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On to Cleveland

What to expect from the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

There are some uncertainties hanging over this year’s Republican National Convention, which officially kicks off Monday in Cleveland. But yesterday brought clarity on several details related to Donald Trump, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. His campaign released a list of speakers, many of whom are—no pun intended—unconventional. It was widely reported that he had chosen Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate. (And after telling a Fox News host last night that he hadn’t quite made up his mind, he confirmed this morning that he had picked Pence.)

But the most revealing news came late on Thursday, when Trump’s campaign, in conjunction with RNC officials, throttled the last-ditch effort of the anti-Trump movement within the party. Trump’s opponents had mounted a small mutiny on the Rules Committee, which convened yesterday to vote on the rules that will govern the convention. A handful of members had proposed a change that would have “freed the delegates” from the pledges that, under the rules of the respective state parties, bind most of them to voting to nominate Trump next week. The hope, of course, was that if delegates were free to vote for whomever they wanted, then someone else might swipe the nomination. But that hope is now gone. When the Rules Committee voted down the proposal by an overwhelming margin, it effectively ensured that Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee.

What’s worth keeping in mind, however, is that we already knew that. The effort to “Dump Trump,” as it’s been summarized on social media, was unlikely to succeed at this late stage. Early on Thursday, rebels were confident that they could muster enough support on the Rules Committee to bring a “minority report” on their proposal to a floor vote on the convention’s first day. There was no guarantee that they would have won a floor vote. And there was no reason to think that the delegates, if freed, would have come up with an alternative to Trump. The anti-Trump faction hadn’t coalesced around an alternative candidate, or even confirmed that any of the people they’ve proposed were willing to volunteer for a last-minute presidential campaign. But despite the long odds, the anti-Trump delegates on the Rules Committee made the effort. And they’re clearly not the only conservatives dissatisfied with their options in the general election; one recent poll that found a majority of Republicans would prefer someone else as their party’s presidential nominee. Most of those Republicans may eventually vote for Trump. Some, however, will not. It’s too soon to be sure how many defectors there will be in November. In the meantime Trump, and the GOP officials calling for unity, are free to assert that the defections will be negligible, and that may prove to be the case. But in the absence of evidence for that assertion, complacency would be unwise.

I’ll be in Cleveland next week to cover the convention, so readers of BurkaBlog can expect regular dispatches. I’m not expecting major surprises. For example, I see no reason to think that Ted Cruz, who has yet to endorse Trump, will change his tune. The fact that he is speaking at the convention raised speculation that he might, but it is the Republican National Convention, not some kind of ball being given in Trump’s honor. And Cruz is the only candidate other than Trump who won more than eight states during this year’s primary; under the RNC rules, that means he’s qualified to be nominated from the floor and therefore, at least in theory, to speak. It makes sense that he would do so; despite being defeated in his first bid for the presidential nomination, he is pretty obviously interested in laying the groundwork for the next one. Beyond that, since Cruz and all the other candidates were defeated by Trump, we know exactly what to expect from the Republican National Convention. There will be an abundance of indiscriminate vitriol, and an absence of substance. It will be a week of the debased political discourse that Trump has inflicted on America for more than a year, as he will continue to do until November—as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, after the delegates pledged to vote in his favor do so, regardless of what they actually want.

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  • Sacagewea

    Hoosiers are doing happy dance. Ding dong! The witch is dead!

    • WUSRPH

      Democrats and the rest of the people of Indiana had two things to celebrate this week and one to mourn. The return of Bayh. The departure of Pence….and the death of John Brademas.

  • WUSRPH

    Dallas should be happy it did not get the THIS convention. It took years for San Francisco to shake off the “San Francisco Democrats” sneer. It may take decades for Cleveland to get over the stink of being the place where Donald Trump was officially launched on America.

    Watch out for those “Bikers for Trump” who plan to defend America from what they call the “thousands of professional agitators” they expect to attack the anointing. The way Trump feels about the press, they may include you members of the “Fourth Estate” in that group just for the good of it.

  • José

    Bikers for Trump seem all too reminiscent of Hells Angels at the 1969 Altamont concert.

    My fear is that the GOP convention will somehow turn out to be an orderly, boring affair and thereby exceed the extraordinarily low expectations. Some voters are looking for any excuse to overlook Trump’s well documented shortcomings and the party’s shameful cowardice in failing to stand up to him. If Trump can manage to make it through the week by sticking to his TelePrompTer script rather than uttering what really goes through his pointy head, and the GOP can avoid looking like the freak shoe that it has become, this convention might just be a victory for the Republican Party as it is today, and a setback for a great nation that has endured for 240 years.

