Cracking Up at CPAC

This is the last day of CPAC. They go by so fast. And so often. CPAC is supposed to be annual but it feels as if they have one every other month.

CPAC’s chairman, Matt Schalpp, has been accused of grabbing the crotch of a male Herschel Walker staffer, which may be why there are empty seats at the current event. It’s being held just outside Washington, DC, I understand, so filling the seats shouldn’t be that hard. See The Sad, Desolate Scenes of CPAC 2023 at The New Republic.

On Friday, Donald Trump Jr. attempted a “Willy Wonka” moment by telling people there were candy bars with golden tickets under some seats. They were VIP tickets to his father’s reception today. After people checked under their own seats they checked under the empty seats around them. Apparently the stunt didn’t elevate the prevailing sour mood.

Nick Fuentes was removed from the convention yesterday.

“We removed Nick Fuentes from his attempt to attend our conference. His hateful racist rhetoric and actions are not consistent with the mission of CPAC,” Matt Schlapp said in a statement posted on Instagram.

I don’t know why they bothered. They aren’t fooling anybody but themselves. After Fuentes was kicked out his supporters hung out outside the convention center and heckled the attendees.

Outside the event, based on videos he posted on Telegram, Fuentes’ supporters walked the streets around the venue and hurled bigoted vitriol at prominent CPAC attendees.

“You work for Jews! What’s wrong with you,” they shouted at one man.

“You’re on a gay date!” they yelled at another.

Oh, and Nikki Haley was heckled by Trump supporters.

Usually anyone thinking of running for POTUS as a Republican would be at CPAC. ABC reports,

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who are seen as possible 2024 hopefuls, are among those staying away — with some opting instead to attend a donor retreat hosted by the anti-tax Club for Growth.

“Ten years ago, [CPAC] was an opportunity to test your messages to conservative leaders and influencers all over the country and to have a big audience get to know you from the podium. And I don’t think that’s where it is today,” said one aide to a possible 2024 candidate. “Last time I was there, it almost felt more like a college crowd than it did a serious thinker crowd.”

Possibly the biggest headlines of the convention were made by Steve Bannon, who declared war on Fox News.

Nobody likes Fox News right now. Unfortunately, Fox’s ratings are doing just fine. At the same time, there are reports Trump is now “shadowbanned” at Fox News. Matt Stieb writes at New York,

According to four Trump aides who spoke with Semafor, the former president is now facing an unofficial ban at Fox News, with the network refusing to book him or even talk much about him in the context of the Republican presidential primary. “It’s certainly — however you want to say, quiet ban, soft ban, whatever it is — indicative of how the Murdochs feel about Trump in this particular moment,” said one aide. Another said they’ve heard directly from people at Fox News that the policy exists.

While the network did not respond to a request for comment, the approach is playing out on television: Trump hasn’t been on Fox News since September, when its hosts rallied around him in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid and he told Sean Hannity that he could declassify documents by “thinking about it.” They even skipped his trip last week to East Palestine, Ohio — a major talking point in the debate over the environmental disaster. Meanwhile, future 2024 also-ran Vivek Ramaswamy has been on the network four times in the ten days since he announced his run. By the metric of showing up on TV, Florida governor Ron DeSantis appears to be the favorite, appearing on Fox shows four times in three days this week.

There was a time it seemed everyone on the Right spoke with one voice, as if they all received the same talking points of the day and stuck to it. In 2001 they were all saying the outgoing Bill Clinton staff vandalized the White House, for example. Saddam Hussein ordered the 9/11 attacks. Democrats politicized Paul Wellstone’s funeral. John Kerry lied about his war experiences. It doesn’t matter that none of those things were true; the righties got the memo, and they all sang the same tune for days on end. But they can’t pull off that kind of unity any more. And I don’t see them pulling together anytime soon.

11 thoughts on “Cracking Up at CPAC

  1. "His hateful racist rhetoric and actions are not consistent with the mission of CPAC"

    But it's cool if lil-donnie has him and "Ye" over to Mara-lago for dinner time? CPAC sure does get alot of press, we democrats have nothing that even compares? I wish the democrats would raise more hell about the fact that you can't bring your gun into the CPAC convention, these right-wing assholes are fine with open carry for children in some states but no guns allowed in close proximity to Gaetz, MTG, Don Jr. etc? Fucking hypocrites!

    • "His hateful racist rhetoric and actions are not consistent with the mission of CPAC" translates to : Describing the mission of CPAC in plain English is not consistent with CPAC's brand.

  2. A fitting,"Willy Wonka"-style ending for the "talent" at Fox "news"?

    While they're recording their shows one day, have them all be sucked into a giant hole that opens on their sets, which then spits them all into a Rube Goldberg type machine that eventually turns each one of them into the stuffing for Mike Lindell's (their main sponsor) over-priced night torture devices known as "My Pillow."

    I hope you got a chuckle, or even a smile, while reading that.

    Because without a chuckle, or even a smile, I took a very long and winding road to get to a truly bad gag.


    Good night!  🙂

  3. I find the trends described very interesting. First, turnout and enthusiasm are down from previous CPACs though DC is a venue that should draw big. It's a Trump show – others are ignoring CPAC because it's an extension of the Trump show.  

