A couple of days ago I had an exchange of emails with a Republican National Committee person. I was urging her to dump Trump before we lose more ground in the House and Senate. She curtly informed me that Cruz had lost, that Trump had the votes, and how do I explain that?
To begin with, Trump’s “yuge” victories in the primaries need to be seen in light of several important conditions; he did not win a “majority” of votes, he won a plurality – and not an impressive one at that; he ran against a field of numerous “conservative” candidates and some other “liberal” ones (Bush, Christie, Kasich). The overall vote against Trump was much larger than the one for him. So, in fact, he came up with a minority. Now as to how he managed to get these votes? He did far better in states with open primaries. This means that a lot of Democrats crossed over to vote for him. They weren’t crossing over to vote for Cruz!
You might have noticed that the turnout for the Democrat primaries in those states where Trump did well was extraordinarily low. This could be due to several factors:
- The assumption that Hillary would be the nominee of that party in any case, so why waste a vote.
- The attitude that of all the possible candidates on the other team Trump could be the most “like a Democrat” if he were elected. In other words, a sort of stealth Democrat candidate so there would be two Democrats to vote for in November and no mean conservatives to worry about.
- The possibility that many otherwise never voters thought it fun and exciting to go out and vote for a pop celebrity they watch on TV.
- The likelihood of a sort of “Operation Chaos” orchestrated by the Clinton team to make sure she did not have to face Cruz or any other strong conservative candidate in the general election. God forbid she would have to debate one of them!
So I discredit the argument that Trump is the popular choice here. Just look at his “unfavorables.” They’re even worse than Hillary’s – but you already knew that.
He is losing in the polls in states he was expected to score in. He is incompetent on stage, unless you are holding a pep rally. He has not articulated a Republican position on anything with any degree of conviction. On the contrary, he is exposing himself every day as less conservative than his Democrat opponent. He even briefly attempted to win over some of Bernie Sanders’s unhappy followers rather than solidify his own base – that’s because it really isn’t his base. He careens around dropping anvils on his own toes making “sarcastic” comments about calling out the “2nd Amendment people” to do something about Hillary and her likely SCOTUS nominees; charging that Obama founded and Hillary co-founded ISIS; dropping others along the way; impugning Rafael Cruz and kicking the shins of anyone who tries to help him out by holding the door open for his escape from his own pronouncements.
He is sabotaging the candidates running for election or re-election to the House and Senate. It is not out of place to consider that in a race Trump himself is looking forward to losing we should be concerned. Imagine Hillary with her very own Congress! And what if by some miracle Trump were to stumble his way to victory? What then? Trump with a Democrat House and Senate… he’d love that. He could make deals with Democrats from dawn till midnight. We’d be the ones dealt out, of course. But he’d have a lot of fun doing those deals.
My correspondent informed me that no one else can win now anyway, and this divisiveness “has to stop,” as if I were in her kindergarten class. I think she may be right – no one else is likely to pull off the presidential win now. The GOP saw to that in Cleveland. But by taking a poisonous, reeking candidate off our ticket, he might do far less damage to the other candidates. And we need those candidates now more than ever.
To make the point that we had already lost, I sent the lady a link to one of Trump’s current threats; that he would double Hillary’s budget. I asked her to defend that position. Believe it or not, she answered. She said, she wasn’t defending it but it was all because the Republicans had shown they had no spine with Obama; that it was important to keep Cruz in the Senate so he could do his single against the next president, I suppose (yeah, that worked well for him), and that what was wrong with my thinking is that it would “mess up” future elections.
What can I say? That the Senate and House will suddenly sit up and grow a spine now so they can stand up to Trump? Unlikely. And with Trump on the ticket, as previously mentioned, they probably won’t be going back to Washington in large numbers.
As to standing up to Hillary, those who are there might be in a better position to do that than with Trump. First, she doesn’t directly control the funding for GOP candidates as the head of her party. She might endorse opponents, but she would not be running candidates in primaries… at least openly (although, I think she ran Trump in the primaries covertly). Trump has already stated an intention to set up and presumably fund super PACS to get RID of Cruz and anyone else he wants gone. So that argument fails to impress. Sorry. Oh, and can anything get more “messed up” than this election? Ever? Don’t make me lose my breakfast.
This guy and his stated positions you don’t “defend,” but you are sticking to your guns on the nomination? May I ask, why? Because it flies in the face of any sane thinking. The GOP has a lot to defend here. If they are okay with Scottish health care (even worse than Obamacare); if they are okay with a budget twice the size of Hillary’s when we are already $20 trillion in debt “because the rates are good now;” if they have no real objection to “jokes” calling out the “2nd Amendment people;” and if they have no expectations that Trump will actually campaign for the presidency, opting for pep rallies instead of policy discussion, then defend it. Or boot him. Or get out of the way! We don’t need self-important Republican committeemen running interference for this guy. We need to protect our legislative branch. Trump needs to go.
I am watching to see if I get a reply. But don’t blame the rest of us if you can’t defend him and won’t get rid of him. Trump is like ballast on a ship that is foundering. He needs to be thrown overboard. And if it isn’t done soon enough it will be too late to save the crew. A large number of committeemen are already on record asking Reince Priebus to ditch this guy. Support them. Ask your committeemen to support them.