March 30, 2016

Cruz says "It’s against the rules for Kasich to be on the ballot" at a contested GOP convention.

There's a rule that was adopted at the 2012 GOP convention:
The rule, drafted and imposed by forces loyal to Mitt Romney, requires that any candidate eligible for the nomination win a majority of delegates from at least eight states or U.S. territories. Kasich is unlikely to approach that threshold ahead of the convention.
If forces loyal to Romney could adopt a rule that serves their interests in 2012, why can't a new rule be made in 2016? Doesn't it simply depend on who has the votes to make the rules? I can see why Cruz wants to set himself up as the only alternative to Trump if Trump can't get a majority of delegates, but why should the convention be left with only Cruz as the fall back? And won't Cruz change his argument if it turns out that he can't get a majority in 8 states? So far, he only has 5.

I think Cruz is making the argument about the 2012 rule to focus all the stop-Trump energy on himself right now: Don't waste your primary vote on Kasich.

By the way, the latest Wisconsin poll shows Cruz in third place: Trump 31%, Kasich 29%, Cruz 27%. But that was taken before Scott Walker endorsed Cruz. Some people here in Wisconsin are seeing the primary as a kind of "referendum on Scott Walker," especially since Donald Trump is openly attacking Walker:
Donald Trump arrived in Wisconsin Tuesday and made it abundantly clear that he’s running against Scott Walker in this state’s looming presidential primary, saying Wisconsin “is doing very poorly,” is “losing jobs all over the place” and is mired in “vitriol” over the governor.
Is Cruz putting effort into defending what Walker has done? And is Walker really a big Cruz supporter?
In a recent interview, Walker said he knew both Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich well, and said both are “perfectly fine.” But he indicated that the delegate math simply doesn’t work out for Kasich: “If you’re just looking at the numbers objectively,” Walker said last week, “Senator Cruz is the only one who’s got a chance, other than Donald Trump, to win the nomination. My friend Governor Kasich cannot.” Walker indicated in the WTMJ interview that Cruz could handily take on Hillary Clinton in the general election as well.
Kasich has the distinction of representing neither the pro- or the anti-Walker side. And he's the last moderate standing on the GOP side.

AND: Can the last-moderate-standing position work? Maybe not. Maybe America just wants some big disruption this year and can't be talked down. People got high on Trump and Sanders, perhaps because of a horror of having Hillary stuffed down our throats, and we just don't know how to come back to normal. Cruz isn't normal. He's disruptive too. Try this disruptive but not as disruptive character. That's the pitch for those of us who don't like too much wild-eyed drama in our politics?

68 comments:

tim in vermont said...

but why should the convention be left with only Cruz as the fall back?

Because Cruz would burn the Republican Party to the ground if he doesn't get the nomination. At least Trump is honest about what he is doing to it.

tim in vermont said...

Cruz strikes me far more as a power mad authoritarian than Trump ever did.

traditionalguy said...

I still supported the old Walker. But this Walker ran away and is hiding as an operative of the Koch Money who does whatever he is told.

rehajm said...

if Trump can't get a majority of delegates, but why should the convention be left with only Cruz as the fall back?.

If Trump doesn't win on the first ballot Cruz may be the 'fall back' but he definitely won't be the only alternative.

Bay Area Guy said...

Convention rules get changed all the time.

Kasich would give Hillary a real run for her money in the General. It's too bad not enough primary voters are thinking long term.

Brando said...

The only thing really "moderate" about Kasich is his tone--the "free to be you and me" crap that reminds me of the "compassionate conservative" talk of the 2000 Bush campaign. Except for accepting the Medicaid money, Kasich is actually fairly conservative. Particularly when compared to Trump, Mr. "Bush lied us into war with Iraq", "Leave Planned Parenthood Alone!", "Let's have a wealth tax", "we need single payer health care", and so forth.

The most conservative candidate still standing is Cruz.

Curious George said...

Donald Trump arrived in Wisconsin Tuesday and made it abundantly clear that he’s running against Scott Walker in this state’s looming presidential primary, saying Wisconsin “is doing very poorly,” (wrong) is “losing jobs all over the place” (Wrong) and is mired in “vitriol” over the governor. Uh, that's what happens Donnie when you stay true to your values and stick it right up a bunch of losers asses. You should know that!

