His big day at CPAC likely to be followed by prosecution
I was a bit curious when I learned that Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the CPAC conference on February 28. Although I had little doubt about what he might say, I wondered what reception he will receive. Would the Insurrectionist of January 6 receive a standing ovation?
I was also interested in what his big game hunting son, Donald, Junior, might say in his speech. What do you say when you are under investigation for fraud in more than one jurisdiction and are widely accused of joining dad in an act of insurrection? Was the conference a good time to hint you might run for president in 2024 if your dad doesn’t?
I underestimated whatever it is that inspires Junior’s words and supplies his energy. He was, as always, over the top. And that was a good thing. Junior satisfied my curiosity without my having to either read his comments or watch an entire video of it. He played the role of the reality-denying cheerleader oblivious both to the pain that awaits him, his brother, and his dad in court. My thought was that this conference, as bizarre as it has been with a gold idol of Trump being wheeled around, is Don, Jr.’s last hurrah.
My second thought is that the whole conference is a pathetic collection of misfits who relish the shock that their brand of “conservativism” produces among normal people. On the limited video I have watched, every attendee remains loyal to Trump, despite everything he did in the last three months. The attendees also appear enthusiastic, as if it was a great time to be a Trump-branded partisan.
Dozens of PhD theses could be written on what brought these people to the meeting and whether each of them should be categorized as mentally ill.
My plan for this article had been to look at the policy positions articulated by the speakers, especially those related to the ex-president, and comment on them. Maybe I would expose the hypocrisy of some of the proposals and convince myself that I was contributing to the end of Trumpism. I abandoned that plan because there have been no surprises. The mainstays of Trump policy, if you can call them that, remain intact. Election integrity tops the list, but the Wall is still there as well.
The speeches were also uniformly boring, sounding very much like what you might hear at a high school football pep rally. We’re great and the other team, consisting of Nancy, Chuck, Joe Biden and his puppetmaster Kamala, and a host of RINOs, are not. Ted Cruz joked about his recent trip to Cancun. Junior targeted Liz Cheney with humor about her father’s quail-hunting accident in which another hunter was shot.
What are the takeaways from CPAC 2020? Mine is that the Republican party is deader than widely assumed, at least as far as the Trump cult is concerned. It is possible — no, likely — that most of the attendees will feel foolish after more gets known about January 6 and the blizzard of indictments and civil actions against Trump and his brood get filed.
I can’t say that I hope the attendees enjoyed their last hurrah. They are not a sympathetic bunch.
More articles by John Dean:
National Commission on Trump Insurrection and Its Causes is Urgently Needed
If we don’t understand what happened, it will happen again