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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Republican campaign 2016 strategy has miserably failed

"...one Republican said, (Cruz) seems “‘covered in a thick layer of people repellent.’”

Image result for GOP convention logo
It looks increasingly like the GOP convention in Cleveland Ohio will be a failed event.

It's difficult to understand how the Republicans strategy for the 2016 presidential campaign could have forseen the implosion now consuming the party. I have no insider information, but common sense tells me the strategy to win the White House is doomed. Evidently, the plan was to annoint Jeb Bush to be crowned "Bush III".  A few annoying competitors would be picked off because, frankly, nobody was going to give the others candidates enough money to compete against a Bush treasure chest. Just to make things look legitimate, the Republicans set up a series of southern state primaries to bolster the delegate vote to the magic number. 

All the political pomp and circumstance, if it had worked, would've inevitably led to the Cleveland Ohio Repubican convention in July, where a celebration would skyrocket the party into the White House. Taaaadaaaaa!  Obviously, this strategy has failed. Instead, as is reported in March 18th, "The Week", a biterly divided GOP is headed for a crack-up.

What happened

Donald Trump tightened his grip on the Republican nomination with a string of primary and caucus victories, giving him significant momentum going into crucial contests in Florida, Ohio, New York and beyond. The billionaire businessman swept to convincing victories in Michigan, Mississippi, and Hawaii, having won Louisiana and Kentucky. 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed his status as Trump’s most formidable rival, winning contests in Idaho, Kansas, and Maine and finishing second in the other races. Marco Rubio—once the hope of the Republican establishment—dropped out. The Florida senator won in Puerto Rico, but finished third or fourth everywhere else. Republican leaders’ last hope for denying Trump the nomination is crushed. Therefore, the state Republican parties are creating their own rules to rob Trump of delegates he has won. The nomination looks increasingly like it will be decided in a contested convention.

Trump’s victories came despite a renewed effort by Republicans to block his nomination. Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, made an unprecedented attack on Trump as “a phony, a fraud,” and a failed businessman, urging voters to back the other candidates in order to deny Trump a delegate majority and force a brokered convention. Some senior Republicans called for traditional conservatives to run a third-party candidate, even if it results in a Democratic victory. In the 11th GOP debate last week, Trump caused even more despair among party leaders by boasting about the size of his genitals, in response to Rubio’s jibes about the billionaire’s supposedly small hands. “I guarantee you,” Trump said, “there’s no problem.”

What the editorials said

“Contrary to what you’ve heard, the Republican presidential race isn’t over,” said The Wall Street Journal. Trump’s low support among late-deciding voters indicates that the recent barrage of attack ads and criticism by party leaders is having an effect. In addition, the businessman “nearly always loses a hypothetical one-on-one matchup” with his rivals.

“For the first time in four decades, Republicans face the real possibility of a contested convention,” said National​Review.com. 

If Trump arrives in Cleveland just shy of the delegate majority he needs, his supporters will “cry foul” if he isn’t nominated. But the process is designed to produce the best candidate for the general election, and the party is free under the rules to choose someone else. It shouldn’t be Rubio, said the Tampa Bay Times. The smooth-talking senator has always been “more talk than action, more gimmick than substance,” and the campaign has revealed that he’s “not prepared to be president.” 

What the columnists said

The “stop-Trump movement” needs to face reality, said Jonathan Tobin in CommentaryMagazine.com. If Kasich dropa out to let Cruz go one-on-one with Trump, the evangelical Texas senator will struggle to win “in the big Northern states that have yet to vote.” Ultimately, nothing will persuade the 35 to 40 percent of voters who blindly support Trump to abandon their leader. That will probably be “enough to win him the nomination.”

Either way, the party of Lincoln and Reagan is “shattering,” said Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal. If anti-Trump forces somehow do deny him the nomination, “his supporters will bolt, which will break the party.” If, on the other hand, Trump is crowned the head of the 
GOP in Cleveland on an anti-immigrant, anti-free-trade platform, principled conservatives and big donors will be so disgusted they’ll leave the party. Even if Trump loses the general election, said Ross Douthat in NYTimes.com, his “nomination will stamp his demagoguery with the party’s imprimatur” and leave Trump as “the face of the GOP brand” for years. The GOP as we know it “does look fated for a crack-up.”

So “what are anti-Trump Republicans to do?” asked Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. Cruz is also intolerable to most of us, since he’s actually moved to the right of Trump on illegal immigration, and as one Republican said, he seems “‘covered in a thick layer of people repellent.’” That leaves one alternative: Support a center-right third-party candidate, who could preserve the “core message of the party” until Trump and his vile brand have faded away.
A contested convention is a more realistic option, said David Brooks in The New York Times. A brokered convention “would be bedlam for a few days, but a broadly acceptable new option might emerge.” This is “a moment for audacity,” not resignation, because the future of the Republican Party is at stake.
Maine Writer observes- The Republican party is imploding, as a result of a strategy that clearly backfired. Indeed, the adversarial Democrats could not have forseen such failure inflicted on the GOP from within its own ranks. Of course, this GOP crises creates an opportunity for Democrats. Once and for all, the progressive agneda launched in the War on Poverty and in support of humaniarian goals like universal health care, can advanc. Who can claim the electoral college map's 2012 color scheme? Only Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders can take advantage of this Republican fiasco. Although they each see themselves as the next President of the United States, only one can be elected. Yet, it's better than 50/50 odds our next leader of the free world will, God willing, be a Democrat.   

In other words, Republicans are wasting their money by supporting a candidate doomed to loose (like "Cruz to loose" or "Drumpf") and trying unsuccessfully to sustain a failed political party.

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