Most people would do whatever it takes to give the appearance they are doing something as well as possible to try to make a good impression, and perform in a way that causes other people to have a good opinion of them. Organizations take care that their agents represent the best and brightest of their particular industry and it is certain that political parties carefully groom and prepare their best advocates to embody their mission and agenda. Over the past three days, conservatives paraded their best spokespeople to advance their cause, and if they were trying to make a good impression on each other and observant voters, they failed miserably. Between the nutjobs and failed Republican candidates, the CPAC2013 gathering represented American extremism at its finest and a group clinging to a version of reality unique to out-of-touch conservatives.
One did not have to follow the daily recapitulation of crazy to comprehend the conservative conclave’s purpose was to put on a torrid display of groundless anti-Obama rhetoric based on the roster of speakers. One by one, conservatism’s best and brightest fired up the crowds preaching that America’s salvation is steeped in religion, austerity, guns, and voiding the federal government, and the speakers each reiterated that Republicans lost the November election because the GOP failed to articulate conservative’s values and not that voters rejected conservative extremism. Marco Rubio opined that “We don’t need new ideas. The idea is called America, and it still works” and it revealed that to Republicans, extremism defines America, and voters are out of touch with America.
The featured speakers at CPAC represented fanaticism at its finest with Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan rambling on about America’s demise stemming from voter’s rejecting conservative ideas. To educate Americans on the value of embracing their vision of, and for, America, CPAC brought conservative’s marquee spokesperson out of retirement and turned her loose to lay the nation’s woes at the feet of President Obama. In fact, Palin reiterated nearly every criticism about the President for twenty minutes she has dutifully uttered since 2008, and still failed to put forth a coherent thought, much less one based in reality, but that is the Palin Americans have come to know and disparage. However, although Palin cemented her role as one of conservative’s premier dunces, it was a racist at the assembly that stole the show and reminded Americans that intrinsic to Republicans’ inability to win elections, or appeal to voters is their racial animus.
During a Republican-run panel on “Trumping the Race” card, a North Carolina man complained that embracing diversity in the party by reaching out to black conservatives was “at the expense of young, white, Southern males like myself, my demographic is being systematically disenfranchised.” When the discussion leader from the Frederick Douglass Republicans shared a story about abolitionist Frederick Douglass’s letter to his former slave-owner forgiving him for holding him in servitude, the racist said, “For giving him shelter and food?” The racist’s remark evoked cheers and applause from the crowd.
After the brief exchange, the racist muttered “why can’t we just have segregation?” When the racist was asked if he supported an America where African Americans were subservient to whites, he said “I’d be fine with that,” and continued that African-Americans “should be allowed to vote in Africa,” and that “all the Tea Parties” were concerned with the same racial problems that he was. When a woman confronted the man on the GOP’s racist roots, he said “I didn’t know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.” Republicans still contemplating their loss in November can look back at the conversation on the benefits of slavery and subservient women, and consider that if that is their ideal of America, it is no wonder they lost women’s vote, the minority vote, and the election.
The interchange, although not part of the scheduled program, highlighted Republicans’ racism that the election of an African American as President has brought to the voters’ attention and alienated minorities in November’s election. To reinforce the point, Tea Party Patriots blamed the racist’s remarks on an African American woman reporter for asking a question they said was “disruptive and coercive;” she asked, “How many Black women were there?” The Black reporter also took exception to the contention that Democrats are to blame for the existence of the Ku Klux Klan, that enraged the crowd who shouted the woman down with cries of “We don’t want your question,” and “we don’t want to hear it.” One teabagger regaled in tri-corner hat, waistcoat and breeches typical of a Revolutionary War soldier shouted incessantly at the Black reporter and finally stormed out of the room.
The message from Republicans since their electoral loss, and at CPAC, is that there is nothing wrong with their policies and agendas that more extremism cannot remedy. Recall that during his portion of the program, Marco Rubio said, “We don’t need new ideas. The idea is called America, and it still works,” and it encapsulates the extremist position Republicans will not abandon. The idea that America still works as a nation of racists and patriarchs was extreme in 1950, and despite the nation moving forward into the 21st century, it is the America conservatives yearn for and Republicans are intent on reestablishing as evidenced by their incessant demand to “take the country back.”
For a little over four years, Republicans have assailed President Obama regardless he saved the economy, created millions of jobs, reduced spending and taxes, and created an environment that gave business, corporations, and Wall Street record profits. At CPAC, conservatives lambasted the President for all manner of fallacious sleights, but in one panel on diversity and outreach, the sole, underlying reason for all of the Republicans’ extremism and hate was laid bare; sheer racial animus. CPAC was an extremists’ dream, and they brought out the cream of the conservative crop to parrot extremist rhetoric and to demean President Obama for their electoral loss, but despite Palin’s worn-out one-liners, Rand Paul’s sudden regard for civil liberties, or Rubio’s assertion that the GOP’s ideas are incredible and immutable, the basis for their extremism and opposition to President Obama is pure racism. Based on the group sponsoring CPAC’s white nationalist background, it is little wonder racists stole the show.