-By Warner Todd Huston
Ron Paul may have won the CPAC straw poll but he's lost Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative, college Republican-style organization to which he used to belong. Just as the results of the straw poll were revealed YAF announced they were kicking Paul out of the organization.
This is a pretty big deal, too. If you aren't aware, Paul served on YAF's board of advisors for more than two decades, he's commented positively about YAF on the floor of the House in the past, and was once awarded the Guardian of Freedom award, YAF's top honor.
This break is a hard one, indeed, and it's mostly over Paul's simple-minded foreign policy ideas. In a statement released by YAF, the organization's Senior National Director Jordan Marks said, "It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America's needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration."
Marks went on:
Rep. Paul's refusal to support our nation's military and national security interests border on treason, aside from his failure to uphold his oath to the United States Constitution and defend our country and citizens against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Rep. Paul has strayed to the left of Obama and allied himself with the radical anti-war left by laying the blame on America for the unprovoked attacks of Sept. 11th. Additionally, Rep. Paul has not condemned the 9/11 "Truther" conspiracy theorists that support him, and he has repeatedly insisted, that the United States not bring justice to those who have murdered thousands of our civilians and soldiers at home and abroad. This is simply unacceptable. Clearly Rep. Paul cares more about a doomed presidential run than he does our country.
YAF chairman Michael Jones also issued a statement.
The United States is in a time of economic crisis, but this is no excuse to abandon the principles that have built this great country and spread its ideals to the darkest recesses of the planet. The United States is the world's leader--a beacon of light for the wretched and the oppressed. God has blessed the United States with liberty and the strength and heart to spread that liberty to all of his children. Rep. Paul has abandoned this mission, abandoned the United States' citizens, and abandoned the citizens of the world in their quest for their God-given natural rights.
As purges go, I am beginning to agree that the Paulies might not be the worst target for a good shunning. This CPAC was the final straw (poll), if you will. Ron Paul received a ridiculous 30 percent of the straw poll vote. But once you get out into the real world Paul's support plummets to but a few small percentage points. The reason Paul won this poll (again) is because his organization flooded the place with 20 something kids all of whom dutifully voted for their patron. This poll was no reflection of the general conservative movement at all.
Ron Paul has made a mockery out of a straw poll that should be just a fun exercise, one that is meant to get a loose idea about what the general conservative movement is thinking.
But, the silliness of the straw poll isn't the only reason why Paul is over the top. We've already discussed his wrong-headed foreign policy ideas above, but here is the other thing... his supporters are uncivil punks.
Seriously. They are rabid, grossly over amped, childish, petulant, stick any negative description here and they are it. CPAC is a conservative event. But it is one for adults. Not the loud, unruly children that Ron Paul has repeatedly sent to the event. CPAC should be a place where all versions of Republicans and conservatives (which are assuredly not synonymous, of course) can come to hear speeches and learn what all sides of the conservative movement are thinking. We should sit and listen attentively like grown ups and not constantly boo people with whom we disagree.
Unfortunately, the Paulies don't seem to have been paper trained enough to understand the sort of decorum that is incumbent upon them. They act like the teenagers they are, those with over simplified ideas and not enough experience to know history or reality.
Listen, I am not for dumping principles, to "get along" with other conservatives with whom I disagree. But this is our big tent and we shouldn't sit her passively while the Paulie circus act craps all over our floor.
This weekend I spoke to conservatives that think Chris Christie has to be our nominee. I also spoke to conservatives that think Romney is our only bet. They are both wrong. Christie is not solidly enough conservative to survive a Primary and Romney is... well, he's flip flopping Mitt. But I didn't heckle these well meaning conservatives in our own house. Yes they are wrong but we had an honest and civil conversation about it.
The problem is that each and every one of these guys all expressed a fear of being vocal during the event for fear that the roving band of Paulies would begin their rabid denouncements upon hearing anything negative about Paul. Heck they even begin ganging up on people on the floor for just saying that someone else is a better candidate. We shouldn't be a fraud to speak in our own big tent! The debate is what this event is for, fer cripes sakes.
Again, it would not be so bad if Ron Paul had ANY support outside of the CPAC convention. If Paul was a great favorite all across the land the Paulies attitude might be more understandable. But Paul has practically no support outside the circle of 20 somethings he sends to conventions.
Its time for the Paulies to grow up. Good for YAF for being so straight forward about their break with Congressman Paul.