Here’s a feel bad story that is turning into the feel good story of the year, and that makes me feel bad.
Matt Schlapp is chairman of the Conservative Union and runs CPAC, which is what Burning Man would look like if, instead of a man, they burnt a cross.
A little Schlapp background:
In August of 2022, Schlapp invited the ultra-far right leader of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, to speak, and, as you would expect, Orban was a hit with the white collar “brown shirts.”
To raucous cheers, Orbán attacked gender fluidity and received a standing ovation after insisting marriage was only between one man and one woman.
To even more enthusiastic approbation, Orbán mocked same sex families while reminding his audience of White Christian Nationalists that they must demolish those who don’t share their moral virtues.
So obviously, you don’t get any more conservative than Orbán or the man who invited him, Matt Schlapp.
Matt and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, both worked in the Trump White House.
Before Trump, Schlapp worked for Koch Industries as the company’s chief Washington lobbyist. While Matt protected a fossil fuel’s inalienable right to murder our planet, his wife worked as a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. Lovely people. Like all good Republicans, there is much blood on their hands, and I don’t mean stigmata.
Matt Schlapp represents everything I detest. I know it’s wrong to hate someone, but Matt Schlapp hates me, he hates my friends, and when you factor in fossil fuels, guns, and the homophobia he's getting us all killed.
I don’t wish him ill. But, I certainly don’t wish him well.
I mention all of this because tonight I have inappropriate feelings about Matt Schlapp’s inappropriate feelings, and I feel guilty, but not so guilty that I want to hide it from anyone.
My inappropriate feelings surfaced today when I read that Matt Schlapp, the ultra-conservative chairman of CPAC, was accused of having inappropriate feelings for a man, who he then inappropriately began to feel.
The victim is a male Republican staffer who worked for Herschel Walker back in October of last year.
According to NBC News, the male Walker staffer was assigned to drive Schlapp around Georgia, and after one too many Vodka stingers, Schlapp put his hands between the thighs of the male staffer and began to grope the staffer’s… staff.
“To my shame,” said the staffer, “I didn’t tell him to stop.”
I know I should feel sorry for the staffer. But he’s a male Republican staffer. Am I really supposed to feel sorry for a male Republican staffer who is groped by another man?
Yes, I’m supposed to feel sorry for him.
But if someone told this very same male Republican staffer the identical story about someone else his first response would be, “Why didn’t you punch him?”
Again, I’m sorry this Republican male staffer was violated by another man. But not really.
I know thousands of men are assaulted by other men each year, and it’s horrible. But people like Matt Schlapp and Herschel Walker, the candidate our victim worked for, are all about telling Americans to walk it off and stop playing the victim card. I think they would be the first ones to say, “Act like a man.”
So, while I know I should feel bad for the male Republican staffer (and I’m really going to work hard at feeling bad for him), I just can’t help but feel it seems way off brand for a male Republican to ask for sympathy after another male Republican touched him inappropriately.
The whole thing comes off as woke, especially when the male Republican victim tells NBC News that he felt trapped by the power imbalance. The power imbalance? Seriously? You’re a Republican. The whole point of working for Herschel Walker was to preserve the power imbalance.
I’m also not so sure how much a power imbalance there actually was considering the male Republican staffer says at the time of the groping he was carrying a Sig Sauer. That’s the gun which came up in conversation with Matt Schlapp who, and I’m not making this up, asked the male Republican staffer, “What’s that I’m feeling inside your pants?”
According to NBC News, the male Republican staffer expressed disappointment with Schlapp not just for touching him inappropriately, but also, and again I’m not making this up, because the chairman of CPAC, whose wife also worked as a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, had no idea what a Sig Sauer was.
In other words, the male Republican staffer was horrified that the head of CPAC, this bastion of gun toting homophobes, hated guns and loved men.
This makes me happy. It shouldn’t, but it does.
I’m only human. I have feelings.
I know the male Republican staffer felt pain and humiliation. I would be lying if I said I cared.
Yes, I’m immoral and this runs counter to everything I believe. It’s wrong to delight in the suffering of others. But we’re talking about two Republican men. Is it so wrong to delight in the suffering of people who delight in the suffering of others?
Yes. I’m wrong.
But their humiliation makes me feel good. I don’t want it to. But it does. And that makes me feel bad.
Schlapp’s inappropriate feelings are giving me inappropriate feelings. I also know I should feel sympathy for the man who Matt Schlapp kept feeling, but I feel nothing for him.
On paper I totally understand that even a male campaign staffer for Herschel Walker is entitled to be safe from getting felt up by Matt Schlapp, but I just don’t feel bad that it happened. In fact, I feel good that it happened, I only feel bad because I feel good.
Just like Matt Schlapp laying eyes on that male Republican staffer for the very first time, I don’t want to feel this, but I can’t resist.
Can you all forgive me?
Unlike Matt Schlapp, no hard feelings?
Mr Feldman you have articulated my feelings on this Schlapp news even before I knew exactly what they were. And your voice comes through so powerfully that to read this substack is to hear it, for me at least. Your closing question at the end there, that killed me.
While I'm here I'd like to tell you about something that has been on my mind for a few months now. I think that you are especially equipped to make effective TikToks on the theme, "They Don't Want You to Know," like your rant from late last fall. You could feed the desperate and downtrodden minds out there that are hungry for conspiracies. I believe that you are uniquely suited for this "They Don't Want You to Know" format. Just a dream of mine, felt cute.
Gives a whole new meaning to "schlapp dancing."