In 2012 the GOP Betrayed Its Conservative Base and They’re Ready to Do It Again

Paul Ryan Mitch McConnell

Donald Trump prospered during the primaries by giving lip service to every conservative position known to Man. But since he eliminated the competition, he’s taken Democratic positions, like backing Charlotte, NC in allowing people to use public bathrooms based upon “gender identity,” backing an increase in the minimum wage, backing taxing the rich, and has appointed a former George Soros employee as his Finance Chair. Now, he flirts with gun control.

To its misfortune, the GOP has the most negatively viewed candidate in history as its standard bearer. The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Trump viewed unfavorably by 68% of independents, 77% of women and 89% of Hispanics.

That’s because Trump is singularly odious: he insults his critics with crass and childish epithets; He’s urged attendees at rallies to “beat the crap” out of protestors, his rhetoric inspires his followers to threaten officials and delegates; he shoots from the lip with drivel such as “some form of punishment would be needed for women who have abortions, should the procedure become illegal.

If that’s not bad enough, he has a huge following of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The Daily Stormer, a Nazi website, called on its readers to heap anti-Semitic insults on a Jewish journalist who had displeased “Empress Melania,” as they call Trump’s wife. They refer to DT as “Glorious Leader.” When confronted by Wolf Blitzer, DT refused to reject the torrent of anti-Semitic tweets and telephoned death threats that ensued.

Only a dolt would believe Democrats will not use all of this against Trump in the race for the White House – and against all GOP candidates. Moreover, it’s off-putting that Trump sees no harm in his having only $1.3 million in his war chest versus Hillary Clinton’s $42 million. This raises questions about his perceptions of how a successful campaign should be run.

Despite a robust teleprompted speech by him Wednesday, there is a compelling possibility of a Trump defeat by Hillary Clinton – with collateral damage to down-ballot candidates, and the possible loss of the Senate. If Trump wins the White House, five lost seats would hand the Senate to the Dems. if Hillary wins, the loss of only four seats cedes control: the vice president is the tie-breaking vote.

As the Republican convention looms closer, we hear more and more about a delegate revolt at the convention. Though most delegates are bound to vote for their states’ primary winners, at least on the first ballot, rules committee member Curly Haugland has been saying for some time that the delegates cannot be bound, under GOP rules – even on the first ballot; they have the right to vote their consciences. Others have joined Haugland.

Ted Cruz’s former state leader in New Jersey, Steve Lonegan, has called for a revolt, reports the Washington Examiner. Lonegan declared, “‘Our delegates have an obligation come July to do what’s right for the Republican Party, not just anoint Donald Trump.’

“‘Are you calling for a revolt? interrupted CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

“‘I would love to see a revolt, Lonegan answered. And what I’m seeing right now, it’s time for the Republican Party to get some backbone and stand up against this guy.’”

Lonegan isn’t the only one calling for a delegate revolt. The Washington Post reports:

“Top Republicans, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.), said this week that they will not back Trump. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he’s not ready to support Trump.

In addition, Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to put his imprimatur on a possible revolt, telling NBC News’s Chuck Todd: “The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience.

Governor Scott Walker concurred with Ryan.

I think his comments are legitimate, Walker said. I think historically, not just this year, delegates are and should be able to vote the way they see fit.

A coalition to defeat Trump at the convention has formed, led by Colorado delegates Kendal Unruh and Regina Thomson, who have cobbled together a group of delegates in 15 states. Though many in the movement are former Cruzers, Ms. Unruh declares:

Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”

Critics of a delegate revolt cite a contradiction in the rules themselves. While Rule 38 says:

No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound by any attempt of any state or Congressional district to impose the unit rule. A “unit rule” prohibited by this section means a rule or law under which a delegation at the national convention casts its entire vote as a unit as determined by a majority vote of the delegation.

Rule 16 (a)(2) appears to contradict that rule:

If any delegate bound by these rules, state party rule or state law to vote for a presidential candidate at the national convention demonstrates support under Rule 40 for any person other than the candidate to whom he or she is bound, such support shall not be recognized.

Curly Haugland has repeatedly stated that Rule 16 will cease to exist at the start of the convention, but many are still put off by that contradiction in the rules, as presently written.

Why did delegates vote for Rule 16 in the first place? This restriction was aimed at suppressing just such a grassroots conservative movement as the one now underway. It was the work of Mitt Romney. At the 2012 convention, when the first priority should have been to stop the reelection of Barack Obama, Romney and the RNC engineered a rule designed to preserve RINO control over the GOP.

FreedomWorks.org reports that a vote was held at the Rules Committee meeting, on August 29, 2012 passing Rule 16. It was added to block an alleged “faithless elector” problem delegates who run claiming to support one candidate but then vote for another at the Convention.

When the meeting started, Morton Blackwell and other conservatives who opposed Rule 16 – mysteriously – were not there to introduce two amendments he wanted. “‘The bus that was supposed to pick up the Virginia delegation arrived an hour later than it was supposed to, explained Blackwell, ‘And then when we went downtown, we went around the same series of blocks repeatedly – twice. And then the bus took [off] away from downtown, went about a mile and a half, and then did a U-turn and came back. And did another circuit, of the same place where we had been before.’

“And at that point, the Virginia delegates demanded, ‘Stop the bus. And we’re going to walk.’ And we did.’”

“Mike Rothfeld, a Virginia delegate also on the bus, went further.

“‘They pushed us around for 45 minutes and then we missed the meeting,’ Rothfeld said. ‘We were in the security perimeter, they pushed us out of it three separate times. They moved us around until the meeting was adjourned.’”

The rule changes then went directly to the floor, where “Governor Sununu offered it as a strong governing framework for the party over the next four years, and with no debate, then-Speaker Boehner immediately called for a vote. Delegates “arguably [won] the voice vote there to stop the rules, only to be gaveled down by Speaker John Boehner [view video at the link, from 1:08 minutes].

Attendees reported that the RNC also shut down the mikes. At the link, you can view Boehner’s teleprompter which (prophetically) said:

“In the opinion of the Chair, the “ayes” have it and the resolution is adopted.”

In 2012, the GOP betrayed its conservative base and now prepares to repeat that mistake by nominating Donald Trump, a conservative in his rhetoric only.

About the Author

Bob Bennett
Bob Bennett
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox News. He has traveled widely and written for the NY Post, the Jewish Press, and other publications. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York’s 50,000-watt station, WOR-AM and the Sky Angel Network. He now writes for the Independent Sentinel, Instigator News and Red State Diaries.
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