The theme of this year’s CPAC was “America vs. Socialism,” as Trumpworld gears up to run against Bernie Sanders, even if they’re not quite ready to say that out loud.
The last three days have been a blur of nasty looks, off-the-record threats, and panels like Socialism: Wrecker of Nations and Destroyer of Societies, Socialism Destroys the Economy, Socialism Destroys Humanity, and Socialism and the Great Awokening, mixed in with talk about Trump’s divine presidency with little room left for old favorites like Democrats want to ban cows and kill your babies. There was hardly a mention of Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, and just passing ones of Mike Bloomberg. No Burismas or lock-her-up chants.
There was a guy dressed up as Santa “because it’s conservative Christmas,” and a group of conservative grifters including Laura Loomer, Jacob Wohl, Michelle Malkin and Gavin McInnes who weren’t quite invitees but some of whom got on stage or gave interviews.
Mike Pence, smooth at his 14th CPAC, led a chant of “four more years.” A protester dressed up like Donald Trump was escorted out before Pence promised the crowd “no more Benghazis.” Pence talked for 45 long minutes, about how “In three short years we’ve made America great again,” how “It won’t be enough to win the next election, we have to win the next generation,” and how “freedom works and socialism doesn’t.”
At The Ills of Socialized Medicine panel, one speaker declared that “socialized medicine killed Princess Diana.” Another added that there are no trauma surgeons in all of France. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that’s all crazy.
Charlie Kirk gave a speech declaring that people shouldn’t send their kids to four-year colleges and instead should produce more plumbers. Which struck me as odd being that his business is going around to college campuses. He also said people shouldn’t give money to their alma maters.
Kimberly Guilfoyle wore her glasses and yelled in a tone that sounded very 1934 German. The guy from Pawn Stars said Democrats want to make your taxes 90 percent.
Diamond and Silk gave a speech about how “They wanted to keep slavery and socialism is just another form of slavery.” One lady wore a black, lacy evening dress and the other a red sequined dress. “We need more free thinkers and not freeloaders,” said either Diamond or Silk. “Free stuff does not equal freedom.” The ladies read from a script, despite this being their usual shtick.
But perhaps the most impressive moment of thought jiujitsu was Larry Kudlow declaring that “socialism is a far bigger threat to the American economy than the coronavirus is” in the midst of the worst market selloff since the 2008 economic crisis.
Small-screen Superman and bootleg Buffy read aloud the texts of Peter Strozk and Lisa Page Thursday evening and that was it for me. Friday, I stayed in my hotel room and watched online.
That was after Jim Jordan had talked about wrestling, which was questionable (just ask Dennis Hastert), and when I mentioned that on Twitter the CPAC house account decided to insult me.
To say I am not popular at CPAC after two years writing on the bad place doesn’t really cover it. The guy behind me in the media row called me “a crazy person.” A columnist from a far-right site joked to one of my friends that he was going to punch me in the face and then told my friends “it was off the record.” A woman for another far-right site confronted me and seemed deeply disappointed when I didn’t know who she was. My friend was berated by Dan Bongino, and then Matt Schlapp came over to see if Bingo Bongo needed help. Help with what? Berating my friend? Another friend was taken aside for questioning by security. An unofficial theme of this CPAC seemed to be harass the MSM. This was probably my last CPAC.
And this one was all about the socialist threat, with speakers struggling to control their excitement about running against Bernie, the democratic socialist. They should be careful what they wish for. Remember, Democrats prayed for a Trump nomination in 2016 and they got it.