It’s fitting that this year’s CPAC conference is being held in Orlando, a land of make-believe where thousands of folks travel each year to gawk at a surly, splotchy whale flailing around with no real purpose other than to wow a small cross-section of Americans who’ve grown bored with taunting the three-legged goat at their local petting zoo.

I mean, one of the speakers is a high-profile member of a right-wing Japanese cult that believes its leader is the reincarnated spirit of an alien from Venus who created all life on Earth millions of years ago. Sure, that’s still less bonkers than believing Donald Trump was a good president, but it gives you some idea of the kinds of people they’re letting in these days.

I mean, larval-stage Brundlefly would have given a better speech than Ted Cruz did Friday, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t welcomed with open arms. (Okay, with icy stares, sneering contempt, and the bemused expressions of weary, forlorn souls who are more or less resigned to getting odd, clammy hugs from Batboy’s less photogenic uncle, but he was there. That says a lot.)

But while you’re sure to find an enthusiastic cohort of EverTrumpers in Orlando this weekend, what you won’t find much of is reality—as evidenced by the conference’s seven panel discussions on the “stolen” 2020 election. 

In fact, they’re so far off the deep end these days, a former CPAC chair even slammed the conference and its slouch into death cultism in an interview on Friday.

Huffington Post:

Mickey Edwards — who led the American Conservative Union, which organizes the event, for five years until 1983 — ripped Republicans attending this year’s CPAC in Orlando for their devotion to former President Donald Trump.

[…]

“The Republican party really no longer stands for any kind of principles, conservative or otherwise,” Edwards told [CNN’s Erin] Burnett on Friday.

“The party seems now to be completely following the lead of one man wherever he goes, which is the definition of a cult,” he continued. “Now all that matters is, ‘Trump is for this, we’re for this.’ And that includes denying truth, denying fact, denying reality. It’s such a disconnect from what’s really happened in the world.”

Watch it for yourself: 

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Yup. It would be a disconnect from what’s happening in any world—in any timeline—but then these folks are no longer much interested in consensus reality.

Edwards then continued to state the obvious: “You know, they’re no different than the people who flock to other totalitarian leaders in other countries. They’re no different than they are in Hungary, they’re no different than they used to be Germany. Whatever their great leader says, they do, and there’s no underpinning of fact, there’s no underpinning or concern about the norms of free democracy.”

Preach it, Mickey! 

Edwards also lit into current CPAC chair Matt Schlapp, a Trumpety Trumper who never saw a shade of orange he didn’t want to vigorously lick like the candy wallpaper at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory: “He doesn’t have the job that I used to have because when I was head of CPAC, it was a group that was based on conservative principles. We were strong supporters of the Constitution. We believed in free elections. We believed in democracy. These people don’t believe in any of those things.”

Gee, Mickey, what was your first clue? The fact that they continue to praise the guy who led an insurrection that killed a cop and four of his own supporters? You’re gonna have to scream a lot louder if you want to get through to these folks.

Unfortunately, your megaphone is now gone, and these apostates have taken it and turned up the volume.

RIP, GOP. It’s been real.

”This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.”  Bette Midler on author Aldous J. Pennyfarthing via Twitter. Need a thorough Trump cleanse? Thanks to Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, Dear F*cking Lunatic, Dear Pr*sident A**clown and Dear F*cking Moron, you can purge the Trump years from your soul sans the existential dread. Only laughs from here on out. Click those links, yo!

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