It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for.
The Atlantic has published a portion of the CPAC speaking order and the time allotted, and the glorious roundup includes:
Ted Cruz: 33-minute keynote speech
Sarah Palin: 16 minutes
Donald Trump: 14 minutes
Bobby Jindal: 13 minutes
Rand Paul: 13 minutes
Rick Perry: 13 minutes
Scott Walker: 13 minutes
Marco Rubio: 11 minutes
Paul Ryan: 11 minutes
Rick Santorum: 7 minutes
Chris Christie: Not even invited
Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are going to speak longer than Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. Wait... what?
The election happened, right? Sarah Palin was fired from Fox, and isn't Donald Trump a racist? I was pretty sure both of those things happened, and that everyone was universally pleased to have these individuals out of the public sphere.
Apparently not, as news of Trumps and Palin's attendance to the conference caused ticket sales to increase.
Perhaps Palin will discuss her new book about the alleged War on Christmas, called A Happy Christmas IS A Merry Christmas. Palin says the book will be fun, festive, and thought-provoking, as well as upsetting to fans of alliteration everywhere.
In addition to the speakers list, CPAC has published the full scheduled list of events. I did not make any of these up, these are actual events.
"Lessons They Have Learned and We Haven’t: The Europeanization of America."
"Stop THIS: Threats, Harassment, Intimidation, Slander & Bullying from the Obama Administration."
"The United Nations vs. The United States: The End Run Around the American Way of Life."
"Back to the Future: High Tech-High Touch-Cool Tools."
And my personal favorites:
"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Plastic Water Bottles, Fracking, Genetically Modified Food and Big Gulp Sodas."
"Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist and You Know You’re Not One?"
Listen, GOP. I have some seriously bad news. If you have to have an entire event around making yourself feel better about not being racist, it doesn’t bode well for your actual views and opinions about race.
Nothing is a greater indication of being out of touch with technology then using the words "High Tech-High Touch-Cool Tools" in a phrase that’s meant to be taken seriously.
The events look like a collection of things I would expect to see in the 1990s and 1800s. I am almost shocked that there isn’t an event called "All About the Talkey-Time Phone Tube."
There are also events around how the GOP can be more inclusive and one on how to better engage the X/Y generations. This is amusing considering GOProud, a Republican gay-rights group, was uninvited this year and last.
Attention CPAC: Inclusivity doesn’t work like that. You can’t just use the word, have a few events, and expect to be considered inclusive. You have to actually engage in the physical act of doing it.
The speaking list is also surprising because the GOP lost, and lost big when it came to minorities and women. During the 2012 election, minorities and women didn’t just not vote for Mitt Romney; they voted for Barack Obama.
While there will be events that discuss immigration, why do the individuals who have any hope at all at attracting new voters to the GOP have less speaking time then Sarah Palin and Donald Trump?
It’s really not even about how much time the two are speaking; their presence at all signifies a conservative movement that refuses to let go of what is clearly holding them back. The conspiracy theorists, the anti-immigrant/anti-gay/anti-women rhetoric, all hurt the Republican party.
I don’t know, for a party that talks an awful lot about redefining itself and moving forward, they sure do seem to be taking quite a few leaps back.