For the first time since 1964, the Republican Party is engaged in an open and hostile coup de tat against its overwhelming frontrunner for the nomination. This space has it solid from deep insiders within the national party that the “motherload” is coming down on Citizen Donald Trump, who currently leads the field in delegates (represented by the affluent to the working class) and states won (from New England to the Bible Belt) with what these sources are calling a “carpet bombing” of television ads and a legal plan to wrest the nomination from him come July at its national convention.
The key word here that follows this is “if”—which entails Trump not reaching the requisite 1,237 delegates needed for a majority, and not a plurality of the vote, something most assuredly to happen now with three other candidates splitting the remaining tallies. If Trump fails to reach this crucial plateau, the increasingly apoplectic party leaders and establishment clan will pounce. These same sources describe a “brokered” convention as a very probable “shit show” that would see Trump march his 35 percent support out of the building and with them any chance of defeating a strengthened Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Yet, despite repeated calls, follow-ups and a lengthy discussion with several prominent voices in the GOP over the last couple of days that resulted in statements like “Trump is using the Republican Party as a tool he will later abandon to create a lane to the presidency”, I could not pin them down to a specific number: What if Trump gets to 800 or 900 and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, now in second in the delegate count, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a distant third, are a few hundred behind? No one would commit. However, the general consensus is without equivocation, if Trump is not at least at 1,000 pledged delegates by July 18, all bets are off.
And most of this is not back-room, off-the-record chatter; sitting senators, congressmen and governors have already gone on record throwing out all modes of legal shenanigans that could use party rules to simply deny a vast majority of millions of Republican voters their preferred candidate—on national television, cable news networks, and all over the Internet.
As stated in this space for months now, the neo-cons, buried by Trump along with the Bush Myth in South Carolina, the phony evangelical nationalists, buried by Trump on the Super Tuesday SEC Primaries, the international free trade elites, and Wall Street barons are in full panic mode—and although it is at the very edge of “too late”, are fully committed (monetarily or otherwise) to bring down the human hand grenade that is Donald Trump.
In a move that resembles the Mullahs of Iran defiantly robbing the voice of the people from a purported democratic system, the Republican Party, the very institution that forced Trump to sign a pledge of allegiance to not run against it as an independent in the general election, is floating rumors of running some bastardized Constitutional Party if he is close to the nomination. Crazies on the radio are calling for an illegal two-man anti-Trump combined ticket with Rubio/Cruz, which was dismissed as simple fantasy by my sources who cite that delegates must be appropriated by individual candidates, not magically shared in some half-baked cabal. The other more outlandish “plan” dismissed as “lunacy” involves the RNC systematically fusing its remaining Trump alternatives as a “three-headed majority” to claim their combined delegates that would add up to…whatever, my brain hurts.
Beating Trump with viable candidates and strong, defendable ideologies in an open primary season has thus far turned out to be a monumental bust. In fact, Trump is rocking it everywhere in every part of the country with every type of voter; while the party that for the past six years has welcomed a rousing anti-government fervor and piggybacked an alarmingly ill-suited mob of TEA Party non-politicians to gain control of both houses of congress, now works like mad to save its brand from Donald Trump. The party clearly absorbed what was a wholly grassroots movement into a political tool and then ignored it, creating Trump as its vengeance. Illustrating how out of touch with its electorate the party is they ironically now prop up two of its most opportunistic and fabricated TEA Party interlopers, Cruz and Rubio, as alternatives to the very system they exploited.
Thus, the sudden and pathetic re-entrance of two time presidential loser, Willard Mitt Romney, who began to frame the establishment narrative last week by announcing with no evidence at all that Trump had a “bomb shell” in his tax returns, something the flaccid campaigns of Cruz and Rubio vainly tried to use as a cudgel. This time, however, the once and rejected Massachusetts governor, with all the credibility of a man recently fleeced at a black jack table giving you tips on when to take a hit, stood on a stage in his home state of Utah and called his party’s nearly presumptive nominee a “fraud”, “bully”, and deemed him “disqualified”.
The man who blew an election that before he announced a doomed candidacy in 2012 had any Republican with a pulse with a seven to 10 point advantage over a vulnerable incumbent by stating that 47 percent of the American electorate was filled with freeloaders is now calling people voting for Trump during record-turn-out primaries as “played for suckers”. The man who four years ago had to be dragged kicking and screaming to release his tainted tax returns now demands Trump release his. And in a spectacular example of utter lack of self-awareness (the perfect foil for the party elites), Romney labeled Trump a flip-flopper; a term invented to describe his neck-wrenching shifts in policy over a very spotty political career.
There is only one cure to stop the GOP machine from taking to the convention in July and pulling a Democratic re-dux of the 1952 presidential nomination of Adlai Stevenson, who competed in zero primaries and yet received his party’s nomination to eventually be trounced by Dwight D. Eisenhower: Trump has to get to at least 1,000 delegates.
Or bring on the “shit show”!
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.