Donald Trump

GOP's 2012 Rule to Thwart Ron Paul Now Inconvenient for Thwarting Donald Trump

A frantic establishment reaches for any club in a political brawl, intellectual consistency be damned

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By killing them, you only made Trump stronger. ||| againstcronycapitalism.org
againstcronycapitalism.org

The headline news today is that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is finally faltering a bit in his historically odd, remarkably successful march to the Republican nomination. The betting-markets wags at PredictWise have him down to 66 percent likelihood of winning the right to face (in all probability) Hillary Clinton, down from 82 percent at the beginning of the month. Trump's chances of reaching a nomination-clinching 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention are fading by the minute.

This momentum for team #NeverTrump is placing a premium on the arcane rules by which the GOP decides what to do at a brokered convention. And to the surprise of no one who has been paying attention in either this or the previous presidential cycle, the establishment is lunging for any blunt instrument possible to beat back the unwashed insurgents.

Politico reports that "All four early appointees to the rules committee for this year's Republican National Convention" are "prepared to weaken or scrap" the rule "requiring a candidate to win a majority of delegates in eight states to be eligible for the party's nomination." If the rule stays, the only likely challenger to Trump at the RNC would be Ted Cruz. If the rule goes, potentially any Republican could win the nomination after delegates are released from their first-ballot responsibility to vote for their predetermined candidate.

The irony is not lost on any Ron Paul supporter. This rule was adopted at the last possible minute before the 2012 convention to gratuitously throw sand in the face of Dr. No, and also to Tea Partiers and grassroots supporters of Rick Santorum. The Mitt Romney-supporting party grandees were not worried about any actual challenge to the then-frontrunner's nomination—that was already wrapped up. No, they just didn't want any unseemly displays of non-Romney affection from the convention floor. It was a grotesque power play, an in-your-face reminder of who holds real pull in Republican politics: certainly not the little people who had gone to all that trouble to learn obscure parliamentary procedure over a period of years. I saw scores of previously enthusiastic delegates and volunteers reduced to tears on the balcony of the 2012 RNC in Tampa, saying stuff like "We were railroaded. This is the shot heard 'round the world." It's on the shortlist of deep grievances that the conservative grassroots has had with the party's establishment since 2008.

It's their party, and they can change the rules if they want to, but the likely reversal is yet another sign that Republican elites are frightened by their own base, and certainly hew to no consistent organizing principle aside from persistently trying, often counter-productively, to suppress at critical moments their own customers' unruly passions (which they are otherwise content to whip up). And by contemplating these changes late in the game, instead of back in January, the GOP geniuses are ensuring maximum Trumpian blowback.

After the jump, some Reason TV reportage from the 2012 RNC outrage:

NEXT: Why An Ugly Trump Is Better Than a Lovely Trump

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  1. fuck the party establishment

    1. This particular rule change is why I choose not to participate in this year’s Iowa caucuses.

      1. The GOP party would be fine, if it weren’t for those meddling Republican voters.

        1. +1 The ghost was just some dude in a mask

          1. “Old Man Reince Priebus? Zoinks!”

            1. Oh man, speaking of – I just went back to watch the 2016 teleprompter video. This is rich, you’ll like this.. and so, I had forgotten about the insulting ‘USA’ chanting that would happen to drown out any dissent. I got that jolt of revulsion but as I thought about it, a new feeling soon turned the corners of my mouth; requital.

              I can’t wait until those old GOP assbags get a taste of the ol’ ‘USA’ chant from the nacho-breathed Trumpeters they helped create.

        2. Mencken did remark that “the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.”

    2. Vote and party libertarian!

  2. It was a grotesque power play, an in-your-face reminder of who holds real pull in Republican politics…

    Real grotesqueness is advancing on their power structure, so they’re going to have to outgrotesque the Trumpernaught heading their way. Can they do it? Shame would only be their undoing, so that will have to really be tossed out the window. (Deference to voters, as well.)

    1. +1 Defenestration of Cleveland

      1. I love it when I see people use the word defenestration lol. Fond memories for some reason… (not of being defenestrated, mind you…)

  3. If they were semi-sane they’d leave the rules alone and start non-publicly supporting Cruz. Everyone who has dropped out is no longer an option as far as the voting public is concerned. Even if they won the primary they’d just give the election to the Dems.

