CPAC 2021: Will Trump cement the America first populist movement?
WASHINGTON. The only thing interesting about this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is watching the infighting between the old-school, William F. Buckley wing of the GOP and the party’s more recent compassionate-conservative faction founded by the inarticulate George W. Bush.
When a reporter asked ranking Republican House leaders if President Donald J. Trump should be allowed to speak this Sunday at the CPAC convention in Florida, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was brief and to the point.
“Yes, he should.”
But when House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney was asked the same question, she said.
“I don’t believe that he [Trump] should be playing a role in the future of the party, or the country.”
The uprising of Jan. 6th
Cheney, you may recall, voted in favor of President Trump’s impeachment on the charge he incited demonstrators to storm the Capitol Hill last Jan. 6th.
Back then, she accused Trump of “refusing, despite multiple requests from people to ask him to stop what was happening. To ask him to stop the violence. To protect the Capitol. To protect the counting of electoral votes. He didn’t do so,” she said in remarks before the Reagan Institute.
The Capitol Hill revolt, she said, is “an existential threat to who we are and it can’t be minimized or trivialized.”
That uprising has Democrats and more than a few Republicans – not to mention all of the mainstream media – very worried. It was the first indication that a militant cadre of patriotic Americans wasn’t going to take the corruption of the US electoral system and theft of the US presidency laying down.
Stabilizing a weak Washington junta
At first, Democrats and the media called them rioters. But the term didn’t adequately express their fear and loathing. They eventually settled on “insurrectionist.” And so, these frightened Washington elites have been busy trying to stop this counter-coup reaction from building into a strong, nation-wide movement.
Those in support of the Biden junta, the media, and Big Tech, work tirelessly to define this counter-culture movement as conspiracy theorists, domestic terrorists, or traitors. They insist all beliefs in opposition to those of the Washington/Media axis are dangerous “hate speech” and “disinformation” that inspires violence.
The New York Times described the coordinated effort to squelch political opposition a week after former Vice President Joe Biden was illegitimately installed in the White House:
“Reddit removed the r/DonaldTrump subreddit. YouTube tightened its policy on posting videos that called the outcome of the election into doubt. TikTok took down posts with hashtags like #stormthecapitol. Facebook indefinitely suspended Trump’s account, and Twitter — which, like Facebook, had spent years making some exceptions to its rules for the president — took his account away permanently.
“Parler, true to its stated principles, did none of this. But it had a weak point: It was dependent on other private companies to operate. In the days after the Capitol assault, Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores. Then Amazon Web Services stopped hosting Parler, effectively cutting off its plumbing.”
Their underlying weakness
The desperate lengths to which Big Tech has gone to censor President Trump, muzzling social media sites frequented by his supporters, suggests Vice President Biden’s hold on the Oval Office is as tenuous as his grasp on coherent thought. A fragility that requires 5,000 National Guard troops to serve as the senile Il Duce’s Pretorian Guard.
And among these sentries to senility are GOP hacks like Rep. Liz Cheney. Once considered a conservative “rising star,” the irrelevant Cheney is angry at having been swept aside, like so many of her conservative colleagues, by the America-First tsunami named Trump.
What will he say?
Regarding Trump’s upcoming speech at CPAC, Reaganite GOP strategist Ed Rollins told the New York Times that if Trump “wants to be the leader of his party and continue to be, he has to make peace with Republicans of all varieties.”
That’s not likely since Trump never forgives those who stabbed him in the back, of which Liz Cheney just happens to be the stabbiest among the George W. Bush wing of the Republican Party.
Trump owes them nothing but the back of his hand. And in the elections to come, Trump will factor large when throwing his political support to primary challengers taking on tired Republican incumbents like, well, Liz Cheney.
Cheney, like so many of her GOP colleagues, chose to avoid making an appearance at CPAC. So has GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and Vice President Mike Pence.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye
Could it be CPAC 2021 is about to witness the transformation of a limited-appeal, boutique conservatism into a more inclusive, America-First populist movement?
The reaction to Trump’s Sunday CPAC speech will tell. And a lot of meaningless GOP political careers will end in its wake.
And the new movement that follows will make the insurrection on Capitol Hill of Jan. 6th look like a walk in the park.
It’s understandable, then, why fake-news and Washington’s bipartisan establishment is so panicked about the post-presidency of Donald J. Trump.
Top Image: President Trump kissed American flag at CPAC 2020. ABC News screen capture.