The Republican party has joined the other side

The Washington Post has an article about the dilemma conservative Christians are facing in having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  (Only about a third of evangelicals say they support the Republican nominee.)  The piece has two memorable quotes:

“This year the Republican Party has not just surrendered on the culture wars, they’ve joined the other side.” Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“I got the idea of ‘Who would Jesus have voted for, Herod or Pilate?’ and probably neither one, and that’s where I feel we’re at here.” Pastor Gary Fuller


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“Never Trump” Republicans vs. “Now I’m for Trump” Republicans

The Republican party is undergoing a civil war.  Some are supporting Donald Trump as their party’s nominee; some are refusing to.  See some prominent names on both sides of the divide after the jump.

I can understand Trump supporters.  I can understand voting for him reluctantly as the lesser of two evils.  But I can’t understand how Republicans who, just weeks ago, thundered about how bad he is, are now saying they support him, just because he has sewn up the nomination.  Is it more important to stand on your principles or to support a political party no matter what?  (For example, what if Hillary Clinton ran as a Republican and took enough Independents and crossovers to win?  Would they support her, even though she doesn’t uphold what Republicans believe?  I guess they would.)

These Republican leaders who first opposed Trump but who are now jumping on his bandwagon, ironically, are evidence of what Trump has been saying about how corrupt the Republican establishment is.  But now, Trump is the candidate of that Republican establishment.

Anyway, check out the lists.

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Republican leaders are resigning themselves to Trump

The Republican leadership is reportedly resigning itself to Donald Trump being their party’s presidential nominee.   They are accepting the inevitable–now that Cruz has dropped out–and are starting to get behind him.

If you are a Republican who has been against him, are you changing your tune?  Or will you continue to oppose him when he gets the nomination? [Read more…]

Cruz’s chances are hurt by Republicans who can’t stand him

Ted Cruz’s efforts to win the Republican nomination in smoke-filled rooms are complicated by the fact that so many of his colleagues in the party just can’t stand him.

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner went so far to call him “Lucifer in the flesh” and that he had “never worked with a more miserable s__ of a b____ in my life.”  Boehner said that he would vote for Trump before he would vote for Cruz.  Now, just days after his own people announced an alliance with John Kasich, Cruz is denying any such alliance, leading the Kasich people to denounce him as a “liar.”  A story on how Cruz made so many enemies after the jump. [Read more…]

Cruz’s successful campaign for delegates

Not all states have either primaries or caucuses.  Colorado, North Dakota, and Wyoming–as well as the territories of Guam and American Samoa–simply have local and state party Republican conventions to choose their delegates, who then can vote for whomever they want to.   That was the way it used to be, when parties chose their candidates instead of turning that job over to the public, often including non-party members.  There are 112 delegates like this, enough to make a difference in a close vote in the national convention.  (See  Unbound Delegates Could Hold Key to Stopping Trump at Convention | RealClearPolitics.)

Well, Colorado has gone through that process and has given all of its 34 delegates to Cruz, whose organization has been targeting not just primary or caucus voters but the actual delegates who will be going to Cleveland.  (Wyoming Democrats do have a caucus.  Bernie Sanders won.)

In another coup, Cruz is being successful in electing his supporters as delegates from South Carolina.  As the local conventions unfold, a process which will take months, Cruz has jumped to a big lead already.  (See this and this.)

In the primary, Trump won all 50 of South Carolina’s vote.  By law, the delegation has to vote for him on the first ballot.  But after that, if Trump fails to get a majority, the delegation is likely to change their votes, en masse, to Cruz.  (Does that bother you?)

Cruz is winning similar delegate victories in Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana.

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Delegate selection as a way to stop Trump

Despite the primary elections, it’s the party, through its delegates in convention, that selects its presidential nominee.  But who gets to be a delegate?  Those state boosters in funny hats that we watch on TV are mostly party insiders, chosen at state conventions or given an automatic slot because they are current office holders.

By law, they have to cast their first votes according to the results of the primaries.  But after that, if the nomination goes to a second ballot, they can vote for whoever they want.  And, as the state selection process gets underway, it is already evident that many of the delegates who have to vote for Trump actually prefer Ted Cruz, whose organization is actively working to get his people chosen as delegates.

Read about this after the jump.  Do you think this backdoor, inside game could thwart the will of the people who voted in the primaries?  Or is it entirely legitimate?  Would the return of the politics of the “smoke filled room” be anti-democratic or a good thing?

It would seem that Trump’s only way to get the nomination is to win enough pledged votes on the first ballot.  And that is extremely likely.  But if it goes to a second ballot, his own delegates are likely to abandon him because of the way they were selected.  Either way, those of us watching at home will be watching a convention comprised of lots of delegates who do not like the person they are voting to nominate.   [Read more…]