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Day Two: The Crackdown Continues in Cleveland

Who are you going to believe, America: Donald Trump or your lying eyes?

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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks on stage to introduce his wife Melania on the first night of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One of the most baffling phenomena of the year, in my view, has been the astonishing ease with which so many Republican leaders have accepted Donald Trump as the leader of their party and embraced his whims in lieu of their own preferences and principles. Yesterday he clearly had the party leadership, writ large, marching to his tune.

The proof came during a last-ditch effort, on the part of dissatisfied delegates, to throw a spanner in the gears before the party officially nominates Trump for president. The delegates opposed to Trump had, over the weekend, organized an alternative strategy after their efforts at mutiny on the Rules Committee were unceremoniously squelched. On Monday they launched their plan: a majority of delegates in more than seven states had signed a petition asking for a roll call vote on the adoption of the rules, which were scheduled for adoption by voice vote at late yesterday afternoon. The delay that ensued during the convention proceedings was evidence enough of behind-the-scenes consternation. For perhaps half an hour the podium was deserted, as anti-Trump leaders, easily identified by their fluorescent green baseball caps, roamed the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, rallying their supporters, and Trump supporters did the same, focusing on the unruly states, pressuring individual delegates to recant their support for the roll call vote. The results, which played out on live television, were messy; Rosie Gray, at Buzzfeed, details the parliamentary arguments behind the angry shouting that you might have seen broadcast on live television.

Of note, for Texans, was the relative calm of the Texas delegation during the drama. Our state’s delegates are easily identified at the national convention, thanks to their cowboy hats and Texas flag shirts, and throughout the hour, most of them remained politely in their corral. The state was not among those that submitted a petition; nor did it join its neighboring delegation, Colorado, when angry anti-Trump forces walked off the floor. All of this, I think, can be taken as corroboration that Ted Cruz has been studiously uninvolved in the mutiny, though he surely doesn’t like Trump any more than his best friend, Utah’s Mike Lee, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the RNC’s efforts to stamp out dissent.

In any case, though, the rebellion was squashed. That may, I suspect, turn out to look like a pyrrhic victory for the Trump campaign; they can insist that Trump’s critics would have lost, and they probably would have, but instead, as it happened, they were throttled on live television. And this morning, finally, there are some signs that Republican officials have had enough of Trump’s efforts to cow them into submission. Melania Trump, who gave a keynote speech on behalf of her husband last night, spoke well. But her speech plagiarized from the one that Michelle Obama delivered, in behalf of hers, in 2008. Paul Manafort, Trump’s strongman, has spent all morning insisting otherwise, and trying to blame the controversy on Hillary Clinton. That spin is too inane, it would appear, for even Fox News to rubber-stamp.

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  • Heaven forbid that anyone who has issues with Trump being the nominee be allowed to voice their concerns.

    I find the ineptitude of Trump’s campaign staff to be hilarious. I expect that there will be some very public beheadings – metaphorically speaking of course, and a charge that it was an attempt by the Clinton’s to sabotage the Trump campaign.

    • roadgeek

      “I find the ineptitude of Trump’s campaign staff to be hilarious. ”

      He vanquished 15 other candidates. His staff must have done something right. And sometimes a public beheading is necessary, if for no other reason but to inspire the others.

      • dave in texas

        Sure, “candidates” like Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum. I’ll give Trump credit for one thing. He recognized early on that GOP primary voters had no interest whatsoever in actual policy solutions to the problems facing the country and that going all-a$$hole all the time was a winning strategy. He saw an electorate that over the last few years had given itself wholeheartedly to hatred and nihilism. The GOP establishment that sowed the Tea Party wind has reaped the Donald Trump whirlwind.

        • jammerjim

          I’d say Trump figured out one other thing: Openy fusing racial/cultural animus with economic worries was a winning strategy. The GOP has played footsy with this for years, and Trump just made it explicit. He basically said “brown people are scary. Let me protect you”.

        • BCinBCS

          Dave, a thousand up votes.

          • dave in texas

            *blushes* Well, that seems a little excessive.

