As delegates start to make plans for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and Donald Trump begins his descent in the polls, the #SaveOurParty effort to push a walkout of delegates and alternates is facing an unlikely foe from within: the establishment GOP.
The #SaveOurParty plan is simple, if a delegate (and their alternate) isn’t present to vote, another vote is taken. Once three or four votes have passed, virtually none of the delegates will be bound and they can vote however they’d like.
Doesn’t get much simpler than that, right?
That depends on who you’re talking to. The fast-talking east-coast man of about 5 foot 7 inches named Ron Kaufman, a resident of Virginia who has been the Massachusetts National Committeeman during the most miserably represented period in Massachusetts history for Republicans, has been appointed to head the Rules committee. That’s the committee that decides the fate of whether delegates can be “unbound” or not.
Just the guy you want leading the GOP to success: a Massachusetts Republican.
A lobbyist who considers himself a “friend of George Bush” and a “top-tier” Romney 2012 advisor built a career around promising government jobs and making threats to people with political connections. I should know, I fought him in Massachusetts for years.
Kaufman’s people now have embedded themselves among the resistance and are suggesting that he is leading an underground movement of delegates to overturn the man that he has come out publicly to support, but in reality he’s leading Cruz supporters down a path of self-destruction.
Let’s look at the only two possible options of Kaufman’s involvement:
1. He is actually with Trump and picking apart “rebel” delegates by making promises to them to flip their support to Trump
2. He is against Trump but promising Cruz delegates that, with their support, he’ll change the rules of the convention to unbind so that anyone can be nominated… and then Jeb Bush or John Kasich can be brought in
Either way, the establishment uses the support of Cruz delegates to undo the current rules that forbid any candidate from taking the nomination except Trump and Cruz. Now why would any Cruz supporter want to do that?
“Not showing up” may not be the most passionate, bold, expressive way to count yourself as a delegate to possibly the most important election for president in a lifetime. But it’s the most effective.
When Jeb Bush (friend of Ron Kaufman) said that the nominee would have to lose the primary to win the general, it sent the media into a frenzy trying to figure out exactly what he meant.
Under a “Free the Delegates” plan, Jeb could actually use Cruz friendly delegates to rewrite rules to pave a path to nomination.
Or maybe you think that’s too far out.
Either way, a delegate or alternate not present can’t possibly do that. A delegate or alternate not present can’t be bullied, can’t be bought, can’t be intimidated, and if they keep their credentials on them cannot be replaced.
A delegate or alternate not present cannot be automatically counted as a vote for Trump, and as long as a few hundred people who are delegates and alternates don’t show up on the floor to vote when the time has come, then no nominee can emerge until they do.
The power isn’t in the Rules committee. The power is in the delegates.
So why would anyone ever advocate doing anything else?
Money. Power. A chance to return the GOP to establishment control.
And if someone gets one out of three of those options then it’s a lot better than Ted Cruz becoming president… if you’re Ron Kaufman.
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