The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Republican Race is Over

    As I read article after article about brokered conventions and #NeverTrump campaigns and "paths" to the nomination, I'm struck by the sad futility of it all.

    It may still be numerically possible for Trump to lose the nomination, but practically speaking, les jeux sont faits.

    It doesn't matter if Kasich wins Ohio and Rubio wins Florida. Their combined delegate count is less than half Trump's, and it's not improving as the race goes on. Unless Cruz drops out of the race, neither one of them can even come close.

    And Cruz will never drop out of the race. Why would he? He's in second place. Even if he weren't, it's not at all clear that he prefers the other guys to Trump. It's even less clear that his supporters prefer the other guys to Trump.

    But Cruz can't beat Trump either, not even if the other guys drop out today. To catch up, he would need a yuuuge boost from Kasich and Rubio supporters. That's not going to happen. Cruz is so loathed by moderate Republicans that it isn't even clear whether the exodus of Kasich and Rubio would improve his standing relative to Trump at all.

    So no matter what happens on the Ides of March, there will be no united front against Trump, and without a united front, the race is over. Trump wins.



    Morticia! You just spoke French!

    Agreed. Right now the GOP appears to be a divided party between his followers and those that can't stand him. But Republicans do tend to fall in line, and something may happen, or be arranged to happen, that will unify them.

    I'm thinking recession, terrorist attack, hostage crisis ... even the Finicum business could be blown up into a cause célèbre.


    I could possibly see Republicans coming together for Trump after the primaries. But not before the nomination is decided. We're only a few weeks away from numerical inevitability, and I can't imagine any event that cause a sudden, dramatic shift in support. Maybe if Trump is exposed as an evil alien invader.

    PS Pardon my French



    I was looking forward to a floor fight.


    Edit to add: as my grandmother was wont to say, " is this good or bad for the...?"

    How about if the fracking bubble bursts? 

    Don't tell me that you're still a peak-oiler?

    You don't have to be a peakist to see that the oil industry is in deep trouble. Low prices are great for folk driving cars, but the US firms borrowed heavily to invest in fracking and other alternative extraction methods, and since the prices dropped they have been running at a loss, or shutting down.

    Wells already producing are not losing money. See Texas Isn't Scared of $30 Oil.

    In DeWitt County, which produced more than 100,000 barrels a day in November from the Eagle Ford formation, the average well can be profitable with U.S. benchmark crude at $22.52 a barrel, $4 below the lowest level this year.

    Rigzone is less optimistic:

    While 2016 began with a bit of uncertainty for the oil and gas industry, in the first couple of months, we’ve seen companies continue to announce more layoffs, and reorganizations of senior executives at oil supermajors. The industry is still feeling the repercussions of the overabundance of crude oil, which caused the prices to plummet more than a year ago. Companies are being forced to make tough decisions in regards to their workforce.

     Of course there are uncertainties and repercussions to the huge drop in price (it is the oil business). The oil industry as a whole is not in 'deep trouble', companies with lots of debt are, and companies dependent on more drilling to pay off debt are.

    The huge number of wells already drilled can still profit by pumping, and oil producers with completed wells and less debt are doing ok as the article relates.

    OK, but suppose in 2007 someone warned that the mortgage industry was in deep trouble because of all these bundled subprime mortgages, and someone else said, "No, there are plenty of profitable mortgages being issued, and those companies are doing ok."

    Of course a lot of oil companies will still be in business if the fracking bubble bursts. I'm worried about the effects on the financial sector. Will we have a TOARP - Troubled Oil Asset Relief Program?

    Yeah. The jig is up. Even if they manage to nibble away at him so that he's a few delegates short, there's no way he's not getting this.

    I think there will be consolidation behind him as the nominee, but I wonder how much. Trump's support inside his own party may stay soft through November.

    It doesn't matter if Kasich wins Ohio and Rubio wins Florida. Their combined delegate count is less than half Trump's, and it's not improving as the race goes on. Unless Cruz drops out of the race, neither one of them can even come close.

    The only thing that can happen, as David Books fantasized, is that Kasich and Rubio could cost Trump and Cruz enough to force a convention nightmare that would somehow result in a major party bucking all of its voters and going to Romney...

    I mean... the fallback plan here is that chaos leads to Romney and that Republican voters will like that.

    Republican voters didn't even like Romney when they nominated him in 2012.

    If your plan is "Romney Blows Up Huge #AllTheRomney" -- you have no plan.

