Friday, February 26, 2021


CPAC has started again, and if you read political sites or follow politics journalists on Twitter, you're seeing a lot of coverage -- much more than there'd be for a Democratic analogue to CPAC, if one existed. (Netroots Nation is close, but it's not the same.)

Why the fascination with CPAC? I think it derives from the GOP's highly successful, decades-long effort to persuade the mainstream media that Republicans are the normative Americans. The establishment press has internalized this notion even though most elite journalists wouldn't want to be Republicans. After watching them since 1980, I have no doubt that they think America is a Republican nation even though most of them consider themselves part of a different nation.

You could argue that they're covering CPAC now because they want to report on the so-called GOP civil war between the Trumpers and the not-quite-Trumpers -- but they were fascinated by CPAC before Donald Trump, and they'll be fascinated by it for years to come even if Trump drops dead tomorrow; they consider the red meat at CPAC sexy, in a rugged, blue-collar way (even when it's embodied in a doughy Ivy Leaguer like Ted Cruz).

The press's fascination with CPAC suggests that its many safaris to rural American diners since Trump's election in 2016 had nothing to do with making amends to voters the media believed it had ignored and had everything to do with the belief that in those diners would be found the voices of the rightful rulers of America, or at least the voices of the people who vote for those rightful rulers.

Enough already. We know what these people think. Trump's speech might be newsworthy, but the rest of the event is just Breitbart or Gateway Pundit or Newsmax TV in a different medium. We don't need to know that much about it. We've heard it all before.

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