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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:39 PM

Conservative Angst

Republicans descend on the National Review’s post-election summit to ask: “Why?”
By David Weigel

A well-stocked open bar cures all angst. The reception room at the National Review Institute’s post-election summit has four of ’em, loaded high with rum, whiskey, vodka, and triple sec, and O’Doul’s for those who want to fake it. When there’s an evening lull in the Omni Shoreham’s main ballroom, there’s a party waiting in the mini-ballroom across the beige hallway. Early on Friday evening hundreds of conservatives pack the room, stepping in and out of line depending on whether they’re thirsty or whether they’d rather talk to one of the available icons—Mark Steyn! Jonah Goldberg! Rich Lowry!

I get stuck between Steyn, a ring of his fans, and a bar, where I meet an Orlando dermatologist named Darrin. He’d volunteered for Mitt Romney’s campaign, “making calls from my office” when he wasn’t working or raising his kids, and he wasn’t surprised when Romney lost, because he doesn’t put any graft past Barack Obama. “I’m worried about a dictatorship,” he says—really, we have been talking for maybe three minutes before he lays this on me. “I mean, it happened in history. History repeats. Why couldn’t it? How about all the Muslim Brotherhood czars? He’s got like eight different guys in the administration who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

When I start to sound skeptical, Darrin pulls out his iPhone and forwards me an infographic. It’s titled “Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Obama ...

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