    • WUSRPH

      The normal practice has been for there to be a post convention “bump” in the polls in favor of the nominee…..except for Chicago 68, of course…so do not get too down if Trump starts looking good for a few weeks……Hillary should get her own “bump” after the Philadelphia convention so things will not really settle down and start showing us just where both stand until sometime probably around Sept. 1st.

      • José

        I’m hoping that the schedule will be an advantage, with the Dems having the last word. They can more easily show the sharp contrast between the parties, and rebut whatever silly statements are made in Cleveland.
        It blows my mind that the Republicans plan to devote convention time to the tired Benghazi story and something about Bill Clinton’s infidelities. The fact that they don’t want to talk about themselves is awfully revealing. And regarding the bedroom activities of Presidents and candidates, I would love to see a counterpoint that featured the former wives and girlfriends and, ahem, “professional services personnel” who have had relations with Trump over the years.

        • WUSRPH

          I hope, for the nation’s good, that they have a relatively quiet convention with any demonstrations remaining “peaceful”. The worst thing that could happen to America–and the best thing for Trump–would be something like situation in the streets outside the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968. I can just see Trump on the platform ranting and raving about “those people out there” and firing up the crowd with his screams of how he is going to “restore Law and Order”. He’s probably practicing now.

          • wessexmom

            Frankly, I believe the worst thing for America would be to have Trump emerge from an “orderly-seeming” convention looking like a “normal-seeming” candidate when his entire candidacy is based on chaos and controversy so intense and constant that it poses a true menace to our democracy. But then again DON The CON’s entire “success” as a businessman is just one big fraud, so why should his political career be any different?

            I certainly hope nobody gets hurt, but considering the history of violent clashes at Trump rallies and how BOTH sides are barrelling toward Cleveland locked and loaded for bear, I don’t see how this week’s protests can remain completely peaceful without some degree of Marshall law being imposed. We shall see.

          • WUSRPH

            I agree. I want fights, yelling and squabbling and a heavy-handed approach to any dissent…BUT I WANT IT TO BE INSIDE THE CONVENTION HALL…Not on the streets.

            I want to see some of those Republicans who object to Trump on the grounds of their “principles” stand up for what they say they believe. Of course, that won’t happen 99% will go along to get along and get out of Cleveland.

          • Sacagewea

            Be careful what you wish for. The violence at the DNC convention in 1968 brought us Nixon, not Humphrey.

          • WUSRPH

            That’s just why I hope the GOP has a peaceful convention…Dull would be nice……

            Even thou the street clashes in Chicago hurt Humphrey, he was still able to stand a almost miraculous comeback and ended up with one of the closest finishes in history. Many observers feel that had Nixon not sabotaged the Paris Peace Talks HHH would have won. One of the reasons Humphrey was able to close the gap was how unpopular Nixon was at the time….ala Trump.

          • Sacagewea

            But he still lost . .

            Trump will sell law and order.

        • Sacagewea

          Perhaps they will also discuss Trump’s infidelities . . .

    • wessexmom

      I share your concerns.

    • Beerman

      Watching Trump using a TelePrompTer is like watching a fourth grader having to read to a full class room for the first time…..hilarious!

  • John Bernard Books

    DanNmeNTed had a drink earlier, a toast to Hillary’s indictment for lying to Congress under oath. Don’t try to deny it dems I saw it on the internet.

  • Rules of Blazon

    I love, love, love this line, Erica: “There will be an abundance of indiscriminate vitriol, and an absence of substance.”

    But, as you surely know, that won’t stop with the end of the Republican convention. You perfectly described every single public utterance of every single Republican elected official in Texas in the foreseeable future.

  • wessexmom

    Stay safe and keep candid, Ms. Grieder.

  • John Bernard Books

    Will dems riot and how many will innocent will die? Now that Hillary has admitted there is a war against freedom will she run on or against the last eight years?

  • WUSRPH

    Pence is apparently already dumping his long-standing positions to get in line with Trump’s…..In less than a day he’s changed his mind on how to treat Muslims ….I suspect his long-standing support for a foreign workers program is next. It kind of reminds me of when George HW Bush suddenly decided that he was not pro-choice after all and that he had never heard of the term Voodoo Economics which he had earlier tabbed Reagan’s plans. GOPers call it “being flexible” but when a Democrat does it they call it “flip-flopping”.

