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Heady days for Republicans. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held in the Potomac Ballroom of the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Md., last week. A few days previous, twice unsuccessful Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made an impassioned plea to the faithful to reject the pesky serial winner of Republican primaries and caucii this year, one Donald J. Trump.
CPAC was to be the setting of a showdown, a literal barrage of negative energy directed at Trump, a hashtag, #NeverTrump was created, along with four strategies to deny him the rightful crown of candidacy, should he earn the magic number of delegates in upcoming contests. The biggest show was to take place during his address on Saturday evening. A large group of mostly religious conservatives planned to boycott his remarks, after delivering a “prayer” they had written, then walking out dramatically. The prayer read as follows, “Dear God, maker of heaven and Earth, we pray to you to protect the conservative movement, American right-of-center politics, the Republican party, the United States of America, our fundamental freedoms and economic system, and your children around the world. We pray to you to allow Donald Trump to sincerely see the error of his ways and the flaws in his belief system.” I must say, I have not read a more self-righteous prayer since I read the prayer of the Pharisee in the book of Luke chapter 18: verses 11 and 12.
Well, as you might have guessed, Donald Trump spoiled all the finger-wagging fun. He didn’t show up! As usual, the Republican Party is up to it’s normal behavior, self-destructing by being unwilling or unable to see the big picture, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Year after year, I watch this drama play out, helpless to do anything to facilitate the extraction of the establishment leaders, (the “RINO’s”) heads from the depths of their tightly sealed ani. How can they not realize that they have a candidate with mass appeal, attractive to as many Democrats and Independents as Republicans? How can they not see that what he needs is support and coaching? The reason he says so many outrageous things is that he really doesn’t know the most precise way to express himself. What we are witnessing in Trump is a REAL human running for President. He seems so odd because he doesn’t know any of the rules that establishment-groomed robots like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have steeped themselves in all their adult lives. Trump has no focus groups, no speechwriters, no research team, no heavy donors with pre-prepared position papers. He is easy prey for the jaded press.
What Trump has to offer is confident leadership, experience in getting things done, on time and under budget. He is smart enough to know what he doesn’t know, and is a consummate delegator of tasks. Alas, what I fear the most is a replay of 1976, i.e. a brokered convention.
In 1976, Trilateral Commission lackeyboy Gerald Ford, the appointed Vice-President turned President could not get enough delegates during the primary process to secure the nomination, so he entered the convention with his strong rival, Ronald Reagan hot on his heels. What transpired was furious deal-making, proposed rule changes and other shenanigans, ultimately resolving after a Reagan misstep, that was the choice of liberal Richard Schweiker as his running mate, infuriating the “all or nothing” conservatives who supported Reagan. With his base weakened, the establishment was free to put their man, Gerald Ford, and his running mate, Bob Dole, into the candidate’s seat, where they went on to lose, spectacularly, to peanut-farming Jimmy Carter, in the general election. (55.2%-44.6% with one faithless electoral vote for Reagan.)
Is this what we are looking at this year? Apparently there are four plans of strategy to defeat Trump, mostly involving alliances between Rubio, Kasich and Cruz, but culminating in a brokered convention if need be, including the possible insertion of Mitt Romney and\or Paul Ryan as candidate or candidates.
Kill me now.