Yesterday at CPAC, the big conservative conference in D.C., Ron Paul supporters and other libertarians in the crowd spoiled a sweet Bush-era reunion by launching a shouting match and protest action. First, Donald Rumsfeld was brought onstage, where CPAC was to present him with, unbelievable as it sounds, its “Defender Of The Constitution” award. Many Ron Paul supporters immediately got up and walked out en masse. When things settled down, the host introduced the presenter for Rummy’s award, former VP Dick Cheney. A majority of the audience stood and cheered but, as Cheney stood at the podium soaking up the love, boos from some libertarians could also be heard, as well as shouts of “Where’s bin Laden?” and “You’re a war criminal!” That led the pro-Cheney majority to shout down the libertarian hecklers with the always-original old favorite, “USA! USA!”
It’s the second time this week that libertarians in the GOP have done something American lefties agree with. Earlier in the week, a startling temporary coalition of liberal Dems and libertarian Republicans squelched the re-authorization of parts of the Patriot Act, in protest of the law’s disregard for Americans’ civil liberties. It’s often been noted that serious liberals and serious libertarians agree on several major issues, including civil liberties and a “take care of America first,” non-interventionist foreign policy. Here’s hoping the two factions get together and find areas on which they can cooperate in Congress. One suggestion: Start work on shutting down many of the nearly 1,000 foreign military bases our government operates at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Meanwhile, here’s a video of Cheney’s reception at CPAC
In somewhat related news, Boston Tea Party national chair Darryl Perry writes
Not only would a Mubarak trial look bad for the government of the United States of America for supporting his regime for the past 30 years, such action would likely embolden those who support war crimes trials for George W. Bush & Dick Cheney. [..] On several occasions people have tried to perform a “citizens arrest” on the former VP, and he was recently heckled to shouts of “war criminal” at CPAC. In December 2008 and again in February 2010 Dick Cheney even admitted to war crimes and has yet to be held accountable for his crimes. According to the U.S. Army’s Law of Land Warfare (Field Manual 27-10) both Cheney & Bush should be held trial for war crimes.
Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, and remains a life member of the Libertarian Party, saying recently that “I believe the Libertarian Party has done a great service in promoting the libertarian philosophy, and I continue to have many friends and supporters in the Libertarian Party…”
Other CPAC 2011 coverage on IPR: