At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday, Donald Trump served up cold leftovers that have gone rancid.
It was mostly a rerun of his old campaign speech (filled with his bragging until, yep, he said it again, “the China virus” hit) and his post-election rants about how he was “cheated” out of the White House, along with a slap-dash critique of President Joe Biden’s first few weeks in office.
Trump not only insisted that he won the election for the umpteenth time, he also blamed the U.S. Supreme Court for his loss, and used intemperate language in doing so.
Said Trump: “They didn’t have the courage, the Supreme Court, they didn’t have the courage to act…. They should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to our country. They didn’t have the guts or the courage to make the right decision.”
He exploited his psychotic fantasy that the election was stolen from him to urge state legislatures around the country to erect steep barriers on mail-in and absentee voting, which the Republican-dominated Legislature in Wisconsin is already trying to do, as are Republicans in about three dozen other states.
He also railed against HR1, the electoral reform package the Democrats introduced in Congress. Trump denounced it because it “automatically registers every welfare recipient to vote and puts unaccountable unelected bureaucrats in charge of drawing congressional districts. That’s going to be a lot of fun. This monster must be stopped. It cannot be allowed to pass.”
And like Wisconsin’s former Gov. Scott Walker, who spoke briefly and dully to CPAC two days before, Trump denounced the “cancel culture.” (Walker had said: “America is under siege…Leftwing professors, liberal activists, the mass media, even some of our major corporations are attempting to cancel conservative thought.”)
Lies, meanness and ugliness were the colors of Trump’s speech. He listed by name every single Republican who voted to impeach him, and urged the audience to vote them all out of office.
He called the Democrats “vicious” and twice said that they are putting the country on the road to communism, a 70-year throwback to Joe McCarthy.
Somehow Trump complained, even after Jan. 6 (an event he never mentioned), that the Republican side isn’t vicious enough: “We let them attack our businesses and we don’t attack their businesses. I believe your numbers are bigger than their numbers, but you’re nicer than they are. You’re not as vicious as they are.”
He added: “Now more than ever is the time for tough, strong and energetic Republican leaders who have spines of steel.”
A few minutes later — and with a straight face — he also said that the Republican Party under his leadership was becoming “the party of love.”
Inciting racism, as he has throughout his political career, Trump railed against immigrants from south of the border in the most lurid terms. “Joe Biden’s decision to cancel border security has single handedly launched a youth migrant crisis that is enriching child smugglers, vicious criminal cartels and some of the most evil people on the planet,” he said.
He even went out of his way to take a swipe at transgender athletes.
Like everything Trump, his performance at CPAC was utterly shameless. Example: He had the gall to twice label Joe Biden as “anti-science.”
But while his speech may have played well to the CPAC crowd, the Trump acting is getting moldy.
And it’s certainly dangerous to our health.