Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stupid things allegedly smart people say, RNC convention edition

(This is Part Two, Part One was here.)

"How the GOP could Dump Trump in Cleveland":

Do we think that the Republican Party will ditch presumptive nominee Donald Trump at its convention in July and select someone else to replace him — a notion that seems to be catching on among conservatives and commentators in the wake of Trump’s controversial remarks about the Mexican-American judge overseeing his Trump University suit?
No, we do not.
And yet, if there were ever an election weird and wild enough to make such a switcheroo possible — just barely — 2016 would be it.
Cleveland is a long way away. A lot can happen between now and then. So what would have to happen to make “Dump Trump” a reality?
To give our fellow convention fanatics something to fantasize about for the next 40 days, Unconventional has assembled a step-by-step instruction manual for dumping Trump. If any of these steps are skipped, the whole chain reaction fizzles out. But if every one of them is completed, there is still a chance — a very, very slim chance — that Donald Trump won’t be competing against Hillary Clinton in fall.

Tenuous and ignorant premises out of the way early; on to the jokes.

Step One: Trump keeps saying offensive stuff
Trump has said plenty of objectionable things since launching his campaign last summer: the Mexicans-are-rapists thing, the John-McCain-isn’t-a-war-hero thing, the Muslims-should-be-barred-from-entering-the-U.S. thing, and so on.
But the Judge Curiel-can’t-do-his-job-because-he’s-of-Mexican descent thing is the first toxic thing that Trump has said since becoming the GOP’s presumptive nominee. The content may be similar, but the context is very different. Before, during the primaries, Republican leaders could brush off Trump’s remarks. He’s not my candidate, they could say. Maybe the voters will still reject himAnd if not, he’ll probably grow up in time for the general.
Back then, Trump didn’t represent the GOP. Now he does. So now whenever Trump says something offensive, other Republicans have to choose: Do I defend this? Or do I denounce it? Hiding isn’t an option anymore.
As we’ve seen over the last week, the risk of guilt by association has dramatically lowered the GOP’s tolerance for Trump’s most distasteful remarks.
“ ‘Bigot, bigot, bigot. Racist. Racist Racist,’ ” said influential conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt Wednesday, recapping the morning’s headlines. “The Republican National Committee needs to step in and step up, and go see Donald Trump and tell him to get out of the race.”

Hugh Hewitt bailing out is hugeYuuuuuuuuge

Step Two: Trump’s poll numbers plummet
Right now, Trump is trailing Clinton by only 3.8 percentage points, on average, in the general-election polls. That’s reasonable. To be expected. He’s still “well within striking distance,” as they say.
But what happens if Trump’s numbers go into a free fall and Clinton starts to pull away? What if she crosses the 50-percent threshold and he plunges into the 30s? What if the gap between them widens — to five points, 10 points, 15 points?

Somebody else who does not understand how the Electoral College works.
This is key. 
This is not key.  Popular vote percentages -- you know, the same ones that Berners use to say that Sanders should be nominated over Hillary because he beats Trump -- might be the excuse the GOP uses to try to defenestrate their popularly elected nominee, but most DC electeds understand that's not how a president gets chosen.  And the EC numbers are grim already.

The major problem with dumping Trump is political It looks like GOP elites are conspiring to deny the will of GOP voters — the most galling offense imaginable in a year that’s been all about the voters denying the will of the elites.
But Trump’s plummeting poll numbers would provide objective evidence that actual voters agree with party leaders that he’s gone too far. The GOP would start to fear a down-ballot disaster. More Republicans would jump ship. Combined with a series of Curiel-like controversies, a sickening slide in Trump’s public-opinion stats might establish a new anti-Trump argument that doesn’t ask rank-and-file Republicans to reject the nominee just because establishment types like Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio are doing it: Trump had his chance. Now he’s tanking — and he’s taking the party with him. 

So if you were wondering where Ted Cruz has been all this time ...

Step Three: Someone else steps up

Mitt Romney refused. Ben Sasse begged off. James Mattis said no sir. Even David French — a bald, bearded conservative lawyer that no one had ever heard of — decided against it.
You can’t fault the #NeverTrump movement for lack of effort. But so far, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol and his anti-Donald cronies have been unable to convince anybody to take on Trump.
For the whole “Dump Trump” scheme to work, this would have to change. As Curly Haugland, a member of the convention Rules Committee from North Dakota, recently told the New York Times, “In order to have a contested convention, we need to have contestants.”
Some Republican politicians are starting to signal their interest in a convention challenge. As Yahoo Senior Political Correspondent Jon Ward reported (last) week, conservatives are increasingly mentioning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a “possible replacement.” RedState reported (a week ago) that there are “rumors” that Walker is “open” to such an outcome. One of Ward’s sources said that Walker, who mounted a brief bid for the 2016 GOP nomination, has told those working to find an alternative that he would be willing to step up at the convention if Trump continues to implode.
The likeliest substitute, however, would be someone who can already claim considerable support among the convention delegates. Ted Cruz comes to mind. Right now, he has 559 delegates to Trump’s 1,542. But remember: Many of the delegates now pledged to Trump were loyal to Cruz (or some other candidate) first.
For his part, Cruz has kept his options open, refusing to endorse Trump and suggesting that if he sees “a viable path to victory” in the future, he “will certainly respond accordingly.”
“I am looking and listening and watching the candidates,” Cruz told CNN earlier this week. “I’m doing the same thing millions of voters are doing and … time will tell.”

"Now for the fun part", the piece continues.  I'll pass; you go on ahead.  Hint: the GOP/RNC has to rewrite their rules.  How many Trumpeters do you think will take that lying down?

Go back to the top and read the part where they wrote, 'if any of these steps are skipped, the whole chain reaction fizzles out'.  And then read this again: 'But if every one of them is completed, there is still a chance — a very, very slim chance — that Donald Trump won’t be competing against Hillary Clinton in fall.'

No.  Just no.  And it has nothing to do with guns, or responsible gun safety legislation (which is the third rail of GOP political viability).

Sorry you had to waste five minutes reading all that.  I just document the atrocities, folks; I can't really influence them too much.

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