CPAC 2014 Selects Rand Paul As Candidate Least Likely To Succeed
Well, it hardly seems possible that it’s already been a year since the last time Rand Paul won the CPAC Candidate Least Likely to Succeed pageant but, there you have it. The straws have been counted and Sen. Aqua Buddha is the overwhelming favorite out of a packed field of conservative firebrands and luminaries and a few leftover kooks for old times’ sake . . .
See for yourself:
Not to burst Sen. Paul’s bubble or rain on his victory parade but the results of the CPAC straw poll mean squat in real world politics. Furthermore, I could have saved the American Conservative Union a whole lot of time and money spent pursuing this meaningless outcome by telling them last year around this time, or ditto the year before, what the result would be.
See, for better or worse, CPAC which started in the early ‘70s, has been converted, over the last few years, into a Libertarian Lovefest.
Notwithstanding GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio’s enthusiastic cheerleading:
This is a sampling of people from all 50 states who are at the forefront of the conservative moment.
Well, sorry Tony but you know, and I know, the CPAC straw poll is no such thing. It is, rather, a barometer of what’s going on in the highly exclusive club of earnest young white men, 18-25 years old, with the inflexible intransigence and uncompromising conviction of fresh converts.
I don’t often find myself quoting The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin but she’s right on about what’s happening at CPAC these days:
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about CPAC is that the attendees are not ideologically or demographically representative of the country, the 2014 or 2016 electorate, the GOP or the GOP primary electorate. The attendees are overwhelmingly male, young and doctrinaire conservatives or libertarians. Last year, among those who cast ballots in the straw poll, three-quarters were 40 or younger, with 52 percent between 18 and 25. Two-thirds of the attendees were male.
Many of the young men who make up the audience are, therefore, not terribly experienced political consumers, or frankly experienced in family life, business or other endeavors. Most will have no personal recollection of Ronald Reagan, for example, and no direct knowledge of any presidency prior to Bush 43. What they lack in detailed policy sophistication and historical recollection they make up for in certainty. These are conviction conservatives who have little patience for arguments about electability, compromise or good governance.
Nailed it, Jen!
Furthermore, the ACU knows it and has their hands full trying to correct course before these young yahoos make CPAC completely irrelevant to movement conservatives.
As Molly Ball noted at this year’s event:
. . . oh well, back to the drawing board ACU.
At any rate, Rand Paul is the reigning hero of CPAC 2014 and I suppose that we are free to draw our own conclusions about that, given his track record.
Evidently the young CPAC crowd are not much concerned about civil rights unless it involves tracking their cell phones. Because, as Rand says “. . . permitting private discrimination is “the hard part about believing in freedom.”
And these guys are no shirkers when it comes to “the hard part.”
Neither do they expect to be uncomfortable in a world in which President Paul might execute his proposal to . . .
. . . cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year . . . cutting the Department of Education by 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul’s proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aid would be eliminated.
Because . . . TOTES BALANCED BUDGET!
And, I guess they’re down with a guy who takes liberties with appropriating others’ ideas as long as it’s for Liberty!
It took Michele Bachmann, though, to tap into the rich vein of monomaniacal zealotry permeating CPAC:
In her remarks to the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told the assembled crowd that the Tea Party and conservative movements will triumph over progressivism because of the right’s unstoppable intellectual firepower.
“You see our movement at its core is an intellectual movement,” she said from the CPAC podium. “We are based on the greatest ideas ever conceived in the mind of man. And I would put those magnificent ideas up against any other idea for freedom in the world.”
In the words of a commenter at Huffington Post:
It’s so cute how they take themselves so seriously.