A couple of days ago I posted on signs that a Dump Trump movement was taking shape among GOP delegates heading to the Cleveland convention. The key data points are a) Reince Priebus actually undertook an evaluation of the size and intensity of the movement, b) Paul Ryan and Scott Walker have made it clear that delegates should be free to vote their conscience, and c) an organizing conference call was held that included nearly 300 GOP delegates to plan next steps.
Today a couple of other things have happened that show the Trump campaign, to the extent one can be said to exist, is taking the unrest very serious. Via Politico
A influential Republican National Committee official is rebuking his own party, accusing them of empowering anti-Donald Trump figures to play key roles at this summer’s convention – and, potentially, to dislodge Trump.
In a three-page letter sent to fellow RNC members, Bruce Ash, an Arizona Republican who oversees the committee’s permanent Rules Committee, laces into the organization for appointing establishment-minded figures who, he says, could overturn Trump’s nomination at the convention. Ash’s letter comes amid an intensifying push by anti-Trump delegates to implement a “conscience clause” on the first ballot that would allow delegates to unbind themselves from voting for trump — thereby freeing themselves to throw their support to a “white knight” candidate who would take the nomination instead.
Specifically, Ash points to the RNC’s appointments of committee members Ron Kaufman and Enid Mickelson (both of whom are close allies of Trump nemesis Mitt Romney) to oversee the convention’s rules committee. He also calls out the RNC for assigning establishment stalwart Haley Barbour to run the convention’s Permanent Organization Committee. (Kaufman, Mickelson and Barbour did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
“I stand by my analysis because I have concerns about the appointees who have worked with Romney in the past and despite well intentioned assurances, might possibly work to deny him the nomination he has earned. I am a member of the convention rules committee and am entitled to my opinion,” writes Ash, who will also be on the convention’s Rules Committee.
He adds that he finds it “quite remarkable that the RNC might actually be leaning toward a vote to essentially invoke” a rule that would “reverse the results of the primary contests and unbind our delegates.”
Ash claims Paulu Manafort, Trump’s alleged Russian mob affiliated “convention manager”, was duped, snookered, fooled, and made an ass of when he agreed to give hard core anti-Trump delegates seats on the Rules Committee in order to win their loyalty. Instead of misplaced trust, the more likely reason is that Manafort has approached this in the way he’s approached the rest of the delegate selection process, in the most half-assed, slapdash manner possible.
The whole letter by Ash is worth the read if for no other reason to validate your opinion of the estrangement Branch Trumpidians have from English.
Also, via Politico:
Republicans who cannot support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee should skip next month’s convention in Cleveland, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday, tearing into factions of the party for appearing ignorant of national and even global political attitudes.
“You know, if you can’t vote for the nominee of the party and the person who got the votes, don’t go to the convention,” Gingrich said during a Facebook livestream on a trip to Hungary with his wife, Callista. “Don’t think you can safely get away with imposing your values, your judgment, your wisdom on the people of the United States. That era’s over, and in fact, you’re going to look very foolish arguing that the voters — your voters — back home don’t count because you’re so much smarter.”
This is nonsense. Trump isn’t the nominee. And Trump isn’t even the choice of GOP voters, in fact, he’s no more popular in the GOP than he is in the nation.
What Gingrich is objecting to is one RNC committee, that would be the convention rules committee, changing the rules another RNC committee made concerning the conduct of the primary elections. The GOP delegates are under no obligation to enter into some sort of bizarre suicide pact with Trump. If they think Trump is unfit it would be an abrogation of duty to simply vote for him because of some arcane delegate allocation formula.
The total responsibility for this mess lies with Trump. He has has innumerable chances to actually act like an adult male rather than a spoiled sixth grader. He is being rejected because he has shown himself to be as un-serious and superficial as, well, Obama and Hillary.