The RNC have had to cope with a serious technical fault with their latest GOP establishment service drone Rubio the robot. In previous elections voters had complained that GOP drones came in only one colour (white!), were all fairly old and dated, wore identical suits, same colour tie and weren’t as cool as the service drones on offer from the democrats. So based on focus groups, the GOP came up with something they thought might be a winner.
Unfortunately, the GOP forgot that the bulk of the party base are white and mildly racist. They have been opting instead to go for a variety of foreign imports or have been conned into installing ransomware in the pay of a criminal syndicate.
Meanwhile the democrats are having technical difficulties problems of their own with their latest product Clinton 2.0. This is based on the highly successful Clinton 1.0, a much admired product from the 1990’s. It had many handy features, such as double digit growth and came with a balanced budget. Unfortunately, it also came with a number of hardware problems, notably the tendency of a certain bit of hardware to turn on and then refuse to turn off whenever young interns came near.
The democrats were confident that they’d fixed all these problems, however Clinton 2.0 has proven vulnerable to the Millennial bug. It also has a habit of shutting down and hiding e-mails, or storing them in unsecured servers. And Clinton 2.0 might be vulnerable to a piece of GOP malware known as “Benghazi”.
Jokes aside, the dropping out of Rubio benefits only two people – Ted Cruz and Hilary Clinton. Rubio was the GOP’s best shot at defeating her and while her victory is certainly not assured, I doubt you’ll find many bookies taking bets against her winning now (last I checked they were quoting odds of 5/6).
She is well ahead of both Trump and Cruz in some polls. And even those polls where she is neck and neck with Cruz, I would point out that this is largely because the media haven’t focused on him as much as they have on Hilary or Trump. The fact is, the GOP have been slinging mud at Hilary for the last twenty years. Anyone who was going to be persuaded by negative campaigning against her has already made their minds up.
However neither of the GOP candidates have been subject to that level of scrutiny. If Trump thinks the primaries have been tough, wait until the election proper starts and all the gaff’s, racist taut’s and unworkable policies get flung back at him.
This is what worries the GOP establishment about Trump and Cruz, they remember what happened with Sarah Palin. She was a wildly popular pick as VP within her own party, but she probably cost McCain the election. Hence the balance of probability is that once the campaign proper starts Hilary will start to pull ahead of either GOP candidate (and she’s already got a clear lead on Trump) and will likely win easily .
Indeed I would argue the major threat to her is that a number of the left wing of her party defecting to some third party on election day. The irony is, that she’s actually one of the most centrist (if not right wing) candidates the democrats have fielded in a long time. Although the crazier the GOP candidate is, the less likely it is that such defections will happen.
Shooting the hostage
And all of the above assumes essentially ideal conditions and a united GOP. Which doesn’t seem likely! There are further signs that some elements of the GOP simply will not accept Trump (or Cruz) as either the GOP candidate or as a president. They would sooner back Hilary. Recently the EIS rated Trump winning the election as one of the top ten risks to the global economy. Rumours abound of secret meetings between senior GOP figures discussing various strategies to use procedures and rules against Trump to stop him getting the nomination. There is also talk of getting some conservative figure to run as the third party candidate against Trump, thus guaranteeing that regardless of the outcomes of the primaries that he will lose.
In essence Trump has been holding the GOP hostage by threatening to run as an independent. Now the hostage is about to pull out a gun and threaten to shoot them both if he doesn’t back down. Most of the big financial donors would likely back this third party option (or Hilary). So if Trump wants to make a pointless and doomed run, he’ll be doing it on his own dime. There hope is that he’s got at least some business sense to see that he’s snookered, upon which he’ll resign and drop out.
Although personally I doubt it, as some of his ex-staffers have been pointing out their boss is an egomanic who is just about stupid enough to make a run. Take how he reacted to Romney’s attack on his failed businesses. He tried to claim they are all still up and running and that he owns them all. Well that ain’t so (the steaks came from a butcher, aptly named “Bush”). In essence he proved that everything Romney accused him of was true, that he’s a liar and a fraud, who cannot accept his own failures, even when they are staring him in the face. Like the black knight, he’ll keep charging in and then claim victory even when left legless and armless.
The Presidential derailer option
And in other news, Obama has made his pick for the Supreme court. To the surprise of some he picked not a young card carrying member of he ACLU, but a moderate centrist with experience in anti-terrorism cases. This could be seen as an olive branch to Republicans that they can team up to take down Trump or work progressively with Hilary. And there is, it should be noted, a last ditch method by which Trump could be stopped, even if by some miracle he won the election.
The President and Congress, in Obama’s last few weeks, could transfer the bulk of the powers of the President to the House of Representatives (in essence they would be separating out the offices of head of state and head of government, with the speaker of the house effectively becoming the equivalent of the an American PM). With a complaint house (i.e. a majority of republicans in favour and willing to vote down any filibuster attempts by Trump supporters) this is possible. It would render Trump a neutered president. He’d get to cut ribbons and open shopping malls, throw the first pitch in the baseball season, make a speech once a year, but that’s about it.
The trouble is, once enacted it will be very difficult to undo. It would require (after Trump’s gone) a three-fifths majority of both houses, a complaint president and likely a referendum too. In the meantime US decision making will be even more constrained than now, as the role of the US federal government will be reduced to simply waiting out the clock on Trump.
Alternatively, Obama could be laying a trap for the Republicans. If they follow through with their threat and filibuster the confirmation hearings, he and Hilary, can justifiably point to this as showing that they are to blame for everything that is wrong with politics right now (Trump, the deficit, the economy, ISIS, etc.) and that it has been their obstructive behaviour that is holding back America. The GOP would be risking not just a loss to Hilary in the presidential election, but in the Senate and Congress too. Knowing full well that if Hilary wins she will almost certainly punish the GOP by picking a much more liberal candidate (maybe she’ll put Sanders or Micheal Moore up for the job!). In essence Obama has just kicked a live hand grenade into the GOP’s office. The question is will the pull the pin on it?
Another thought is that of Trump and Cruz teaming up. Some wing-nuts seem to think this would be a great idea. Both of them on the ticket sounds like the ultimately tea party wet dream….well if your Hilary that is! Trump and Cruz appeal to the same class of voters – angry white males. However as discussed, there are lots of people who will not vote for Trump, ever! This includes large segments of his own party. Similarly there are a lot of people who will not vote for a religious nut like Ted Cruz (plus many who think an American should get the job!). Putting both on the ticket doubles the number of people that will be turned off voting for the Republicans. Again, this would make it easier for Hilary, not harder.
A better job description
In all, is it asking too much of America to write out a basic job description before the next election, listing certain “essential skills” that every candidate must meet. Failure to meet them and your application for the job of president won’t even be read and you won’t get on the ballot. Such skills could include “must be sane”, “must have read the US constitution…particularly the bill of rights”, “must understand the word hypocrisy….and the candidate should not be a textbook example of this word”, “must not have filed for bankruptcy“…once let alone multiple times! A command of basic arithmetic, geography and world affairs would also be key requirements (most companies these days hold a technical interview prior to the main interview, so a similar process for each candidate would weed out the chaff).
And naturally all candidates would have to fully declare their recent financial activity (something Trump hasn’t done…nor will he ever do, as that would likely get him arrested) and release birth certificates (preferably American not Canadian!), show some ID (its ironic how American voters have to go through more hoops to get registered than those standing for president!), etc. This would have all made the primary process so much smoother.