One-upping Sally Franson: I was a UW-Madison College Republican

So the Isthmus went undercover: Sally Franson "infiltrated" the Dane County GOP. What do you think she found?

Well, she seems to have discovered that Republicans aren't actually baby-eating, Constitution-shredding monsters. Shocking, no? She also finds out that not all Republicans wear pearls! They are a mad bunch though -- although she may just mean angry, not completely insane, we're not sure.

What is interesting is the flip that's occurred. Remember when it was the angry Left? They were mad -- hey, there's that word again -- about lots of things. The stolen election. The Iraq War. The fact that Bush was still president (how'd that happen?). What have you. I guess the shoe is on the other foot now.

The second half of her article is more instructive, and hits at the reason I joined the College Republicans at Madison rather than any of their counterpart organizations, even though I opposed at least half of what the CRs did and stood for. You see, Franson discovered those kooky libertarian types:
But there are also plenty of perfectly nice and intelligent people — people who went out of their way at GOP events to welcome me, and who just happen to have a drastically different perspective on the role of government. This gets lost when both parties paint the other as not only wrong, but morally abhorrent.

...As it turns out, Waksman is a Libertarian who has folded himself into the Republican Party of Dane County and supports, among other things, medical marijuana and equal rights for homosexuals. His social views may skew liberal, but he is staunchly against big government and believes in the inviolability of free markets. He is also dismayed by what he perceives as the county Democrats' inability to govern in a fiscally responsible manner.
What you find -- or at least, what I found -- was that in Madison, the orthodoxy is ascendant on the left. And that means that the right collects a bit more diversity, intellectually. It's still fairly stifling, perhaps -- Waksman expresses that. The GOP activists still tend to be the religious types, the true believers in the Republican mission. But if you look, there will be a pretty surprisingly wide range of views -- because the other options just don't really fit for a lot of people. And Franson motions toward that, without making it explicit -- that the range is pretty wide on the right, when you feel you don't have options elsewhere.