Republicans Resigning Themselves To Trump Being Their Nominee

For better or worse, Republicans seem to be resigning themselves to the inevitable.

Donald Trump Victory South Carolina

With six weeks left in the primary process and Donald Trump inching closer to clinching a first ballot win in Cleveland, The Washington Post reports that Republican insiders are starting to resign themselves to the inevitability of Donald Trump:

Throughout the Republican Party, from New Hampshire to Florida to California, many leaders, operatives, donors and activists arrived this week at the conclusion they had been hoping to thwart or at least delay: Donald Trump will be their presidential nominee.

An aura of inevitability is now forming around the controversial mogul. Trump smothered his opponents in six straight primaries in the Northeast and vacuumed up more delegates than even the most generous predictions foresaw. He is gaining high-profile ­endorsements by the day — a legendary Indiana basketball coach Wednesday, two House committee chairmen Thursday. And his ­rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are making the kind of rushed tactical moves that signal desperation.

The party is at a turning point. Republican stalwarts opposed to Trump remain fearful of the damage the unconventional and unruly billionaire might inflict on the party’s down-ballot candidates in November. But many also now see him as the all-but-certain nominee and are exhausted by the prospect of a contested July convention, according to interviews this week with more than a dozen party figures from coast to coast.

“People are realizing that he’s the likely nominee,” said Tim Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor and onetime endorser of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. “The hysteria has died down, and the range of emotion is from resignation to enthusiasm.”

In Colorado — where Cruz outfoxed Trump in a series of clamorous meetings earlier this month to win all of the state’s 34 available delegates — former state party chairman Dick Wadhams said, “Fatigue is probably the perfect description of what people are feeling.”

He continued: “There is an acceptance, a resignation or whatever, that Trump is going to be the nominee. More and more people hope he wins that nomination on the first ballot because they do not want to see a convention that explodes into total chaos. People just want this to be over with — and we need a nominee.”

With likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton pivoting to a general election and her well-funded allies readying for a full-out assault, Republicans are eager to unite quickly. Some are fearful that waiting until the convention in Cleveland to pick a nominee would put the party at a disadvantage in raising money and engaging the Democrats.

“The lion’s share of Republicans want the process settled,” said Mike Dennehy, a veteran New ­Hampshire-based party strategist. “There’s anxiety setting in about the process, and that’s what people are tired of. They just want it done, they want the fighting to stop, and they want a general-election campaign to begin in a meaningful way.”

So does Trump. Celebrating his sweep in Tuesday’s primaries, he declared himself the “presumptive nominee.” At a rally the next day in Indianapolis, he proclaimed, “We’re just about ready to put it away, folks.”

Cruz is pushing back on the idea that Trump is nearing a lock on the nomination. He took the unusual step Wednesday of choosing a running mate, businesswoman Carly Fiorina. The new ticket, as well as independent groups opposed to Trump, see Indiana’s primary on Tuesday as their best — and perhaps last — chance to derail the front-runner and deny him the nomination.

Opposition to Trump still runs strong in parts of the GOP establishment. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a vocal Trump critic and former presidential candidate, praised Cruz’s pick of Fiorina in a CNN interview that aired Thursday — in part because he said “she takes on Trump really well.”

(…)

“Trump has become a fact rather than a problem,” said Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who has offered informal advice to Trump but has not endorsed him. “Show me mathematically how you’re going to stop him. This all assumes, by the way, that the guy who wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ can’t figure out a way to make a deal with the undecided delegates.”

Republican consultants across the country are singing the same tune. Reed Galen in Southern California said: “Is it a done deal? It’s certainly looking that way.” In Georgia, Tom Perdue said, “If you go to barbershops in Atlanta, you’ll hear people say they never thought he’d end up being the nominee, but for the most part people think he will be the nominee.”

On Thursday, Trump’s top campaign adviser, Paul Manafort, was on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and press his case that Trump is becoming the de facto GOP standard-bearer.

Two prominent GOP establishment congressmen — Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, and Jeff Miller of Florida, who chairs the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee — endorsed Trump on Thursday.

“It’s time for our party to unite behind Donald Trump and focus our time and energy on defeating Hillary Clinton,” Shuster said in a statement.

That echoes what Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday in a Facebook posting calling for an end to the “Never Trump” movement among conservatives: “Donald Trump is going to be our nominee, and he is going to be on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President. The Republican leaders in Washington did not choose him, but the Republican voters across America did choose him. The voters have spoken.”

