According to Dave Weigel, writing at Colorado Independent sister site in DC, some of the top dogs of the conservative establishment gathered in a historic mansion near George Washington’s Mount Vernon to sign a new statement of conservative values. The so-called Mount Vernon Statement was reproduced as an oversize faux Declaration of Independence-style document. Key people in attendance took turns solemnly signing the original. There was a guy dressed up as George Washington there, too, to underline the seriousness of the event.
Ceremony attendees 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.
From Weigel’s account:
On the country road up to house, cars bearing “Bob McDonnell 2009″ and “Question Al Gore’s Authority” bumper stickers jostled for spaces along grimy snow banks… 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!”
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.”
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.” …
Colin Hanna, the honey-voiced president of Let Freedom Ring, 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.”
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.”