  • John Bernard Books

    Yes dems have picked Donald Trump to be the republican nominee and it will backfire on them like when they elected Ted Cruz.
    With Hillary for certain being indicted for lying to Congress, it will take a pardon by a lame duck to keep from being duck walked into the dem convention.
    That ensures Trump’s win in Nov.

    Best election ever.

  • donuthin2

    I finally understand. I read that Trump’s secret is his ability to speak at the 4th grade level. Not sure but what he is limited to the 4th grade level, but he is the only candidate that most of his supporters have been able to understand.

    • Beerman

      Trump certainly reads the TelePrompTer at the 4th grade level….at a C- level….

      • WUSRPH

        Trump’s problem is that he is so self-centered and so convinced of his ultimate genius that he probably refuses to practice his remarks. Adolph practiced before a mirror for hours to get his gestures and applause lines just right so he could work a crowd up. The Donald is too lazy. He thinks he can just wing it. That is why he goes over the edge too many times.

        • Beerman

          If he was really involved in writing his TelePrompTer speech, and really believed what his “campaign handlers” have written, he would not have to rehearse. He plays to the crowd, and a script with substance on the TelePrompTer confuses him.

          • WUSRPH

            But he is trying this coming week and thereafter to reach a bigger audience than the Angry Whites that follow his lead. In short, he needs to “upscale” his approach and offer more than saying the same things over and over again. He is apparently not competent to do that without a script…..but unless you want to look like as bad as he does when he follows the TelePrompTer you have to practice. Being willing to put in the time it what separates a winner from a talented amateur. Of course, he should be involved in developing the speech….It has to sound like him….but he apparently is too lazy to spend the time with a good speechwriter. (He also needs at least one of those too.) Of course, I’d personally prefer that he continue to do it all off the cuff. That way he will continue to screw-up and say totally false things that can be refuted and allow the idea of a “Lying Donald” to continue to grow.

          • John Johnson

            You mean “she”, don’t you. Trump just started using the screen. He beat every other Repub candidate by extemporaneously speaking.

          • Beerman

            At least, “she” can read the TelePrompTer without constant eye-contact!

          • John Johnson

            Yep…she’s had two decades of practice.

          • Beerman

            You are right, and they both have decades of lying….

        • John Johnson

          “Practice his remarks”??? Spoken like a true, lifelong politician’s assistant. We’ve got too much of that crap now. Obama could win an Academy Award for impersonating a President. I want extemporaneous; I want genuine; I want “telling it like it is”; I want righteous indignation s-canned. All of this will leave with Obama in January. We have a 50-50 chance it won’t return for awhile.

          • WUSRPH

            Would it be better if he foamed at the mouth too?

          • WUSRPH

            Would it be better if he foamed at the mouth too?

            The purpose of a speech is to communicate your message. That requires forethought and effort to insure that you are understood.

            You claim to admire Winston Churchill so much, but he was a man who probably did not say good morning to his maid in the morning without rehearsing it. That is because he wanted to COMMUNICATE his thoughts, his mood and his meaning so that it was clearly understood. You don’t do that with “extemporaneous” babbling. You get it from thinking about what you want to say beforehand…..and practicing in your mind at least. That is you do that if you want to truly communicate.

            A speaker who want spend the time to do that is either giving you the same pre-heated lines again and again or does not care whether he moves your mind. All he wants is your emotions because he wants to appeal to those “momentary passions of the mob” that our Founders warned us against.

          • John Johnson

            Horseshit! More pedantry.

          • That’s become your default response to WUSRPH. It shows the rest of us that you either do not have, or can not formulate any type of intelligent response to the valid points WUSRPH brings up.

          • Sacagewea

            Why do people on the right reject knowledge and education?

          • John Bernard Books

            It probably seems that way to the clueless

          • Beerman

            I do not see anything “narrow minded” about WUSRPH’s remarks above about DJT? I believe he is very accurate about the demagogue.

          • John Johnson

            Two choices. I choose Trump. Easy choice for me. End of story. I like off the cuff, unrehearsed honesty, as opposed to practicing a speech someone else wrote and reading it off a Prompter. Honesty is easy to remember; lies and misinformation need to be rehearsed.

          • Beerman

            JJ, that thinking does sound like a pedant?

          • John Johnson

            Your definition and Webster’s are not the same, obviously.

          • Beerman

            A narrow minded teacher of pedantry?

