Tuesday, January 18, 2022

CPAC Attracts the GOP’s Worst Elements — But Van Jones Still Went

Van Jones (Photo Credit: Courtesy of SOVAS)

*Only hardcore political junkies, like me, pay attention to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC,) held last week.

I watch the annual wingnut fest every year to see how Republican neo-fascists try to outdo themselves in howling at the moon.

It used to be funny, but now they’re running not only the Republican Party but the entire government — which explains the current political chaos.

Since I’ve been following CPAC, I’ve noticed it attracts the dregs of the right-wing. White supremacists, Islamophobes, homophobes and anti-Semites, basically the alt-right, before that term became hip. A few years ago, a young white man stood up during a CPAC seminar and said he wanted to go back to racial segregation. He also said slaves should have been grateful for receiving free room and board. Ironically, this was in a seminar about how to increase diversity in the GOP!

This year’s CPAC also attracted several extremists. “Among those spotted was Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist podcaster who lurked around the edges of CPAC like a vulture. Faith Goldy, a white nationalist who ran for mayor of Toronto in 2018 — getting 3.4 percent of the vote — was also present. Patrick Casey, the executive director of the far-right group Identity Evropa, tried to get into CPAC before being informed that his pass had been canceled,” said ThinkProgress writer Luke Barnes.

The conference’s organizers have been embarrassed by the extreme elements CPAC attracts and have tried to clean it up. But this is nearly impossible because ever since Democrats passed the Civil Rights Act, racial extremists have flooded to the GOP. They’ve been embedded in the party for at least four decades, stewing and trying to find ways to implement their policies. And while the Republican Party condemns them on the surface, they never truly want to push them out. They tolerate them because they need their votes. Why do you think Iowa Rep. Steve King still has a job?

But in spite of CPAC’s spotty past, liberal commentator Van Jones still decided to attend the event. He was part of a panel on criminal justice reform where he sang the praises of Trump’s recent efforts. Jones’ point is debatable. A NewsOne article stated the Trump administration still utilizes private prisons and has rolled back many of President Barack Obama’s prison reforms.

I question why he would even attend a conference with CPAC’s history. Jones is like black conservatives in the GOP. How can you sit at the table in a party that welcomes white supremacists? Jones, who used to be on the far left, seems to be currying favor with Trump administration officials. He recently conducted a fawning interview with princeling Jared Kushner. “You have like the dopest job in the world,” he gushed. He didn’t say anything about Kushner’s ties to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who was linked to the torture and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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