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The Crackdown Begins in Cleveland

The GOP’s first goal at this year’s national convention is shoring up support for its own nominee.

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Delegates from Texas on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It’s the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and thus far things could be going more smoothly. The streets surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena, where the event is being held, have all the trappings of a political festival: crowds of conventioneers, protesters, and regular citizens, against a backdrop of banners welcoming Republicans to Cleveland, and street vendors hawking souvenirs.

There is, however, a distinct absence of ebullience about the atmosphere. As noted on Friday, RNC officials succeeded in throttling an effort on the Rules Committee that would have unbound the delegates, a majority of whom are currently pledged to Donald Trump.

By doing so, they effectively assured that Trump’s nomination will be made official later this week. But they did nothing to mitigate the dissatisfaction that motivated the mutineers in the first place. Jon Ward, reporting from the scene this weekend, had an excellent look at the lingering divisions among the Republicans gathered at the convention. RNC officials and the Trump campaign would do well to read Ward’s follow-up interview with Mike Lee, the senator from Utah, whose criticisms of their efforts to stifle dissent have less to do with Trump than with process.

As it stands, however, party leaders continue to act as if Trump’s critics can be silenced by punishment. The Texas delegation will be seated in the back corner of the convention hall, surrounded by neighboring delegations from states where Trump was similarly defeated in the primary; Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, kicked off the morning by accusing John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, of “embarrassing” the state. Be that as it may, it’s probably not the most diplomatic thing to say while surrounded by Republicans in the state in question.

Perhaps Trump will eventually achieve compliance; in the meantime, the malaise that I noticed at the Texas GOP convention, back in May, lingers. We’ll see how it goes.

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  • Wilson James

    I’m sure the faithful will come into lockstep after rousing speeches by Chachi, Antonio Sabata and the Duck dude. this is high comedy.

    • WUSRPH

      It might be funny if it were not so damn serious.

      • Wilson James

        So far it is living up to expectation.

  • WUSRPH

    See where the The Donald now says the GOP platform will call for reinstating Glass-Stegall to “breakup the big banks”….That means BOTH parties platforms endorse it. Of course, the GOP platform ALSO calls for repealing any of the controls put on big banks and financial institutions by the Dodd-Frank Act after the Big Collapse, allowing stock brokers to gamble with your retirement savings and a bunch of other stuff that, in effect, would (AGAIN) deregulate banks….Of course, if Glass Stegall were to be reinstated it would be deregulated smaller banks. (Never going to happen.)

    It reminds when the federal government (and states as well, including Texas) “broke up” Standard Oil which dominated the oil industry. It split up into “littler” companies—often owned by the same people—but no one seemed to notice any more changes in the prices and way the industry was run. It is “HOW” you break them up, not just breaking them up, that makes the difference. But The Donald will be satisfied with the symbolism, not the reality.

    • John Johnson

      You are so omniscient! You are remarkable.

  • John Bernard Books

    170 protest groups filed for permits to protest at the republican convention.
    I thought dems had more “special interest” groups than that….

  • John Bernard Books

    Democrats are 0-4 in putting LEOs on trail in Baltimore……
    “Rice selected a bench trial rather than a jury trial, putting his legal fate in Williams’ hands. He was the fourth of six officers charged in the case to go to trial.”
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/freddie-gray/bs-md-ci-rice-verdict-20160718-story.html

    Why are dems insisting our LEOs are criminals?

  • John Bernard Books

    Trump is the law and order candidate…
    “”It’s the law-and-order candidate versus the Black Lives Matter candidate,””
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/york-law-and-order-becomes-a-major-theme-of-gop-convention/article/2596760

    Never has it been so clear the differences between two candidates.

  • WUSRPH

    I also see I was right about how long the Trump-Pence logo would last. They have already replaced the T piercing the P with a new one. No “suggestive”: imagery in the new one…..

  • Rules of Blazon

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA! What a mess!

  • WUSRPH

    While the GOP is anointing Trump, I thought I’d think about a few
    questions raised by the possibility of a Trump presidency.

    For example, the other day I was listening to part of a speech by Donald
    Trump (yes, I do pay attention to what he says) and he was babbling on about
    how, when he is president (heaven help us) there is going to be “retribution”
    and “punishment” for companies that move American jobs overseas. Of course, he did not
    explain what that would amount to, only repeatedly saying “I don’t have to tell
    you how that will work…we all know how that will work”. My problem,
    however, is I do not know how that will work and since The Donald won’t tell us
    I either have to “speculate” or ask people who be “better
    informed” about the working of his mind such as those of you who have invested
    your hopes in him.

    My first thought was that he was talking about some sort of a import duty
    on the goods produced by those factories in order to raise their prices and make
    them less competitive to similar goods produced here. For example, since he
    specifically referred to the Ford Motor Company, I thought maybe he means to put
    a special tariff on parts or cars produced by Ford that used to produced
    here. That seems simple on the surface, as do most of his “ideas” (sic), but
    when you look at it a look more carefully it gets just a little more
    complicated.

    For example, would it cover all parts and cars made in all Ford factories
    outside the US—thus being retroactive to cover moves that may have taken place
    years ago—or would it only cover “future” jobs loses? If so, would that mean
    we would have to find some way to “punish” the textile and clothing companies
    that moved abroad years ago? (After all, Trump keeps saying he is “going
    to bring these jobs back to America”….and doing that would mean that you would
    have to cover prior jobs lost some time ago.)

