Monday, June 20, 2016


Thank you, Aimai, Tom, and Yastreblyansky, for doing some amazing work here after I had to leave on very short notice. I really appreciate it.

Right now, I'm looking at yet another effort to try to prevent Donald Trump from being the Republican presidential nominee. This one has no famous names (no Romney, no Kristol) and apparently no million-dollar consultants, so it doesn't seem like either an ego trip or a scam:
Supporters of a growing anti-Donald Trump movement announced plans Sunday to raise money for staff and a possible legal defense fund as they asked new recruits to help spread the word with less than a month until the Republican National Convention.

Having started with just a few dozen delegates, organizers also said Sunday that they now count several hundred delegates and alternates as part of their campaign....

The group is led by delegates seeking to block Trump at the GOP convention next month in Cleveland by changing party rules so that they can vote however they want -- instead of in line with the results of state caucuses and primaries. It is quickly emerging as the most organized effort to stop Trump....
This comes at a time when Trump's poll numbers vs. Hillary Clinton are plummeting:

There are many complaints that Trump has squandered the opportunity to turn his sights on Hillary Clinton in the weeks since he became the presumptive nominee. But Trump thinks he's doing the right thing -- outraging people, spouting off like a Free Republic thread in human form, garnering free media. So he doesn't really have a campaign infrastructure and he hasn't raised much money? Hey, that worked for him in the primaries!

But that's the problem for Trump: He can't figure out how to beat Clinton, but he doesn't understand that because it was relatively easy for him to beat the GOP establishment. And the campaign and movement he's built are still very effective at defeating, or at least intimidating, the GOP establishment. Let's go back to that article about the Republican delegate revolt:
Some [anti-Trump delegates] reached out on the condition of anonymity, saying that spouses are fearful of physical threats if they speak out publicly about their plans....

A delegate from Colorado supporting the campaign ... spoke by email and on the condition of anonymity because he said he's already being harassed by other Republicans and is concerned for his safety.
I'm not endorsing intimidation tactics, but if they're the Trumpites' best weapon, I can't help noticing that they're still being used only against fellow Republicans. As we pivot to the general election, you might imagine that there'd be attempts to intimidate Democrats and independents into supporting Trump -- that's what a truly determined fascist movement would do -- but as far as I know, no non-Republicans are being scared into posting Trump yard signs and enthusiastically attending Trump rallies. It seems as if Trumpite Republicans are just turning their rage on their own kind. The Judean People's Front hates the People's Front of Judea -- oh yeah, and the Romans, I guess.

I still think we shouldn't be complacent about Trump, given the fact that the public isn't wild about Hillary Clinton, either. But some of the excessive intramural anger I'm seeing on the Democratic side is surfacing again over in the GOP. I don't think that will dissipate until the convention is over -- if then.

And no, I don't think the #NeverTrumpers will beat Trump at the convention. They still don't have a candidate. The person who probably has the most anti-Trump delegates is the widely loathed Ted Cruz. Trump's going to win at the convention, I think, because there still isn't anyone else who can put together a winning campaign.


Victor said...

Welcome back, Steve!

The GOP:
Hoist by their own Teatards!

Tom Hilton said...

Joy Reid had one of the people behind the rules committee challenge on the other night, and she's a Cruz partisan--as I suspect a lot of the anti-Trump delegates are. Frying pan, fire.

Ten Bears said...

Deadbeat Donnie, the big bad ass from New York with his barely implied "Mafia" connections is apparently traveling under the conviction the Bush Family Crime Syndicate is behind it all.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Jeffery said...

Zombie Reagan and Zombie President Nancy will rise to the challenge.

Never Ben Better said...

And now, this:

Corey Lewandowski is out the airlock:

What'll it be? A more professional, competent campaign manager who'll rein in The Donald and get his quest back on track? Or rampant chaos, backstabbing, floundering and flailing as Himself rampages out of control?

Hey, cat, get off my lawn chair and stop licking the butter off the popcorn!

Anonymous said...

I still think we shouldn't be complacent about Trump, given the fact that the public isn't wild about Hillary Clinton, either.

More worrisome is the fact that the donor class over there clearly decided in 2012 that they were going to win behind Romney (oops) and that this time they can take down Hillary. So they were obviously primed to do whatever was necessary to beat her, and given their general unpopularity, that means external events.

That lot were hoping for something bad to happen, and I suspect perfectly willing to to work to make something bad happen if they could manage it. R party establishment was certainly down with that plan (Benghazi!).

Unfortunately, they've got Trump, and he isn't pliable (doglike loyalty to the donor class is what that means) the way Rubio is, even though neither one of them has any real convictions other than self-promotion. (Well, Trump has one conviction - he's committed to The Awesomeness of Trump.)

But some of the excessive intramural anger I'm seeing on the Democratic side is surfacing again over in the GOP.

People are pissed and they have been for awhile - that kind of anger is simply looking for a place to land.

['Zero sum game.']

aimai said...

I don't think that we run any real risk of Trumpers successfully trying to intimidate the Dems like the brown shirts. That shit takes organization and its one thing Trump doesn't have. If the new accounts of his "campaign" are correct--that he only has thirty (30) staffers in the entire country he simply doesn't have any actual ground game. And I don't see the Republican infrastructure that exists risking life, limb, or fines actually harrassing Democratic voters. This is going to be an intra-family dispute with Trumpers and their family members getting into screaming matches and fistfights before both parties retire to sulk in their tents and thumbsuck out of rage. Both secure in the knowledge that the grownup party will end up taking care of actual business.

