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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Conservatives' bad hair day

When a 75-year-old conservative whose leading issue is abolishing the Federal Reserve wins a presidential straw poll, you can assume the party in question has problems.

And when a New York City real estate mogul whose greatest asset is his ego, "fires" the only viable Republican general election candidate, those problems become huge.

Welcome to the Conservative Political Action Conference, fast replacing Ringling Bros. as the greatest show on Earth -- or at last the political universe.

The conservatives who gathered in Washington over the weekend to lambaste Barack Obama were not about to let anything get in the way of their own peculiar world view. Certainly not the remarkable revolution that shook Egypt and portends great upheaval in the Middle East.

Instead conservatives were treated to Hair Bowl 2011, where Donald Trump and Mitt Romney vied for best hair and best message -- and anyone outside the group the New York Times sagely noted "are not representative of Republican primary voters" were left to scratch their heads at the display of irrelevancy.

From Michele Bachmann to Romney, 12 wannabes flung red meat at the crowd, a small percentage of whom rewarded their hero, Ron Paul, with victory in the 2012 straw poll. It could be seen as a sentimental salute to the libertarian icon -- except he has already run twice, once as the standard bearer of the Libertarian Party, again in 2008 in the GOP primary.

In the meantime, conservative activists (and Trump) were setting out to do damage to the one relatively mainstream candidate who might appeal to voters in 2012 -- yep our friend Myth. I say relatively because the Mittster is once again flip-flopping all over the landscape -- attempting to walk a fine line between the despised ObamaCare and the RomneyCare on which its is based.

Conservative readers think I do Romney a favor
by busting him. It's possible in the event Romney secures the GOP nomination. But the depth of unease, unhappiness or downright disdain in which Myth is held by conservative activists -- and not just CPAC attendees, makes that outcome dubious right about now.

Look no farther than Nevada, a state that was and should be Romney-friendly, but which has changed its caucus rules in a manner that could hurt the Mittster in the early going when perception and momentum -- not to mention states you don't have to fight hard for -- are key.

So now we return you t0 our regular programming: a new federal budget, upheaval in the Middle East, the effort to prevent House Republicans from short circuiting the economic recovery.

But I relish the day that voters have the opportunity to tell both The Donald and Myth "you're fired."

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