Brando said...

I wouldn't put much stock in the convention rules--the party will do what it wants and change any rules necessary to get what it wants. And what it wants is a united front that can win in November, up and down the ballot.

A lot of them don't like Trump for a lot of reasons, and a lot don't like Cruz for some same and some different reasons, and I don't see any groundswell for Kasich. However, they also know that if Trump or Cruz come to Cleveland with a solid (if not majority) base of support, they will divide the party if they deny the biggest vote winner the nomination. So while technically they could say to Trump (or possibly Cruz) "you may have more delegates than anyone else, but forget it we're taking a mulligan on the primaries" I don't see them doing that. They'll accept a November disaster sooner than they'll rip their party apart. They can survive a Hillary administration.

Brando said...

"Donald Trump arrived in Wisconsin Tuesday and made it abundantly clear that he’s running against Scott Walker in this state’s looming presidential primary, saying Wisconsin “is doing very poorly,” (wrong) is “losing jobs all over the place” (Wrong) and is mired in “vitriol” over the governor."

That's Trump, winning people over and building alliances everywhere he goes! Who can doubt his ability to make a great deal?

Bay Area Guy said...

@Brando,

A more moderate tone is exactly what we need. Not enough angry voters to get a majority.

Whatever happened to Teddy Rough Rider Roosevelt's admonition - "speaks softly but carry a big stick!"

traditionalguy said...

Kasich would change nothing in DC. He would just empathize with our pain as we continue to be thrown away to transition to international Money operating internationally.

That Wild Man Trump wants to see America be First Again. No wonder borders and immigration has become the issue of all issues.

Sebastian said...

"They'll accept a November disaster sooner than they'll rip their party apart." Sorry, it's ripped right now. When the front runner opposes the most successful WI GOP governor in recent history and stands for ""Bush lied us into war with Iraq", "Leave Planned Parenthood Alone!", "Let's have a wealth tax", "we need single payer health care"," there isn't much anyone can do to put it back together.

Leslie Graves said...

Each convention adopts its own governing rules as one of its first acts. They don't need to adopt Rule 40 from 2012:

https://ballotpedia.org/Rule_40_and_its_impact_on_the_2016_Republican_National_Convention

It does seem at least somewhat likely that the Trump delegates and the Cruz delegates would together agree to adopt Rule 40, or something similar, for the 2016 nominating convention.

Michael said...

As our eloquent president might say: shit show.

damikesc said...

I will vote Hillary before I vote Kasich.

Kasich would give Hillary a real run for her money in the General. It's too bad not enough primary voters are thinking long term.

I heard that about Dole.
And McCain.
And Romney.

Fuck that.

Kasich is a loser. Plain and simple.

A more moderate tone is exactly what we need. Not enough angry voters to get a majority.

Tried that. Repeatedly. And it failed.

That idiotic thinking is WHY TRUMP EXISTS.

Because we keep hearing "Hey, we need moderates". Fuck moderates.

Bob Boyd said...

Bay Area Guy asked: Whatever happened to..."speaks softly but carry a big stick!"

Trump: Believe me, I can speak very, very softly. Nobody can speak more softly than I can. Just above a whisper. So soft!
And my stick? I must tell you, my stick is...it's really very, very big. It's a very big stick. People tell me they have never seen a stick like mine and when the time is right, I'll show it to you.

Brando said...

"A more moderate tone is exactly what we need. Not enough angry voters to get a majority."

It shows how much "tone" matters even where the substance goes in the other direction. Sometimes it's how the sale is made that can override the product being sold. I don't know whether Kasich is the right salesman, though.

"Because we keep hearing "Hey, we need moderates". Fuck moderates."

Without moderate votes there's no majority. Either convert more moderates into conservatives, or get the moderates to see your guy as the better alternative to the other side's guy. But interestingly a conservative may be better able to appeal to moderates than an actual moderate because the conservative wouldn't have to worry so much about his right flank.

""They'll accept a November disaster sooner than they'll rip their party apart." Sorry, it's ripped right now."

