I missed most of Michael Steele’s excellent address, unfortunately, as I scrambled to get some lunch before Michelle took the stage.  I’m hoping that Americans for Prosperity will have the video of it available on its website soon.  His call to action and sacrifice on behalf of conservative principles had a deep impact on the gathering, and it reminded us of why we value Steele.  He expertly mixed the personal, the philosophical, and the political.  Steele urged all of us to go tell the story of our cause.  “This is our moment,” Steele insists, and we can still seize it.

Michelle followed Steele after a brief awards ceremony.  Introduced as a “hero to the blogging community” and a “leading voice of the Right on line,”  she got a standing ovation from the audience as soon as she appeared on stage.  She started off by ripping Wesley Clark and defending John McCain.  No, really!  Clark had thanked the Netroots Nation for defending him against the “right-wing freak machine”, and she had a lot of fun with his idea that “drawing chalk flowcharts for ACORN” is better preparation for President than leading the largest squadron in the Navy.

The primary concern for these activists, Michelle says, is to defend what’s Right — and what’s right.  Sometimes that means sometimes opposing people who are purportedly on our side, and especially those who say we need to be more like the Left in tactics and strategy.  “I reject the MSM narrative,” Michelle stated, on the importance of campaign fundraising, especially since the advent of the blogosphere.

Before the New Media, rejection letters were the rule for writers and opiners.  Thanks to the Internet, self-publishing has set us free from elitist “gatekeepers” who decide what opinions are worthy of publication.  That has democratized political thought and allowed conservatives to bypass the MSM filter.

“There should be no self-esteem crisis among the right-wing blogosphere,” Michelle told the audience.  We have a long string of policy and media victories, and don’t need to apologize for anything.  It was mostly the right-wing blogosphere who promoted the Move America Forward telethon that raised over $1.5 million for soldiers in war zones, three times the original goal.  Gathering of Eagles, Protest Warriors, American Sheepdogs — conservatives are doers, not just talkers.

We don’t need a change of tactics — we just need more conservatives to engage.  Hit hard, hit fast, hit often.  Regardless of how many readers each of us have, each blog post helps defend this Constitutional republic.