Saturday, December 12, 2015

The GOP’s Greatest Fears

While Donald Trump continues to stoke the fears and hysteria of the GOP base - and aid and abet ISIS's propaganda and recruitment efforts - he is also stoking the fears of the GOP establishment, those same hubris filled politicos that welcomed the Christofascists and white supremacist now dominating the party base into the party grassroots beginning over 20 years ago.  Now, in addition to the math that shows the GOP's lily white, evangelical Christian base is shrinking and quickly headed toward a permanent minority status, the GOP establishment is confronted with the possibility of either a Trump nomination or a bitter civil war at the GOP convention next year.  Personally, I find some degree of satisfaction with the whirlwind the GOP has created for itself.  The big issue is one of how much damage it will do to the nation.  A piece in Slate looks at the growing GOP fears.  Here are excerpts:
“Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment,” the Post reports, “are preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention as businessman Donald Trump continues to sit atop the polls in the GOP presidential race.” Figures like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus listened Monday night while officials laid out the nuts and bolts of a contested convention process. And if they ran through a contingency plan two months before anyone’s voted, then there’s definitely going to be a brokered convention this year, right? Don’t hold your breath.

There hasn’t been a floor fight over the GOP presidential nomination since 1976 or any undecided first-ballot votes for a nominee from either party since 1952. That’s because there aren’t really any “brokers” anymore, i.e., party officials who keep delegates in their pockets and horse-trade at the site.

[Conventions] serve as a) well-choreographed PR events for each party to market itself as allegedly representative of the American people, and b) a way for the parties to pamper big donors and attend cheesy, depraved happy hours with evil lobbyists.

Because a deadlocked convention, in which a party heads into a convention before a candidate has secured a majority of delegates, would be an unholy PR mess for a party—picture roughly 2,500 delegates, along with the candidates themselves, horse-trading on the floor as his or her own individual broker—the Republican Party will do everything in its power to avoid this outcome.

What makes a contested Republican convention slightly more possible this year than in previous cycles is that there is a fresh scenario that would constitute even worse PR for the party than a floor melee: Donald Trump winning the party’s presidential nomination.

Such an aggressive effort to block Trump from the nomination, displayed on national TV, would mean calling Trump on his threat to run as an independent and praying that it’s a bluff. You never know with Trump. But it’s worth pointing out that there would be no point to an independent presidential bid. It would be expensive, he would run into exhausting ballot access issues, he would have a 0 percent chance of winning the general election, and he single-handedly would be responsible for Hillary Clinton’s election.

But the absolute worst nightmare for the party would be Trump as its presidential nominee. In that scenario the GOP loses not just the presidential election but total control over the image of its party, as well as a disturbing number of down-ballot races. The entire Republican apparatus, from the local to the state to the federal level, would wake up each morning of a general election season as a member of Trump’s party.
A contested convention would be disgusting. But if the party has to do it to stop Donald Trump, of course it will be prepared to do so.    

Keep the popcorn coming!!

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