Down But Not Out

FedUp PAC Staff

The outcome of South Carolina’s Presidential primary was not exactly what the Republican establishment had in mind six months ago when they anointed Jeb Bush the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee. The result convinced establishment darling Bush to end his campaign for the GOP nomination.

With Jeb Bush out of the picture, the establishment is falling back on “Plan B.” It involves closing ranks around Marco Rubio to do what Jeb Bush could not: stop the momentum of “outsider” candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

However, the results of the South Carolina primary back up the media polls that have shown consistently Trump and Cruz combined with a majority of Republican voter support. Marco Rubio has his work cut out. For one thing, he is on the wrong side of amnesty for illegal aliens. Both Trump and Cruz are proving that’s not a place any Republican candidate can safely be in 2016. Despite Rubio’s attempts to “explain” his position, the evidence clearly shows multiple examples of his pro-amnesty support. Backing amnesty helps Rubio pass the establishment’s litmus test, but it won’t win him many votes in the South, where the Republican campaign is shifting for “Super Tuesday” on March 1.

GOP elites may be completely lacking in principles, but no one has ever accused them of being stupid. They have a “Plan C” just in case Rubio falls short. The linchpin of Plan C is Republican Party rules for awarding delegates on Super Tuesday and on the March 8 primaries. The best thing about this plan – at least as far as the establishment is concerned – is that the rules are already rigged in their favor.

Delegates from the Super Tuesday primaries will be awarded according to the percentage of the vote each candidate receives. Even with the Super Tuesday field down to three rivals to Trump and Cruz, the rivals – including Rubio – still may have enough support altogether to prevent Trump or Cruz from piling up a large number of delegates. After all, the establishment candidate only needs to control enough delegates to deny a majority to either Trump or Cruz. Going forward after Super Tuesday, the scene shifts to more establishment-friendly regions like Florida, the Midwest and California – territory that could throw a big monkey wrench into the workings of both the Trump and Cruz campaigns. Furthermore, many of these states have winner-take all primaries, meaning Rubio could win all the delegates without a majority of the primary vote.

GOP elites tipped their hand at a secret December 2015 meeting with, according to a Washington Post report, “Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment. Using multiple sources among those gathered for the meeting, Post reporters let the cat out of the bag: GOP bigshots are scheming for a deadlocked nominating convention in Cleveland this July, where they will call the shots.

In the event of a deadlocked convention, many of the delegates pledged to a certain candidate would be freed from that obligation on later ballots. The GOP elite would have a free hand to cut enough backroom deals to stitch together a winning margin for Rubio or even manage to nominate someone who didn’t run in any of the GOP primaries like failed 2012 nominee Mitt Romney.

The rules now in effect for awarding delegates are the establishment’s Plan C because those rules could prevent Trump or Cruz from reaching the “magic number” of delegates necessary for nomination.

In effect, a deadlocked convention would give Republican power brokers a license to hijack the nominating process and even try override the results of any primary or caucus won by Trump or Cruz. Maybe that strikes you as heavy-handed, but betraying grassroots conservative voters is part and parcel of how the Republican establishment does business. It has been that way for a long time. (Maybe you remember how the Mississippi delegation was stolen from Ronald Reagan in 1976.) That’s how the establishment maintains power, which in turn lines the pockets of party bigshots.

We may be looking at the last stand of the Republican establishment. Still, no one should underestimate the resources they can bring to bear in this battle to maintain their power, influence and money. They are down but not out. With so much at stake, GOP insiders are not about to give in without a fight.

At the grassroots, conservatives need to keep a close eye on their states’ GOP convention delegates and put pressure on them to uphold the integrity of primary or caucus results. If the establishment chooses to declare war on grassroots conservatives, the establishment should know that war is exactly what they are going to get.