Update from Smart Girl Summit 2010

Before I tuck into a glass of milk for the night (I’ll save the brandy for tomorrow, thank you; I’m early to bed for media tomorrow) I want to share with you some of the highlights from my day.

This morning I kicked off the 2010 Smart Girl Summit by speaking on conservative feminism. I’ve written about reclaiming and repurposing the word (which does away with its power nowadays used as a weapon) as such:

… popularly-defined feminism isn’t about liberating women from the patriarchy but about beholding them to a political party whose policies clearly impact women negatively … Right-thinking feminism is liberation of women from that.

I also spoke on a panel about grassroots activism filled with lovely activists and moderated by Liberty Central’s Ginni Thomas. Afterwards, PJTV’s live coverage.

Interview with Liz Cheney. Incredible woman with an unmatched insight into foreign policy:

Click image for video

I’ve been streaming live for PJTV all afternoon and today interviewed Kerry Picket of the Washington TimesSonnie Johnson (fellow cast mate from “Fire From the Heartland”), Marjorie Dannenfelser with the Susan B. Anthony List, the lovely Karen Harrington who’s challenging Debbie “the economy is fine” Wasserman Schultz, ACORN whistle-blower Anita MonCrief, President of Smart Girl Politics Stacy Mott, Ginni Thomas (love her) of Liberty Central, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who I’ve always found to be incredibly gracious and accommodating.

Watch PJTV as these archived interviews will post soon.

Some photos. Haven’t had a chance to take any myself because when I wasn’t talking or chugging coffee (I screwed myself by forgetting that I lost an hour of sleep due to time zone) I was holding the PJTV mic.

Photo courtesy @RuBegonia

Talking “Fire From the Heartland” with Rep. Bachmann. She is positively tiny:

Photo courtesy Citizens United

Hit for AC360 at CNN’s Washington bureau:

Photo by Chris

I also had the pleasure of speaking with the Armchair Energist and Fingers Malloy with FTR Radio. Wicked fun.

Amazing day, inspiring ladies, fantastic organization. Day two tomorrow.

More photos, video, etc. to come.

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Right Nation Recap

– Friday’s event on behalf of For the Good of Illinois with Andrew Breitbart was a blast.

– Saturday I spoke about conservative feminism with Teri O’Brien.

– Saturday night at the Beck event I caught union/OFA-sponsored lefty protesters spitting on Breitbart, others, and calling him a “homo.” The theme of the protest was, ironically, “stop the hate.” Some of the protesters couldn’t even tell us who (Glenn Beck) was speaking inside. They all filed into three buses after. There has been no condemnation of the spitting or slurs from OFA.

More soon … Fox’s “America’s Newsroom,” a taping for Bret Baier after, and another hit this evening.

Beck to Tea Party: No More Costumes

And of course Olbermann is having a field day with it.

I can’t say that I agree with Glenn Beck on his recent decree that tea partiers should stop wearing costumes and the like to rallies. Keith Olbermann recently featured my husband’s tongue-in-cheek quasi fictions rock band, The Sounding Fathers, in a video montage wherein he criticized Beck’s newfound insistence that ralliers leave the costumes and signs and dress “normally.” What Olbermann doesn’t get is that The Sounding Fathers, who played a set of liberty-infused rock like Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” was entertainment. Rallies of that size are entertainment first and politics second.

What Beck doesn’t seem to get is that it was this stuffed shirt reserve that made conservatism look uncool in the first place. People are finally discovering that conservatism is truly counter culture, rebellious, anti-excessive authority, James Dean, so don’t demand that folks go all pants-suit and abandon the implements which made this movement fun, attractive, and mainstream.

Conservatives lost ground in academics because they gave it up. They lost ground and completely ceded arts and entertainment because they thought themselves above it. They almost ceded social media, were it not for the #dontgo movement. Now you want to take what has been a successful grassroots movement and morph it into a watered-down country club style-protest? I may be exaggerating, but is it not also exaggeration of some extent to focus so much attention on whether or not someone wears a costume to an event? Beck acts like it’s akin to a furry convention instead of a few people here and there.

Who says political revolutions have to be stuffy and solemn? Who appointed an arbitrator to decide what is or is not acceptable dress, performance in what is a self-policing movement? Beck isn’t talking about the rare, if not planted, signs at events here.

Beck says:

I’m saying that maybe it’s time to lose — oh, I don’t know — the Statue of Liberty costume, you know?

Maybe no more dressing up, you know, with Abe Lincoln or, you know, putting the foam finger on your head or something like or the “Obama is a socialist” T-shirt. You might want to put it back in the drawer and let me explain why.

[…]

It’s very important that you understand the image — the image. Do what you want to do, but when you dust off the Statue of Liberty costume and wear it to a rally, guess who gets plastered on the front page of the news? You. And this is a problem.

I was in Seattle about a year ago and there were 10,000 people there. And as I was leaving, I saw somebody who was wearing a Statue of Liberty outfit. And I thought to myself, that’s going to be the one person they pick — just to make you look like you’re crazy. Guess what was in the Seattle P.I. the next morning? That one person.

[…]

And as much as my daughter says, “Dad, I don’t care what people say about my clothing” — well, other people do. Other people do. Don’t give the media even a chance to typecast you.

Why, after all of these months of Beck telling his audience not to measure their success by liberal media accounts does he suddenly backtrack and tell people not to dress up else liberal media will put you on the front page of a publication that no one reads anyway? The media typecasted conservatives BEFORE the movement or a few people in costume, they will continue to do it AFTER because why? They don’t like what we believe or who we are. Period. They typecast us for wanting limited government, for wanting to privatize social security, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I’ll tell you, you know what aides in this typecasting? Beck inadvertently assisting this narrative with the above.

The majority of Americans ALREADY identify more with the tea party than congress. They already think we have a better understanding of the issues. The majority of Americans ALREADY define the Democrats’ agenda as extreme. If this shows anything, it shows that the typecasting doesn’t work. It hasn’t been working for a long time, so why throw them a bone by encouraging people to be less … excited about grassroots?

The directive completely contradicts some hidden ethos of a movement inspired by, in part, a desire for more individual liberty.

I’ve met Beck, I’ve hosted an event for him here in my city when he came in for Bold/Fresh. He’s a genuinely nice guy, but on this, I must disagree. Make the revolution fun, betray the conservative stereotype, don’t feed it.