February 23, 2010

CPAC Lies Down With Dogs, Gets Up With Fleas ( #CPAC10 )

There’s been quite a kerfluffle about Ron Paul winning the CPAC Straw Poll.

[Really? You voted for this guy?]

Well, the ACU was practically asking for it. Paul-bots are normally over-represented at CPAC, and bringing Glenn Beck on as the keynote speaker is going to bring the most rabid of the 9/12'ers out of the woodwork. Not content to just complain about the Federal Reserve, the Campaign for Liberty events were particularly aggressive this year. I made sure to attend an event on state nullification (“When All Else Fails: Nullification and State Resistance to Federal Tyranny”) featuring Thomas Woods.

One can tell Woods is a fairly smart guy, but it’s painfully obvious that he hasn’t an ounce of tact in his entire body, nor any grasp of electoral, political, or legal reality. He did take what was in my mind a completely insane topic and gave an interesting historical and philosophical defense of it... leaving out the part where it fell by the wayside and is now the favorite topic of cranks. Members of the public used the word “secession” a time or two in the Q&A session and nobody batted an eye.

Woods’ rather whimsical defense of the modern nullification/interposition movement is basically that nothing else has worked to stop government growth and encroachment, so why not try it. Well, you don’t try it because it isn’t legal and doesn’t work. (Ask anybody in a medical marijuana state who has been busted for pot.)

I'm no Constitutional lawyer, but did the “strict Constitutionalists” read this part of Article VI?:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Also at CPAC were the Oath Keepers, who have been discussed on DPUD before, and the John Birch Society, who still refuse to shy away from crank conspiracy theories.

So I say the ACU shouldn’t have been too surprised at Ron Paul’s straw poll victory. They invited all the nutters to town and gave them all the rhetorical crack cocaine they wanted. If the ACU wants a more reputable poll outcome, they should take better care to vet their sponsors, speakers, and panel topics.


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