CPAC Dumps Keynote Speaker Over Pedophilia Comments

“Milo Yiannopoulos lost his keynote speaking slot at the Conservative Political Action Conference after tapes surfaced of the right wing provocateur and senior Breitbart editor advocating for sexual relationships between ‘younger boys and older men,'” Politico reports.

Daily Beast: “Reached immediately after the decision, Yiannopoulos had no comment on the cancellation, but just hours before the announcement, Yiannopoulos expressed regret for the comments to The Daily Beast in a statement and an interview, saying the comments were in no way meant to condone predatory behavior toward children.”

Video Surfaces of CPAC Speaker Defending Pedophilia

“Milo Yiannopoulos is about to go mainstream Republican, sort of, grabbing himself a keynote address at next week’s Conservative Political Action Conference,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“The Washington gathering, known as CPAC, is the premiere event for established conservatives… None of the 60 or so confirmed speakers, though, will have more stage time than Yianoppoulos at this year’s event.”

The Blaze: “Then on Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.”

GOP Lawmakers Fall In Line Behind Trump

New York Times: “After three weeks in the White House, Mr. Trump has made clear that he is going to continue promulgating conspiracy theories, flinging personal insults and saying things that are plainly untrue. And the Republican-controlled House and Senate seem to have made a collective decision: They will accommodate — not confront — his conduct as long as he signs their long-stalled conservative proposals on taxes, regulations and health care into law.”

“Such accommodation is coming at a price, attracting incredulous or angry constituents to town hall meetings, leaving members flat-footed when presented with the latest presidential provocation and testing the capacity of now perpetually clogged phone lines on Capitol Hill.”

The GOP’s Deal with the Devil

David Brooks: “Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.”

“Their position was at least comprehensible: How many times in a lifetime does your party control all levers of power? When that happens you’re willing to tolerate a little Trumpian circus behavior in order to get things done.”

“But if the last 10 days have made anything clear, it’s this: The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul.”

GOP Lawmakers Fall In Line Behind Trump

“From the time Donald Trump became their candidate until he took the oath of office, congressional Republicans treated his policy pronouncements — largely out of step with Republican dogma — as essentially a distraction. He would talk. They would drive the policies,” the New York Times reports.

“But now, the question of whether congressional Republicans would change President Trump or Mr. Trump would change them has an early answer. Mr. Trump cheerfully addressed the group here at their policy retreat on Thursday, and they responded with applause to many proposals they have long opposed.”

Trump Is Remaking the Republican Party

Peggy Noonan: “It’s a mistake for observers in Washington and New York to fixate on Mr. Trump’s daily faux pas at the expense of the political meaning of what he’s doing. He’s changing the face of the GOP…”

“And here is the important political point: Democrats don’t have a playbook for this. They have a playbook to use against normal Republicans: You’re cold, greedy, racist, sexist elitists who hate the little guy.”

“They don’t have a playbook to use against a political figure like Mr. Trump yet, because he jumbles all the categories. Democrats will wobble around, see what works. For now they’ll stick with saying he’s scary, unstable, right-wing. It’s going to take them a while to develop a playbook against an independent populist, some of whose advisers hate Republicans more than they do.”

Parties Flip Flop on States Rights

Reuters: “Now, as Trump looks to undo Obama’s legacy and begin constructing his own, Pruitt and other administration Republicans are showing little interest in protecting states’ rights. Instead, they are embracing sweeping new environmental, healthcare and immigration policies that are to be imposed on all states.”

“At the same time Democrats, who over the last half-century have zealously defended sacrosanct federal laws – such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that tackled segregation – against arguments that states should be allowed to chart their own way, are now making plans to employ some of those very states’ rights positions to fend off Trump administration policies they disagree with.”

“The two parties’ switching of sides is evident across a range of issues, including so-called sanctuary cities, the environment and healthcare.”

How Trump Is Reshaping Both Parties

Charlie Cook: “My bet is that Republican elected officials are going to be extremely reluctant to publicly break with Trump, despite his anemic poll numbers. GOP officeholders and party officials will continue to fear the wrath of the Trump backers at the first sign of criticism. With so few Republicans likely to face strong Democratic challenges in 2018, either because few GOP seats are up or because few House incumbents are in competitive districts, primary challenges are their biggest fear, so they are unlikely to do anything to anger the Trump faithful.”

“On the Democratic side, can anyone win the nomination running from the middle? At one time, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York occupied that moderately liberal place, but more recently she’s moved sharply to the left. It would seem that there is no traction anywhere else in the Democratic Party. Gillibrand advertised her leftward move by casting the lone vote against retired Marine General James Mattis’s nomination to be secretary of Defense. Sen. Cory Booker’s testimony against Sen. Jeff Sessions’s nomination to be attorney general gave him an opportunity to strike a similar pose. Until now, Booker seemed to be steering clear of doing things that might pigeonhole him as a left-leaning bomb thrower.”

Not the Way the GOP Had Planned

Molly Ball: “But the Republican Party that takes over Washington as Trump assumes the presidency is not one the Priebus of a few years ago might have recognized. Trump won the GOP primary, and then the general election, on a populist-nationalist platform that upended much of the party’s conservative dogma. Many Republican elders abandoned him, offended in principle and sure he could not win. They got their comeuppance on Election Night.”

“In the weeks since, Trump has moved on every level to demonstrate his dominance: over the party organization, over Republicans in Congress, over the press and the public arena. Not for him to compromise, to accommodate, to forgive. He enters the White House as determined as ever to divide and conquer, to punish his enemies, to do things his way and sideline the enforcers of the old order.”

Both Parties Are Built on Unstable Coalitions

Amy Walter: “Most important, both parties are built upon unstable coalitions. For Democrats, it is a coalition driven by demographics. The Democratic mantra for the last eight years has been built around the idea that an increasingly diverse and urbanizing electorate was going to build them a permanent Electoral College majority. But, as we saw in 2016 and every midterm election since 2008, the only Democrat who was able to mobilize the ‘Obama coalition’ was Barack Obama himself.”

“Republicans, meanwhile, have a shaky coalition of their own. As we saw throughout the Obama years, the House GOP leadership had very little capacity to rein in its rogue members. Having a GOP controlled Senate and White House will help heal some rifts (winning is the greatest unifying force in the world). However, there’s a new wrinkle for the GOP to grapple with this year: the fact that the Trump coalition and the traditional Republican coalition aren’t necessarily on the same page.”

For members: Does the Republican Party Stand for Anything?