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Never Trumpers to Hold Anti-Trump Event During CPAC

AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool

With all the depressing news coming out of Canada and Ukraine, it seems appropriate to take a few laughs where we can get them. Fortunately, the GOP anti-Trump brigade never fails to come through. High-profile Republicans are reportedly planning to hold a summit during the same week of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) later this week, hoping to compete with the event at which former President Donald Trump is slated to speak.

The Hill reported:

Republican figures opposed to former President Trump will gather in Washington, D.C., this weekend for an event that has been subbed “counterprogramming” of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is also set to take place this weekend.

Anti-Trump conservatives are set to attend a summit on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 hosted by Principles First, an organization that describes itself as “a grassroots effort to rediscover and champion principles in the 21st century.”

The organization holding this pathetic group therapy session stated the event will focus on “conservatism’s meaning & the path to a more principled future for our country” through panels, speeches, networking, and discussions concerning “the meaning of conservatism today and the future of our movement.”

Several prominent Never Trumpers are set to speak at the event. I know I don’t need to tell you who will take the stage, but I’m going to anyway.

Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) will be addressing the crowd because of course they are. But they are not the only ones. The Hill reported:

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R), retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who was a principal figure in Trump’s first impeachment proceedings — and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn — who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 — will all speak as well.

Lawyer Heath Mayo, founder of Principles First for America, told CBS News the event will “certainly be counterprogramming of CPAC” and will provide a safe space for Republicans suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS).

Okay, he didn’t say it exactly like that, but we all know this is what this event will be, don’t we?

While this is worthy of a full-throated belly laugh, I haven’t even gotten to the truly humorous part yet. Mayo also said it would be a chance to “consider whether they can unite around a candidate for the 2024 presidential election,” according to The Hill.

“We want to come together in a visual show of support for people who have taken stands for ideas when it hasn’t been comfortable,” he said.

“You don’t see those folks, yet, in rooms that are energized. But I think the energy is there. We’ll see how many folks show up,” he added.

As if that weren’t already hilarious enough, Mayo indicated he believes there is a “lane” for a TDS-suffering candidate in the next presidential election and pointed to Cheney and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as possible contenders.

“The party is completely stuck in a rut talking about if the last election is legitimate and if Liz Cheney, Hogan, or someone else is compelling and wants to run, I think a lot of people would listen,” Mayo said.

If the word “delusion” was a group of people, it would be the anti-Trump wing of the Republican Party. The fact that these people believe there is anything resembling a chance that a Never Trumper would receive the support of the base demonstrates they also have been taking advantage of President Joe Biden’s crack pipe distribution program.

The reality Mayo’s ilk does not want to face is that people like him have absolutely no influence over the conservative movement any longer. The establishment faction of the party does not enjoy the support of the base and this reality has become only more apparent over the past five years.

While GOP candidates do not necessarily need to have Trump’s backing to win an election, it is abundantly obvious that one cannot win by being anti-Trump. One only has to look at how Kinzinger and Cheney are faring politically to see they have no chance of being at the front of a GOP ticket in 2024.

But let’s be real. They know they stand no chance of getting anyone in their ranks to win the nomination. This event is nothing more than a way for these folks to get together and figure out how to cope with their irrelevance. It’s a laughable attempt to pretend they still have sway over the direction of the party. Unfortunately for them, while they hold their event, the real movers and shakers on the right will be at CPAC. But far be it from me to criticize these people if they still want their place at the kiddie table.

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