Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged contested convention

The Truth About Brokered Conventions


Media (and other) Efforts to Steer the Republican Nomination


What IS a Brokered Convention?Slide1

The news has recently been filled with alarmism about the possibility of a Republican brokered convention occurring this summer. But since brokered conventions have been relatively rare in our nation’s history, few voters know just exactly what a brokered convention is. The media (as well as some campaigns)  feel free to define, re-define, misrepresent and mold brokered conventions into anything they would like them to be.

What a wonderful opportunity for progressives to attack and to discredit conservatives!

Progressives – both in the media and elsewhere – have managed to portray standard Republican in-party conflict resolution rules  (like the brokered convention) as something new- as rigging and manipulation by the Republican “establishment,” with a goal of excluding certain candidates or otherwise circumventing the will of the American people.

Note that all the same issues- the susceptibility of any potential brokered convention to manipulation by various groups at war for power, the relevance of primaries, and Party control by superdelegates – these issues exist as well in the Democrat Party.  Yet when it comes to these issues, media attacks seem focused primarily on the Republican Party, which is undergoing an inner battle over the preservation of conservative Judeo-Christian values. The Democrat Party actually has more authoritarian undemocratic mechanisms in place to preserve the status quo than do Republicans, yet it seems relatively protected from viscous media attack.

RNC RulesAside: The characterization of Party Rules and policy as vile and authoritarian is a “progressive” (more accurately “regressive”) view.  But defending the right of a private political group to maintain their conservative values can be defended on the basis of our system of government, a democratic republic, which was actually carefully designed with the protection of certain fundamental rights in place, safe even from election manipulation.  More on that later!

So let’s examine this question of the brokered convention- how it has been portrayed or misportrayed, why is it misportrayed, and what is a brokered convention, really?

Aside #2 : see also the previous related article,Have We Ditched Democracy? Was the Colorado Primary Rigged?, which discusses the similar misportrayal of the primary system by media and by some candidates, in an effort to damage the credibility and reputation of the Republican Party.

Portraying a Brokered Convention as a Malicious Tool

Some in the media portray the brokered convention as a malicious tool broken out by the Republican “establishment” to take the Republican nomination away from front-runner candidates whom they do not like.  They even go so far as to say that the purpose of the brokered convention is to get rid of Donald Trump.

If this were to be the case, Republicans would have to be pretty far-sighted, since brokered conventions are as old as the election of Abraham Lincoln.  The brokered convention, a tool for settling conflict methodically, is an old and fair tool and not a recent invention.

Slide2It is not highly likely that Lincoln and his colleagues were already plotting against Donald Trump when the brokered convention was first implemented! 🙂

So, no, a brokered convention was not invented for the purpose of getting rid of Donald Trump, as Newsweek would have you believe.

Portraying a Brokered Convention as an Authoritarian Throwback

Even some relatively conservative media sources are critical of the brokered convention and they imply that the implementation of these old Republican Party rules reflects the global return of authoritarian regimes worldwide.  No, you did not read that wrong, we kid you not, a  Fox News article  just juxtaposed brokered conventions with a piece on authoritarianism ‘gone global!’

finger-wagRecently, when Republican Rules Committee member Curly Haugland clarified the Rules of the Republican Party on binding of delegate votes, much of the media jumped to claim that the authoritarian Republican establishment was again trying to get rid of front-running candidates by allowing delegates to abandon the will of the people as expressed in the primaries and caucuses.

And many well educated good Americans are surprised to hear that their vote may not be binding in a Primary.  These rules of civics are no longer taught in schools, and few understand why these rules might actually be useful in protecting democracy. These rules are particularly useful in protecting the Republican Party from election fraud, which is a common technique these days, exercised by Democrats and taught by Barack Obama when he was a professor.  See Have We Ditched Democracy? Was the Colorado Primary Rigged?
So no, authoritarian control of America is definitely not the purpose or goal of a brokered convention. No more than traffic lights or any other rules of law and order that have been adopted in this country to provide order.  So many Americans really don’t understand the purpose of a brokered convention!

Using RNC Rules and a Brokered Convention as a Campaign Tool

And it’s not just the media.
Many politicians misrepresent brokered conventions to their own advantage.

Donald Trump misrepresents brokered conventions and the Rules of the Republican Party.  Since we doubt that the Donald is simple-minded or that he has failed to do his homework on the Republican nomination process, that leaves the option that Trump could be misrepresenting facts to suit his campaign purposes.Slide2

Trump casts the routine Republican practice of reviewing and revising the Rules of the Republican Party at the start of each convention as an effort to cheat him of his “right” to be nominated.
Despite the fact that RNC rules governing whether the 2016 Convention will be brokered have been available to everyone since 2012,  Trump portrays a brokered convention as a recent plot to unseat him from what he feels as his entitled place as the Republican nominee.  Trump insists that he must be the nominee because he is the front runner at the moment (the race is not yet over), and ignores the fact that he does NOT have the 51% in eight States  that is required by RNC rules since 2012 to even enter the Convention, forget about being the only and “presumptive” Republican nominee.

