‘Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Country to Save!’

By
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Outside of the Collingwood Library and Museum, a stately home a few miles down the highway from Washington, D.C. — and a few miles north of Mount Vernon — dozens of conservative activists gathered to witness the introduction and signing of the Mount Vernon Statement. On the country road up to the house, cars bearing “Bob McDonnell 2009″ and “Question Al Gore’s Authority” bumper stickers jostled for spaces along grimy snow banks. The cars emptied out and their occupants strolled up to the estate ready to hear some of the movement’s longtime leaders roll out a one-page “statement for the 21st century” of conservative values.

National Tax Limitation Committee President Lew Uhler Poses with the Mount Vernon Statement and George Washington impersonator James Manship

National Tax Limitation Committee President Lew Uhler Poses with the Mount Vernon Statement and George Washington impersonator James Manship (Photo by David Weigel)

The ceremony was moved into a small building set apart from the main house. Inside, a George Washington impersonator, James Manship, made the rounds as conservative activists shook hands and caught up with one another. They included Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots and Robert Bluey of the Heritage Foundation. In the press section sat R. Emmett Tyrrell, editor of the American Spectator, John Fund, political columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and Mark Tapscott, opinion editor of the Washington Examiner. I asked Tyrrell what, if anything, was new or politically impactful about this statement.

“We’ve said this for 50 years, and we’re saying it again.” said Tyrrell. “We don’t have to update anything!”

Shortly after 2:30, the signatories of the statement — including former Attorney General Ed Meese, Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins –  lined up on a stage alongside a blown-up version of the statement. Meese rhapsodised about how far the movement had come since the 1960 Sharon Statement crafted by some of the same people in the room today — it now included, he said, “people of various minority groups.”

“If he were here, Ronald Reagan would be among first to sign the Mount Vernon statement,” said Meese. “Indeed, Ronald Reagan named the framers or the founding fathers more than his nine predecessors combined.”

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America led the audience in a prayer, asking God to “equip us and guide us as we strive to advance constitutional principles.” And the ceremony kept that high level of pomp. Colin Hanna, the honey-voiced president of Let Freedom Ring, lectured the crowd on the history of conservative mission statements, crediting William F. Buckley with the most eloquent ones.

“Of course,” said Hanna, “William F. Buckley used Latin as a conversational language!”

Hanna read through the Sharon statement and argued that it remained relevant, if one replaced key words. “Communism — or today we would substitute the word ‘terrorism’ — must be defeated, not simply contained.”

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online offered up more links between this “historic” event and the conservatives of the past. “Not just here today, but around the nation, we’re seeing people do what Bill Buckley did in that first issue of National Review.” Lopez waved a facsimile of the issue. “I had to do show and tell. We have them around the office.”

Heritage Foundation president Ed Fuelner was given the task of reading out the statement, word for word. As he did so, Manship — the George Washington impersonator — nodded at key phrases like “tyrants and despots everywhere.”

“We must print out the statement’s text on our journals, our magazines and our blog posts,” said Fuelner. “We must distribute the video of today’s ceremony. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a country to save!”

Before attendees signed the document under Manship/Washington’s watchful eye, they got a special live message from radio host and author Mark Levin, who appeared on a large projection screen over the stage.

“I want to thank the media,” said Levin. “I see them all against the wall there. We’re saving or creating a nation, here.”

Levin lectured the room briefly on the importance of fighting “pseudo-conservatives” and the greatness of Ed Meese, whom Levin said respected the Constitution, “unlike the current attorney general, who never mentions the Constitution.” To the “pseudo-conservatives” he issued a warning: “It’s our turn. We’ve had about enough of you. We’re going to take you on and it’s time to defeat you.”

When Levin wrapped, the attendees lined up to sign the document, then hobnobbed with each other and a small group of reporters. Some hung around to take photos with the blown-up statement — a few grabbed Manship/Washington to pose with them.

“Whoever did this needs to do some more research,” said Manship/Washington, pointing at the giant paper sharing the photo with him. “The kerning’s too close.”

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Comments

31 Comments

tft
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

Love your stuff.


mepmep09
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

Thanks goodness John Fund was there. I hope he staked out the coffee pot.*

*{Leans in, whispers} Word on the street was that ACORN was plotting to sabotage this event by replacing the Maxwell House with grindings from free-trade shade-grown beans produced by aboriginal coffee farmers.


gnarlytrombone
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

The Washington impersonator also does Napoleon on weekends.


uberVU - social comments
Trackback posted February 17, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by TWI_news: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Country to Save!’ http://bit.ly/bjvCQg...


