Fraticide

It disheartens me to see conservatives downing arguably the most conservative candidate in the presidential race, but I have started to grasp that not all who claim friendship are friends. At least some part of the GOP is so angry it is inchoate. It sees red and it destroys whatever is in its path. While I understand the anger, I do not understand the idea of burning down friend and foe alike. In short, why be anti-Cruz if you are for Trump? I suggest that there is something unnerving about the man, or some insecurity in his supporters, in general, that leads to these attacks on conservatives. They have already come out swinging against economic freedom in downing Citizens United. I don’t wish to be uncharitable here, but there’s something of the conspiracy believer in this.

I have already pointed out some of the risible claims they have made against Carson and Cruz, over here. Now they double down. I don’t get it. If you really believed in your secret GOPe treasure maps, then there would be no need to attack other candidates. They would be finished from the start. But there’s something mocking and triumphalist in this, as though they need to keep proving (and improving) their plan. Why? Either Trump will do fine without any of the rest of us, or perhaps, their savior has feet made of clay in terms of support? I don’t know, but it’s downright odd.

Something I realized early on was that for their secret plan of the GOPe to work, all the splitter candidates must stay in the race long enough to fracture the vote. Given how little the other candidates care for Jeb, I really question the wisdom of this. More likely than not, they will pull out if they see that they are unable to win. Again, their plan PRESUMES IDIOCY on behalf of the other candidates.

Now, I find the idea as a piece of GOPe strategy a desperate wish. I do not think it is concrete. I do not think it is prognosticative. For sure, it did not suspect Carson or Trump from entering the race, both of which are outsiders. It is also flawed and does not anticipate the future well. For instance, what happens if say, candidates drop out? Their support flows to others. Cruz, for instance, I think will end up with Perry’s supporters. What if Jindal, Walker, or Rubio pull out? What about Huckabee? You can see that what is needed is an adaptive model.

Don’t get me wrong. Some candidates will stay in the race because of vanity or because of GOPe machinations, I have no doubt. Kasich and Gilmore will run to the end and get 1-2%, if that. I doubt they will have much of a presence in their own home states. However, note that the splitter strategy REQUIRES these low-polling candidates to deliver big in their home states, which I cannot see happening.

This plan has a multitude of flaws. It underestimates the rise of voter interest present in any election where the opposition party has timed out. Hope and Change anyone?

It underestimates the resilience of candidates to Karl Rove. Ooh, scary evil man has all the power! You can do nothing! This simplistic B-grade horror movie thinking presumes failure on behalf of Cruz, Walker, et al, as though they had no ability to fight back and were helpless. Don’t make me laugh. I don’t think Rove can match Walker or Cruz, honestly.

It also underestimates voter awareness. By late in the cycle, voters are aware of who will win if they vote a certain way, and I think it will cause a large groundswell against Bush. The internet forums will be afire with “anyone but Bush!” So even if Trump weren’t running, I sincerely doubt Bush would win. The Treehouse seriously underestimates how much people dislike another Bush for president.

Finally, it underestimates the effectiveness of a well-run, well-funded opposition campaign. Where is Cruz campaigning? The South. He knows that Super Tuesday is kind of a big thing.

So, flaws in this silly piece of desperate GOPe wish are many. Keep adjusting your plan, guys. It wasn’t built on a solid foundation of reason and it will collapse soon enough.

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