Is the Republican establishment now accepting Trump?

The last Republican debate was a subdued affair, with none of the yelling and low blows of the earlier debates.  This reportedly came at the direction of Republican officials, who told the candidates that they needed to start thinking about the general election and to assure the public that they would all rally behind whoever gets the nomination, which looks like it is going to be Donald Trump.

Before the debate, Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chair, said as much to the crowd.

It sounds like the Republican establishment has reconciled itself to a Trump victory.  Will they try to co-opt him?  Or is Trump, for all of his fiery rhetoric, basically the kind of candidate the Republican establishment always wants:  another moderate, big-government Republican with liberal social values and ties to big business?

I mean, talk about a country club Republican.  Donald Trump builds country clubs! [Read more…]

The Republican Party’s botched efforts to stop Trump

The Republican Party is trying to stop Donald Trump from getting its nomination, but every effort so far has self-destructed.  The other candidates are refusing to bow out to consolidate behind one contender.  Public criticism of Trump seems to have started too late.  Donors and political operatives are paralyzed.  So reports the New York Times, with some relish.

Read the excerpt and follow the link.  Then read my thoughts after the jump.

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Supporting the Republican, even if it’s Trump?

In Thursday’s debate, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich all ripped into Donald Trump.  But then, in response to a question, they all agreed that if he gets the Republican nomination, they would support him.

That made me lose respect for all of these candidates.  If their criticisms of Trump are true–that he is a genuinely bad man and would make a terrible president–how could they ever support him?

Since when should loyalty to a political party trump (sorry) loyalty to one’s country?  Or to one’s principles?

I suppose they felt bound by their pledge in the very first debate to support the eventual nominee, which everyone but Trump–who was at the time a very unlikely winner–agreed to!  But still, as it says somewhere in the Lutheran confessions, immoral vows are not binding.

I stand with Ben Sasse on this issue.  (Read his open letter on why he would rather break from the Republican party than support a Trump candidacy.)  What about you? [Read more…]

Romney’s plan to stop Trump

Mitt Romney is emerging as the point man in the Republican party’s effort to stop Donald Trump.  He gave a blistering speech attacking the front runner for his character, his honesty, his policies, his intelligence, and his business prowess.  And he is putting forward a plan to keep Trump from getting the 1,237 he needs to be nominated.  This involves encouraging Republicans to vote for the specific non-Trump candidate who has the best chance of beating him in each state (Kasich in Ohio, Rubio in Florida, etc.).  Instead of  rallying behind a single candidate, the strategy would be to split up the delegates so that no one, including Trump, has a majority.  Then the convention would be deadlocked and could turn to. . . .Who?  Romney?

What do you think of this strategy?

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It could really be Trump vs. Sanders

Donald Trump really could win the Republican nomination.

Bernie Sanders really could win the Democratic nomination.

What if either one of them were elected?  If you support neither of these candidates, if they were the nominees, which would you vote for?  Of the two, which one do you think would win?

Franklin Graham quits Republicans, but not politics

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy, has quit the Republican party, due to the way the GOP-led Congress abandoned  the goal of defunding Planned Parenthood so as to pass the budget.  But he hasn’t abandoned politics.  He is planning to hold rallies in all 50 states to encourage Christians to vote for “godly leaders” of whatever party who will support “Biblical values.”

Might this effort bring back Christian conservatism as a political force?  Will this non-partisan or perhaps anti-partisan initiative change that kind of political involvement? [Read more…]