In other words, we have essentially come to the same point in the 2016 cycle that every previous cycle has come to, the point at which it is clear that the candidate in the lead is going to be the nominee and that continuing to fight the inevitable will only end up harming the party and the inevitable nominee. In reality, if we were talking about any potential nominee other than Trump, this process would have begun a week ago after Trump won big in New York and Texas Senator Ted Cruz was mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination. This week seems to have been a turning point, though. First, Trump scored big wins in the Mid-Atlantic primaries which brought him within 250 delegates of clinching the nomination. Then, the Cruz campaign gave us  the twin stunts of a pathetically executed “deal” between Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich to divide up many of the primaries between now and the end of the process on June 7th in what seems like a quixotic effort to deny Trump a delegate majority that quickly fell apart, and the exceedingly odd decision to name Carly Fiorina as his “running mate” even though he is eliminated from winning the nomination on the first ballot. All of this, combined with the general desire to bring a long primary process to an end so the party can shift focus to November, seems to be motivating Republicans who have spent the last several months lamenting the prospect of Donald Trump at the top of their ticket at least partly coming to accept a reality that was becoming apparent as early as mid-February when Trump scored a big win in the South Carolina Primary.

To be sure, not every Republican is bowing to the inevitable just yet. For one thing, the so-called “Never Trump” movement appears to be alive and well and includes a wide swath of Republicans who claim that they will not support Trump even if he becomes the Republican nominee. Whether these people will stick to their word will have to wait until Election Day, of course, but one suspects that many of them most likely will. Indeed, with Trump now effectively clinching the nomination we’re likely to see a sizable contingent of the GOP shift their focus to down ballot races in an effort to minimize the expected negative impact of a Trump candidacy. We’re unlikely to see Rob Portman campaigning with Donald Trump in Ohio, for example, or Kelly Ayotte hitting the trail with him in New Hampshire. The negative consequences of doing so in swing states would obviously outweigh any benefits that these candidates might receive.

The Cruz and Kasich campaigns, meanwhile, continue to act as if they are involved in a competitive primary battle with Trump even though both of them are mathematically eliminated from securing a majority of delegates before the convention. This week, that strategy is focused on the primary in Indiana, which takes place next Tuesday. As of now, though, Trump holds a narrow lead in the Hoosier State and it’s widely assumed that he will have effectively wrapped up the nomination if he manages to pull off a win there Tuesday night. Even if he doesn’t, though, it seems clear that Trump still has a good chance to get a delegate majority even without an Indiana win thanks to what are expected to be big wins in California and New Jersey. In other words, at this point Trump’s win seems to be more a matter of “when” than “if,” and as a result Republicans from all corners of the party will have to decide for themselves how to deal with that.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:

    press his case that Trump is becoming the de facto GOP standard-bearer.

    Accepting him as the nominee is one thing, accepting this proposition will be hard to swallow for a lot of the GOP.

  2. Jen says:

    I am wondering how this will all play out. I was listening to NPR yesterday in a bit about voters in Indiana. One, who said he was previously going to vote for Trump said he was switching to Cruz because of Trump’s comments on transgender bathroom access. Will social conservatives vote for him in the general? Will women Republicans? My mother, a stalwart Republican voter, has said she will not vote the top of the ticket if it’s Clinton v. Trump. I’ve heard similar sentiment from other female Republicans I know, but I’m wondering if this is a response to current news or if it is a set-in-stone feeling. I can’t shake the feeling that Trump manages to reinvent himself with zero consequences and wonder if he’ll somehow manage to pull this off.

    So, on to the veepstakes: who is he going to put on the ticket?

  3. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Jen: His choice has to be someone who does not care about their reputation or political aspirations in the future. It can’t be a clown (Palin). Would he consider someone like William Boykin, maybe not Boykin himself but someone of that ilk?

  4. C. Clavin says:

    The Republican problem has become a nightmare.
    Once he is the actual nominee we will all be able to see clearly which Republicans care about their country, and which ones are simply toe-the-line partisans.
    No one that cares about the U. S. of A. can possibly support this buffoon.

  5. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Good question. Many people who describe themselves as social conservatives–people you’d think would be Cruz’s natural constituency–have abandoned their alleged beliefs because their top priority is building the wall and expelling Mexicans and Muslims from the country. (I suspect a lot of social conservatism is simply the desire to tyrannize over other people.) Cruz is, to these people, an establishment globalist who wants open borders.

    As for Trump’s v.p. pick? Who knows? Back in 1999, when he ran for the presidency on the Reform Party ticket (Jesse Ventura talked him into it), he said his ideal running mate would be Oprah Winfrey.

  6. Pch101 says:

    John Boehner said that he would vote for Trump, but not for Cruz. Funny how this is working out.