    1. Fascinating analysis, Tulpy-Poo. You must be a party insider with such trenchant analysis. Maybe *they* should pay *you*!

      1. You see, he would be, Epi, but, you know, the Jews.

        1. Maybe he just needs a Passover Coke.

    2. Illocust is Tulpa now? WTF?

      The Tulpa hunters are starting to crack. I would deny being Tulpa myself, but that’s just what you’d expect Tulpa to say.

      1. Illocust is Tulpa now

        No. But as of late a whole swath of the commentariat has lost their fucking minds (and only some of them because of Trump). The funny thing is that there have been real Tulpa sightings but at this point I think the real deal is content to just pleasure himself watching all the people get falsely accused.

      2. The axis of Worst is definitely cracking. But then again, so is everyone. We’re all mad here.

    3. Republican leadership? Support Cruz? That’s cute. They would sooner lose the election on purpose.

      1. If it’s anyone but Trump or Cruz, the Republican Party is committing suicide. It’s not this election. It’s permanent.

        Anyone associated with such a betrayal would be politically radioactive til the end of time.

        If Trump runs third party, he beats the appointed Repub nominee. If he runs a unity ticket with Cruz, the Repub nominee doesn’t get 10 percent.

        Then again, maybe not. People put up with crap. Seem to like it. Maybe the Establishment figures that it’s time to put the peasants in their places once and for all. No more pretense of democracy. You get to choose which Party of Top Men you bend over, but that’s as far as freedom goes.

  4. Would would wouldn’t wouldn’t would would.

    1. Prophesy, speculation, wishful thinking… to hell with the lessons of history and facts of economics. Looters are bankrupting These States like they did Russia, Germany, Venezuela, Greece, most African nations… wherever the leper’s bell of the approaching looter warned of their coming, economies crashed. And NOBODY has wagered that any of the GOP or Dem candidates (other than the discarded fake libertarian) is likely to do better than Trump.

  5. Do the political parties have to have a primary? Why not dispense with all this and let the party leadership decide who they will run? Let the process be as publically corrupt as we know it privately is.

    1. I am very much against having you pay for me to vote for my private group’s leadership so I support this sentiment.

      As for how I would go about it in my own party well, that’s the great thing, we can go about it any way we want. Eagle Claws at dawn!

      1. In the past, when asked who the Libertarian candidate was, I enjoyed answering that the candidate would be chosen in August at the convention, and that WE LIBERTARIANS DON’T USE TAX DOLLARS TO PICK OUR CANDIDATE.

    2. I openly and enthusiastically support honesty in corruption versus maintaining it’s all fine and not corrupt at all. Let’s stop pretending. Cops and petty bureaucrats should just tell us how much it will cost to make them go away.

      1. I think the biggest issue is that these two private groups have codified into law their own internal processes. Why the hell should I care if I am not in their club. Why don’t we have a primary in each state for the NFL Commisioner? Or the Boy Scouts Council members?

      2. Let the market decide how much a speeding ticket should be. 50 bucks or twenty whacks with a club sounds like a fair starting point

  6. This makes me smile. The GOP is so fucked.

    I was active in LP politics in 08 and I remember many LPers leaving to support Ron Paul. They knew the risks but they said the whipped up RPers didn’t know the risk. There were many well trained an knowledgeable people from the LP (seriously, who do you THINK spends all their time arguing over arcane rules) and they said the Rs would just ignore or violate any rule that would help RPers. See Nevada and Missouri conventions, also about a dozen other conventions. This was not a surprise to them anymore in 2012, and they still had their asses handed to them. Battered wife doesn’t even cover it.

  7. I hope they do screw Trump on the nomination. He’ll be a much more potent figure as a martyr than he could ever be as a president.

    Time to invest in lampposts…….

    1. If backstabbed, Trump could simply tell his supporters that he is voting for Libertarian Party candidates, not treacherous conspirators. Those coattails would, I’d wager, replace the GOP the way the Federalists and Whigs were replaced. It’s never too late for a turning point, and Trump is clearly the most competent and least repulsive contender.

      1. Libertarian moment!

  8. When Romney’s minions pulled this shit back in 2012, I resolved to spit in that asshole’s face if I ever have the misfortune to meet him.

    -jcr

    1. Only fair, since he pissed in yours first.

      It really was unfathomably stupid of them to screw with Paul that way. What was the point? He wasn’t going to win. Throw him a bone and let his supporters feel that they had a place in the party. They whoop it up for a day, feel good about themselves, and then maybe they fall in line.

