Republican Convention Rules: It Takes a Majority

Republican Convention Rules: It Takes a Majority March 22, 2016

It takes a majority.

It takes a majority of delegates to win the Republican nomination for President.

It is not complicated.

It is not new.

These rules have been basically the same since the founding of the Party. A majority of the delegates to the convention must vote for a candidate if he or she is to become the Party’s nominee.

Yet Trump and his fans are demanding the rules be changed to accommodate him.

They are demanding that the Establishment (whatever that is anymore) rip up the rules and write new ones to suit their own purposes.

The new rules would look something like this: if you’re close to a majority and have a plurality of delegates, that’s good enough.

Even if you don’t actually have a majority, let’s just call it a majority and give Trump the nomination. So basically, if a minority self-identifies as a majority, we’re all good?

I don’t think so. Yet that is the argument being made.

From this pro-Trump piece at NBC News (note the use of the repeated use of the word insider throughout the article):

Diana Orrock, who backs Trump, believes the RNC should intervene to stop any effort to make a contested convention more likely under the rules.

“The fact that Reince Preibus, as chair, has not come out and denounced these high-level Republican operatives who are blatantly trying to sabotage Donald Trump’s campaign speaks volumes,” she said. Any effort to block “the consistent GOP front-runner” at the convention, she argued, would be “shameful.”

Others say it all depends on the size of Trump’s lead.

“If you are fairly close and next person is 300, 400, 500 delegates down — I think you are playing with fire,” said Steve Scheffler, a Rules Committee member.

“If the person is short, but not a lot short — and I don’t know what the magic figure is — I think it’s pretty dangerous to gang up,” he said, “and say he’s not the nominee.”

Now it is dangerous to actually abide by the rules? Will the threats never stop around this guy?

But Scheiffler identifies the problem with this logic even as he argues for it to be applied–he doesn’t know what the magic number is because there can be no magic number.

Anything less than a majority is NOT a majority.

This call to craft objective rules or laws to govern subjective feelings is indicative of the larger cultural wildfire already burning brightly around us. It doesn’t work in the real world.

Trump himself has made a similar claim, arguing that if he is within a hundred or so delegates, that should be close enough to get the nomination.

But let’s just apply this logic consistently shall we?

Do you honestly think that in a general election match with Clinton that Trump would say, Well, Hillary got 268 of the required 270 Electoral College delegates so that should be close enough?

Is this how Trump does his business deals? You owe me $4 mil but if you pay $3.6 mil, that’s close enough. (If so, it’s no wonder so many of his enterprises have failed.)

What about nominees for the Supreme Court?  Is 47 confirmation votes close enough now? Will 59 votes break a filibuster in the Senate now? And so it goes.

(Come to think of it, maybe that’s why he claims to have been audited for 12 years straight by the IRS. He just files returns he thinks that are close enough to accurate.)

Trump’s personal moral relativism is showing and undercutting his supposed commitment to the rule of law.

Everything is negotiable when Trump’s self-interests are at stake.

The man who says immigration laws must be enforced by the Establishment wants the Establishment to wave away the convention rules so he can become President.

The Republican Party built a wall around the convention process more than 150 years ago. It’s not even a huge wall. It is a simple majority. Unlike Donald, they are not proposing to make the wall unexpectedly higher. They are only insisting that he secure the required delegates to enter.

But Donald is asking the border patrol for the party of Lincoln to look the other way, to let him slip in without the necessary paperwork, and then to let him enjoy the benefits of his illegal entry without fear of being deported.

Ironic, isn’t it?

It takes a majority.

You may not like it, Trump fans, but facts are stubborn things–or at least they should be.

If neither Trump nor Cruz receives a majority of votes on the first ballot, then most of those delegates are free to vote for whomever they want.

Those are the rules.

If the Republican party lacks the integrity to enforce their own long-standing rules, they will have caved to a power-hungry politician empowered by those who are upset by the Republican party for caving to power-hungry politicians.

It takes a majority.

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