Saturday, March 19, 2016

Should the GOP establishment change the rules to favor Trump?

Trumpkins are fabricating a false narrative about how voters would be "disenfranchised" if the GOP "establishment" were to "steal" the nomination away from Trump. I recently saw Sean Hannity peddle that line in an interview with Reince Priebus. Here's another example:

Keep Trump from getting a majority of the delegates (though he is very likely to win a plurality) and then steal the election from Trump at the convention. 
What is clear is that the party's brain trust, such as it is, is doing everything it can to disenfranchise millions of new Republican voters and deny Trump the nomination.
what impresses me greatly about Trump is he is attracting millions of blue-collar, working-class Americans back to the GOP. They are abandoning the Democrats.

Ironically, this screed is from an erstwhile conservative. Let's introduce a few correctives: 

i) There's no advantage to expanding the GOP if we liberalize the GOP in the process. If anything, the GOP is already too liberal. We hardly need to dilute the conservative share even further. It's good to attract Democrats to the GOP provided that they aren't backing a candidate who will liberalize the GOP. 

ii) Moore's depiction is the polar opposite of reality. Ironically, what he's proposing is that the GOP establishment steal the nomination for Trump, not from Trump. He's proposing that the RNC change the rules in the middle of the game in favor of Trump. That's a paradigm example of cheating. 

iii) Keep in mind that this would mean the GOP establishment (i.e. RNC) would overrule the delegates. 

iv) Moreover, he's proposing that the GOP establishment should disenfranchise the majority of Republican voters so that Trump can be awarded the nomination. The 1237 figure is not an arbitrary figure. That represents a majority of delegates. So Moore is saying that even if a majority of Republican voters opposed Trump in the primaries (by voting for anti-Trump candidates), the GOP establishment ought to impose on Republican voters a candidate whom most of them voted against

v) Thus far, Trump has won primaries by eking out a minority of the Republican vote, offset by crossover Democrats. So Moore is demanding that Democrats should pick the GOP nominee. 

Is it really asking too much that a Republican candidate should be able to win over a majority of Republican voters? When did that become an unreasonable standard? 

vi) In addition, Moore's complaint is self-contradictory. If Trump gets a plurality of the delegates, that will be in part by prevailing in some win-or-take-all primaries. So Trump benefits from an "anti-democratic" system in which some delegates are assigned on a win-or-take-all basis, rather than proportionately. Likewise, if Trump were to prevail in the general election, that's a winner-takes-all system. It's not a parliamentary, power-sharing arrangement.

Furthermore, it's absurd for him to act as if there's something underhanded about majority rule. That's hardly distinctive of the nomination process. Congressional bills must pass by majority vote. Sometimes supermajorities. Treaties must be ratified by supermajorities. Constitutional amendments must be passed and ratified by supermajorities. In Congressional primaries, you often have runoff elections if the lead candidate only got a plurality of the vote. 

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