Well on its way to unreforming itself, the GOP had quite a time at its Conservative Political Action Conference:
♦ Titillating evangelical horndogs everywhere, Sarah Palin sucked on a Big Gulp and made a joke about her rack.
♦ And speaking of boobs, Karl Rove, who found himself dope-slapped by the front and back hand of Palin, later, safely back at the Fox ranch, dope-slapped her right back by referencing her fractional governance in Alaska.
Round 1 to Barracuda, but Turd Blossom is a late bloomer, so don’t count him out.
♦ Ted Cruz managed to give a speech without McCarthyizing anyone.
♦ Jeb Bush gave what many considered to be a relatively thoughtful speech, perhaps the only one of the conference, which means, of course, that none of the gathered paid any attention to it.
♦ If Bobby Jindal falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, will he make a sound?
♦ Mitch McConnell said: “Don’t tell me that Democrats are the party of the future when their presidential ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of the ‘Golden Girls,’” Man, oh, man. Hillary is renting space in their heads, I tells ya.
♦ Yes, Phyllis Schlafly is alive. I think.
♦ Allen West was, literally, very colorful. He said, “there is nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black American who wants a better life and a smaller government.” He also said that, “Deeds, not words, will paint this country red.” Next year, he’ll work on his letters and numbers, and by 2016 he’ll run for the White’s House. You heard it here first, people.
♦ Uncharacteristically, Chris Christie didn’t have much to say.
♦ Characteristically, Newt Gingrich did: he said the GOP was “mired in stupidity.”
♦ Which brings me to Michele Bachmann, who said, I kid you not, that we would have a cure for “Alzheimer’s, juvenile diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s,” if it weren’t for our government with its “cadre of overzealous regulators, excessive taxation, and greedy litigators.” Again, I kid you not.
♦ Speaking of jokes, Paul Ryan told a knee-slapper:
We are the party of equal opportunity.
♦ Speaking of men who will never be president, Mittens gave an inspiring speech. I was especially inspired by this line:
I am sorry that I will not be your president.
♦ And speaking of more men who will never be president, Rand Paul, like his father before him, won CPAC’s vaunted straw poll, which is scientific confirmation that nuts really don’t fall far from the tree.
♦ And speaking of that straw poll, Richard Nixon got one vote, which may mean that at least one CPAC attendee longs for a slightly softer side of conservatism, or that the metaphorical Night of the Living Dead marathon that was this CPAC conference brought back memories of Tricky Dick.
♦ And speaking of zombie dicks, toesucking Dick Morris told his fellow conservatives that “single white women run screaming from the Republican Party, largely because of our pro-life position.” Unfortunately for Morris, not a single white woman was around to hear him say that.
♦ And speaking of men who make single white women run screaming from the Republican Party, gun manufacturer lobbyist Wayne LaPierre gave us license to tell the truth about him:
They can call me crazy and whatever else they want…
That kinda takes all the fun out of it.
♦ And speaking of the one single white woman in America who is still a Republican, we have Ann Coulter, who said no way to “amnesty” for those brown immigrants because, “if amnesty goes through, America becomes California and no Republican will ever win another national election.”
♦ And speaking of immigration, Marco Rubio didn’t. He couldn’t muster the courage to mention immigration reform, which he is supposedly championing in Congress, before what would have fast become a hostile CPAC crowd.
Rubio’s speech, though, was full of new ideas like this one: “We don’t need a new idea. The idea’s America, and it still works.” Or how about this new idea: “America’s always been our people.” Where does he come up with these brilliant insights? Or this gem: “We still need plumbers.” Yep, that was really in his speech. America still needs plumbers. And toilets. And toilet paper. Wow, the possibilities are endless.
♦ And speaking of crappers, I found the following headline on the “intellectual” National Review website:
That Gohmert, famous for saying stupid things, is a superstar among CPAC types, pretty much sums up the state of the Republican Party these days, although I will toss in a few more examples:
♦ Donald Trump told a bewildered crowd that he had offered to build a ballroom at the White House for “$50 to a $100 million.” But nobody at the White House called him back. “That’s the problem with the country,” he said, “You don’t hear from people.” If there’s a God in heaven, we will never hear from Donald Trump again.
