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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Trump To Sign RNC Loyalty Pledge?

by JASmius

You know how when someone delivers you a verbal low blow that outrages and infuriates you, and the first thing that comes to your red-hazed mind (aside from bludgeoning them unconscious in retaliation) is to demand that they apologize immediately, even though such an apology would almost certainly be empty, insincere, and phony?

That's the feeling I've got about this pledge, which The Donald has evidently signed this morning:

Donald Trump will meet with Republican National Commitee chairman Reince Priebus Thursday in New York City, one day after party officials began circulating a loyalty pledge that looked squarely aimed at the Republican front-runner.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed the meeting to CNN. Trump also announced that he will have a 2 p.m. news conference at Trump Towers Thursday.

According to sources familiar with the discussions, all signs indicate that Trump will sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee if he loses, and not run as an independent.

However, sources caution that until the meeting happens, no one can be sure exactly what the outcome will be, since Trump is his own adviser and has a history of being unpredictable.

Indeed.  Which is what makes this, well, "trumped-up" pledge signing less than entirely reassuring.  Remember what Allahpundit said last week:

You think Trump gives a crap about a pledge? He’d take the pledge, renounce it later, then laugh at what losers these Republican leaders are for ever believing that he’d keep his promise.

And his fans would cheer him on. “He outwitted the RINOs by making them think he’s a man of his word!”

It all depends upon whether you think that Donald Trump is an honest, trustworthy man.  Given his long history of precisely the opposite, that would appear to be an awfully foolish bet to make.

In fact, I'll tell you right here and now why Trump signed this party loyalty pledge: He's running away with the GOP nomination (at least for the moment) and his ego has convinced him that he won't have to bother going indy later after all.  I tend to think that even he is laughing uproariously in private at how shockingly easy it has been for him to sway and swindle so many erstwhile "conservatives" and Tea Partiers into blowing their all-hallowed "principles" out the nearest airlock by the simple tactic of giving the insanely hated Republican "establishment" repeated noogies and swirlies.  Talk about "cheap dates".

But maybe this is what could be described as a case of "The Establishment Strikes Back":

This suggests that Trump’s taking this campaign seriously, perhaps more seriously than many thought and still think at the moment. Still, this cuts completely across his main draw. Voters flock to Trump because they’re angry at the Republican Party, which has won control of Congress and so far has seemingly done little with it. Locking himself into the GOP, and especially making agreements with its senior leadership, might well undermine that rogue quality which has thus far kept voters from caring too much about his history of left-of-center policy stands. It’s a risk for Trump, one that might just put him in the one category fatal to his populist aspirations: politician.

In other words, will Tea Party Trumpsters see this pledge signing as their hero "going native," or will they see him like General Douglas MacArthur accepting the Japanese surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay?

I tend to lean toward the latter.

But what happens a few months from now when the field starts mercifully winnowing down, also-ran candidates start dropping out, and the only factor giving Trump the advantage he currently enjoys - too many damned candidates - vanishes, exposing the fact that he's already pretty much at his support ceiling, and he gets passed up by real conservatives (and Republicans)?  Answer: Out will go his "pledge," but with it, all the advantages that being in a national party provides in terms of fundraising, primary ballot access, and voter data collection and availability, without which an independent run would be much more difficult (though not impossible).

Either that, or Trump will have to admit defeat.  Which also cuts completely across his main draw.  But which he ought to be willing to do if he really is a Republican.

Which, of course, he's not.  As will become garishly clear over the next few months.

But don't worry, Tea Party Trumpsters; at the end of this crazy train ride, I will be waiting, my overflowing quiver of "I told you so's" locked and loaded.


Glenn Turner said...

I think you don't quite understand Trump's good character. I bet he is making a deal with the RNC, they have to be fair to him or the pledge is void. I think he is leading a major movement, is basically honest and a philosophical conservative.

JASmius said...

That's quite the blind faith you have in Trump, Glenn. There's nothing in his background and personal history that suggests any of those things are true. But let's take that "leading a major movement" postulation for a moment: What is this "movement"? What are its core principles? What defines it other than Trump vilifying all the people that his anger-fueled supporters detest? It's not a "movement," Glenn, it's an empty personality cult "led" by a skilled demagogue and self-marketer who at best actually stands for nothing but his own self-interest and ego-stoking. At worst? He's Hillary Clinton's Trojan horse within Republican walls.

Indeed, it's his supporters that have abandoned THEIR principles in order to back him. Case in point: a recent poll asked GOP respondents if they supported socialized medicine; only 16% said yes. They then polled the same question but mentioned Trump's positive remarks about socialized medicine at the first GOP debate a month ago; the "support" number ballooned to 44%. I don't know about you, but I find that appalling, especially coming from people whose defining ethic was, until very recently, conservative ideological purity. Now their erstwhile beliefs don't seem to matter anymore.

There is no Trump "movement". There is only Trump, exploiting conservative frustration, using one issue (immigration) to bamboozle them while on pretty much every other issue he is either all over the place depending upon his audience, or steadfastly on the left, his policy knowledge shallower than the kiddie pool and Munchkin Land.

Is conservative frustration at the GOP congressional leadership warranted? Sure. I share it. Is flocking after a candidate that has never been "conservative" until he decided to run for president justified just because of his caustic, pugilistic style? No, it isn't.

In my experience, decisions made out of emotion as opposed to reason are never wise ones. This one is shaping up to be a tragic, disastrous mistake.

Glenn Turner said...

You have it exactly backwards. If you read one of Trump's books, especially "Time To Get Tough: Making America #1 Again" you will see he has a good plan to restore financial stability, military strength, law and order. His positions are fundamentally conservative--free market and personal freedom. You are prejudiced against him by the media. Give him a fair hearing at least.