The Establishment Strikes Back; But What Happens to the Rebellion if There is a Coup?
The GOP presidential nominating process is looking less and less like the expression of the “will of the people” and more and more like an episode of Star Wars. In this case, the “rebellion” — all those people who are sick and tired of business as usual — has fought back against the “empire” — the establishment ruling class that has controlled the GOP for so long. And now, with the success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the establishment is desperate, and it appears that they are planning nothing short of a coup at the national convention.
For any Star Wars fan out there, the current state of affairs has a very eerie feel to it. In the original Star Wars movies, the Empire grew so strong and corrupt that a rebellion arose to defeat it. In this case, the rebellion has struck a serious blow. Establishment candidates have fallen by the wayside: Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and so on. All that’s left are insurgent Donald Trump, conservative Ted Cruz, and establishment John Kasich.
Kasich finished near the back of the field in almost every election, and yet, he has stayed in the race even though he has no chance of winning. Why? The answer is simple… to further increase the chances that neither Trump nor Cruz can garner a majority of the delegates needed to secure the nomination. Marco Rubio should have exited the race several weeks ago, and Florida could have been more of a one on one challenge, but oh well.
Now, the establishment sees the writing on the wall. People have supported Trump and Cruz and have told the establishment to take a hike. But this “empire” will not simply walk away and give up power. No, they are planning to fight back.
Just check out this story in The Washington Times. Former House Speaker John Boehner, who was always willing and able to do deals with the Democrats, has come out and said that the GOP presidential nominee should be… Paul Ryan. What??? That’s right, Boehner didn’t say Trump or Cruz. He said Paul Ryan.
“If we don’t have a nominee who can win on the first ballot, I’m for none of the above,” Mr. Boehner said at the Future Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida, Politico reported. “They all had a chance to win. None of them won. So I’m for none of the above. I’m for Paul Ryan to be our nominee.”
Mr. Ryan and his staff have maintained that the Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential candidate will not seek the White House in 2016.
Mr. Boehner, who stepped down from the speakership last fall, has long whispered to friends that he thinks Mr. Ryan could be the savior of the Republican Party. He told the crowd on Wednesday that “anybody can be nominated” at the GOP’s convention in Cleveland this summer.
Boehner said that they “all had a chance to win.” Give me a break! At every turn, the GOP establishment has bad-mouthed Cruz and attacked Trump. They have tried to bring down these candidates and have never just let the voters decide for themselves.
During the same question-and-answer session in Florida, Mr. Boehner also referred to Sen. Ted Cruz, another GOP presidential candidate, as “Lucifer.”
Mr. Boehner has previously called the senator, who led a failed Republican effort to shut down the government over Obamacare, a “jackass.”
An article on CNBC offers little hope of the establishment backing down and letting the people decide.
Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees, a Republican convention rules member told CNBC, a day after GOP front-runner Donald Trump rolled up more big primary victories.
“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.
It absolutely seems that the establishment wants to take this to the convention, and if that is the case, the members of the “old guard” will stop at nothing to get some moderate, weak, insider as the nominee. That is clearly NOT what the voters want.
In addition to sowing seeds of turmoil leading up to the convention, other insiders are planning a possible third-party run if Trump is the nominee. As reported by Politico.com, “three influential leaders of the conservative movement have summoned other top conservatives for a closed-door meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., to talk about how to stop Donald Trump.”
The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush’s liaison to the conservative movement; Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener; and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded RedState.com.
“Please join other conservative leaders to strategize how to defeat Donald Trump for the Republican nomination,” the three wrote in an invitation obtained by POLITICO that recently went out to conservative leaders, “and if he is the Republican nominee for president, to offer a true conservative candidate in the general election.”
Here’s a discussion about a possible third-party effort:
What do you think? The establishment is acting like any injured animal: defensive and willing to fight. The prospect of losing power is something that these people just can’t comprehend, and they have no intention of losing something they’ve controlled for so long. People want change. They are sick of the status quo. If the convention breaks down into an epic battle, the question that needs to be asked is what comes out of it? Will the Republican Party even exist any more?