MORAN: (inaudible), Arianna? Is this the return of the conservative movement, here, after being flat on its back after the Obama victory?
HUFFINGTON: Well, let's first of all mention that the straw poll was won by Ron Paul. Last year, it had been won by Mitt Romney.
And the violent imagery was fascinating. And even Tim Pawlenty, who is supposed to be a moderate, said that we need to take a page out of the playbook of Tiger Woods's wife and take a nine-iron and smash a window out of big government. That was the day after the pilot had flown a plane into a federal government building.
So that kind of rhetoric is disturbing. And of course what must be troubling for the conservatives is that the big hit -- the guy who got the rock star welcome was Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney left office with 13 percent approval rating. And there were shouts of "Run, Dick, run," which I'm sure the White House if fully endorsing.
MORAN: But they love Glenn Beck.
DOWD: Yes, they do love Glenn Beck. I mean, he's popular among a segment of the party.
I mean, I think this is more -- the commentary about this is more about the volatility of politics in this country today. Because if you think back a year ago, everybody said, well, what happened to the conservatives? What happened to the Republican Party?
And now people are saying, well, what happened to Barack Obama? And it's 13 months later, after the inauguration of Barack Obama.
And I don't think Republicans can sit there and say, oh, we're going to have this great success. This is not about the Republicans right now. This is about why people are mad at the Democrats in Washington and the incumbency in Washington. That's what people are mad about.
This is not a bunch of people flocking to become Republicans. But CPAC and the tea party is best representing people's anger right now, in the country, on the right. And I think that's what this is about, is people are angry, whether they're Democrats or Republicans or independents; they're mad at Washington, and anybody that represents Washington is bad.
MORAN: But that's energy. The president's loyalists seems to be disheartened.
BRAZILE: No, I don't think they're disheartened. They're just asleep, and at some point, they'll wake up. I'm an optimist.
I didn't watch too much of the CPAC. I didn't want to get infected with the virus anger...
... given the blues that I've had over the past year.
I think what you're seeing now on the right is a revival. They are feeling energized. They feel as though it's their time.
Now, the question is, will the modern Republican Party be able to harness this anger and turn it into electoral gains?
We have no proof of that? But, for now, they're able to gather a large segment of the base in one hotel room and cheer each other on. And there's nothing wrong with that. That's American politics.
MORAN: Anger. George, does it bother you at all that the John Birch Society is back inside the tent after Bill Buckley spent decades trying to run that wing of the party out?
WILL: It's a big tent. And the tent is a circus imagery. And so you have a freak show side of it. But this is a trivial, infinitesimal, not-noticeable thing, other than by people eager to discredit the Republican Party.