Saturday, April 9, 2016

One Cheer for The Smoke Filled Room

I was watching Fox news the other day and Sean Hannity was demanding that the Republican Party “let the people decide.” that is prohibit a so-called brokered convention to take place over a strict voter count.

As of today it seems that Trump may have more delegates heading into the convention, but not a majority as convention rules require. If so delegates may nominate someone else. For Hannity this is a bridge too far. It would be such a travesty of justice that it could lead to ‘riots.’ Yes, Hannity did say riots. Perhaps he envisions another Ferguson like riot if Trump is denied the GOP nomination.

Now I must say whenever Hannity advocates something I instinctively consider the opposite course of action. I acquired this habit after his advice that we invade Iraq and install a democracy. The neo-conservative Hannity is now demanding democracy at home as well; I give him credit for being consistent.

But there is a long history of brokered conventions in both parties. Actually, there is a history of party leaders making choices without any regard to rank and file party regulars. My understanding is that Dwight Eisenhower did not have the delegates to get the nomination, but the party bosses pushed him trough. One of our greatest Presidents Calvin Coolidge was also hand picked by party leaders.

The purpose of a political party is to get candidates elected. If primaries can produce a good nominee fine, if a so-called smoke filled room can do the job fine.

The 2016 primary system, well, let me say it didn’t work out so well. Perhaps I am wrong, but we started with 17 decent qualified candidates and two of the weakest have emerged. One of the candidates, Donald Trump, is not even a Republican.

Now I like Ted Cruz, and I will vote for him if he is our nominee. Cruz is a strong Constitutional conservative. But, he is a weak candidate; he is a one term Senator with a weak resume, and 38 percent of Florida voters believe he is the zodiac killer. He will have trouble winning in November.

If the Republican Party had decided last year to do away with primaries and decided to create a blue ribbon commission to pick a nominee they could have. Hannity, Limbaugh and Levin would have complained, but so what. They always come home and support whomever the Republicans nominate in the fall.

Just to stir the pot, imagine if you will the committee being filled with all of the bogeymen of the conservative talk show establishment. Say five in total to break a tie, John McCain. Kevin McCarthy, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney. They would review candidates, with one stipulation; the nominee cannot be one of them. They would make the announcement in Cleveland in July. My guess is that they would have come up with a better, more conservative, more elect able and qualified nominee than the Democrat Trump or Cruz. Alas that didn’t happen.

Democracy sounds great in theory, but historically it has not always worked out so well.

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