I’m not sure whether this is a serious post or not.
— How likely is it that Donald Trump, if elected, would serve more than a few months of his term? How likely is it that he will even continue as the nominee much beyond the convention?, Me, Angry Bear, Jun. 3
That sentence is how I ended that post. A few days later I read, on Politico, I think, that conservative Republican donors (yes, that’s redundant, but that’s what the article said) are trying to persuade the RNC to pass an emergency rule change at the opening of the convention to release the delegates from their primary commitment on the first ballot. (The article said this group was leaning toward favoring Scott Walker as the nominee, to which I said to myself, “Please do. That’ll put the Rust Belt states in your corner!”)
But last night, after I posted this post arguing that the Dems and progressive pundits should not conflate media coverage of and about Trump himself, which obviously is extensive, and media coverage of Republican congressional policy proposals, which is almost nonexistent and which Ryan says Trump has assured him that he will help implement, I read this piece by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. It’s titled “Trump exploits Orlando’s tragedy to smear Muslims and Obama.” Posted at 6:35 p.m. it ran through all of Trump’s many statements yesterday, and one by Trump surrogate Roger Stone.
As I read that, I realized that Trump likely won’t be the nominee.
I recalled reading a news report late last week that I had expected to gain significant traction. Titled “Florida AG sought donation before nixing Trump University fraud case,” by CNN’s Tom LoBianco, Drew Griffin and Scott Zamost, it is stunning even by current standards: The Florida AG, Pam Bondi, announced in 2014 that she was considering having Florida join litigation by several states alleging fraud by Trump U. There had been many complaints to Bondi’s office by former victims. A few days later, Bondi, who was running for reelection, solicited a $25,000 campaign donation from Trump, who obliged. A few days after the check was received, Bondi announced her decision against having Florida join he lawsuit, claiming insufficient evidence.
My first thought was that Trump wouldn’t be calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary” much longer. My second thought was that Trump will be indicted after a plea deal with Bondi.
The article was posted at 9:31 p.m. on Friday. Perfect timing for Sunday’s papers. Then there was the Orlando horror, barely more than 24 hours later. And Trump’s appalling reaction, on Sunday and throughout the day yesterday, and I guess into today.
And mainstream Republicans’ reactions to Trump’s, which Greg Sargent recounts.
Politico’s Jake Sherman reports today that Trump will meet with House Republicans on July 7:
“Since Mr. Trump became the presumptive nominee, members have asked for us to organize an opportunity for our conference to spend time with him before the convention,” an aide to McMorris Rodgers said. “The chairwoman announced to members at the morning’s conference that on July 7th they will have the chance to meet with Mr. Trump; share their policy priorities, learn about his plans to unite the party; and get details about his plans to move America forward. This was the first date that worked with everyone’s schedules for a special conference. Details of exact time and location will be forthcoming.”
I’m interested in what they tell Trump are their policy priorities. And what happens 11 days later, when their convention begins.
UPDATE: Greg Sargent writes:
After President Obama ripped Donald Trump today for betraying American values and further endangering the country with his ban on Muslims and all around hatemongering, Trump responded in a brief statement to the Associated Press:
“President Obama claims to know our enemy, and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people.
“When I am President, it will always be America First.”
He titles his post “Republicans discover nominating world’s most famous birther might not be a great idea.” Perfect.
I meant to say in my original post, but for forgot to, that I think the Republicans will say that their primary motive in refusing as a party to nominate Trump is based not on ideology but on Trump’s clear mental instability, which poses am existential threat to this country. For some of them, that will be their motive. For others it will be ideology.
I think they’ll point out that Trump did not win a majority of that primary and caucus popular vote, and they’ll say that since the effective end of the primary season more than a month ago Trump’s mental instability has become obvious enough that some voters who voted for him probably would not do so now.
I do suspect–possibly naively, I recognize–that for many party elites, concerns primarily about ideology and even the likelihood of devastating electoral losses are starting to seem like unaffordable luxuries.
Added 6/14 at 5:16 p.m.