Massive riots coming to the Trump Convention in Cleveland?
The conventional wisdom – no pun intended – is that this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland will be a mirrored image of the Democrat National Convention in Chicago in 1968.
In Chicago, the Vietnam War was the issue and young Democrats battled police in the streets to protest their own leaders, who were in power. It resulted in a divided party. The Democrats lost the White House in the 1968 election.
In Cleveland this week, street riots may have the opposite effect. If young Democrats – or Black Lives Matter protesters – battle police outside Quicken Loans Arena it will only unify the Republican Party. And if they hurt or bloody innocent people, it may turn thousands of new voters to Trump.
There is an irony in all of this.
The RNC in Cleveland, like the RNC in Tampa in 2012, is designated a “National Special Security Event,” which means that the security is ultimately handled by the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security. In 2012 the FEDS spent $50 million on security in Tampa.
Pundits all over television are hearkening back to the 1968 Democrat National Convention in Chicago and saying that if there are riots Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich will be the one to call out the National Guard but in fact, in this post 9-11 America, President Barack Obama will be in charge of security at the RNC, and if he runs it the way he runs the IRS or the Veterans Affairs, it really means that nobody will be in charge.
So in Cleveland, you can conceivably have federal officers – answering to the Obama administration – trying to control African American protesters outside the Trump Convention and the national media will blame those “hateful” Trump Republican policemen on the street for any protester that gets hurt.
On the other hand, if the Obama DHS fails to do its job and there are images of bloodied Trump supporters in downtown Cleveland, the Democrats can kiss the state of Ohio goodbye in a general election.
It is very complicated and there are many moving parts to this scenario.
The media, of course, will spin this with their biased partisan slant but in election years they tend to do too much and it backfires. Their audience is often insulted by the rigidity of their message and start rebelling. That happened in 1980 when the national media tilted so far against Reagan that the nation elected him president in a landslide.
And this time there is the Fox News Channel which will gladly pick up any stories that the networks leave laying on the bloodied streets of Cleveland and thus the lion’s share of the national audience and advertising revenue.
For the moment, the national media is content with keeping the Clinton NGO scandal out of the news and promoting the idea of a fractured Republican Party. For example, it is making a big deal out of the fact that the two Bush presidents will not be attending the 2016 RNC in Cleveland.
They conveniently neglect to remind their viewers that the two Bush presidents didn’t attend the 2012 Convention in Tampa either. That the absence is not about Trump any more than it was about Romney. It is about winning and the last Bush presidency is a drag on those chances.
So here comes the Cleveland Convention. If Black Lives Matter fails to register on the Richter scale their movement is over and their money will dry up. If they don’t show at Trump’s Convention, where will they ever show again?
And if they do show they must be heard to matter.
And President Barack Obama and his DHS and Secret Service will be swinging the batons and firing the rubber bullets and holding up the fences. While the national media will blame it all on Republicans. And in this explosive mix may come the story that will rivet the nation and decide the election.
Remember, Trump’s rise to the national stage was propelled by the murder of Kate Steinle, 32, on a San Francisco pier by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported back to Mexico five times and kept coming back. “Dad, help me, help me,” she called out, as she lay dying from the random attack.
Donald Trump’s unlikely election as president may come from a few seconds of video on the streets of Cleveland this week. Let’s pray that there will be no Kate Steinle offered on the altar this time.
Here it is, the timeless formula for great leaders. Good or bad. Thomas Jefferson or Adolf Hitler. But you are not going to like it.
Most great figures in history were “mama’s boys” with an absent father. But here is the key. It was not good enough to be absent. The prisons of the world are filled with men who are “mama’s boys” with absent fathers. The father must also be seen as heroic or successful in the eyes of their son.
It is a fascinating study.
This video from 20o8 discusses the uncanny similarities between the presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama and their fathers.
Did Donald Trump serve as his own anonymous publicist in a conversation with a reporter 25 years ago? If so he is in good company. Ben Franklin and Winston Churchill did the same. Churchill wrote anonymous letters to the London Times. “Bring back Winnie.”
Meanwhile, dId Hillary Clinton hire private detectives to get information on women with whom her husband was having affairs 25 years ago? The national media doesn’t care or want to know because 25 years is too long ago.
Have we ever had an election where both the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates were flawed? And the voters had to choose between the lesser of two evils?
How about 1884?
The American people had to choose between a corrupt politician and a misogynist. Both presidential candidates were seriously flawed.
