CPAC II: Enter Ron Paul

More dispatches from CPAC, where minor presidential candidate Jim Gilmore (Virginia's former governor) held his first bash (slogan: "Restoring America's Faith in Our Conservative Ideas"), Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo shared a room, and a man battled a dolphin.

Dinesh D'Souza chats with Muhammad Ali Hasan of "Muslims for America," which launched in 2004 as "Muslims for Bush," and shares D'Souza's desire to destroy our values (I'm guessing).

David Horowitz sees a student being oppressed by his professors, and is moved to drop his baggage.

Presidential candidate Jim Gilmore deals with admirers. Most of the people at the Gilmore event had, to be charitable, no clue who he was, and were simply fed up with the other GOP candidates. One college student who "worshipped" McCain in 2000 told me he'd given up on him in December, after it was becoming clear McCain's Iraq surge would become policy and after "McCain made some hiring decisions I didn't like.

Gilmore was weirdly unimpressive; he included his membership in various conservative organizations' boards of advisors (like the NRA) as reasons to support him, which is a bit of a reach. But his speech was thinly-disguised Mitt Romney-bashing. He'd been a conservative "all his life," and he decided he was pro-life "four or five years ago." Really, there was only one candidate he could be talking about.

Justin, of the blog My Man Mitt, is challenged by the Romney Dolphin, who backs down after a barrage of follow-up questions on Romney's supposed flip-flops. I later learn the Romney dolphin (who won't reveal his name) was hired by Sam Brownback's campaign, which has a truly overwhelming presence at the conference. Speaking of overwhelming presences:

Activist/writer Marcus Epstein hands out Rep. Tom Tancredo signs after he's spotted by a crowd of ravenous Tancredo fans. The groundswell of support for Tancredo is pretty stunning; by the end of the day, there are more Tancredo stickers downstairs than for anyone except Brownback. The signs are being handed out for an event that follows this speech...

... by Rep. Ron Paul! A smallish room is literally packed for Paul's speech, which follows almost none of the rules of these things. Most politicians feed off applause; Paul seems to view applause as an irritant to wait out until he can get to the next part of the speech. He veers from a long, popular bit about government spending to a blast against neoconservatives ("They started out as Democrats!") and a loud, proud section about abolishing the Fed and bringing back gold and silver currency. There's a short Q&A; conservatives who had been warmed a little by Paul's speech ask for specifics on, for example, abortion. Paul says he can't do anything - in Roe, the Supreme Court just ratified the declining morals of Americans. If individual Americans convince each other to become pro-life, and they can change the laws in their states, that's how abortion will be limited. A college student I talk to afterwards calls this "wishy-washy."

Paul is followed up by...

... Tom Tancredo, who has a surprising, angry wit that puts the other candidates to shame. He mentions that he works next to a Congressman "by the name of Ellison" - Keith Ellison, the first Muslim congressman. The crowd erupts in loud, boos. "Oh, so you've heard of him!" And he wins everyone over with a story about how Ellison's office complained about Tancredo's cigar smoking, and how silly it was that the media covered this.

Here's a Tancredo fan from the speech.

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  • ||

    Did Jay Leno find some kind of transhumanist anti-aging gene therapy I should know about?

  • ||

    God damn, Mr. Cowboy is one phugly dude.

  • ||

    Here's a Tancredo fan from the speech.

    Time to step out of the closet there, cowpoke.

    I don't know which would be creepier -- a room full of hardcore conservatives or a room full of hardcore liberals.

    I hope that dolphin wins the nomination.

  • severin||

    Ron Paul wishy washy?

  • ||

    Did anyone ask him; "You want to abolish the Federal Reserve. What is your plan for grappling with the international financial instability - if not panic - that would follow this move?"

  • Edward||

    Jesus Christ, I've never realized how really physically loathsome-looking right-wingers are. It's astomishing. What possible connection could there be between a political ideology and physical appearance?

  • ||

    Did Jay Leno find some kind of transhumanist anti-aging gene therapy I should know about?

    I don't know. Is there a reason you're bringing up Jay Leno out of the blue on a thread about a CPAC event?

  • ||

    I don't remember the scene where the Kurgen wore a cowboy hat. Was that maybe from Highlander 2 or 3?

