Charlie Sykes at MSNBC:
Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good.
For years, CPAC has been known as the “Star Wars bar scene” of the conservative movement. But in the Trump era, the event increasingly felt like a cult gathering. A few years ago, the conference featured a golden statue of Trump, prompting widespread ridicule. And current CPAC leader Matt Schlapp seems to be relying more and more on fringe figures for its featured speakers.
This year, Schlapp has assembled a roster of B-list Trump loyalists, including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Donald Trump Jr, his fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle, and GOP Reps. Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ronny Jackson, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry and Elise Stefanik. Election denier and failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell will also get (arguably) coveted speaking slots.
Another featured speaker: recently defeated Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who will be filling the slot apparently reserved for authoritarian strong figures like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, who spoke at a CPAC event last year, and fascist-adjacent wannabes like France’s Marion Le Pen, who spoke to the group in 2018.
Of course, Donald Trump himself will headline the event.