|Jack Posobiec at CPAC 2024
The annual CPAC confab, which was held over the weekend in Oxon Hill, MD, quickly became a contest to see who could be the loudest and most outrageous loon. Jack Posobiec, known for his extensive ties to white supremacy, was the leader in the clubhouse after openly proclaiming that the driving goal behind the event was to overthrow democracy and replace it with a theocracy. The "Orange Menace" himself, Donald Trump, was scheduled to speak later in the event, so there was a chance he would catch Posobiec from behind. But openly admitting you intend to ditch democracy is one way to get attention, and Posobiec grabbed the opportunity with gusto -- even though his background suggests. he is probably not the best guy to be touting Christian principles.
Iconic newsman Dan Rather describes the Posobiec spectacle, reporting at his "Steady" Substack page, which has 299,000 subscribers. Rather writes:
The annual Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) is seldom subtle. This year they aren’t just saying the quiet part out loud — they are screaming it.
At a panel session Wednesday, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec said without irony or sarcasm, “I just wanted to say, welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely. We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it.”
He then held up a Christian cross and added, “We’ll replace it with this right here. That’s right, because all glory, all glory is not to government, all glory is to God." Was the remark in jest? No. And the crowd knew it.
His comments got big applause and an “amen” from moderator Steve Bannon, who, by the way, is set to stand trial in a New York state court for fraud and money laundering in May and only escaped federal prosecution because of a presidential pardon. As far as I have seen, no Republican attendee denounced Posobiec’s comments. (I, Legal Schnauzer, would give Bannon an "amen" if he would take a bath every now and then.)
When Posobiec waves a cross and claims to have insight on Biblical ideas, should you take him seriously -- should any sentient being take him seriously? Unless you equate the Bible with white supremacy, it probably would be best to ignore this loudmouth.
The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Leadership Conference (SPLC) describes Posobiec's rise in right-wing circles under the headline "SPLC Investigation: Far-right OANN Anchor Jack Posobiec’s Rise Tied to White Supremacist Movement. From the SPLC investigative report:
As for the rest of CPAC 2024, let's return to Dan Rather:
Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for One America News Network (OANN) whose work has been embraced by President Trump, collaborated for years with white supremacists, neo-fascists and antisemites, a Hatewatch investigation has determined.
Posobiec’s ties to far-right extremists travel beyond borders into Europe. His connections to white supremacy are too numerous to compile into one article, so Hatewatch is running a series of stories on the correspondent’s ties to the movement and promotion of it. This first story in the series lays out how Posobiec rose from being a pseudonymous Game of Thrones blogger to linking up with such white supremacists as Richard Spencer and a neo-Nazi who endorsed terrorism while using the online handle @PureWhiteEvil.
Posobiec, 34, described himself in his Twitter bio as being “fmr CBS News” during chapters of his life detailed in this story. CBS News told Hatewatch he never worked for them. At the time Posobiec introduced himself to the public on Twitter as “fmr CBS News,” he promoted now-infamous disinformation campaigns such as “Pizzagate.” He built up a larger audience during this time, gaining more than 9,000 followers per month from September 2016 to March 2017.
Posobiec used Twitter to target Jewish journalists with antisemitic hate. His targets included CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, whose Polish family survived the Holocaust during World War II. Posobiec also targeted a group of journalists reporting on a press conference hosted by Peter Thiel. Three Jewish rights groups – the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action – described Posobiec’s behavior as antisemitic or condemned OANN’s relationship to him after Hatewatch reached out for comment on this investigation. The full statements of those groups as well as additional evidence of Posobiec’s antisemitic remarks can be found here. . .
On May 2, President Donald Trump praised Posobiec in a tweet: “That’s right Jack. Keep up the good work!” Trump was referring to the OANN anchor boasting on Twitter that the President reads his feed. It was not the first time Trump promoted Posobiec to his millions of followers. He also did so on Aug. 14, 2017, two days after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the tweet Trump boosted, Posobiec commented on violent crime commonly associated with Black suspects, comparing it to a white supremacist murdering an antiracist demonstrator at the Charlottesville event. Trump also posted a self-promotional video to Twitter on May 16, where he was depicted as being surrounded by his allies while he gives a speech from the movie Independence Day. Posobiec’s face was included in the video alongside Vice President Mike Pence.
Posobiec is on pace to reach one million Twitter followers by the end of the year. He has nearly as many as the official account for OANN itself. Posobiec’s following and Trump’s endorsements help make him arguably the most recognizable person linked to OANN’s brand. Critics of President Trump have questioned his repeated praise of OANN.
CPAC is the annual four-day conference for extremist Republicans. In recent years it has become a litmus test for MAGA bona fides and a place to show loyalty to Donald Trump.
You may be reading about Posobeic's appalling speech here first because it seems many of my brethren in the media are not reporting the story. If you Google “CPAC,” you will get a few hits, but it isn’t on the front page of any major news organization’s website. Perhaps they think it is so outlandish that it isn’t worth reporting.
But that is exactly the point. The right wing wants to topple our democracy and replace it with Trump’s authoritarian rule. This is not hyperbole. It is not fear-mongering. They are saying it. Out loud.
If you think Posobeic’s words were the only troubling moment at the conference, you would be wrong. In another speech, Michael Knowles, Trump’s spokesperson, said Trump will eliminate marriage equality if he is re-elected.
Failed British Prime Minister Liz Truss addressed the conference. “Unless conservatives become more active in speaking out, Western civilization is doomed,” she threatened.
In contemplating all of this, you may want to consider one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
We are well past the first time.