CORRECTION: Maddow was talking about AFPAC, not CPAC. Sorry for the error!
Rachel Maddow talked about how AFPAC is basically ComicCon for white nationalists now, and was mildly shocked that a sitting congressman spoke to open the convention. (Yes, believe it or not, the Republicans used to have some lines you weren't supposed to cross.)
"Guess who the keynote speaker was at that conference this weekend? The keynote at the white-homeland, Holocaust denial, wasn't Jim Crow great, a sitting congressman. A sitting five-term Republican congressman and by sitting, yes, he is still in Congress. Paul Gosar of Arizona, not another sitting member of Congress would go to this conference.
"But for Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona, sure. Don't just go, keynote it. And yes, Paul Gosar is the kind of congressman who has said things like the U.S. is already in a civil war and quote, 'we just haven't started shooting yet.' He says stuff like this and associates himself with causes like this, but keynoting the white nationalist conference? The conference for America being a whites-only country?
"That is something that is supposed to be too crazy and offensive even for this Republican party now, right? I mean, that's why they had to have their own separate conference aside from CPAC, right? Here's how Congressman Gosar's home state paper, The Arizona Republic, put it in a column today, quote, 'Where is the condemnation from Gosar's fellow party leaders, the ones who insist the lunatic fringe is not taking over what was once the Grand Old Party? This is an easy call for a party that insists it is not the party of white supremacy.'
She called it an "easy call," especially since Gosar was joined at the white nationalist conference by former Republican congressman Steve King.
"He is a former Republican congressman because he was stripped of his committee assignments, shunned and ultimately defeated in a Republican primary, after he said one too many nice things about white supremacy, and that was seen as over the line for the Republican party. Steve King is Exhibit A for the Republican party's straightforward playbook on how to handle these things and he is a walking talking Exhibit A, standing there at that same white nationalist conference, right next to Congressman Gosar.
"How come they are not going to use that playbook against Gosar -- Gosar, the guy currently in Congress?"