    Perhaps some of the establishment GOP will see Trump as a useful tool for making Cruz irrelevant. If a Clinton presidency seems inevitable, then it might make sense for an establishment Republican to allow Trump and Cruz to both fail on their own and to avoid the blowback that could come from trying to support another candidate in a brokered convention.

  7. John D'Geek says:

    As was quoted above, he did write “The Art of the Deal” so he’s not as clueless as he appears at first glance. And, as one who mis-predicted his demise long, long ago … the rules don’t seem to apply to him.

    I fully expect him to pick one of the female combat vets on Capitol Hill for his running mate: not only will that give him some of the experience and discipline he lacks, she would be his complementary opposite … and would go a long way towards wooing back disaffected Republicans.

    Not to mention calming the nerves of the all-too-important independents.

    That, added to the fact that Hillary can’t take two political steps without tripping over herself … this election is far from obvious.

    Although, this whole thing would make a good episode of the Twilight Zone come to think of it …

  8. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    I’ve wondered that myself. If a Clinton presidency is in the cards–and I think it is–if I were part of the Republican leadership, I’d shrug and say: “Fine. Let the idiots have their fringe candidate, who will lose resoundingly, and maybe that will shut them up.”

    Trump supporters are convinced that their man will win in a yuuuuggee landslide (Cruzites don’t have that confidence, but the point is moot, since he’s not going to be the nominee.) When Trump’s crushed by Clinton, maybe they’ll vanish.

  9. al-Ameda says:

    Just when Republican Party base activists thought that, finally, finally, this would be the year they would get their chance to get a true (non-RINO) Republican at the top of the ticket – (((bam)))) Trump happens.

    I honestly believe that if the second place guy was anybody but Ted Cruz there might be a better than 1 percent chance to derail Trump. But Cruz is arrogant and malevolent, and it’s hard to get past that – people can deal with ‘reserved’ and ‘cool’ or ‘corporate’ and Ted is none of that.

  10. Rafer Janders says:

    @John D’Geek:

    I fully expect him to pick one of the female combat vets on Capitol Hill for his running mate:

    Well, except they’re all Democrats.

  11. CSK says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Well, there’s Joni Ernst, who was a company commander in Kuwait, but I don’t think she can stand to be in the same zip code as Trump, let alone the same ticket.

  12. wr says:

    @CSK: “As for Trump’s v.p. pick? Who knows?”

    I’d say anyone who ever saw The Apprentice and noticed that when Trump fired someone, there was always a cut to his two assistants — in early years Trump company execs, later almost exclusively his kids — who would immediately say “that’s really the right choice” and “there was nothing else to do.”

    What Trump wants in a second banana is someone who will instantly agree with everything he says and tell him he’s a genius for saying it.

    I’d say this rules out anyone who has ever accomplished anything in his life, but watching Chris Christie over the last few weeks strongly suggests he’s auditioning hard for the part.

  13. C. Clavin says:
  14. Pch101 says:

    Bruce Bartlett has been an Obama supporter. Not sure that he represents very many voices within the GOP.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/obama-is-a-republican/

  15. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    The thing is that Boehner tried to allow the Tea Party to flame out by giving them their shutdown. But that didn’t work because the Teahadists blamed Boehner for the failure even though he gave them what they wanted.

    The wake-up call approach isn’t going to work, as the extremists will never take responsibility for their failures. So I don’t think that would be the motivation for allowing this to play out.

    Rather, the goal may be to avoid the risks that come from overtly meddling with the convention. A passive-aggressive strategy would probably be much safer for the establishment. If a Republican defeat in November is likely anyway, then why take ownership of it?

  16. CSK says:

    @Pch101:

    I think what I’m describing is pretty much a passive-aggressive strategy: “They want Trump? Let them have him; we’re going to lose anyway.” Of course the extremists won’t ever publicly accept responsibility. But when Trump loses to Clinton worse than Goldwater did to Johnson, it may penetrate even the thickest of skulls that he wasn’t the universally beloved savior they thought he was.

    @wr:

    Yep. Whoever it is will have to be a complete yes man or yes woman. If he really wants to lose resoundingly, he could pick Palin.

  17. grumpy realist says:

    I suspect it will only be a nanosecond after the coronation of Donald Trump as Republican Party that 99% of those “never Trump” people will change their minds and support him. Anything is better than Hillary, y’know.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump gets elected POTUS. The anti-Hillary feeling on the right beats the anti-Donald feeling.

    Oh well, the USA had a nice run while it lasted. We’re going to learn the hard way that stupidity hurts.

  18. Jen says:

    @wr:

    watching Chris Christie over the last few weeks strongly suggests he’s auditioning hard for the part.