It certainly looks that way, though I don't know if the RNC folks and the delegates accepted that yet--the impression I'm getting is they're slow to accept that a split may be inevitable. Trump seems incapable of reaching out to the rest of the party, and will happily burn everything to the ground (with the lickspittle media's help) before giving up on anything for the sake of party, ideology or country.

Brando said...

"Whatever happened to Teddy Rough Rider Roosevelt's admonition - "speaks softly but carry a big stick!""

A very different time--Roosevelt was a voracious reader and a remarkably intelligent man, and had a solid vision for projecting American power (the first real anti-isolationist president). Today his party is about to nominate an empty braggart who doesn't appear to have ever read anything more than 140 characters long, forgets most of the threats he makes every day, and has no substance to back anything up.

MayBee said...

Cruz was great at the CNN town hall last night.

Hagar said...

Teddy Roosevelt actually was the most belligerent talking president we ever had, but also perhaps the one with the least armed conflict during his tenure.
(Some say "no shots fired in anger," but I am pretty sure I remember reading about at least one small shooting altercation during the Panama Canal caper.)

And no foreign government missed the point of all those big guns on The Great White Fleet that he sent around the world in the interest of "peace."

Fritz said...

Politicians gonna politic.

tim in vermont said...

It's hard for a guy with short fingers to carry a big stick. Just a fact of life.

TCom said...

"Today his party is about to nominate an empty braggart who doesn't appear to have ever read anything more than 140 characters long, forgets most of the threats he makes every day, and has no substance to back anything up."

The man went to Wharton. Kindly stuff a sock in it. You are just sperging at this point.

TCom said...

"Today his party is about to nominate an empty braggart who doesn't appear to have ever read anything more than 140 characters long, forgets most of the threats he makes every day, and has no substance to back anything up."

The man went to Wharton. Kindly stuff a sock in it. You are just sperging at this point.

tim in vermont said...

The king is gone, but he's not forgotten,
This is the story of Donny Rotten.
Better to burn it down, than to fade away...
My my, hey hey.

Bob Boyd said...

The rule in question can be changed. It probably will be. But not for Kasich.

Kasich might seem like a great alternative to many so-called independents, but he will not be acceptable to Trump supporters or Cruz supporters. They would stay home in droves. Kasich's having participated in the Primary doesn't help him. It only shows that he has already been been rejected by most Primary voters.

"we just don't know how to come back to normal."
I'm not so sure it's the voters who need to come back from some place. I think it's the parties, who have moved so far from the voters, that need to come back.
Republican voters are pretty much where they've always been on the issues. The Constitution, rule of law, smaller government, the National Debt, etc. There has been a concerted effort to move the center to the left and painting these positions as extreme is part of that effort.
Trump stumbled into the right place at the right time...or the wrong place at the right time, depending on your point of view. I think he is as surprised as anyone else by his success.
So who could the Party agree on that could bridge this divide? And who would agree to jump into this burning dumpster?

Bay Area Guy said...

I glossed over this nugget by a rather angry damikesc:

"I will vote Hillary before I vote Kasich"

Really? All this means is that you're not a Conservative, not a Republican, and more interested in expressing faux internet anger, than winning elections.

You should join Hillary's campaign, why half-ass it?

Also, there's a distinction between moderate tone and moderate policy. Scott Walker has a very moderate tone, which helped him enact some very conservative policies. Just sayin'

Mark said...

Bay Area a Guy, you should know people here are more interested in scoring internet debate points than having an honest discussion.

Michael K said...

"And what it wants is a united front that can win in November, up and down the ballot. "

No, they are concerned about their rice bowls being broken if Trump were elected. Hillary, they know and can deal with. She is a crook but so are most of them.

It will be interesting to see if the guy running against Ryan in his district gets any traction.

I like Walker but he has looked ineffectual in national politics so far.

Right now, we are at the Girondin Ministry stage of the revolution. Robespierre is in the wings waiting.

Brando said...

"The man went to Wharton. Kindly stuff a sock in it. You are just sperging at this point."

Ah yes, a child of privilege and connections getting into a top school must prove his intellectual heft. How silly of me to overlook it!

