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Friday, March 18, 2016

The dishonest case for robbing Trump's voters

Donald Trump is going to walk into Cleveland with enough delegates to be elected on the first ballot. Republican donors -- burnt twice by Bush and then Rubio -- will cut their losses and figure a way to deal with Trump. They may have better leverage in the general election. Trump is a Nixon, Cruz a Goldwater.

Still, I must deal with the intellectual dishonesty of those who pushing for brokered convention.





The Inside Washington argument for the brokered convention is that it is more democratic than giving the election to the guy with the most votes.

I am serious. This is the lie they are peddling. Charlie Spies served as election law counsel for the Republican National Committee, CFO and counsel for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, and counsel to Restore Our Future in 2012, the largest super PAC in history. Spies is the leader of Clark Hill’s national Political Law practice. Spies wrote this:
In other words, just as winning the Iowa Caucus or the Puerto Rico Primary doesn’t make a candidate the Republican nominee, neither does having a plurality of the delegates going into the convention. Rules have meaning, and the drafters of the rules determined that a majority of delegates was required to become the Republican nominee, not a mere plurality. In fact, Rule 40(b), which requires that a candidate have a majority of eight state delegations prior to being voted upon, was intended as a democratic check and balance that made sure the delegates, and not party insiders, had control of the process. 
As a prominent attorney at Trump’s law firm has explained, party leaders won’t have the ability to steal or broker a convention because there are no “brokers” left in the Republican Party. A fair and transparent process is critical, but there is no principled threshold for an insurmountable lead other than the 1,237 delegates proscribed in the party rules. If neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz possesses a majority of delegates going into the convention, but are close, their supporters should rest assured that the democratic process will persevere in Cleveland.
While Donald’s latest delegate haul may send thrills up the legs of MSNBC pundits, Les Moonves, and Trumpian apologists, they would be wise to think twice before popping the latest vintage of Trump wine. A vigorously contested convention among candidates below the 1,237 delegate threshold will be democratic and leave selection of the party’s nominee in the hands of the people — just as the rules intended.
The nerve. Elections are decided by the people. Any way you look at it, Trump is winning. He has more votes than anyone else, and he has won more states than anyone else.

The idea that you can deny him and his supporters the nomination because he got "only" half the votes in a 17-candidate race is foolish.

The argument that he has only a plurality is ludicrous. None of the other candidates has a majority. Not one.

Historically, delegates decided, but primaries long ago replaced state party bosses selecting the nominee in smoke-filled back rooms.

As far as Trump saying there will be riots if they try to steal the nomination from the people, he is correct. In 1968, liberals felt Democrats swiped the Chicago convention and rioted.

But I have more faith in the rank-and-file than I do the leadership.

14 comments:

  1. In my opinion they will deny Trump the nomination if he comes in with even one less delegate than the required 1237. (I think that is the number?)

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  2. I came to the conclusion this morning that the establishment thinks they are playing Trump's own game in all this talk about a brokered convention. They are trying to move the window in order to get him to make some deals with them behind the scenes. I hope it doesn't work. He holds all the cards, and I think he knows this. Slap the slimy bastards silly.

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    1. Yep. I had not thought of that but it makes sense. And cable goes along because, hey, ratings.

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  3. I went out to my tool shed and got my best triangular file. The tines on my pitchfork are now ready for the Republican Convention. - Elric

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    1. I believe the proper tool for that job would be a bastard file.

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    2. The Republican Establishment already has too many bastards. - Elric

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  4. In 3-way races in which no candidate achieves a majority, you'll usually see a two-way runoff election. Why is that inappropriate for the GOP convention?

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  5. You may not like the current rules which govern how the party deals with anything less than a majority, but they ARE the current rules. To assure the nomination, Trump needs to earn the majority of the delegates. Otherwise, the nomination will be based on a negotiation. He claims to be the best negotiator in the world, and thus we may just find out if this is true.

    Before you talk about how ludicrous it is to deny him the nomination if he only has a plurality, please consider a slightly different hypothetical. At present, the political division in the US is about 40% Democrat, 40% Republican, and 20% independent. Suppose the GOP Convention is such a horror show that they give the nomination to Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Then Trump runs as a third party candidate. And in the election, Hillary gets 40% of the electoral vote, Trump gets 35%, and Jeb gets 25%. By the rules, the election then goes to the House of Representatives. Would you argue that the House is obligated to give the Presidency to Hillary because she had a plurality?

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    1. Aye, I'm not understanding this complaint. As of now, there have been 300 delegates chosen who are unpledged or were initially pledged to a candidate who's left the race. Is it the moderator's contention that these delegates are obligated to vote for Trump at the convention, or that were Cruz or Kasich to withdraw at the convention, their supporters would be obligated to vote for Trump and not the other remaining candidate? If a second choice other than Trump is more palatable to delegate X, I'm not seeing why he should not vote his 2d choice.

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    2. By the rules, the election then goes to the House of Representatives.

      Only if none of the candidates garners a majority of the electoral votes. It's quite possible to garner a majority in the Electoral College with merely a plurality of the popular vote. Bilge Clinton won 68% of the electoral votes with just 43% of the popular votes.

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  6. This was Hillary's argument after she was beaten in '08.

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  7. Seems to me a guy named Lincoln came out of a brokered convention. That seemed to have turned out o.k. The rules apply to all, even Trump. If you don't like the rules then work to change them. It's called democracy.

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  8. A guy named Rutherford B. Hayes came out of a brokered Electoral College. Brokering is not necessarily a healthy process.

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  9. If Trump truly wanted to incite violence at the Chicago rally, he should've pointed at the Bernie Brigade and yelled "Cheeseheads! Get' em!"

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