    Agree. I think they might be taking the term “bully pulpit” a bit too literally if that ends up being the ticket. Blech.

  19. Tony W says:

    @Jen: I think Trump is just playing Christie for a chump. The eye-rolls and smirks betray true feelings.

  20. Pch101 says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t think that anyone is expecting the Tea Party brigade to wise up. They can be marginalized, but expecting them to learn their lesson is another matter entirely.

  21. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Jen: I don’t think Christie will be willing to sacrifice his political future on a VP run, I think he’s banking on a cabinet position (AG). I still think the VP choice would be someone to back up the neocon alarmism (“The world has never been more dangerous.”) foreign policy.

  22. Gustopher says:

    For any Republican who wonders why liberals assume the worst of Republicans, I present the compelling evidence of Donald Trump. He is winning your primaries. His only qualifications are being a racist carnival barker with orange skin. He’s a dim-witted bully. And the base loves him.

    Secondary evidence is Ted Cruz, but at least he believes in something.

    To paraphrase the distinguished Mr. Trump, the Republican base isn’t filled with the best people — there are Trump supporters, Cruz supporters, Fiorina supporters, and, I assume, a few good people as well.

  23. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “I suspect it will only be a nanosecond after the coronation of Donald Trump as Republican Party that 99% of those “never Trump” people will change their minds and support him.”

    Nah, they won’t have to change their minds, because as soon as Trump gets the nomination they will ALWAYS have supported him.

  24. wr says:

    @wr: Oh, until he loses. Then they will ALWAYS have opposed him.

  25. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: I agree with you. For a Republican to not vote for Trump would require an integrity which has not been demonstrated. There are going to be a lot of people voting against Clinton and not for Trump.

    Still at the end of the day, I would rather have Trump than Cruz. And I think that Trump will do less damage to the country than Cruz.

  26. grumpy realist says:

    @Scott: Oh God, yes. Trump will blunder around like the proverbial bull in a china shop and cause the US to lose most of the soft power it has accumulated, not to mention piss off everybody the US happens to conduct trade with, but he’s not Cruz. Cruz will gladly see the rest of the world dissolve in a sea of fire in order to bring his version of the Rapture about, never mind what he would do to the 80% of Americans he disapproves of.

    Both of them, however, will go blindly charging off the cliff because neither one of them has the humility to step back and say: is it possible that my assumptions are wrong?

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Pch101:

    Not sure that he represents very many voices within the GOP.

    No…of course not. He is a Conservative.

  28. Jenos Idanian says:

    Last night, Trump held a rally in California. A mob of anti-Trump protesters (many waving Mexican flags) promptly rioted, including trashing a police car.

    This brings up two interesting questions:

    1) How will this get spun to be Trump’s fault?

    2) Do the people screaming, yelling, rioting, beating people, trashing a cruiser, and whatnot while waving Mexican flags actually think they’re hurting Trump’s campaign? Don’t they realize that they’ve just created a Trump ad for the general?

  29. Jenos Idanian says:

    I’m sorry, I forgot the link.

    Police clashed with protesters outside Donald Trump’s rally in Costa Mesa, California Thursday night
    One group of protesters was filmed trying to flip over a police car outside the Pacific Amphitheater where he spoke
    Hundreds of demonstrators flooded the streets, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition
    One Trump supporter was seen bloodied after being punched in the face, while about 20 people were arrested

  30. Just "nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Jeb Bush, a vocal Trump critic and former presidential candidate, praised Cruz’s pick of Fiorina in a CNN interview that aired Thursday — in part because he said “she takes on Trump really well.”

    And he’s the smarter brother? Really? After seeing how well she did taking on Trump during the debates? No wonder these guys are in the disarray they are in.

  31. Just "nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Answers:
    1. I don’t know, but I also doubt that Trump supporters–including the newly converted GOP elite– will care much.
    2. I can’t imagine why they would think that it’s a good idea, but aren’t we supposed to defend the rights of everyone to exercise their free speech rights as long as some guy named Jenos can show that Democrats–or their perceived allies–are doing anything at all–even it it is completely dissimilar?

    (And when are you going back to work anyway?)

  32. Scott says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Don’t they realize that they’ve just created a Trump ad for the general?

    Unfortunately, I agree with you.

  33. Just "nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Will Cruz throw what Herman Cain said on “The Greta on Fox” show last night was his last hail mary long bomb–asking to be considered for VEEP?

  34. Jenos Idanian says:

    Come on, people! You’re letting me down! SOMEHOW this riot has to be Trump’s fault, not those innocent, Mexican-flag-waving, car-smashing, face-punching, rock-throwing exemplars of tolerance and love and compassion! Can’t you find some way of pinning this on Trump?

