As Donald Trump advances his quest for the GOP presidential nomination, it’s no secret a number of players are engaging in various efforts to stop him. Some Republicans are in effect joining forces with Democrats in this effort.
One major critic has gone silent. Others appear to self-label as conservatives. If you look at their backgrounds, major politicos involved in the anti-Trump effort make for strange bedfellows.
One anti-Trump actor is a former Bush official working for Eric Holder’s law firm. An investigative reporter called the firm “a shadow Justice Department”.
Yet another is a well-branded rightwing pundit.
There’s a furniture empire owner. And there’s a North Dakota party insider who is actively lobbying for delegates at the convention to completely ignore the will of voters who have selected Trump in 18 states as their presidential preference.
If you wanted to make a movie of the week about a political phenomenon, these men could inspire an intriguing script.
Trump’s most high profile critic has been former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who lost the 2012 presidency to incumbent Barack Obama. Romney’s tepid campaign, his inability to fight for the White House, and his lack of connectivity to Main Street will long be remembered by Republicans outside the political machine. Romney hasn’t Tweeted since March 8.
Romney may still be recovering from results in the March 15 Primaries wherein Trump basically cleaned every clock except for that of John Kasich (yes, Soros, Mrs. Clinton’s huge benefactor, gave Kasich money) and that of Ted Cruz. Trump pulled off a squeaker in Missouri where Texas Sen. Cruz came in second in his best performance of the night. Kasich has won exactly one state so far and he has no path whatsoever to the nomination except by manipulation at the convention.
Politico recently announced plans by three anti-Trumpers who set up a meeting in Washington, DC “for a closed-door meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., to talk about how to stop Donald Trump and, should he become the Republican nominee, how to run a third-party ‘true conservative’ challenger in the fall.” That meeting should be subtitled, “How to Assist Hillary’s White House Win.”
“The organizers of the meeting include Bill Wichterman, who was President George W. Bush’s liaison to the conservative movement; Bob Fischer, a South Dakota businessman and longtime conservative convener; and Erick Erickson, the outspoken Trump opponent and conservative activist who founded RedState.com.”
Wichterman has long relied on politics for a living. He worked for Bill Frist, former GOP Senate majority leader during the first Clinton era. Frist became embroiled in a scandal after he sold shares of stock in his family’s hospital chain just before the stock took a nosedive. No charges were filed against Frist, but the stench of impropriety remained.
The firm, according to an investigative piece at Vice, is also like a “Shadow Justice Department.” Under Obama, prosecutions for white collar crime have tanked. Vice noted:
“Our team includes former senior SEC officials, a former Secretary of Homeland Security, three former heads of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, former federal judges, numerous former federal prosecutors with extensive criminal trial experience, as well as former senior Treasury Department, State Department, and EU officials,” boasts the firm’s white-collar defense and investigations web page.”
Strange that former Attorney General Eric Holder, on whose watch the federal gun-running and murderous operation Fast and Furious occurred, would work for the same firm a self-described conservative—presumably as in social conservative—would work for. Naturally Wichterman also has ties to the Bush camp.
South Dakota businessman Bob Fischer owns a group of retail furniture stores. Fischer backed Rick Santorum in 2012. Enough said about that.
Meanwhile a North Dakota political insider is pressing delegates to the national convention to nullify choices made by voters across the land. He has said delegates should just vote for whom they want to regardless of who won primaries because primaries shouldn’t be held anyway. You can’t make this stuff up—yes, that’s a cliché, but it’s perfect so I’m using it.
Ironically, one pundit involved in this strategizing has long been a critic of the GOP, but at least said pundit has made no secret of his interest in affecting outcomes of elections across the land in the past and likely in the future.
Trump, as one Democrat operative suggested, is unpredictable. His candidacy is like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime. Defiantly nonpolitical, he has managed to capture the majority of delegates in 18 states, including the large closed-primary state of Florida. Perhaps his greatest asset, other than his ability to manage numerous interests, media, and business endeavors, is his potential for deconstructing the status quo. This is confirmed by rants from political players abroad and on both sides of the aisle at home as well as in fearful declarations by those same conservatives whose actions at some times lead me to question whether that isn’t just a useful label similar to the labels ‘progressives’ employ when attempting to garner votes.
Whatever the case, the actors in the anti-Trump movement can only hope to throw the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton. Trump is the sole candidate who has a shot at gathering or coming close to gathering all the delegates needed to obtain the nomination without a gerrymandered convention.
If the GOP convention is gerrymandered (politically correct label is “open”), it is overwhelmingly likely Republicans will lose in November and we will have at least four more years of Clintonville spreading from the White House across the nation, continuing to erode the middle class and small to mid-sized businesses. Democrats know this and will happily exploit the opportunity.
Most of us initially did not envision Trump as a serious contender. If Trump can survive the attacks from within his own party and from within the self-labeled conservative camp, it is highly likely he will be able to obstruct another Clinton reign in the White House.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 17, 2016)
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