      • He vanquished 15 candidates because the GOP forgot who made up the base – the moderates, those who are fiscally conservative, practical and believe pursuing a social agenda is folly. The religious right is not the base of the GOP – they do tend to be the loudest segment but the base are those who make up the majority of the party.

        The love affair with the religious conservatives and their holy grail hunt to outlaw abortion is what has doomed the GOP. Trump is merely the bullet through the heart.

        • John Johnson

          That is a goofy opinion. Major evangelical leaders supported Trump as did many of their followers. Establishment Repub’s backed by bi-political mega corps big money thought they could control who was left standing. They were wrong. You are wrong. Trumps backing comes from all segments of the Party, as well as from some Dem’s. Hide and watch.

          • Goofy? How so? Which part of it? That the base is not the far right evangelical religious leaders and their followers? Or that the base is the majority of those who made up the party? BTW you should probably also define who makes up the “establishment” and why you are labeling them that. And why you continue to support them in the offices with the real power – Congress.

            I’m not going to hide but I am watching and I simply do not see the support you are claiming is there.

          • John Johnson

            Every part of it. You are as clueless about the movement as Erica is.

  • Wilson James

    This convention sums up the GOP over the last decade: quarrelsome, out-of-ideas and lame. When you put forth 17 candidates, none of whom can or will defeat Hillary Clinton it is time to step back and reassess the damage the Tea Party did to the brand. This is comedy.

  • Rules of Blazon

    Ah, ha ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    • pwt7925

      They’re coming to take you away, Ha Ha. Bring on the straitjackets.

  • nickthap

    And Mike McCaul made himself look like a horse’s behind by intimating the recent tragedies have been intentionally created by Obama and Clinton, like some kind of super-human puppeteers: “Today, our allies no longer trust us, our adversaries no longer fear us
    and our enemies are plotting against us. This did not happen by
    accident. It happened by design.”

    • dave in texas

      Well, to be fair, for someone capable of traveling back in time to plant birth notices in the Honolulu newspaper and causing the Great Recession before he even took office, it’s a piece of cake getting people to commit murder and mayhem in the present.

    • Sam Jacinto

      They always conveniently fail to mention that the current mess in the Middle East (as opposed to all previous ones) is the direct result of actions taken by the Asses of Evil. W, Cheney, and Rummy screwed up the Afghanistan intervention, then were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans (and who knows how many others?) by their criminal conspiracy to invade Iraq. They also screwed up that intervention. The resulting wars have been the longest in our history – with no end in sight.

      • BCinBCS

        “Asses of Evil…” Sam, I’m definitely stealing that!

        • Sam Jacinto

          Actually, I got my cap at cafepress.com in ’04

      • Sacagewea

        Was just thinking this morning about the folks from NO who died because ofbthe Katrina fiasco.

  • DefendAmerica

    Let’s be clear: The Colorado bunch were not elected delegates, but a CruzBot RINO group who disenfranchised an entire state. Do you think that Coloradoans are happy about that?

    The irony of the pathetic failed Cruzader coup yesterday is that the leader of the NeverTrumpers, Kendal Unruh, is an unelected delegate from the rigged Colorado delegation. She wasn’t elected by the voters to represent them. If you recall, the Colorado GOP establishment canceled the election and manipulated the Colorado convention rules to appoint a slate of rabid Cruz loyalists whose only interest was stealing the election from 14 million voters by hook or crook and hand it to Ted Cruz, the losing candidate from Canada.

    And yet Unruh, upon failing to force the narrow will of an extreme, mostly unelected minority who forced their way in by manipulating the delegate selection process in several states, claimed that democracy was being undermined and the nomination was being stolen from them! Unruh and Cruz’s entire mission in this primary has been to undermine democracy and steal the nomination from the voters by manipulating convention rules.

    One result is that Cruz will have to prove to Texans that he hasn’t committed voter fraud and racketeering in his first senatorial run and soon. Why did he seal up his records? There is so much corruption tied to Cruz that it defies description.

    I hate liberal rags, btw, but where does a conservative in this state post?

