In a strange twist, Donald Trump’s archrivals are starting to line up behind him. First New Jersey Governor Chris Christie endorsed the Donald. Then the soft-spoken Dr. Ben Carson pledged support for the raucous real estate mogul. Who’s next, Jeb Bush? Mitt Romney? Rush Limbaugh? Karl Rove?
Brrr … I just got a cold chill down my spine. Did you feel it too?
No, hell is not freezing over. I’m sure Christie and Carson are either jockeying for position in the Trump administration or getting a head start on fulfilling the pledge they made at the first GOP debate to support whoever wins the nomination. I’m guessing it’s the former, but you never know.
At least two people are handling the Trump phenomenon sensibly and democratically … unlike the GOP establishment.
Look, I’ve got no skin in this game one way or the other, but we do have a primary process for a reason. The Republican nomination is clearly down to a two-man race. I say pick one and may the best man win. But that’s not what’s happening, is it?
Instead, the party elite is going thermonuclear on Trump. They’re holding secret strategy meetings, using Romney as a proxy, developing ad campaigns, riling up powerful donors and interest groups, taking to the media and threatening a contested convention – all to block Trump’s nomination. Never mind that their efforts might doom the party or hand the election to the democrats.
Here’s my question: Who died and made them boss of the GOP?
Look, I’m not naïve. I understand their power is threatened. C’est la vie. The way I see it, they had their chance and blew it. Romney and John McCain both lost to Barack Obama. And after two terms of Bush and two terms of Obama with Congress ping ponging between right and left, a lot of right-leaning folks are anything but ecstatic with the results. And I’m being kind.
It’s one thing to have a divisive, incompetent federal government. It’s another thing entirely to watch Washington continue to grow in size and power and get less and less accomplished while a permanent political class settles in to ensure this dysfunctional gridlock continues to run a great nation into the ground.
Sixteen years into the new millennium and we have government run education and healthcare, a sinking middle class, more Americans on federal aid than ever before, a $19 trillion national debt, a broken immigration system, a sluggish economy, regulations and taxes that stifle business growth, chaos in the Middle East, a growing radical Islamic terrorist threat and an empowered Vladimir Putin in Russia.
Did I forget anything? Wait, I sure did. Party leaders are stacking the deck to maintain control of what doesn’t belong to them. That’s not how the democratic process is supposed to work. If someone is crazy enough to run for office and popular enough to obtain a majority of delegates, that should be all it takes to win the nomination.
But the democrats now have superdelegates: party leaders can vote for any candidate irrespective of caucuses and primaries, and they control about 20% of the total number of delegates. That gives Hilary Clinton an almost insurmountable advantage over Bernie Sanders for the 2016 presidential nomination.
The GOP also has superdelegates but not enough to make a real difference. With Trump in the lead, and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz the only candidate with any chance of catching him, institutional Republicans and elite conservatives are in panic mode, working any angle they can to maintain control of a party they think is theirs to control. But it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with politicians pledging Anyone-But-Trump, as many have. Individuals are free to vote, not vote, even jump parties as they see fit. But when powerful insiders act collectively to impose their will against that of the people, I don’t care who they are or what they stand for; they’re subverting the democratic process.
Nobody owns a political party. Nobody died and made Washington insiders boss. Ironically, that’s what the Trump phenomenon – which the GOP establishment deems an insurgency – is all about. It’s not an insurgency. If Trump wins the nomination, it’s the will of the people. It’s democracy at work. It should be a wakeup call for Republicans.