Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll. Ambers:

Ron Paul crushed--absolutely crushed--all the other GOP big shots on the list except for Mitt Romney, who took a close second. Romney has a history of doing GOTV on big straw polls, but apparently he didn't get an operation in gear to best Paul.

Paul's victory said something about the event, and the type of people who attended it. CPAC was an exposition of ideology and conservative glee, not necessarily political prowess. Ron Paul will probably not be president in 2012; he seems to have no relationship with the tea partiers; he has ceded his conservative stardom to the likes of Sarah Palin.

At least Paul has some core integrity; at least he believes in small government and has long been honest about what he wants to cut; at least he fully understands that continuing an empire with this level of debt is unsustainable and unconservative:


He will continue to be smeared by the more extreme neoconservatives precisely because they see his attempt to unwind an unsustainable neo-empire as an end to open-ended, unconditional support for an increasingly far right and fundamentalist Israel and an end to the PNAC global control ideology that is slowly corrupting this country and bankrupting its treasury. Why do we have thousands of troops in Germany and Japan for Pete's sake? If we can afford that but we cannot afford some basic health insurance for working poor Americans, something has gone seriously wrong.

He is not a cynical mannequin like Romney, nor a clinically disturbed fraud like Palin; nor an alleged moderate like Pawlenty now declaring that in government, "God is in charge!" He is real. He is sincere.

Which is why the pundits keep dismissing him. I don't.

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