15 February 2006

CPAC: The Temple of Bush

Perhaps the most telling aspect of CPAC is how it shows the GOP treating their own. Bob Barr, former Georgia rep was one of the featured speakers.

"Are we losing our lodestar, which is the Bill of Rights?" Barr beseeched the several hundred conservatives at the Omni Shoreham in Woodley Park. "Are we in danger of putting allegiance to party ahead of allegiance to principle?"

Barr answered in the affirmative. "Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country?" he posed. "I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes."

But nobody said anything in the deathly quiet audience. Barr merited only polite applause when he finished, and one man, Richard Sorcinelli, booed him loudly. "I can't believe I'm in a conservative hall listening to him say [Bush] is off course trying to defend the United States," Sorcinelli fumed.

Sound familiar? It recalls the scorn heaped upon George Voinovich last year, when the Ohio senator found himself roundly vilified by so-called "republicans" as a coward and a traitor to his party for failing to support John Bolton's appointment to the United Nations. Nearly universally, the conservative and republican principles that have long been trumpeted by the GOP have been supplanted by unwavering allegiance to George Bush. (See Glenn Greenwald's must read piece and the follow-up over at Unclaimed Territory).
Small government.
Responsible spending.
Limited power.
All gone, apparently dismissed, along with any other belief/right/protection they find inconvenient. Perhaps all those things are "pre 9/11," too.
You hear it in conversations and see it in letters to the editor. It flows, unfiltered, online, from the shameful apologism of blogs like Powerlie to the venomous hostility of the posters at Little Green Fascists and Policy is right (and even legal) simply because El Presidente says it is. Critics are wrong (and, more often than not, "liberal") on no other basis than that they disagreed, in the first place. No other explanation or rebuttal is necessary. Conservative = Bush. Republican = Bush. Anything short of unwavering allegiance puts you on the other side and thus, completely unworthy of consideration.

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