Here’s the deal: If Trump thinks he doesn’t need to unify the GOP, then I say to hell with unity. If the delegates have the backbone and means to shut Trump out, then so be it. Let Trump go third party.When Trump won just 60% of the vote while unopposed in Nebraska on Tuesday night, it became more apparent that he cannot unite the party. So perhaps it's time to #FreeTheDelegates!
TheResurgent: In Nebraska, a state where Donald Trump won unopposed, he only got sixty percent of the vote. Not only did he get just sixty percent of the vote, but the state experienced a low turn out among Republicans. Put another way, forty percent of Republicans who showed up cast votes for candidates other than Trump, which essentially now really does amount to a protest vote against Trump.That would drive the Trumpkins absolutely nuts...err, nuttier. But here me out (or rather, Steve Berman piecing it together on this next piece). Trump has already stated that he doesn't need to unite the party and doesn't need conservatives, so...to hell with unity! The Republican Party is a private party that makes its own rules, so... #FreeTheDelegates!
Some of those are early votes to be sure, but that is still a pretty significant protest vote against Trump on the day of the election.
Donald Trump cannot and will not unite the party. As another example of that, today Trump is doubling down on his attack over John McCain’s record for no other reason than he thinks his poll numbers went up because of it.
This is going to be a disaster for the GOP with a candidate the actual party membership does not want. Trump is being forced on the GOP by a lot of voters who actually are not committed to the long term survival of the GOP.
The delegates can free themselves. They should look at Nebraska as a red flag. They should prepare in Cleveland to unbind themselves and save the GOP and the nation from the Schadenfreudenfuhrer.
Whatever the “free the delegates” plan is, it’s a heck of a longshot.Berman concludes:
The idea is, at best, a complete long shot because it would require the 112-member convention rules committee to agree to such a change, and delegates on the convention floor to support it as well.I reached out to Bayne, who told me “If Trump (really Cruz) delegates hold out at a separate location and don’t show up for a vote, there will continue to be so many votes that eventually all delegates will be completely free to vote how they want.”
Radio host Ian Bayne unveiled the idea, labeled Save Our Party, last Friday after Trump’s last GOP opponent dropped out.
Essentially Bayne wants Cruz-supporting Cleveland delegates to hole up until after the first ballot. Written on the website saveourparty.com:
Organize separately as delegates to the 2016 Republican convention at an undisclosed location until such a time as we can not be held to a vote for any particular candidate;I’m not sure how this plan would work out–it’s for the lawyers to kick around–and I think the rules committee would have to go along, no matter what.
Work together to agree upon an acceptable nominee that will, above all else, nominate a member of the Supreme Court that will serve in the spirit of our founding documents;
Nominate a Republican candidate that will serve as a caretaker of our Constitution and our rule of law for a period of 4 years;
We, as Delegates, are the last line of defense, and we will act within our authority to live up to that responsibility.
If the plan succeeded, I’d expect the GOP to go up in flames. I’d burn down the party to keep Trump from hijacking it. Not everyone agrees on that. At this point, conservatives are in full rout, every man for himself, with no banner under which to gather.
We’ve got millions of conservative voters thinking about giving up on what is not going to be a quick and easy war.Hey, choosing a Democrat out of the entire field of potentially half-decent Republicans, a few I'd put in the exceptional category, is suicide in and of itself. So this Hell Mary isn't so outlandish comparatively.
I say fight. I say go full Samson. I say become William Tecumseh Sherman and march all the way from Cleveland to the sea. If the GOP wants to self-destruct, let it happen, but don’t let a charlatan hijack it.
ADDENDUM: Berman updates the situation on the ground with the demand for delegates to unite, encouraging them to hold the party accountable to them and not the other way around...
TheResurgent: I can’t think of a more cringeworthy scene than Donald Trump at the podium in Cleveland, blathering on about winning to a room full of stone-faced, arms-crossed delegates hurling catcalls and boos. But here we are.
“These are the jokes, kid.” Billy Crystal’s go-to line when his act hits a dead spot. The GOP is going to be one enormous dead spot for Trump. I mean it’s hard to barely win a primary when you’re the only candidate running. The only remaining candidate got to where he is by leveraging delegate allocation rules to maximize his “bound” delegates without actually fielding those party delegates at the local and state level.
Between now and Cleveland, the peer pressure on delegates to get on the Trump Train will be immense, but disingenuous. It will be more like frat kids telling the pledges to drink or face shame, or get that co-ed drunk and take her up to the bedroom or you’re not a man. Or jump off that cliff into the deep, cold, dark water filling the quarry. Don’t be a wimp.
I suggest that the wimps are the people who go along with the crowd because the crowd wants to feel validated. Most of the delegates in Cleveland will be dispirited Cruz or Rubio supporters who don’t necessarily mix well with each other, never mind Trump cultists. They’ll be there with gritted teeth. They’ll be likely to boo and heckle instead of clap and cheer.
Nothing Trump could say or do, short of dropping $100 bills as confetti over the convention floor, would move these delegates to be happy for his coronation. Saying bad things about Hillary Clinton can only go so far.
Either the party will free the delegates and force Trump to negotiate positions with the party about to nominate him (which by the way might offer him a better chance of–you know, winning–than he has running to the left of Hillary), or it will hold the delegates prisoner in Cleveland.
Delegates, you’re being sent a message: You will be made to unite. You don’t have to accept that message. Demand your freedom and demand your party be made to stand with you, not against you.