So what’s it going to be, GOP? #NeverTrump, or …

It was another strong night for Donald Trump — he took 66 of 67 counties from Florida “favorite son” Mark Rubio, driving him out of the race — yet still not strong enough to put him on a path to a majority of GOP delegates and thus the nomination.

So let’s game this out: If Donald Trump falls short of the required majority and it comes down to a floor fight in Cleveland, as seems increasingly possible, what course do you take? I’d say that Republicans ought to fight Trump with everything they have, for the future of their party, their country and for their own sense of self-respect. Sure, they might lose, but even then it would be a fight worth fighting.

I mean, what’s their alternative?

Yes, I suppose they could concede their party’s leadership to Trump, who would then proceed to lose by a landslide to Hillary Clinton and in the process permanently damage the reputation of their party. You’ve seen what has happened so far. You’ve watched it and marveled at it. Think of all the crazy, insulting and crass things that Trump has yet to say and do in the eight months between now and the general election, all under the banner of the GOP.  Think of the damage to the brand that is coming your way. Think of him at the convention, delivering his acceptance speech.

Trump will come to mean Republican; Republican will come to mean Trump. And after the election, he will go back to his billions and his golf courses and leave the party lying in a gutter, disgraced. The damage to Republican officeholders down-ticket would be enormous.

Now, I’m not saying the alternative is a path strewn with roses. Quite the contrary. If Trump arrives in Cleveland with a plurality but not the required majority, snatching the nomination from him would set off a truly nasty schism, driving Trump supporters out of the party in justified anger. Winning them back to the GOP would be all but impossible in this election cycle, and the honor of losing to Hillary would likely fall to Ted Cruz, himself a deeply flawed candidate. (Notably, House Speaker Paul Ryan wouldn’t totally rule out a run if the convention turned his way. “We’ll see,” he said. “Who knows.”)

As you no doubt noticed, both scenarios end in a Republican defeat this fall. Protest all you wish, that’s where we are. Absent some earthshaking event, the damage has been done. Trump will be the nominee and lose; or the political damage done in refusing Trump the nomination will cause his replacement to lose.

Some will disagree, not wanting to admit that reality. And if Republicans want to base their future actions on the belief that under Trump they could still somehow take the White House, well, have at it, boys. I’m merely suggesting that a sane and sober look at the environment would suggest otherwise.

If the party takes a stand against Trumpism and denies him the nomination, it will at least earn itself a degree of respect from the American people. They will have lanced the boil and ended the pain, and by doing so they would rescue the GOP brand and tradition and make its path back to competitive status considerably shorter.

If they embrace Trump, they embrace everything about him.

Reader Comments 0

643 comments
GraceD
GraceD

This is where the rubber hits the road for republicans, both legislators & regular people.

Their vote will show if they love their party more than their country. 

I hope everyone is watching.

oakislandbeachbum
oakislandbeachbum

Good message, Bookman.  Sure, there are a lot of angry people in our country, but Trump is not the solution. This country cannot lose its place of respect on the world stage if we have a bigot, misogynist, emerging fascist, and resoundingly vulgar cultivator of hate and division in our White house. Can anyone really imagine positive results for Trump if he steps onto the world stage as President and trash talks other world leaders? When people have divided ideas, they have to find a way to speak in such a manner that seeks common ground, no matter at home or abroad.  That is what makes the difference in being a civilized society. Otherwise, society as we know it will simply implode and explode with extraordinary, never before observed, unimaginable calamity. And I am not even a Democrat.

JamVet
JamVet

Millennials have now caught and passed Baby Boomers in terms of the number of eligible voters.

Juan mo time.

Start whining about 2020, cons.

This one was over before it started...

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@JamVet Is that the problem?  Crazy Sanders, crazy Trump, obnoxious Cruz, empty suit Rubio (now thankfully out).  The boomers are supporting crazy ego before country Kasich and lying sleazebag ego before country Hillary.  Doesn't say much good about either group.  Not enough of the Greatest and Silent generation left to provide reason (note:  I'm a boomer).

honested
honested

America needs a strong Liberal Justice and the President nominates this solid citizen, straight up American, nothing negative about him, unquestionably qualified Centrist!!


How can an unabashed centrist help undue the damage wrought by scalia...


