If any conservatives were hoping to get some sort of reason to still support the Republican Party or its nominee in 2016 from the convention, then the first day was a roaring disappointment. After a cavalcade of establishment stooges like Pat Roberts, Roger Wicker and Haley Barbour took the stage, conservatives were treated to the spectacle of the establishment crushing the prospect of even a legitimate vote on the rules package submitted by conservatives.
To be clear, the rules changes were not merely an anti-Trump package, they were measures intended to prevent the RNC from gaining more and more control over the nominating process in the future. That’s why they were supported by a good number of Trump delegates who are actually conservative. But the RNC couldn’t even let a vote proceed so that the tally could be counted, because maintaining their own control over the process is more important than any ideology.
Then the dumpster fire continued with speeches with such luminaries as the duck dynasty guy, and red hot A list Hollywood celeb Scott Baio, bumbling their way through mostly incoherent explanations for why Hillary Clinton is the devil incarnate and Trump is a cross between Jesus and someone just like Jesus, only much cooler.
There was a lot of time spent during the convention’s first night about Benghazi. I think everyone knows by this point that Hillary Clinton’s handling of that night was not good. Everyone knows that, at least in part, orders up the chain of command that reached at least to her led to the deaths of four Americans. It’s a valid point for Trump to make. But it doesn’t really offer any reason that conservatives should support the GOP, at all.
The highlight of the night was probably Melania Trump’s speech, which hit all the right notes and touched on her pride in being an American after emigrating from a former communist bloc country. It reminded me at least at times of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech at the 2004 Republican convention. Of course, even that was eventually marred when the Internet quickly discovered that at least a portion of her speech appears to have been lifted wholesale from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech.
After all is said and done, it’s difficult to know what any conservative who’s read a book that was not written by a Fox News personality within the last year is supposed to get from the GOP. The people it puts on the stage in its finest hour are appropriators, authoritarians, D-list and ill-informed celebrities, and a party structure that craps on conservatives rather than allow its orange man-god to suffer even the slightest embarrassment.
But hey, at least they aren’t Hillary, I guess.