  • ||

    Edward,

    No defense of the rather inhuman-looking denizens at CPAC, but have you never watched the Democratic National Convention? I swear it looked like short buses had come by the hundreds to drop people off at the 2000 convention just so they could drool on themselves while wildly waving Gore 2000 signs.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Democratic National Convention

    Fat teachers and AFSCME shop stewards

    all the delegates are on the dole

  • ||

    JSNTNS,

    Were you looking?! Did you see that chin?! How could you not think that must be Jay Leno's and Susan Powter's love child?!!!

  • ||

    This just confirms for me that almost all ideologues are thoroughly loathsome individuals.

    For balance, the David Geffen thing had already reconfirmed that all left-side ideologues were loathsome.

    Which means I'll be holding my nose and voting Obama, assuming Ron Paul doesn't make it.

  • ||

    Any collection of folks who hold Dinesh D'Souza in any kind of esteem adds up to one thing...a room full of wankers and hypocrites.

  • ||

    madpad,
    They don't all have to hold D'Souza in any kind of esteem to be there. The place is open to all sorts of wackos. Some of them may hate brown people.

  • ||

    Where's George Allen to call the brownies "macacas"?

  • ||

    Gatchaman: I was at a fundraiser for a local election once in San Jose that was populated by hardcore liberals and found them creepy and smug and unpleasant. That's not to say that CPAC wouldn't be one of the lower rungs of Hell for me, but I think there's something about being in a room full of your ideological brethren that brings out the worst in everyone. After all, it's the one place you can let your ugly certainty and self-righteousness hang out and know that no one will judge you for it.

  • ||

    Hell, if Tancredo had an office next to mine, I'd be pissed off that I had to share oxygen with the asshole.

  • Bhh||

    Horowitz looks uncannily like a philosophy professor I had who taught a (wait for it) Marxism seminar, except he didn't have a beard. It's the whole Spock/Evil Spock thing.

  • Single Issue Voter||

    Tancredo and Ellison could have catered staff lunch wars. Tancredo's office could order pork bbq and Ellison's could order Mexican.

  • ||

    In a former life, I worked as a volunteer for several candidates for local offices. (This is code for "I was unemployed and desparately needed contacts and something for my resume.") My candidates were rather vaguely liberal, like me, and therefore just liberal enough to attract a lot of social conservative opponents. (I got called a "baby-killing Communist" once. Won the cupcake prize for that evening's phone banking.) Believe me, ugly is something all ideological types have in common. I had clear skin, weighed between 90 and 200 pounds, had hair that had been washed and styled within the last week, and a presentable wardrobe, ergo I was always stuck with talking to the unconvinced and buffering between the hardcore lefties and our hecklers. The lefties were usually fitter and in more attractive clothing, but had worse personal hygeine, and the righties, while always clean, were pastier, fatter, and in less flattering clothing. Of course, as bad as their appearance was, what each side said was the really scary thing.

  • NH||

    Aside from the superficial crap on this blog, I think Ron Paul is the best candidate and we show him that in NH this past weekend. $$$

  • ||

    Jim Gilmore is running for president? Really? Screwing up Virginia wasn't good enough for him? How can Virginia produce so many dumb-as-a-stump Republicans who think they are presidential material?

  • TLB||

    The last picture looks somewhat like Matt Welch.

    Is Weigel going to tell us what Tancredo said? Did Weigel ask him a question and get put in his place, and is that why the post suddenly ends? Can Weigel present a counterargument to whatever Tancredo said that isn't based on childish ad hominems or lies or misleading statements?

    [BTW: It'd be nice if this place had a checkbox on the comment form: "I'm just leaving a cutesy comment that's completely content-free and I should be at Wonkette instead".]

  • Mark Bahner||

    "Which means I'll be holding my nose and voting Obama, assuming Ron Paul doesn't make it."

    You're a libertarian, right? Why not vote Libertarian?

  • ||

    Sure, Paul is the best candidate on paper, but I don't understand why he seems to be chasing the LaRouche vote by bashing the Fed. I'm sure the Fed is the spawn of Satan, but surely he can talk about something of urgent libertarian concern that might actually connect with voters.

  • edna||

    Here's a Tancredo fan from the speech.

    niedermeyer.

  • Franklin Harris||

    I'm sure the Fed is the spawn of Satan, but surely he can talk about something of urgent libertarian concern that might actually connect with voters.

    During a week with a major stock market "correction," Fed policy may be an urgent libertarian concern that might actually connect with voters.

