According to a CNN report, RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been communicating with the heads of several state delegations about the ongoing effort to oust Trump at the convention. There isn’t really an indication that Priebus is trying to either help or actively quash an anti-Trump mutiny at this point, merely that he is trying to get a handle on how serious the situation is. RNC spox Sean Spicer disputes this characterization of Priebus’s conversations, telling CNN that “Lots of people have conversations and ask questions of the chairman.”
Well, sure. But quite frankly, whichever side Priebus comes down on – and I would be flabbergasted if he came down on any side other than aggressively quashing any mutiny that might arise – he would be a fool not to do what the CNN report claims, which is to assess the size and scope of the potential problem that faces him (and Trump) at the convention. I understand why Spicer at all don’t want to have Priebus’ name even mentioned in the same sentence as this story given the tenuous relationship between the Trump campaign and the RNC, but all Priebus is alleged to have done is to have committed the crime of “planning.” Which, come to think of it, is enough to get him in trouble with the Trump campaign after all.
I gotta say, I am torn on the merits of this idea to start with. I really get that people (including me) don’t want to see Hillary Clinton get elected and the GOP sent to ruinous defeat. That’s an incredibly strong impulse for lifelong Republicans. And yanking the rug out from under Trump is basically the only way to make that happen. Sure it comes with risks but with Trump, defeat is a certainty.
However, I really feel like the best way forward is just to let Trump have the nomination. If Trump is denied the nomination due to hijinx at the convention, his drooling followers will live on as a festering boil in the side of the GOP, continuing on forever in the delusion that their guy WOULD HAVE TOTALLY BEATEN HILLARY AND BEEN THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER IF ONLY HE HADN’T BEEN CHEATED BY THE ESTABLISHMENT. They will persist in the belief that all that needs to happen is that a candidate needs to run on Trump’s message to win. And so in 2020 we will be treated to the spectacle of either a Donald Trump or a Sarah Palin third party candidacy – one that gets 15% tops but takes the GOP down with it again.
I believe that what needs to happen is that Trump needs to be given his chance in the general. His supporters need to see him lose, and lose badly (which is what will inevitably happen). Granted, some portion of them will persist in conspiracy-theory fueled delusions about Trump being CHEATED out of the election even if he loses all fifty states, but for the most part, a resounding Trump loss will put paid to the idea of Trumpism for good, which is what this country desperately needs. Some will cling to the failed ideas of Trumpism but at least it will have been demonstrated that the ideas are electoral losers, even when carried forth by their man god.
It’s the one chance that exists to make the Trumpkins see reason, and if they refuse, we are all screwed anyway.