When Grover Norquist went to Burning Man, he had a dream. It was that Senator Rand Paul would be by his side next year. In a video exclusive, Fusion's Cleo Stiller had a chance to pal around with Norquist — the founder of Americans for Tax Reform and a prominent conservative — at the event.
When asked who would be Grover's 'dream team' at Burning Man, Norquist didn't have to think twice: Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). All Californians, go figure, except for one… a personal challenge from Grover Norquist to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). "I think if he came out here, he’d carry the art vote," Norquist laughed.
Seventy thousand people attended Burning Man's seven-day event in the Black Rock Desert this year. The majority of those participants are grouped into hundreds of theme camps. "Theme Camps truly are the fabric of Burning Man," explained Harley K. DuBois, Burning Man's Director of Community Services and Playa Safety. "What [they] do helps to create what this year is."
Could Norquist's favorite Republican and Libertarian colleagues hack it on the Playa? I don’t know. One of Burning Man's ten principles is 'radical self-reliance' and that's no joke. The journey out to the isolated desert is a mecca in itself. The event is a three-hour drive from the closest city, Reno, and cell phone service is non-existent. Participants must bring food, shelter, supplies and clothing to survive scorching hot days, freezing cold nights and the daily sandstorms that can rip the skin off your lips in an instant. That is to say, D.C. hard knocks aren't looking so bad after a week at Burning Man.
When asked about his experience at Burning Man, Norquist said, "It is amazing — it's bigger than I thought. Bigger than I could have imagined… I was at an absinthe bar ‘til two in the morning. Then I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to go look at the sunrise and watch them burn something down."
Is this a one-off for the adventurous Libertarian? No way. When Fusion asked if he was coming back, Norquist responded, "Oh, yes. absolutely."
See Also: We followed Grover Norquist as he gifted lip balm, Nutella and cuban cigars around Burning Man.