Remarks from incendiary pro-Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) started off on a familiarly bizarre note at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. Among other unhinged remarks, Gaetz referred to Trump supporters as the “main attraction in the greatest show on earth,” which is just… wow. If someone was trying to come up with a theoretical example of pathological self-obsession, they likely couldn’t do better than Gaetz’s weird ego-worship.
Gaetz added as follows:
‘Turns out populism is popular, and everyone can see who the fakes and the phonies are, and where we can find the real deal… We gather here today in the shadow of Disney, a corporation that recently cancelled its own founder, Walt Disney. Look out, Mr. Potato Head, you’re next! I’m sorry — I think now he’s going by Potato X… See, to me the whole concept of the Mr. Potato Head was you could move the parts around. Mr. Potato Head was America’s first transgender doll, and even he got cancelled!.. I am never alone when I stand with you, the great people of the greatest country that has ever existed.’
So, as a pandemic ravages the country and large numbers of people struggle to meet their basic needs, Gaetz is concerned about… Hasbro changing the branding of “Mr. Potato Head” to “Potato Head.” The individual characters themselves aren’t even going without the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” designations — but a change in toy company branding is enough to spend Matt Gaetz spiraling, apparently.
Going on, Gaetz devolved into conspiratorial babble, describing himself as a “wanted man by the deep state,” although the deep state — meaning a supposed secret cabal of anti-conservative conspirators within the federal government — does not exist. The parade of clownery went on from there, with Gaetz complaining that the media was more concerned about Ted Cruz’s recent Cancun trip than the supposed threat from migrant caravans coming to the United States.
Gaetz added as follows:
‘The greatest threat to our liberty is big government, and the second greatest threat to our liberty is big business, and there is no bigger business than Big Tech. The flow of digital information impacts… our lives. If we win the debate, but lose the internet, ours will be the last generation of American greatness. They’ll open the borders, lock down our businesses, and squelch even the faintest whispers of dissent.’
The depth of Gaetz’s paranoia is staggering. This sort of weird, existential fearmongering is, at this point, a foundational tenet of the Republican Party. As Gaetz went on, he seemingly contradicted himself. He ranted about the exclusion of certain conservatives from social media platforms — but then he denigrated those same platforms. If he thinks that the platforms are so terrible, then why is he so concerned with conservatives getting on them? Logical consistency has never exactly been a strong suit of Trumpism.
Watch Gaetz’s comments below: