And the bleary eyed, speechified CPAC attenders slouch from their rooms to face another day of foot murdering, brain bending and general revelry in the capital of the world. Andrew Breitbart and Rep. Allen West are on the bill today, the ACU’s way of making sure that the thousands here have good reasons not to scatter before the conference officially ends.
You do see some odd things at CPAC. I’ve mostly been here at the PJTV set, outside the main ballroom where the speeches are all delivered, but where there tends to be more movement and action and comedy. The Rent Is Too Damn High guy wandered through with his singularly compelling message, against which there really is no compelling argument. Well, unless you’re a landlord. Faux Sarah Palin fooled everyone long enough for a doubletake. This year, the Ron Paul Brigades are more numerous and more obvious than in years past. Wearing stickers on their dresses and jackets that say “Anti War” or “I (heart) Ron Paul”, these bright young folks giddly gather and gamely boo when the former Secretary of Defense explains the reality of being in a government engaged in war against a shadowy transnational force of trained mass murderers. At about four PM Friday, the Revolution Man himself walked through the lobby of the Marriott Waldman Park, carrying with him a moving throng of 17-21 year olds who know more than the rest of us, even those of us who have served in the military. The moving throng created a wake and a medium hum, and then a brief stampede from somewhere in the wings.
Later, I found out the source of that stampede. It turns out that as Paul and his apostles were making their way through the lobby, another group of about a dozen of the young Paulites were standing next to the central tower elevators, which are across the lobby and around a corner from the main area. They were all festooned with the mandatory stickers and/or buttons clearly marking them as disciples. A good friend of mine had been delayed by the Paul parade and was making his way away from the lobby toward the hotel’s exit to get a minute or two outside, when he happened upon the group by the elevators. They were oblivious to the movement going on mere yards away in the lobby, so my friend told them words to the effect that “Hey, you’re missing Ron Paul over there!” And the libertarians sprinted like lemmings through the lobby toward their leader. A brief stampede was born.