      Instead, piss them off and lose the most enthusiastic Republican voters.

  9. And yet people still waste time with “voting”.

  10. What is the person in the photo doing? sticking a piece of paper in front of the microphone? Who? Why?
    Anyone know the back story?

  11. I live in Maine. We were a winner takes all state right up until Ron Paul won the state in 2012. Then our delegates were split evenly between Paul and Romney after the party establishment did not like the results.

    A few days ago the state party called asking for money. I bring up how they changed the rules in the middle of the game because thy didn’t like the outcome. He told me Ron Payl could not have won the election. My response:
    “You know who else would not have won the election? You know who else would not have won the election? Mitt Romney. You know how I know this? He ran against Barack Obama and lost.” The guy hung up on me.

    1. “You know who else would not have won the election?”

      Ernst Th?lmann?

    2. To looters, winning means suckering fools into getting them government jobs so they can gorge at taxpayer expense. To libertarians, winning means repealing bad laws–like the progressive income tax the communists and socialists got into the Constitution without ever getting more than a few percent of the vote. Winning is also using spoiler votes to repeal the prohibition laws mystical bigots enacted in order to force people to kowtow to their own superstitions, again with almost no votes and almost nobody elected. Winning to a citizen means getting (and tallying) 2% to 5% of the vote for individual rights. Libertarian spoiler votes force the looters to ditch bad planks and laws or lose their government paychecks.

  12. So bookies are laying 2 to 1 odds Trump gets nominated. When the kleptocracy booted out the Ron Paul delegates, how many of those antiabortionists proceeded to endorse libertarian party candidates? I’m laying 2 to 1 odds the number was zero.

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  14. Politico reports that “All four early appointees to the rules committee for this year’s Republican National Convention” are “prepared to weaken or scrap” the rule “requiring a candidate to win a majority of delegates in eight states to be eligible for the party’s nomination.” If the rule stays, the only likely challenger to Trump at the RNC would be Ted Cruz. If the rule goes, potentially any Republican could win the nomination after delegates are released from their first-ballot responsibility to vote for their predetermined candidate.

    That would be awesome! Last minute rule change *after* the voters have “had their say” to bring in some guy no one voted for and make him the nominee. Let it be Jeb! Jeb! Jeb!

    Please, oh PLEASE, let Sanders beat Hillary in the voter selected delegates too, but then have the party bosses give it to Hillary through super delegates.

    Hillary v. Bush, the dynastic battle, foisted on peasants by the Establishment! Sweet!

    A great naked BFYTW from the Establishment to the peasants!

    I don’t really want the country to burn, but if we’re going to be slaves, I’d rather have it as open and transparent as possible, without Democracy and Rule of Law theater.

  15. What astounds me is the GOP simply had to use the words Trump is using now and there would have been an overwhelming candidate that probably would have taken the election. And they had that guy in one Ted Cruz.

    But no, did they favor Cruz? Nope that crazy zealot who had the audacity to state we shouldn’t spend more than we have. Why worry, we are only twenty so million in debt right?

    So now, Hillary has a real shot to win as the GOP has split the true conservatives into the Trumpers and the Cruzers. And each will not vote for the other while all the liberals will run to Hillary like they did Obama.

    So if you’re going to be completely corrupt GOP at least be smart enough to state the right lies. Oh that’s right you did that for a decade and a half. I stand corrected–maybe you should just select the right actions. You know, that common sense stuff like illegal aliens should be deported and one man doesn’t owe another.

    You’d win by a landslide.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. The prophetic novel of America’s Apocalypse. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE. The Patriots’ guide to the lost art of common sense.

  16. Between the Democrats super delegates, the Republicans changing nominating rules every 4 years and the system being rigged so only Democrats and Republicans can debate it is becoming painfully obvious that our political system is a very sick joke. What politicians, progressive educators and the news media fail to realize is that when a populations voice is suppressed long enough they tend to revolt and those 3 groups are the first to be marked for extinction. You better go back and read the old history books that tell you what happens to oppressors and not the revised government ones that seem to think the State is God.

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  19. The best thing coming out of this election is how entrenched and corrupt the Duopoly really is. Well, that and the entertainment value of Sanders and Trump, who are going to be so screwed over by the party leadership.

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