Tom Hilton said...

Not only has Trump fired Lewandowski (apparently Ivanka & Jared were behind this)--he has also hired Michelle Bachmann's 2012 manager to manage the campaign's surrogates. So I'm putting my money on rampant chaos, backstabbing, floundering, and flailing.

aimai said...

I'm amazed that Ivanka and Melania didn't get it together to bring in some seriously upper crust/important campaign staff already. But I have a feeling that Trump is neither to hold nor to bind. The look on Melania's face while she was watching his acceptance speech right before Hillary spoke was instructive. She looked horrified, frightened, and tense. Based on reports Trump is awful when he's winning, but worse when he's losing. He must be impossible to deal with, and even violent, when he is crossed. Did they bring in some better people to run the campaign and have Trump refuse them? Or did they not even dare to expose him to people who might be powerful enough to gossip and backstab him when he refused to take their advice?

Hamilton said...

Oh, shit! Everyone cool it. Dad's back.


Feud Turgidson said...

General overview: Winning or losing, though, it's STILL All About The Donald, ain't it? It's STILL "earned" noever-to-be-paid-for-by-cash-money publicity, throwing everything done by every single Dem not excluding Hillary down if not completely off the line-up of stories for the day's superficially fulfilling emotional news.

Particulite examination: Combining NBB and aimai, this to me stinks to high heavan. Lewandowski has never DISAPPOINTED Trump. He's clearly being re-assigned and FOR REASONS they're spinning the re-assignment as something else, some standard on the campaign trail ungulate excreta.

There's no value, promise or need to brown-arm Dems or any opposing voter demo. All that's necessary is to make sure the respective support numbers are CLOSE ENOUGH so the election can be stolen. It's the lesson of machine politics in the post Civil War Era right thru women's suffrage, it was the lesson from accepted behavior in many instacnes between Teddy and Reagan (including LBJ's winning a senate seat in Texas, RMN's win over Gahagan Wilson in CAlifornia, JFK's 1960 win off lists of virtual Chicagoans in 1960, and it's becoming the message increasingly since Nixon enabled and Reagan activated the Southern STrategy.

I think Lewandowski is actually on assignment, and that he's been reassigned to an area of practical politics that's deeply familiar within his curriculum vita: Election Mechanics - dirty tricks, magic boxes, state SoS offices, registration politics, poll workers, poll WATCHERS, ballot box counters, reporters, storers and destroyers, and related f**king of rats.

Corey Lewandowski is now going to assume the Donald Segretti role and lead the rear action assault on the integrity (such as it remains) of the American voting system.

And today's announcement was simply part of Trump's wiping down of his finger prints from the burglary tools.

I got the Debbie Reynold's Told Ys So dance saved at the top of my FAVES list in my browser, because I KNOW it's bound to get used.

Never Ben Better said...

I dunno, Feud; maybe ol' Corey is indeed off into the weeds to plant some brambles, but he'll need help at the state and national level to pull it off, and I get the feeling a lot of the GOP powers that be are really, REALLY terrified that Trump will win; not necessarily for the good of the country so much as for what Trump's continued ownership of the party will mean for their own bastions of power. I suspect a not insignificant percentage are also royally pissed at the way he's been dumping on them, then steamrolling it in. Vengeful slow-walking any assistance to him would be easy to do and get away with.

Never forget, the right wing is very, very good at playing a long game, and while losing seats on SCOTUS must be a huge consideration for them, they might figure, especially if they can hold the Senate by no matter how slim a margin, that Clinton will put up candidates they can live with; and maybe even not have to see any seats other than Antonin's go up for grabs till they take back or expand Senate control in the next midterms. Meanwhile Trump, especially if he loses as big as it looks now, will be destroyed as a power in the party, and they can rebuild the brand in time to take it all in the next presidential go-round.

Am I right? Damned if I know.

Never Ben Better said...

And the new campaign manager is Paul Manafort. Make of it what you will.

Feud Turgidson said...

NBenB - Did I say it would WORK?

All this reminds me a lot of the Bonus Army uprising and the machinations around that crazy whacko flyboy Lindbergh. I half expect the Trump presidency dream to end with Trump holding a presser to reveal some nefarious 'foreign-based brown complected' plot to kidnaps the Donald's weave.

Never Ben Better said...

I'll say one thing about all this brouhaha: It's totally blown away all the usual "Dems in Disarray" bloviating about will Sanders supporters refuse to support Clinton? Can the Dems paper over their deep divide in time? Et bloody cetera. It's a well-worn path the media would've been content to trudge down yet again, but look! Now the Trumptanic is plowing into all those ice floes! A new, exciting narrative to play with!

Yastreblyansky said...

Welcome back, Steve! It's been quite a week!

Soccer Dad said...

In regard to "poll numbers plummeting"
If you do the stupid, data driven thing of actually looking at the data, the recent changes are similar to previous changes, suggesting the whole poll crisis (like the money crisis and the GOP bigshot support crisis) are just media gin ups

commchf said...

Trump isn't that smart.