The misogynist was member of a law firm in Buffalo, New York. He and his partners shared the sexual favors of a young lady. When she became pregnant our erstwhile, future, presidential candidate, stepped forward to assume paternity. It was the gentlemanly thing to do since his law partners were married.
When one of his law partner’s died, he assumed guardianship over his daughter, a risky proposition that turned out as one might expect. When the young lady became a teenager they fell in love and at age twenty-one she finally married him. He was forty-six.
Meanwhile, the corrupt politician ran a pay to play scheme that hampered his political career and made winning the presidential nomination of his party quite problematic. In one transaction that later became public, future presidential candidate, Congressman Charles G. Blaine, received the equivalent of $1.5 million in today’s money. In return he helped a railroad obtain a federal grant.
Today’s critics may see this as a modest bribe when compared to the alleged accumulation of $1.5 billion taken in by the Clinton Foundation. A great deal of the later was allegedly raised from foreign governments and foreign businessmen while Mrs. Clinton was serving as the United States Secretary of State. In his New York Times bestseller, Clinton Cash, Peter Schweitzer carefully tracks the long list of transactions.
In the end, the Republicans nominated Charles G. Blaine anyway. And the Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland. In this case, Cleveland, the misogynist won.
Incidentally, Cleveland became the only president to be married in the White House while in office. He married his 21 year old ward, Frances Folsom. Sensitive to the public outrage Cleveland did not kiss the bride at his wedding. But the nation soon took to the couple and became enchanted with Frances who was the youngest First Lady in American history.
Grover Cleveland is ranked by historians as a very good president and by some as a great one. He lost the White House in 1888 but was returned to power again in 1892, making him both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, forever confusing history students on exactly how many men have served as president.
“That’s not fair!” Donald Trump supporters say. They are complaining about the fact that millions of votes are ignored as the GOP establishment continues to try to rob him of the nomination by stacking the delegate process.
What an irony.
In 2012, former governor and GOP Rules Chairman, John Sununu, said the exact same thing to Andrea Mitchell of NBC news. Ron Paul was successfully winning delegates at State Conventions, in spite of the GOP establishment efforts to stop him. The establishment printed false slates, changed meeting locations and closed down District Conventions when they were losing. It was all captured by cell phone and is available to see firsthand.
Even so, the Ron Paul insurgents arrived at the 2012 RNC in Tampa with more than 500 delegates and alternates.
When Paul won almost all of the Iowa delegation Sununu was furious. “That undermines the votes of a million Iowans who went to the Caucus,” he said, “And that’s not fair.”
Sununu, the poster boy for the GOP establishment, is now trying to run an insurgency against the frontrunner, Donald Trump. Sununu made it clear from the beginning that the establishment wanted anybody but Trump. But now, the outsiders are the frontrunners and the establishment is using Ron Paul tactics.
THE CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE IS THE KEY
To understand how Donald Trump and Paul Manafort can shut down the Sununu – insider insurgency at the RNC in Cleveland, take a good look at how they, themselves, shut down Ron Paul when the situation was reversed.
In 2012, the GOP establishment used the Credential’s Committee to strip Ron Paul of his duly elected delegates and had them bodily thrown off the floor of the Convention. The Governor of Maine was so heartbroken for the young people from his State who had worked so hard for a year to get to the RNC that he left with them out of solidarity. The media mostly ignored it.
Andrea Mitchell of NBC asked John Sununu if the establishment was afraid that their heavy handed tactics would cost them party unity in the general election.
“Well, let’s understand, fundamentally, what the concern of the Party is.” Sununu told Mitchell. “Iowa’s a great example. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each had about 35% of the vote. That’s 70% of the vote. And the rest was distributed among the rest of the candidates. Ron Paul’s numbers were close to single digits.”
This was totally false but went unchallenged by Mitchell. In fact, the actual vote was Santorum 24.6%, Romney 24.6%, Paul 21.5%, with the other seven candidates falling behind.
When asked by Mitchell how they could justify removing the duly elected delegates Sununu said, “They go and cram the next part of the [Iowa] Caucus and they come away with all of the Iowa vote. That undermines the votes of a million Iowans who went to the Caucus. And that’s not fair.
“And so they like to abuse the process, in my opinion, when it serves them but when people follow the rules as we did here they get upset with the Rules Committee.
“But the vote we had here that they are concerned about was 78 to 14. They really have nothing to complain about.”
