More than 2,000 activists packed the Crystal City Gateway Marriott this weekend for the annual "Americans for Prosperity" meeting. It is a football weekend in the most beautiful time of the fall, but these folks were in a vast ballroom on Saturday morning cheering Newt, Jim DeMint, Stephen Moore, Ed Morrissey, John Fund, Herman Cain and the always energy-and-enthusiasm generating Larry Kudlow as each in turn spelled out the details of the sharp left lurch the country has taken in the past nine months.
Americans for Prosperity was founded by, among others, David Koch and is ably guided by, among others, Tim Phillips. As Koch and Phillips chatted with guests and members throughout the morning, their confident smiles telegraphed that the surge in their membership and their reach is continuing. With a seasoned field staff and a dynamic group of young volunteers and headquarters professionals, AFP is filling a gap that exists on the right in the space between the think tanks, web portals and the GOP party apparatus. This is the sort of para-party organization that the Democrats benefited from during their wilderness years, and the appearance of a AFP as a major force in conservative circles marks a key moment in the renewal of the conservative movement.
So to does the rise of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a new PAC founded by South Carolina's DeMint. "SCF is a political action committee dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate," the PAC's website declares. "We do not support liberal Republicans and we are not affiliated with any Republican campaign committee."
The declaration of purpose continues: "SCF seeks to bring bold conservative leadership to Washington by supporting only the most rock-solid, conservative candidates nationwide -- candidates who believe in the principles of limited government, strong national defense, and traditional family values."
The Fund is off to an incredibly strong fundraising start though of course it can use more, especially from small dollar donors who will help build the organizations reach just as AFP has built. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been deeply damaged by its past support for some very unusual Republicans, chief among them the nutty Lincoln Chaffee. John Cornyn of Texas is rebuilding the brand, and the defection of Arlen Specter to his new team made Cornyn's life much easier, but the opportunity for conservatives to invest in a PAC as focused on electing only conservatives will be welcomed by many donors who simply refuse to fund pro-choice Republicans for example, or senators who are willing to vote for portions of Obamacare when the vast weight of American opinion is against it in total.
The success of AFP and the Fund are just two more indications that a tide is building in reaction to the presidents twin agendas of apologies abroad and power at home. The retreat from Poland and the Czech Republic and the fecklessness on Afghanistan makes large numbers of Americans queasy over the new president's grasp of the nature of our enemies. When France has flanked us on the right as it has vis-a-vis Iran the concerns over the president's unfolding appeasement policies skyrockets.
At home the failure of the stimulus to do anything except grow government is manifest in another surge of unemployment, and GM's continuing collapse even as other car companies steady underscores the opinion of the marketplace on the wisdom of the president's takeover of a once private car company. The president may succeed in jamming down some sort of health care bill, but an army of walkers and artificial knees is already organizing its payback to Democrats for the massive cuts to Medicare.
The Alinksyites at the heart of the new Administration's political operation don't want to admit any concern over the coalescing counter-revolution, but their feigned indifference to the president's plummeting poll numbers shouldn't fool anyone. Their nonchalance makes sense as there isn't much they can do to halt the deep seated, deeply felt revulsion at the president's radical agenda on spending and the growth of government power. This isn't a leftist country, or even center-left, no matter how many MSMers believe it is. Opposition to the president isn't based on his race, it isn't fueled by hatred, and it doesn't threaten to do anything other than organize and vote --legally, not the ACORN way for that matter.
Next year's AFP gathering will be even bigger, its organization even more completely developed, and the Senate Conservatives Fund's coffer will be full of contributions from Americans eager to restore balance to an unbalanced capitol. Thirteen months to go, and the energy is building.