I have to admit, for a progressive being at CPAC can feel like being a "stranger in a strange land." For a black, gay progressive it's a bit like being dropped on another planet, with almost no breathable atmosphere; a very lonely, claustrophobic place. It's hard to feel otherwise, when you're surrounded by people extolling a vision of American with no place for you in it. (I never thought I'd say this, but I actually miss GOProud. On the plus side, I got a party invite from gay, Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger.) The lack of oxygen makes you lightheaded. The isolation, in the midst of the crowd, plays tricks with the mind.
Maybe that's why, before I left for lunch, I thought Rick Santorum was CPAC's rock star this year. Obviously I need air. I returned from lunch with a clear head. As I fought my way to the media room, through the capacity-crowd lined up for Romney's speech, past those being directed to the overflow rooms, to watch Romney speak via closed-circuit-television, I realized who the CPAC 2012 rock star really is. The fresh air not only cleared my head, but reminded me of what I already knew about conservatives and the Republican party.
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