    Since the idea is to encourage companies to keep jobs in America (or
    create them here) would this new import duty, for example, also apply to cars
    and car parts manufactured by foreign companies who import their products to the
    US? If not,
    wouldn’t that give foreign-owned companies a new price advantage over American
    manufacturers other than the ones they already
    enjoy?

    And, if this duty adds to the price of cars (or other goods covered by
    the same policy) won’t this result in increased inflation in the US increasing
    costs to American consumers?
    Plus, won’t those who continue to manufacture in the
    US now have less incentive to keep their costs down and an increased incentive
    to raise their prices, creating even more inflation? Will that
    inflation wind up costing us even more jobs?

    Since import duties will increase inflation, could Trump be thinking
    about something else? One possibility that crossed my mind was that the “retribution” would be
    in the form of higher taxes on the companies who move jobs overseas. However,
    since this would also increase inflation and make them less competitive with
    foreign producers, it would probably not work without some sort of import duties
    too. It might also encourage more American companies to move their
    headquarters overseas to avoid more of our US taxes….Say a Ford Motor Company of
    Liechtenstein…taking more jobs with them.

    Then there is the question of what do we do for the goods we need while
    the lost jobs are being brought back to America? Can we continue to buy
    them while new factories are built to replace those closed down years ago while
    we wait for Trump’s autarky to be created?

    But what happens, if those jobs never come back? Do we continue to punish
    the evil malfactoring manufacturers who are responsible or do we just say, well
    that was then and there is nothing we can do about and forget their
    sins?

    In fact, I think that despite what Trump says or intends, his policy will
    probably not have that much effect on the future as I suspect that most of the
    jobs that have been moved abroad for cost advantages have already gone or are
    leaving soon as our economy continues to switch to a “service” economy rather
    than a hard goods manufacturer. As such, he may be talking a lot about something he
    will wind up doing every little about.

    I
    would like to assume that Trump has thought about those possibilities, but I am
    sure he has not. The answers have to be simple since Trump says he all know them
    without him having to tell us, but apparently still too complex for me to grasp.
    As such, I am compelled to reach out to the JJs of this world for their wisdom
    and explanation of just what Trump means.
    I am sure that JJ can come thru for me. After all,
    how many times has he told us how his experience as a businessman gives him
    special insights superior to all the rest of us?

    • WUSRPH

      Maybe later in the week you Trumptarians can tell me how he is going “to restore law and order to America”. George Wallace used to talk about putting an armed policemen on every street corner. What are Trump’s ideas (sic)?

      • Wilson James

        Trump talking is like filling an empty balloon…..he fills it with nothing but air, then calls it pretty. He has no policies, no vision, no examples, no communication or leadership skills. Much like the rest of his party the last 20 years. No one can understand him because he doe not know what he is saying.

  • Sam Jacinto

    An interesting article in The New Yorker – interview with author of The Art of the Deal
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

    • Beerman

      Thanks, interesting insights to Trump and his ego.

  • AlmostNormalTexan

    Why does the Texas GOP have to wear those God-awful matching flag shirts every time?

    They look like they got lost on the way to the Sears portrait studio for the family photo from hell.

    • dave in texas

      Also, too, these are the same people who wanted to beat the sh*t out of hippies in the 60s for wearing flag clothing.

    • John Bernard Books

      Its called being proud of where you come from, something no dem would do.

    • Sacagewea

      Christmas sweaters . . .

  • John Johnson

    Geez…where do you think the Texas delegation should be placed after their moaning and groaning and efforts to backdoor the nomination process and override the will of the majority of primary voters? Up front?

    Furthermore, I watched this afternoon’s convention floor excitement. It was blown way out of proportion by many social media breaking news blips…and by you here.

    Why don’t you just hide and watch?

  • WUSRPH

    Any bets on whether Cruz will or will not “endorse” The Donald when he speaks on Wednesday? I suspect he will say many, many nasty things about Hillary and how she has to be beaten but never directly “endorse” Trump. He cannot afford to be tagged with anything that might help her, but he just cannot bring himself to say “That’s why I call on you to vote for ……” or “that is why I will vote for…..” As I have said before, after that he will spend the fall campaigning for down-the-ballot races with an occasional slap at Hillary.

    • José

      And did Perry even mention Trump by name? Don’t think so.

      • donuthin2

        He is being a total hookah now.

    • donuthin2

      He is currently analyzing the pros and cons and will decide on what he thinks is best for his future.

    • I think he will dance around it and avoid saying vote for Trump.

  • Rules of Blazon

    I know it’s early, but it’s not too early to call it: Worst. Convention. Evah.

    • Wilson James

      Naw. This is priceless. Chachi, Duckboy, Raging Rudy. Crib notes 101. Airhead Perry and lying about Benghazi. The dingbat Texas delegation and their costumes. It does not get any better than this at explaining the state of the GOP.

  • John Bernard Books

    Unity vs diversity the theme for the 2016 election. I’m voting for unity.

    • Unwound

      Good dog

      • John Bernard Books

        oh its noballs dog

        • Unwound

          Who’s a good boy? That’s a good boy. Get in line
          John
          Bernard
          Books

  • John Bernard Books

    Ok I got it now….As long on you don’t intend to break any laws its ok if you do.
    “A U.S. Office of Special Counsel report released Monday found that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro violated the Hatch Act, which restricts the political activity of some federal employees, during an April interview with Yahoo News.
    Castro also expressed regret about his actions during the interview and never intended to violate any federal law, according to the report.”
    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/us-world/article/HUD-Secretary-Julian-Castro-found-in-violation-of-8384912.php

    I’m confused are our laws for dems, too?