          • Sacagewea

            “Pedant” is JJ’s favorite insult.

          • John Johnson

            Only for the resident pedant, The Professor. He has some groupies under his tutelage who are not not far from reaching the pedantic level.

          • Sam Jacinto

            digit (DJT) may be off the cuff (and off kilter), but your interpretation of “honesty” is seriously delusional. digit has met no “fact” that can’t be enhanced. He is nothing but a dissembling, prevaricating, fabulistic, bombastic, phony, perjuring, ego-maniacal con artist trickster so skilled at his BS that he needs no rehearsal.

          • John Johnson

            I dislike the Clinton’s so much more than I do Trump. Bottomline.

          • WUSRPH

            I assume you define “Honesty” as saying what you want without any requirement that it be true or accurate. Am I being “honest” if I were to say you are a fool and a loser, as Trump calls people all the time? Or am I just being offensive because I am a bully? “Straight talking” can be lies just as well as prepared remarks.

          • BCinBCS

            WURSPH. I’m not surprised that JJ objects to your admonition that good communicators should practice their speeches because, after all, as everyone knows, good athletes never have to practice their sport, good musicians never have to practice their instruments, good actors never have to practice their lines, good writers never have to rewrite their stories, …

          • WUSRPH

            But he wants authenticity.

          • John Bernard Books

            JJ you have to put this into perspective. Dems are style over substance. It isn’t what you say but how you say it.
            I still remember their inane remarks about how John Kerry “looked” more presidential than GW and therefore was more qualified to be prez.
            hahaha…dummies

          • pwt7925

            We all have crazy cousins or drunken uncles who are extemporaneous, genuine, and “tell it like it is.” Do we want one of them to be our President? And Donald Trump has elevated indignation, righteous or otherwise, into an art form, almost.

  • John Bernard Books
  • John Johnson

    Erica, I can’t wait for your objective commentary this next week; however, please spare us the pining for Perry or Cruz.

    • Sam Jacinto

      Journalists don’t have to be “objective” if that means relying solely upon false equivalencies. The problem with cable TV news is that they rely on a republican “strategist”, then a Democratic “strategist” to comment on every little thing ad nauseum. Instead they need real journalists and analysts to call BS when it’s needed. That’s especially true this year when almost everything out of digit’s (DJT) mouth is associated with reality only in his own mind. This man is a clear and present danger – a menace to the republic. That should be apparent even to the rabid Hillary haters of long standing.

      He is no friend of the “little guy” – his entire business career was built on lies and bad faith. He takes out loans with no intention of repaying, hires contractors with no intention of paying, makes false promises to customers, bullies little old ladies for their property, and sues anyone that dares to challenge him. He demands tax returns from his potential VP candidates, but refuses to disclose his own. Anyone who has studied interwar (WWI and WWII) history can see the parallels with the rise of fascist regimes and this ego-maniacal charlatan. His cult of personality can appeal only to other know-nothings or those without any patriotism or moral courage..

      Other than that, WTF IS that thing on his head?

      • John Johnson

        hahaha. You haven’t been around long, have you? My comment was a poke at Erica. She let’s her love for a candidate flow freely; she get’s hooked. If I was her father, I would be worried about the type man she is attracted to. I wouldn’t want her falling for Trump either…I would just want her to hold her nose and vote for him instead of the female version of Jekyll and Hyde.

      • Sacagewea

        Endangered gorilla hair . . .

  • WUSRPH

    http://tinyurl.com/zswcy8g

     Trump’s creative approach to the truth. It works for him.

  • WUSRPH

    It has been hours now since the shoot out in Baton Rouge and I have not heard a word of attack on Blacks by Dan Patrick? Is he sick?

    It is terrible that officers wee killed but reports suggest this was not an attack on police….but police barreling into an on-going shoot out. BR police say it is a demonstration for the need for gun control.

    Bur, don’t worry, Dan will find some other way to embarrass Texas. He will have full week of chances in Cleveland even if they did put the Texas delegation way at the back of the hall.

    • John Bernard Books

      Wha?…..seriously you’re a senile old man.
      “Videos on Long’s account show that he was a former Nation of Islam member. He also ranted against “crackers” and made references to Alton Sterling, the black man killed by police in Baton Rouge on July 5.”

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/17/baton-rouge-shooter-gavin-eugene-long-was-nation-of-islam-member-railed-against-crackers-on-youtube-channel-video/#ixzz4EiVZoFGT

    • WUSRPH

      From later reports it is still unclear what happened. We know the horrible results, but not the how or why. In any case, it is clearly too easy to get guns in this country. In Dallas the shooter was a US Army vet. This week it looks like the shooter was a USMC vet. Both probably could pass any test for gun ownership…..

