Wednesday, March 16, 2016

GOP Establishment on the Ropes

As Hillary Clinton begins her pivot toward the general election in November, the so-called GOP establishment finds itself on the ropes and seemingly in a death spiral as the lunatic party base that it nurtured for years and whose ugliness was ignored with winks and nods continues to rally to Donald Trump.  While last nights primary results kept Ted Cruz and John Kasich in the GOP nomination contest, the chances of stopping Trump seem to be fading.  Having watched Trump's fact free, ego filled "speech" last night, it is hard to believe how low logic, reason, and objective reality have disappeared from the GOP.  A piece in Politico looks at the desperate situation of the so-called GOP establishment.  Here are excerpts:
The Republican establishment is just about out of candidates — and if the delegate math is tough for Donald Trump, it’s far worse for everyone else.
The donors who pumped millions into an anti-Trump campaign are now assessing whether to continue the fight. And while some mainstream Republicans are girding for a likely floor fight at the July convention, others are losing their resolve.
“Only in the minds of the delusional DC establishment is there a brokered convention at this point,” said Tony Fabrizio, a longtime GOP pollster who advised Rand Paul’s campaign. “And if the elites try and steal the nomination from Trump, the riots at the ’68 Democratic Convention will look like a garden party.”
By taking Florida, along with Illinois, North Carolina and the North Marianas Islands (Missouri was still too close to call), Trump racked up more than 200 additional delegates, increasing his lead and further dimming the hopes of those desperate to stop him.
Tuesday night delivered more carnage for mainstream Republicans when Trump steamrolled Marco Rubio, long thought to personify the party’s future, in the senator’s home state of Florida.
“The goal for most of us at this point is to keep delegates away from Trump, and it really doesn’t matter who wins them,” said Charlie Black, a longtime GOP operative who just signed on as an adviser to Kasich’s campaign as it approaches a contested convention. “There are delegates who will be bound to Trump on the first ballot or the first two ballots who aren’t going to be for Trump once they’re free. If you get to a third ballot, the world changes.”
The Republican Party’s #NeverTrump movement, after spending $15 million in Florida and not putting so much as a dent in Donald Trump’s armor, has only a few unpalatable options left: uniting behind Cruz, long a loathsome thorn in the establishment’s side, or pinning their hopes on a long shot like Kasich and girding for a messy fight at the RNC’s convention that could further fracture the GOP beyond repair.
“With Kasich winning Ohio, a contested convention is more likely than ever,” said one Republican operative in Washington. “The backside shadow campaign for delegates who will come to you on the second and third ballots begins.”
the party is not about to roll over for Trump, especially with his negatives rising higher amid a spate of violent skirmishes between his supporters and protesters at several recent rallies. In fact, there’s rising chatter on Capitol Hill that the party could nominate Ryan himself at the convention.  “He probably wouldn’t [do it] but everyone thinks he’s Republican Jesus,” said one GOP Senate staffer.
A number of prominent Republican Party donors who funded the anti-Trump campaign, including New York City hedge fund manager Paul Singer and the Chicago Cubs-owning Ricketts family, plan to gather in Florida later this week for a private meeting.
But many establishment Republicans aren’t convinced Cruz’s chances in a general election are any better than Trump’s. With Rubio’s collapse, they’re coming to grips with the fact that the party’s best chance of taking back the White House may come not in November of 2016 but 2020.

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