No, the delegates should not try to save the party. A response to Erick Erickson.

GOP Convention Delegates

95% of the time, I completely agree with conservative radio host Erick Erickson. I disagreed when he chose not to endorse Ted Cruz over Marco Rubio early enough to make a difference. Now that I think of it, that may be the only time I disagreed with him until now.

The #NeverTrump movement that he essentially started is even more righteous today than it was before Donald Trump was the presumptive nominee. We failed to stop the party from laying forth an imbecile to go up against the worst Democratic candidate in three decades, but the fight cannot end. On that, I agree with Erickson. On this particular methodology that he proposed, I have to object.

He would have the delegates choose to unbind themselves. They have the power and could select a different nominee at the convention even if Trump gets to 1,237. It would require some wrangling of the rules, but as a private organization, there are definitely ways to make it happen. Short of a complete meltdown by Trump before the convention, the coup that Erickson proposes is the only way to prevent the most disastrous nomination choice in modern history.

“Stealing” the nomination would do one thing: prevent Trump from being the Republican nominee. That’s it. Hillary Clinton would likely win the election unless she has her own career-ending scandal, something that she’s miraculously been able to avoid for decades. The Republicans would suffer from a retribution vote; we would still lose the House, Senate, and some governors. Then, there’s the worst case scenario: Trump the victor would become Trump the victim and could very possibly mount the first successful 3rd-party win.

In other words, the short-term results of a Trump nomination would be nearly identical to the effects of a coup against him. The difference would be that conservatives would be blamed in the coup scenario and regardless of what happens in the general election, the Establishment will be in firm control of the party by 2020 if it even still exists at that point.

Believe me, I understand Erickson’s desperation. I will not be voting for Trump. I will not be voting for Clinton. I am very hopeful of a third-party conservative, but based upon the fact that Erickson is very likely talking to other pundits about that very option, his call to play the delegate power card is troubling. It may mean that a third-party candidate is not materializing. It may mean that a weak third-party candidate like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush is being discussed. It may mean that Ben Sasse isn’t resonating, J.C. Watts isn’t biting, and Tom Coburn isn’t physically ready.

Hopefully, this is just Erickson preparing plan C, but if it’s the only plan available, I can’t support it. A delegate play would betray the last semblance of trust that the people have in the process. It would accelerate the collapse of the party while eliminating any potential for a conservative rebound in 2020.

I’m not nearly as connected as Erickson but I do know this: if the party is to burn down, it cannot be the conservatives lighting the match. We need to maintain faith in God’s plan which means that we must continue to fight as we’re compelled. Right now, I’m compelled to explore every option based upon a long-term perspective. The fear that we will not survive as a country long-term is real, but the Republican party has failed by nominating Trump. Now, we have to prepare the most secure safety net that we can in order to catch the remnants of the party and the country after the fall that is sure to come.

We should fight Trump AND Clinton until one is eliminated. Then, we must do everything we can to defend the Constitution and the nation if one of them sits in the White House. What we cannot do is participate in the destruction. We must be part of the solution rather than creating a different type of problem.

JD Rucker

JD Rucker is Editor of this site as well as Soshable, a Federalist Christian Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and co-founder of the Federalist Party. Find him on Twitter or Facebook.

  1. The GOP party rules are not a suicide pact. Had the delegate allocations of the various states been made much as those of the Democrats, Trump would never have gotten near 1237. But early winner-take-all rules and open primaries propelled him to a large and unrepresentative lead in delegates — giving the majority of delegates to a candidate who did not, and still does not, represent the majority of Republican voters. Thus, there is nothing intrinsically unfair or immoral about the delegates to the convention retaking control of their own party for its own sake and that of the nation they love.

    As to the practical effect of this action, consider that by the time Democrats unleash a twenty million dollar ad campaign revealing the myriad of fatal flaws in Donald Trump, he will be electoral poison, not only to himself, but the down ballot positions in the Senate and House which you fear taking the nomination away from him will entail. The effect would be largely the same. The media circus attendant to denying him the nomination would not be pretty, but neither will staining the Republican image with Donald Trump make good history either.

    But bear in mind that both Clinton and Trump will be bad news to most Americans by the time the convention rolls around. If the delegates to the GOP convention exhibit the wisdom of drafting a nominee whose name is largely clear of internal motives, such as Scott Walker, he could remake the image of the race against Clinton as that of a fresh, reputable, competent statesman dispatching forever the corrupt and incompetent arrogance of Hillary Clinton.

    Both the Republican Party and the country as a whole could be saved from what is now a choice like the famous one posed by Senator Lindsay Graham, who compared the choice between Trump and Cruz, as being between being shot and being poisoned.

  2. The GOP party rules are not a suicide pact. Trump “won” by winner-take-all and open primary rules that denied true representation to a majority of Republican voters who wanted other candidates. He remains the weakest front runner in recent history.

    By convention time, the twenty million dollar Democrat ad campaign against Trump will make his brand so toxic that down ballot effects on the Senate and House will be as bad as you already claim might occur should he be denied the nomination by the delegates.

    If party rules are simply employed to legally prevent Trump from achieving a Trojan Horse takeover of the Republican Party, the delegates will be excoriated by the media for the time being. Still, they will avoid the GOP from being forever branded with the infamy of having presented Donald Trump to history as the P.T. Barnum Republican nominee who went down in flames before a weak, incompetent, and corrupt Democrat nominee.

    Bear in mind that by convention time both Clinton and Trump’s negatives will be soaring. If the GOP delegates then draft a reputable, competent, principled and clean nominee, such as Scott Walker, that person might well stand out to voters as clearly superior to the much unloved Hillary Clinton — thereby saving both the GOP brand and the nation from the present choice between being poisoned and being shot (in the immortal words of Lindsay Graham).