  35. John D'Geek says:

    @C. Clavin:

    No one that cares about the U. S. of A. can possibly support this buffoon.

    You forget whom his opponent is: Hillary’s e-mail scandal is quite serious, especially if you know something about national security standards. The Honest Republican (TM) is being given a choice between The Buffoon(TM) and The Criminal(TM) who put “methods and sources” out “in the clear”.

    And “none of the above” is not a valid choice …

  36. CB says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I mean, you’re not wrong. I saw that and wanted to pull my hair out.

    But what I already see is people saying “SEE! We told you it was the left causing the trouble!” and using that to whitewash the violence on the part of Trump supporters and Trump himself.

  37. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CB: whitewash the violence on the part of Trump supporters and Trump himself.

    Feel free to cite examples.

  38. J-Dub says:

    Half the GOP wants someone like Mitt Romney and the other half want a Donald Trump.

    A. Seems like two parties in the making, maybe the Tea Party splitting off
    B. If not, how will they ever agree on someone that can compete?

  39. J-Dub says:

    With a nod to The Onion, Cruz’s choice of Fiorina makes perfect sense. Someone has to fire all those staffers.

  40. CB says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Seriously?

    “There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience. So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell— I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise. It won’t be so much ’cause the courts agree with us too”

    Not to mention this stuff…https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/10/trump-protester-sucker-punched-at-north-carolina-rally-videos-show/

  41. steve s says:

    The no-name jesus freaks are going with Cruz. The big-name jesus freaks are going with Trump, because Jesus likes a winner.

  42. Neil Hudelson says:

    @CB:

    Ok, but besides all of that, has a Trump supporters ever been violent?
    Also besides the death threats.

    Also besides the Trump fans who pepper sprayed a girl.

    And besides the trump protestor who was assaulted because he “boo’ed.”

    But besides all of those, and the ones you listed, can you cite a single time a Trump protestor has been violent?

    I bet you can’t.

    And if you can, it doesn’t count.

  43. CB says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Right? And my examples came from, literally, 4 seconds of googling. I can’t wait to hear how Trump’s own words don’t amount to condoning violence.

  44. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    This was the guy that ended up with a bloody face wading out into the anti Trump protestors with a grimace and a bottle of pepper spray. That might go some way towards explaining his bloody nose. What do you think an anti Trump protestor that waded into a crowd of Trump supporters with a bottle of pepper spray would end up looking like?

  45. Mikey says:

    @C. Clavin: Bartlett:

    I think that Trump is a symptom of a disease of rampant stupidity, pandering to morons and bigots and racists and all the sort of stuff that defines today’s Republican coalition.

    Well, he’s certainly not wrong about that.

    Whether Trump is the vehicle to accomplish Bartlett’s desired burning-down-the-GOP, and whether that burned-down GOP would rise, a political phoenix, from the ashes of its Trump-driven destruction, are far more debatable.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    How will this get spun to be Trump’s fault?

    I’m not justifying the rioters.
    But if you go around the country saying incredibly ignorant and racist things about people, like Trump is, there are going to be repercussions.
    You think they would have rioted if there wasn’t a bigoted xenophobe speaking there and saying ridiculous lies about them?
    You’re probably in denial because of your luck in life…being born a white male in the US is like winning the lottery…but Trump is en-flaming racial tensions, white boy.
    I know you think that Trump can say anything he wants and there should be zero reaction. Because you think all the minorities should sit down and shut up and stop bothering you white victims.
    That’s about as sensible as the rest of your positions.

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @CB: So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?

    What would be more to your liking?

    “So if you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, just step back and get out of the way. Maybe yell a warning so others don’t try to interfere. Whatever you do, don’t interfere with a liberal’s God-given right to exercise their rights to free speech to the exclusion of anyone else’s, their right to get violent when provoked, their right to do whatever the hell they want in the name of their innate moral superiority and then blame you for provoking them and creating the environment that left them with no choice to get violent.”

    That about sum it up?

  48. gVOR08 says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I believe C’s suggestion was that Trump should refrain from saying things that are deliberately calculated to provoke protest.

  49. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    That about sum it up?

    Thru the eyes of a flaming racist? Yup.

  50. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Too bad they didn’t have skittle, eh Jenos? Then killing them would be justified.

  51. CB says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    That is so specific as to be absurd. No one was throwing tomatoes, or anything else. The guy was protesting belligerently. And then being led out by security. And then…he was being cold cocked by a Trump supporter. That’s cool to you? And you go on about how liberals are precious flowers?

