Nothing Without Lies

A song, a play and an event. Put all three together and you have today’s article.

The event was this weekend’s CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference – I misidentified the second “C” as standing for Committee in an earlier article). To begin with the title when juxtaposed with the speakers and attendees is a lie. The words “conservative” and “crazy” are not synonyms. I am not a conservative nor do I subscribe to that philosophy but it is a legitimate political philosophy. Once upon a time CPAC was a gathering of the most conservative elements of the Republican Party. Today it is a gathering of the most insane of the element that has taken over the grand old party.

Today’s GOP reminds me of the play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in which the inmates temporarily take over the insane asylum. The biggest difference is that the character Randall Patrick “RP” McMurphy, who emerges as the peer group leader, was really sane. The CPAC crowd has accepted Donald Trump as their leader and his grasp on reality, let alone sanity, is certainly questionable. (I’m being kind again today.) I always found McMurphy’s initials RPM – as in revolutions per minute – interesting. They symbolized a system – the asylum – spinning out of control. In this case it is the Republican Party that in the aftermath of the 2008 election increasingly has become controlled by its “invaders” – the extreme radical right formerly known as the Tea Party.

The warmup speakers were generally the furthest out of the current GOP. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri (who nobody could pick out of a lineup of white boys prior to 1/6) told lies and bad jokes boasting of their adventures that sensible people would try to steer clear of.

Freshman Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was among the warmup acts. This weekend the Washington Post published a length article outlining how his “legend” is all falsehoods including those he used against fellow Republicans and the lies he told in the chapel of the “college” he flunked out of after one semester. (His academic record is eerily similar to the late Rush Limbaugh’s – bright future for that boy in today’s GOP.)

The event featured a golden statue of Trump wearing shorts and flip flops. People actually lined up to pose for pictures beside it. To me it more mocked than glorified Trump. There are tons of pictures of Democrats posing next to life size cutouts of Barack Obama, but he was in a business suit.

With Nikki Haley on Trump’s naughty list and Sarah Plain getting too old for Trump’s taste; South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem became the token eye candy. Noem like Trump bragged of how well she handled the pandemic -which was largely used for jokes at CPAC. That isn’t standing up very well with the fact checkers. Only North Dakota reported more infections per capita than Noam’s South Dakota. Also South Dakota has the eight highest death rate from COVID in the country. However, CPAC people neither care about reality nor pay attention to the legitimate news sources that cover the fact checkers.

The GOP is following the Trump model of inventing “facts”. If you listen to them everything you saw on your TV on 1/6 never really happened or at least not the way you saw it. It’s very much like how Trump “saw” Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11 on 9/11. Q: What is today’s GOP without lies? A: Nothing.

On Sunday Trump took the stage for over 90 minutes, much of which was taken up by retelling the big lie that he won the 2020 election in a landslide. To hear him tell it, “Tens of millions of ballots,” (presumably all against him) came in from all over the word in what he maintains was a rigged election. He was supported in these claims by Goya CEO, Robert Unanue, who proclaimed Trump the, “Real and legitimate president.”

Not surprisingly with this crowd Trump’s act worked. They conducted two straw preference polls for the 2024 nominee. Trump won the one he was included in with 55% of the vote. I’m honestly surprised the number wasn’t larger. With Trump excluded host governor (the event was conducted in Orlando, Florida) Ron DeSantis won with 43% and Noam finished second at 11%. Considering their lack of success running a state (in Noam’s case a very, very small one) would you even consider them for the job of running the country? I certainly wouldn’t!

I’ll sum it all up by stealing a line from Phil Collins’ hit, In The Air Tonight, “It’s all been a pack of lies.”

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