I assume of course you accept Obama's natural brilliance for having attended not one but two Ivy League schools--and with no family connections.

Brando said...

"No, they are concerned about their rice bowls being broken if Trump were elected. Hillary, they know and can deal with. She is a crook but so are most of them."

What rice bowls will actually be broken if Trump is elected, from the standpoint of the GOP elite? I mean maybe in the long run, as he's likely to cut "deals" that will raise taxes or preserve Obamacare, but these are more a problem for conservative ideals than they are for GOP officeholders. Maybe in the long run the damage he'd do to the GOP brand would hurt them.

Larry J said...

I voted for Cruz in our primary. If Trump wins the nomination fair and square, I'll vote for him in November. Should the GOPe pull some shenanigans at the convention to put in Ryan or someone like him, the Republican Party will be as dead to me as the Democrat Party. In that case, I won't vote for any Republican for any office. I seriously doubt I'd be the only one to do this.

mikeyes said...

Hagar,

I agree that TR was quite belligerent, but he was not peaceful. He sent troops to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama (after he fomented a revolt in order to build the canal), and later on he sent troops to Cuba to protect our interests there. In addition throughout his terms the country was involved in a conflict in the Phillipines that lasted until 1913 - an "official" end to the war occurred in 1902 but many Phillipinos didn't get the memo.
TR also blocked immigrants from Japan and China (as "undesirable"), approved of segregation of Negros and Japanese, and aggressively threatened Germans, British while managing to win a Nobel Peace Prize during all of this.
I suspect TR did what he had to do and I remain a big admirer of his but he was not reluctant to send in the troops or use his executive powers.

John Henry said...

Brando,

Theodore Roosevelt was not just a voracious reader, he was a prolific writer. Unlike most politicians, he actually wrote his books (Hoover was another exception). Much, most? of his income came from his writing.

His first book, Naval History of the War of 1812 (2 volumes) was begun while still a student at Harvard and is still the go to book on that subject. His "Winning of the West" 4 volumes about the westward progression from 1700 or so to 1900 or so is fascinating reading as is his "Through the Brazilian Wilderness" Lots of other good books by him are available free on Kindle or Gutenberg. I
I've read a number of his books and never been disappointed.

I applaud him for being a voracious reader. I think that is critical to intelligence. Smart without the knowledge to use the intelligence on is nothing. I think his writing is far more important to his legacy and deeds. Reading about the war of 1812 will give you some knowledge. Writing the definitive history will really give you some knowledge.

If you've never read anything by him, check him out. He is a remarkably good writer.

It is a shame our recent presidents do not seem to read much and seem to write even less. Reagan wrote a lot but then I think you have to skip a number of presidents to find another writer. (I do not count ghost written books like Profiles in Courage, or Dreams from my Father)

John Henry

Gusty Winds said...

Did Trump learn quickly from the radio interviews with Sykes and McKenna on Monday that they are aligned in the Walker camp? He stood on stage in Janesville yesterday, rattled off some numbers 'from the book' and then said, "Wisconsin has problems, you just have a Governor who says you don't".

Yesterday we were questioning if Trump really knew anything about Wisconsin. It's an open primary. Dems can cross over. Going after Walker and Cruz as bought and paid for is probably not a bad strategy for Trump. Walker is at 40% approval right now.

Michael K said...

The real segregator was Wilson. The Civil Service was integrated from the 1870s until Wilson ended the practice and desegregated it.

"What rice bowls will actually be broken if Trump is elected, from the standpoint of the GOP elite?"

Nobody really knows how he will govern but lobbyists are in deep trouble for not knowing. How can you sell your connections if they are broken by electing a guy that everyone has opposed and hated ?

And since political and staff = lobbyist, they are all affected. Tell me how many former Congressional and Executive branch staff members go home to their original district when the governing party changes. How many former appointed and elected people go home after their time in office ?

Michael K said...

"resegregated it.."

Autocorrect doesn't like that term.

Brando said...

"His first book, Naval History of the War of 1812 (2 volumes) was begun while still a student at Harvard and is still the go to book on that subject. His "Winning of the West" 4 volumes about the westward progression from 1700 or so to 1900 or so is fascinating reading as is his "Through the Brazilian Wilderness" Lots of other good books by him are available free on Kindle or Gutenberg. I've read a number of his books and never been disappointed."

