If you thought that Republican Party leaders would have come to their senses by now – that they would have noticed that there is no viable way to rob Donald Trump of the nomination without a voter exodus of epic proportions – then you were wrong. To the contrary, they are committed to the warpath, insisting that they have a 100-day campaign in place to ensure that Trump does not secure the 1.237 delegates he needs to shore up the nomination. And then, they can just…do whatever they want!
Even more strangely, they seem to understand that these shenanigans will probably cost them the election in November. In fact, they’ve devised a back-up plan that practically guarantees it. From The New York Times:
Should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism.
Among the recruits under discussion are Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator who has told associates that he would be open to running, and Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who was suggested as a possible third-party candidate at a meeting of conservative activists on Thursday in Washington.
Ah. That would be the same Rick Perry whose campaign failed to make it to the first primary? Good bet, guys. Your political savvy is on point. Although, it really doesn’t matter who you choose. You could resurrect George Washington and all it would do is ensure that Hillary Clinton is our next president.
Unfortunately, there are many in the party who are fine with that. Neoconservatives, who believe that America works best when it is fully entrenched in the Middle East, find more to appreciate in Clinton’s foreign policy than in Trump’s. And since many of them couldn’t care less about social conservatism, the prospect of putting Hillary in charge of the next two or three Supreme Court nominations suits them just fine. If they could rebuild the Republican Party without having to pay lip service to evangelicals, they would do it in a heartbeat.
Some conservatives, like Pat Buchanan, still believe that the party will come together around Trump when the convention finally arrives. They’ll drop the conspiracies and realize that these shenanigans will cost them a generation of national viability.
We can only hope. Right now, we’re on a shuttle hurtling straight for the destruction of the Republican Party, and it’s not because of Trump. It’s because of the donors and party leaders who are proving, day by day, how much they despise their own voters.