Republican Presidential Nomination

Trump Prepares Potemkin Convention

Even as impeachment poll numbers rise, the GOP gleefully stifles any hint of internal dissent.

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According to multiple polls released this week, a clear majority of Americans support the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and around 50 percent favor his outright removal after a Senate trial. Even among Republicans, Washington Post polls indicate, support for the inquiry is up 21 percentage points since July.

So how is the GOP dealing with this erosion of enthusiasm among rank-and-file Republicans? By bragging to reporters about all the ways that internal political competition and dissent is being squashed.

Not content with the unprecedented merger between the Republican National Committee and the Trump re-election campaign, nor the level of nationally driven state-primary cancellations unseen from an incumbent since at least George H.W. Bush, the committee to re-elect this president is bragging to reporters about pressuring 37 states to make rule changes that will be even "more impactful" than nixing elections.

"This is about the general election," an unnamed Trump campaign official said on a conference call, insisting that the moves—for instance, changing state delegate-allocations to winner-take-all—are "not being done from a position of weakness," but rather to make sure that the 2020 Republican National Convention "is a four-day television commercial for 300 million Americans, and not an internal debate among a few thousand activists."

The pathway for a primary challenge to Trump, the official reportedly asserted, "has already been closed."

Five states—Alaska, Nevada, Kansas, Arizona, and South Carolina—have pre-emptively canceled their primaries, taking nearly 8 percent of the total GOP delegate count off the table. This despite primary challenges from former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former Reps. Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.), who together penned a Washington Post op-ed last month condemning the consolidation as the work of "cowards." Sanford also served as a Republican governor of South Carolina, and Weld ran for vice president in 2016 with the Libertarian Party.

"If a party stands for nothing but reelection," the three men wrote, "it indeed stands for nothing."

Former Rep. Bob Inglis (R–S.C.) filed suit last week to challenge the South Carolina GOP's decision, arguing that "the cancellation of the primary by a small handful of party insiders denied me—and every other South Carolina Republican—our voice in defining what the Republican Party is and who it supports." Yesterday, Inglis and his legal partners filed a preliminary injunction that would force the election to go on as previously planned.

Despite the rising support for impeachment, there is little indication thus far that Trump would do anything but rout his competition in a completely fair fight. His latest Gallup approval rating among Republicans was down four percentage points but still at 87 percent, higher than it was as recently as last December. His RealClearPolitics polling average versus what he has derisively if hilariously called "the Three Stooges" is 85.5 percent to a combined 7.3 percent. And while we await what are likely to be pathetic third-quarter fundraising numbers for the GOP Davids, President Goliath just announced another $125 million haul, putting his total for 2019 at $308 million.

If the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte is shaping up to be a replay of 1972—when an incumbent president who was dogged by persistent scandal and a mostly hostile press corps put on a jarring display of unanimity even in the presence of two primary challengers and chaotic protests outside—hopefully we'll at least get some decent documentaries out of it.

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  1. “If a party stands for nothing but reelection,” the three men wrote, “it indeed stands for nothing.”

    Guess what.

    1. Hmm. Term limits, then?

    2. Welch is demanding the Republican party harm itself to please his principles. It is their duty to suffer for his principles. How noble of him.

      God what a clown.

      1. Or just any principles, really. What are the GOP’s principles, now? Family values is gone, fiscal responsibility is gone, preemptive invasions are at least temporarily off the table… I guess science denial, tax breaks (but mostly for the wealthy), and breaking every good faith tradition are whats for dinner.

        1. The Brock-bot doesn’t seem to understand how a political realignment works.

          1. Political realignment is just your euphemism for abandonment of principles.

        2. “…I guess science denial…”

          Gee, and here you were almost acting as an adult.
          Fuck off.

        3. “Science denial”
          That’s rich coming from the party of anti-GMO, anti-Vaxxer, Chakra-investigating, crystal worshippers.

      2. Potemkin convention describes all conventions of the past 40 years. Matt just now notices because Orange Man Bad. (a meme that pisses him off)

        How you have fallen from the lofty years of The Declaration of Independents!

