No Reince Priebus did NOT say that!

I’d like to issue a bit of a call to my fellow conservatives who have been sold (largely by rabid Tumpkins) that the GOP is out to work over the voters of their party.

“Calm down… it’s not going to be what they keep telling you it is going to be.”

I’ll admit I have regular bouts of insane conversations with conspiracy nuts who absolutely believe the GOP is trying to steal the election. They are almost 100% of the time Trump supporters, and they are doing it for a variety of reasons.

  1. Some are utterly ignorant of the process. Some of the loudest voices online and sadly on-air are those who feel like they’ve only been “allowed in” to the process for the first time in their lives in 2016. When asked about reasons why they’ve never voted before they say things like, “Oh yeah, well I was in the army, what’d you ever do for your country?” Great to know, but I don’t think being in uniform ever made you not vote. These folks “feel like” Trump is finally saying the things they’ve always wanted their elected leaders to say. The problem is they don’t know the other half of all things he’s said (even on the campaign trail) that completely contradict what they think he said that they liked. They don’t know how delegates are selected. They believe there shouldn’t even be a convention. And they think we all live in a democracy.
  2. Some believe the smears. As was evident in his campaign statement last night following his catastrophic loss in Wisconsin, the REAL Donald Trump is never far off from a tongue lashing especially if he got his third grade feelings hurt. So he says things, approves of things, and admits things aren’t true but allows, says, and admits them anyway because he’s angry. His most pure-hearted followers have forgiven him his many missteps in this areas because they are honest to goodness tired of the status quo and they are willing to put up with the non-sense even though they know its morally depraved. They’ve drank the kool-aid and believe that Donald really is being targeted by the media (in ways other conservatives haven’t been) and that they have to support this guy no matter who he smears merely to attempt the reform they genuinely want to see come about.
  3. Some completely know better but go along with it anyway. This is the group I really have a hard time with. Some of them have worked in politics. Some haven’t. Some have a book to sell, or media appearances to gain from this position so to heck with the commitment to conservative ideas and pushing forward the solutions that will help America. Some honestly believed Trump would turn out different, but now that they (and the world) see that he isn’t they are just unable to bring themselves to reverse course–hoping all along against hope itself that Trump isn’t going to wind up being even half as bad as he has been thus far.

Last night after the results were coming in, people in all three of the categories above believe they found the “smoking gun” that proves the theories that the GOP is out to steal the nomination process out from under the millions of voters who have put their hearts into 2016.

Reince Priebus is asked a simple few questions from Sean Hannity. Reince answers in a little bit of a clumsy way but he more or less assures the viewer of a few things:

  1. The GOP nominee will be required to assemble the 1237 delegate votes from the floor of the convention.
  2. The nominee will have to be someone who is “running.” (This effectively eliminates the helicopter candidate theory.)
  3. The nominee will have to live up to the bare minimum of Rule40b and win a majority of delegates in at least 8 states.
  4. The nominee will be one of the three men running in the race at present.

It’s that 4th assertion that Hannity (and every nutty Trumpkin in Trumpkinland) immediately jumped on.

“Ah hah!!!” they say, “See Priebus is indicating he’s going to insert John Kasich as the nominee.”

But there is zero evidence that Priebus is doing this, and even less evidence that he has any intention of doing it.

What he said was, “the nominee will be someone who is running, satisfies Rule40b, and reaches 1237.”

“Butttttttt Kev,” they respond breathlessly. “Kasich hasn’t hit the qualifications for Rule40b. Only Trump has,” they say.

Like I said, “Just… calm… down…”

Kasich as of today has not yet hit a majority in 8 states. He has hit a majority of delegates in 1 state. Which means he would need to hit the majority in seven more states before he qualifies.

But there are 19 more contests to go.

Suppose Le Tour de l’énorme infantile Terrible (#TrumpTrain) continues to implode. Suppose Kasich hits a hot streak in the Northeast and takes several states from Trump. How foolish would Priebus have looked in promising to only allow Cruz or Trump to be on the ballot at the convention if Kasich–by some miracle of the divine–garnered seven more delegate majorities?

It would have been WRONG for Priebus to promise to not let Kasich be in consideration if he has met the requirements–and with 19 states to go–anything could still happen.

Also realize this, by answering as he did, he also eliminated the possibility or smokey-deal-back-room muck that Trumpkins keep peddling. Jeb, Kasich, Ryan, nor Rubio are not going to be eligible for the second ballot because right now only two candidates have picked up delegate majorities in 8 or more states.

And for the record likely BOTH will add to the numbers they currently have. Presently Trump has delegate majorities in 10 states, Cruz has 9 states.

Had Sean changed the question to “If the convention were held today, would there be three people eligible for nomination.” And Priebus had said, “yes.” That would have been an actual “gotcha.”

But according to the rules that govern the process, according to the rules they all agreed to follow, and according to the expectation that the rules will not be pulled out from under everyone at the last minute…

Priebus answered exactly as he should have.

And even Trumpkins can take comfort in that!

Why “Contested” Is Not “Crooked”

It’s getting pretty tiring.

As we move closer to the GOP convention this summer, there is an increasing likelihood that GOP voters will face an unusual process.

The possibility of this process–I am constantly reminded–had “better be” determined by the voters.