  3. Taking back the party from these cultists by whatever means necessary should be job 1. The general is lost no matter what. The senate was always lost by virtue of the states involved and, of course with McConnell’s help of appeasement. You’ll take hits in the house but that can still hold. Ditto with the state governors and state houses. Running these clowns out early does less damage now than if you let them hang out 6 mos and then everybody gets tagged with their stink. They’re going to whine and cry anyway when they lose. Take the garbage out now. How fitting would it be for the grass roots every man delegates to show the so called “party leaders”, the swells, how to get your hands dirty and throw out the guys who kicked sand in your face and stole your girlfriend. Time to get ruthless. The Marquis of Queensberry BS just isn’t working. Who knows, the GOP might even get a little self respect.

  4. Better to take control of your own party from these cultists sooner rather than later. The general is lost no matter what. The senate was most likely always lost just by virtue of the make up of the states involved and of course, McConnell’s appeasement. The house will take some hits no doubt, but likely stay red. Same for some of the Republican governors and state houses. There will be some losses too, but end result should still be better than prior to 2010. Better to run these clowns now than to wait 6 months and let them guzzle down all your booze and steal your girlfriends. Let ’em whine and moan. They’re going to anyway when they lose. Otherwise you’re going to lose big and have Trump’s stink attached to the GOP for a long time to come. Run these guys out on a rail, by the grass roots CONSERVATIVES of the state delegates and on national TV with the world watching. Look directly into the camera, spit, and say “Is that all you got?!” Enough of the Marquis of Queensberry BS. If it’s not time to get ruthless, when is it? Oh that’s OK Reince, don’t get up. We wouldn’t want you to scuff up those Guccis.

  5. This whole scenario with Trump strikes me as a reverse mirror image of Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” years ago. The Republican Party, as an independent organization, failed in its responsibility to vet and either sanction or disapprove Trump’s candidacy under the Republican brand. They failed to understand the popular nationalist appeal of Trump’s message to millions of disaffected Americans which in many ways was caused by the GOP elites themselves and their disdain for conservatives and tea party members. And the Dems have used GOP state open primary and caucus rules to their advantage by opening the voting floodgates to people who distorted and tainted the vote, but never had any intention to vote Republican come November. We have become victims of our own failure to plan for Trojan Horse insurgents contaminating our selection process and invalidating the will of genuine GOP conservatives.

  6. We have not failed! We are the people and this is what we want.

    If the Elites were to sabotage Trump? Many Republicans will fail. But we don’t have plans to not vote for Republicans for congress or Governors!

    Trump will get more people to the polls, dumbass. Geez


  7. I was very interested to read the opinions of those already writing. I believe that the Trump situation is you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. One of the main problems as I see it, is that the GOPe assumed Bush would win. Therefore they rearranged the way states voted to make that possible. Sadly, it helped fire Trump rise from idiot to politician which I guess is one and the same.
    At the moment, the Conservatives are like good parents trying to save their teenage daughter from making the mistake of her life by marrying the duffs down the block.
    I do take issue with on respondent however. We have failed. You speak as if the great majority of Republicans actually want you candidate. The great major do not and so the current problem. Your candidate won’t get women to the polls, not to vote for your guy anyway. He won’t get true Conservatives who believe in free trade, the rights of the unborn, legal immigration and smaller taxes. (Which your guy has decided was just one of his talking point) Of course keeping out the Muslims turns out to be merely a talking point as well.
    So, the sane people in the country will not vote for Trump. As a Christian I find it impossible. I also would never vote for Trump because he seems to attract the worse types of followers. White supremacist, and those who can’t write a simple sentence without have to swear in order to make a point.

  8. A false understanding of the caucus/convention/nominating process has emerged, with the help of the media & GOPe. This is the first time since 1976 that “presidential preference polls” have been binding on the delegates. Before & after that, they were not. Republicans do not choose their nominee by a plebiscite. Through the caucuses & conventions, delegates choose the nominee, representing those who voted for them (the delegates).

    The party nomination process was hijacked by DT & his nationalist socialist disciples. He got the great majority of his support from Dem crossovers in open primary states. But DT does not own the nomination, & he is not entitled to it. He doesn’t get it until & unless 1237 delegates vote for him at the national convention. If the delegates decide to free themselves from the binding rules — viz., to repeal the improper binding process which is an attack on their right to vote according to their consciences — it is not “stealing” the nomination. The delegates alone determine the nominee under our rules & procedures, not an anonymous mob. After winning in the various polls, DT could have pursued the next step of persuading delegates at the conventions to support him, but he chose not to.

    What we have seen in the time since the beginning of the caucus/primary season demonstrates the wisdom of a properly run republican system. Early voters, and later voters, who bought the mythical promises of 3 months ago now have seen most of those promises evaporate, or dismissed as talking points, or flip-flopped. And once DT became the “presumptive” nominee, he began veering leftward. Too late for those voters to change their minds. But the delegates will have pretty much the whole picture by the time July 18th arrives, and they still have their say.

    1. You’ve hit exactly on the point that I was trying to make a few days ago. Caucuses and primaries across the states should be open only to party members who would be making their choice for a presidential nominee. I’m unaware that the Dems have open primaries and caucuses because I’m sure that they don’t want people outside their party influencing or contaminating the choices of their party members. So, why should Republicans hold open primaries and caucuses where anybody of any political strain can influence our choice of potential candidates? It just doesn’t make any sense at all to do it that way. When registered party members have voted and the convention has certified the GOP candidate, then the others from outside the party can vote in November for the candidate of their choice. If independents, libertarians, socialists, Democrats, etc., want to select the Republican presidential nominee, they should be required to register as Republicans before the primary process starts. Egalitarianism just doesn’t cut it.

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