A detour on the comeback trail

A DETOUR ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL…. Yesterday, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing activist Cliff Kincaid suggested that “President Obama is a communist, then suggested Obama was not born in the United States — to which the crowd cheered wildly.”

It’s a reminder that conservatives, anxious to reclaim their forgotten glory, haven’t quite adjusted to the current political landscape.

I’m not at CPAC this year, but I’ve been fascinated by the reports from the convention. It’s not just the breathtaking right-wing worldview — though the ugliness and hatred is interesting — it’s also the fact that a lot of conservatives just aren’t ready to face a new day. They liked the old day just fine, thank you very much, are content to stay there, even as the country moves forward.

What was the message on CPAC’s first day? Government is still the enemy; Iran still wants to kill us; it’s still a conservative country; tax cuts will still solve every problem; Democrats are still radicals; the media is still victimizing the right; and Republicans can still win if they shift from being a conservative party to an extremely conservative party.

Attendees could attend a panel discussion on, “Al Franken and Acorn: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System,” and listen to Samuel Wurzelbacher explain why reparations for African Americans are a bad idea: “[Y]ou can’t whine and cry about it these days. I mean, Jews were slaves, but they’re not asking for compensation from Egypt.”

Jonathan Stein reported:

[Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)] ended by saying, “With CPAC’s leadership, we can revitalize this movement.” And that’s the problem. This year’s CPAC is supposed to begin conservatism’s comeback. But can rebirth be achieved when the ideas being spouted by Bolton, Ryan, and others are the same as the ones pushed for the last eight years?

Probably not. All the talk last year about “change” has missed this crowd altogether. They don’t need change, they demand more of the same (only slightly further to the right, please).

They’ve stuck their fingers in their ears, and their heads in the sand. For these far-right activists, this isn’t a time for introspection and reevaluation; it’s time to pretend 2008 and 2009 are mere figments of the reality-based community’s imagination.

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