Donald Trump is doing Dallas on Sunday, his second appearance at a CPAC conclave since leaving the White House. Only speakers slavishly devoted to Trump are booked, like the governor proud to be called a “female Trump,” South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, Florida sidekick Sen. Rick Scott, and Donald Trump, Jr. who’s become a warm-up act for the old man.
Junior droned on about all the things dear old Dad was supposedly right about: Ukraine, Russia, the election, cancel culture, Hunter Biden (adding a riff on the First Son’s artwork), and a swipe at Dr. Fauci shortcomings as a pitcher and a scientist. He ended by declaring that “children is worth fighting for.” That’s as bold as it is grammatical.
Conspicuously absent from the schedule are regulars like Sen. Ted Cruz (“a family obligation”) and Mike Pence. After being left for dead by the boss, the vice president who did his constitutional duty and certified Joe Biden’s win is booed so regularly by the MAGA faithful when he ventures out—at the Freedom & Faith Coalition, throwing out the opening pitch at the minor league Indianapolis Indians’ home opener in April—he can’t risk showing up even in this warm bath of conservatism.