Banning Mitt Romney From CPAC Might've Saved His Life, Says Hero Matt Schlapp

Right Wing Extremism

We all enjoyed a good laugh when Mitt Romney was disinvited from the grand douchebag ball that is the Conservative Political Action Conference. This occurred with much pomp and circumstance after Romney voted, along with Susan Collins, to allow witnesses in Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial. The vote failed, but Romney was still denied the golden ticket to CPAC.

Romney is even less popular among the Trump faithful now that he's the lone Republican who voted to remove the president from office. The conservatives who write for the Washington Post or the New York Times, along with the entirety of "Morning Joe," all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude, but the conservative rank and file might just rip him to shreds like he's the unseen gay character in Suddenly, Last Summer.

That's Matt Schlapp's theory at least. During an appearance on Greta Van Susteren's "Full Court Press," the CPAC chairman suggested that yanking Romney's invitation was an act of kindness. He couldn't guarantee the sitting US senator's safety.

We should first point out that Schlapp, without irony, told Van Susteren just the other day how he doesn't like the "rancor and destruction" in politics, which of course comes primarily from the left. Liberals harass innocent conservatives at restaurants, even going so far as to comp them appetizers before asking them to leave. It's a mad house. It's just not how you treat people who are trying to unwind after a busy day separating immigrant children from their families or lying about it.

Schlapp's opinion shifted when the subject turned to Romney, who ratted out Trump like a weasel, which is often confused for a rodent.

SUSTEREN: You won't permit Mitt Romney to speak at CPAC. Why?

SCHLAPP: We won't credential him as a conservative. I suppose if he wants to come as a non-conservative and debate an issue with us, maybe in the future we would have him come. This year, I'd actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him.

It's unclear where Schlapp got the idea that CPAC's audience would include an angry mob of torch-wielding villagers. He'd previously claimed that most conservative love Trump's policies but some just have an issue with his tweets, or maybe all the crime. Romney's policies and ideology are overtly conservative. This isn't the Republican National Convention. It's probably a stretch to imagine that Romney would receive a prominent speaking slot. Conflating conservatism itself with support of Trump personally is consistent with the president's own definition, but it's also how CPAC winds up with a roster of heavyweight speakers such as Candace Owens.

Schlapp will "credential" Owens as a conservative, but her sole credential is BLEXIT, which is not a thing. It's just her slightly unhinged project of dubious merit that'll never happen -- like my untitled Bebe Neuwirth musical.

Van Susteren said absolutely nothing about this implicit threat against Romney's life. It's as if she's nodding off camera and agreeing that the CPAC attendees are a bunch of mobbed-up thugs.

SCHLAPP: The biggest problem we have with Mitt Romney is not that he's just an individual following his political course. It's the fact that he's lied so continuously to conservatives.

When he needed a conservative like Donald Trump to endorse him in his Senate primary, he wanted in. But then, when he gets the Senate job, he wants to distance himself from Trump. He's a use 'em and lose 'em kind of guy

That's certainly how Don Trump views the world: "I did you a favor and now you show me such disrespect!" Trump endorsed Romney for the Senate in February of 2018. The Mueller Report was released a year later, and a few months after that Trump tried to extort Ukraine into helping smear the fourth place finisher in the Iowa caucuses. Hmmm ... okay, that might seem like a lot of wasted effort now, but it's still criminal. The point is things changed. O.J. Simpson probably had an open invitation to appear in Leslie Nielsen films until he allegedly but most likely murdered two people. It's OK to distance yourself.

SCHLAPP: [Romney] said he would going to be an "extreme conservative" – that he was the most conservative guy in the world he came to CPAC. After 2012, he didn't want to have anything to do with us.

That was probably a good move on Romney's part, considering Schlapp believes CPAC draws a crowd of Trump-loving psychopaths.

[Full Court Press]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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