    This is wrong. The recent NBC poll of upcoming GOP states shows that Trump loses a two-man race 57/40 to Kasich or Cruz. And Trump, who doesn't have 50% of the delegates in a set of races in the Deep South that favors plurality-winners who run in the 30s, will have to get 54% going forward. True, Cruz needs 62%, but the reason you're wrong is that neither will get 1237. Take Maryland as an example. Polling today shows Trump only at 34, Cruz at 25. Rubio's votes reallocate primarily to Cruz, based on last week's primaries. Trump likely won't win that state. I guess you're taking the view that Rubio is appealing to moderates and Cruz is not, but if you look at the Rubio plummet in some of those states, his pre-voting poll shares went straight to Cruz, so that's just not true. Maybe those "moderates" prefer a true, albeit far-right conservative to a Mussolini retweeting, party-destroying vulgarian with a penchant for upraised right-arm salutes. Think Lindsey Graham, chuckling that he would turn to Cruz to unite his party. It is over. Trump can't make 1237. Cruz/Kasich is your likely ticket, since they bracket the boor from New York both politically and in delegates. Especially if Kasich wins Ohio, as is 50% likely. The right way to frame this is the way opposite yours. If Trump isn't at 1237 (or within 10 or so of that), how does he get to that number? Because right now, he's under the numeric arc that lands there. And unlike normal primary cycles, opponents dropping out is actually bad for him. He's like Santorum in 2012 getting closer to the nomination if five other candidates were in equipoise. He's a game theory fluke that's about to crap out. /off

    I see it as Trump/Cruz, which is why Ted played nice at the debate. Kasich is going nowhere.

    I watched Maddow's piece, This Week and Meet the Press. After the last few days of violence at Trump rallies, there is a lot more talk of stopping Trump and reaching a brokered convention. And I'm reconsidering my assumption that Republicans will fall in line behind Trump.

    Sure, and the excesses of the Tea Baggers will be condemned as not worthy of the party.

    Obviously we've forgotten the not-that-long-ago aphorism of "hippie punching"

    hippie punching

    1. The fantasy common among disaffected right-wingers of assaulting people they imagine as the embodiment of treasonous forces afflicting the nation. Rarely if ever put into practice, since in the real world the hippies either went back to real life after 1980 or turned into Silicon Valley libertarians.

    2. The practice common among establishment centrists of ritualistically denigrating progressives in order to win over imaginary swing voters and David Brooks. Sometimes misinterpreted as a boneheaded political mistake, it's actually a sign of deep and unselfish commitment to pleasing owners and professionals even at the cost of losing elections.

    Strangely, I think we're going to have to come up with a more modern version of Neoliberal Punching, roughly serving the same type purpose of #2 ("Neoliberal" being "any Democrat we don't like". Joe Biden does it equals good; Hillary or Bill do it equals bad, etc., etc). Salon has 2 articles up today:

    1) As reckless as George W Bush: Hillary Clinton helped create disorder in Iraq, Libya, Syria -- and, scarier, doesn't seem to understand how

    American primacy at all cost. That's her dangerous guiding mission. Only Bush, Nixon loved imperial adventure more

    2) Bill Clinton’s odious presidency: Thomas Frank on the real history of the ’90s

    Welfare reform. NAFTA. The crime bill. Prisons. Aides wondered if Bill knew who he was. His legacy is sadly clear

    [1 more complaining about Hillary's "race smear" against Bernie, and proclaiming the *Democratic* race over - for Hillary.]

    Yep, Hillary is responsible for the disorder in Iraq, unlike the people who actually held the White House or lied about the intelligence or gave the "smoking gun" speech to the UN or the dozens of other high-ranking politicians Republican & Democratic who voted the same way, or the UN Security Council that approved the same. Joe Biden wrote the famous Crime Bill and Bernie voted for it and Black congressional leaders approved it, but since Joe's saintly, Bernie's red hot, and Black leaders are simply still under the reality distortion field, the only people tainted will be those awful Clintons.

    At least neoliberal punching is still rhetorical. Hippie punching seems to have crossed over the line, with policemen able to revise their shitty OccupyWallStreet abuse of protesters.

    Because Kasich would be the least destructive of the Republicans, I am inclined to hope he wins Ohio and ultimately becomes the Republican candidate.  But because Trump would probably be the easiest Republican to beat in the general election, I'm inclined to hope he barely prevails in Cleveland after pissing off 65% of the Republican party.  On the other hand, Rubio might be slightly less destructive than Trump and much easier to beat than Kasich, so I could hope he somehow wins Florida and the vaunted "establishment' coalesces behind him.  On the fourth hand, no I can't envision any scenario where I am inclined to want Ted Cruz to win anything.

    Let's keep it simple.  Go Bernie! Go Bernie! Go Bernie! Go, Go Go!!!!

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