        1. Potemkin describes everything Trump has ever done.

          1. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            1. No, I know exactly what I mean. And I do not keep using that word. I only used it once.

    3. Fascinating how the writers at a website called “Reason” suck so bad at using said reason. Also fascinating is how much antipathy they have for Trump, and how little they have to spare for the raving lunatics of the Left who are demanding socialism yesterday and communism tomorrow. And even more fascinating is how quickly they are willing to jump aboard the propaganda train and promote this absurdly farcical hit job on Trump. I guess one must make sure his LGBTQ+++ Brooklyn neighbors with their non-binary gender children in their pussy hats think they’re cool, mustn’t one?

  2. The Republican Party is a private organization. As long as they are transparent about how they choose their nominee, they are free to do so however they like. If you don’t like who they choose or how they do so, don’t vote for their nominee. But they are under no obligation to hold primaries nor is their nominee any less of a “nominee” if they don’t.

    Of all of the stupid objections to Trump, this is one of the dumber ones in a crowded field. Neither Trump nor the Republican party owes candidates a platform to run against an incumbent President. Welch seems to think that they are under some obligation to let some false flag jackass have a platform to damage their nominee. They are not.

    You would think Libertarians would be happy one of the major parties isn’t bothering with having primaries. If the people who want to run against Trump can’t run as Republicans, they are free to run for the Libertarian nomination. That would be a good think for the LP wouldn’t it?

    Yet Welch and reason are butt hurt and angry about something that should actually help the cause they claim to support. It is almost like they are just leftist pretending to be Libertarians or something.

    1. Yes, they are pretending.

      Minarchism is just a random grab bag of whatever you like or dislike about government based on feelz. Just listen to Nick Gillespie on Thaddeus Russell’s podcast from a month or two ago. He just doesn’t get it, and neither does Matt Welch or any other writer on this site.

      1. Minarchism is just a random grab bag of whatever you like or dislike about government based on feelz.

        Very true. They can’t really explain why they are not anarchists. So they end up supporting whatever government power suits their tastes and objecting to any government power that doesn’t on “principles”.

        1. Then they aren’t minarchists. Minarchists generally support a basic court system, defensive military and not much else. Come on, John, you’ve been here even longer than I have. You know better.

          1. How can you support a military zeb? Who are you to take my money and spend it on anything? Also, where does the government get the right to throw me in jail and restrict my freedom without my explicit consent?

            Sure they do support those things. But they don’t do so consistently with the claims they make about individual liberty.

            1. Who said I support anything? I’m just telling you what minarchists believe.

              You are quite correct about the inconsistency of libertarianism. But I still find the basic principles behind it to be pretty self-evident. That’s why I will often call myself a philosophical anarchist. Even though I think government is inevitable and anarchy would never work.

            2. I don’t want to pay for a military. Can I opt out? I’ll take my chances with a Canadian or Mexican invasion, thanks.

              1. I don’t want to pay for a military. Can I opt out? I’ll take my chances with a Canadian or Mexican invasion, thanks.

                In a libertarian society? Probably not. A libertarian society replaces government with something like an HOA. Can you opt out of your HOA paying for security? No. There you have your answer.

      2. Why the hell are you on a libertarian site then? And why would anyone pretend to be a libertarian? Nobody likes libertarians.

        That’s a terrible description of minarchism too. The set of essential government functions supported by minarchists is pretty well defined and reasoned.

        1. I beg to differ Zeb. They are not well defined and not well reasoned. The bottom line is that if individual liberty is the only legitimate societal end, then it is very hard to say any government is legitimate no matter how small. Liberty to do what? Who if not every individual determines that? And if only the individual can make decisions for himself, then no government has a right to restrict someone in any way.

          1. You’re asking the wrong guy. I don’t think government has the right to do anything. I also don’t think anarchy is a tenable situation. So I favor a government that is as small as reasonably possible because it’s the least bad of the possible situations.

            1. I don’t disagree with your conclusions. I just think that they don’t follow from the minarchists assumptions. That is why I don’t share those assumptions.

            2. That’s a false dichotomy. Libertarianism means absence of government restraints on your actions, not total absence of restraints.

