This always happens, my conflict between delight and despondency about that annual conclave of conservative crazy, CPAC, which begins today.
Look out, America, because from National Harbor, Maryland all things rightward are about to get even weirder; and while every year I think that this might do it--that this year's bughouse extravaganza might reach some unsurpassable apex and thus begin tumbling back to sanity--the next year only gets crazier.
This time around CPAC's principal claim to crazy is of course not who's appearing, but who's not. Chief organizer Al Cardenas said in a statement that "we have invited leaders who are focused on furthering conservative ideals," which somehow excludes the nation's two most popular conservative governors, Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, both of whom have brilliantly executed contemporary versions of conservative idealism by either undermining state revenue, screwing unions, or opposing women's rights and gay marriage.
Still, one of them, in New Jersey, once praised President Obama--for helping New Jersey--and the other actually chose to pay for Virginia's roads. Heresy is heresy.
No, CPAC has chosen to revel in the ravings of its party's future: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump--the latter of whom (although not only the latter of whom), sagely says former W.-adviser Peter Wehner, is "not a conservative. He’s a clown act."
Therefore my delight, which is, I'm aware, a collective delight. Crazy is broadly irresistible.
Yet at some point the GOP's major rallying organs really do need to quit the dope and encourage some clean and sober governance. We're now in our third year of not merely gridlock, but insane gridlock. We've another year to go, and then we'll likely enter at least two more.
They just keep hustling and pushing the envelope of crazy, and in time could come the actual tipping point, which we may not recognize as such until it's too late.