Progressives beomaned the fact that the nation's premiere political convention, Politicon, is once again placing hard-right figures like Jordan Peterson and Ann Coulter onstage with mainstream political commentators in a now-familiar move by the nation's media and government elite that uses the event's lineup to launder the extreme right.
"Politicon is a circus for godless political grifters and it's shocking that so many decent people still participate," tweeted Vox's Carlos Maza.
Politicon is a circus for godless political grifters and its shocking that so many decent people still participate. https://t.co/e4Z6bgnNU5— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) September 10, 2019
It's not just Coulter and Peterson—the duo will be joined at the event by former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Iraq War booster David Frum, and others. Former Sen. Al Franken, former Democratic operative Donna Brazile, and CNN's Chris Cillizza are among the mainstream politicos at the event.
"Al Franken coming to you live with my good friend Ann Coulter, with whom I may have some collegial disagreements but at the end of the day we're both Americans god dammit," Twitter user @zlingman said sardonically.
Some of the attendees with history could run into one another, creating the potential for stick situations, The Week explained:
Politicon, now in its fifth year, brands itself as an "unconventional political convention," though unconventional is perhaps too soft a term. Sure, former FBI Director James Comey has made the morning (and evening, and late night) show rounds, but now he'll appear on the same stage as Sanders, who spread misinformation about his firing. And Jordan Peterson, a men's rights advocate who, as far as we know, only eats beef, will for some reason give an uncontested keynote.
But it appears unlikely that there will be any conflict as the event is billed as a tony celebration of politics where everyone sets aside their partisanship in order to take part in "endless humor and exhilarating conversation."
The event is the kind of thing that leads people to take a jaundiced view of politics, media critic Adam Johnson said in a tweet.
"This ethos is the single biggest driver of cynicism," said Johnson. "Why should the average voter invest in US politics if those running it think it's all a sport?"
Maybe it's time to start over, opined Willamette University professor Seth Cotlar.
"Is it possible to hit the reset button on a nation's political culture," Cotlar wondered, "and start over from scratch?"