              In a libertarian society, the house you own still needs roads. You still need water, food, security, adjudication of disputes, etc. All of those are provided by private, contractual partners, and they can and will restrain your actions. You want to be on the road? There are conditions on that and you’ll have to pay. You want security? There are conditions on that and you’ll have to pay. Etc.

              A libertarian society wouldn’t look all that different from what we have. In most places, you wouldn’t be allowed to use or sell drugs. In some locations, you wouldn’t be allowed to carry or even own guns or engage in prostitution (as part of your HOA). You’d pay a variety of service fees and subscriptions, and part of that would go towards “external security”. Some of those subscriptions may again be mandatory simply based on where you choose to live.

        2. There is nothing essential about the state.

          1. I’m talking about a particular political belief system, not my opinion on whether it is correct.

            1. That’s my point. People like Gillespie and Welch aren’t forced to be consistent. They get to revise as they go based on the actors and circumstances rather than having firm and steadfast principles that apply no matter what. That’s what makes Trump useful. His approach and style of communication show how disingenuous many left libertarians are *cough* Nick Sarwark *cough*.

        3. “And why would anyone pretend to be a libertarian? Nobody likes libertarians.”

          Because that’s how you pretend to be non-partisan and try to gaslight independents into supporting progressivism.

          1. This guy gets it.

    2. Nothing spells liberty and freedom like cancelling elections.

      1. Since when are private organizations obligated to hold “elections”? You don’t really seem to understand the implications and full meaning of the words you are using.

        You should work on that.

        1. But states hold primary elections. Get political parties disentangled from the state and then they can act like private organizations again. No guaranteed ballot access for parties. No state run party primaries.
          People love to go on about how terrible polls are. Well, not a single vote has been cast for Trump yet. Why shouldn’t we give Republicans an opportunity to directly indicate their support for their preferred candidate?
          What would you have said if 4 years ago when Trump was picking up steam, the Republicans had decided to cancel the primaries and just run Jeb Bush or someone?

          1. No party is guaranteed ballot access Zeb. They have to meet the requirements to get on the ballot like everyone else.

            And to the extent that the states help the parties run their primaries, that argues against having them at all. You have a point that the states should not be involved in the business of helping private organizations choose their nominees. So, when a party decides not to take the state’s help, that is a good thing.

            As far as it being a good idea to have primaries, that is the Republican party’s business. I really don’t care. And I don’t see how you or I have a right to tell them how their party should be run. If you don’t like how they do it, don’t vote for their nominee. They are under no obligation to please someone like you or Welch who is not a member nor likely has any intention of voting for their candidate.

            1. Fair enough. I’m honestly not sure what to think about this. My gut feeling is that it’s inappropriate to cancel the primaries. But the arguments you make are pretty good too.

              Regarding ballot access, aren’t parties given access based on results of the previous election? That’s what I’m talking about, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Make every candidate have to qualify just like an independent would have to. And stop putting party affiliation on ballots.

              1. I prefer the 19th century model were the party delegates nominate the candidate (the conventions actually meant something) and it was considered inappropriate for people to campaign for themselves. Their delegates did the campaigning. Often the Candidates didn’t even show up for the convention. Candidates were often also drafted and a number at least publicly disavowed any desire to be president.

                1. Different factions sometimes would band together from different parties to form consensus parties as well. See Lincoln’s re-election and Grant’s re-election. In the first the consensus party won in the second Grant defeated fairly easily the consensus party (which was heavily influenced by anti-Reformation policies).

              2. My gut feeling is that it’s inappropriate to cancel the primaries. But the arguments you make are pretty good too.

                Just as with the DNC’s super-delegate maneuvering during 2016, it creates an anti-democratic impression, but I think John is right about the pragmatic politics.

                There’s no chance any of the challengers are going to be nominated, so it just exposes party infighting and tarnishes people for no reason.

                By the time of the general, no one will remember the cancelled primaries, but things may come out during primary debates that can’t be taken back.

                1. It wastes money, but tarnish ? Trump? Haha!!

                  1. tarnish ? Trump? Haha!!

                    Fair enough – I’ll recast as ‘they probably don’t want to give Trump more opportunity and motive to tarnish members of his own party’ – pig-wrestling, and all.

