Congressional Republicans have made headlines lately for their unity of purpose, but in the days following the Conservative Political Action Conference, it's become clear that not every member of the GOP wants the same things. In a recent episode of Bloggingheads, Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of the libertarian journal Reason, teases out the text and subtext of CPAC with Washington Times correspondent Eli Lake. They wonder--where's the libertarian groundswell in Middle America? What does it mean that Ron Paul polled so well at the conference? And what ever happened to the CPAC rap show?




Lake: "Ron Paul does very well in meaningless contests."
Welch: "And also, contests in which Ron Paul does well are immediately called meaningless."



Welch: "The people who defend [Palin], it is totally in the language of, like, well, all the people that I really hate look down their nose at her. Which is true--all the people that you really hate do look down their nose at her. But, and so what? I mean, I've always thought that's kind of a retarded, in the--can we still say retarded? Even when we're talking about Sarah Palin? I think that's a retarded way of looking at the world."



Lake: "The same principles apply about the inefficiencies of bureaucracies, and how they never go away. And so in that respect, I've become more libertarian."



Welch: "Clinton was a slippery mofo, and he could just sort of reinvent himself every day as the political winds required. Obama actually kind of believes in this stuff."