    • Bad Blood

      You should seriously seek help. And possibly loosen the tin-foil hat you’re wearing on your head.

      • DefendAmerica

        You present nothing. Fail.

        • Bad Blood

          ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Apparently you ought to take a good, hard look in the mirror, also.

    • José

      There’s so much paranoid nonsense here but danged if I will be tricked into supporting Ted Cruz. Y’all fight it out amongst yourselves. This convention is truly a freak show already.

      • DefendAmerica

        We have Skype…

    • Sam Jacinto

      This “14 million voter” thimblerig is just another example of digit’s (DJT) use of numbers to inflate his importance. He had more voters because there were more voters. As a percentage of the total vote, his 44 something % is the lowest achieved by a republican nominee in at least 30 years.

    • Sacagewea

      The Ft. Bend Conservative . . .

  • PrattonTexas

    “One of the most baffling phenomena of the year, in my view, has been the astonishing ease with which so many Republican leaders have accepted Donald Trump as the leader of their party and embraced his whims in lieu of their own preferences and principles.”

    I’m very suspect of Trump but you miss this: The voters (party members) own the Party and they chose Trump. So-called “Republican leaders” do not own the Party and it is not theirs to do with as they please. You should understand this.

    • José

      OTOH…
      It makes little sense to argue that the party is owned by voters who have invested little time or resources in the past, and who will likely toss their affiliation into the trash can after Trump crashes and burns this November. I personally can’t stand the idea of open primaries for any party. A political party is a useful way for likeminded citizens to work together to promote policies and to screen and select candidates to offer to the voting public. Many supporters of Trump and Sanders seem to regard parties as a casual hookup with no love or commitment, no work and sacrifice for long term mutual benefit.

      • Unwound

        OTOH we also see a lot of the people who’ve supported Sanders who are lifetime dems (myself), and watching the party nominate someone who is basically a wall st puppet neocon. We’ve been down this road before.

        • José

          Yes, one can err by overgeneralizing, especially in regards to Sanders. Even though the senator was not technically a member of the Democratic Party, a great many Democrats supported him with great enthusiasm, as I was constantly reminded this year in speaking with friends and family. That’s their prerogative and that’s great. But something else I noticed was the constant harping by his campaign to open the primaries, even if it meant changing the rules late in the game. It’s clear that a good measure of his support came from people who don’t typically vote in the Democratic primary.

          • pwt7925

            Sanders and Trump were in many respects playing out of similar playbooks. They both like the rules when it suits them, but accused the parties of rigging the system when they didn’t like it. Both attract true believers for whom facts matter little, but really believe. Both would be disastrous in office, I believe.

          • WUSRPH

            “Purity” is always an justification for hypocrisy.

          • Unwound

            LOL

          • WUSRPH

            Did you see the interview in which Cruz praised Sanders? He’s still trying to convince people that he’s an “outsider”….but it just doesn’t take.

          • pwt7925

            Did not see it. Sanders and Cruz also have their similarities. Each one has been giving basically the same speech for most of his career, and each’s message is pretty consistent. I also think the value of being an “outsider” is highly overrated, and, in the case of some who claim to be one, highly overstated as well (think Rick Perry, for example). It helps to replenish old ideas and flagging energy with newer and fresher ones, but being an “outsider” has also come to mean being inexperienced in how government works. The rise of inexperience as a political virtue has not served the country or the Presidency well.

          • Unwound

            where do they come from then? republicans? not likely. and there just arent that many registered socialists around.

          • José

            Don’t know. Maybe some independent or unaffiliated voters such as myself. Maybe some who weren’t registered before. Maybe some bored or disaffected Libertarians, Greens, and Reform Party members. But I’ll bet there’s more than a few Republicans in there too, the kind that are totally fed up with business as usual and are ready to blame the crony relationship between Washington and Wall Street.
            But again, I really don’t know where they come from. What I do know is that the Sanders campaign was working hard for people to register as Democrats so that they could vote for Bernie, and they were pushing for open primaries. That’s sort of different vibe than a normal GOTV effort.

