Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Ides of March

And Rubio Asked The Oracle "What Will Happen If I Attack Donald Trump?"
And The Oracle Replied "You Will Destroy A Great Political Campaign."
Last night the Democrat party decided. Clinton swept every state (drawing near ties in Missouri and Illinois--but a crushing win in Florida which was the big kahuna). The red-states-only/southern-strength-only arguments evaporated and she opened a lead bigger than the one Obama had on her at this time. Barring something unexpected, Hillary Clinton will be the DNC's nominee.

Several (male) commentators thought she was a little too shouty--and didn't smile enough. 

For the RNC it was the opposite. Trump won everywhere but Ohio, which went to non-inee John Kasich. The worst-of-all-possible-worlds means that Kasich will now stay in, splitting the anemic Cruz vote, Rubio dropped out, losing their best shot at defeating Hillary, and Trump-mentum rises. If  you were wondering if the violence and Trump's approval of it after Chicago had any effect? The votes are in.

Rubio, a Tea-Party darling (once), who was the poster-boy for the RNC's 'Autopsy' play-book, looked exhausted and defeated. Cruz-supporting Red State posts the speech in full and says:
I have nothing to add to this. Had to splice it into two separate videos due to length. You would do yourself a favor to watch the whole thing through, even if you don’t support Rubio as a candidate.
I think we might have made a huge mistake.

Other Notes 

The DNC has already started running ads against Trump. This ad features women repeating a myriad of offensive things Donald Trump has said about women.

Oh, uh, wait: it's a conservative SuperPAC. Psst, guys, ixnay on the ar-way on omen-way, would ya?

Arch-conservative Erick Erickson wisely counseled humility and kindness to Cruz as the results of Super Tuesday started to roll in.
Cruz & Co. are, of course,  exemplars of kindness and humility.
People wanted to know why, oh why, didn't Rubio cut a deal with Cruz back when he had the chance? The Omnivore has a suspicion on that count.

A Broken Convention

With Rubio out, Cruz having his own electability issues, Trump ascendant, and Kasich still in as the black hole of votes-Cruz-could-really-use, the GOP and conservative strategists look towards a contested convention to rid the party of Trump. If only it were that easy.

Trump, if he does not glide-path to the magic-number 1,237 delegates, is still likely to come to Cleveland in a commanding position. Any attempt to wrest the nomination from him will result in chaos and blow-back. It also isn't clear who a convention-floor might choose? Paul Ryan? Mitt Romney? A Cruz/Kasich-team? Jeb?

Any one of these has the potential to break the party in half. Oh, sure, anti-Trumps compare a contested-convention to "overtime in a football game." Hey, it's part of the rules, man. On the other hand, what if we'd only had one football game ever go to overtime in the past 50 years? It wouldn't be so simple.

It won't be. Today conventions are highly choreographed events to bring the party together and introduce the 2.0 (3.0?) version to the a-political public. A contested convention would be the opposite of that doing more damage and sundering the party further.

The Omnivore is a big fan of the "they'll muddle through somehow" outcome for crisis like the Greek Debt--but actually "stealing a nomination" could, possibly, actually split the party. It isn't likely--but it's possible.

Begun, This SCOTUS War Has

Trump's victory last night has additional implications for the summer: The senate is prepping to go to war with Obama on their decision not to nominate anyone. Obama is going to announce his pick today (so The Omnivore's news-alert says) and it's presumably someone centrist-y, possibly Asian, and with a great record.

The battle will be fought in the PR Arena (as was the Government Shutdown debacle)--but with Trump now a very plausible nominee--and a hugely weak general election candidate (he's not rich enough to self-fund a national general election campaign--even with his free-media), GOP strategists are going to have to ask themselves: Will Hillary win the general and then nominate Barack Obama to a friendly Senate?

Do they feel . . . lucky?

It's imperative to do whatever it takes to stop Hillary and/or hold the Senate--but if that means voting for Trump many of the conservative base has said they just won't do it. While most of them will probably cave and vote The Donald anyway, 1-2% staying home could doom virtually any Republican.

So what do they do? What do they do?

We'll find out.

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