The top three winners of this weekend's CPAC straw poll will not win the 2012 presidential nomination. And if any of the top three do break through to prove that prediction wrong, none of them will go on to win the White House in 2012.
This year's top three placeholders in the poll were Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney repeat their standing from the 2010 poll as No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
If the results of this straw poll do not sufficiently demonstrate the bizarre nature and overall oddity of this year's gathering of "conservatives," nothing else can.
Ron Paul, though technically still a Republican, has given up his GOP identity to embrace the chance to be the poster child for the more libertarian streak that has run rampant through CPAC, largely unabated for the past two years. Mitt Romney, the virtual author of Obamacare, and 2008's third-place finisher for the GOP nomination, is weighed down by the fact that his universal health care mandate in Massachusetts has largely failed – with the exception being the $50 state-subsidized abortions. Gary Johnson was only added to the lineup at the last minute, his presence stoking the flame of immoral libertarianism that actually advocated for legalized pot and the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions.
In other words, this year's CPAC wasn't about advancing conservatism. Rather, it exposed the radically disrespectful element of the libertine.
It has been the inclusion of the libertarian aspects of the past two years that has thrown the message of conservatism askew in a widely disproportional way.