Trump wants to redefine the rules to suit himself, to run the Republican nomination process like a horse race, where the leading horse can win by a nose, regardless of the margin.  Trump refuses to acknowledge that Republicans have never handled the Presidential nomination like a horse race, but have evolved rules over the years, similar to General Election rules, that require a candidate to win the favor of 51% of America before he/she can be President.  As of now, Donald Trump has won only 37 percent of Republican votes and is regarded unfavorably by more than 60 percent of general election voters.

Donald Trump has even gone so far as to suggest that his supporters will riot if  the Republican nomination is not awarded by the horse race mechanism. Sad to say, these tactics resemble Democrat Alinsky tactics more than they do those of the conservative Republican that Donald a Trump claims to be.

Slide1Most recently, Donald Trump’s campaign is accusing the Primary Process of not being democratic.  Despite the fact that Primaries are now routinely sabotaged, and some States have begun to lean toward trusting their delegates who support the Party Platform rather than trusting the results of primaries which are susceptible to outside manipulation by Democrats in 24 States – despite these facts, and despite the fact that the Republican system (and even more so the Democrat system!) have safeguards built in to retain control of the Party within the Party- Donald Trump’s attitude is to arrive, to take advantage of the Republican Party infrastructure to gain support for his campaign, to fail to educate himself on the system (or choose to ignore the system), to assume that the system was built that way to make life difficult for him, and to proclaim the system crooked for not agreeing with him. Or, at least, so he claims.Slide1

Donald Trump forgets that the Republican Party is a collection of like-minded conservative individuals who have banded together to nominate an individual who represents their values, and they have the right of free speech to nominate a person consistent with their values.  Donald forgets that he himself embodies only a portion of Republican Party Platform conservative values, and has waffled dangerously on many other Republican values, including freedom of religion, abortion and gay marriage.  Donald forgets that he himself for decades has supported people and groups who oppose Republican values.  Donald forgets that he has still failed to win the support of 51% of the American people.
Donald forgets all this, and accuses the Republican Primary process of not being democratic.  

Donald also forgets that despite his complaints, the Republican delegate system has actually given Trump a 22 Percent Bonus, according to NBC News.

Donald Trump’s outrage is contagious, is spreading to his supporters, and is very useful as well for getting free media coverage for his campaign.

The squeaky wheel often gets oiled, and so The Donald has many Americans persuaded that the Primary system is rigged.  It’s not.  See Have We Ditched Democracy? Was the Colorado Primary Rigged?

Donald is actually playing the age-old and primitive, yet effective sympathy card-  the “my dog ate my homework, the smart kid in the class is an apple-polisher (that would be Cruz), and the mean teacher (the GOP) is out to get me” routine.

Portraying the Brokered Convention as a DirtyBack Room Deal

Slide2Even reputable publications like The Atlantic have succumbed to misrepresentation of the brokered convention.  The Atlantic states that nominating Trump is better than a brokered Republican convention, and entitles their article The Convention the GOP Does Not Want.

In the article, The Atlantic not only promotes nominating Donald Trump, but also goes on to suggest that Mitt Romney is the one who is suggesting that Republicans need a brokered convention.
Mitt Romney?
A brokered convention is not held when one famous politician thinks one should be held!

Has The Atlantic not done it’s homework?

So if a Brokered Convention is Not a Dirty Deal, What IS a Brokered Convention?

A brokered convention (related terms include contested convention, open convention) is a mechanism designed for arriving at one nominee when Party members cannot agree during the Primary season. It’s a scripted process of elimination that is based on serious mathematical theories, calculated and predetermined rules designed to be fair to everyone involved.  The brokered convention is a sort of Geneva Convention that spells out the rules of gentlemanly conduct when factions of the Party are at war.

Depending on the degree of turmoil or conflict in the party, the brokered convention can help to zero in on one of a few leading candidates, or, if there is a stubborn tug of war between two sides, the brokered convention has mechanisms for introducing a compromise candidate.

A Compromise Candidate- Isn’t that Bad?

Conflict resolution mechanisms similar to the brokered convention are used everywhere when people cannot agree, and where civilized folks want to script the battle to be fair.  Some even speculate that Pope Francis was chosen as someone who was not the favorite of either “side,” of conflicting groups.  Sometimes these “compromise” candidates can turn out to be the greatest men of history-  like Presidents Lincoln and Reagan, and Pope John Paul II.Slide1

When the Brokered Convention is Used in American Politics

In American politics, a brokered convention is held on the relatively rare occasion when Republicans simply cannot agree on a nominee throughout the primary season, when the primary votes are insufficient to finalize the choice of nominee, and when further rounds of voting are required to get 51% of Republicans behind one candidate.
A brokered convention is held when the Party is obviously split, or when the Party has too many candidates. There are measures or litmus tests of just how split the party is- these are the 1237 delegate estimates or the Rule 40(b) estimates (plurality in 5 States before 2012 and majority in 8 States since 2012).