          • Unwound

            thats part of the point. we’re tired of voting left and being governed right. bad trade deals, endless war, lack of enforcement on wall st prosecutions, and health care policies that dont go far enough to address the real issue.

            i promise you, plenty of these people were dems, even if they werent actively voting in the past.

          • Unwound

            I’d also like to point out that you likely had no issues with battleground or the Davis campaign running around attempting to register likely dem voters, but when Sanders does it? Naw, that’s circumventing the rules!

          • José

            I hope that I’m merely being unclear rather than inconsistent!
            What I most strongly dislike is the idea of crossover voting, casting a ballot in one party’s primary when the person is actually a member of the other party. It’s political mischief, not good citizenship. So that’s my big complaint about open primaries. If you want to vote in the Democratic primary, be a Democrat.
            But there nothing wrong (and in fact there’s a lot right) with a party making a concerted effort to recruit new members and also to get existing members to the polls. The Sanders campaign certainly did that, especially with getting kids to register for the first time that they were eligible. If those young folks stay engaged in the political process so that they continue to be informed and faithful voters, and maybe even get some good experience and run for office someday, that will be a wonderful legacy for the senator. It’s long been my view that they are getting a raw deal because of the older generations, and I hope that they can turn things around.

          • Unwound

            i think a large part of sanders voters complaints (trumps too!) is that we’ll start being democrats when the party starts reflecting us, and this entire process was intended to force that issue.

      • Unwound

        (Trump voters seem to be largely the same, voters who’ve been sold repulsive regressive social restrictions and then get sold out on trade and taxes)

    • WUSRPH

      As noted below, Trump’s plurality is the lowest level of support of a GOP candidate for the party’s nomination in virtually living memory.

  • John Bernard Books

    Is the old Burqua blog back? Republican bashing by idiots.

    • Unwound

      I’m sure your feel more at home with the readership at fortbendconservative.com

      • Sam Jacinto

        Its readership resides in his home.

        • John Bernard Books

          and his newbie sidekick welcome to my turf kids…..

          • Unwound

            your ‘turf’ LOL

            as if you arent so angry right now your slapping your monitor and screaming.

          • Sacagewea

            He consoles himself with a Twinkie.

      • John Bernard Books

        hey its no balls the kid

        • Unwound

          john
          bernard
          books

          maybe if you werent too stupid to cover your tracks youd be less worried about who i am

          • John Bernard Books

            I’m not worried about you kid….should I be? Are you a threat

          • Unwound

            A threat maybe in the sense that I embarrass you on here.

            Haha you conservatives really do wet your pants over everything dont you?

      • Sacagewea

        A small group . . .

  • John Johnson

    Would you mind explaining the “Trump or your lying eyes” heading atop your thread? Was it supposed to have any tie into the subject of the thread?

    Still whining, I see. Sorry, but it makes me chuckle.

    • Sam Jacinto

      digit (DJT) has rarely been a fan of “truth” and denies, denies, denies even if his lack of veracity is plain.

      • WUSRPH

        I bet Bill Clinton doesn’t plagiarize somebody else’s speech.

        • John Bernard Books

          No but he does rape women….dems get their panties in a wad over an alleged plagiarism?

          • Unwound
          • WUSRPH

            I want to believe that even Trump could not have done this….

          • Unwound
          • WUSRPH

            I am certain The Donald does not think it is possible to rape your wife. After all, she is your property isn’t she?

          • Unwound

            dunno. ask jonathan stickland.

          • Sam Jacinto

            Wanting to believe digit (DJT) led a bunch of folks to nominate him for the presidency.

          • John Bernard Books

            hahaha….you believe what you are told to believe.

          • John Bernard Books

            In order for dems to have any credibility they first have to admit Bill has a problem.
            How many trips to pedophile isle…..

          • Unwound

            Lol you disgusting hypocrite. I’ve railed on here time and again how awful Clinton is. Yet you give hastert and trump a pass.

            Woof.

