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Ahoy, suckers! Conservative, Inc., is back at it again, trading in its classic cruise ship motif for a figurative dinghy in its never-ending quest to separate you from your money and themselves from the shredded tatters of their ruined dignity.
Woke Rule No. 1 is that anything with “Principles” in its name is a grift. Now, something called “Principles First” – ugh – is trying to shoehorn into CPAC’s spotlight with its “National Summit on Principled Conservatism” to be held in D.C. on February 29th, and for the low, low, almost certainly lib tech tycoon-subsidized price of $10, you can attend this sexless Never Trump Freaknik.
It’s an opportunity to get one-on-one with all your favorite relevancy-challenged B-list MSNBCNN guests for a full day of complaining about Donald Trump and having them show you on the doll exactly where Trump hurt them. Brace yourselves for impassioned pleas by impotent weirdos to vote for the crusty commie curmudgeon because Trump sends mean tweets, plus plenty of “Oh well I nevers” and “We’re better than thats” as Pearl Clutchfest 2020 gets well and truly lit. Just don’t be surprised if the marquee outside reads “Puppet Show and Never Trump.”
From political consultants who are no longer consulted to writers who are no longer read, this is the Woodstock for conservatives who never actually conserved anything.
Excited? Worried you might miss out? Calm down. There are plenty of tickets left. And I hear they’ve got loads of Doritos and Zima at the buffet, if you can squeeze in between the ravenous Bulwark staffers stuffing their talk holes.
Who’s coming to this soiree? Well, just imagine the universe’s worst county fair dino-rock concert line-up, and this is its political equivalent. Mona Charen! Bill Kristol! David Frum! It’s basically the Swamp’s version of Bachman Turner Overdrive, Blue Öyster Cult, and Average White Band – except this band of totally white people are well below-average, though I’m sure we’ll get a fussy email reading “Excuse me, but we have a/an __________.” The closest thing to diversity I could detect in their line-up was the aptly named Heath Mayo – he’s diverse because he’s a younger kind of white person. I’m sure Mayo is ready to unleash the full benefit of his life experience upon the eager crowd – he can explain how learning about Reagan in high school in 2008 totally changed his life.
Sadly, Ana Navarro isn’t on the bill, but she probably has important work to do completing Dr. Stephen Hawking’s string theory research. And there’s no sign of Jennifer Rubin, probably because the event occurs during the hours of daylight.
Just make sure you catch Tom Nichols giving his expert opinion about your moral obligation as a True Conservative™ to vote for the socialist over Trump because of reasons and shut-up.
So, what’s on the agenda? The magic begins at 9:00 a.m. sharp, with “Registration, Networking Breakfast, Meet & Greet.” Get there early before the ex-Weekly Standard staffers make off with all the donuts. And be sure to snag a photo with super-plausible 2016 candidate Evan McMullin, but if he asks to borrow a couple bucks because he “left his wallet at home,” don’t count on getting paid back.
Rev up your inner Romney for the 10:15 a.m. panel that will ponder the eternal question, “What Is Principled Conservatism?” At about this time, expect a bunch of D&D nerds and furries to show up and give the participants wedgies while savoring the chance to look down on the only dorks in the world who are even more pathetic than themselves.
There’s another panel at 11 a.m., on “Politics of Conservatism: Should We Stay or Should We Go?” Oddly, it does not appear to include advocates for the most common reaction to that question – “Who gives a Schiff what you geebos do?”
At 1:00 p.m., look out for the panel on “Conservatism & the World: Foreign Policy & Trade,” where the speakers can all talk about new and exciting wars that other people can fight for them. At 2:00 p.m. is a panel on “The Constitution & Rule of Law,” which they are all against because Trump is for them. Then at 3:00 p.m. is the nightmarish prospect of something titled “Coffee Chat / Book Talk,” and by about that time, you should start feeling your virginity coming back. Ending the program at 4:00 p.m. is a panel on “The Future of Conservatism: Looking Ahead,” which will likely consist of each panelist weeping over his/her/zir bad life choices.
Basically, it’s the Fyre Festival for the biggest bunch of failures in American politics.
You do have to hand it to the organizers of the “National Summit on Principled Conservatism” for managing to stuff four lies into a five-word phrase. It’s not “national,” or a “summit,” or “principled,” and it certainly has nothing to do with “conservatism.” What it is is one final carnival before the lights totally go out on this tragic punchline of a movement. In the era of Bernie Sanders being the alternative to Trump, the Never Trump rump faction has managed to do what we all thought was impossible – become even less relevant to the debate. There’s no point to them anymore. You’re either for Trump, or for the communist, and for 99.9999% of Republicans, even those who still sniff at Trump, Bernie is a Bolshevik too far.
While these losers mingle, over at CPAC President Trump will be addressing the winners who still matter in conservatism. Ahoy!
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