i watched a bunch of the last day of cpac. now i want to consider this "nuanced analysis", attributed by dan balz to henry olsen, who distinguishes four factions of the republican party: somewhat conservative, very conservative, moderates, and liberals. i say this is a perfect example of what i call "spectrum blindness": you can't see anything about anything if it has to fall on the left-right spectrum. so, rand paul, who killed the straw poll, is a severe peacenik, screamingly anti-nsa, and more or less sympathetic to gay marriage and marijuana legalization. but he's anti-welfare-state in a big way, and will start by savaging government spending. sarah palin who finished the whole thing up with a masterful if substanceless stand-up routine howled small government throughout, except for the part where she was extremely about increasing military and intelligence spending. rather a silly juxtaposition. there was a lot of anti-immigrant talk, and jesus and "pro-family" (=anti-gay) stuff came from a number of speakers. then you have heldover bushy national-security state pure huge gov hawks. now when you try to range these extremely incompatible positions by which is very and which is somewhat conservative it obviously makes no sense, and these factions are more incompatible with one another than with the obama they all hate. so, you've got to go: libertarians; neo-cons or military-security hawks; religious/social reactionairies; and chimerae such as palin. it's amazing that people can keep going 'sorta right, right, very right' when it just obviously has nothing to do with reality. who's further right: palin or paul? dan balz has no more idea than anyone else, really.