  • WUSRPH

    So….once again…what do you think Cruz will say tomorrow….I’m betting tjhat, like Perry, the word “Trump” never comes out of his mouth.
    If I were writing Cruz’s speech the approach I would take is to:
    * Begin with some remarks about the state of the country….and end up that section with:
    “For nearly eight years now America has suffered under the most centralized and most socialist government in our history…..and now we face the threat of four more years of the same…We cannot let that happen!”
    (Cheers from the crowd at his backhanded endorsement of Trump)
    Cruz would then pick up with:
    “But in insuring that America’s future is secure we cannot let our party become labeled as the party of fear, hate and anger…” (a sideshot at Trump)
    “Rather we must fight to insure that the Republican party—as it always has been—remains the party of hope and unity…….
    “Nor can we allow some to charge that we are the party of only some Americans and that we have written off millions of Americans as not being our kind…..Instead we must continue to be that Party of Lincoln—the party open to all Americans no matter what their race, color, sex or religion….”
    “Similarly, we must not become a party that approaches the economy with talk of “retribution” and “punishment”….but instead we must be the party that provides incentives to free the hands of business and labor to create an even greater America tomorrow….”
    “We must also be the party, that unlike our opponents, does not make wild promises that we know cannot be fulfilled…..There has been too much of that in the past….Instead, we must lay out—as we have in our platform—a clear picture of what we offer the American people…..and why they should choose to vote Republican in November…”
    “What makes us as Republicans different is that our party is anchored to the bedrock of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and in our belief that God made America different for a reason…
    (Going on from here to talk about his view of the GOP, etc. basically from his regular campaign speech.)

    That’s the speech I would give if it were Cruz….but then I’m not.

    • Sam Jacinto

      Make sure to check his delivery for similarities to your draft.

    • John Johnson

      This, folks, is a prime example of a pedant at work. He can’t help himself. I thank JBB for introducing me to the word. It fits The Professor perfectly, don’t you think? It is spot on!

      • donuthin2

        Have you noticed that no one is paying attention to your posts?

        • John Johnson

          Hahaha. You think I care? That won’t keep me from posting. I can’t let you lemmings just run around rubbing each other’s briskets thinking that you have it all right. You don’t. Hide and watch.

        • José

          Blocking does that. For certain individuals it filters out a good bit of pointless, inaccurate, and insulting material without removing anything of worth.

        • Sacagewea

          Blocked.

          • John Johnson

            Great. You guys can slobber all over each other without fear of being ridiculed. Sissies are like that. They run and hide…some by sticking their heads in the sand…some by covering their ears and yelling “la-la-la”…still others by blocking themselves from the temptation of reading critical comments. See ya.

      • In this case, while you are technically correct with the usage, and your intent is to sneer at the knowledge that he is sharing, you are definitely in the minority with your snobbery over it.

        Yes, WUSRPH is a pedant, and he should wear the moniker proudly. Pedant is a word whose root meaning is teacher. I for one, appreciate his generous and thoughtful sharing of knowledge. All the best teachers generously share their knowledge with others.

        • John Johnson

          Oh, Shelly, what a crock. You take the Italian “teacher” root of the word totally out of context. Educate yourself.
          https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/pedant

          • Educate myself? funny how the root of pedant whether you use the French or Italian, still means teacher. Quoting from your link…

            “From Middle French pedant, pedante, from Italian pedante ‎(“a teacher, schoolmaster, pedant”), probably from Latin pes ‎(“foot”) (root ped-), from “accompany on foot”, associated with Italian pedagogo ‎(“teacher, pedagogue”). Compare French pedant.”

            I prefer dictionary.com or pull an actual dictionary off of the bookshelf and look the word up or I’ll even consult the OED.

            http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pedant?s=t

          • John Johnson

            You make me laugh, Shelly. Do you just pass over definitions and go to the root of the word for a meaning and proper usage? Give me a break. The word means blowhard.

          • That is one of several definitions for pedant. I pointed out that was exactly your intent above in my original response. I actually read all definitions as well as the root word/definition so that I can use a word with proper context. Reading comprehension and contextual cues matter.

            And ironically, your continual usage of pedant, instead of calling him a blowhard, makes you a pedant as well. Tsk tsk tsk, using $5 words to make yourself look superior to the rest of us.

