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Oregon GOP Picks "Mr. Neo-Con" for Keynote 

Looking for a heavyweight to appear as keynote speaker at the Dorchester Conference, their big annual wingding on the Oregon Coast, the Republican Party of

Looking for a heavyweight to appear as keynote speaker at the Dorchester Conference, their big annual wingding on the Oregon Coast, the Republican Party of Oregon has picked the neo-con's neo-con, William "Bill" Kristol.

Son of neo-con godfather Irving Kristol, Bill is founder and editor of the right-wing Weekly Standard magazine, appears frequently on Fox News as a "political analyst" and recently was made a columnist for the New York Times.

An ardent supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - and Iran too, when we get around to it - Kristol is famous for declaring in April 2003: "We committed ourselves to reshaping the Middle East, so the region would no longer be a hotbed of terrorism, extremism, anti-Americanism, and weapons of mass destruction. The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably."

"In the fast moving political environment of this presidential election year, William Kristol has exactly the right experience, insight and analytical skills to deliver an excellent and informative speech to Dorchester attendees," said state Rep. Linda Flores (R-Boring), president of this year's conference, which will take place from Feb. 29 through March 2 in Seaside.

"Torridjoe" on the liberal LoadedOrygun blog, predictably, has a different take:

"Struggling for relevance in an environment where not a SINGLE Republican candidate feels like rolling the dice on a state office, the ORGOP turns to a guy who could not have been more spectacularly wrong about EVERY detail of the war on Iraq, and yet continues to garner interest and respect from people who either don't know that he's like the anti-Nostradamus, or simply don't care."

You have to wonder about the Oregon GOP's connection to reality when you read the following statement on its website urging people to join the "GOP Team": "Together we'll bring new faces and new voices into the Republican Party and maintain our majority for years to come."

What majority would that be, guys? You're a minority in Oregon voter registration and in the state House and Senate.

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