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Trump’s CPAC speech: a sad refresher on who occupied the White House for four years

After a couple of months of sulking, Donald Trump is back, unchanged.

Former President Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.
Former President Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday.
REUTERS/Joe Skipper

“Hello CPAC. Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me? … There’s never been a journey so successful,” said presidential loser Donald Trump in his pitiful, mendacious, laughable big comeback appearance, not quite (but close) promising that he will try again for the presidency 2024 and clarifying (if there was any serious doubt) that if/when he does so, it will be as a Republican (and not, as was recently rumored, in a new party that he would create).

As regular visitors to this site know, I have an extremely bad attitude about Trump, and did not miss him at all during the relatively few weeks he took from public view after fomenting a violent overthrow of U.S. democracy and beating, on a technicality combined with political cowardice, conviction in an impeachment trial, even though a significant and bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate (but not the two-thirds majority necessary) voted to convict him.

“In the end, we will win,” saith he, promising to avenge himself in some not-quite-specific way, against the “fake news media” and “this horrible cancel culture.”

Reading, badly as usual, from a teleprompter, and doing a small amount of ad libbing as is his wont, the former occupant of the Oval Office is still claiming that the election of his successor, Joe Biden, was illegitimate. But he is no longer actively contesting the matter in any relevant court, except the court of public opinion and specifically to a friendly audience of his cheering, adoring minions.

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Trump made a tiny bit of news, stating flatly that he is “not starting a new party,” which had been rumored (obviously based on Trump thinking about doing so) because that would be a gift to the Democrats whose ideas for governing the USA “all lead to communism.” (I’m not making this up. He said that. I had thought the gag was to refer to it as “socialism.”)

Trump, the biggest liar in the history of U.S. politics, said of the new president that “his [Biden’s] campaign was all lies.” Again, not making this up. Trump also described Biden’s first month in office, much of which involved reversing Trumpian policies, as “the most disastrous first month of any President in modern history.” (I would like to ask whether he said that to exclude a worse presidential first month before “modern history.”

Trump actually said that the closing of schools is responsible for “student depression” and even “suicide attempts” attributable to the apparently unnecessary closing of in-school classes to prevent the spread of COVID.

Trump, by the way, expressed no regrets about his handling of the pandemic. COVID-19 figured into his diatribe against absentee voting, which he blamed for his election defeat (which, of course, he still insists was a victory).  Democrats, Trump said, used COVID as an excuse to ramp up voting by mail. Anything but Election Day voting was unnecessary, Trump suggested, except for a few people like soldiers serving overseas. (Trump failed to mention that he, himself, had voted absentee by mail, while not serving overseas).

Trump referred to the recent deadly meltdown of the energy grid in Texas as “the windmill calamity.”

The CPAC audience liked the speech very much, at one time interrupting Trump with chants of “We love. We love you,” to which Trump wondered modestly whether even the great Ronald Reagan ever had crowds chant that to him. (I don’t claim to know.)

In other words, after a couple of months of sulking, Trump is back, unchanged, having learned nothing other than that he’s gotta be him, to paraphrase the title of the old song associated with Sammy Davis Jr.

The speech went on for an hour and a half. You should watch it (video here) or read the whole thing (a rush transcript is here). It’s frightening to contemplate that a man capable of making this speech occupied the powers of the presidency.

For me, it was a sad refresher on just what a lying, egomaniacal ignoramus held the most powerful job in the world for the previous four years. Thanks goodness it’s over.