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CPAC Is Now TPAC-- MAGA, MAGA, MAGA... And They Feel Fine

It's not Michael Steele's party anymore

Even before she made her viciously ugly anti-trans CPAC speech, former RNC Chair Michael Steele noted that Marjorie Traitor Greene “has no clue what the hell she’s talking about. Why do we listen to this crazy fool? Marjorie Taylor Greene please just shut the hell up. Do us all a favor. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party and to the country as a congresswoman.” Well… Marjorie Traitor Greene is far, far more in sync with today’s Republican Party than Michael Steele is.

And Steele isn’t the only member of the pre-Trump GOP Establishment who thinks current Republicans care what they have to say. The highest polled interest I’ve seen for any of the #NeverTrump potential presidential candidates was 5% for Liz Cheney and that was in one state and probably an outlier. You know who Michael Murphy is/was? At one time he was a hot commodity in GOP consultant world. His clients included John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Christie Whitman, Meg Whitman, Lamar Alexander, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Thompson… I suspect that few— if any— of them voted for Trump. Murphy, who still claims to be a Republican, says he voted for Biden. I don’t think Republicans would acknowledge Murphy— or Steele— as a Republican.

Yesterday, inspired by a Trumpanzee Jr grift (above), Murphy called CPAC “a scam, pure and simple, top to bottom… First of all, I join fellow patriot Donald Jr. in urging our listeners, the true patriots out there, to make a check today out to ‘Christians Against Secular Humanism,’ or ‘CASH,’ because this is a grift pure and simple. They ought to put a fence around CPAC and put a bunco charge on all of ’em, it’s unbelievable. I didn’t know God had an opinion about cellphone companies. What’s happening is Trump is shrinking in the party and CPAC is shrinking. It is kind of the professional, grassroots, huckster wing of the GOP.”

True enough— and the low-IQ, poorly educated base cultivated for decades by the Republican Party (including the wing that Murphy thinks he’s part of)— has taken over... and today’s Republicans are eating it up. And immense numbers of them are fascists who don’t give a rat’s ass about Murphy, Steele, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Christie Whitman, Meg Whitman, Lamar Alexander, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tommy Thompson, Karl Rove, Paul Ryan… or Ronald Reagan. Two of the put-downs Trump is testing out against DeSantis is calling him a "Paul Ryan Republican" and a "Ronald Reagan Republican!" Last night, Nikki Haley was heckled by MAGA-morons after her inoffensive, garden-variety Republican CPAC speech. Isaac Arnsdorf and Meryl Kornfield reported that “One of the people who joined the heckling of Haley after she spoke was Kim Shourds, who questioned Haley’s conservative credentials and called her a ‘RINO.’ Shourds, a Virginia resident, planned to vote for Trump in the primary and scoffed at a suggestion that Haley could be a running mate.”

“Remember, you’re not at CPAC, you’re at TPAC,” John Fredericks, a pro-Trump talk radio host broadcasting from the sidelines here, said in an interview Wednesday. He said potential 2024 rivals opted to skip the conference rather than risk getting booed or losing the straw poll. “We own this thing, it’s ours,” he said. “No Trump, no CPAC.”
This year’s lineup was heavy with Trump family members and acolytes— such as Lara Trump, Donald Trump Jr., former White House strategist Stephen Bannon [who spent his time onstage savaging and threatening Fox News], losing 2022 Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL)— to the near-total exclusion of the party’s other voices.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who polls show as Trump’s biggest competitor for the 2024 primary though he has not yet announced whether he is running, opted to spend the week far away at his own events promoting his new book.
In past years, campaigns-in-waiting have organized to pack the event with supporters in the hopes of a strong showing in an informal survey of attendees, known as the CPAC straw poll. Trump beat DeSantis in last year’s straw poll 59 percent to 28 percent, and slightly widened his advantage at a CPAC in Texas last August, winning 64 percent to 24 percent.
Privately, Trump supporters acknowledge that anything less than a double-digit margin in this year’s poll would be an embarrassing result for the former president. As for DeSantis, Republican strategists including Karl Rove praised the governor for going his own way rather than contesting Trump in the CPAC straw poll.
Ronald Solomon, president of conservative product wholesaler “the MAGA Mall,” blanketed folding tables at the gathering with Trump-themed flags, lines of hats and other knickknacks. At the far end of the display, he had laid out a row of DeSantis caps. Those were not his big sellers, he explained. “It’s about 50 to one over DeSantis,” he said of Trump hat sales.
CPAC’s alignment with Trump, at a moment when his grip on the party appears less certain than before the GOP’s underwhelming performance in the 2022 midterms, when many candidates he helped elevate lost in key races, contributed to a shrunken footprint for this year’s conference.

Really? Losing his grip on the party? I’m not so sure. This poll was released by Emerson on Thursday. Grip looks pretty strong to me.

This morning, Axios reported that Trump “plans to draw a sharp ideological contrast between his MAGA movement and Bush-era Republicans in his speech” this evening… He won’t be blasting any potential presidential candidates by name but, “the speech will blast establishment GOP leaders, including former House Speaker Paul Ryan,” who he plans to tie to DeSantis is the coming days and weeks. Today, in contrast to Nikki Haley’s and Mike Pompeo’s traditional GOP warmongering, Trump is “expected to take shots at Republican hawks as ‘warmongers,’ and say that support for additional aid to Ukraine threatens a third World War.”

Low energy confab for Trumpanzee Jr... let's see if pops can get the neo-Nazi adrenalin flowing


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