When the primaries fail to produce a candidate supported by half ( yes half, not one third) of the Party, a brokered convention is held to follow specific rules for resolution, so that the Party would not split in half, thereby handing victory automatically to the opposing Party, the Democrats.

Slide1And speaking of the opposing Party, the  Democrat Party rules are actually less “democratic” than the Republican Party rules.  Democrat Rules are more “authoritarian,” and they have a larger proportion of unbound super delegates.  They also have brokered conventions when races are too close, and Party leadership also holds a considerable amount of power. This is not a dirty deal in either Party- why would you want to allow outside forces to take over and control a private organization, which both the Republican and Democrat Parties happen to be?

Isn’t It Unfair to Have Delegates and Superdelegates for Whom I Did Not Vote Determining the Nomination?

Well, first of all, why would you or I assume that there exists some magical source of people available to serve us, to become delegates, attend conventions, pay their own expenses, campaign, give up their free time, and otherwise participate in the giant mechanism that is the United States Presidential Election, without pay and without assistance from you and me?Who me?

If you or I were very invested in politics, we should be doing all the above things.  And if we were very active in our State’s Republican Party, we probably would have more say in choosing the delegates, or even become a delegate ourselves.  For people like me, who insist on our “Independence,” and neither belong to nor participate in the Republican Party (other than spending 15 minutes to run into a voting booth once every four years), we are lucky that they let us vote and take our opinion into account at all. Our “right to vote comes in at the General Election, and not at this private group’s nomination process- either Republican or Democrat.

Running for President is Complicated- and it’s Not Paid for by the Government

Those who are very invested in politics have to run for office, collect a million signatures, and fill out a myriad of complex application forms to be listed on the ballot in each State– a new set of complex applications and procedures in each of 50 States and 6 territories, and then they have to travel the United States campaigning for votes.


Slide1Those interested in running for the Office of President can find a private political organization like the Republican Party, or the Democrat Party, which has done all of the above for them, and which has collected lots of money to boot, and they could try to piggyback on the Republican/Democrat Party and on its reputation, which has been built by active Republicans/Democrats for decades.

If We Don’t Belong to a Group, and it’s Not a Government Group, Why Should That Group Let Us Control Them?

Those of us who do not join a political party and who do not run for political office ourselves should not be too fussy about how much power Republicans give us in return for our optional 15 minutes in the election booth.  Basically, people who are not active in an organization can have no gripe when they don’t like the decisions that have been made.

Don’t We Live in a Democracy?

It may seem fair that voters should decide everything in a democracy.  But there are very good reasons for limiting a democracy, and that’s what we have in the United States- a limited democracy, a democratic republic.  That’s something else that should be taught in Civics class in grammar school – the difference between a democracy and a democratic republic.

A democratic republic is, strictly speaking, a country that is both a republic and a democracy. It is one where ultimate authority and power is derived from the citizens, and the government itself is run through elected officials.
It is presumed that the elected officials are the experts, akin to our doctors, lawyers, architects and other experts who know more about a subject than we do and who help us ignoramuses (ignorami? 🙂 ) make good decisions in our lives.Who Rules

We citizens choose the experts whom we trust to carry out the complicated business of government for us when we cannot do everything ourselves.  And in a Presidential Primary, those experts are the delegates and superdelegates.

In a democratic republic, popular vote can choose the broad direction that citizens want to pursue, such as a conservative or liberal government, or the specific direction the government takes, like reducing federal regulation of individual lives, or expanding federal regulation of economy.  But how these general principles play out and how conflicting priorities can be resolved are things that require highly specialized and professional elected officials to work out.

The choice of candidate who will best serve the interests of a particular political party and it’s platform is not something that can be left to a popular vote, with 24 States allowing Democrats and Independents to vote in a Republican Primary and vice versa.

The Bottom Line

So the bottom line is that our nation is divided right now.  Not only between conservatives and progressives, but even within each party.

The friction, split, and superabundance of candidates in the Republican Party today is exactly the type of confusing situation for which the brokered convention was designed. We NEED and must have a brokered convention, and this is a good thing.

Slide1Those who assume that Republican liberals will win the scripted battle of the brokered convention fail to realize that there is at least an equal chance that Republican conservatives will have the opportunity to reclaim the Republican Party at the brokered convention.


If if you shy away from a battle, you cannot win it.
That bears repeating:
If you shy away from a battle, you cannot win it.

What to Expect at a Brokered Convention

What do we expect from a brokered convention?
We expect the unexpected.
Nobody can predict the outcome of a war, civilized and scripted or not.
But seriously, there some predictions we can try to project.