♦ Iowa congressman Steve King said, “ObamaCare has to go.” Wait, let me double-check that quote…Yep, he said that at CPAC 2013. King also put the kibosh on immigration reform by referring to the lawbreakers as “undocumented Democrats.” King did manage to stumble on the truth about the Republican Party, when he said that, “economics isn’t the most important issue.” Nope, it isn’t, what with all that fornicatin’ goin’ on out there.
♦ And speakin’ of fornicatin’, right-wing columnist Katie Kieffer told a panel on “women’s issues” (yes, there was such a panel) that “ObamaCare is sexist,” because men can tell the pregnant gals in their life, “that’s not my fault; you should have been using Obama’s free birth control.”
♦ And speaking of births, Orly Taitz, famous Birther Queen, got insulted by Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger and birther in her own right, who once wrote that President Obama is the illegitimate son of Malcolm X. Wow, talk about the pot calling the black man a kettle, or the kettle calling the pot a black man or, well, you know what I mean: Obama is a Very Scary Negro.
♦ Finally, speaking of black folks, a white audience member at a panel on what I will generously describe as “minority outreach” —the event was sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and titled, “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” —suggested that slavery was good for those ungrateful blacks. Yessem, slav’ry been berry berry good to me, massa!
At least at this point we have a little good news. As you will see in the video clip below, the response to the racist was pretty much disbelief that someone would say something so shocking in front of the cameras and microphones:
But as good as the news was that the young people in the audience seemed to laugh at the audacity of the racist, there was some bad news. The man leading the panel discussion was KCarl Smith [sic], an African-American conservative who leads a group called Frederick Douglass Republicans™ [sic]. Here is a sample from his website:
Smith, who baited the audience with references to the Democratic Party and the KKK, rather than heaping ridicule on the racist in his audience, sold him a book and made friends with him, while scolding a Russian radio host and producer, who happened to be black.
Here is part of the account from Talking Points Memo, which illustrates that there is some serious racial angst in the reactionary tribe:
Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event’s take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)
“It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males,” Terry said, adding he “came to love my people and culture” who were “being systematically disenfranchised.”
Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.
“For giving him shelter? And food?” Terry said.
At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to “take the debate outside after the presentation.”
Brown, who took offense at the suggestion modern Democrats were descendants of the KKK, tried to ask a question later once things finally calmed down. She was booed and screamed at by audience members.
“Let someone else speak!” one attendee in Revolutionary War garb shouted.
“You’re not welcome!” a white-haired older woman yelled.
Eventually she asked a question. It was about whether Republicans should call out racist ads.
Attendees interviewed by TPM afterwards expressed outrage at the way the event turned out. Not at Terry and Heimbach — they were mad at Brown.
Chad Chapman, 21, one of the few black attendees, said overall he enjoyed the event — except “there were lots of interruptions, mainly because of the woman.”
I asked whether he was concerned about the question from Terry and Heimbach.
“No they were just telling the truth,” he said. You mean you agree blacks are systematically disenfranchising whites, I asked?
“I listen to anybody’s point of view, it doesn’t really matter,” he said.
A media scrum formed around Terry immediately after the close of the event. A woman wearing a Tea Party Patriots CPAC credential who had shouted down Brown earlier urged him not to give his name to the press.
She wouldn’t give her name either, but I asked her what she thought.
“Look, you know there’s no doubt the white males are getting really beat up right now, it’s unfair,” she said. “I agree with that. My husband’s one of them. But I don’t think there’s a clear understanding about what really is going on. He needs to read Frederick Douglass and I think that question should be asked to everyone in this room who is debating.”
Yes, the Republican Party is indeed the champion of all those distressed white males, which is where I’ll leave this year’s visit to CPAC, the place where the great Republican retooling isn’t taking place. See ya again next year!