So much for President Obama being a 'euro-socialist'!!!

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@honested he will absolutely overturn Citizens U, and beat down all the weasel borshun sore-loser weasel-ness. He will stand with LGBT and pro-labor decisions. He's sure not Michael Moore or Markos or a 30 yr old Bernie Sanders.


However, I am very disappointed that we did not take this opportunity to put a fork in their horribly failed ideology.

They will take this bait, and we could have had so much more.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

The GOP senate will fold sometime between the convention and November. No matter who the nominee is.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@DownInAlbany 

The longest time between nomination and confirmation was 125 days, for Justice Brandeis.  Between now and 12/31/16, there are 290 days. So cons can double the longest it has ever taken thus far, and still have 40 days left over.  

If McConnell and the other obstructionist cons cared about their party, they'd confirm Garland post haste. I'm guessing they won't and it will cost them, big time.

How's that indictment looking?

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@Visual_Cortex @xxxzzz @Eye wonder @DownInAlbany Democrat crocodile tears.  And in most cases, justices have been replaced by a president of the same party.  If this was Ginsburg dying, I don't think they would be acting as obstructive as Democrats normally do.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

"I have fulfilled my constitutional duty. Now you fulfill yours."

See what he did there? Used their own Senate oath on them.

Hillary can't lay down smack like Obama the Mamba.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

interesting polling tidbit from that WaPo piece I linked below:


At the moment, more Americans appear to be sympathetic toward the White House’s argument. Sixty-three percent of Americans said Senate should hold hearings on Obama’s nominee to replace Scalia, while 32 percent said they should not hold hearings and leave it to the next president, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week. Majorities of Democrats and independents supported holding hearings, while Republicans were more evenly split (46-49) and over half of conservative Republicans said they should not be held (54 percent).


I'm a little surprised that the right side of the aisle isn't more on board with this. The Senate might fold faster than I'd thought.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Visual_Cortex 

Some thoughts on a scenario you posited, VC. 

Say the Presidential race gets thrown into the SC, ala Bush/Gore, but there are only eight justices, who split evenly. 

Even if the Ds take the Senate, any Obama nomination would likely recuse(?).  Or perhaps the Ds fail to take the Senate. 

On January 20th, the President of the US would be - the Speaker of the House (what if one hasn't been selected yet?)?

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@Visual_Cortex The poll is almost certainly wrong.  Dems and indies it may be right on, but has to be wrong on Republicans.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@xxxzzz @Visual_Cortex

Well I'd want to see more polling before I'd hang my hat on this, but maybe Mitch has miscalculated the support for digging in his heels on this.

Again, they're not saying they want anyone confirmed, but considered? yes.

I think that's likely to become a very tough position for the Senate to continue to hold, but we'll see.

JKToole
JKToole

@Nick_Danger Supreme Court didn't "decide" an election. They ruled on a court case. The verdict gave Bush all the electoral votes in Florida, which in turn handed Bush the election. Even though Gore narrowly won the popular vote.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Merrick Garland has beautiful values.  A true public servant with genuine humility.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@MaryElizabethSings You seem to learn so much about someone in such a short period of time.  What do you find so beautiful about his values?  How has he shown himself to be a true public servant (I think that puts him in the 1% category)?  Truly interested...

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Penses @DownInAlbany @MaryElizabethSings


No, I am still here.  Let me put it to you and DIA a little more bluntly, Penses.  I do not have the patience to deal with people in my older years who are so obtuse as to not recognize the obvious.  If anyone listened to Garland's acceptance speech and witnessed his tears and demeanor, anyone with any sensitivity would have seen what I saw.  But, one would have to have weighed every word he uttered with great clarity and wisdom.  You often cannot teach that to those who are only playing "gotcha" games - the mindset of a child, whatever the age.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@DownInAlbany @MaryElizabethSings


My remarks to Penses, above, also apply to the quality of your thinking, as you have displayed here, DIA.  Do you really think, by choice, I would care to engage such a mind, knowing that it was only a game?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@StraightNoChaser But, is it real clear, how long the process should take?  Geez, he hasn't actually nominated anyone.  Yet.  Talk about "whining."  Hell, you're whining about something that hasn't happened.