They should really have a designated survivor sequestered away somewhere during the Conservative Political Action Conference, so complete and minor star-studded is the lineup for the annual event, which begins Wednesday. It boasts a unique blend of right-wing cranks, racists, crypt-keeper old money men, and younger (not young) people who think making anti-socialism memes is doing politics, all coming together for the worst circus in the worst town.
Every year, the lineup (and release of the schedule, which dropped today) serves as a useful look at who’s leading the rabid hoard this year. And folks, let me tell you what I learned after a brief tour through its offerings—this lineup is utterly cursed.
As usual, CPAC 2019 promises to be absolutely stuffed to the rafters with a who’s who of every awful person who could possibly claim the “conservative” banner right now. Here’s my quick rundown of the bright (meaning especially depraved) spots on the lineup. (A note: This dumbass image sizing is because of this awfully designed schedule. Don’t blame me.)
This is a short day, but the first scheduled event features disappeared Trump campaign staffer Katrina Pierson, along with the political director of the president’s 2020 campaign, and American Legislative Exchange Council executive Bill Meierling. There’s also a workshop where Saturday Night Live favorite Dan Crenshaw will talk about how being a Navy SEAL will make you a more tactical leader. (“Come learn how to unleash the great leader within you,” the description reads.)
And then there’s this shit, from my least favorite, no-nothing nobody:
Call it an early night by getting kicked out of the Holiday Inn Express bar. Tomorrow starts bright and early!
If you’re a “Premium Attendee,” meaning that you’re spending either $1,750 on a Silver Package or a stunning $5,500 on a Gold Package, you get to enter the conference center 15 minutes before the hoi polloi. All the better to stake out the good seats for this incredible lineup:
Our first appearance of master grifter Charlie Kirk, our second encounter with the rat-faced high school graduate, and the pillow guy all starting close together! DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!!
Plan your lunch of rare steak washed down with liberals’ tears appropriately in order to make it back for the Pawn Star guy, and then Van Jones appearing in this deeply unfriendly venue to talk about criminal justice reform with repellent human Matt Schlapp, for some reason.
Skip Laura Ingraham, she does that shit every night. Close out the day with these two loons, apparently live and in person:
I’m left to assume that there are “activism boot camp” sessions running concurrently throughout the day, which range from a whole bunch of gargoyles teaching Podcasting 101 to the Daily Caller’s anti-Semitic tweeter lecturing you about fake news:
And don’t forget the breakout sessions! Look, there’s noted Islamophobe Frank Gaffney talking about the Red Menace!!
Followed up by a panel that will convince you journalism cannot be saved, featuring the racist lady again, Breitbart editor Matt Boyle—who doesn’t get his due as a villainous Trump flunkie—and Salena Zito, who always manages to have the MOST illuminating conversations with Trump supporters at the gas pump.
Roll the dice with a few Valium and sleep a deep, dreamless sleep.
Another bright and early start. Skip charlatans Glenn Beck and Toilet Paper USA’s Candance Owens around 8 a.m. Livestream failson-in-chief Don Jr. in conversation with Jerry Falwell, Jr.—two juniors!! Will someone please make this joke—at Liberty University from the floor of your hotel room.
Save your strength for this abject horror show:
Is 5G melting Americans’ brains? Asked and answered by the best and brightest CPAC has to offer.
When everyone needs a nap or another Irish coffee, Nigel Farage shows up.
Much later, after wading through book signings and numerous breakout sessions about Democrats’ eating the beating hearts of infants or whatever, comes a ticketed event called the “Ronald Reagan Dinner,” hosted by something called Dragging Canoe, which no one’s ever heard of before but is listed as a Platinum Sponsor on CPAC’s site.
Tickets?? Private?? NOT very freedom loving!!! Storm the ballroom and spend the night in a holding cell.
Small mercies: This day is very thinly scheduled. But they’ve saved some of the worst people for last:
Judge Jeanine Pirro, Trump’s inevitable next Supreme Court pick, closes out the day a half-hour after the CPAC straw poll. Will they pick Donald Trump—who’s slated to make an appearance in some form—for another four years? Stay tuned!
In the meantime, see absolutely none of you there.