Yesterday, it was officially announced by Matt Schlapp that Senator Mitt Romney would not be invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference — or CPAC, for short.
This is not as if they were not inviting some small state legislator because he said something racist. Romney is a former Republican Nomination of President of the United States. The election before he became that, he was second place in the popular vote — third place in the delegate count, because the RNC has a weird system — just one election cycle earlier.
Mind you, it is not as if Romney was disliked by the CPAC base in the past. On some years, CPAC holds straw polls to see who the most popular conservative is. Romney holds the record for winning the most, with four under his belt — for context, former President Ronald Reagan has only won three, as have former Senator and Bob Dole’s running mate Jack Kemp, and Senator Rand Paul. Romney has also won 2nd place in three of these, including the one held just last year.
So if Romney is not being uninvited for dislike among the right, why is he? Well, maybe that has something to do with the runner of CPAC and the chairman of the American Conservative Union, a fellow named Matt Schlapp.
Of course, to call Schlapp interesting would be to lie to my audience, as in many ways he’s the same as all the corrupt Republican big-wigs.
In 2018, Schlapp tweeted a photo of Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Mazie Hirono with the caption “ Look at this photo conservative voters in WV, ND, IN, FL, MO, MT, MI, TN, AZ, NV.” It should be noted all three of those Senators are minorities, so calling Schlapp a racist isn’t entirely out of the question. Wonder why a man like that would support the Donald?
Speaking of Trump, it seems like Schlapp has a bit of a conflict of interest regarding him. You might remember his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, for her decision to leave the 2018 White House Correspondent Dinner early to protest comedian Michelle Wolf — who I don’t even find all that funny — for daring to tell jokes. Of course, she also defended Kelly Sadler — the white house aid who said the then nearly dead Senator McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel being nominated for CIA Director didn’t matter because “he’s dying anyway.”
What you might not know about Mercedes is just who she works for. She spend just shy of two years as the White House Director Of Strategic Communications, only leaving the position in June of 2019. Since then, she has also worked for the re-election campaign of the man Romney is sometimes critical of, you can guess his name.
Oh, and for the populists, she also runs a firm of which the number one client is Koch Industries.
One of the most famous actions of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was his tendency to erase people from history — dubbed “unpersoning” in George Orwell’s novel 1984. One example of this was Stalin editing a photo of a Lennin speech that contained both Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev. As both of those people were political rivals of him — especially Leon Trotsky.
I can say, without the slightest amount of doubt, that what CPAC is doing this year is an attempted unperson of Mitt Romney. They feel he is nothing more than a political rival of the President, as such, they feel the only way to deal with him is to get rid of him.
The condemnation of CPAC should be universal not only among those who believe in the cause of Never Trump, but among those who believe in the cause of free thought.
I figured I should end this with a small amount of optimism. Donald Trump had to be forced on the CPAC base in order to be liked by them.
During both 2015 and 2016, Donald Trump did not win the official strawpoll. In 2015, it as won by Senator Rand Paul with Governor Scott Walker being a close second. In 2016, it was one by Senator Ted Cruz, with Senator Marco Rubio coming in second place. Even when Trump won in 2019, Senator Romney came in second place.
This is best seen by the fact that Romney is biggest threat to these men. According to 538, Romney still votes with Trump 80.6% of the time. Meaning someone who agrees with Trump’s ideology at least well enough to give the man a B- is seen as the enemy of the Republican Party.
To put it simply, the Republican Party is a house of cards. I also agree with George Will when he described the organization as a cult. The modern GOP demands that you bend to President Trump and Vice-President Tucker Carlson in order to be seen as anything other than an enemy.
One cannot help but wonder how this will effect the future of congress. Of course, people like Roy Moore and “Trumpier than Trump” Don Blankenship (the Senate candidate who called Mitch McConnell “cocaine Mitch” and talked about his “China family.”) have shown that Trumpism is not quite as popular as the Grand Old Party would have you believe.
However, men like Schlapp do not care. By that point, they will be following whatever motto the Republican Party says they should. Rather it is out of cognitive dissonance or good old fashion honest lying, I remain unsure. However, if you think the future of the Republican Party is going to be one with Donald Trump, I believe you are surely mistaking.