NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND, February 28, 2015 — On Thursday, the conservative family got together for vigorous discussions and serious policy forums. By Friday, the most dysfunctional element of the conservative coalition continued its assault on civility in the name of some warped concept of liberty.
The Paulbots are back, and as badly behaved as ever.
Any criticism of this toxic movement leads to the inevitable backlash. So what? Paulbots scream and yell when people disagree with them, stay neutral, or even mind their own business. With Ron Paul off in another ozone somewhere, his son is now carrying the torch for the only political basket-cases not aligned with the hard left.
With their “Stand with Rand (Paul)” signs, the libertarians were once again determined to make CPAC an episode of Animal House mixed in with Barbarians at the Gate.
The scenario was a familiar one. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was addressing the crowd. He represents the establishment, which the Paulbots despise. Some of them stood up during Bush’s speech and began shouting.
They led a walkout, acting as if this symbolic act accomplished anything. Then in the hallway they began chanting “USA” over and over in case anyone in the entire hotel was unaware as to where they were. Perhaps the chants were a long overdue celebration of the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic Gold Medal hockey game.
Paulbots will most likely complain that a few bad apples should not spoil their entire movement. This argument has long been discredited. It allows good people to sit back and do nothing while reaping the benefits of the bad behavior. No other candidate has supporters that would even dream of disrupting the speech of anybody.
By insisting on making a spectacle of themselves, all the Paulbots did was guarantee that their meaningless straw poll (anticipated) victory will be long forgotten once actual votes are counted in real primaries and caucuses. The Paulbots have had years to learn behavioral skills. They still have not done it. People will not listen to their views until they learn how to show political opponents simple decency and respect.
Other events did occur on this day, but as usual the Paulbots made themselves the storyline in the worst possible way.
For those with zero interest in ever listening to Rand Paul or his father, Rick Santorum offered heartfelt words. Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had the crowd in stitches as he vowed never to back down or buy a suit.
Iowa Congressman Steve King had a discussion with former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. They have little in common but showed people could disagree without being disagreeable. This is a foreign concept to many Paulbots.
On radio row, people flocked to shake hands and take pictures with Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr.
When the afternoon sessions were done, the Maryland Republican Party held a reception in one of the hospitality suites that featured plenty of pizza, drinks and Maryland seafood.
The Young Jewish Conservatives began their annual CPAC Shabbos event with a dinner featuring speeches from Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Colonel Allen West and New York freshman Congressman Lee Zeldin. Zelda is currently the only Jewish Republican in Congress.
The YJC began the night with a tribute to radio host Michael Medved, who is sitting out CPAC this year to combat throat cancer. The YJC attendees were thrilled with the announcement that radio host Mark Levin would be joining them for lunch on Saturday.
The keynote speech at the CPAC Reagan Dinner was given by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. A favorite among conservatives, Pence is mulling a White House race of his own.
Late night parties offered diverse networking and socialize opportunities. The College Republicans had an event that required tickets. Students stayed outside in freezing cold weather hoping to get into the packed tavern. Indoors at the Gaylord Convention Center, the main attraction was James O’Keefe putting on a celebration sponsored by his Project Veritas.
For all the stereotypes about young people drinking and carousing, there were plenty of them preparing for a quiet night. A bunch of young soldiers from the Citadel in South Carolina sitting calmly and relaxing while some students from the Christian college known as Hillsdale were getting ready to go to sleep.
Saturday could not come soon enough, as people anticipated the CPAC keynote speech and the results of the soon-to-be forgotten straw poll.