Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spewing At CPAC


If last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference is representative, the formerly respectable Republican Party is done. CPAC was a festival of white grievance, denialism, big lies and bigger, conspiracies, and tortured attacks on liberalism. Pretending that sometimes-stupid but often-appropriate (like when Fox canceled O’Reilly) “cancel culture” is a greater threat to America than Covid-19, climate change, or Trump’s sedition.

What there wasn’t, except for ways to keep Democrats from voting, was policy. Meanwhile, Democracy-protecting House Democrats passed a bill making voting more accessible to all eligible citizens.

Featuring no actual conservatives, CPAC welcomed heroes of the election-canceling insurrection. Cruz, Hawley, Brooks. Paul Gosar, fresh from speaking to a white supremacist rally. Young Madison Cawthorn, who entered politics Trumpically, with lies, phony accusations, and demonizing his opponents. It was a retinue of retrogression. 

Then, the big finish: Trump. Caring less for God’s First Commandment than the founders’ Second, the flock idolized him in a much-selfied, gilded, Bob’s Big Boy simulacrum, amusingly made in China. After ninety minutes of unearned boastfulness, repeating his debunked, judicially-rejected election lies, and decrying “cancel culture,” Trump listed political opponents he wants canceled. Standingly, the audience ovated. We love you, they testified. You won, you won. 

They love the lifelong conman who made the pandemic worse, the contrast to whose uncaring mismanagement of vaccine distribution is stark, compared to President Biden’s effective guidance. Who, with his current wife, received the vaccine in secret, presumably to avoid publically debunking his dishonesty about Covid-19. The man who told them the lies they wanted to hear and fueled their Foxified resentments since before he was “elected.”

Hyping donations to his personal PAC, his control of which is total, he dangled a run in 2024, which will end when he’s grifted enough easy money from the beguiled. In mere days, he’s already garnered millions.

If CPAC is today’s Republican Party, we’re all in big trouble. If it is, our best years, leading the world in nurturing democracy, innovation, overcoming daunting challenges, and fulfilling dreams are behind us. Then, there were two conscientious, opposing but intellectually honest parties. Then, American democratic republicanism depended on and did damn well with it. Now, always delighted to approve budget-busting tax breaks for the wealthy, not a single House Republican voted to provide pandemic relief to those in need. 

Accomplishing nothing but delaying the help, Senator Ron “small” Johnson required the seven-hundred-page bill to be read aloud. Perhaps he can’t read. In any case, helpful Republican participation is no more.

No one looking for good governance could have found it at CPAC. Absent ideas, “cancel culture” was endlessly looped, (“Freeeedummmb,” screeched Crazed Cruz) to keep the masses from noticing the competence emanating, after a four-year absence, from the White House. 

(Noted, with irony: the decision to stop publishing a few Dr. Seuss books, met with choreographed rightwing outrage, was a free-market, unregulated, capitalist business decision, made entirely by the publisher.) 

What are conservatives to do? If CPAC is the Republican Party, they have no place in it. Surely, they can’t countenance Republican leadership of Texas and Mississippi, the two states most severely affected by bad governance during the big freeze, and, despite remaining near the top in Coronavirus deaths, the first fully to reopen.

Could they rationalize aping Mitch McConnell, who unequivocally called out Trump’s culpability for the insurrection and the lies that led to it, then voted to acquit, suggesting America’s criminal justice system is the remedy; and now says he’d support Trump if he were the 2024 Republican nominee? In what way is it conservative to say, sure, the man is a dangerous, mendacious, anti-democracy criminal, but of course I’d support him?

Presumably, Trump’s promise not to start a third party was greeted with relief by McConnell. Or, more likely, resignation. Because while Mitch recognizes the debasement Trump has wrought upon Republicanism, he understands he has nowhere else to go.

So he’ll stay with the party, sixty-two-percent of whose members say they either won’t or have serious reservations about getting vaccinated. The majority of whom believe the outrageous lies he, McConnell, decried, who’ve proudly renounced reality. Nearly all of whom revere the man whose malfeasance he confirmed to the world. 

Unchanged, Republicans will have a steadily diminishing role in the future of our country, except to the extent they may rob us of one. It’s a swamp from which there seems no escape for real conservatives.

Let’s hope they find one anyway. Proposing serviceable solutions to the existential problems we face, rejecting McConnell’s obstructionism, shrinking Trump’s CPAC into a cultish anachronism: that’d be a hopeful start.


