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Wither the GOP?
Author: Will in Chicago    Date: 04/13/2016 05:22:47

Will Rogers, famous pundit and wit of the 1920s, was noted for having said "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

If only Will Rogers could see today's Republican party, which is fracturing even more than the Titanic did after its run-in with an iceberg. The results of this year's political chaos is leading to events that no pundit would have predicted a year ago.

First comes the story that several key Republican officials plan to skip their convention. Here is the story from CNN:

Washington (CNN)A number of high-profile Republicans, fearful of a potential melee in Cleveland this summer, are considering skipping the Republican National Convention and campaigning back home instead.

With the presidential campaign hitting a fever pitch and Donald Trump warning about riots if he's denied the nomination, some House and Senate Republicans tell CNN that it makes more sense to spend time with voters back home rather than be associated with the drama engulfing their party.

But even some leading party stalwarts are planning to skip the convention.

Asked Tuesday if he'd attend the convention, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told CNN: "No."

"Unlikely," GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte said when asked if she'd be in Cleveland in the midst of her tough bid for a second term. "I've got a lot of work to do in New Hampshire, I have my own re-election and I'm going to be focusing on my voters in New Hampshire."

The decision underscores the dilemma confronting Republicans in being tied too closely to the top of the ticket -- particularly incumbents from swing states worried that Trump's divisive candidacy and Ted Cruz's rigid brand of conservatism will doom their chances at keeping power in both chambers of Congress.

The political considerations are certainly a huge part of why some GOP officials and luminaries will likely find another place to be than Cleveland during the convention. Of course, Donald Trump's ally Roger Stone threatening to reveal where delegates are staying so Trump supporters can "[i]talk[/i]" to them must not be comforting either.

Neither is the news about the Colorado and Indiana GOP chairs likely to be comforting to some leading Republicans. According to Raw story, these two state chairs are facing criticism and even death threats from Trump supporters.

If you think Donald Trump’s campaign rallies are violent what’s happening online is spiraling out of control too. Trump supporters have turned their rage to the chair of the Colorado Republican Party as well as Republican delegates in Indiana.

Colorado GOP Chair Steve House posted on his Facebook page that he has received over 3,000 calls to his home, some of which were death threats. Trump supporters evidently blame House, not Colorado law, for running a caucus instead of a primary and have posted House’s personal information online. Trump has had more success in primary states, so the fans are turning their anger to party officials.


In Indiana, Republican delegates are incurring the wrath of Trump supporters after some of them expressed reservations about Trump, according to the IndyStar. Delegates received threatening emails warning that they are being watched and implied they could be targeted. Some of the Trump supporters even sent intimidating notes to the families of the delegates as well.

“You sorry (expletive)!” GOP delegate Craig Dunn said he got via email. “I hope the worst for you and yours!”

Indiana's Republican and Democratic primaries are on May 3rd. I will NOT be taking a Republican ballot.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan (R- Ayn Randistan, oops, R- Beyond the Cheddar Curtain Land, oops R- Wisconsin) says he will not be the party's nominee in the (likely) event of a brokered convention.

“If no candidate has a majority on the first ballot, I believe that you should only choose from a person who has actually participated in the primary,” Ryan said. “Count me out.”

“I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party, to be the president, you should actually run for it,” he said. “I chose not to do this, therefore, I should not be considered. Period. End of story.”

But the Wisconsin Republican was less definitive on what will happen in July during the GOP convention. The speaker, who is chairman of the convention, seemed to accept that a contested convention was a real possibility, and that the nomination wouldn’t just be handed over to the person who is closest to a majority of delegates.

Count me as one of many doubting this statement, as Paul Ryan seems mostly about himself and implementing an Ayn Randian agenda on America. Politicians have many ways of saying no when they want to signal yes.

So, whither the GOP? Or wither the GOP? Considering that a brokered convention will likely offend many Donald Trump or Ted Cruz supporters -- or both if the convention selects neither as the presidential nominee -- we may see many Republicans sit home this fall as the party fragments. Already, it seems that the corporate, Trump and evangelical wings are heading their separate ways. If Paul Ryan becomes the nominee of his party, he may find that wanting something and having something can be two very different things. The GOP won their first presidency in 1860 when they triumphed over a divided Democratic Party. The GOP divisions may lead not just to a Democratic presidency but quite possibly Democratic control of the Senate and House. Somewhere, I think Will Rogers would laugh loudly to see such a turn of events.


10 comments (Latest Comment: 04/13/2016 19:41:43 by TriSec)
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