                2. Just as with the DNC’s super-delegate maneuvering during 2016, it creates an anti-democratic impression,

                  Majoritarianism and voting on everything is only one of many forms of democracy, and a lousy, illiberal, and unstable form at that.

                  The Republican party essentially also functions like a representative form of government, and those representatives have decided that renominating Trump is the best course for the party. What exactly is “anti-democratic” about that?

          2. Why shouldn’t we give Republicans an opportunity to directly indicate their support for their preferred candidate?

            Who is this “we”? Americans as a whole? Why should Democrats have any say in how Republicans pick their candidate? That’s absurd. It’s offensive. It’s utterly anti-libertarian.

            If you’re a registered Republican, you can work through the Republican organization under its bylaws in order to effect change in how the candidate is selected.

        2. Just how “private” are these organizations when I have to register with government election boards what party I am from?

          1. Totally private. No one makes you answer that question. Beyond that, if you don’t like the states helping parties running their primaries, you should be happy the Republicans are not having one.

            1. So if I say I am on the Baloney party do I get to vote for myself and be on the ballot as the Baloney candidate for president?

              1. You absolutely can. You just have to go out and get the signatures necessary to get yourself on the ballot just like the other parties do. The parties nominees are not just given a spot on the ballot. They all have to meet the same criteria in each state. Part of what the state organizations do is go out and collect enough signatures on time to ensure their nominee is on each state ballot.

                1. That sounds real private to me getting permission from the government.

                  1. The state governments run the elections. So, yes your private political organization has to play by the state’s rules if you want to be in the state’s election. The fact that you play by the state’s rules just makes you like everyone else in a society that has a government.

                    1. OK, I guess the states can drop republican or democratic candidates in the general election if they want.

                    2. Not once the party has obtained the necessary signatures to get on the ballot. It isn’t up to the state other than setting a minimal threshold.

                    3. Oh and by the way, none of these comments really address my original comment. Cancelling an election does not increase my freedom and liberty even if a party can do it.

                    4. I guess the states can drop republican or democratic candidates in the general election if they want

                      Plenty of places across the US run “non-partisan” elections where party affiliation isn’t disclosed, so year.

                    5. [B Smith] Oh and by the way, none of these comments really address my original comment. Cancelling an election does not increase my freedom and liberty even if a party can do it.

                      No “election has been canceled”. The elected board of a private organization, the Republican party, has decided not to hold a primary. That is no infringement on anybody’s liberty. It would be an infringement on the liberty of members of that organization if the state said “you must hold a primary”.

                      More fundamentally, what’s wrong with your view is the underlying assumption that direct elections and direct voting “increase your liberty”. They don’t.

        3. Private parties should pay for their own elections.

    3. LIBERTARIANS FOR SPENDING MONEY POINTLESSLY!

      Man, cannot figure out why Libertarians aren’t taken seriously by much of anybody…

      1. As if no candidate has won office unpredictably. Why hold any election unless the polls are close?

        1. Because a party deciding a nominee is not holding an election to see who holds office. Again, if you think the Republicans choose their nominee in an unfair way, don’t vote for them. You have no standing to demand they do what you like, just the right to not support them if you don’t.

          1. “Again, if you think the Republicans choose their nominee in an unfair way, don’t vote for them.”

            They are making that easy, since I CAN’T vote for them anyway.

            1. So stop complaining that not holding a primary that you can’t vote in somehow infringes on your liberty.

    4. John….To add insult to injury, the author of this article is misapplying a historical analogy. Do these Reason writers ever actually THINK through what they write? One wonders.

    5. While the red team is ostensibly a private organization, it takes a considerable amount of public funding every election year (as does the blue team). If they’re willing to stop suckling at the government teat then I will concede their right to be unmolested by lawsuits over how they run their club, and instead limit myself to mocking their transparent lack of principles.

      As to libertarians being excited about the opportunity: what opportunities? None of us liked Weld when he was the LP VP on the ticket, because he’s not a libertarian, and the others are less libertarian than he is. If we’re just going to to run the red team’s sloppy seconds, I don’t think there’s much point in having a libertarian party.

