I couldn’t let this week pass without some comments on the circus (a/k/a CPAC) being in metro D.C. last week. It so happens it is also the perfect segue into tonight’s big speech. Let’s explore.
While I will admit to watching President Trump’s entire speech at CPAC on Friday, otherwise my listening was selective and sporadic. Missing the Donald getting the chance to perform in front of a room almost entirely comprised of Bubbas was too tempting to miss. Trump didn’t disappoint if entertainment was your desire and due to a progressive prank the stupidity and geo-political ignorance of the majority in attendance was on full display.
Perhaps bigger and certainly more ominous headlines were made the day before when Trump’s political brain in the person of Steve Bannon appeared at CPAC 2016. The hints of fascism and dictatorship were both abundant and terrifying!
Bannon spoke of “economic nationalism”. That sounds way too much like master race talk to me, especially knowing Bannon’s extreme right background and history. Remember this year’s gathering started out with a “disclaimer” that the alt-right, (of which Bannon is the de facto leader), is really a left wing conspiracy. What! If you choose to dismiss my likening Bannon’s economic talk to the fascist rhetoric of 1930’s Europe, let’s simply look at it from a pure economics standpoint. Bannon is basically calling for isolationism. How is that to work in a global economy? Do we bar Americans from importing goods and services, ban American firms from exporting or both? None of those options sound either desirable or practical in today’s economy.
Then there is the proclamation that the goal of this administration is to “deconstruct” government. That is verbiage lifted directly from European radical right wing organizations. Bannon is not a reformer dedicated to the common man; he is an anarchist. His boss will go along with Bannon’s disruptive plans because a corrupt leader can personally profit in chaos. Remember, first and foremost it is Don Trump and he wants to wet his beak.
What we are seeing will get the approval of many far right Republicans, at least in the near term. What is the core difference between deconstructing the federal government and Grover Norquist’s, (an old Regan guy), stated desire to reduce the size of government until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub?
That was Thursday. Friday the Clown-in-Chief, Donald Trump, took the stage. He went on some strange ego driven rant about the standing ovations he receives not being reported in the press. (As he spoke the pool camera was broadcasting the standing ovation.) That, of course, just got him warmed up for his real attack on the press as the enemy of the American people. No Trump speech would be complete without some bragging of his win over Hillary Clinton. He actually called her out by name on two occasions. His home crowd loves him and expressed it with choruses of, “Lock her up” and USA, USA, USA…” (I wonder if he has to pay a royalty to The Jerry Springer Show?
The most humorous and telling sidelight of this year’s CPAC was two progressive activists entering the room just before Trump spoke and passing out hundreds of tri-color Russian flags with “TRUMP” emblazoned in gold on them. The audience scooped them up and waved them with zeal. Many posed for pictures proud of the flags they held in their hands. Finally someone on the CPAC staff recognized that the flags were those of Russia, confiscated them and dispatched the intruders.
Bubba made nothing of it. After all the flags were red, white and blue. Who would notice that the shades of red and blue were very different than in the American flag? Who could expect these “knowledgeable political experts” to know what the Russian flag looked like?
Well CPAC gave us a lot of laughs and a lot to fear again this year. Going into tonight’s big speech my wonder is which ally will Trump insult and anger? The rhetoric is sadly predictable.
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