I was in the car driving to a meeting in New Orleans yesterday and caught some of Rush Limbaugh’s show. I don’t listen every day; usually I’m not in the car, and the radio is seldom on in the house.
The dynamic of Limbaugh’s audience is interesting. Most of the callers seem to have turned, hard, against Donald Trump and are dissatisfied with Limbaugh’s having taken a soft approach toward him, and he’s apparently taken to imposing a gag order on himself about the Corey Lewandowski-Michelle Fields issue because he thinks he can’t win talking about it. But amid all that yesterday, Limbaugh warned that a contested convention, which it looks pretty clear will be the case in Cleveland, is the mechanism by which the dreaded GOP establishment will screw not just Trump but Ted Cruz and John Kasich as well.
This is a very important outcome in Wisconsin for getting to 1,237, ’cause I’m here to tell you, I don’t care who you’re for — if you’re for Trump, if you’re Kasich, if you’re for Cruz — the establishment is trying to assemble the mechanism here where none of those three end up being the nominee, folks.
So if you’re a Cruzer and you are happy today thinking your chances have been reinvigorated because of Trump having stepped in it on abortion last night, you gotta get to 1,237 to stop whatever the establishment’s gonna pull at the convention. And, by the way, have you heard this statistic being bandied about? Try this.
See if you’ve heard this. A bunch of pro-contested convention people are running around pointing out — we even had this stat I think yesterday or the day before. In the last 10 contested conventions, the nominee only came from the list of candidates in the primaries in three of them. In other words, seven of the last 10 contested conventions chose somebody who had not run.
They’re out there using that stat, the pro-contested convention crowd, in order to give them support and to tell everyone, “Hey, it’s not unusual what we’re plotting here. Hey, it’s happened before. Hey, don’t sweat it. It wouldn’t be anything extraordinary or out of the normal if somebody that didn’t run was chosen as the nominee.”
And a little more…
They’re not worried. ‘Cause they don’t think Trump’s gonna be the nominee. They really don’t. I’m telling you right here, the establishment boys — and I say that generically. The establishment gang, I think, is pretty confident within themselves that Trump’s not gonna be the nominee. I think they’re telling themselves that nobody’s gonna get to 1,237.
Now, I know you probably heard people say, “Well, it doesn’t matter, Rush, it’s gonna be Trump or Cruz. I mean, they’re two top vote getters. It’s gotta be Trump or Cruz, even if neither of ’em gets 1,237.” No. No, no, no, no. It doesn’t have to be Trump or Cruz. Just listen to these contested convention guys talk. They don’t include Cruz in any of their plans, and Cruz is the number two the guy. If Trump doesn’t get to 1,237 it’s tough for Cruz to, although his supporters think that there is a path for him to do it. It would require Kasich maybe exiting.
But the point is when you listen to the contested convention crowd in the Republican Party talk about what would happen, they don’t include Cruz in their list of — and because they don’t that’s why I am pretty confident in believing that their the intention is to choose somebody that has either already lost and exited the primaries for somebody who never got in ’em, a la Paul Ryan. But if the news is that you’re a Republican establishment guy and you really hate Trump, you’re just worried as hell that Trump’s gonna destroy the party, Trump’s this, Trump’s that, can’t have Trump, Trump’s horrible and it looks like Trump’s not gonna get there, “Wow okay, that means Cruz.” No, they don’t want Cruz either. And they don’t include Cruz’s name in any of these lists of potential nominees if they go the contested route.
Limbaugh was set off by a truly unfortunate and ridiculous set of appearances Karl Rove made in the media yesterday – on Fox News, in the Wall Street Journal and on the Hugh Hewitt Show – touting the possibility of a “fresh face” to heal what ails the GOP. This was the Hugh Hewitt appearance.
Rove makes the case that Rule 40, which is the RNC rule which says you have to have won a majority of delegates in eight primary contests in order to be eligible for the nomination. Rove says it doesn’t mean anything; Cruz has a different view.
The Cruz strategy is to hold on to Rule 40, because he’s likely, if not certain, to be the only candidate other than Trump to hit the eight-state threshold for eligibility under that rule (notwithstanding what Rove says). Cruz’ camp believes that if the GOP delegates are put into a situation whereby they’re choosing between Trump and himself, he’s going to get the majority of those delegates, and he’s probably correct in that assumption.
We know he’s probably correct because we’ve seen with the delegates in Louisiana that those not bound to Cruz or Trump choose Cruz, as the five delegates elected on Marco Rubio’s slate have apparently done.
Now, should Trump lose the nomination on the floor after arriving in Cleveland with a plurality, but not a majority, of the delegates, his threat to (a) not support the nominee and (b) run a third-party campaign becomes the largest issue confronting the GOP. Is there a way to pacify Trump after what he will say is “stealing” the nomination from him? Will his supporters then attempt to sabotage the nominee or choose Trump as a third-party candidate?
It’s hard to say what the actual effect of all this would be.
At the end of the day, though, if Trump can’t get to 1237 either before the convention or at it, it’s Trump’s fault. He needed a better campaign apparatus, he needed fewer gaffes, he needed to have a better command of issues like abortion and foreign policy so as to avoid being led around by the nose by interviewers like Chris Matthews and he needed to channel the anger that fueled his campaign into something more constructive than the semi-organized chaos his rallies have so often devolved into. Those things all scare off Republican voters and they lead to high negatives putting his viability as a general election candidate in question.
And if Trump falls short and Cruz’ campaign is able to stack the convention rules committee with delegates who uphold an interpretation of Rule 40 that keep Rove’s “fresh faces” or anyone else out of contention, it’s going to be Cruz who wins the nomination.
And that would frustrate the best-laid plans of the Kasich team, unless Kasich could convince Cruz to make him Vice President.
Maybe Cruz ought to offer him Postmaster-General. He’d like that, right?
The thing is, if you’re a guy who owns guns you don’t really have to put up with a girlfriend who insists on being as neurotic as the ones on this video. Gun ownership is skyrocketing among female Americans, because more and more of them recognize the value of having some form of personal protection. By all means women ought to have guns, because they’re a great equalizer – a woman faced by a potential male assailant who is bigger, stronger, athletically superior and probably has better skills with respect to hand-to-hand combat is a woman largely at the mercy of that assailant. But that same woman with a gun in her purse and the knowledge of how to use it is most certainly not at his mercy.
But guns are scary, and learning how to use one might be hard, and developing a mentality of refusal to be a victim runs counter to the soft culture being spread in America, so it’s easier to just say how icky and immoral guns are. That’s better in every way than the opposite view, save one – it’s wrong, and it’s a lot more dangerous to pretend there’s safety in defenselessness.
It would have been nice for one of the guys on that video to say “Sorry, but I will have a gun in the house because nobody is going to come in and violate my castle without me being able to defend it. And my family will not be defenseless victims. If you don’t appreciate my role as the defender of my household, something I take very seriously, then you don’t respect me as a man and I should find someone else who does.”
Maybe that’s a Neanderthal mentality, but it built a pretty damn good civilization on this continent before we started giving out participation trophies.
There is no doubt this idiot will kill or maim himself.