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August 23, 2014

The Warholian World of CPAC

As we gird our loins to mingle with the true believers set to swarm conservative Thunderdome — aka Conservative Political Action Conference 2013 — we couldn’t help but admire the far right’s dedication to pop artist Andy Warhol’s prescribed allotment of fame.

The three-day ideological jamboree March 14-16 must keep the rhetorical trains moving, so featured speakers are hustled into the limelight for 15 minutes before being released into the wilds of book signings, film screenings, prayer breakfasts and private fundraisers.

Those who venture out Saturday will, for instance, be thrust into a political graveyard, soldiering through rapid-fire speeches delivered by fading GOP “stars” ranging from former Speaker Newt Gingrich and 2008 Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin to 2012 shutouts Mia Love and Artur Davis. But, the party, as they say, must go on. And we noticed a few changes from last year’s lovefest:

Out: Kirk Cameron-fronted, “National Treasure”-style blockbusters

In: Morality lessons (“The Gift of Life”) starring former Gov. Mike Huckabee

From “Growing Pains” to shrinking audiences is our prediction.

Out: Conservative “Book Nook”

In: Bagels and books

The food, at least, should hold people’s attention.

Out: Cheerleading about 2012 chances

In: Throwing everyone under the bus

The CPAC gods have made room for not one, but two hand-wringing sessions: “Should We Shoot all the Consultants Now?” and “CSI Washington, D.C.: November 2012 Autopsy.”

Out: Glorifying Breitbart, the man

In: Deifying Breitbart, the legend

Supplicants can pay homage to the once and future king of conservative blogging by basking in the soft glow of backlit celluloid (at the “Occupy Unmasked” screening), chatting up fellow mourners (during “The Legacy of Andrew Breitbart” discussion) or, much like the late man himself, bending the elbow (at an “Honoring the Life of Andrew Breitbart” cocktail reception).

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