Republicans' "White Knight" Fantasy

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
and the Red Queen's off with her head
Remember what the doormouse said....

What would the doormouse have said to Ted Cruz and other Republicans, hoping for a "White Knight" to prevent a Donald Trump nomination, regardless of how close he comes to the magic number of 1237 delegates, should he fall even a wee bit short by the start of the convention? The latest chapter begins yesterday, at a meeting of RNC leaders in Florida.[More...]

Earlier Thursday, RNC leaders rejected a proposal that would have changed rules for convention in July. The controversial proposal would have called for the convention to shift from the U.S. House rules the party's gatherings have traditionally used to Robert's Rules of Order. Such a change might have made it harder for party insiders to draft a so-called "white knight" if there is a contested convention.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was opposed to the change and had repeatedly said that rules governing the convention should be made by delegates assembled in Cleveland, including those at committee meetings held the week before the convention.

So the rules will be made in Cleveland, not Florida, and by 112 delegates on the Rules Committee (2 from each state and territory), not a group of RNC leaders attending a conference. Here is the GOP's website section "Convention HQ."

At the beginning of Convention, the 2016 Convention Rules Committee puts its recommended rules package before all delegates. The Rules Report cannot pass without the approval of a majority of all delegates. Approved rules go into effect immediately and last until the 2020 Republican National Convention.

The rules passed in 2012 were only intended to last until the beginning of the 2016 convention. Here are the rules passed in 2012.

As of today, the RNC official count is:

  • Trump: 846
  • Cruz: 544
  • Kasich: 149

According to the RNC, there are 674 Delegates remaining, and a total of 2,472 delegates at the convention.

The whole "white knight" discussion seems like wishful thinking. Trump doesn't really need 1237 pledged delegates before Cleveland because some states are sending unpledged delegates to the convention. For example, PA is sending 54. If Trump wins them over before Cleveland, they could put him over the top. If he's close to the 1237 number when the primaries end:

In particular, Trump would likely turn to Pennsylvania, which has 54 unbound delegates. If Trump can convince enough of those delegates to put him over the threshold before the convention, then he wins on the first vote—even without having secured 1,237 bound delegates through the primary process. Trump, who is likely to win decisively in the state, could argue with some plausibility that those delegates should go his way. As Steve Kornacki noted on MSNBC last night, most of those delegates are already saying they will side with the candidate who wins their state.

But Pennsylvania isn’t the only place with delegates that could be courted to put Trump over the finish line. Outside of Pennsylvania, there are more than 100 additional unbound delegates up for grabs in places like North Dakota and Wyoming—but also American Samoa and Guam.

It is possible to imagine, then, that negotiations with delegates from these places held after the end of primary voting could end up ultimately deciding the nominee.

So, what would the doormouse have told Ted Cruz and anti-Trump Republicans? I'll stick with "Feed your head." It's not going to happen. The November election will be between Trump and Hillary.

Republicans dropped the ball with Trump and have only themselves to blame. And if a Trump nomination (and loss in November) kills off the Republican party, or even the just the most conservative wing of the Republican party -- all the better.

(Aside: Grace Slick's voice is really powerful in this video, which is from Woodstock, 1969. It really builds as the song goes on, just a great performance.)

< Trump and Hillary | SNL's Heroin Parody: Praise It, Don't Condemn It >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    What is the Difference ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 22, 2016 at 10:22:24 AM EST
    between the Democrats "Superdelegates" and the Republicans "Unpledged Delegates"?  Without such knowledge it is quite hard to understand all these articles that are appearing about the forthcoming conventions. Thanks in advance.

    Some answers (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 22, 2016 at 11:01:12 AM EST
    Thanks for that Link (none / 0) (#3)
    by RickyJim on Fri Apr 22, 2016 at 11:37:40 AM EST
    But all I got out of it was that in contrast with the Democrats, the Republicans have only 3 "Super" or "Unpledged" delegates per state.  Another source of confusion seems that the actual people who are chosen as delegates, based on the results of the primaries or caucuses are voted on by the people, in the case of the Democrats, but chosen by the party bosses, in the case of the Republicans.  I am not sure that is true for every state.  

    The significance of this is that the Republican bosses can choose Cruz supporters in states won by Trump to be delegates that will be obligated to vote for Trump on the first ballot but can switch to Cruz on the second.  This seems to have happened in some states like Georgia.  Of course Trump is yelling bloody murder but there doesn't seem to be anything he can do about it.


    Stannis Baratheon is, sadly, unavailable. (none / 0) (#4)
    by rcand on Sat Apr 23, 2016 at 08:25:36 AM EST
    Ramsay Bolton has left the door open though.

    Ramsay does know how to get results (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Sat Apr 23, 2016 at 11:38:55 AM EST
    turnaround is fair play (none / 0) (#6)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Apr 24, 2016 at 09:35:05 PM EST
    In the unlikely but possible event that Hillary is indicted before the convention, you can be sure that a white knight (Biden? Warren?) will be picked.

    this (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 25, 2016 at 08:52:07 AM EST
    kind of thinking is why the GOP is in so much trouble these days. Expecting a white knight to come and save the GOP is not going to happen.

    It's not possible (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 25, 2016 at 04:10:15 PM EST