  • ||

    libertarians/Libertarians aren't usually able to talk about anything of urgent concern that connects with voters.

  • ||

    Ron Paul wishy washy?
    ==========================
    If you hang out at freerepublic or pajamasmedia for more than 5 minutes, you will be informed that nuance equals wishy-washiness.

    Libertarians have their faults, but at least they understand position points that are more than one sentence long.

  • Grotius||

    What exactly is the purpose of these events? Networking?

  • John Payne||

    I attended the 2004 CPAC (infiltrate may be the more accurate word). One night I was sitting in the hotel lobby smoking a cigarette and reading The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (no relation). After a while, a girl who was also attending the conference came up to me and aksed for a light. I gave her one, and we struck up a conversation. Eventually, she asked me what I was reading. After I told her she looked at me and said, somewhat derisively, "Wasn't he a big leftist or something?" I left the conference a day early.

  • ||

    Dinesh D'souza is the Indian Dr Drew Pinsky.

    Seriously. Change the skin tone, that could be the same guy.

  • ||

    'Libertarians have their faults, but at least they understand position points that are more than one sentence long.'

    yes, they are instead novel War & Peace length long and totally derived fom the non force "principle", which ensures 2 things: they make any form of actual government impossible; (enforcement of the rule of law in an actual elective office you run candidates for *might* be somewhat important)and they force any libertarian to lie like a rug if they actually get elected, because then they have to take a much more important and meaningful oath: the oath of office.

    You cant take em both and mean it. One or the other makes you a libertarian liar.

  • ||

    'libertarians/Libertarians aren't usually able to talk about anything of urgent concern that connects with voters.'

    Also QFTED. Secession, articles of confederation, gold standard, non initiation of force, etc.... and the few things they might connect with voters on they pass on becuse it involves politics, which most of them hate with a passion...nevermind it's called The Libertarian Party for a reason.

    There is a minority (the Libertarian Reform Caucus ) trying to turn it around into something useful and they are having limited success, but I suspect 08 will be the year of decision where the political poeple in the LP who want to win elections as opposed to the ones more concerned about being "true" or "pure" will decide to get a divorce.

    The retention, modification or disposal of the pledge will probably be the trigger.

  • ||

    After all, it's [a room full of ideological brethren] the one place you can let your ugly certainty and self-righteousness hang out and know that no one will judge you for it.

    Well, that and church

  • Eric Dondero||

    Here's a sobering fact for all the Ron Paul supporters out there:

    The very latest poll has Rudy Giuliani at 53% among likely GOP Primary voters and climbing. Ron Paul is static at 1%.

    Now take a sec to mull that over; 53% to 1%.

    The problem with Ron Paul is he has no pizzaz, no celebrity, and very little sense of humor.

    If Libertarians want to run a winner that could challenge Giuliani, nearly impossible now at this late stage in the game, we should have been thinking of a Dennis Miller, Neal Boortz, Larry Elder, Jesse Ventura type, not a 72 year old guy who talks about the Federal Reserve and rising Interest Rates.

  • ||

    So Ron Paul wants to bring back "hard money." Libertarians basically want to be irrelevant. That's their whole purpose. And yet they can't figure out why they always lose.

  • ||

    What TLB said.

  • ||

    Mr. Dondero:

    Why don't you knock off the cyberflackery for St. Rudy? Considering the way he treated the Constitution as toilet paper while a prosecutor, how anyone could consider him a "libertarian" of any stripe astounds me. I'd be particularly interested if you could find any statutory (not regulatory) description of what the hell Michael Milken was supposed to have done.

    I would certainly love it if someone close to Dr. Paul could shake him loose of his hard money fixation. Yes, a certain reading of the Constitution would mean that the federal Government should only be issuing gold and/or silver coin, but there's nothing in the document forbidding competitive monies, as long as the individual states aren't the issuers, and so long as private issuers aren't granted a legal tender privilege. Point him toward Hayek on the issue.

    Kevin
    (Libertarian ex-New Yorker)

  • ||

    Libertarians have a well-earned reputation for being long-winded, but some of them are better at presenting their ideas than others. For example; if Dr. Paul would tie his own support of metal money to Kennedy rather than Mises, he would have an easier time getting ahead on television.

  • Timothy||

    and a loud, proud section about abolishing the Fed and bringing back gold and silver currency.

