It’s a place where reality has no sway, like one of those “mystery area” houses built at weird angles that seem to defy gravity, where things actually fall or roll uphill. When you go to one of those places, it is so realistic that you want to believe that this is somehow all really happening, but deep down, you know it’s impossible. Things don’t roll uphill. It just does not happen. And when you leave, the world returns to normal. You don’t stay in that silly house.
But I’m not sure the same holds true at CPAC. And I am not sure these people ever really leave CPAC when it’s over, but take it with them instead. You want to hope it does, that deep down, all these conservatives know that the first casualty of CPAC is the truth, that CPAC is where reality goes to die, but you cannot really be sure. You have the lingering notion that some of these people might actually believe the truly absurd things they are saying. And I don’t know if that’s more frightening or sad.
We have already seen Rand Paul conclude that because Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair with another adult that all Democrats must be sexual predators. I just want to know what it means when aberrochristians have extramarital affairs. You know, like Newt Gingrich. Or Senator John Ensign. Aren’t all Republicans sexual predators then? And I mean, c’mon D’nesh D’Souza. Really? Forget your guns. Obama is coming for your cars – and your couches? Is that really what you want to go with?
CPAC panelists, handsomely paid by the fossil fuel industry, held a little gathering called “What’s the Deal with Global Warming?” and did their assigned jobs and called climate change a “silly debate” and “modern witchcraft.” I’m not sure if they meant that they think people with wands are magically melting the arctic ice or that believing in global warming is like believing in witchcraft. I would assume the latter, but then i remember that these are the people who anointed Sarah Palin so she would be protected against witches, that her pastor was an actual witch-hunter, and that they think people become possessed by demons, and even by Satan himself. No, it’s never same to assume with this crowd.
Rick Santorum was introduced by billionaire Foster Friess as the most persecuted man at CPAC: “If any of us in this room has received more persecution than Rick Santorum, I don’t know who you are. This guy just knows what he believes, knows his heart and is willing to take the grief people throw at him.” So what has Santorum done to deserve “persecution” (by which, of course, he means “criticism” but he’s a Christian, so…ya know)?
Well, let’s see…he thinks Obama’s SOTU address shows he’s a tyrant, and that after making a really bad faith movie that he’s the guy to create “The Pixar of Faith Movies” – oh, and he says “Satan” controls the actual film industry (remember what I said about witchcraft above?), he tried to save Ken “No Sodomy Between Married Couples” Cuccinelli by leading a special task force to Virginia; he said that marriage equality will destroy America; he wants Obama to apologize for winning the election in 2012; he wants all non-Christians to get out of America; he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state; oh, and says don’t hate on the Crusades that murdered every man, woman, and child in Jerusalem.
I’ll end my list with how this guy with the billionaire friend told Iowa to vote for him because he “sticks it to the man.” Since Friess, being a billionaire, IS the man, and IS Santorum’s very particular friend, as they used to say, you might have to reinterpret what, precisely, “Old Frothy” means by “sticking it to the man.” Though that’s far from a complete list, I think it gives some clue as to why Santorum might take some heat from critics.
But Rick Santorum is far from the most clueless participant at CPAC this year. Mike “I Love Me Some Rapists” Huckabee talked to the audience about “the things that I know,” among them he “fact” that God created the United States. I don’t know that I’m willing to throw aside my history books based on Huckabee knowing something that’s patently and demonstrably untrue. Not only did God not sign the Declaration of Independence, his signature is nowhere to be found on the United States Constitution. He never held any political office in this country and his name does not appear on any military roster that can be found. I think we know pretty well who founded the United States, and God had no part in it.
And because Barack Obama opposes segregation, Ralph Reed thought it would be cool to compare Obama to George “Keep ‘em Segregated” Wallace. Reed thought it was clever to say to tell Obama, “Let those children go!” Heck, even Pink Floyd can say “leave those kids alone,” which amounts to pretty much the same thing, and makes more sense, since Republicans are determined to fleece both parents and children with their voucher programs, and refuse to feed them along the way.
And I don’t even know what to say about Michael Medved telling CPAC that no American state has ever, EVER, banned gay marriage: “There’s never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage, that’s a liberal lie.” Oh really? You want to stick with that, Medved? I don’t know, but I think such a list includes Alaska, Nevada, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, Nebraska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, and Kansas, and that’s not a complete list.
You know what Medved’s answer is, of course: that gay marriage is not really marriage because real marriage is between one man and one woman just like the Bible does NOT say, and that therefore there is no such thing as gay “marriage” and that because it does not exist it could not have been banned. But if it does not exist, why do they keep trying to ban it? Just sayin’.
Look, CPAC is one long Saturday Night Live skit, or better, Monty Python, or South Park, because it is so over-the-top absurdly unreal. These people have become caricatures of conservatives in a post-conservative world. It is difficult to believe they take each other seriously, and that they can get through their shticks without laughing, but they somehow do, and expect the audience to applaud this absurdist theater. It’s crazy, but it’s the Republican Party. This is what they think America wants, and this is what they are going to give America. Really, I’d rather by a broken ant farm full of fire ants.