Sunday, March 20, 2016

Voting In Arizona And Utah Isn't Until Tuesday But The Stop-Trump Movement Has Already Decamped For Wisconsin


The NeverTrump movement doesn't really seem to be getting off the ground, although some of the OurPrinciplesPAC ads aren't bad, even if they seem to be largely ineffective. Over the weekend, the New York Times' Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin looked at the GOP establishment's puny efforts against the fascist bully who's been running circles around them. Ignoring that most observers now see him as unstoppable, the reporters' assessment is that "There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable. But when they fail, they have a secret weapon: "consensus candidate" Rick Perry. (No, seriously; the first incompetent candidate Trump drove out of the race is supposedly the guy they can run as a third party candidate to guarantee Trump loses and doesn't take over "their" party... you know, the one Trump has already taken over.

First choice is to steal the nomination and give it to Paul Ryan. If that doesn't work: 3rd party spoiler effort. That's the best the moneybags of the GOP establishment could come up with. (If not Rick Perry, other third party sacrificial lambs include Tom Coburn, Ben Sasse...

David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, which has spent millions on [ineffective] ads attacking Mr. Trump, said his group met on Wednesday and concluded it was still possible to avert Mr. Trump’s nomination. The group plans a comprehensive study of Trump supporters to sharpen a message aimed at driving them away from him.

“This is still a winnable race for a free-market conservative that’s not Donald Trump,” Mr. McIntosh said, adding, “It’s not a layup, but there’s a clear path to victory.”

Central to this plan is stopping Mr. Trump in Wisconsin, the next major showdown after contests that Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz are expected to split this week in Arizona and Utah.

On Thursday, the Club for Growth sent a three-page memo to influential Republican donors promising to spend as much as $2 million in Wisconsin and arguing that “the only viable option to defeat Donald Trump is Ted Cruz.”

The memo conceded it was “very unlikely” that Mr. Cruz could overtake Mr. Trump in the delegate count, but outlined a strategy to deny Mr. Trump the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the nomination before the convention in Cleveland in July.

Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich also see the Wisconsin primary as pivotal. Mr. Cruz’s campaign is dispatching additional staff members there and opening a “Camp Cruz” to house volunteers. The campaign will begin running ads there in the next few days, aiming to get a head start on Mr. Trump in the state.

Beginning with Wisconsin, the race moves into states that apportion delegates based on who wins in each congressional district, which would allow anti-Trump forces to peel delegates away from him in states like New York and California, where he is expected to run strong. A few of the remaining winner-take-all states, like Montana and South Dakota, appear friendly to Mr. Cruz.

Anti-Trump Republicans said they would use the six weeks between the last primaries and the mid-July convention to woo individual delegates.

A number of states, including Pennsylvania and Colorado, send large numbers of uncommitted delegates to the convention, making those party regulars especially ripe targets for courtship. Other states will be sending delegates bound to candidates who have left the race, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeb Bush. Those delegates could be persuaded to vote for Mr. Cruz or Mr. Kasich after the first ballot.

To justify rejecting Mr. Trump in Cleveland, Republicans say they will have to convince both delegates and the public that it was not the party’s obligation to hand him a nomination he did not secure on his own.
Trump has threatened to unleash a riot in Cleveland if he doesn't get the nomination, whether he has the number of delegates he needs or not. Paul Ryan has already taken the necessarily steps to-- somewhat hypocritically-- ban guns from the Quicken Loans Area in Ohio, an open carry state, where the Republicans usually insist-- but not this time-- that we're all safer if everyone is armed. And Ryan's pollster, David Winston told The Times that "the burden is on Trump, not the party, if he fails to clinch the nomination. He has presented himself as the ultimate dealmaker, and it’s on him to close this one."

One of the problems is that all the establishment characters hate Cruz as much as they hate Trump-- some more so-- and that no one takes Kasich seriously. And... can you really beat someone with no one? Thursday Erick Erickson convened a meeting on anti-Trump types in DC at a private club where an effort to get behind Cruz failed and the ad hoc group instead implored Cruz and Kasich to avoid competing in states where one of them is favored. Erickson, who the Times described as "influential" for some reason: "They’re going to have to come to terms and lay off each other." Kasich and Cruz have ignored them entirely and there is no détente in sight, probably because both men-- unlike Rubio-- realized that the establishment groups just want to use them to destroy Trump and then replace him with a faux-reluctant Paul Ryan. Romney and other establishment types are still threatening to vote for a 3rd party alternative to Trump or Hillary, though not Jill Stein. One strategy is to push former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson aside and buy the Libertarian line for... well, whomever wants to go down in history for destroying what theu call the Grand Old Party.

Late Saturday, Ross Douthat dubbed the whole mess profiles in paralysis-- pretty pithy: "a curious mix of denial and resignation," a lack of conviction and an inability "to adapt swiftly, resist effectively, or both." He can't stop himself from mocking Paul Ryan, who he half-heartedly assures his readers is "not some corrupt functionary, some time-serving Roman official eating grapes while the barbarians come over the wall" but, he asserts, is an intelligent, principled and effective, rhetorically optimistic "pro-immigration free trader, a supply-sider and an entitlement reformer" who happens to claim he believes the way to save America is to cut taxes for the rich and cut Social Security, Medicare and the rest of the New Deal for everyone else. Douthat can't escape Beltway talk about how brilliant and peachy-wonderful Ryan is, but he still ended his column with a couple of teensy weensy doubts:
So in sum, faced with a potentially-existential threat to his vision of conservatism (not to mention his House majority), Ryan’s answer is first, change nothing; second, do nothing.

Sit still. Just sit still.

Everyone might return to normal.

The hawk might pass. It might.

It might.
Deep dark Beltway secret revealed: Paul Ryan is a fitness trainer who memorizes his lines relatively well and speaks them with relative conviction-- but with a rapidly approaching expiration date.

Labels: , , , ,


At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be proud to vote for Trump, in the hope that leftoid skulls explode with impotent rage. The only "Tyranny" here is from the leftoidals, you terrorist fascists.


Post a Comment

<< Home