I like his writing too--his style is straightforward and well paced. He also had a reputation for devouring thick, complex books on various subjects, tirelessly learning wherever possible. Probably one of our smartest presidents.

John Henry said...

Really? All this means is that you're not a Conservative, not a Republican, and more interested in expressing faux internet anger, than winning elections.


BAG,

I am neither Republican, nor conservative (I don't even know what the word means). I consider myself a rather flaming liberal. Classical liberal, libertarian, minarchist if you prefer.

I supported Obama over Romney in 2012. I was kind of on the fence in 2008. I initially supported him but then Palin got nominated as VP and I thought that might overcome my hesitations about McCain. I was not terrible disappointed when Obama won, though. He has exceeded all my expectations.

President Obama has done more to advance the liberal agenda than I ever would have thought possible and I am very happy about that. We had not 1 but 2 credible liberal candidates (Cruz and Paul) this cycle. We have a candidate that is going to destroy DC (I hope) and politics as we know it if he wins.

I do not know whether Obama has caused this liberal revolution by design or incompetence. I go back and forth but have come to believe that he is doing it by design. Doesn't matter. He is getting a good end result.

I really like Cruz and would have little problem if he were elected. I lean toward Trump, who is not liberal but looks like he will be a bombthrower. I would have no problem with him as Prez.

John Henry

Brando said...

"Nobody really knows how he will govern but lobbyists are in deep trouble for not knowing. How can you sell your connections if they are broken by electing a guy that everyone has opposed and hated ?"

He's going to use lobbyists just as much as anyone else has--they use lobbyists not just for money but for expertise (a politician's staff doesn't have the manpower or know-how on all the subjects they have to vote or administer on). And he still has to deal with a Congress as lobbyist friendly as ever. I don't imagine any lobbyist is afraid for their job by a Trump presidency.

Even the Dems are no threat--what with their "Citizens United" crap--because all these "reforms" mean is just more creative ways to get the money and influence peddled. So it is and so it ever will be.

Back to my main point, though, look to what the party pooh-bahs say now--they still will back the nominee even if it's Trump. If they really saw him as an existential threat they'd have gotten a third party candidate on the ballot in all 50 states by now (or endorsed Hillary, who'd be less of a threat).

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

As many here have suggested I read Donald Trump's positions this morning. It is really hard to disagree with what he has to say. He has identified the "low hanging fruit" in today's government and made some excellent suggestions. The one point everyone seems to ignore is that he understands the necessity of working with Congress to change the laws that need to be changed. He understands how our system works regardless of what detractors my say.

AprilApple said...

Curious George Said

"Donald Trump arrived in Wisconsin Tuesday and made it abundantly clear that he’s running against Scott Walker in this state’s looming presidential primary, saying Wisconsin “is doing very poorly,” (wrong) is “losing jobs all over the place” (Wrong) and is mired in “vitriol” over the governor. Uh, that's what happens Donnie when you stay true to your values and stick it right up a bunch of losers asses. You should know that!"

Trump is such a pathetic desperate lying jerk. Typical of a true blu-democrat hack.

khesanh0802 said...

Here's the link to Trump's positions for anyone interested.

damikesc said...

Without moderate votes there's no majority.

Romney crushed Obama with moderates. I mention that because we're not discussing Romney's re-election campaign here.

But interestingly a conservative may be better able to appeal to moderates than an actual moderate because the conservative wouldn't have to worry so much about his right flank.

It boils down to "Should I vote for a wannabe Democrat or an ACTUAL Democrat?"


Really? All this means is that you're not a Conservative, not a Republican, and more interested in expressing faux internet anger, than winning elections.


No, it shows that I'm not about to vote for a guy who not only went against his legislature to expand Medicare but to question the religious faith of those who questioned him in doing so.

I held my nose with McCain. I'm not doing so here. Kasich is a Democrat, little more. He has ALL of Romney's flaws without the amazing personal success story of Romney. He "polls well" because nobody thinks he's a serious candidate (he's not, mind you) and know he has, literally, no shot at winning the nomination. Hell, why not recommend Jeb Bush? There's as much of a groundswell of support for him as there is for Kasich.

