On Monday, writing for The New Republic, Michael Tomasky criticized the Conservative Political Action Conference for holding a "party to Hungarian fascism" in Budapest with strongman Viktor Orban as the keynote speaker — and the U.S. media for not treating it like a larger problem.
"Before we even get to the sick stuff that happened over the weekend, let’s ponder the choice of venue," wrote Tomasky. "To size up Viktor Orban’s Hungary and decide that it was the perfect place to hold a political conference is brain-melting. Orban has turned Hungary into one of the world’s leading anti-democratic states. We don’t need to pretend what the American far-right is aspiring to by seeking an association with this regime — they see Orban as a re-Founding Father."
And the real problem, he argued, is that barely anyone in America is even hearing about this.
"Hungary is a one-party, right-wing state where the ruling ideology encourages racial hatred of minorities (Jews and the Roma). And that is where American conservatives decided to have a party," continued Tomasky. "Imagine if some prominent liberal group decided to hold a confab in Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua, or Victor Maduro’s Venezuela ... and the Center for American Progress, say, decided to hold a conference in Managua with Ortega as a speaker, can you imagine how the right would react to such a thing? They’d go absolutely insane."
And that's without even getting into the actual content of the CPAC gathering, which, Tomasky noted, was explicitly anti-democratic. Orban talked openly about the need for the west to rally "troops" to reclaim and reshape democratic institutions to serve the far right.
"By the time those formula-starved babies are playing Little League, they’ll be living in what’s effectively a one-party state where contraception is illegal," wrote Tomasky. "Where gay couples have to travel to certain states to marry — if they’re allowed to marry at all. Where the local library won’t stock books on slavery. Where the rich are paying taxes at a lower rate than middle-class people, and the federal government has no money (and perhaps, given the Supreme Court we have, no legal authority) to enforce its laws. And where the right-wing, anti-democracy media has more power than the mainstream media (I think we already live in that country). And where election results can be overturned if they came out 'wrong.'"
This, he concluded, is the future CPAC made clear it wants at Budapest.
You can read more here.