Thursday, April 28, 2016

The GOP's Trump Problem

I've been watching the 2016 Presidential campaign with fascination.  I admit that I, like many people, didn't think Donald Trump could make it this far - hey, we're all wrong every so often.  After the April 26 primaries, it looks like Trump is a done deal for the Republican nomination.  Full disclosure:  as a Democrat and a Hillary supporter, I'm delighted.

But the inner circle of the Republican Party is horrified.  Ted Cruz and John Kasich, neither of which has the chance of a snowball in hell to get the nomination, are scheming together to divide up the remaining primaries.  They hope, between them, to get enough delegates assigned, not so one of them could become the nominee, but to force Trump into a brokered convention, where they hope he will fail on a first vote and throw the convention open to nominate someone else.  And as far as I can tell, the Republican National Committee is backing them.

Who else could it be?  They ran seventeen people for this nomination, and after the bulk of the primaries they are down to three, two of which are dangling by their fingernails while Trump strides confidently toward the full delegate count.  After some backroom shuffling, Paul Ryan (one of his better moves) stood up and said he would not run under any circumstances.  Ted Cruz obviously thinks he should be the candidate, but he has almost no support in the Republican Party.  And yet the RNC still hopes to Stop Trump.

I am staggered by the blindness of this approach.  The RNC has repeatedly implied that a Trump presidency would destroy the Republican Party.  Do they really not realize what it would look like to the rest of the country, if Trump were to win the popular vote but not the delegate count, and then be replaced as the candidate by someone else at the convention??  Seriously - that would be the end of the Republican Party, convicted by its own actions of setting their own personal priorities above the wishes of their constituents.  Many of us already think they do this.  If somebody other than Trump runs for President on the Republican ticket this year, there will be no further question about it.