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Presidential Horse Race 2016: #NeverTrump’s scalp dance is a tad premature

The hysteria was palpable late last week as the gleeful #NeverTrump forces danced around their proverbial internet fires, celebrating what they saw as an almost certainly dead candidacy of Donald Trump.

First there was Trump’s retort to the Orlando massacre which drew a heated rebuke from Hillary and Obama and almost universal condemnation from the “I can’t believe he said that about Muslims” news media, the chief protectors of the politically correct status quo. The Republican establishment’s reaction to Trump’s response #NeverTrump dancewasn’t much better, with several of the eternally politics-first politicians refusing to support their nominee’s position, or even talk about him when asked.

Then there were the poll numbers that showed Trump losing more ground to Hillary almost five months out from November’s general election. Forget the fact Clinton had wrapped up her nomination just a week before and was bound to get some sort of a bump, like Trump had, from all the feel-good “she’s a she!” half of the electorate that seems to vote with their brains in reverse.

If you listen to the media and Republican establishment’s narrative, you might even feel like calling the race right now.

This just in from our projections desk: Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 election.”

If everyone is so set on handing the election to Hillary, let’s just stop right now. All of the sky-is-falling doom and gloom is ridiculous and pathetic, especially since the party conventions are still a month away and the kids will be back in school well before the traditional post-Labor Day campaign season even begins.

That’s not stopping the Trump-detractors from keeping up the dreaming, however. It looks like #NeverTrump thinks they’ve got an orange scalp already on the tip of their spear and are looking for more revelers to join their party.

Leading #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson of The Resurgent wrote, “There are numerous very vocal critics of Donald Trump. But there are also a growing number of Trump endorsers who now see the writing on the wall. They realize that Donald Trump is a disaster as the nominee and will sin[k] the GOP in November. So long as Trump is the nominee, the GOP will lose the Senate, lose the White House, and lose the Supreme Court.

“The critics of Trump need a brave Trump endorser to admit publicly what they are conceding in private. If we are to undo the damage Trump is doing and save the republic from Hillary Clinton, Trump’s endorsers must come forward and renounce their endorsements. One brave Trump endorser can start a snowball down the mountain.”

There’s only one problem. It’s June and you’d have to go to the southern hemisphere to find any snow.

As I’ve said a lot lately, I have enjoyed Erickson’s work for years and found him to be thoughtful and correct on most issues. When he disinvited Trump from the RedState gathering last summer (over the Megyn Kelly incident), I thought it was entirely justified. Similarly, as the fall went on, I agreed with Erickson’s characterizations of Trump and his supporters and appreciated his eventual advocacy of Ted Cruz’s candidacy.

But when Erick decided to go #NeverTrump, he lost it.

Now Erickson is looking for just one “brave” Trump endorser to come forward and say, “Forget it. Trump’s a baboon. I’m pulling my endorsement.”

My question for Erick: hasn’t that been done already? Wouldn’t the pull-back of support from Senators Lindsey Graham and Mark Kirk qualify for Erickson’s snowball? How about the eternal waffling of John Kasich? Or the Republican governors of Michigan, Maryland and Massachusetts saying they’ll not vote for Trump in November (he even mentions these guys in his post)?

It seems to me there’re many more than one establishment politicians jumping off the Trump bandwagon in a huff to disassociate themselves from anyone who actually appears to believe in something.

These people are all abandoning their nominee when times are the hardest. It doesn’t show much character for them to do so, especially since Trump won their states in the primaries (except for Kasich, of course) and the voters indicated through the ballot box that they liked Trump.

Thank the Lord Indiana Gov. Mike Pence didn’t take Erickson’s advice. Pence actually endorsed Trump last week, even after the Mexican judge flap.

Others are seeing the light and telling #NeverTrump to get in line as well, such as former Ted Cruz supporter Mark Davis.

At any rate, it looks like it’s going to take a lot more than one person to rescind his endorsement in order for the torrent to overwhelm Trump’s nomination. It looks like that flood just isn’t coming. You all can go home now.

As for #NeverTrump’s failure to generate the anti-Trump wave, it’s probably because most people recognize the weakness of their argument. This is the gist of #NeverTrump’s case –

“See! The polls are awful in June, just imagine how bad it’s going to be in November! We were right about everything! Women hate Trump! African-Americans hate Trump! Hispanics hate Trump!

“Stop him before he loses worse than John McCain and Mitt Romney!” (Oops, I don’t think they meant to say that, but the result is the same.)

And in case you’ve forgotten, here is #NeverTrump’s main rallying call: DON’T PARTICIPATE!

Before you go and purchase your dancing moccasins for the #NeverTrump scalp victory dance, consider this: Should you manage to take down Trump, which you won’t, you’ll only assure Hillary Clinton’s victory in November.

Who will be celebrating then?

#NeverTrump’s latest hope involves a secret delegate revolt

Perhaps fueling the fires of the #NeverTrump circle dance are rumors that pockets of resistance to Trump’s nomination are forming among delegates to next month’s party convention.

