That's all I have to say…
(AntiWar.com) -- By Justin Raimondo
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which has been going on for many years, is a bellwether of where the action is on the right side of the political spectrum – and the news from the latest gathering has both the traditional Buckley-style right and the Obama-ite liberal-left in shock. The CPAC presidential polls are a conference tradition, and the winner is often hailed as not only the up-and-coming champion of the Republican "hard" right but also a serious presidential contender. The winner of the previous three CPAC polls, Mitt Romney, was accorded such status early on in part because of his CPAC victories, but this time he was left in the dust by congressman Ron Paul.
Headlines reported Paul’s win as a "surprise," but early indications of the Paulian domination of CPAC this year included the ubiquitous presence of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) activists and the rock star reception given to Rep. Paul himself.
The former – and perhaps future – Republican presidential candidate gave a half-hour peroration that boldly stressed anti-interventionist foreign policy as the key to reining in big government on the home front. Invoking the shade of Robert A. Taft, and wondering aloud how we’re going to pay for our empire, Paul traced the roots of our dilemma back to Woodrow Wilson, the quintessential "progressive" of Glenn Beck’s worst nightmares. Unlike Beck, however, whose anti-progressive polemics only mention World War I in passing, Paul realizes that the whole kit-n-kaboodle of progressivism – the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and the philosophy of government as an instrument of moral uplift –all culminated in US involvement in the Great War.
As Murray Rothbard pointed out, the war – portrayed by its advocates at The New Republic and among the nation’s intelligentsia as a crusade for moral and spiritual uplift on a global scale – was the apotheosis of the progressive project. The term "Wilsonian," in foreign policy lingo, refers to the view that democracy and human rights can and should be advanced abroad at gunpoint...
Paul’s CPAC victory is a stunning repudiation of the War Party’s long-standing dominance of the GOP, and is bound to ramp up the already quite active campaign to smear and destroy him. Neocon Dorothy Rabinowitz, in the midst of a jeremiad ostensibly aimed at Sarah Palin, points out that the liberals may hate Sarah for all the wrong reasons, but there are perfectly good neoconservative reasons for joining in the media pile-on, beginning with:
"The unsavory echoes of her regular references to ‘the real America’ as opposed to those shadowy “elites,” now charged with threats to the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all real Americans. Neither does she seem to have any idea of how that low soapbox oratory – embracing one kind of American as the real kind, those builders in the towns and cities across America – rings in the ear today. It is not new."
Neocons hate people who talk about the elites in less than reverent tones, because they think you’re talking about them – which is often the case. They hate any sort of populism, whether of the right or the left, because they see in it the seeds of revolution, and, of course, anti-Semitism. Most of all they hate Ron Paul, because he and his followers embody the Jeffersonian values and culture of the American heartland, the old America of Bob Taft, America First, and a Republican party that was skeptical of overseas adventurism. They are the "real Americans" Rabinowitz hates and fears, and, this year, they came to CPAC in droves.
A rebellion among conservatives has long been brewing, and the CPAC convention represents the first skirmish in a civil war on the right, a war that is essentially over foreign policy. The Paul movement is well-organized, activist-oriented, and well-funded: more importantly, it has a well-grounded ideology, one that offers an alternative to the brain-dead neoconservatism of Republican party hacks and third-rate politicians like Rudy Giuliani – whose single delegate to the 2008 Republican convention fairly represents the strength of the Rabinowitz wing of the conservative movement...MORE...LINK