Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Matt Schlapp Sells Out Conservative Movement for Cold Hard Cash

If you need a poster child for the death of conservative intellectualism, you could do no better than Matt Schlapp.  Formerly George Bush's political director, Schlapp has headed the American Conservative Union since 2014.  The ACU, which was founded in the aftermath of Goldwater's unsuccessful 1964 campaign, puts on the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual meeting of mostly young conservatives that was intended to marry future leaders with the ideals of the movement.

Under his watch, Schlapp has gutted the conservative principles that long guided the ACU, in favor of
ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp
full blown Trumpism.  Meanwhile he has turned CPAC into a freak show of political misfits espousing crazy conspiracy theories and naked tribalism.  I am not saying Schlapp by himself killed conservative intellectualism, but he has certainly been at the front of the line plunging a knife into the legacy of Barry Goldwater, William Buckley, and Ronald Reagan.

If Schlapp's damage to conservativism is not bad enough, he has worked to associate conservative thought with white politics and bigotry. On the website, Popular Information, writer Judd Legum details "Schlapp's Ugly Racial History" in a length piece titled "A Schlapp in the Face."
As president of the ACU, Schlapp was responsible for the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference. In 2017, Schlapp invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at CPAC, despite Yiannopoulos' association with the racist "alt-right" movement. Yiannopoulos regularly collaborated with white nationalists for pieces published on Breitbart.
Matt Schlapp 
We think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective. #CPAC2017
February 18th 2017 
(Schlapp later rescinded the invitation, not because of Yiannopoulos' racism, but because Yiannopoulos was caught defending pedophilia.)  
The same year at CPAC, Schlapp personally interviewed former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, who used the site to "openly embrace[] the white supremacist Alt-Right." Schlapp also invited Clare Lopez, who advanced racist conspiracy theories about former President Obama, to participate in a panel. 
In 2016, Schlapp had a dispute with Bakari Sellers, who is Black, on Don Lemon's CNN program. During the commercial break, Schlapp allegedly yelled, "Come at me, boy!" to Sellers — a taunt that has historically been used to denigrate Black men. Schlapp later apologized but was never invited back on Lemon's show. "I don’t have any need to be on air with someone like Matt," Sellers said. 
During the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Schlapp tweeted an image of "the three Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee who are people of color." He encouraged conservative voters in swing states to "look at this photo." It was widely denounced as a "racist dog-whistle."  
Matt Schlapp @mschlapp
Look at this photo conservative voters in WV, ND, IN, FL, MO, MT, MI, TN, AZ, NV MarjorieDannenfelser @marjoriesbahttps://t.co/OvF1JlfdzqSeptember 27th 2018 
Conservative columnist Bill Kristol, who supported Kavanaugh's nomination, called Schlapp's tweet a "straight-up appeal to bigotry."  
That by the way is just the short list of racially-tinged comments by Schlapp, who is a regular commentator on Fox News.

While I knew Schlapp had sold out the conservative movement to climb on the Trump Train, I had no idea how literally that was true.  By combing through public records, Legum in "A Schlapp in the Face" details how much he has received as a "lobbyist" from big name public corporations.  In just the first three months of 2020, Verizon paid Schlapp $40,000 to lobby Congress on "general telecom and tax issues."   Abbot Labs, a large medical device company, pays Schlapp $200,000, a year to lobby, Comcast $120,000 and Walmart $200,000.

In light of his comments attacking the George Floyd protesters, Verizon claims it ended its contract with Schlapp in June of 2020.  As far as Legum could ascertain, the other annual payments to Schlapp continue.  This is despite corporate positions taken by Abbott Labs, Comcast and Walmart which seems completely at odds with Schlapp's racial rhetoric.

Schlapp, who is constantly sucking up to President Donald Trump with blind, unwavering support,, does this "lobbying work" through the guise of a firm called Cove Strategies, which Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, founded in 2009   Mercedes Schlapp was a director of strategic communications for the Trump administration, leaving in July of 2019 to take a role with the President's re-election campaign.

As Legum points out, the publicly reported payments to Matt Schlapp may only be the tip of the iceberg.   Cove strategies offers other services besides lobbying, such as coalition building and communications strategy.  Payments for those services would not require public disclosure.

Matt Schlapp has made it clear that he is more than willing to sell out the ideals of the conservative movement for cold harsh cash.  He most certainly should not have a role in GOP in the post-Trump era, which likely begins on November 4th.


leon dixon said...

https://unboughtandunbossedrepublican.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-silent-and-invisible-turnout-at.html How many millions of viewers decided to eat their own popped corn and drink beer? The Unthought Blog needs to look into that and those with TDS should
as well. Perhaps a point has been overlooked? The President has a target audience. It isn't you.

leon dixon said...

"The same year at CPAC, Schlapp personally interviewed former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, who used the site to "openly embrace[] the white supremacist Alt-Right." This quote appears to be a lie.