      And the establishment using its power to subvert open discussion of the party’s principles is a legitimate grievance. It happened in 2016 when Hillary rigged the primary, and Reason called it out then too.

  3. I don’t understand the point of the article.

    “Despite the rising support for impeachment, there is little indication thus far that Trump would do anything but rout his competition in a completely fair fight.”

    Ah. There it is. In short, the polls mean little, if anything.

    1. There isn’t rising support for impeachment. Welch is just lying here. That is not surprising. What is surprising even for Welch is that he admits he is lying in the very same sentence he tells the lie.

      1. You are correct. Rising support for impeachment that, admittedly, will have no effect upon Trump’s chances of reelection indicates that there is no rising support of impeachment. Otherwise, it means people increasingly want Trump impeached but would still vote for him, which makes little sense, if any.

        I suppose the pressure to constantly push content means that the contributors have to write something, even if what they write amounts to nothing.

        1. “I suppose the pressure to constantly push content means that the contributors have to write something, even if what they write amounts to nothing.”

          A perfect, one-sentence description of Reason.com.

          1. KMW is all about the clicks. Same with commercials on the podcasts. Apparently all these folks are eating dog food for dinner.

            1. Can’t they just learn to code, like the rest of us?

      2. All the polling for impeachment has gone up. You know that. Are you one of those reality deniers?

        1. No they haven’t. You can get a poll to tell you anything. You judge reality by people’s actions. And their actions are the Democrats won’t even bring impeachment up for a vote. So either they are refusing to take a popular action out of kindness towards Trump or they understand how unpopular impeachment actually is.

          I am taking their word over dumb ass Prog talking points.

          1. I am not a progressive. You are clearly a Trumpbot which can’t be reasoned with. There is this amazing thing called google where you can type in the phrase “trump impeachment poll” to see reality. I am sure will chose Breitbart or whatever alternative universe you want to live in.

            1. I don’t care what you are. Gas lighting people into thinking the public supports impeachment when the actions of the Demcorats themselves show it clearly doesn’t, is posting prog talking points.

              1. I don’t know that I said they support impeachment. I said that support for impeachment is clearly going up based on polling. That is plain reality. If you want to deny reality that is your business.

                1. Polling also told us that Crooked Hillary was a sure thing back in 2016. I am not saying you are wrong, Smith, but I would view poll results with a healthy skepticism.

            2. Polls are a snapshot of the population polled. They weight the responses, and thus they are only as good as their modelling and the assumptions of the models. Other indications are that Republican voters at least are opposed as Trump has set fundraising records with small dollar donations.

              1. I won’t even try to challenge the fact that the money has come from small donations. But I would say all the donations have come from those people who are going to support Trump no matter what. “The Base”. But seriously, the support for impeachment has gone up, that doesn’t mean the likelihood has, but it is just reality. Why are people so hell bent on denying reality.

            3. John has a very specific blind spot.

        2. Lol

          So sad, so desperate

    2. I’m not sure why this is hard to understand.

      Nomination is just a vote amongst the GOP (which in 2018 was roughly 32 million of the 110 million registered voters). The polls (if properly done) represent a sample of the entire potential electorate.

      So what is your confusion?

  4. Trump’s doing what at a Pokemon convention?

    1. You don’t wanna know…

    2. Gotta Grab ’em all!

    3. Screwing robo-porn stars, of course.

  5. I do not recall a press that was not hostile to a Republican president in my lifetime, and which studiously ignored any whiff of a scandal under Obama. This is not the early 70s, the news media has largely burned any of its credibility as a fair referee it may have had back then.

    1. Does Welch not realize what happened in the 1972 election? His criticism of the Republicans seems to be that they are following a model for a convention that last time resulted in their incumbent President winning in a landslide.

      Welch doesn’t seem to understand how this works.

      1. Welch doesn’t seem to understand how this works.

        I think you’re misreading Welch’s concern as “hoping Republicans win.”

        1. He seems to expect the Republicans to do something stupid and self defeating for reasons known only to him.

      2. OK, so Trump is going to win and then he gets impeached.

    2. Yeah sure. It’s not Trump’s fault. It was the “Fake News” that made Trump go out on the South Lawn and commit a felony in front of their cameras…..