Itchy
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

I've wanted to lose a few pounds recently — these patriots are refreshingly nauseating.


strangely_enough
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

…full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


itchy_is_a_pussy
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

hey itchy you must be one of those fucking pussies that would roll over and let the british kick your faggot little ass had your pathetic excuse of a life been around in 1776. Go fuck yourself maggot. Nothing but a fucking Pussy.


el_donaldo
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

American History F


Itchy
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

u fondle your mother with those typing fingers?


stillamerican
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

All of the liberal websites and news media want to dismiss the Mount Vernon Statement as silly or right wing extremist, but they never read the document or post it. The reason for that is if people read the Mt. Vernon Statement they will realize that what they are reading is just simply American values and principles.
The vast majority of Americans will agree with every word of it so the liberal media doesnt dare expose their audience to it. It sort of chrystalizes conservatism in a concise form and shows it to be American traditional values and common sense.


mardod
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

The media have been posting the document in its entirety repeatedly today.


mardod
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

At some point you have to start questions when all this dress up counts as cosplay or not.


‘If he were here, Ronald Reagan would be among the first to sign the Mount Vernon statement’ | Pure Politics
Pingback posted February 17, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

[...] impersonator — nodded at key phrases like ‘tyrants and despots everywhere.’” [Washington Independent/Photo by Dave [...]


Holy Cow
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

I wonder why they didn't sign it at the Slave Memorial? 1776 being so great and all.


mookworthjwilson
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

I hear the original text had a 3/5 of a person provision…


gwstatesmanship
Comment posted February 17, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

Washington/Manship did not say more “research” was needed, he said a better typographer or printer was needed. Look at the printed statement wherever the word “America's” is typed, you will see the “a's” are almost overlap each other. Possibly this is intended to look like “old-style” sort-of 1776 style type, but it does not come off clearly.

Manship comes from Grandparents who founded Conger Printing Company in Atlanta that printed Arts Atlanta Magazine and a proclamation for of all people– LBJ!

And I lived in Newport Rhode Island for a time as a boy and my grandparents were from Massachusetts and Ohio, but remember that Rhode Island “boycotted” the Constitution Convention because it feared that slavery would be outlawed by the new Constitution (and importation was, 20 years later per Article I, Section 9…) Brown University was founded by money from a Slave Trader.

The NORTHERN states were the ones that put in the 3/5 vote provision for black persons to diminish the voting power of southern states.

Myself included, we have all been brainwashed by the curriculum in Government schools. Fortunately, if not numbed from the school indoctrination, we can read true history…


chagrined
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 4:18 am

What a reminder of the tragic character, William Buckley, a racist ingrate, a first-generation American who tried so hard to make himself relevant in America – he did, in the most negative way! English was his third language! (William F. Buckley, Sophisticated Racist by Paul Rosenberg.) When my (5-greats) grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, there were no Italians, no Jews, no Irish Catholics, no Asians fighting for our Democracy but there were African Americans, our most patriotic citizens. Among our founders, there were no Irish Catholics, no Jews, no Asians, no Italians, no Cubans, etc. As a tenth-generation American whose relative, John Hart, signed the Declaration of Independence and my (5-greats) grandfather was a hero in the Revolutionary War, such comedy by Conservatives ingrates is a sad reminder of the colossal mistake we made by allowing immigration to America after 1800.

When Alexis de Tocqueville wrote DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA , translated into English in 1835, he wrote about a democracy created by Protestants and Deists for Protestants and Deists. The Conservatives, Ed Meese, Bill Buckley, Grover Norquist, Brent Bozell, Tony Perkins and others, would make him weep ! With immigration of the 'little' people, the 'potato' people, the 'crazy' people and the 'great unwashed' comes a lack of civility and respect for our Democracy and Constitutional freedoms for which so many sacrificed so much!

The Mount Vernon Statement by insidious ingrates is synonymous with those for whom the 'Vulgarization of America,' Mark Levin should be reminded that Hitler offered six million Jews to any country that would take them – non obliged. The current attorney general's people fought, sacrificed and died for our Constitution. Mark Levin's people have contributed to our Democracy only in the most negative way. The financial meltdown on Wall Street has cause the suffering of over a billion people around the globe and Jews and Wall Street are synonymous!