    Dear libertarian politicians,

    Stop talking about this in public, seriously. I'm not kidding, because you and I both know that rather than the Fed manipulating interest rates to stabilize the economy you'll have a slower-moving Congress adjusting exchange rate pegs trying to do the same thing. It'll still screw with interest rates, and it'll be even less responsive, so unless you're going to abolish all government currency at try free banking, give this up.

    Also, it makes everyone else think you're batshit loco insane. That doesn't help advance our ideas!

  • Timothy||

    *and* try free banking.

  • ||

    Agreed, the Fed is a non-starter even when preaching to the converted. When y'all read stories or HnR posts, which bother you more, the ones where the government attempts to regulate the economy via a mechanism without responsibility, or the ones where petty beaurocrats and cops prevent us from doing things, be they minor (a billion examples here) or big (rebuild in New Orleans without all the proper documentation)? And we're the libertarians! How the hell are other people supposed to care about the Fed?!?

  • Gray Ghost||

    And to pile on with everyone else, re the Fed and Ron Paul: many, if not most, voters don't understand what the Fed really does, and those that do are very concerned about a world without it.

    I don't see the merit of a position that baffles most people and pisses off near everyone else.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The problem with Ron Paul is he has no pizzaz, no celebrity, and very little sense of humor.

    No celebrity. True. No chance of winning. True.

    No sense of humor. Not true. I can vouch from personal experience that his public speaking abilities and sense of humor are just fine.

  • ||

    Yes, "preaching" to others about the FED just gets them all confused. They don't seem to understand it, people who do understand it are of libertarian persuasion anyway. I usually leave that subject alone.

  • Tron||

    I think Ron Paul is running for president to see that his issues are brought up, not necessarily to win. Even though monetary policy is boring, it's still important.

  • ||

    It's good to see progress. One used to have six or seven buttons and stickers festooned on one's jacket; now it looks like three is sufficient. Obviously the hot chicks are more impressed.

  • ed||

    My eyes! Do any good-looking people go to these things?
    I didn't see a Match.com booth anywhere.

  • ||

    Actually, Hat-Boy looks rather like Glenn Beck.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ, I've never realized how really physically loathsome-looking right-wingers are. It's astomishing. What possible connection could there be between a political ideology and physical appearance?
    When you're ugly, you have to do something to preoccupy yourself all those times you're not getting laid.

  • ||

    Ooo, a post about inconsequential men in suits. Yawn.

  • Braden||

    Ron Paul was the author of The Sanctity of Life Act of 2005.

    Get your facts straight, he is solidly pro-life while at the same time adhering to his constitutional views that it is an issue to be decided not by federal courts, but by state legislators.

  • ||

    I don't understand peoples obsession with Ron Paul's anti Fed Reserve and sound money stance. You say he has an "obession", but it seems that even more neurotically, you likewise have "an obsession about his obsession".

    The logic in peoples thinking does not even follow, and so I believe their criticisms to be invalid for the most part. If the american public generally does not care all that much about The Fed, then they likewise will be just as disinterested in what Ron Paul has to say about The Fed. In no way is his anti Fed Reserve talk going to be held against him, or at best, people will just think he's not a particularly interesting guy.

    All this gibberish about how the general public people will view him as being "kooky" are completely unfounded, and I think logic conclusions support this. If the general public knows virtually nothing about The Fed to begin with, there is no way they can determine one way or the other whether his idea is "kooky" or not. The average person is simply going to think that this guy is smart and that he is dealing with material which is 'above their head'.

    Quite frankly, its about time we had a candidate who had the guts to "talked tech", even though it may hurt his "electability". Its about time we had a politician come along that didn't feel the need to "dumb down" everything he says to the general public. Its about time real issues got dealt with, instead of having to hear cheap dumbed-down sound bytes which are regurgitated by all the other candidates.

    The only people in this country who seem to be doing their darndest to perpetuate this false idea that the public thinks his ideas are "kooky" are those pro Federal Reserve advocates who oppose Pauls sound money beliefs.

    You WANT the general public to believe his ideas are cooky. That don't make it so. Just come right out and admit that YOU are the one that thinks his ideas are cooky. Its not the general public believes this, becase the fact of the matter is that they dont care one way or the other... The general public does not know enough abut that subject matter to care. They just think its technical mumbo jumbo and mildly uninteresting at best.

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