Mike's Excellent Adventure At CPAC: A Journey To The Heart Of Wingnuttery

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in an alternative universe where people lived their lives in the shadow of paranoid fantasies and incompatible superstitions, and acted accordingly?

Well… wonder no more! I went to CPAC and shot a bunch of video.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend for a day, so I missed an awful lot of funhouse insanity. But… Friday was a day that will remain with me forever. There aren’t enough therapists in the world to scrub that experience out of my psyche.

I should have known better, but I was kind of hoping that CPAC would attract conservatives on the leading edge of their movement who would be intellectually prepared and eager to wield their razor-sharp rapiers in defense of all that is good… you know… God and Ronald Reagan and… uhm… whatever else there is.

Sadly, that wasn’t quite the case.

The first person I ran into was Daryll Issa. I tried to ask him about the stimulus and recovery; he wasn’t much interested in silly and irrelevant things like facts:

Later in the conference, I caught up with Mike Pence and Steve King. They had lotsa time to stand in the spotlight and bask in adulation, but when it came time to answer a question or two about policy and stimulus/recovery/pork… well… they suddenly had more pressing things to do as staff hustled them away, telling me they were in a very big hurry. Like Issa before them, they were simply hustled a few yards away to a place they could bask in more spotlight and adulation.

So… unfortunately, I do not have a lot to report on when it comes to elected officials.

I also ran into John Bolton, Kenneth Blackwell and John Ashcroft. I told each of them that in person, they look a lot less evil than they do in the blogosphere. They were each gracious and good humored, but I was unable to secure an interview with any of them.

I did run into Jonah Goldberg. We had met previously on the set of Reliable Sources and although I do not think he recognized me, he did give me a lengthy interview. First we talked stimulus and economic policy, then we turned to his book and his ideas regarding fascism.

At about this time, I thought it would be interesting to take the ideological temperature of the crowd. You probably remember that Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly weren’t all that happy with the results of the poll of Republicans commissioned by DailyKos a couple of weeks ago. I decided to conduct my own (obviously unscientific) poll using the same questions.

Here are the participants answering the first three questions:

Early in the evening, I ran into Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. We talked about jobs:

Finally, that evening, I ran into a very special person. And I made a very cool video. But you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow to see it… In the meantime, check out additional CPAC video and commentary over at my site, StarkReports.com.

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