Today is the beginning of the 2021 CPAC four-day festival of lies about Donald Trump’s “stolen” election. If that lede seems loaded to you, simply take a look at all available information about how the convention is being handled and see if it’s not accurate — and tragically so. At its worst, CPAC’s pushing of the Big Lie, which will be streamed live by Fox Nation, is anticipated to spark further domestic terrorism. At its best, CPAC is shaping up to be a sorry commentary on the further descent into madness of the conservative movement, a movement which is conservative in name only. It done lost all its former principles, not to mention its damn mind and if you doubt that, Matt Schlapp is the chair of CPAC and he’s made it clear what the focus of the next four days will be. Popular Information:
Months later, Schlapp continues to make false claims about voter fraud in Nevada. In an appearance on CNN this week, Schlapp suggested people in Nevada voted twice. “You should only vote once and if you vote by mail, somebody at that election office should have to verify that signature according to the state statute. That did not happen in the state of Nevada,” Schlapp said. Again, Schlapp was wrong. There was signature matching for mail-in ballots in Nevada.
Schlapp has created a program centered around these false claims. There are seven panels devoted to perpetuating lies about election fraud, including:
Other Culprits: Why Judges & Media Refused to Look at the Evidence
The Left Pulled the Strings, Covered It Up, and Even Admits It
Failed States (PA, GA, NV, oh my!)
The “Other Culprits” panel features Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL), who appeared at the January 6 rally that occurred just before the riot. Brooks told the crowd that it was time to start “taking down names and kicking ass.” He refused to apologize.
Trump will undoubtably include his false claims of election fraud in his keynote address on Sunday. In a statement this week, Trump claimed that “experts” believed he “won” the election and bemoaned the “election crimes that were committed against me.”
It’s not surprising that Schlapp has created a four-day event to cater to Trump’s ego. Publicly aligning himself with Trump has been profitable for him. In the waning days of Trump’s presidency, Schlapp was paid $750,000 by convicted fraudster Pete Petit to try to secure a pardon from Trump. Schlapp failed to get Petit a pardon.
But top Republican leaders in Congress are participating in this event. They have decided to make Trump’s lies about election fraud central to the future of the Republican Party.
Kevin McCarthy will be there, front and center, so will Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Mitt Romney won’t. Neither will frequent former CPAC speakers Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey. And forget about Mike Pence. Romney didn’t show up at last year’s CPAC because Schlapp told him he “couldn’t insure his safety.” Pence has a lot more people who want to see him dead than Mitt ever did for casting the sole Republican vote to convict Trump at Impeachment I. Pence is afraid of getting murdered if he shows up and considering how extremism has gone main stream in the GOP, he’s not over estimating the situation. So, CPAC is basically defenestrated this year of what were recognized as bona fide conservative speakers from days past and instead, a 96-hour lie-fest, resurrecting the Big Lie and mythologizing it, is the platform for CPAC 2021.
If you can stand to listen to Matt Schlapp for seven minutes, this is a classic interview. Watch the man cringe. Hitting him with facts is like throwing holy water on Dracula.
American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp defends his decision to invite Donald Trump to speak at CPAC this weekend, despite the former President's ongoing lie that he won the 2020 election. https://t.co/vboWYo5DjU pic.twitter.com/wOeCqdyMo5
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) February 23, 2021
In a striking exchange, Cuomo flatly declared that giving Trump a platform means CPAC is “tacitly endorsing his election farce.”
In response, Schlapp forthrightly defended this by insisting that at the conference, they’d be “going through what happened in these states.”
It’s as if CPAC can magically erase what we all just lived through: All these very same lies about the election getting shot down in dozens of court battles, followed by these lies inciting a violent effort to subvert the election.
Cuomo pointed out that all the claims of widespread fraud are false, and asked: “You guys really want the conservative movement to be made on the back of a lie about the election?”
Schlapp demurred, but the answer to this question is Yes. That’s what they do want. This idea is rapidly becoming the central organizing mythology of the remnants of the conservative movement that remain captive to Trump.
If you try to distance yourself from this, take the proverbial 10,000 foot look, this is simply incredible. A major political party — what’s left of it — is choosing to continue to breathe life into a copiously debunked lie and rally the troops around it, both literally and figuratively. That this is dangerous beyond belief, to undermine faith in our elections system, goes without saying. Nothing undermines the rule of law at a more fundamental level. But they’re doing it.
Look for four days of this, culminating in Donald Trump’s Lazarus-esque Sunday night speech.
Your guess is as good as anybody’s as to what the result of this mind bender will be, but the two extremes have been scoped out: one possibility is further domestic terrorism from a ginned up lunatic fringe, or CPAC could simply be the pathetic sputtering of a party running on fumes, because it ran out of gas long ago.