Free Markets, Free People

The GOP’s plan to have a brokered convention

Or, let’s pretend we follow the rules when it is to our advantage, but let the people believe they’re a part of the process otherwise:

Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees, a Republican convention rules member told CNBC, a day after GOP front-runner Donald Trump rolled up more big primary victories.

“The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Curly Haugland, an unbound GOP delegate from North Dakota, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. He even questioned why primaries and caucuses are held.

Haugland is one of 112 Republican delegates who are not required to cast their support for any one candidate because their states and territories don’t hold primaries or caucuses.

Even with Trump‘s huge projected delegate haul in four state primaries Tuesday, the odds are increasing the billionaire businessman may not ultimately get the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the GOP nomination before the convention.

That last line, of course, is the out.  No 1,237 delegates, no automatic nomination, regardless of what the majority of the electorate want.  Of course, that electorate is largely ignorant of “the rules”.  As for the 112 “at large” delegates, also known as the “fudge factor”, anyone want to guess who names those delegates and to whom they’re beholding?  Clue: it isn’t a candidate the establishment doesn’t want.


This could lead to a brokered convention, in which unbound delegates, like Haugland, could play a significant swing role on the first ballot to choose a nominee.

Ya think!

And this is where the smugness creeps in (like this fellow really wanted the rules “to keep up”):

“The rules haven’t kept up,” Haugland said. “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”

Of course, if Trump hits the delegate total before the convention, it’s all moot.  But, the Republican version of the Democrat’s Super Delegates build in a fudge factor that could be the difference between a Trump nomination and a brokered convention.  And once the convention gets past the first ballot, it is anyone’s ballgame … well, except Trump.  The establishment, would again, rule. The people?  Well, get over your frustration, your betters will decide what’s best for you … by the rules!

So?  So anyone who thinks that the parties would really leave the choosing to “the people”, get a clue.  Both sides have “rules” that help the process deliver an acceptable candidate to the established party.

Because, well, you’re not to be trusted with such a decision.



31 Responses to The GOP’s plan to have a brokered convention

  • What’s to be done when the people are taken in by a conman who will damage the party? I guess at this point the damage is done for me. The people of the Republican party are no one I want to be associated with and I’ll just have to get used to another Clinton Presidency.

    • Trump is the byproduct of elitist rule by a bunch self-determined insiders who thought they owned the Party enough to not have to appeal one wit to the people. If they met the people half-way Trump wouldn’t have made it to the first primary. Trump is on them.

      • Perhaps but that doesn’t really change any of the consequences does it?

      • All they had to do was take the loss on amnesty.

        • They already took a loss on amnesty. The Dems wanted it, Obama wanted it, the GOPe wanted it–and that was true for about 6 years running–and it still didn’t happen.

    • What’s to be done when the people are taken in by a conman who will damage the party?

      —-oh come now, the party survived McCain and Romney

    • Interesting, that phrase “What is to be done?”.

      You are a little late with your lamentations. Conmen (note the plural) have been damaging the party for years. The cumulative damage has brought us to this point. If the soi-disant leaders of the Rep. party had fulfilled their promises, those “people of the Republican party ” you sneer at would still be supporting them. It’s not like there was no warning.

      If you prefer Clinton to Trump, that’s your decision, but don’t whine about how “The devil made me do it!”.

  • This would be a more convincing argument if Trump were actually winning majorities in the states where he’s amassing delegates. He isn’t. He’s getting pluralities of 35-45% at best, often in states with open primaries and caucuses where many of his supporters aren’t regular Republican voters at all.

    • This is not about whether Trump is a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ or a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ president. Whether you like him or not. The Manipulation to a Brokered convention and then hand picking someone other than at least Cruz is saying we only hold primaries as a placebo for the masses. We the establishment pick your president. At least the veil would be off. When the Trump hate fades there won’t be anyone including the most anti-trump of them who won’t concede that as a fact. Then the party is truly done.

      The Irony about the open primaries is that it is a mechanism that ‘the go along to get along’ RINO establishment used to keep themselves and fellow RINOs in power and Conservatives out of power. Trump just used their system against them. I love it when establishment talking heads whine about the primary cross-overs when they had no problem with them before now.

      • ” The Manipulation to a Brokered convention and then hand picking someone other than at least Cruz is saying we only hold primaries as a placebo for the masses.”

        Unless you think vote fraud is taking place, there is no manipulation to a brokered convention taking place. People are running for the nomination, people are voting for them. If Trump! doesn’t get to 1237 on the first ballot, there is no particular reason his plurality should earn him the nomination, especially when hi s negatives are as high as they are.

        And some of the rest of your comment has me thinking you are one of those who think he has high negatives for no good reason.

  • So the smug members of the elite are about to demonstrate to every person who’s pissed enough to go for Trump that they have been exactly right to do so. Good work. It would be quicker to just run commercials telling the little people of the party they aren’t wanted until election day and stop pretending there needs to be policy positions and campaigns registered Republicans can believe in.

