Saturday, March 19, 2016

Will Kasich Try To Steal The Ability To Steal The GOP Nomination From Paul Ryan? Multi-Dimensional GOP Riots?


Do you remember the crackpot-- "I'm not a witch"-- teabagger Christine O'Donnell from Delaware? She has no illusions about stopping Trump but indicated to CNN's Brooke Baldwin that the Democrats' conservative establishment pick might be a better option than Trump. "Clinton, if you look at some of her policies, she's a moderate. She's not a far-left liberal... I don't know what I would do if Trump became the nominee... He did nothing to liberate the middle class from political correctness until he decided to run for president. He's not actually doing anything except inciting riots."

There's a growing list of Republicans who have said they will never vote for Trump in the general-- but very few of them are GOP elected officials, other than a few who aren't running for reelection, like Richard Hanna (NY), Reid Ribble (WI) and Scott Rigell (VA), all of whom announced they'd never vote for Trump and that they're retiring from Congress. The only ones I've found who are running for reelection and may find themselves on a ticket with Don Trump are Justin Amash (MI), Mark Sanford (SC), Ben Sasse (NE), Bob Dold (IL) and Carlos Curbelo (FL). That's 5... + Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Another governor, Florida crook Rick Scott, is now urging Republicans to unite behind Trump.

In fact, conventional wisdom is starting to form around the idea that-- sure enough-- Republicans are falling in line. "The Republican surrender has begun," wrote Fareed Zakaria this week. Having described Donald Trump as an unacceptable, unconservative, dangerous demagogue, the party establishment appears to be making its peace with the man who keeps winning primaries. The Wall Street Journal editorial page argued vociferously against Trump for months, pointing out that he is a huckster and a catastrophe, warning that 'if Donald Trump becomes the voice of conservatives, conservatism will implode along with him.' Yet this week, it ended a lead editorial urging Republicans to 'continue to see if Mr. Trump can begin to act like a President . . . and above all to decide who can prevent another progressive-left Presidency.'" Forget that Trump's reaction was to start throwing his own feces at them from his crib. Even Rove has lightened up on the public Trump-loathing lately. Will Glenn Beck and David Brooks be the last Republicans standing against Don Trump in the end? "Voters," Brooks wrote, "are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins." But not this time! He asks "Should deference be paid to this victor? Should we bow down to the judgment of these voters?... Trump voters are a coalition of the dispossessed. They have suffered lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams. The American system is not working for them, so naturally they are looking for something else." (He doesn't call them Life's Losers but...)

And yet reality is reality.

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy.

This week, the Politico reporters Daniel Lippman, Darren Samuelsohn and Isaac Arnsdorf fact-checked 4.6 hours of Trump speeches and press conferences. They found more than five dozen untrue statements, or one every five minutes.

“His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources,” they wrote.

He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12. He surrounds himself with sycophants. “You can always tell when the king is here,” Trump’s butler told Jason Horowitz in a recent Times profile. He brags incessantly about his alleged prowess, like how far he can hit a golf ball. “Do I hit it long? Is Trump strong?” he asks.

In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect. George Wallace won elections, but to endorse those outcomes would be a moral failure.

And so it is with Trump.

History is a long record of men like him temporarily rising, stretching back to biblical times. Psalm 73 describes them: “Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence... They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.”

And yet their success is fragile: “Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly they are destroyed.”

The psalmist reminds us that the proper thing to do in the face of demagogy is to go the other way — to make an extra effort to put on decency, graciousness, patience and humility, to seek a purity of heart that is stable and everlasting.

The Republicans who coalesce around Trump are making a political error. They are selling their integrity for a candidate who will probably lose. About 60 percent of Americans disapprove of him, and that number has been steady since he began his campaign.

Worse, there are certain standards more important than one year’s election. There are certain codes that if you betray them, you suffer something much worse than a political defeat.

Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.

As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared.

Trump’s supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever.
Yes, yes, David Brooks is an inherently intellectually dishonest man but... he has a role to play in preparing the ground for the rise of the great reluctant compromise candidate to save the GOP, Paul Ryan. Kasich may be flipping out over it-- and Cruz may be planning a riot of his own-- but Ryan is the one the establishment is behind. Ryan secretly supped at Daniel Boulud's restaurant inside the Brazilian Court hotel with Paul Singer, Todd Ricketts and the other Republican moneybags financing the Our Principles PAC ads against Trump in Palm Beach Thursday night. Other GOP candidates taking part in the 2 day secret anti-Trumpfest in Palm Beach included GOP establishment candidates for the Senate, Joe Heck (NV) and Todd Young (IN).