    Once more, when Trump said that, no one was being violent. No one was throwing tomatoes. People were, however, getting slugged at rallies just for being there and being kind of annoying. Trump knows what he’s saying, and you’re being disingenuous.

  52. CB says:

    @gVOR08:

    More or less this

  53. Nikki says:

    @Jenos Idanian: So you believe Trump should continue encouraging his supporters to assault his protestors?

  54. Grumpy Realist says:

    I’d call Trump My Lord Shaftsbury, but I doubt anyone would catch the reference…

  55. CB says:

    @Nikki:

    He’s saying that Trump only meant if they see someone gearing up to throw a tomato, or otherwise commit assault, that they should step in and, ahem, stop the fruit flinger. If anyone believes that, I’ve got a bridge to sell them. When he says this he’s throwing red meat to his base, which would love to see some pansy liberals put in their place. Whether Trump really wants that, who knows, but he knows his base will love it. And it’s disgusting and rhetorically irresponsible.

  56. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “A mob of anti-Trump protesters (many waving Mexican flags) promptly rioted, including trashing a police car.”

    How do you know they were anti-Trump protestors? Just because their actions took place outside a Trump rally?

    Sure, some small-minded people might jump to that conclusion, but you clearly stated in another thread that it’s impossible to understand the motivations for any action unless you can read the mind of the actor. Remember? This is how you defended the Republicans who were impeaching Clinton and elevating the child molester. There was simply no way of knowing what was going on in their minds.

    But now you have psychic abilities when it comes to protestors?

  57. An Interested Party says:

    SOMEHOW this riot has to be Trump’s fault…

    No one who opposes Trump needs to grasp at such straws…Trump himself has provided plenty of material to be used against him…

  58. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    What would be more to your liking?

    “So if you see someone getting ready to throw a tomato, just step back and get out of the way. Maybe yell a warning so others don’t try to interfere. Whatever you do, don’t interfere with a liberal’s God-given right to exercise their rights to free speech to the exclusion of anyone else’s, their right to get violent when provoked, their right to do whatever the hell they want in the name of their innate moral superiority and then blame you for provoking them and creating the environment that left them with no choice to get violent.” Let security handle it”…

    That was easy…

    – See more at: https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/republicans-resigning-themselves-to-trump-being-their-nominee/#sthash.71Z6kddF.dpuf

  59. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Scott: Scott is so right. I’m old enough to remember the 1968 Chicago convention where the rioters handed the victory to Nixon.

  60. An Interested Party says:

    I’m old enough to remember the 1968 Chicago convention where the rioters handed the victory to Nixon.

    Except, of course, that was at the Democratic convention…I doubt that such chaos in Cleveland will help Trump…

  61. Mr. Prosser says:

    @An Interested Party: Oh, I think it will, DFH’s storming their betters and the media showing the alternative to Trump

  62. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Unless you can show me some Trump supporter throwing the first punch, no. But you can go ahead and blame it on him because a Sander’s supporter said “boooo” at a Hillary rally and say it’s the same thing if you want. Go ahead! It’ll make you feel better! And then you can berate yourself for unfairly criticizing Trump.

  63. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Oh, so you’re in favor of retaliatory violence by Trump supporters. Good to know.

    (Cue “F-off ya worthless git” in 5…4…3…2…)

  64. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Grumpy Realist: I can understand why. A yahoo search gave me 3 or 4 of them.

  65. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    And in yet another variation of the “theater of the absurd” quality of this season, from Yahoo News:
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-gop-has-split-into-trump-and-ryan-wings-203522305.html

  66. stonetools says:

    As far as anti Trump demonstrations go, I’m torn. Those protestors have a First Amendment right to protest peacefully, but effective peaceful protest takes discipline. Undisciplined peaceful protest can lead to chaos and just the kind of video that can be spun as “riots” , even if 99 per cent of the protestors are non-violent.
    Also too, I take note of Napoleon’s dictum : “Never interrupt your enemy while they are making a terrible mistake.” Trump is leading the Republicans to what will likely be a chaotic convention and an historic general election defeat. Don’t distract media attention from that just because you want to do your leftist protest thing.

  67. Todd says:

    The best thing that could happen for Hillary Clinton is if Republicans are somehow successful in wresting the nomination away from Trump. Once Republicans accept, then eventually coalesce around Trump as their nominee, Democrats are likely to find themselves in a much more “interesting” and competitive race than most of them seem to be counting on.

  68. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:Oh, so you’re in favor of retaliatory violence by Trump supporters. Good to know.

    Another term for “retaliatory voilence” are “self-defense,” and it’s a fundamental human right. Generally, I’m in favor of self-defense, of answering violence with violence.

