MEDIA WATCH--CPAC 2021! Wingnut City on Steroids! The first day of this year's exercise in flamboyant delusion featured a parade of alternate-reality speakers laboring hard and loud to out-bonkers-and-hoodwink each other, with impressive results.
There was Ted 'Braveheart' Cruz, devotee of violent insurrection, who ended his incoherent speech by shrieking "FREEDOM!" - from masks, Democrats, people making fun of Cancun? - in an attempt to channel William Wallace without the face-paint, we think, though many noted Wallace got drawn and quartered and Cruz is just like Wallace "except for all the courage, honor, patriotism, bravery, strength, integrity, morality, virtue, toughness, wisdom, fearlessness, goodness, scruples and righteousness" which makes him "less like Braveheart and more like Naivefart."
There was Josh Hawley whining about being "silenced" just because he rejected valid election results and pundit Deroy Murdock who longed for the good old days when Hillary et al didn't try to to steal your grandfather's insulin with absentee ballots - don't ask - and Kimberly 'THE BEST - IS YET - TO COME!' Guilfoyle yelling about "re-igniting the American Dream" because "socialists and communists want to see our nation burn" but thankfully the GOP will be "reborn as a party of the working class and minorities" even though hours earlier the GOP stalled a minimum wage hike.
Then she introduced the coke-fueled "SON OF THE LEADER OF THE WARRIOR MAGA MOVEMENT!!!!" who strutted on stage to rant about Hunter Biden, again. Star power! There were, it's true, glitches: CPAC - tagline #AmericaUncancelled - had to cancel a YouTuber named Young Pharoah after it turned out he said the existence of Jews was "ALL A COMPLETE #LIE," and attendees booed organizers for asking people to wear a mask like the law says. But the SS-insignia shaped stage made up for them.
Still, the highlight of the day was when they broke out the Golden Calf, a yuge gold statue of Trump in red tie, stars-and-stripes surfer shorts and flip flops, looking suspiciously like either Bart Simpson or Guy Fieri or Bob's Big Boy, holding a copy of the Constitution in one gold hand and a magic wand in the other.
It was made - in Mexico it turns out - by Tom Zegan, a commercial artist and Trump fan who noted it has "all kinds of symbolism...A lot of thought went into it." Deep stuff: suit and tie=businessman, shorts=patriotic, sandals=retired, Constitution=he follows it. "And the people bowed and prayed/to the neon god they made": It got wheeled in and set up for gleeful selfies - win a t-shirt! - because somehow all these Evangelical Christians never got to the part in the Bible about false idols and graven images. It also quickly drew "a backlash of Biblical proportions."
While the beast captures "the apocalyptic vibes" of Trump's presidency, it was generally agreed that, insofar as worshiping the golden calf was bad, "worshiping a golden jackass is worse." "If only there were some sacred text," mused one tweet, "one most people at CPAC claimed allegiance to, that very explicitly warns against making golden idols..."
From BrooklynDad, "This reminds me of that religious story, something something something Golden Calf, something something graven image, something something false idols." Many just listed relevant Scripture passages: Exodus 32:8, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 14:14, Exodus 20:3: "And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the (golden) calf Aaron had made." Cynics noted the statue's perfect for a group preparing to "wander the electoral desert for 40 years," or that it's "time for Moses to come down from the mountain and break some tablets."
Still, the vulgarians of CPAC drank it up; on the video, they happily gush as it gets wheeled in.
"Awesome," says one. Another: "That is so cool!" Not. Who are these fucking people, and can they leave our country soon, please?"
(CityWatch guest columnist Abby Zimet writes for CommonDreams.org … where this piece was first posted.)