      1. You do know that NCIS isn’t real right?

        1. Either this is a non sequitur or you didn’t realize I was being sarcastic.

          1. I don’t recall Trump ever committing a felony on TV. So I figured you saw it on TV and assumed it was real or something.

            1. A lot of new names popping up to regurgitate DNC talking points lately.
              You think David Brock will get his money’s worth?

      2. He did commit a crime on video; “I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” This is called witness tampering and it is illegal AF.

    3. ignored any whiff of a scandal under Obama.

      Hey, they fixated on the birther scandal for over four years. And other fake scandals like BENGHAZI and the Cincinnati Lone Wolf IRS Lois Lerner “scandal”.

      Goddamn, the media TRIED to gin up a scandal. They just couldn’t find a criminal like Manafort, Cohen and other Trump Trash.

      1. You’re a known pedophile, and I very much hope your neighbors beat you to death within the year

  6. Rick Wilson is right. Everything that Trump touches does die. Really, who could possibly bankrupt a casino within driving distance of NYC?

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Trump is impeached and removed and the GOP is left shit out of luck, completely divided and scrambling to find a nominee.

    1. Atlantic City really isn’t that close to NYC. Philly is markedly closer.

      And you realize that most AC casinos aren’t exactly doing booming business.

    2. It would be really funny if Katherine Winnick called me up tonight wanting a date. It would be even funnier if the New York Yankees called me up and wanted me to play center field for them in the ALCS.

      All funny things and about as likely to happen as your fantasy. But it is good you have dreams.

    3. “Rick Wilson is right.”

      Even Rick Wilson doesn’t believe that, son.

  7. Don’t worry you Trump-Tards! Democrats can still default on the election by giving the nomination to Elizabeth Warren. They are just as stupid as the GOP is.

    Bill Clinton could not win the Dem nomination today.

    1. What did you take your meds or something shreek.

    2. “Democrats can still default on the election by giving the nomination to Elizabeth Warren.”

      Don’t lose hope, my fellow left-libertarian. Warren would win easily in 2020 if she gets the nomination. 320 Electoral Votes minimum and (this is the important part) at least a 5-point victory in the popular vote.

      “Bill Clinton could not win the Dem nomination today.”

      True, but only because of the sexual assault allegations. To their credit, Democrats are 100% consistent in their application of the #BelieveWomen standard.

  8. Sometimes Trump deserves a high five.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1181905659568283648

    The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE…..

    1. Millions of people have died on the other side.

      There has not been a President since Eisenhower, who understood war better than any President since Grant, who has uttered a word of concern for the people killed on the other side of a war.

      It is interesting how every member of the media is certain that Trump is a psychopath and the most evil person ever. Yet, he seems to be the only person in Washington who thinks twice about killing people.

    2. “He knew what he was getting into.”

      -Trump to a recent war widow.

      I’m sure he cares greatly about our troops, alright.

      1. In which Jeff acts assblasted that Trump pulled troops out of the Middle East.

    3. If we stop providing skirts for Saudi Arabia and Israel to hide behind (and to hide immoral conduct behind), I would begin to consider this a principled move.

      If we have abandoned the Kurds but will continue to flatter the Saudis and Israelis, this is just one more dumb (and immoral, and likely counterproductive) move.

      1. Yes Rev we know. You think it is the JOOS who are the problem. Like every leftist you hate the evil Jews. You don’t have to remind us.

        Why don’t you just change your handle to Father Coughlin and get it over with?

      2. Fucking over the Kurds is the worst part of this, but eventually the bandaid has to come off.

        Trump’s comment about the Kurds and Normandy was … well … well, who knows.

      3. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
        October.9.2019 at 4:06 pm
        “If we stop providing skirts for […] Israel…”

        So it’s the joooze right, Misek, you fucking bigot?

      4. I’m not terribly enthusiastic about backing Israel (I think we’d’ve been better off if we’d stayed out of that mess from the beginning) but given our current geopolitical situation there’s a lot of consequences to hanging them out to dry at this stage. Including possibly a nuclear war.

