There’s something in the conservatives’ favorite book about falling into the pit one has dug… The Washington Post, company paper for the town where the monopoly industry is politics, reports:
A secretive group of Republican operatives and conservative leaders convened Thursday morning for more than three hours to discuss ways to unite the right against Donald Trump, with a presentation about the feasibility of mounting a third-party challenge as well as extensive deliberations about whether a coalition of anti-Trump forces could prevent the billionaire mogul from securing the party’s presidential nomination at the July convention in Cleveland.
“It’s certainly not too late,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said as he left the session. “You could get another party on the ballot. A candidate could be picked as late as August…”…
At Esquire, Mr. Charles P. Pierce disagrees:
… What influence do these people truly believe they have? If their alternative is Tailgunner Ted Cruz, an oleaginous and friendless theocrat with a very serious political messiah complex, how dare they decide that He, Trump is outside the mainstream? If their alternative is not Cruz, then what in the hell do they think they’re about, anyway?
The notion of a Third Way candidate in Cleveland is patently absurd. For one thing, the threat of a Trump uprising is not an idle one, especially if he shows up with north of 1000 delegates. Second, what makes them think that Cruz will get out of the way for, say, Paul Ryan or, worse, Willard Romney? Even if you accept the notion that He, Trump is not the perfect manifestation of the conservative prion disease afflicting the Republicans, and I don’t for a moment accept that, you cannot deny that Cruz is an even more perfect product of the Party’s madness. After all, he will show up with a boatload of votes fairly won over the previous seven months, a legitimate claim to be the party’s second choice, and his profound belief that the Deity has marked him to lead this nation to Canaan. Who’s going to tell him he’s wrong? Quin Hillyer? And is there any doubt that both He, Trump and the Tailgunner are greasy enough to enter into an ad hoc alliance to blow the whole thing sky high if they don’t get what they want?…
Ed Kilgore, at NYMag, is even more dismissive of the “GOP Cabal”:
… This and many accounts of schemes to rig the convention against Trump — or otherwise keep him out of the White House through means other than beating him in the primaries — generally suffer from an extreme overvaluation of the ability of Republicans to reach and execute a complex coordinated strategy. If they had that capacity, would 17 people have run for president in this cycle? Would it have taken the Establishment so long to settle on a candidate that it basically did not matter? Does anyone in particular really strike you as having the power to “broker” a brokered convention, and if so, what have they been waiting for?
Some seem to put faith in the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus to orchestrate things to a successful conclusion. And it’s true the RNC may not have a “putative” nominee telling him and the quadrennial army of convention volunteers exactly what to do every moment of the day leading up to and through the convention. But that doesn’t mean the party hacks will be free to do what they want. No, any surviving candidates, including presumably Trump and Cruz, will demand input on every single decision, no matter how minor. There will be no “private,” much less “secret” meetings at which deals go down; there will instead exist the special transparency imposed on people who don’t trust each other at all.
Right now, the only people who look likely to head to Cleveland knowing exactly what they want and being able to communicate with each other without fearing an imminent knife in the back are the candidates and their loyal retainers, for whom the elevation of their lord and god to the nomination is not just the first but the only consideration. Everyone else may well look as feckless as the conservative revolutionaries who sounded like a threat to Trump until it became apparent they couldn’t find their butts with both hands…
Politico found someone (admittedly, a self-professed Democrat) to run the numbers and deduce that “At this point in the race, it would be very hard, if not nearly impossible, to qualify a third party or independent candidate in enough states to come close to winning 270 electoral votes.”
And the Guardian has the lowest blow of all: “Who can stop Trump? Republicans may have little choice but to vote Clinton”.
Apart from sweet, sweet schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the day?