Sununu failed to mention to Andrea Mitchell that Romney security operatives routed the bus carrying the opposition Rules Committee members all around Tampa for hours, keeping them from arriving at the Convention in time to vote on the issue. This included not just Ron Paul delegates but any Rules Committee delegate not approved by the Mitt Romney-John Sununu-Ben Ginsberg team.
Today, ironically, Sununu is encouraging the establishment leaders to play the same Ron Paul game. Ted Cruz and all of the other “Never-Trump” operatives are encouraging the establishment to take delegates at the State Conventions and laughing at Donald Trump supporters who are now saying exactly what the establishment was saying four years ago, “That’s not fair!”
SUNUNU NOW RE-WRITES HISTORY
Meanwhile, Sununu is revising the narrative of what happened in 2012. Now Sununu is telling reporters that the reasons behind Rule 40(b) were to speed up the Convention because of an impending hurricane. When Fox News anchor, Bill Hemmer, recently asked about the rule Sununu could hardly believe his luck. Hemmer didn’t even seem to notice or care for the reasons behind the change.
This revised narrative is important because the establishment wants to justify what was done in 2012 and keep Trump from responding the way they did.
Like Sununu in 2012, he can seize control of the Credentials Committee and throw the establishment delegates off the floor of the Convention.
It is the old story. “Hurt people, hurt people.” The victims of abuse become the abusers themselves.
And like Sununu he will conclude that when they are confronted with the prospect of a Democrat president they will come back into the fold.
Don’t count on it. If Republicans want to win someone must break the cycle of abuse.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are locked into a death embrace for delegates to the Republican National Convention. The showdown seems headed to California. But there is another block of delegates, big enough to settle the contest on the first ballot. I will call them the lost delegates and whoever finds them first just might be the nominee.
I am talking about the old Ron Paul delegates from the Tampa Convention in 2012. Several hundred of them are even now still in place, re-elected and headed to the 2016 RNC in Cleveland. They are scattered across several States and who they chose is up in the air. You can call it the Ron Paul Primary.
Here’s what I’m talking about. In 2012, candidate Ron Paul led an insurgency campaign to try to get his name nominated at the convention. He wanted a chance to speak in prime time about the issues of corruption that concerned him. The RNC blocked him at every turn, changing the rules to stop him and using the Credentials Committee to disqualify many of his duly elected delegates.
The Ron Paul campaign, with its stealth delegate strategy came far closer to success than the GOP establishment has ever admitted. Without strong arm tactics in the Credentials Committee they would have succeeded, even with the Rule change of 40(5).
John Sununu, Chairman of the Rules Committee in 2012, stood on the Convention floor and told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “It’s not fair.” And Sununu added, “A million voters are disenfranchised in Iowa.”
It is the very charge that Donald Trump is now making about Colorado and Wisconsin. But the situation is reversed. The outsider-insurgency campaign of Donald Trump has won the votes of the people and Sununu and the GOP-insider establishment bosses are trying to steal the nomination from him by using Ron Paul’s stealth delegate strategy.
Overlooked in this battle is the fact that many of those very Ron Paul delegates are still in place, duly re-elected to attend the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio. They were elected at precinct, county and state conventions. In 2012 there were almost 500 of them, both as delegates or alternative delegates. In some states, particularly Iowa and Missouri some have dropped out of the party, disillusioned, but in other places, including many of the Plains and Mountain States they have actually grown and spread.
No campaign has really successfully supplanted these people. Cruz has been recruiting his own folks but hardly made a dent in the old Ron Paul delegates still in place. This means that several hundred of them will be going back to the RNC in Cleveland, voting for either Trump or Cruz. I get emails from them constantly asking for my opinion about whom to support.
Some are voting for Ted Cruz because they see him as the more conservative. Others think he is a tool of the insider bankers, noting that his whole political career was launched by a loan from Goldman Sachs and that his wife worked for the bank.
“What’s the difference?” they ask. Voting for Hillary whose son-in-law works for Goldman Sachs or voting for Ted whose wife works for them?
Some support Donald Trump, seeing him as the target and victim of the same insider, money corrupted, GOP establishment that maliciously blocked the Ron Paul supporters and had them physically removed from the Convention floor, tearing up any poster or placard of support for their man.
Either Trump or Cruz can win this Ron Paul Primary and with it cobble together another 100 or so delegates from across several states. For Trump it means enough to win on the first ballot. For Cruz enough to stop that from happening.
Whoever identifies these delegates first and has the most compelling argument for their support will have an advantage.
All the focus will be on New York Tuesday and California on June 7, 2016. But the silent, unseen, “Ron Paul Primary” may be just as important.