The GOP base rallies outside Washington

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Laura McGarraugh, an emergency room nurse from Austin, Texas, is confident Democrats will replace President Joe Biden atop their ticket this year.
“You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse,” added McGarraugh, sporting an American flag tank top.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, accompanied by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb. 23, 2024.
Jose Luis Magana/APSuch sentiments were common here, where attendees were decked out in clothing supporting former President Donald Trump’s comeback bid and listening to a steady stream of red meat.
The conference, whose motto this year is “where globalism goes to die,” featured panels titled, “Would Moses Go To Harvard?”
Michelle vs. Kamala,” which showcased speakers who were adamant that Biden would be replaced as Democrats’ presidential nominee at the party’s convention this year.
An attendee is dressed as the Statue of Liberty as she walks through the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb. 23, 2024.
“I know they have a plan because they always do, and I’m sure it’s been in place for a long time.
The fuel behind the rhetoric is Trump himself, said Joseph Uscinski, a professor at the University of Miami specializing in conspiracy theories.
A bobble head of former President Donald Trump is for sale at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb. 23, 2024.

Texas native Laura McGarraugh, an ER nurse, is optimistic that Democrats will take President Joe Biden’s place at the top of their ticket this year. Just who exactly she is uncertain about.

McGarraugh said simply that Biden would be replaced with “anybody that’s not dead” while speaking to ABC News at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a traditional Republican cattle call that has recently transformed into a far-right hangout. ****.

She merely answered, “don’t you?” when asked if she genuinely believed that Biden had passed away.

McGarraugh, who was wearing an American flag tank top, continued, “You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse.”. “All you need are eyes.”. “.

Jim Jordan, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2024) at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 24, accompanied by Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union. 23 in 2024. By Jose Luis Magana/AP.

Here, people wore apparel endorsing former President Donald Trump’s bid for a comeback and listened to an endless supply of beef.

This year’s conference theme is “where globalism goes to die,” and among the panels were “Would Moses Go To Harvard?” and “Cat Fight? Michelle vs. Kamala,” which featured speakers who insisted that Biden would not be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee this year at the convention.

Podcaster Monica Crowley threatened the audience that former first lady Michelle Obama would replace him on the ticket this November, saying, “I don’t know how realistic any of this is,” but added, “It does us no good to live in wishful thinking fantasyland to think that Democrats don’t have a plan.”. “.

Rather, radio host Larry O’Connor, who was on the same panel as Obama, hinted at the conspiracy theory that Obama would not qualify as a “female president” by predicting that Vice President Kamala Harris would become president after he steps down at the convention. “.”.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2024) in the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 2, a participant dressed like the Statue of Liberty strolls through the venue. 23 in 2024. Alex Brandon with AP.

Talks with more than a dozen participants revealed similar themes: disagreement over Biden’s replacement but a general understanding that the president will be on their ballots later this year.

“I’m sure their plan has been in place for a while because they always seem to have one. I fail to see how he could prevail. Thus, I think it’s likely that they’ll take his place,” said Ocean City, Maryland housewife Vanessa Alban.

Theories concerning the Jan. and Trump’s presidency. 6, 2021, a riot also broke out on Capitol Hill.

In Washington, many Republicans and Democrats have claimed that the mob amounted to an insurrection and that Trump lost the 2020 election; these claims were ridiculed or batted away in the corridors of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

The right-wing celebrity Jack Posobiec exclaimed, “Welcome to the end of democracy!”. Our goal is to completely topple it. On January, we didn’t make it all the way there. 6. Nevertheless, we’ll try to remove it and swap it out for this one right here. ****.

Attendees and organizers of CPAC continued to present a grim image of a “deep state” determined to suppress Trump’s supporters as well as sabotage his campaign.

Take a look at all the J6 inmates who haven’t received a fair trial. They’re rotting in jail, really. “And how long have they been there? Let’s get real,” stated Thomas Siens, a Fort Worth, Texas, economist. They’re merely selecting targets to pursue. “.”.

“People went to the Trump rally because they supported the president,” elaborated Jon Linowes, who created a digital pinball game inspired by the disturbance that was on exhibit at the conference’s vendor hall. The game featured in-game alerts such as “peaceful protest,” “stop the steal,” “it’s a setup,” and “Babbitt Murder,” among other warnings.

“Some troublemakers are bound to show up at any major event. That was definitely not Trump’s intention, regardless of whether they were in this instance planted by government agencies or were real right-wing troublemakers and things happened. ****.

Professor Joseph Uscinski of the University of Miami, who specializes in conspiracy theories, claimed that Trump is the driving force behind the rhetoric.

During the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2024) at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on February 2, a bobble head of former President Donald Trump will be up for sale. 23, 2024. Alex Brandon with AP.

This crowd was captivated by the former president’s anti-establishment message, and he had a stranglehold on it as speaker after speaker invoked his name to standing ovations.

“From the general election in 2016 until the present, he persisted in using the anti-establishment card. That being said, Uscinski stated, “He is not only attempting to draw in opponents of Democrats, Republicans, or conservatives; he is also attempting to draw in those who harbor animosity toward the establishment in its entirety. He discusses how everything is manipulated. People who already share these ideas are drawn to him. “.

Now that he’s assembled this group of people who are already inclined to feel that way, he and his allies as well as other Republicans who merely have to agree with the former president are using that language, too!”. This is largely to blame for the radical shift in the Republican Party’s rhetoric. “.”.

Though the opinions expressed at CPAC represent some of Trump’s most steadfast, unwavering “warriors,” they undoubtedly carry weight and are not the only viewpoint held by the GOP in its entirety. “.”.

Even so, there were many empty chairs in the ballroom that served as the venue for the conference’s keynote speakers. The well-known “media row,” where celebrities from radio and television stand in line for broadcasts, was noticeably shorter than usual. Some strategists saw this as an indication of the conference’s shifting priorities.

Doug Heye, a former top Republican National Committee staffer, described CPAC as “the Stak Trek convention of politics, with just as much merchandising and cosplay.”.

“CPAC has consistently been an excellent venue for conservatives to congregate, discuss, and share viewpoints with peers nationwide,” continued Chip Saltsman, a strategist for former Vice President Mike Pence’s now-cancelled 2024 campaign. In order to bring the party and the movement together and win in November, it appears that conservatives have spent the last year coming to each other for affirmation rather than challenging each other on current issues. “.

However, CPAC’s present approach seemed deliberate.

Once the venue for Ronald Reagan’s “city on a hill” speech, CPAC has boasted in the past few years of not having invited politicians such as Sen. Mitt Romney is a Republican from Utah who has experience brokering deals on Capitol Hill. This year, “left-wing” media outlets were not granted media credentials by the conference.

“We don’t want you here if you spend all of your time trying to destroy America, Americans who love America, conservatives, patriots, and members of MAGA, and yes, J6, if that’s what you do, call yourself a journalist.” CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp stated.

Uscinski says that approach accomplishes two goals: it maintains members of the GOP’s right flank while persuading devoted Republican voters that those theories are accurate.

The fact that the head of the Republican Party is saying something is no reason to be shocked if some Republicans who aren’t conspiracists end up believing some of what Trump says to be conspiratorial. Thus, they’re not buying it because they’re conspiracy theorists; rather, Uscinski said, “They’re buying it because these are party cues that are falling from heaven.”.

The audience and coalition are different, and they have different musical tastes, so the people playing the music for them will need to play the appropriate selections. This, I believe, explains a lot of what’s happening. “.

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