So here are some generalizations that will probably hold true for Republicans as we approach the very probably brokered convention in Cleveland in July:

  • It is likely that no candidate will get the majority of 1237 (estimated) delegate votes.
  • It is likely that no candidate will satisfy the present Rule 40(b), and will not have a majority (>51%) in 8 States.
  • Therefore, NOBODY will qualify to enter the convention.Slide1

Since a convention cannot be held with NO CANDIDATES, the RNC Rules committee will be forced to change Rule 40(b) in order to allow candidates into the convention.

  • NOTE: the Party members are not doing this to be mean, authoritarian, or to exclude anybody.  They are doing it so that somebody, instead of nobody, could be considered for nomination at the convention.
  • NOTE #2: The people on the RNC Rules committee are NOT mean “establishment” Republicans, but a mix of all kinds of Republicans, including the ones who support conservatives and the ones who support Donald Trump.


Curly Haugland, North Dakota

One long time member of the Rules Committee already announced a year ago, before many candidates had even announced their candidacy, a fair proposal for the Rules Committee. Curly Haugland, superdelegate from North Dakota, proposed that if nobody clears the bar of 1237 or majority in 8 States, that all candidates who received even one single delegate should be included in the first vote.
That would include in the first vote at this  point Trump (954), Cruz (562), Rubio (171), Kasich (153), Carson (9), Bush (4), Fiorina (1), Huckabee (1), and Paul(1).

There will be at least a first vote.
Since it has been established that all Republican delegates have the free will to vote their conscience, the counting of delegates can only be estimated.
Nobody can say for sure how many delegates a candidate has until after the first vote at the Cleveland Convention.
So there has to be a first vote.
And in 2016, the first vote could bring some surprises that are impossible to forecast at any point before the first vote occurs.

If anybody wins 51% in the first vote, Republicans will have a nominee.
If nobody wins the first vote, additional votes are held until one nominee gets the required majority.  Delegates can change their votes, responding to input from candidates, party leadership, and political maneuvering.Floor Fight

After the first vote, additional names can be proposed and added to the list of candidates, including individuals who did not run in the primaries.  So in 2016, for example, somebody could propose adding Sarah Palin to the list.  Scott Walker, who did not collect a single delegate before his early suspension of his campaign, could easily be returned in to the running.
It is possible that a party, gridlocked between two candidates, say Trump and Cruz, could compromise and shift votes to a compromise candidate, who could be anyone- Carson, Santorum, Fiorina, Walker, Bush, Ryan, Palin,………….or anybody else.  Candidates who have not yet been damaged by the highly combative and money-driven primary process, and who could yield an historical leader like Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan, could enter the Convention as a conservative “compromise” candidate.

Alternative Surprises
Mr. Squeaky Wheel Trump is already declaring himself the Presumptive Nominee today, after yesterday’s victories in several east coast states.  Between his derision of the GOP for their 51% rules, and his accusations of rigging if he does not automatically get the nomination with 37%, who knows whether Mr. Trump could succeed in intimidating the GOP to change rules in such a way as to hand the nomination to him. Stranger things have happened in the last 8 years with Barak Obama’s Presidency, with a President taking legal liberties that never could have been imagined or forecast previously.

More Information

For more excellent information on brokered conventions and their history, see the non-partisan political information source BallotPedia on brokered conventions.


What Are Our Conservative Prospects?

So no, the brokered convention is not a dirty back room deal, but an opportunity to reclaim America and make it great, with or without Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.  One word here about Donald Trump- in order to be that leader of the future whom we are seeking, he would have to get on board with the conservative “social” issues of religious freedom, abortion and marriage, which are actually ethical, not “social” issues, which are encoded in the Republican Party Platform, and which are supported by the majority of the citizens of the United States.  We would need a “conversion of St. Donald,” or, in Donald’s language, a HUGE deal, in which Donald sold his soul to God, as most Americans do.

And, speaking of back room deals, Mitt Romney’s supporters were the ones who used a dirty back room deal in 2012 to avoid a brokered convention, in which Mitt Romney would have had to enter a fair fight to win his nomination which so many conservative Republicans opposed at that time. The Big Rule Switch of 2012 was engineered by Mitt Romney supporters, was engineered to exclude Ron Paul from the 2012 Convention, and was the real dirty back room deal that is now actually complicating life for Donald Trump, as he tries to qualify for nomination.  Romney’s maneuver also caused 4 million Republican voters to choose not to participate in the 2012 election, with the consequent sad outcome for Mr. Romney.

There is a fight going on for the soul of the GOP.

.God the Father Cima da Conegliano
Depending on what Americans choose, both in the presidential nominations and the General Election, will determine whether the Judeo-Christian principles that built America prevail, or whether regressivism and the eradication of respect for our creator, God, will win.