    Second, the Trump show is unwelcome at Fox and the Trump show has declared war on Fox. But ratings for Fox are not declining. Let's line up the facts.

    Conservatism is not in decline

    CPAC is in decline – fewer presidential contenders, fewer attendees.

    Trump isn't being promoted by Fox, and won't be. 

    This hasn't adversely affected the fortunes of Fox. 

    Competitors to Fox are in decline – Newsmax dropped by DirectTV and Alex Jones sued into retreat. (He's around but he's spending most of his time trying to figure out how to hide his money and pay his lawyers. This will be his legacy – there is no exit.)


    I'm feeling good about this. Trump has a solid block of supporters but not nearly enough to win the general election. He might or might not prevail in the primaries. Bad news for Trump is just beginning. The steady stream of legal losses means he's gonna face a civil trial in NY that could cost him 100 million. He's gonna be in a rape trial – all efforts to get that tossed have failed. He's gonna face a civil trial in DC brought by cops and a few legislators re Trump being responsible for the J6 riot. Some of these are on the docket. All will be on the docket and finished by early 2024. 

    I'm waiting for criminal charges in GA – NY criminal charges seem likely re paying a porn star hush money. (The Michael Cohen thing.) Federal charges should drop – like yesterday for obstruction on the classified documents. And the right people are being called to testify before a federal grand jury on Trump's planning of the J6 insurrection. No Christian has waited for the second coming of Christ like I'm waiting for criminal charges. 

    A WHOLE lot of this will happen at the absolute worst time for a presidential candidate. Fox will be pressing Trump to step aside so that Republicans have half a chance at the WH. (This is DeSantis’ plan.) Some Republican voters will listen, but much of the base will cling to Trump. The seismic stress will split the party – Trump will quit the GOP. I do not think they will survive as a single party past 2025. There will be a fascist conservative party against a moderate GOP, a lot more moderate than most non-fascist conservatives want to be. But to replace the multitude of fascist voters lost in the earthquake, the GOP is gonna have to pitch to women and Hispanics. 

    • Doug, I don't have time today for research, so do you know if there is an EU country that already has two conservative parties, one moderate and one fascist? If so what can we learn from their history that could help us move forward in the best way?

    • No Christian has waited for the second coming of Christ like I'm waiting for criminal charges. 

      Let's hope that criminal charges aren't as elusive as the nebulous second coming..Because the second coming just ain't gonna happen. 

  4. "No Mr. Schlapp I don't need your help searching under my seat, I said NO, HEY THAT's NOT A CANDY BAR!"

  5. @Doug – the only thing I disagree with is your assertion "Conservativism is not in decline". All the points you're making argue otherwise. I am thrilled to see such division and disarray among the troglodytes. I want the law to come on Trump, but not so badly, or so early that he's entirely kicked out of the game – the more confusion on their side, the better. Meanwhile, the electorate is getting younger and younger. Peak Wingnut is becoming more and more real.

    • Moonbat – I concede the point over the long haul. The GOP base looks mostly like me – old, male, and white. People my age are dying off – I hope to be around for a while but the US life expectancy is 77. Anything more than eight years from now is me beating the odds.

      In that eight years, about 28 million US citizens will die. More of them will be Republicans than Democrats.  It's a large enough shift to lock the US House majority and the presidency for liberals. I don't think most Republican voters can do the math but they feel their power is waning. This terrifies them. I get it – as their faculties of sight, hearing, and balance are failing, they see signs of true racial equality, of gender equity, and sexual independence. Their grandkids have a completely different value system and they aren't terrified of the word 'socialism.' 

      The politics is mostly about the money. Old, rich, white guys can see that young people with rainbow flags will come for their money.  The majority of have-nots will want rich people to pay for medicine, for education, for programs that benefit the working class. The demographic shift threatens the status quo that aristocrats belive is their birthright. Big money is trying to rule from a minority status – big money is financing the new generation of Limbaughs and their epistles of fear and hate – big money has forsaken democracy because they will no longer be able to control democracy. 

      You are right – conservatism is in decline numerically. We are in a race with time. Big money wants to consolidate power so it exists beyond the reach of the choices of democracy. They have to do this through the legal system of legislation – now – before their numbers decline any more. Or through violent revolution. If democracy can survive for a decade, we take the power from the ruling class The class with money.

      I need to last a decade to see it.

  6. Pompeo says Trump is not a "true" Conservative on Sunday morning TV.  Christy says Trump is not a "true" Conservative on Sunday morning TV.  To these statements I ask what is the "true" shape of a cloud in a windstorm?

    Conservatism is in a state of flux.  We know certain facts, like in Trump's view, the volume of water used by a flush toilet is a primary tenet of Conservatism.  We also know values such as a balanced budget, small government, and a strong military are to a large extent, a thing of the past or only important on a whim.  

    Conservatism used to derive from writers who held a common and somewhat reasoned position.  Today is trickles down from strong men and is defined by their whim and political opportunism.  As with Murdoch greed and ratings are sufficient values to attempt to propagate a known lie.  As to its ditto-head followers, they seem fine with those values dictating the meaning of "true" Conservative at least for this moment in time. Tomorrow, who knows?


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