        Saudi Arabia can go fuck itself, though. We’re getting nothing out of that alliance, except all the messes they make because they think we’ll bail them out if anything gets dicey.

  9. “the GOP gleefully stifles any hint of internal”

    The GOP is a private organization – not a public one.

    For Reason to imply a violation of rights is way off base.

  10. Would this be the same reason that is constantly defending Twitter for doing whatever the hell it wants because it is a private entity?

  11. No, a Potemkin convention would be one where the other candidates legitimately believed they had a shot at the nomination, only to find out later that the party whom they were running for actually favored a single person from the beginning and worked to undermine those competing candidates without them knowing.

    Sort of like the Democrats in 2016.

    1. Anyone who has joined the service since 2001 knows the score. Trump telling a war widow that her KIA husband knew what he was getting into does not preclude Trump’s concern for the safety of the troops and his stated desire to get them out of harm’s way.
      But it is fun to watch those folks who’ve been wanting to get out of Syria, Afghanistan, etc. get all riled up when Trump does what they say they wanted. It’s like they are reactionaries or something.

      1. Wrong spot – sorry – This was to De Oppresso Liber above

  12. “According to multiple polls released this week, a clear majority of Americans support the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and around 50 percent favor his outright removal after a Senate trial.”

    Oh look! Another prediction of mine is coming true!

    For those keeping score:
    2018 — I predicted a #BlueWave. It happened.
    2019 — I predicted impeachment. It’s currently happening.
    2020 — I predicted a Democratic victory. It obviously will happen.

    Amazing accuracy for an alleged “troll / parody account.”

  13. If the Republicans wish to go all-in with Trump, that is fine by me.

    The clingers will find themselves as bankrupt as a Trump casino, as respected as Trump University, as fulfilled as a Trump creditor, and as successful as a Trump-dumped (and -cheated on) ex-wife.

    1. As I recall, it was fine by you in 2016 as well, you slack-jawed, slope-foreheaded hicklib.

      1. Yeah, but Drumpf only “won” that because of Russian hacking. And the Comey letter. And anti-Clinton media bias. And voter suppression. And GamerGate.

        #StillWithHer

        1. You forgot porn star poon.

    2. If the Republicans wish to go all-in with Trump, that is fine by me.

      Thank you for your approval. I’m sure Trump and Republican voters will be overjoyed!

  14. (Sorry if anyone has already made this comment)

    When was the last time a major party had a *non*-Potemkin convention?

    When was the last time a convention met to decide who the candidate should be, as opposed to ratifying a decision already made?

    If the Pres gets enough Republican primary votes to win on the first nomination ballot, then all that’s left are fights over the platform (also rare) and waiting to see who will get coronated as VP.

    Plus speeches and videos about the greatness of the administration and the suckiness of Democrats.

    What makes Trump Potemkin-ier than other winning primary candidates – assuming, that is, that he does win the primaries which I expect but so many weird things have happened lately I’m not going to formally predict it.

  15. Wow, the incumbent’s nominating convention is going to be giant pep rally. Who could have ever seen that coming????

    I. Am. Shocked.

    Trump should get himself some of those giant faux Greek columns for his.

    And have them gold plated.

    1. His convention will only have the finest, cleanest hookers. The best. Everyone says so.

  16. Except “poll” numbers have plateaued and are now going backwards. Look it up reason. This guy is a just another shill here at CNN. You can make a push poll reflect anything you wish.

  17. When was the last time a major party had a *non*-Potemkin convention?

    Probably 1952, when the Dems nominated Stevenson.

  18. According to multiple polls released this week, a clear majority of Americans support the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump

    And yet, for some reason, Democratic leaders in the House refuse to hold a vote to impeach. Hmmm.

    1. Actions. Words. Louder. Yada.

  19. >>>Even as impeachment poll numbers rise

    outwardly rooting for it is laughable why would you get on that trolley?

  20. the more i read this kind of breathless analysis the more i think trump may win in a landslide…

  21. If the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte is shaping up to be a replay of 1972—when an incumbent president who was dogged by persistent scandal and a mostly hostile press corps put on a jarring display of unanimity even in the presence of two primary challengers and chaotic protests outside—hopefully we’ll at least get some decent documentaries out of it.