    Gandhi’s principles work well sometimes, not others. He also recommended that the Jews not resist the Nazi genocide.

    In many cases, violence is best answered by violence. Violence unanswered often simply encourages more aggression. And in cases where the aggressors have convinced themselves that they have not only the moral right, but obligation, to act violently, not facing “retaliatory violence” is taken as a sign that their violence is acceptable.

    (Cue “F-off ya worthless git” in 5…4…3…2…)

    Sorry, not this time. I save that for the truly worthless gits. I think I have three on that list, and you didn’t make the cut.

  69. Jenos Idanian says:

    At least the Thursday riots were a one-off thing, not the beginning of a trend, and we can all just MoveOn from this…

    Whoops, it happened Friday night, too.

    Well, twice isn’t necessarily a trend. Twice in two days isn’t necessarily a trend. I’m sure these were aberrations, and won’t happen again…

  70. Jenos Idanian says:

    Hell, I’ll even go out on a limb and predict that there will be no anti-Trump riots like this in Cleveland, at the GOP convention. I mean, what are the odds?

  71. Jen says:

    @Todd:

    Once Republicans accept, then eventually coalesce around Trump as their nominee, Democrats are likely to find themselves in a much more “interesting” and competitive race than most of them seem to be counting on.

    Perhaps. I certainly would not underestimate Mr. Trump, as he has managed to blunder and bully his way to being the nominee.

    I did find this recent polling by Pew very interesting, as this is not the pattern of support the GOP would hope for going into the election.

  72. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I was thinking of the first one in the time of Charles II….

    I note that Wikipedia is downplaying one of Shaftesbury’s most noted contributions to English political tactics–his deliberate gingering up and use of the “mobile unit” (which we now call mob) in order to put pressure on the other side.

  73. al-Ameda says:

    @Jen:

    I did find this recent polling by Pew very interesting, as this is not the pattern of support the GOP would hope for going into the election.

    To me, he interesting thing about that poll is that Republican Party negatives have been trending up for years however because they’ve hard-wired their control of a lot of smaller and mid-sized states they’ve managed to take control of the House and Senate.

    These days Americans are unquestionably more dumbed down than ever – a Trump victory is not out of the question.

  74. Pch101 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    a Trump victory is not out of the question.

    I would say that the electoral vote map makes a GOP victory next to impossible.

    If you use the 2012 map as a starting point, it’s difficult to see how the Republicans could possibly win. Even if the Dems manage to lose Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire, they still win. Something bizarre perfect storm would have to happen in order to change this.

  75. Barry says:

    @Mr. Prosser: “I don’t think Christie will be willing to sacrifice his political future on a VP run, I think he’s banking on a cabinet position (AG).”

    Does he have a plausible political future?

  76. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Barry: You never know. If he accepts VP he’ll definitely be tied forever to Trump and (I hope) a yuge loser. If he waits for a cabinet slot of the chance Trump wins then he wins. If Trump loses then Christie can sneak off like Carl at the end of Caddyshack.

  77. Tyrell says:

    Violence and mayhem at Trump rallies in California:
    roads blocked, windows smashed, looting, police cars destroyed, innocent people attacked, people breaking down barriers, police attacked.
    This was the work of highly organized radical, extremist groups whose goal is to destroy the democratic election process and replace it with a communist dictatorship.

  78. stonetools says:

    The “stop Trump” movement in the Republican Party is over:

    There was grizzled RNC committeeman Ron Kaufman likening Trump to Reagan. There was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s half-hearted endorsement of Ted Cruz. There was former House Speaker John Boehner’s confession that he and Trump are texting buddies and golfing partners. There’s the slew of endorsements (and a prediction by Trump campaign officials that another wave is coming after Indiana votes next week). It’s adding up to a slow but steady coalescing around the man once considered so vile to the GOP base that he’d rip the party to shreds.
    “We’ve had enough intraparty fighting. Now’s the time to stitch together a winning coalition,” said Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah. “And it’s been clear almost from the beginning that Donald Trump has the ability to assemble a nontraditional bloc of supporters. … The ability to cut across traditional party boundaries — like ’80, ’92 and 2008 — will be key, and Trump is much better positioned to achieve that.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/gop-stop-trump-breaks-222660#ixzz47K8dgTbQ
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    I expect Trump to get to 1,237 or close enough that it makes no difference, and then to get nominated at the convention after a brief struggle. For VP, he’ll probably pick some “unity candidate” establishment Republican and the Party will fall in line. There’s going to be some bullsh&t punditry by the usual media suspects about a “Republican Civil War”, but I bet there will be nothing above the level of the now forgotten 1976 Republican convention.

