Vital Signs

CPAC Moves to Rockford?

Here’s how you’ll know the conservative movement means something again: when the Conservative Political Action Conference moves its annual meeting from Washington, D.C., to Rockford.  Or Dubuque.  Or Peoria.  Or Helena.  Or San Antonio.  Or Bakersfield.  Or Murfreesboro.

Anywhere but the District of Corruption.

Conservatives flock from around the country to CPAC, expecting to advance the movement and gain some insight into what’s going on with “our” government.  Presidential wannabes deliver unctuous oratories aimed at getting the attendees’ endorsement.

This year’s CPAC straw-poll “winner” was, for the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).  His father, Ron, won the 2010 and 2011 pointless plebiscites while still serving as a U.S. representative from Texas.  These victories represented the increasing faction of young, libertarian-leaning attendees.  But in real voting around the country, Ron Paul was strongly opposed by the GOP’s Old Guard and garnered only 12 percent of the vote in the 2012 primaries.

Sen. Rand Paul has been cozying up to the establishment and certainly is a stronger public speaker than his father, who always came off (for me this is a good thing) as a likable free-market economics professor.  Just before speaking at CPAC, Senator...

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