    The convention of ’72? Really? That’s your bench mark?

    How’d that turn out?

    Oh, yes, the incumbent president who was dogged by persistent scandal and a mostly hostile press corps won every single state except Massachusetts.

    520 electoral votes.

    Talk about winning.

  22. Trump Prepares Potemkin Convention

    But not the Democratic Party. Oh no. They would never stifle internal dissent in the furtherance of getting a pre-selected candidate elected.

    Despite the rising support for impeachment, there is little indication thus far that Trump would do anything but rout his competition in a completely fair fight.

    Yes. So there’s no reason to go through the motions and waste people’s time and money. There’s nothing nefarious going on here – its just obvious that Trump is going to be the candidate. None of his competitors have *anything*.

    Now, let’s consider the Democratic Party which allowed the Clinton campaign to gain a stranglehold over its finances and functioned effectively as an arm of her campaign during 2016. And they didn’t even need to do that. Sanders, et al, had no chance of taking the nomination from Clinton. They just didn’t want her to have to face any pushback from the Progressive wing.

    But the Democratic Party is not a party of the people – they’ve made it clear that the candidate will be who the senior management of the Democratic Party decide it will be.

    So let’s stop talking about Trump as if he’s unique. Nothing. NOTHING. Not a single damned thing you guys have complained about Trump doing is unique to Trump. Well, except for the Twitter diarrhea. That’s new.

    You should, instead, focus on how this is all business-as-usual in Washington. Trump is just letting us see how everyone acts because he’s bad at hiding it.

    If you keep focusing on Trumps issues as if they were just Trump’s issues, well, one day Trump will be gone. And then the next guy will be in there doing the exact same shit – and he’ll get away with it because people won’t be looking for him to be doing it because you’ve spent years telling people that all this was just Trump.

    1. You should, instead, focus on how this is all business-as-usual in Washington. Trump is just letting us see how everyone acts because he’s bad at hiding it.

      Actually, I’m getting increasingly convinced that Trump, for all his personal faults, is actually substantially less corrupt and dishonest than most other politicians. The fact that four years of investigations have produced nothing is a pretty indication of that among other things.

  23. The GOP of Kansas has cancelled every their state’s Republican presidential primary every time there’s been an incumbent Republican in the White House since Abraham Lincoln. They’re treating Donald Trump by the same standard as every other Republican president.

    You’re a lazy disgrace to journalism, Welch. Try doing some research before you spout your bullshit whining, you useful idiot.

    1. Incidentally, I don’t recall this level of whining about Hillary Clinton’s Potemkin convention, when she rigged the Democratic primary to beat Bernie Sanders. The DNC even admitted it in court.

      But then again, there were a lot of Clinton supporters on Reason’s staff back then (and probably now), so the hypocrisy isn’t surprising. I’m sure they’ll be writing plenty of articles about how Hillary is the only true “libertarian” choice when she enters the Democratic race shortly.

  24. “Potemkin convention”? “Poll numbers for impeachment”? Totally unbiased non-partisan reporting courtesy of… Reason.

    The “impeachment” attempt is an attack on our Democracy. It’s your job as journalists to understand and point out this outrage. Instead, you join the leftist mob and try to unseat a duly elected president in this farce.

  25. What do you call the other side? The Bolshevik Convention?

  26. Prediction: Impeachment proceedings will proceed, and IF Trump gets ousted, there will be a crisis as he will refuse to step down and his sycophants will refuse to recognize it.

    1. Prediction: Impeachment proceedings will proceed, and IF Trump gets ousted, there will be a crisis as he will refuse to step down and his sycophants will refuse to recognize it.

      Another leftist talking point. You really prove how deplorable Democrats and the left have become.

      You know who still refuses to accept the outcome of the 2016 election? Who goes around claiming that they won? Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. That’s why we have this impeachment nonsense, denial of evidence and facts, fishing expeditions, and legal farce going on in the House. Hillary is even going around saying that “she won”.

  27. Now if they’d just do us all the favor of canceling the convention as well, that’d be perfect.

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