Presidential Nominees -Who Gets to Choose Them?


What’s a Delegate to Do?


Slide113-e1345651613258Note: This article was inspired by the work of Curly Haugland on Republican Presidential Candidate selection at Will Republicans Have a Primary Or A Convention, And Who Gets To Decide?

The Problem- “Binding” of Votes

There has been much controversy in recent years over the question of “binding” Republican delegates in presidential primaries and conventions.

What is a delegate?  A delegate is a person designated to act for or represent another or others; deputy; representative, as in a political convention.

Binding is a policy that does not allow delegates at a presidential convention to follow their own judgment or to insist on the party platform when voting for a candidate at the convention, but obliges them to vote only for the candidates who were selected in the primary or caucus selection of candidates in their state months previous to the Republican Convention.

So the question becomes how can a delegate best act for or represent others in the Republican convention?  Does a delegate represent other Republicans better when the delegate is “bound” to vote for a particular individual, or does the delegate represent other Republicans better when he/she is free to use their own judgement, as other elected officials, like Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress do?

In the Republican Party, binding was forbidden by RNC rules since 1923, and delegates have had the freedom to use personal judgment.
But attempts have been made in recent years to introduce binding into RNC rules, with a great deal of confusion resulting.

Pros and Cons

Those who advocate binding say binding is democratic, represents the will of the people, and should not be overturned at the convention by delegates who do not wish to be bound by the popular vote.
Political donors promote binding because their investments in candidates at the primary level could be wiped out by unexpected votes at the convention if delegates were not bound after the primary.Slide1

Those who oppose binding and advocate freedom of conscience for delegates say that outsiders, who are permitted to vote in Republican primaries in 24 States now, have no right to hijack the party at the primaries for an agenda that may even be at odds with the party platform.

These issues become particularly important as we approach the 2016 Presidential Election, which has been labeled the most unique, yet pivotal, nomination process in the entire history of the Republican Party.

Some Crucial Background on Ballot Access

Who is right?
Pro-binding or anti-binding advocates?
What are the rules?

If we start with the question “What are the rules governing nominations for President in the United States?” it helps to understanding the modern dilemma on “binding” of delegates.

Ballotpedia, a respected impartial political news source, explains the ballot access process for presidential candidates:

ballotpedia2-630x286According to Ballotpedia, there are three ways that a person can get on the ballot for President:

  • The individual can seek the nomination of a political party. Political parties are private organizations in which like-minded individuals with similar goals have banded together to sponsor a nominee for president who upholds their organization’s priorities and agenda or platform.
  • They can get on the ballot for President independently. This involves petitioning each state to have their names printed on the general election ballot. Each petition involves complex procedures designed by State lawmakers to prevent non-serious candidates from appearing on the ballot. In 2016, it would also involve the collection of more than 900,000 signatures in support of that candidate.
  • The person can run as a write-in candidate. In most states, this involves filing some paperwork in advance of the election. And, of course, it involves persuading millions of people to write the candidate’s name in on the ballot during the general election.

What’s the Easiest Way for a Person to Run for President?

It is pretty clear that the first option, getting a party to nominate you for president, is easier than the other two options. In the first option, the party does much of the work for the candidate. The party offers the unique ability to effectively organize and mobilize voters. The party also contributes a history, a reputation and loyal members who will vote for the candidate.

Two such major parties have dominated the political landscape in the United States for over a hundred years- Democratic and Republican parties. These parties not only help candidates, but they also help voters. Once voters have identified a party whose platform they approve, they do not have to repeat the hard work of gauging each presidential candidate individually on each issue and deciding which one to back for each election. The party they support and trust does this evaluation for them.

Political Warfare

In the past, it seemed honest common sense that only individuals who support a party platform would consider running under the umbrella of that party.

The idea that someone who disagrees with the party platform would try to use that party to get elected would clearly represent a form of dishonesty, even of hijacking.
However today, attempts to hijack political parties occur.

Why Would Anyone Want to Hijack a Party?

Someone may want to hijack a political party for a number of reasons.

The reasons include circumventing the tedious application process to numerous individual States, avoiding the collection of nearly a million signatures, and the attractive nature of jumping on a wagon that is already well under way and is well stocked.  A deceitful person could even see hijacking of the opposition party as an opportunity to weaken the opposition party from the inside.


Click Image to Enlarge

The Republican Party’s major opponent, the Democrat Party, has unfortunately demonstrated numerous times their willingness to use an unethical set of tactics called Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  Hillary Clinton wrote her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky’s philosophy and was offered a job to work with him in 1968Barak Obama taught Alinksy Tactics while he was a professor.  Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Lucifer (Satan, the Father of Lies) and promotes the use of any immoral tactics to achieve one’s goals. The behavior of both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton  during the past 8 years has illustrated time and again the devious unethical tactics used routinely by the Democrat Party.

