Trump’s Triumph at CPAC

President Trump gave a memorable address on Sunday evening to the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). For such a boffo performance, the Emmy mistakenly awarded to New York Governor Andrew Pinocchio Cuomo should be retrieved and redirected to the immediate former president. 

In one mighty swinging oratorical stroke of 90 minutes, Trump asserted authority over his party, arraigned the new administration for the complete failure to accomplish anything useful in the first 40 of its vaunted 100 days, and then rolled through the Biden executive orders like a bulldozer. The fiasco at the border enjoyed a full exposure, as it is replete with hypocrisy about the infamous cages, effectively sidelining the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service without abolishing it, and turning the United States into what Trump called a “sanctuary country” for whoever in the world wants to come to it.

The Green Terror and the companion assault upon the American energy industry, the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the absurdity of wind energy—all were poured forth with great strength and fluency, extraordinarily good syntax, and to withering effect. 

Trump set the record straight on vaccines and the pandemic. His forcefully advanced claim to have saved a huge number of lives by pressing so effectively for early vaccine development and approval is evidently true and already must prevail in the minds of Americans above the frequently disorderly spectacle of the daily televised briefings he hijacked from the vice president and often permitted to turn into bear-baiting sessions for the delectation of his most insolent media enemies. It was refreshing to hear the former president lay the unconscionably prolonged shutdown of most of America’s public and secondary schools directly at the door of the greedy and irresponsible teachers’ unions, who must accept the blame for the steady deterioration of education standards in U.S. state school systems for the past 30 years or more. 

Refreshing Clarity—and Real Unity

The outright asininity of easing sanctions on Iran in advance of discussions over its nuclear military program was evident and irrefutable. The dangers of the new administration’s apparent indifference to Chinese trade and currency manipulation skulduggery was well formulated and must have scored strongly with the huge number of his viewers preoccupied with job security.

The tactical calculation that he had put into his address became clearer as he went along. Trump directly addressed the suburban female vote which was a soft point in the last election by hammering the Biden Administration’s green light for former male transsexuals to participate in female sports. It is an insane state of affairs and Trump was probably correct in forecasting the complete collapse of female sports as a serious field of activity if the Biden rule of unhandicapped admission of transgender female athletes is not revisited.

The ex-president wisely ignored the widespread advice of his opponents within or near the Republican Party to avoid complaints of the irregularity and dishonesty of the presidential election and to make verbal war specifically upon his enemies within the Republican Party. President Trump emphasized the theme of unity and claimed that the Republican Party was unified . . . behind him

It is absolutely vital that the bipartisan political class—backed by the totalitarian, woke media and big attack social media cartel—does not get away with the complete suppression of the grave doubts about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Everyone who watched television in those days, even on the most rabidly Trump-hating networks, is aware of the improbable cascades of Joe Biden votes that came in en bloc in the middle of the night, unverifiable, all thanks to hastily jammed-through executive and judicial orders in certain states and of dubious constitutionality taken in supposed response to the pandemic. Trump was wise not to raise the issue again of the popular vote, which Biden undoubtedly won, but to stick with the unanswerable arguments that he possesses challenging the honesty of the result.    

He was also correct to heap blame on the U.S. Supreme Court for its cowardice. As the Constitution consigns to the state legislatures the administration of elections, it is only the courts and ultimately the high court that can police and judge the integrity of electoral disputes between executive and legislative parties. That abdication of the Supreme Court over the motion of the attorney general of Texas supported by 16 other state governments was the court’s worst failure since the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which helped bring on the Civil War. So much for the Democratic caterwauling about a packed Trumpian court! The concerted, air-tight media effort to stifle any question of the integrity of the 2020 presidential election must not be allowed to succeed.                 

Trump Is Still On Top

Orthodox opinion counseled the ex-president not to denounce by name the anti-Trump forces within the Republican Party, but he was right to do so. All the Republicans who advocated his conviction in either spurious impeachment in the last year should be expelled from the party, and challenged in their next primary. These were false charges; it is perfectly in order for a Republican to oppose Trump’s renomination, but siding with the Trump-hate movement and endorsing these unfounded, Pelosian smear jobs attacking Trump as a criminal who advocated a violent assault on the Capitol is an intolerable outrage. 

Fortunately, Trump has lit the flame of aggrieved righteousness about the last election and it will be impossible to extinguish it. It appears that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has thought better of his outrageous comments after the last impeachment, that Trump was guilty as charged but that the Senate was not the appropriate place for such a charge to be heard. This level of hostility in high places within the Republican Party cannot be tolerated, but Trump was right to lay off him for now.

Sunday’s CPAC meeting made it obvious that Trump still rules the Republican Party. His nearest polling rival is his strong supporter, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but he trails 55 to 21 percent and the next candidate is below five percent. McConnell (Kentucky), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Susan Collins (Maine), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), are all anti-Trump senators who won’t face the voters for four to six years, but Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and the other members of the Congress who voted to impeach deserve to be booted from office at the next election. 

Joe Biden, who has been commendably muted in his references to Trump, including the impeachment nonsense, is going to have to seem more alert and knowledgeable. Even the most benign encounters with the press leave the audience worried about his mental focus. He’s almost halfway through his uneventful honeymoon; after Easter, it is going to become steadily more difficult. His great success to date was a one-casualty counterattack on Iran for one of its innumerable terrorist acts. It was a relief, but it doesn’t amount to a coherent policy where the Democrats, going back to Jimmy Carter, on Iran, have never had one before.

The Mitch McConnell-Peggy Noonan-Karl Rove dream of a return to the pre-Trump party of post-Reagan amiable Democratic lookalike losers, the McRomBushes, is not going to happen. Trump isn’t “disgraced,” and the Democrats are now going to have to try to govern with their present ramshackle coalition of antagonistic elements riding off in all directions and without a constant pillory of Trump.

About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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