Words like brokered and contested and open and fixed keep getting interchanged with one another. Most importantly, supporters of one candidate, also throw in an assumption–that what all those terms refer to is not only something the voters don’t have say over but that the process assumes those things are crooked and governed without rules.

Add to that the public idiocy of an unnamed GOP official who was dumb enough to tell a news outlet that the voting public doesn’t decide the nominee for the party, but that the party does.

It’s an idiotic thing to say because it’s both true and said in the most confusing way possible.

It’s true in that it’s not the voters themselves that cast the ballots to nominate the candidate. It is the delegates of the party who do. But it is the voters in caucuses and primaries whose votes secure the first ballot delegates that cast the vote for the nomination.

Simply because the party can’t accommodate several million citizens at its convention doesn’t mean in any way that the vote of the citizen doesn’t matter. The idea of having representatives act on your behalf is the core essence of our “representative republic.” 

I know–there may be much great shock when supporters of one candidate in particular hear for the first time that we don’t live in a democracy.

But we don’t. So get over it and move on.

The larger point is that a voter in a primary voluntarily chooses to participate with a private non-profit organization that holds a convention every four years, established through the will of its delegates what it’s platform and governing rules will be for the next four years, and also chooses who will represent that party to stand on the ballot of the general election.

Yesterday one candidate implied that if he comes in to the convention lacking the necessary delegate support to be nominated that he should be in essence “given” the nomination in complete non-compliance with the rules of the convention. He argued in essence that he deserved special “dispensation” or treatment because he’s who he is.

He also went so far as to imply that if he is not granted such special treatment that his supporters would be justified in reacting with violence. 

Violence has been a big theme of his. Some 30 protestors have been seriously injured at his rallies. And his reaction to protestors has been to encourage his supporters to “punch them in the face” or to “knock the crap out of them” or to “knock ’em the hell out.” This direct encouragement to escalate the violence has been followed by the declaration that he “promised” to “pay the legal bills” he “promised… he promises.”

Given that as his history to now basically blanket his supporters with permission to become violent at the convention because he first lacks the necessary votes and secondly doesn’t meet the criteria is sickening. 

Of course his followers believe it’s great. Literally on the social media feed of a “friend” I had a Trump supporter first threaten to KTFO of folks at the convention. (Knock the f&$k out.) And when called out on it was ready to don the gloves and “box” me at a place and time. I left the conversation for two reasons. I only talk to blocks of wood that I’m splitting into kindling. And… Well you know what they say about people who have to brag…

But I digress.

Across social media, my radio audiences, and correspondence from Fox viewers, the repeated meme that these types of supporters of said candidate continually say is that this had better not end up in a “contested convention.”

Only one problem. 

It probably is.

But contested is not the same as corrupt.

Everyone talks about the number 1237. Trump called it a “random” number set by “some guy.” 

It’s anything but.

1236 is exactly 50% of the nominating delegates needed to be nominated. 

The rules of the GOP nomination process–as determined by previous convention delegates that were elected by the people/voters–said that in order to be given the nomination automatically that a candidate would need “50% plus 1 vote.”

In other words a majority.

In terms of percent it works out to 50.19% of the total delegates available. 

Why did the past elected delegates to the previous convention(s) decide that 50.19% was the needed amount? We’d have to ask them.

But likely it was something to do with integrity.

The desire to be able to honestly say that the “majority” of the voices of the elected delegates of the voters themselves were being adhered to.

Why is that? 

So that they can go back to those same voters and explain that as they promised in their founding the party of Lincoln and Reagan would abide by “the will of the people.”

In an elected body of representatives it can not be asserted that the will of *most* of the people is done without achieving a majority.

So back to the scenario. What should happen if the delegates fall short of the majority.

It’s very simple, the campaign continues.

The candidates speak, the campaign’s call one another and if a majority does not exist on the first ballot, then one is sought on the second or third or fourth ballot.

Coalitions are formed and cooperation ensues to put forward a nominee/ticket that satisfies the requirements of speaking for the majority of the party.

The biggest point to understand that this process is lawful, is governed by rules the candidates have already (even this far out) agreed to, and has been in place since the last convention.

If the candidate fails to rally his turnout and get majorities in the primaries and caucuses then it’s unlikely that he/she will get a majority on the first ballot at the convention. 

Other nations like Israel face constant coalition building in order to maintain lawfully elected governments. We in the United States are not used to it because candidates usually rack up the delegates so early. And there are usually fewer candidates still in this late in the process.

But the GOP has four candidates that now have more than 100 delegates. In fact 1300+ of the delegates have been gobbled up. The chance that someone under 700 delegates this late in the process will get to see 1237 grows increasingly unlikely.

But it does not mean that following the lawfully and duly elected process of what happens according to the rules is in any way corrupt.

Because it’s not.

It is in fact preventing the “establishment” from doing exactly what so many Trump supporters are saying will be done.

And this final note: if the GOP were stupid enough to go into back room negotiations and attempt to insert someone who had not won any states in a “brokered fix” to solve the dilemma. That would be corrupt, and I don’t care who the nominee would be that they would attempt to insert, I would join forces with the Trump supporters and set fire to the convention personally.

But a contested convention is not the same as a brokered convention and everyone needs to take a deep breath and wait to see if we even need one.

And it would help Make America Great Again if A certain candidate would shut his flap and stop encouraging his people to punch, knock and riot when things don’t go his way. Truly!