Democrats seem to be riddled with unscrupulous agendas much more so than other groups of Americans or than Republicans. As an aside, you could read about the circus that went on in Madison, Wisconsin when Democrats decided to recall Republican Governor Walker because they did not like legislation that Republicans were enacting in Wisconsin.  I had a front-row seat at that circus, and reported on many unscrupulous behind-the scenes events, including shocking events involving State Supreme Court Judges at the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.  Events such as these make President Nixon’s Watergate seem like naughty child’s play, but the media does not even attempt to hold Democrats accountable for their unethical behavior in 2016, and amateur bloggers like me have to do the work of the media.

Dealing With Reality

Slide1So reality dictates today that we have to deal with individuals who present themselves to a political party for nomination, while disagreeing with a major portion of that party’s political platform or agenda. The party has to watch out for hijackers, or Trojan horses, or wolves in sheep’s clothing- both among the candidates, and among primary voters.

This is where the supervision of trusted, elected party delegates who have earned the trust of the party through demonstrated volunteer service comes in, helping to identify and eliminate impostors and hijackers. Delegates have been entrusted the job of being the guardian angels of the party’s ethics and of the party’s platform.

Hijacking can occur not only at the candidate level, but at the primary voter level as well. Twenty-four states now allow the general public to vote in primaries for nominees of other parties. So when Democrats and Independents and undeclared voters are permitted to choose the Republican Party’s nominee, clearly the Republican Party no longer has control over its own organization. There is even the potential for organized busloads of opponents, sometimes without proper identification, to vote numerous times in primaries in order to sabotage their opponents’ candidate selection.

Isn’t That a Bit Paranoid?

Unfortunately, the scenarios described above are not imagined, but have already surfaced at the Iowa caucuses in this 2016 election.

Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders has accused his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton of infiltrating the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state paid staffers.  A pretty serious accusation, considering that Hillary won the Iowa Caucuses by only 0.29%.

Equivalently shocking, there is video documentary published February 10, 2016, of Out of State Voters and Non-Residents Offered Ballots in New Hampshire Presidential Primary.  So apparently, attempts to hijack the Primaries are in full force today.

Back to Binding Delegates- Democratic or Not?

So the binding of delegates is not a simple democratic procedure as many media sources represent it. In fact, binding of delegates can work against democracy in numerous ways:

  • Binding of delegates allows outsiders to help choose the Republican nominee at the Primaries.
  • Binding of delegates allows candidates who oppose the Party platform to be nominated.
  • Binding of delegates misleads voters into thinking a candidate represents something other than they really represent.
  • Slide1Binding of delegates does not allow delegates to take into account all the events that transpire in the half year between the primaries and the convention.
  • Binding of delegates is unfair to those who have built the Republican Party, which is, after all, a private association with freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to associate with politically like-minded individuals.
  • Binding of delegates allows the infiltration of political party by opponents.
  • Binding encourages money-driven nominations rather than idea-driven or character-driven nominations.
  • Binding of delegates has never been permitted by the Rules of the Republican Party.

The above points illustrate that it can very reasonably be argued that the binding of delegates is NOT democratic, but subverts the democratic process and facilitates the hijacking of half of America’s votes.

Hijacking Not Allowed

If a person does not agree with a particular party’s platform, they should not be allowed to represent that party, or to change that party by such devious means.

An outsider cannot join your off-road jeep club and insist that you switch your club’s agenda to knitting.
Your neighbors, no matter how many of them get together and agree, cannot hijack your car from your garage because they do not own it.

Slide1But Didn’t the RNC Introduced Binding, and Isn’t Binding Binding?

So why are so many under the impression that binding was introduced into RNC rules by amendment, and that binding is now obligatory?

The problem is that recent political warfare has included numerous attempts by progressives to alter the political agenda of the Republican Party with amendments and to divert its candidates.
These attempts have been fraudulent, and they cause internal contradictions in the RNC rules, which by definition (governed by Robert’s Rules of Order) nullify the contradictory progressive amendments.

Did You Just Say Progressives in the Republican Party?

Yes, there actually are progressives in the Republican Party.
Let’s clarify something about progressives at this point. Etymologically speaking, one would think that progressives were people who represented progress in society.

Slide17-e1401570829969Yet today’s progressive has wishfully and somewhat narcissistically labeled his or her own fast-paced, radical social and economic experimentation, which most often ends in economic failure and social disaster, as progressive. Not only have they prematurely declared their experiments to represent progress, but they have also tried to dictate that all others follow their foolhardy misguided example.

One example of misguided progessivism is Michelle Obama’s suggestion last year that discarded school lunches be used to fuel cars.  The idea sounds great on the surface- let’s not let anything go to waste!- but when you do the calculations of what it would cost to transform school lunches into fuel for cars, the fuel would end up costing $280 per gallon.