You should join Hillary's campaign, why half-ass it?

I'm not the one championing fucking moron Kasich to be President.

Also, there's a distinction between moderate tone and moderate policy. Scott Walker has a very moderate tone, which helped him enact some very conservative policies. Just sayin'

Kasich is every inch as much a clown as Trump. If Kasich is nominated, I will NEVER vote Republican, even if I like the candidate personally. He's carrying water for Trump and is being financed by George Soros.

Yeah, he's "moderate".

damikesc said...

Center for Responsive Politics records Soros Financial as giving over $200,000 to Kasich.

Why would Soros do that? Any ideas?

Bay Area Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

If Trump doesn't get the nomination, ill doubt he will care. He will be happy to forever tell how he could've had the WH "if he wanted it".

mtrobertslaw said...

There is something very weird about Kasich. Whenever he is asked a question, his answer is always delivered in aggressive manner--even when answering a friendly question from the audience That was clear in last night's debate.

He also seems to have some kind of nervous disorder--he's constantly in motion with strange, jerking movements. And this adds to his strangeness.

Name any problem, and he can solve it. And he knows how to solve it because he's been there before. In fact. he's been everywhere before.

I think it will be a difficult sell to convince most voters that Kasich is "normal".

Brando said...

"Romney crushed Obama with moderates. I mention that because we're not discussing Romney's re-election campaign here."

Let's unpack this, as this has gone around since the 2012 campaign. It is true that Romney beat Obama with self-identified "independents" but that doesn't really equate to "moderates" because if more right-leaners don't identify as GOP than left-leaners identify as Dem, you can win with just the Dems and a minority of Indies. But as for "moderates" if we define these as an equal sized group of people on each end of the median voter, it's impossible to have a majority of them as well as those on the right of the median and not win a total majority.

You could argue that Obama simply did better with turnout than Romney did among their respective party bases, and a lot of conservatives chose to stay home rather than picking Romney over Obama (not counting people who stay home anyway, because voting is a hassle, or they don't live in a swing state, or just think none of this matters--we're talking the people who could be persuaded but weren't because of Romney). I don't agree with it, but logically it's possible.

Now if you think moderates don't matter, and a more conservative candidate than Romney would have beaten Obama, you'd have to believe that the loss of moderates not only to "staying home" but actually voting for Obama (which is a two-vote loss) is more than made up for by the numbers of conservatives who this time would not have stayed home. Not to mention that this "more conservative" candidate would not have automatically driven up turnout on the Left (to try and defeat him).

The winning solution has always been keeping the broad coalition together. It doesn't mean sacrificing ideals, but it does mean having a good enough leader to hold things together and sell his policies to those who aren't already in the tank.

Writ Small said...

In the 2000 recount mess, the principle that Republicans and conservatives pushed for was that you follow the rules that were there at the beginning of the contest (electoral vote majority and not popular vote majority). Those rules strongly influence how the candidates approach the campaign and changing the rules at the end to flip the outcome is the definition of unfairness. For example, if the "will of the people" rule had always been in effect, Bush could have run ads in large population states like California, etc.

It is only right that the rules hold through the end of this contest, even though they currently favor Trump, who I do not support. Change the rules for the next cycle if you must.

However, this means that Trumpsters should not push for this silly notion that a delegate plurality means Donald is the winner. If they follow the since-the-time-of-Lincoln, majority-of-delegates rule, and Cruz does not get his eight states, no one will get the win in round one of voting and then Trump will be the nominee completely legitimately on the second vote. If the Trumpions push for breaking the rules, then they have no strong argument when other rules are broken to suit other outcomes.

Dan Hossley said...

Personally, I think all the speculation about what may happen in a contested convention benefits both Trump and Cruz, who have positioned themselves as an anti-establishment candidate. Trump loves to play the victim and knows the media can't resist a good train wreck story.

In real world, the candidate with the most delegates will get the nomination, especially if he leads by 10 or 15%. They rest is just filling the 24 hour news cycle with inexpensive content.

