This is what democracy astroturf looks like.

One protester told TheDC that all the “Occupy” activists were being paid to protest, and that his union, Sheet Metal Workers Local 100, approached him about the money-making opportunity…

Other “Occupy CPAC” protesters were unwilling to speak on camera because they were unaware what they were protesting and what the CPAC event was about.

That’s Michelle Fields with the mic; the last time she tried to interview Occupiers in D.C., she was harassed so aggressively that she vowed never to bother with them again. The real smoking gun that these guys aren’t part of the movement, I think, is that they’re simply far too civil to be true believers.

This is, I hope, the beginning of the story and not the end as I’m dying to know who put Local 100 up to protesting an event the members evidently couldn’t care less about. Presumably it’s Obama’s pals in the AFL-CIO, as they’ve been trying all week to organize a protest for today; amazing that the “Occupy” dynamo has now disintegrated to the point where they can’t get people to show up without paying them even when big labor is coordinating things. Two clips for you here, one of Fields and the other via Matt Lewis of “protesters” nearly getting into a scrap inside the conference hall with CPACers. Question for people on the scene: Anyone know if the rumor of a much bigger “Occupy” presence descending on the conference is true? This was posted a few hours ago but I haven’t heard anything on Twitter since then about a crowd showing up.