CPAC 2011 was like a trip through the looking glass.
At most political conferences, the mix of pragmatists and true believers results in a message with broad appeal, but rooted in shared principles. That's when everyone "gets it." CPAC was a mass exercise in not "getting it."
Two days at CPAC made the GOP's big problem crystal clear. The conservative movement is split between two factions of "true believers," both wildly out of step with what most Americans want, and both heavily invested in "not getting it."