The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Let’s Party Like It’s 1994!

Posted on | February 22, 2010 | 20 Comments

From my latest American Spectator column:

Reagan Palooza 2010 kept cranking into the wee hours of Sunday morning on Capitol Hill. Young right-wingers were jammed onto the upstairs dance floor of the Hawk ‘n’ Dove where they partied past midnight after the final day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
The fire-code capacity crowd was drenched in sweat as they writhed rhythmically to the thunderous bass beats pumped out by the sound system beneath the strobing disco lights. Several of the 20-somethings were singing along to the lyrics — “This is all so crazy, everybody seems so famous” — when investigative reporter Matthew Vadum nudged me and shouted into my ear, “This is that Hannah Montana song.” Further research (which is to say, a phone call to my daughter, a college junior) confirmed that the reggae-inflected tune was in fact performed by Miley Cyrus, the teenage star of the popular Disney TV series.
“Party in the USA” was certainly appropriate as the soundtrack for this year’s CPAC, where conservatives signaled that they have regained the confidence they lost in the debacle of 2008. . . .

Please read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Some photos of scenes mentioned in the story:

The crowd jams at the Reagan Palooza. It was hotter than a sauna and so crowded that you could barely move. The redheaded guy at lower right is Blake the Blog Intern. Blake was deputized as my CPAC intern Saturday morning after we met in the smoking area outside the Marriott, and did very good work, helping me wrangle VIPs into Bloggers Lounge for interviews.

David Frum (lower right) served free beer at his Saturday party at Murphy’s Irish Pub. At left is investigative reporter Matthew Vadum. Behind him in the hat is Will Upton, editorial assistant at The American Conservative magazine. Hanging out with Frum? So much for young Upton’s paleocon street-cred, eh?

David Frum with Alabama congressional candidate Les Phillip, who’s probably got enough paleo street-cred to survive any guilt-by-association smear.

Christopher Malagisi of the Young Conservatives Coalition with Les Phillip at the Reagan Palooza. Excuse me for not remembering the name of the girl in the purple blouse. CPAC is rough on an old guy’s brain, to say nothing of my voice. I’m as hoarse as Susan Estrich, but still not quite as ugly.

The next congressman from the 5th District of Illinois, David Ratowitz, celebrates a successful CPAC with an appearance at Reagan Palooza. No scandal here. The 5th District is the kind of place where even a Republican congressional candidate is expected to have an occasional beer. Of course, political double-standards being what they are, Ratowitz’s Democratic opponent could drown a campaign aide and take money from Hamas without anybody in the Chicago media treating it as a scandal. As far as I’m concerned, the real scandal here is . . . Coors Light? Dude. Real right-wingers don’t drink “light” beer. It’s almost as bad for the paleo street-cred as hanging out with Frum.

Not mentioned in the story: The urinal in the men’s room at the Reagan Palooza. A certain Web site was a sponsor of the event and was handing out these buttons.