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Libertarian Conference Lands Pols, Conspiracy Theorists and Comics

The 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference is rolling into town for a weekend (Feb. 14-16) celebration of freedom, information-sharing and spirited discussion.  

The annual gathering attracts students from around the globe but typically features homegrown speakers and performers who share the same passion for living sans restrictions. House Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky are scheduled to address the youth-oriented gathering, as are Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, veteran newsman John Stossel and former Hill-staffer-turned-comedian Andrew Heaton.  

Heaton, who made light of the congressional grind as bumbling Chief of Staff Elliot Clarice in the satirical Web series “Cap South,” has been tapped to do standup on Saturday night.  

“The federal government is a large, slow-moving target, much like a solitary buffalo on opioids. I’ll be whacking at that some,” he told HOH of his plans for the gathering. But Heaton noted that his material is much broader than what’s typically wrong with Capitol Hill.  

“First, I’m not particularly mean-spirited by nature, so I’d rather make fun of concepts than people,” Heaton said of his big-picture approach to joke writing. Sure, he might lay into Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. for getting all, well, Biden-y (“He strikes me as a genuinely likable person whom I’d happily get drunk with,” Heaton said), but Heaton would rather keep things more “conceptual.”  

Plus, he can’t count on every audience being as inside baseball as those of us who live and die by C-SPAN.  

“Since Saturday will be a group of international students, there’s no guarantee they would pick up on Chuck Schumer references or gems about Sheila Jackson Lee,” Heaton said, referring to New York’s senior Democratic senator and the Texas Democratic House member.  

Not that he’s letting that stop him from putting the finishing touches on a new book of political humor — “Laughter Is Better Than Communism” — that he plans to unveil at the conference.  

“Hopefully a few of the scholars will read it and further irritate their professors!”  he quipped.

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