It’s hard when you can see what’s wrong, but you can’t do anything to correct it. That’s how the Republican Party must feel about CPAC. As thousands of conservative Republicans arrive in Washington, DC for the three-day jamboree, the Republican Party will have to balance how to appease its right-wing base but still attract and win over women, immigrants, and the youth vote.
From the looks of CPAC’s agenda, panel discussions, and guest speakers, the GOP has waved the white flag.
Check out this list of speakers, panels, and activists who will have a mic at CPAC:
Women Don’t Vote for Anti-Choice, Anti-Equal Pay Agendas
- James O’Keefe of Project Veritasand his Protégé-In-Crime David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress are sitting down together for an “inside the activists’ studio” session – presumably they’ll be providing tips on how to misleadingly doctor up videos to inspire a congressional investigation to undermine women’s health and defund Planned Parenthood.
- The two rabidly anti-choice activists are joined at the convention by a bevy of Heritage Foundationemployees – this is the very same organization whose take on equal pay for equal work is: “Women are doing fine – it’s men we should worry about.”
- And then, of course, the Koch brothers’ ideological foot soldiers at the Cato Institutewill be at the convention as well. The brothers’ ongoing quest to attack anything that doesn’t make them personally richer means that their Cato lackeys have to say things like “Equal pay for jobs of comparable worth is a backward approach that treats women as helpless victims.”
Immigrants, Muslims, No Thank You
- Anti-immigrant champions Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert join organizations like the Center for Security Policy– the extremist outfit behind the anti-Muslim poll that Donald Trump cited to justify banning an entire religious group from the country. (CSP – which is funded by the Koch-linked DonorsTrust – also accused a clock-building child of building “half a bomb.”)
- A key thing to keep in mind when watching the GOP’s candidates try to out-Trump each other on immigration is that the party’s establishment doesn’t actually disagree with them. The Heritage Foundation’s Koch-funded c4 arm, Heritage Action, speaks with the same voiceon immigration as Trump does.
- Similarly, the American Enterprise Institute, often praised as a sober-minded bastion of reasonable conservatism, goes so far as to call Trump an “immigration sage” whose views on immigration point “the way towards a sensible compromise.” Scary.
Anti-Gay, Anti-Environment, Pro-Gun = No Youth Vote
- The Rule of Law Defense Fund– which received $175,000 in 2014 from the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners – will be on hand to explain its opposition to EPA emissions regulations, because the youth vote which has utterly abandoned the GOP absolutely loves air pollution.
- The CPAC schedule is littered with representatives from the National Rifle Association. It’s unlikely the NRA’s message is going to mesh with a generation “devastated” by gun violence.
- And America’s youth would probably be more confused than anything by the panel “Dearly Beloved: A Conversation on Religious Liberty and Marriage in America.” The panel features scholars from Heritageand Cato, as well The Federalist – whose goal seems to be defending Kim Davis. LGBT Americans now have the freedom to get married. Move on.
- And while the CPAC schedule includes a panel on “How Conservative Principles Meet Millennials’ Goals” featuring a variety of conservative “new media,” it’s unlikely that cool gifs are going to mask the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-gun-violence-prevention agenda at the heart of CPAC.