conservative Political Action Conference. That’s like trying to do Disney World in a day. As I’ve done during the past two CPACs, I’ll be listening for how candidates address (or ignore) the right to life. Americans United for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List will be offering presentations away from the main stage.

I’ll be tweeting and Instagramming (both @leaven4theloaf) plus posting to Facebook on Friday, with full posts to follow.  I hope you’ll join me online.


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Posts from CPAC ’13: day 1, day 2, day 3, photo gallery, & Eric Metaxas’s excellent speech on religious liberty and the Obamacare contraceptive mandate

Posts from CPAC ’14: day 1, day 2, and my free advice for anyone planning to take a trip to CPAC


CPAC’14 preliminary schedule shows little about the life issues

CPAC 2014 is less than two weeks away: probably the biggest gathering of conservatives (not all of them pro-life) you’re likely to find outside a party convention. My media credential is printed and ready to be packed. A preliminary list of topics for the main-stage and breakout sessions came out today.

Note the parenthetical phrase in the preceding paragraph.

At last year’s CPAC, I listened to Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life and Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, and I watched an early screening of 3801 Lancasterand I heard mainstage speakers like Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas take on  “social issues” with gusto.

Well, at least Metaxas and Carson will be back this year.

This year’s schedule so far includes presentations and panels on Obamacare, the role of the executive branch vis-a-vis the legislative branch, the economy and immigration. I can attend sessions about marijuana legalization, privacy issues, criminal justice reform, Common Core, conservatism within the entertainment industry, entrepreneurism, and social media.

Life and religious liberty haven’t made the cut yet. There’s nothing listed about the HHS mandate, with a Supreme Court ruling on it due within a few months. This is an odd omission. “Expect additions and changes in the coming days,” says the schedule. Let’s hope so.

I do see a scheduled panel entitled “Why Conservatism is Right for Women: how conservatives should talk about life, prosperity, and national security.”  I devoutly hope no one from the RNC – at least, no one who was on the RNC in 2012 – will be on that panel to try to explain how conservatives should talk about life.

The truth remains that not every pro-lifer is conservative, and not every conservative is pro-life. Undoubtedly, some of CPAC’s mainstage speakers will seize the opportunity to put life and religious liberty up there where they belong. It’s interesting, though, to see what’s on the agenda so far.