  1. When I saw that stupid, gaudy, ultimate-in-tacky Trump statue being wheeled in at the start of CPAC, I thought for certain that it must be another Sacha Baron Cohen incursion. When will Borat appear?! Will the statue start cursing like a drunk sailor?! When will the statue start blowing sparks and foul smoke out its ass?! Oh, I just knew that it was a huge prank!

    Damn. While sadly disappointed, the reaction by the MAGAfied is some consolation. They loved the piece of crap "art" and posed with it! Trump accepted it! It's not even close to being an accurate symbol, but it and the MAGAfied reaction to it show just how empty and cheap Trumpism is.

    1. "I thought for certain that it must be another Sacha Baron Cohen incursion."

      Ever since you wrote this...It pops into my random thoughts head still. I think "Why DIDN'T Sasha think of this??? lolol

      The thing is, it looks every bit the prank. Yet...The MAGA-fied treat it as an idol. As a stuffed mascot at Disneyland. And are PROUD!

      Nuthin' beats the diaper wearing Baby Huey balloon. That's epic...

      Why Sasha, why are you stuck in my head?!?!

  2. Great read :O)

    I think Lumpy thinks Drumpf won't win or be in a new party. Kinda like that sleaze Graham "Use my words against me..."

    "Resistant to rational conversation"

  3. I always enjoy your column, Dr. Schwab. You convey the evidence that Drumpf is truly "The Ugly American" in the eyes of all non-MAGAfied and democracy loving people. His evil cult will surely disappear eventually. In the meanwhile, keep up the good fight for truth, justice and reality.

    1. Thanks. Interestingly, "ugly American" is a misused term, at least when it harkens back to the book "The Ugly American." In that book, which I think is the origin of the term, the ugly American was a good guy. Pretty sure.

    2. Dr. Schwab,

      In retrospect, I should have referred to Drumpf as a truly "detestable Un-American Tyrant".

  4. Personally, I am hoping that the Democrats DOJ, NY and Georgia go after him and convict him. That way, he will have no ability to run for president again and it might also put him away for awhile so that he cannot exert further influence while in the slammer. I still have little hope for the R's as a party since even without him they still have no policy agenda or any real goals except to hand on to power by any means. Hence the current onslaught of bills by state legislatures in R dominated states to increase voter suppression laws as much as possible before 2021 and the next redistricting. At this point, I hope the Democrats will learn from prior mistakes and quite playing nice and just get rid of the filibuster and just get some important stuff done.

  5. Eliminate the filibuster

  6. For those a lil slow or totally reluctant to do away with the filibuster...

    Let's make it harder to do...I'm OK with that...For now.

  7. This is how the alt right stays in power...

  8. Once again, the alt right has no shame and here's the proof. They use their children as pawns for photo ops. Teach them to hate at birth. But we still have to take care of these idiot adults and their kids right? Isn't that what the alt right rails against? Takers and makers right? Here's a video with 100% takers and 0% fakers.

    I was on the bus today doing some shopping. On the way back a lady gets on the bus with her mask on properly. She then sits directly across from me and pulls her mask down.
    I waited patiently thinking a beverage was soon to follow. I was wrong. She got busy on her cell phone. After a long 60 seconds of that I said "Could you please wear your mask properly?" and she exclaimed "Excuse me!?" to which I repeated myself and she replied "You need to mind your own business." and my reply was "You got into my business when you pulled you mask down so let's get that straight right now." This is the second major run in in 2 months with someone on the bus irate at me for asking them to properly wear their mask.

    To that lady and anyone else...I will call you out, so expect it and don't whine and cry and deflect and project all over me. You are a burden on us all. Period. Some of these so called adults need to grow up and get a life that does not include the white power racist misogynistic hypocritical existence they have today. Like "Drumpf allows us to say Christmas again." That's a cult member if I ever heard one. We all know it's not true but...Here we are treating it as if it's the end of Christianity. Because someone said so. Because someone celebrates Cuanza.

    They can all go mask less to the John Burch summer camp in the summer. Won't that be a treat!

  9. Here's what we do from here on out...Make yourself heard everywhere.

    People are trying to take away the right to vote. Make no mistake, the days of Jim Crow are back RE; alt right because they can't stay in power as long as free and fair elections exist. Their grifts that are fleecing their ignorants' are over.

    The ballot box is not where democracy goes to die...or is it?
    The choice is ours and here's how we fight back...

  10. The alt right is now taking credit for the rescue plan...

    "Keilar: GOP senator touted provision in bill he voted against"

    1. Yep. He gets a shout-out in my Suess-based column, coming soon to a computer near you.


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