Trump tweets CPAC straw poll showing favorable approval rating
© Greg Nash
Uh, what did Trump expect? This is his Republican Party. Not the party of Lincoln or sane Republicans (Are there really any left?), but the 33 percent of the American voters branded as incorrigible who supported him from day one. Trump’s performance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was to be expected, but how blind does a person have to be to understand that this is no longer something to brag about.
Take a look at the highlights of this week-long dredging of the American political swamp to understand just who these people are today. First, there was the Wayne LaPierre’s speech (see that sounded the false alarm that socialist, America haters and liberals were storming the ramparts of American democracy; all in a vain effort to bolster the waning NRA’s stronghold on Congress and the gun lobby’s shrinking political influence. Or LaPierre’s “mini me”, Dana Loesch’s, outlandish speech where she attacked the media establishment proclaiming they love crying mothers because of the ratings they provide.
Then there was this jerk, CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters, who spoke of former Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, in less than an exemplary light. Walters stated in 2009 that
. . . we had just elected the first African American president and that was a big deal and that was a hill that we got over and that was something that we were all proud of and we [conservatives] weren’t sure what to do. And in a little bit of cynicism, what did we do? This is a terrible thing: We elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a black guy and that was the wrong thing to do.
Regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, it is hard not to see Steele as a moderate voice in American politics today. His frequent appearance on cable news programs demonstrates his befuddlement of how the Republican Party has found its way into the quandary that is Trump’s America. Still, for a person in a leadership position like Walters to pull the race card in a negative manner is both shocking and utterly stupid.
But it only got worse. The apology by CPAC, chair Matt Schlapp, went off the rails fairly quickly. Schlapp, an obsequiousness barking head and unrepentant Trump supporter (why else would he be the chair of CPAC?), starts out early trying to spin Walter’s comment as a critique on Steele’s lack of unequivocal support of the Trump’s agenda and his (Steele’s) lack of grace in not giving Walters the benefit of the doubt that he made a mistake in his speech. In the end, Schlapp continued diggings and Steele, justifiably, repeatedly had to ask why the color of his skin had anything to do with the issue in the first place. Not CPAC’s finest hour to say the least.
Then there was this. Mona Charen is no card carrying liberal hell-bent on destroying the Republican Party. Her bona fides are both impressive and steeped in old-time Republican values. She wrote for the National Review early on in her career, joined Nancy Reagan’s staff as a speech writer, and later served on Ronald Reagan’s communication staff. She is a New York’s Time’s best-selling author and enjoys the esteem of many within her party. Yet when she said,
I am disappointed in people on our side for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women, who are in our party, who are sitting in the White House, who brag about their extramarital affairs, who brag about mistreating women—and because he happens to have an ‘R’ after his name we look the other way…This is a party that endorsed Roy Moore for the Senate in the state of Alabama even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that…Speaking of bad guys, there was quite an interesting person who was on this stage the other day. Her name is Marion Le Pen. Now, why was she here? Why was she here? She’s a young, no-longer-in-office politician from France. I think the only reason she was here is because she’s named Le Pen. And the Le Pen name is a disgrace. Her grandfather is a racist and a Nazi. She claims that she stands for him. And the fact that CPAC invited her is a disgrace. Wikipedia
She was booed and called out by the audience as little more than a traitor, especially on the topic of Roy Moore, and had to be escorted out of the room. It appears that the right wing of the Republican Party has no qualms about destroying anyone who disagrees with their hard-line stance on anything that offends their wacked out political agenda.
Back to Trump’s crowing about CPAC attendees giving him high marks and approval of his dismal first year in office. Out today were also these polls. With legitimate polling showing Trump’s approval rating falling to match the lowest they have ever been, one can only surmise that he sees the CPAC poll for what it is: The rats rallying around the commander of a sinking ship. For Trump, this may be as good as it gets.