After some relatively happy thoughts about the direction of things on one subject even within today’s conservative movement and Republican Party, I have to say things look pretty different at CPAC, where the openness to the future was perhaps best expressed by one of yesterday’s rockstar speakers, Sen. Marco Rubio:

“As soon as I’m done speaking, I’ll tell you what the criticism on the left is going to be,” Rubio said. “Number one, he drank too much water [yuk yuk]. Number two: that he didn’t offer any new ideas.

“And there’s the fallacy of it. We don’t need a new idea. There is an idea: the idea is called America, and it still works.”

And the crowd went nuts.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.