Today’s impulsive and unwise progressive is more aptly named a regressive.
So let’s get to some of the regressive, fraudulent and invalid amendments they tried to introduce into the RNC rules.

 Regressive Attempts to Amend RNC Rules


According to Curly Haugland, National Committeeman from the North Dakota Republican State Committee, and member of the RNC Rules Committee, for the past 90 years RNC rules have prohibited the binding of Republican delegates.  RNC rules continue to protect the right of each delegate to The Republican National Convention to vote their personal choice on issues coming before the convention, and for the candidate of their choice to receive the party’s nomination.

The Rules of the Republican Party  can be changed via prescribed procedures, but changes can occur only once every four years, on the eve of the Republican Convention.  Once the rules are established, the convention proceeds according to those rules, and no further changes can be made until the eve of the next convention four years later.

There have been attempts by regressives to change the rules in recent years, and today, the RNC rules actually do state that binding of delegates can occur (Rule 16).  But Curly Haugland points out that the binding language was introduced illegitimately by deceit and by trickery, by staff who did not have the authority to change the rules, and furthermore, that the attempted binding rule is actually contradicted by other RNC rules which are still on the books (e.g. Rules 37 and 38).  Contradictions are governed by Roberts Rules of Order, which state that any motion that conflicts with other existing rules is null and void.

Slide1So despite the fact that binding has been introduced into the RNC Rules, binding is actually null and void.
Binding is not binding.

All-Out War

The struggle between proponents of binding and those defending their rights to vote their conscience led to a serious clash in 2012.

Over 400 Republican delegates filed a Federal lawsuit against the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus the Chairman, alleging that violence and intimidation were used against delegates in an effort to control how they voted.  These delegates refused to be bound and insisted on their right to vote their conscience.

Despite the fact that the court ordered the dispute to be settled via Alternative Dispute Resolution, the exhibits included in the complaint included a copy of a legal opinion offered by Jennifer Sheehan, Associate Counsel to the Republican National Committee, which clearly states that Delegates are allowed to vote for the individual of their choice, regardless of whether that person is officially placed into nomination.

Regressive Rules Can Boomerang

We’ve already mentioned the boomerang path some “progressive” ideas take, like Michelle Obama’s attempt to force children to eat food they don’t like, then to turn their discarded lunches into $280 per gallon fuel for cars.Slide1

The thing is, most progressive regressive ideas fail, and come back to bite the people who initiated them.  Any good scientist will tell you that most experiments fail, and it is the failed experiments that ultimately lead you toward figuring out what really  does work.

And regressive rule changes in the RNC rules are no exception- they boomerang and come back to bite you.

Changing MORE Rules

Presidential candidates (like Mitt Romney) who are powerful enough to influence the appointment of delegates in the Republican Party, can get their delegates to introduce changes into the RNC rules on the eve of the convention once every 4 years.  And guess what they try to introduce?  Rules which favor that candidate.  And so, on the eve of the 2012 Tampa Republican convention, more rules were changed.

Previous to 2012, in order to go on to the convention, a candidate had to win a plurality of votes in the primaries of 5 states; that is, to receive more votes in 5 states than any of his/her competitors did.  But on the eve of the 2012 Tampa Convention, this rule (Rule 40) was changed, in order to make Mitt Romney the Presumptive Nominee and to prevent Ron Paul, who had received a plurality of votes in 5 states, from challenging Mitt Romney.  The bar was raised to require a majority of votes (more than 50% instead of just the highest number) in 8 states (instead of in 5 states). This rule change made on the eve of the 2012 Convention succeeded in excluding Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney went on to become the Republican nominee.

Here Comes the Boomerang!

Republican-National-Convention-Cleveland-2016Well, here we are now in 2016.

The 2016 Republican field is much larger and more competitive than 2012, so the majority (50%) that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul got in 2012 is much harder to get.
We have a veritable flock of great candidates coming up on stage.  So much so that they cannot even fit onto one stage, and Republican debates are split into two sessions.
At the rate things are going, even the front runners do not seem capable of getting 50% of the vote, because the vote is spread over so many candidates.

What will happen?
The very rules that helped Mitt Romney are now getting in the way of many candidates.
So, there will be no “Presumptive Nominee.”

Many candidates may get to the convention, and rule changes are being planned for the eve of the July 1016 Convention.
As a result, this year, the candidate selection process may occur at the convention, and not at the primaries.
Candidates who do not have a majority of delegates are being encouraged to “go the distance” to Cleveland and not to drop out. Slide1
Delegates are being encouraged to vote their conscience, and to select a nominee who represents the Party Platform.

When delegates do not feel “bound,”  the handlers and influence peddlers will lose control over the convention.  The convention will be in the hands of the delegates of the Republican party.
So what worked for progressives in 2012 in getting a much more liberal candidate (Mitt Romney) ushered into the Republican Party, may work against the present most liberal candidate, Donald Trump.
Donald Trumps’s hopes of being the Presumptive Nominee may have been sabotaged by the rule change in 2012 that was designed to help liberal candidates like Mitt Romney, and presumably Donald Trump.
The boomerang has returned.

