At CPAC 2008 a young Ron Paul supporter asked Ann Coulter what she thought of Ron Paul and if “true conservatives” shouldn’t be supporting his principled limited government campaign in the GOP primaries. Coulter answered that she tried not to listen to Congressman Paul because he was very smart and she was afraid he just might convince her.
Her packed noon address to the main hall at CPAC2010 was mainly stand up comedy and very good stand up comedy. (“Everyone is deserting Obama; Michelle has even asked to see his birth certificate.” “Bill Clinton was rushed to the hospital where he told the doctors it felt like he had two interns sitting on his chest.”) But the Q&A was more serious, including questions about the near take over of CPAC by Ron Paul libertarians, who seem to be 60% or more of the under 30 crowd. Dr. Paul and his associates (Judge Andrew Napolitano, “Metdown” author Tom Woods, lawyer Bruce Fein, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, “Obamanomics” author Tim Carney) have been one of the four satellite track lectures almost every session when not in the main hall itself.
Earnest young non-libertarian questioners, wondering what had happened, asked Coulter how the “C” in CPAC could stand for libertarian. At first she tried to placate one questioner by pointing out that Dr. Paul was pro-life. Then she had a soft attack on libertarians in answer to another beleaguered conservative, opining that she was “more libertarian than most libertarians,” but that she didn’t need to spend all her time calling for legalizing pot until we have eliminated the EPA, the Department of Education, and a list of other agencies, and until she would not be called upon to pay unemployment benefits to pot heads who lose their jobs. While she listed the agencies that would need to be abolished first, Paulistas started chanting their trademark “End the Fed,” until Ms. Coulter finally did a power sign and responded “End the Fed.” Finally yet another exhausted young traditional conservative asked her a third time about how to get rid of these growing legions of libertarians and Coulter closed with “Whenever Ron Paul says anything that isn’t about foreign policy, I totally support him.”
From the serious to the sarcastic, from Liz Cheney to Ann Coulter, the conservative intelligentsia is facing overlapping tsunamis of both tea party populism and a Ron Paul non-interventionism. The wider tea party movement may well wash away the Obama regime and the Demwit incumbatocracy. But the second tsunami is also aimed for the future control of the GOP.