How come this year’s CPAC conference is being held at Orlando next week? It’s always held in D.C. But it can’t be held in D.C. this year because the January 6th riot created too much of a stench. And I’m not sure that Trump wants to stray too far away from his home base at Mar-a-Lago, if only because now he has to pay the travel costs himself.
Maybe the real reason that CPAC is going to Orlando is because a plan’s in the works to make Florida the capital state of the new MAGA nation. The MAGA gang has probably been debating between Florida and Texas for which state would secede first, but the wipeout of the electric grid in Texas put an end to all that.
What we’ll get this year at CPAC is the usual fixture of right-wing bloggers, media personalities (minus Rush Limbaugh), politicians and political wannabees, along with all the vendors who show up to peddle their crap. It’s almost impossible to attend CPAC and not come away with a t-shirt, a book (no, not a book – that’s too literate for this audience), a lawn sign or a baseball cap with a logo or some other souvenir which then winds up in the trash.
Because the meeting is in Florida, there will be a special big deal for the Jews. It’s organized by a group called Young Jewish Conservatives, and it’s billed as a celebration of Shabbat and Purim and is advertised as a “central annual meeting point for hundreds of Jewish conservatives from throughout the United States.”
Will the Shabbat be Kosher? Of course. Will the hotels have special elevators that the Jewish attendees can use on Friday night and Saturday which can be operated without touching the keyboard? Of course. Will Rabbi Daniel Lapin show up and make a speech? Of course.
Lapin, incidentally, used to work closely with another religious guy named Jack Abramoff. Remember Abramoff? He’s a lobbyist who has been convicted not once, but twice for conspiracy and fraud. Before going away for a four-year ‘vacation’ at a federal penitentiary in 2006, he was a Board member of Lapin’s organization and used his membership to wash money that he received from God only knows where.
With the exception of Jimmy Carter, who many Jews believed sold out Israel for a Palestinian-Israeli deal, the Jewish community has always been a reliable segment of the liberal vote. Before the 2020 election, the Pew organization published a survey and found that Christians of all sorts comprised 79% of the registered electorate, unaffiliated voters were 15% and all other faiths were 5%.
Which means statistically speaking, when it comes to determining the outcome of a national election, the Jewish vote doesn’t count for squat. On the other hand, a few wealthy Jews make large political donations, and with the exception of the late Shelly Adelson, this money tends to be colored blue.
I can guarantee you that not a single speaker at CPAC will remind the audience about Trump’s belief that the Nazis who paraded around at Charlottesville in 2017 included some ‘good people.’ There also won’t be a single comment about the fact that the Proud Boys who helped organize the January 6th Capitol riot were founded by a virulent anti-Semite who says that Jews have a ‘paranoid’ fear of Nazis, okay?
Here’s the bottom line. This country is so large, so diverse, and so wealthy, Covid-19, or no Covid-19, that you can always get a thousand people or so to show up for any kind of political event at all. Put up a website and a Facebook page, pay some personality like an ex-President or a movie star to make a speech – if nothing else, the ‘fake news’ media will show up and cover the program because they have nothing better to do.
Back in 2012, the four politicians who finished at the top of the CPAC straw poll were four winners - Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. I’m sure that Trump will easily win the 2021 CPAC straw poll. To which I say – good for him.