Among the true believers at CPAC

Conservatives here see themselves as defenders of freedom and original principles—patriotism’s defense against a fate like the fall of Rome. But there is a danger that comes from the love of being misunderstood by the larger culture—an impulse to define what you are against with greater fervor than what you are for. The selection of Cong. Michelle Bachmann—who disgracefully questioned whether then-candidate Obama had “anti-American views” during the campaign—as the “Presidential Banquet” Master of Ceremonies speaks to the defiant pridefulness of the what she kept referring to as “the ground zero of the conservative movement.” The mounds of free copies of “The Case Against Barack Obama” given out as an exit present only clarified the opposition identity—they see themselves as the resistance.