The National Review is being less secretive about what to do about Don Trump: Steal the nomination, David Harsanyi, author of The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy, demanded Friday. "No team-building exercise is going to fix the 2016 iteration of the Republican party," he wrote. "There is only going to be a crackup, no matter who captures the nomination. If that’s true, and if it means one side has to prevail, why not save your party from a hostile takeover that could potentially cost it both the Senate and the House?"
The key would be denying Trump the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination. Cruz (maybe with Governor John Kasich) could still pull together the requisite number of delegates to block Trump from winning before the convention.

Voters don’t decide the nominations; delegates do-- preferably in smoke-filled rooms where rational decisions about the future of a party can be hashed out. The Republican party is not a direct democracy. It crafts its own rules, and it can change them. Here are questions that Republican delegates should be asking themselves: Is it worth upsetting a bunch of angry, marginally conservative voters who often have a minor fidelity to the doctrines of your party? Or are you prepared to put your political infrastructure and full weight behind a cartoonish George Wallace–like character who’ll probably inflict more damage than you could ever hope to repair?

RNC chairman Reince Priebus says that he expects every GOP presidential candidate to uphold a pledge to support the eventual nominee. Considering what we heard in Senator Marco Rubio’s concession speech, I find this difficult to believe. At best, Priebus is going to have a bunch of politicians tiptoeing around Trump in tacit nonsupport. And if enough big-name Republicans end up supporting Trump, it only accentuates the need for a new party.

An ABC exit poll-- with all the usual caveats about the unreliability of exit polls-- said that six in ten non-Trump-supporters say they would “seriously consider a third party if he became the GOP’s nominee.” The more disgust his big-government positioning and ugly rhetoric generate, the higher that number rises. And there are a number of rational reasons to support such a run.

For starters, Trump supporters are already very angry about everything. It’s not as if they could be any angrier with the establishment. Once Trump is gone (and he’ll leave with no coherent movement), these voters will either have to come back and look for alternative candidates with compelling messages, or leave the party altogether.

In the short run, a third-party candidate might insulate down-ballot candidates from Trumpism. You do remember Todd Akin, I’m sure? Imagine a candidate being ceaselessly asked to comment on the various impulsive and unsavory positions that the presidential nominee has taken. For example, “Do you agree with the GOP nominee that children of terrorists should be executed?”

Offering a conservative alternative-- whether it be Cruz, Senator Ben Sasse, or whoever-- would allow candidates to endorse someone who jibed more faithfully with their beliefs. This could shield them somewhat from this dynamic.

A third party would also help sink Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Electing a weakened and corrupt Democrat that Republicans would unite against in Congress is a far better reality than allowing a charlatan to hollow out a party from within.

It is an utter disaster, not only for Republicans, but for the entire nation, to have one functioning political party. Despite some wishful thinking on the left, conservatives have often held their own in Congress these past eight years. Supporting gridlock is a conservative position, even if it’s not ideal. In fact, GOP voters would be better off thinking about Washington, D.C., as a collection of institutions, with the legislative branch being the more realistic center of conservative power.

Earlier this week, Rubio (the most hated man from the establishment since Jeb Bush helmed the ship) argued that conservatives who back Trump will one day ask themselves, “My God, what have we done?” This gives politicians such as Governor Chris Christie far too much credit for introspection. But for those who still care about the underlying principles of their party, it probably still matters. And it’s important to remember that the primary-process rules are neither chiseled into stone on Mount Sinai nor part of the Constitution.
Exciting times. Remember, Ryan was instrumental in getting guns banned from the Cleveland convention in July. Only you can help save America from these sociopaths:

Goal Thermometer

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At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Wallace started out a racial moderate in 1950's Alabama when that took some courage. It was only after stinging defeat that he decided he would "never be outniggered again." And he ended his life rolling his wheelchair into the back of black churches in Alabama, asking if he could be allowed to speak and when allowed to do so, begging forgiveness. Does anyone see any such signs of a soul in Donald Trump?

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ONLY "civility" differentiates "anyone killed by a drone MUST be a terrorist" from "kill the families of terrorists."

John Puma


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