The mainstream press continues to rant about the divisions in the Republican Party and the bodacious behavior among certain conservatives. But those very same conservatives will soon gather in a show of unity and resolve, boasting an all-star lineup. Lest critics forget, the Values Voter Summit is scheduled for mid-October in the nation’s capital, and the tenacious heavyweights are ready to rumble, whether journalists pay attention or not.
Among the speakers at the two-day event: Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina, along with Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Louie Gohmert and Scott Turner of Texas, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
Also among those headed for the podium: Ben Carson, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint plus Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Allen B. West, and media mavens Glenn Beck and Mark Levin.
Organized by the Family Research Council, the summit also will feature a straw poll of likely and potential GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential race. This year’s motto: “faith, family and opportunity for all.”
FIXATED ON WENDY and TED
In the wake of the aforementioned Mr. Cruz’s epic speech before Congress this week, media analysis ran rampant among news organizations eager to compare Mr. Cruz with Wendy Davis, the Texas state lawmaker who staged an 11-hour pro-choice filibuster before her own state legislature in June.
It was almost too easy. The comparison between the two Lone Star lawmakers fixated the press for a time, producing close to 2,500 mentions in news accounts according to Google News. The mainstream press either vilified, mocked or dismissed Mr. Cruz, accusing him of either grandstanding, or staging a “faux-i-buster.” After her filibuster, Ms. Davis was framed in a sympathetic role as a legitimate heroine in cute, pink tennis shoes.
The oddest comparison may have come from USA Today, which examined the bathroom visitation challenges faced by both speakers, uncomfortably noting that Ms. Davis “reportedly wore a urinary catheter” during her speech. Yes, well. Way too much information.
Meanwhile, such unlikely sources as Politico and The Atlantic delicately admitted — with conditions and explainers — that there was, uh, liberal bias favoring Ms. Davis in the extensive coverage following her speech three months ago.
“You can forgive conservatives for being upset with the mainstream media’s coverage of the Cruz affair. When a Democrat, like Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, filibusters against abortion restrictions, she is elevated to hero status, her tennis shoes become totems,” wrote Dylan Byers, media analyst for Politico. “When Cruz grandstands against Obamacare, he is a laughingstock in the eyes of many journalists on Twitter, an ‘embarrassment’ in the eyes of The New York Times editorial board.”
GORE’S NEW TOPIC
No, it is not climate change this time. Former Vice President Al Gore will be in Washington in the next 24 hours, but he is not toting any movies of beleaguered polar bears or violent weather events. Well, not that we know of. Instead, Mr. Gore may try to reinvent government. On Friday morning, he headlines the launch of the Center for Effective Public Management, a new research entity at the Brookings Institute.
The focus, the organization says, is to identify the “political and governance challenges in 21st century America.” Well, OK. Restoring civility and underscoring practicality, frugality and common sense values might help, but no matter.
We shall see what Mr. Gore comes up with, now that he has jettisoned Current TV, his old cable news channel and written a book about global problems.
Organizers say Mr. Gore will deliver a keynote address centered on “his own views on government reinvention and tackling American governance challenges.” Curious? Register to view a live broadcast here: Brookings.edu