Birkel said...

CORRECTION:

Cruz has won seven states.

Beaumont said...

"Cruz isn't normal. He's disruptive too. Try this disruptive but not as disruptive character.

Could someone help me unpack this passage?

Anglelyne said...

AA: Can the last-moderate-standing position work? Maybe not. Maybe America just wants some big disruption this year and can't be talked down. People got high on Trump and Sanders, perhaps because of a horror of having Hillary stuffed down our throats, and we just don't know how to come back to normal.

"Big disruptions" occur because things get seriously out of whack, not because voters get a wild hair up their collective arse over this or that specific person, specific incident, specific issue. (Even some hot-button issue like immigration is only a trigger or an anchor, not a single cause, because it's inextricably connected to every other "out of whack" component.)

If it's merely a matter of people "getting high on Trump or Sanders" for emotional, ephemeral "reasons", there will be no big disruption. Eventually everybody will calm down and go home and things will roll on as usual. "The system works"...when the system works.

If a system is seriously, incorrigibly out of whack, there will be a big disruption, regardless of who shows up to get people high. In that case we can't just "come back to normal", not because people are all hopped up on political goofballs and won't listen to the "moderates", but because we can longer get there from here.

It's a mistake to confuse "moderate" with "sane, prudent, informed, competent", etc., as desirable as "moderates" can be in some (most?) scenarios. But there is nothing inherent in being "moderate" that precludes dangerous cluelessness.

Bay Area Guy said...

I do think there is a huge distinction between the 2008 loss and the 2012 loss.

In 2008, McCain got thumped, but because of the hatred and exhaustion for George W Bush, and the economic meltdown, Obama would have beaten any candidate that year.

If McCain had tried to go hard against Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, he would have been demonized as a racist, McCarthy-ite.

So, I don't blame McCain for this loss. Surely, Huckabee or Romney would have lost too.

In 2012, Romney did make several mistakes. He destroyed Obama in the first debate, and even got the cover of the New Yorker debating an empty chair for his efforts.

But then Mitt botched the next debate with an assist from CNN's Candy Crowley.

Also, the 47% comment hurt him. Also, he was uptight and too soft. Also, anyone subjected to $500 Million in negative advertising would come off looking bad -- even Ronald Reagan. (divorced, liberal abortion laws in California, amnesty, etc, etc). The Dems are pretty ruthless, when it comes to protecting their fiefdoms.

Neither of this leads to the conclusion that they lost because they were insufficiently Conservative. That's an open, debateable question.

Ann Althouse said...

"CORRECTION: Cruz has won seven states."

What do you think you are correcting?

The rule doesn't refer to mere winning but to winning by a majority.

Brando said...

Bay Area Guy--I agree with your assessment of 2008 and 2012, though I'd note that in both of those years for different reasons the winds were blowing Obama's way. Consider the facts that the GOP candidates had to run against:

1) 2008--recession, unpopular (with a majority of the country) war, unpopular president, 8 year itch. McCain wasn't particularly impressive that year, but I don't feel that anyone else they nominated would have done much better. There was a conservative malaise that year.

2) 2012--economy in recovery, and a majority of people blamed the GOP for the recession rather than Obama. It didn't help that Romney wasn't a gifted campaigner, or that the media was soft on Obama, or that Romney signed Romneycare, or that Romney was a moderate trying hard to pretend he was a conservative (alienating both moderates and conservatives), or that Obama had a smart organization that used extensive data-mining and ground game to boost the turnout he needed. It also didn't help that the GOP primary was a mud-fight and Newt and Rick put millions of dollars of anti-Romney ads (coming up with cute terms like "vulture capitalist") long after they had no chance of being nominated, and leaving Romney with very low ratings by the time he was nominated. It also didn't help that the RNC convention lost a day due to hurricanes, and douchebag speakers like Chris Christie used his keynote speech to talk about how awesome Chris Christie is (and a month later would talk about how awesome Obama is!), and Clint Eastwood's argument with a chair got more attention than anything Romney had to say. These were all factors. But what held Romney back all along was the economic headwinds, which make it very hard to take down a sitting president who has his own party united behind him.