Kyle Cheney of Politico reports, “Dozens of delegates to the Republican National Convention have launched an effort to dislodge Donald Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee next month.

“The push, first reported by The Washington Post, is the first attempt by anti-Trump delegates in a handful of states to stitch together their splintered efforts to replace the GOP standard-bearer amid a furor among conservatives over his candidacy and sinking poll numbers.”

According to Cheney, many of the delegates involved are Ted Cruz supporters, but they’re not trying to dump Trump and install Cruz. It isn’t clear exactly who would replace Trump in such a scenario, but I’m guessing the establishment would have a big say in the matter.

Mitt Romney, anyone?

Before I address the merits of such a proposition, there’s also the “let him burn” elements of #NeverTrump, like Leon H. Wolf at RedState (originally a Rubio supporter, by the way), who essentially argue Trump should be allowed to take the nomination only to lose badly in November.

Here’s a sample of Wolf’s genius: “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.”

What ideas need to be defeated…? Like the immigration laws need to be enforced and national security needs to be driven by common sense instead of political correctness?

So…I guess Wolf’s saying we should sit by and watch Hillary take down the country for the next four years to teach a portion of Trump’s most outlandish supporters some sort of lesson.

Such a thought process completely ignores the reality of what the executive actually does in America. True, the president sets policy, but the worker-bees carry out the orders. Punishing Trump’s supporters by removing him at the convention or cheering for him to lose in November makes ZERO sense.

Another dose of reality: those people who let Trump lose by stupidly doing nothing are going to bear the blame for all of this. You don’t like Trump, we get it. Get over it and join those of us who are #NeverHillary and actually care about the future of the country.

Stop scalp dancing and get moving, #NeverTrump.

Trump tells GOP it’s a two-way street when it comes to helping him win

One logical extension from all the recent Donald Trump-bashing and lack of support from Republicans and some conservatives in the GOP is Trump’s threatening to lock the party out of his campaign if they’re not going to help him.

John Siciliano of the Washington Examiner reports, “Donald Trump Saturday threatened to fund his own campaign, saying the Republican Party is not doing enough to help him.

“’If the Republican party acts like they don't wanna help, I'll fund my own campaign,’ Trump said during a rally in Las Vegas. ‘Right now I'm raising a lot of money for the GOP. I like doing it. But we have to have help.’ Trump said ‘life is like a two-way street,’ suggesting the GOP had to start sending help his way too. ‘Otherwise, I'll keep doing what I'm doing. Funding my own campaign. That's the easy way. Hopefully, we can continue to go the way we're going.’”

In their rush to distance themselves from their own presidential nominee, Republicans are playing with fire. If they push Trump far enough he’ll cast them aside and truly go it alone. His chances of success will go down drastically, but it’s becoming the only alternative.

And why are they failing to support Trump? Because he articulates policies that many Americans favor but don’t fit within the narrow confines of political correctness. If liberal group A feigns outrage at Trump’s latest utterances, Republicans run the other way.

Obama and Hillary see that all they have to do is overtly criticize Trump and instantly many in the GOP will become so worried about electoral politics that they’ll follow right behind. The Democrats support each other through thick and thin but Republicans are always worried about what some focus group might think and play to the mushy middle.

Trump’s threat to go it alone really is in keeping with his “outsider” campaign that he’s run from the beginning, and possibly might be a play to Bernie Sanders voters who would be drawn to his self-funding arguments.

But either way, it’s a clarion call for Republicans to wise up and start the process of unity before the convention. Instead of attacking their own nominee to gain favor with the opposition, they should show some support and turn the rhetorical guns on the Democrats.

There’s plenty there to talk about. And then Trump won’t be making any more threats to leave them out of the process.

Trump suggests Jeb Bush (and Mitt Romney?) is behind coup rumors

Finally today, even though Donald Trump is suggesting he might go without the Republican Party if they won’t help him, it hasn’t stopped him from saying things that will infuriate party elites and get his name in the news at the same time.

Jessie Hellmann of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump on Saturday accused Jeb Bush of mounting a convention coup against him, after reports that Republican delegates who don't personally support Trump are looking for ways to avoid voting for him this summer.

“’By the way, Jeb is working on the movement, just so you understand,’ Trump said to supporters at a rally in Las Vegas.

“’Jeb is one of the people that's working — and the other one should be obvious,’ he said, though he didn't elaborate further.”

I don’t think Trump is being intentionally vague, but I’m not quite sure who the other co-conspirator would be…but then again, Mitt Romney would be a good guess.

For what it’s worth, the RNC denies there is any such movement. On this, I’m inclined to believe them. The job of a political party is to get its candidates elected. Secretly plotting behind the scenes to remove their presidential nominee after the primaries played out wouldn’t advance that goal, especially when it isn’t at all clear, despite the claims from our #NeverTrump friends, that Trump is a sure loser in November.

So it’s safe to say we can put out that fire…the only thing that remains to be seen is whether #NeverTrump will extinguish theirs.

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