  79. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: Seriously?

  80. steve s says:

    These days Americans are unquestionably more dumbed down than ever

    this statement is not just wrong, it’s ridiculous.

  81. Tyrell says:

    @gVOR08: Well, that is what they showed on some news stories. Some people had gone hog wild.
    Blocking legitimate travel simply punishes innocent people who are trying to get home, to work, on vacation, or even emergency trips.

  82. Barry says:

    Just “nutha ig’rant cracker says:

    “Jeb Bush, a vocal Trump critic and former presidential candidate, praised Cruz’s pick of Fiorina in a CNN interview that aired Thursday — in part because he said “she takes on Trump really well.”

    And he’s the smarter brother? Really? After seeing how well she did taking on Trump during the debates? No wonder these guys are in the disarray they are in.”

    In 1988, Bush I basically promised Regan’s third term with some improvement – blowout.
    In 2000, Gore basically promised Clintojn’s third term with some improvements – squeaker. It’s now clear that Dubya only succeeded due to the press supporting him 100%.

    In ’16, Jeb failed miserably, despite having more money than the rest put together, because the media didn’t back hin 100%.

    It’s clear to me that both Dubya and Jeb are not competent. If they don’t have massive Establishment support, they flop.

  83. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    This was the work of highly organized radical, extremist groups whose goal is to destroy the democratic election process and replace it with a communist dictatorship.

    Yu know, I always wondered what it was like to smoke some fine Colombian.

  84. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: Geez, dude, do you get paid by the number of RWNJ cliches you shove into any sentence?

    You forgot “Marxist”, and “Obummer”, I see.

  85. Lynn says:

    @Gustopher: “Secondary evidence is Ted Cruz, but at least he believes in something.”

    He does, and what he believes in scares the hell out of me.

  86. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: Your reply to me has what to do with my challenge to your claim that

    This was the work of highly organized radical, extremist groups whose goal is to destroy the democratic election process and replace it with a communist dictatorship.

    Seriously?

  87. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Thanks! He’s the one I guessed you were thinking of, but I had it based on acts consolidating the powers of the peerage. I missed the mobile unit part.

  88. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @stonetools: Wow! Even Jon Huntsman? Wait a second; I get it now. This is one of those “revenge is a dish best served cold” things for Huntsman, isn’t it?

  89. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: If you want to read a cracking fun novel set in that time, track down a copy of “The Devil in Velvet” by John Dickson Carr. Shaftesbury shows up as one of the characters (a pretty major one). The obligatory locked-room murder mystery and explanation was a bit of a cheat IMO, but the swashbuckling and politics is so well done I didn’t mind. Reading Carr’s historical novels really gives you an impression of what it was like to live back then. (Carr also wrote “The Murder of Sir Edmund Godfrey”, which is an analysis of an actual unsolved murder mystery.)

  90. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Tyrell:

    This was the work of highly organized radical, extremist groups whose goal is to destroy the democratic election process and replace it with a communist dictatorship.

    And a happy international worker’s day to you, comrade!

    If one were to use the same investigative methods as you, as well as the same conspiratorial logic, could one not say that protest was in fact TRUMP supporters that wanted to gain their candidate sympathy… which then would pave the way for an autocratic dictatorship?

    Considering that we have seen THAT scenario played out on the world stage many more times, it is far more likely than your fevered supposition.

  91. Nam Marine says:

    YES ! VETERANS FOR TRUMP !

  92. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @grumpy realist: Could not agree more. I normally consider historical mysteries an inferior genre as a rule, but the Carr ones are really worth your while.

  93. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Nam Marine:

    YES ! VETERANS FOR TRUMP !

    You do realize that the Trump team has not accounted for the $6 Million that they collected as a gimmick not to participate in a debate, right?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/271712-report-trump-has-donated-less-than-half-of-6m-promised.

    And he petitioned the city of New York to keep Vets off the streets near his building, that was near a VA center…

    http://www.redstate.com/jaycaruso/2016/01/28/trump-veterans/

    A President Trump would likely make the Vet policies of Pres W Bush appear downright benevolent.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/veterans-affairs-backlogs-waiting-lists-george-bush

  94. Davebo says:

    @Tyrell: Cheap bourbon is not your friend!

  95. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Hahaha…conspiracy theories run rampant when you put bourbon on your pancakes!!!

  96. C. Clavin says:

    @Davebo:
    Damn…you beat me to it…

  97. al-Ameda says:

    @Nam Marine:

    YES ! VETERANS FOR TRUMP !

    lol
    … ooops … I meant, LOL!