By Leslie Jorgensen
THE COLORADO STATESMAN
Republican Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann headlined the opening dinner of the Western Conservative Summit 2010 that debuted last weekend at the Denver Marriot South — and made headway in rallying the troops for a revolution.
The price tag of the progressive agenda pushed by “President Barack Hussein Obama, we can say that now,” declared Bachmann said, will enslave Americans and future generations. Worse, she warned, the majority of the national debt, predicted to reach $19.6 trillion by 2015, will be owned by foreigners.
Among the quotes citing slavery that Bachmann read was an excerpt of a letter written by Founding Father John Jay in 1775.
“We are determined to live free or not all. And we are solved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world,” wrote Jay, encouraging settlers in Canada to join the American colonies in opposition to England.
After reading quotes attributed to Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren, Bachmann said she planned to discuss “what has transpired over the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves.”
Bachmann’s inference to Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress was clearly understood — and applauded — by the more than 600 people attending the kickoff dinner for the July 9-11 Summit sponsored by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University.
Her speech was laced with Biblical scriptures, Founding Fathers’ quotes, slams at Democrats and Republicans in name only (RINOs), warnings of economic disaster and humor.
“I didn’t come here to be Debbie downer from Minnesota,” said Bachmann.
She wondered aloud why the Centennial Institute had invited anyone to speak from a state that spawned former Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and U.S. Senators Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone and Al Franken.
“What were you people thinking?” asked Bachmann. The crowd answered in gales of laughter.
The congresswoman said her message to conservative Coloradans is the hope that “we remain one nation under God here in the United States of America.”
She vowed to yank the gavel away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, kick Senate President Harry Reid out to join the 10 percent of unemployed Americans and limit Obama to a single presidential term.
“He’s falling like a rock,” declared Bachmann of Obama’s waning popularity among independent voters that were critical to his election in 2008.
The audience burst into cheers and applause.
As for a Republican presidential contender, Bachmann sounded like she was ready to form a campaign committee to draft Colorado Christian University President and former U.S. Senator Bill Armstrong.
“Get ready Bill Armstrong, get ready!” said Bachmann.
Armstrong later said that he’s happy with his presidential role at CCU.
Bachmann implored the audience to embody the spirit of 1776, to “unite” and elect “constitutional conservatives” to Congress in November. She warned that voters can’t just elect Republicans because they, in turn, can’t be trusted to elect “constitutional conservatives” to leadership positions in the House and Senate.
Pending the outcome of the November election, she said, the country will either slide further into economic decline or turn the tide to ensure economic stability, liberty and restore Constitutional values.
To sum up Bachmann’s view of the nation at a crossroads, she quoted C. S. Lewis.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
The congresswoman called for ending illegal immigration, limiting “foreign entanglements,” cutting spending, eliminating welfare except for the truly needy, reforming Social Security, reducing the business tax, suspending the capital gains tax for five years and eliminating the “death tax.”
“I’m writing a bill right now to repeal ‘Obamacare’,” declared Bachmann of the federal health care measure. “It’s three words — repeal that sucker!”
She said conservative Constitutionalist members of Congress are writing “the mother of repeals bill” to undo every measure put in place under Pelosi.
The audience jumped to their feet and boisterously applauded.
“American people have to cherish the miracle of America,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann’s ambitious goals obviously pleased the crowd and rekindled their “revolutionary” spirits. Several Republicans ranked the congresswoman’s speech and presence more impressive than former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Kendal Unruh, a Republican activist from Douglas County, and Lynne Cottrell from Arapahoe County, said Bachmann demonstrated greater depth of understanding the issues facing America — and her humor was more lighthearted.
The Summit featured presentations by notable conservative leaders including talk show host and author Dennis Prager, political consultant and author Dick Morris, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Boykin, Colorado Senator Greg Brophy, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, Fox news contributor and author Michelle Malkin, Center for Security Policy Founder and President Frank Gaffney and Colorado’s 6th District Congressman Tom Tancredo.
The three-day conservative confab drew more than twice the anticipated 300 attendees. Heard like echoes in the ballroom and hallways, “Next year, you need a bigger venue for the summit!”