Rep. Allen West gave the keynote address at CPAC on Saturday, and was typically effective. Politico likened his performance to the throwing of "red meat" to the massed conservatives. It's a good metaphor. His speech drew the loudest applause in its bloodiest moments -- those moments in which West deployed his greatest political gift, and cleaved Us from Them, and Right from Wrong, in terms of comic book simplicity.
West delayed the proper beginning of his speech with a bit of jingoist theater, introducing Sgt. Jason Aubon (I may be misspelling that), a veteran of Iraq now responsible for training troops to guard the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. "The reason I'm here," said Sgt. Aubon, an earnest quiver in his voice, "is because I have a bigger fear for my future ... than I did back in Baghdad. And the reason I'm here is that I believe in the Colonel."
This drew rapturous applause, and framed West as someone to be believed in; as someone upon whom hopes may be pinned.