      • WUSRPH

        http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

         

        It is not just cops getting shot to easy that should bother us. It is the THOUSANDS of other people who are victims in gun incidents each year…..the dozens each week. Anyone who can look at the data at this site, above, and who does not think we have A PROBLEM WITH GUNS in this country is more than deaf, blind and dumb. Of course, “guns don’t kill people”…but people WITH guns do! Yeah, yeah…I know you can kill someone with a chairleg if you try hard enough…but it is so much easier with a gun. We have got to do something to make it harder.

        • Sacagewea

          Fearful people want guns.

          • WUSRPH

            People who are made fearful by demagogues..

          • Sacagewea

            Absolutely! And we have one heading up the GOP convention . . .

    • BCinBCS

      W wrote: …it might be useful if we had leadership that tried to take the guns out of hands of such people before they start shooting…

      Isn’t it amazing how, as the NRA claims, gun violence has decreased with increased gun ownership and display? /s/

      • Sacagewea

        Dallas proved how wrong the “good guy with a gun” theory is.

        • BCinBCS

          Yup.

    • Sacagewea

      I’m in rural NH with no wifi except at the town library. I’ll miss the performances at the RNC this week. Hope no violence occurs . . .

  • WUSRPH

    On last thought on the craziness of the world today:

    Because we have had terrorists in this country who were Muslims, at least some of whom were born in this country,

    *Donald Trump said we should bar Muslims from coming to the US.

    *Newt Gingrich says we should examine the minds of all Muslims in the US, native born or immigrants, and any who believe in Shia law should be deported.

    *Ted Cruz (earlier in the year) said we should patrol Muslim neighborhoods.

    Based on that “logic” (SIC) Does this mean that now that we have had two shootings of police that involve young Black men who served in the US Military that Donald Trump will say we should ban all Blacks from military service?

    I wouldn’t discount it.

    • John Bernard Books

      racist

    • José

      It would be funny if they advocated for cutting off foreign aid to any country that includes Sharia law in its legal system. That includes Israel!
      I would also like to see Newt be more consistent by threatening to deport anyone who tries to implement religious based moral laws. Not just Islam but also fundamentalist Christians. Then it might be worth the effort.

  • John Bernard Books

    Now what are we gonna do JJ?
    “I can reliably report that the former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, Dr. Tom Coburn, would accept a draft from the convention floor if delegates petition successfully to put his name in nomination…”
    http://hotair.com/archives/2016/07/18/heh-a-dark-horse-challenger-to-trump-emerges-on-the-eve-of-the-convention/

    He scares dems more than Cruz so yes I’d support him.

    • John Johnson

      I’d vote and campaign for him. He’s been blasting business as usual for a long time…especially wasteful spending. Sadly, it’s never going to happen.

  • WUSRPH

    Abbott could not resist it any longer. Now he is advocating making attacks on police a “hate crime”…..Louisiana had already passed such a law. It really seemed to have a deterrent effect there……But when you are a politician and want some publicity you propose passing a new law.

  • WUSRPH

    Yesterday Trump blamed the new shootings on President Obama’s lack of “leadership”.. .Today he said people do not believe the president when he says he is anti-cop shooting because of his “body language”. Tomorrow he will probably get right down to what he means—it is because of Obama’s skin color.

    • John Johnson

      Yep. l’ll say it…Obama is a racist. He has set race relations back decades. Sending Sharpton to Furgeson as his emissary was the tell for me. He is the WPE.

      • WUSRPH

        I guess it is all because he got “uppity” and got himself elected to an office which was not supposed to be filled by “those people”.

        • John Johnson

          Hahaha. He’s just a loser. He would be a loser if he were stark white or dark purple.

  • John Bernard Books

    Will Hillary be better at race relations because she’s married to a black man…
    “A plurality of Americans believe Democrat Hillary Clinton is the best equipped presidential candidate to deal with problems between police and African Americans, according to a new poll that shows voters with a bleak view of race relations in the country.”
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2016/07/17/poll-clinton-better-than-trump-on-fixing-strained-race-relations/?mod=e2fb

    Dems know their voters….

  • John Bernard Books

    Melanie vs Michele, Sheriff Walker vs Liz Warren, Marcus Latrell vs deafening silence from the left.