Thomas Jefferson advised that the greatest threat to our Democracy is “ignorance!” Thomas Jefferson believed that our nation's survival as an independent democracy absolutely depended upon its success in educating the people. He understood “that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, that knowledge is happiness. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” These Conservatives represent the 'ignorance' about which Thomas Jefferson warned! Ignorance is eroding our freedom ! Conservatives are inflicting a greater terror on America with 'ignorance' than any enemy of this country. Considering Thomas Jefferson's warning, survival of our democracy is in peril!

Ignorance and Conservatives are synonymous! Patriotism and Conservatives are not synonymous! If these Conservatives are too fragile for our Democracy for which we fought, sacrificed and died, they should return to the country from which their people emigrated! Bon Voyage


Matthew Yglesias » The Sharon Statement
Pingback posted February 18, 2010 @ 8:26 am

[...] was reading Dave Weigel’s article on yesterday’s loopy right-wing event at Mount Vernon and was interested to read a glancing reference to William F Buckley’s 1960 Sharon Statement. [...]


specialistg
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 11:11 am

“We’ve said this for 50 years, and we’re saying it again.” said Tyrrell. “We don’t have to update anything!”

Let's see over the last 50 years these “conservatives” have said:

“Integrating lunch counters in the South will lead to social chaos”

“Smoking doesn't cause cancer”

“Raising the minimum wage (in '92 and previously) will bankrupt the economy”

“Remove lead from gasoline and cars won't work”

“CFCs don't harm the atmosphere and even if they did, we'd never have spray cheese without them”

“AIDS is God's revenge on the gays”

“Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction”

“Flouridation of drinking water is a socialist conspiracy”

“If we just deregulate the banking industry, it will function more efficiently”

“Barack Obama was born in Kenya”

“Women serving in the military will erode morale”

If I dress up like Biz Markie in the “Just A Friend” video, do you think I could get some of these teabaggers to sign a document with the above statements, or does being a “conservative” require you to have a really, really short memory?


carbonpaper
Comment posted February 18, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

I see you don't like pussy. Cock more your thing?


carbonpaper
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:08 am

I see you don't like pussy. Cock more your thing?


borderraven
Comment posted March 10, 2010 @ 11:00 am

Is it possible Barack Hussein Obama II, was born in Kenya, and the birth was later recorded in Honolulu?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28068666/Timeline-Oba…


ellid
Comment posted March 10, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

Is it possible that Borderraven is so starved for attention that he'll post his own timeline everywhere and declare it a new discovery? God knows he isn't starved physically.


borderraven
Comment posted March 10, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

Is it possible Barack Hussein Obama II, was born in Kenya, and the birth was later recorded in Honolulu?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/28068666/Timeline-Oba…


ellid
Comment posted March 10, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

Is it possible that Borderraven is so starved for attention that he'll post his own timeline everywhere and declare it a new discovery? God knows he isn't starved physically.


LV handbags
Comment posted August 12, 2010 @ 3:34 am

If I dress up like Biz Markie in the “Just A Friend” video, do you think I could get some of these teabaggers to sign a document with the above statements, or does being a “conservative” require you to have a really, really short memory?


LV handbags
Comment posted August 12, 2010 @ 3:34 am

If I dress up like Biz Markie in the “Just A Friend” video, do you think I could get some of these teabaggers to sign a document with the above statements, or does being a “conservative” require you to have a really, really short memory?


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Comment posted August 27, 2010 @ 10:04 am

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Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

The reason for that is if people read the Mt. Vernon Statement they will realize that what they are reading is just simply American values and principles.
The vast majority of Americans will agree with every word of it so the liberal media doesnt dare expose their audience to it.


Canada Goose Jackets
Comment posted October 14, 2010 @ 9:39 am

In Texas, we have a name for this kind of a contest, which I won't say here (but it begins with the letter “p”). It's all about pride and the ego of the leaders of each group. Everyone wants to take credit, rather than just get the job done. I follow both groups and think that both are of value. It's just a fact of life that those who are able to get such successful groups off the ground are just going to have big egos. But, as the movement grows and joining together becomes beneficial,


pandora besds
Comment posted November 6, 2010 @ 8:36 am

It perchance a warm pair of copper loops combined with a dozen copper bangles, that finishes your look or maybe it s a pair of pink stretch ear-studs paired with a pink shoulder bag in combination with your black dress.


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