            You’ve become rather mean-spirited and close-minded in your responses recently – a side effect of supporting Trump?

            *edited because I bobbled my laptop and hit post prematurely

          • John Johnson

            Nope…just a steady stream of blather from you and your fellow lemmings…who slobber all over the Pedant’s wordy missives outlining the obvious, and others where he thinks he knows some inside something that the rest of us don’t. He’s a bookworm with no practical knowledge other than what he learned in the stinky world of state politics. He’s been as off base and wrong in his prognostications as anyone on this site, but you will never hear him admit it. He has a self esteem problem. I guess it was developed from his boss’s constantly belittling him. We’ll never know.

          • Personal attacks like this have caused me to lose any respect I once had for you and your POV. You really have lowered yourself to wallowing in manure.

          • John Johnson

            I don’t care what you’ve lost or what caused you to lose it. That clear enough? You are nothing to me except one of a number of Mynah birds all chirping the same staid message. It has simply grown too old for me to stomach with grace and civility.

          • If it is causing you that much stress and loss of control, you are obviously overly invested emotionally in the discussions here. That’s not healthy for your mental well-being.

            Perhaps rather than insulting those who you disagree with, you should take and extended break rather than engaging in juvenile insults and attacks.

          • John Johnson

            No, Shelly…this is good for both me and you. It is never healthy to keep stuff in, and you guys need someone to yank you back down to earth when you float off into la-la land. You can label my posts “Musings of a Malcontent”. One of the things I don’t like are wordy know-it-all’s, who have a grasp of Texas political history, but think they are experts in every subject under the sun. Now we are even getting copycats. One is too many.

          • donuthin2

            Sorry JJ, you are losing the argument to someone who is much better at expressing their thoughts.

          • John Johnson

            Oh, I’ve gotten that pap from you roadies for years. It means nothing to me. Birds of a feather, and all that. You old meanies keep insulting me like this and I might “block” you.

        • Sacagewea

          I blocked JJ. He’s a lazy student, but resents others who will work hard to expand their knowledge.

  • Roger Head

    Party of Scaredy Cats seems to fit the party rather well since that is they offer America.

  • WUSRPH

    I have to admit that I never thought that a major American political party in the 21st Century would nominate a racist who uses neo-Fascist pleas to attract voters. But here it has happened. I guess I just had too much faith in the Jeffersonian idea that an educated populace would protect liberty and not enough understanding of the truths behind Madison’s and Hamilton’s fear of the “momentary passions of the mob”. Those kinds of things happened in the 19th Century with the likes of John C. Calhoun and elsewhere in the world…..but I was just too much of a believer in the idea of “progress” and that our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence made us different to accept that while our environment may be different from then and there….human nature is not.

    • Unwound

      pal, its been leading up to this for 30 years.

      • WUSRPH

        I saw that, too….but I kept hoping (that mortal sin of mankind) that events like the elections of 2010 were reversible….and that, before the GOP went over the edge, reason would prevail. But, as I knew in the back of my mind, man is not a rational animal (yet, if ever). The result is that we now stand on the verge of one of those backward steps in history. Roman has not fallen yet, but Alraic is approaching the gates.

        • John Bernard Books

          Tammany Hall.

          • Unwound

            NY had its own problems then with Republican corruption. Remember Roscoe Conklin? I’ll bet you guys were buds.

  • John Bernard Books

    Dan makes Prez Obama write this….
    “The president thanked the law enforcement community for its “courageous service” and declared that, “We have your backs.””
    http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/07/19/read-obama-pens-open-letter-officers-we-have-your-backs

    Way to go Dan!

  • Sacagewea

    Even here in the northwoods, we learn that Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech:

    https://newrepublic.com/minutes/135241/mashup-melania-trump-reading-text-plagiarized-michelle-obama-incredibly-damaging

  • Sacagewea

    Will American journalists respond as Murrow did?

    http://www.cjr.org/analysis/trump_inspires_murrow_moment_for_journalism.php

  • OM

    AMERICA is a CONTINENT. Would Texans help me spread the word?
    Paul Ryan is an embarrassment and a threat to humanity.