I hope the "leading conservatives" who "feel very angry and betrayed" by the Republican Party and its '08 presidential front-runners are a harbinger of a GOP crack-up; I hope the guy denouncing "Rudy McRomney" at the Conservative Political Action Conference speaks for a lot more people than just himself.
However, as of last night Giuliani was leading in the GOP straw poll in Spartanburg, South Carolina -- and, with ballot-counting resumed today, John McCain has pulled up even with Rudy (and with Duncan Hunter, who was running second as of last night). (UPDATE: McCain wins a three-way squeaker -- McCain 164, Giuliani 162, Hunter 158, everyone else 85 or under.)
If the GOP is going to litmus-test itself into an '08 defeat, you'd expect to see signs in a poll like this. And Hunter's strong showing is, admittedly, just such a sign. But the fact that Giuliani and McCain are running so well in South Carolina -- Rudy in particular -- tells me that reports of the party's crack-up are a tad premature.
UPDATE: Both Michelle Malkin and Captain Ed heard Rudy speak at CPAC; both seem to be smitten.
Giuliani, by the way, was gushingly introduced by George Will. Here's Malkin quoting Will:
"Conservatism comes in many flavors, and your next speaker's is the flavor of Margaret Thatcher." Will joked that Thatcher couldn't resist swinging her handbag at any bureaucratic institution that got in her way.
Applause for Giuliani's entrance was strong. Giuliani joked that if he started swinging handbags around, he'd have another issue.
Oh, well done -- very neatly coordinated between Will and the Giuliani campaign. Giuliani not only gets himself compared to a woman who's a hero to right-wing America, he also gets a neat segue that allows him to dismiss the cross-dressing issue with a joke.
Will will now go back to pretending he's observing this race as a disinterested journalist.
MORE: More evidence that Giuliani won the day at CPAC in a post at RedState titled "I Have Seen The Future: It Is Giuliani." (I think the echo of Orwell is unintentional.)