    So called Conservatives who are as bad as Democrats (worse in my eyes because at least the Democrats are open about being Democrats) have no more right to call themselves conservative Republicans than Trump.

    I expected the Democrats to burn the place down, but it’s obvious the elite dumbass GOPe is going to do it first.
    When Trump warned there would be riots, he’s showing he understands what the ruling GOP asshats do not, that people are very very angry.

    And they want Cruz as little as they want Trump, they just don’t think he’s the big threat, so they’re not aiming at him. If they wanted Cruz we wouldn’t be hearing about brokered conventions with Weakass Romney and Moneybags Ryan.

    • They would have been calling for everyone but Cruz to drop out a long time ago, anyone who really wanted Cruz. Conceivably he would have the lead. Its how you spot the faux Cruz supporting talking heads.

      The other plan I heard today was the Republicans running a 3rd Party candidate. That would serve no purpose but to split the vote and let Hillary win. It would be no small bit of hypocrisy, too, that they made Trump take a pledge to not run as a 3rd party candidate.

      • What it means to me is

        1) they think voters will eat the shit sandwich to prevent President Clinton.

        Or worse yet
        2) they’re okay with President Clinton to keep the status quo.

        Either way, they’re not stupid enough to be confused by the anger that Trump’s success is demonstrating.
        They get it, they just don’t care.

    • “that people are very very angry.”

      True, dat. And yet nobody seems to want to know why. They all claim it is just, to quote Peter Jennings, “The voters had a temper tantrum last week.”

      • The full paragraph is even more condescending and smug.

      • You mean no one in a position to expose the real reason wants to do so.

        We’re in a nation wide audience participation theater show that runs 365 days a year.

  • “The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Curly Haugland,

    —-I’m sure this was (as usual) an insightful post but I couldn’t get past a grown man named Curly. I couldn’t read farther w/o hearing Nyuk Nyuk in my head over and over 😀

  • If Sanders were to surge due to some unfortunate indictment of Clinton, the Democratic super-delegates may become even more contentious.
    The came about after the Carter-Kennedy Kabuki match at the 1980 convention.

    • Interesting conspiracy theory, indict hillary and force her out, create a brokered convention and pick Biden. Minimize Biden’s ‘foot in mouth potential’. In the general he could rape someone one stage and Democrats would still vote for their pick. A Republican brokered convention makes this seem less abnormal and the reverse as well.

      • After the Tom Eagleton fiasco in 1972, could the Democrats look any worse.
        Frankly, they would have faired better if they left him on the ticket and dealt with the “mental health” issue after the election.
        Could they have done any worse than losing 49 states ?

  • With respect to McQ’s plea to observe “what the majority of the electorate want”: as Chris Lawrence noted, Trump hasn’t yet received a majority of votes anywhere (although he came pretty close in Massachusetts and Nevada). So (arguably) “what the majority of the electorate want” is “somebody other than Trump.”

    The nomination process in both parties is loaded with non-democratic features and gotchas. Maybe Haugland comes off as insufferably smug in the video, I wouldn’t know. But as far as what he’s saying, he’s just pointing out the cold sober truth.

  • Voters may not choose the nominee, but they do choose the President. You would think they would remember that and be a wee bit more respectful of us voters.

    • No, the electors in the Electoral College pick the President.
      Remember, this is a Republic, not a democracy.

      • Oligarchy, Republic, what’s the difference it seems.

      • People mistake the fact this is a representative democracy that it was somehow intended an couple closed clubs would form a core of unanswerable elites that would run everything? We weren’t even suppose to have parties. The VP was the runner up and it wasn’t intended they the President and VP be political polar opposites. That is a the byproduct of a party system. Perhaps Parties weren’t avoidable, but a small core of Party insiders running everything wasn’t intended.

        I hear populism tossed around like a dirty word. It may be deserved as a negative in many cases, but another way of saying populism is ‘self-government’. The opposite of populism is elite rule. I know which one I’d pick.

    • You mistakenly think that they feel separate from their Democrat counterparts. The antagonism is just theatre for the masses.

  • Remember how I said American politics is a reality humor show run by aliens for galactic broadcast? I was joking. At least, I used to be.— thisispointless (@thisispointless) March 17, 2016

  • Yeah, that part about “the hoi polloi don’t pick the candidate, WE do” kinda got my dander up.

    Also my knee-jerk reaction of , “FINE, jerkface, you nominate the RINO-establishment puppet of your wildest dreams. WE out here in Flyoverland are the ones who vote. You think I’m going to vote for your Progg-Lite candidate just because I see the little (R) after his name? Heh. Try me. { Surprise! you lose…} “

    • They thought with Hillary, they would have an unquestioned lock on your vote.

      Its a rock and a hard place situation, but I will never forgive the GOP for creating the situation. You’re suppose to play games with the opposition, not your base.