This is some truly delicious irony. It seems that there are dozens of delegates banding together to demand that a new “conscience clause” be added to the GOP convention rules so the delegates don’t HAVE to vote for Trump, even if Trump won their state. In essence, they’re demanding to be the equivalent of the Democratic Party’s super delegates:
The new campaign is being run by the only people who can actually make changes to party rules, rather than by pundits and media figures who have been pining for a Trump alternative. Many involved in the delegate-driven movement supported Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the primary but say they have no specific candidate in mind and are not taking cues from any of Trump’s vanquished opponents.
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”
This is occurring at the same time that Bernie Sanders, a johnny-come-lately to the Democratic Party, is pushing to do away with the super delegate system. Considering that we’re witnessing, in real time, a political party being torpedoed by exactly the kind of candidate that super delegates are supposed to stop, this doesn’t seem like a particularly wise use of Bernie’s rapidly dwindling political capital.
But what makes it so hilarious is that “conscience” is the flimsy pretense the right has been using to ignore the rule of law for quite some time, mostly to the detriment of the LGBT community. Now it’s being used against the party itself and promises a massive public embarrassment for Republicans when they can least afford it.
Trump, of course, is unconcerned about the push for unbinding the delegates:
“I won almost 14 million votes, which is by far more votes than any candidate in the history of the Republican primaries,” Trump said. “I have tremendous support and get the biggest crowds by far and any such move would not only be totally illegal but also a rebuke of the millions of people who feel so strongly about what I am saying.”
Actually, since the Republican Party is a private, not public, organization that can make any rule it wants, there would be nothing illegal about it at all. This is just another display of Trump’s monumental ignorance of the political process.
But while all this skulduggery sounds good, it’s not a simple process. The RNC has not yet released the full list of delegates, partly to keep them for conspiring together but also to keep their dubious backgrounds hidden from the public. Or did you think that Trump only had one white supremacist in his flock? If the delegates don’t know each other, it’s impossible for them to coordinate the effort to change the rules.
Despite this, there are people that are dedicated to causing as much chaos at the convention as possible:
…a group of veteran Republican operatives is planning to raise up to $2.5 million to run an advertising campaign asserting that delegates can do whatever they want. The Citizens in Charge Foundation plans to bankroll the outreach campaign. It already paid for the publication of a book by Curly Haugland, a GOP delegate from North Dakota who wrote a book explaining why delegates are unbound.
Party officials disagree but it remains to be seen how the delegates will respond once they reach the convention in July.
Don’t get your hopes up just yet. Other “anyone but Trump” movements have failed to gain traction but the closer we get to the convention and the more Trump opens his mouth, the more desperate Republicans will become.
Get your popcorn…
Featured image courtesy of the White House