Parties Take Turns Tearing Themselves Apart
This year, the unexpected should have become the expected, yet still we are surprised. The GOP primaries looked increasingly raucous, even bawdy (“small hands,” “wet his pants,” etc.), until they exploded into a calm. The talk of a contested convention ended, and there was peace. Then Democrats started talking about a contested convention, and the Democratic Party became a train wreck—until someone switched the tracks. And there was relative peace. Now, there’s new talk of dumping Trump at the Convention. Hold onto your popcorn.
There’s even talk of a train wreck.
“There is a rapidly moving train toward the convention to try to obstruct it at the convention. Trump in the last 72 hours has given hope to people who think it’s now possible,” said Erick Erickson, a conservative radio talk show host and one of Trump’s most resolute critics.
“He’s starting to give everybody hope that he should be stopped at the convention,” Erickson said. . .
One of the central players inside the movement to recruit an independent conservative candidate also said Monday that an anti-Trump group was “actively recruiting and setting a convention strategy.”
And David French, a conservative writer who considered running as an anti-Trump independent candidate, told Yahoo News that Trump shouldn’t take his convention nomination for granted.
Public calls for Republicans to replace Trump grew Wednesday.
“I want to support the nominee of the party, but I think the party ought to change the nominee. Because we’re going to get killed with this nominee,” Hugh Hewitt, a nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host, said. “They ought to get together and let the convention decide.
And the same day, Steve Deace, a conservative activist and radio talk show host from Iowa, reviewed Trump’s most recent missteps on his radio show and urged the 2,500 delegates to the Republican convention to “make this stop.”. . .
Amid this agitation for a Trump alternative, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s name has been increasingly mentioned as a possible replacement. . .on Tuesday, Walker backed away from supporting Trump, pointedly saying, “He’s not yet the nominee.”
The conservative site RedState reported Wednesday that there are “rumors” that Walker is “open” to such an outcome. . .
Deace wrote in a column on Saturday that the convention rules allowing delegates to follow their consciences “are in place to protect the system from just such a leader” as Trump.
In another story, we quoted Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland of North Dakota stating that every GOP delegate is a “superdelegate,” who may cast a vote for anyone at the convention.
Haughland, who is a member of the RNC’s Standing Rules Committee, claims that convention delegates were only bound to vote along with primary results at the 1976 convention and that the requirement was repealed in 1980.
While most Republicans are obediently and submissively falling in line, some are not. We noted that Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol is still talking about an alternative to Trump. And just about the most “Republican” of them all, Mitt Romney, has increased his attacks.
Romney famously delivered a long speech, calling Trump a “conman” and a “fraud” a few months ago—to no avail. But Romney’s attacks have continued. Now, he says Trump could be the downfall of the entire nation, saying he’ll give us “trickle down racism, and trickle down bigotry, and trickle down misogyny.” That is, by making vices seem acceptable, Romney says Trump will unleash the worst in us—like slime in a Ghostbusters movie.
Romney hosted an annual “Experts and Enthusiasts” retreat for big donors last Friday.
During an off-the-record question-and-answer session with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Meg Whitman, the billionaire Hewlett Packard chief executive officer, confronted the speaker over his endorsement of Trump. Whitman, a major GOP giver who ran for California governor in 2010, compared Trump to historical demagogues like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini and wanted to know how the speaker could get behind him.
While few of the donors said they’d switch to Hillary, many said they’d focus on down-ballot races. The Koch Brothers recently said they would not contribute to the Trump campaign, and would spend their money on trying to hold the Senate, according to National Review.
Anyway, all of this has violently turned our attention back from Bernie-or-Bust to the GOP side. However, as we noted, a group is organizing a “DC to DNC” ten-day march, to force the Democratic National Convention to pick Bernie Sanders. That’s still a possibility, since Hillary can’t win with committed delegates alone.
Yeah, that’s unlikely, especially with Bernie’s softer tone after meeting with President Obama and Harry Reid. And he’s planning on meeting with Hillary Tuesday—the day of the last primary. If he were planning on “fighting on,” the two wouldn’t be meeting now.
But, you never know. Just when one party seems to be falling apart, they patch things up and the other party goes to pieces. If this year’s political story were a screen play, it would never, ever be produced. Just too unbelievable.