Meade said...

"Kasich might seem like a great alternative to many so-called independents, but he will not be acceptable to Trump supporters or Cruz supporters. They would stay home in droves. "

Which means they, the Trump Democrats, won't vote for the Democrat nominee. WIN for President Kasich!

mikeyes said...

Ann,

Rule 40 states that in order to be a nominee, a candidate has to have certified at the time of the convention that 8 or more delegations (this means states or territories) have a majority of delegates voting for him or her. The convention has not started yet and the rule can be changed before the voting starts. Even though Senator Cruz may not have won the majority of 8 delegations at the time of the convention (unlikely as he will win WTA states between now and then) it is possible for several non committed delegations to change their mind or uncommitted or released delegates to do the same in states that have no majority vote. Senator Cruz is clearly trying to do this in caucus states that have a three step selection process. It is even possible that Gov. Kasich might achieve this though unlikely.
If there is an open convention, then Rule 40 will be dropped if it hasn't been by the time the voting starts.

Birkel said...

Oh, Althouse!

Point of Order:
Cruz has won seven states.

Better?

Bob Boyd said...

"WIN for President Kasich!"

Hmmm....but is there enough of those? Far be it from me to underestimate Hillary's ability to repel people.
And some Dems might also stay home because they're Berned-out.
You might be on to something there, Meade.

Brando said...

"Hmmm....but is there enough of those? Far be it from me to underestimate Hillary's ability to repel people.
And some Dems might also stay home because they're Berned-out."

Hillary being the Dem nominee generally guarantees high GOP turnout, relatively low Dem turnout and a majority of moderates breaking for the GOP--normally meaning a GOP win by default. The complication is if the GOP nominates someone who energizes Dems to vote against their nominee (even if they weren't excited about Hillary to begin with), depresses GOP voters (at least those who see the GOP nominee as being as bad or worse than Hillary) and makes the moderates break towards Hillary, all bets are off. It's taking a winnable race and practically guaranteeing a loss.

Meade said...

"You might be on to something there, Meade."

First time for everything.

Bob Boyd said...

"First time for everything."

It's a strange year for sure.

Michael K said...

"But what held Romney back all along was the economic headwinds, which make it very hard to take down a sitting president who has his own party united behind him."

I think two other factors were important. One was Romney's poor performance in the later debates where Candy Crowley did Obama a solid with her script. Romney should have done what Giuliani did when Soledad O'Brien tried debating him instead of interviewing him. He stopped her and said, "How many people am I debating here ?" Romney should have said, "Where did you get the talking points, Candy? I thought this was a debate between Obama and me."

The second was the collapse of the Romney GOTV program. I thought it was the GOP RNC but have more recently heard it was Romney people. It was a clusterfuck.

I completely agree about 2008.

Brando said...

"I think two other factors were important. One was Romney's poor performance in the later debates where Candy Crowley did Obama a solid with her script. Romney should have done what Giuliani did when Soledad O'Brien tried debating him instead of interviewing him. He stopped her and said, "How many people am I debating here ?" Romney should have said, "Where did you get the talking points, Candy? I thought this was a debate between Obama and me."

The second was the collapse of the Romney GOTV program. I thought it was the GOP RNC but have more recently heard it was Romney people. It was a clusterfuck."

Yeah, those affected it too--I think they both go to the issue of Romney (and his team) just not being that good at politics. But it's been a long time since the GOP nominated someone who was.

I think the GOTV mattered more than the Crowley debate--I don't think a lot of people were swayed by Crowley's stunt; either you already liked Obama and said "ha, what a fool Romney is, lying again about Obama" or you liked Romney and were outraged that she interceded as she did. Many (including myself) thought Romney could have gotten more out of it by calling her out on that (a missed opportunity) but I don't imagine that would have made a difference in the election.

Lance said...

I think Cruz is making the argument about the 2012 rule to focus all the stop-Trump energy on himself right now: Don't waste your primary vote on Kasich.

That's a big mistake. If Kasich drops out now, a significant number of his supporters will switch to Trump, making it all the more likely Trump will reach the critical 1273 threshold before the convention. At which point Cruz' gamesmanship won't matter.