Well, that was strange. If you didn’t watch or pay any attention to the conservative
gathering outside of Washington, DC, known as CPAC, you missed a spectacle worthy of Honey Boo Boo. While I did actually make the trek to the National Harbor, no small feat when you have to rely on the incompetent/horribly inefficient DC metro system, I watched most of it online as there was just too much craziness to take in all at once.
First of all, the location make me think of the French Sun King, aka Louis XIV, who relocated the nobles out to Versailles to basically hold them hostage. At both CPAC this weekend and France then, the term “captive audience” was most appropriate. I suppose the reason they held it out there rather than in DC proper was cost because the attendees seemed pretty excited to be there.
Watching everything — the lineup, the speeches — even the music they played was just oh so very strange. Growing up, the GOP always seemed so more more organized than the Democrats. I mean, didn’t Will Rogers say, “I don’t belong to an organized political party, I am a Democrat” ?? The people who put this shit show together looked nothing close to organized. And clearly the speeches were not vetted, and to their credit, that’s a good thing. But I really think the Republicans should make this the last time they put such an emphasis on a conference that is so clearly out of touch with most Americans and also most Republicans.
Why do I say that? They talked a lot about the future. A lot about how the American people support their ideas and
agenda, though if the last election is any indication of how people feel, they have no basis for that view. Meanwhile, as they talked a decent game, their lineup looked like they invited people in 2008, not 2013. Talk about a who’s who of has beens — Sarah Palin? Donald Trump? Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was that Trump spoke to a half empty ballroom. At least Mitt Romney admitted no one should look to him to help win elections. The other irony was you had people like Senator Rand Paul say the old guard of the GOP is covered in moss and lament that the election didn’t prove Americans dislike conservatives because the party hadn’t nominated one in the last two cycles. Ouch. Note to Paul: Mitt Romney has come in first or second in every CPAC straw poll since 2007 –that is the Conservative Union that liked him, the GOP as a whole seemed to have a harder time accepting him (anyone else remember the gloriously drawn out primary process that gave frontrunner status to Herman Cain?).
And I cannot decide what was stranger — Senator Marco Rubio‘s entrance to One Direction or his avoidance of the one issue that he seems to want to build his career around — immigration reform. Or was it Governor Bobby Jindal‘s lame attempt at humor via torture and fat jokes? I get that you have said some great things about what your party needs to do to appeal to more people but fat jokes at Chris Christie’s expense? Really? You do realize he has a 70 plus percent approval rating in a blue state, right?
Look, I am all for the saying that when your opponent is making themselves look bad, just let them. Seriously. My issue is that we need two parties that are both viable and right now, the GOP seems to be anything but.
Oh, and in the “when it rains, it pours” category, the Hill came out with this poll showing Americans may like GOP fiscal policy but they aren’t so fond of the GOP itself. That’s gotta sting.