Anybody Placing Bets?

So who’s placing bets on the mad dash to change the rules again on the eve of this 2016 Cleveland Republican Convention?
Will the rules be changed?
Will there be a repetition of delegate intimidation?
Will Reince Priebus and the National Republican Committee behave and let democracy work, particularly since they were forced to recognize the delegates’ right to conscience after the lawsuit in 2012?
Some have even speculated that this convention could yield wild surprises, such as the nomination of people who had not even declared themselves as candidates for nomination, like Sarah Palin.

patriot_400x400What We Need

What we need at this point is patriotism, courage, strength of character and prayer.
This is an opportunity for Americans to take back the Republican Party, to behave in a way that is faithful to the Constitution and to the Republican Party Platform, which supports the Constitution.
We need power to be returned to the delegates as it was originally designed and intended.
And that power will not return by itself. It has to be taken by courageous men and women.
At the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland.

So What’s a Delegate to Do?

  • A Delegate is to act like a patriot.
  • A delegate is to help take back America, so that this Judeo-Christian democratic republic can continue to thrive and succeed and does not turn into a regressive experimental Godless socialist state which is the trajectory that Obama and the Democrat Party are following.
  • A delegate is to choose candidates of upstanding moral character who are pledged to upholding the platform of the Republican Party.
  • A delegate really should read the new guide being prepared for Republican Party delegates which is being spearheaded by North Dakota Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland, intended to make all delegates aware of the duties and responsibilities they assume as they fulfill their important role in the governance of the Republican Party. The working title of the guide is “Owner’s Manual for 2016 Republican National Convention Delegates. See RNC Delegates Top Priority:Recruiting Conservatives Into Party’s Precinct Committeemen Ranks.











Calling the shots


Fortune cookie:

This is your day to call the shots, so you should.

O.K., if I had an ounce of self-restraint left before the Wisconsin primary coming up this Tuesday, this fortune cookie just eliminated it.
I’m going to call the shots.
What shots would I like to call today?
The 2012 Presidential election, of course.
Something I have little control over, so the results are bound to be amusing.

Calling the Shots

If you call the shots, you are in charge and you tell people what to do.
But calling the shots can also mean using a psychological trick: you “call the shot” in advance, forecasting a result, hoping to influence people’s choices, so that you encourage your favored result.

Calling the Shots in Advance

And that seems to be what the Republican Party is doing right now- calling the shots in advance.
The Republican establishment probably never planned that Mitt Romney would get serious competition from any of his running mates, and now that he’s getting some serious competition from Rick Santorum, they are scrambling to discourage that.  They are bringing out the big guns, party leaders who are endorsing Mitt Romney prematurely, when Mitt has only 565 of the necessary 1144 delegates to win the primary.

Republicans have not bargained on an awakening of the American people, a scenario in which politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle would have to become more responsive to their electorates (and responsive to Tea Party supporters) than they previously had been.  It’s a lot easier to sit in comfy chairs making small polite concessions to opponents followed by socializing after work, than to implement the big changes and make the big cuts that many Americans want in 2012, and which will cut some of the frills in Washington, too.

So many Republicans are rallying behind Mitt Romney prematurely, hoping to discourage Rick Santorum, and hoping that Rick Santorum will concede and quit.  This would avoid a long, drawn-out primary, followed by a “brokered” or “contested” convention, during which the Republican establishment will have less control over the results, and the American people will have more control over the results.

Election 2008

Calling the shots in advance did not work so well 4 years ago, when everybody was forecasting that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. Obama was a nobody.  Yet we have President Nobody issuing mandates today, and the Supreme Court struggling to read the 2700 pages of his NobodyCares for ObamaCare. Calling the Shots in advance backfired on the Democrats in 2008.

Election 1920

President Harding

Then there was President Harding in 1920, who was a nobody with only 20% of the candidates compared with his opponent (General Leonard Wood) in the primary.  If anybody were calling the shots in advance back then, he would have lost the primary.  But what happened?  Nobody won the initial race,  and they went to a contested or brokered convention, where Harding got 70% of the votes and became President.

Election 2012

Now, for the first time since 1920, we could be heading for a contested or brokered convention again. Although Mitt Romney unquestionably has the most delegates at this time, it is not clear whether Romney will be able to reach the 1144 required to win.

1144 out of 2286 total delegates are needed to win; Romney has 565; Santorum has 256; Gingrich has 141; Paul has 66, and thus 1258 delegates are still up for grabs.  In other words, any candidate, including one starting with zero delegates today, could still be the winner.

Top Republicans are panicking and calling for an end to the primary battle, uniting behind Romney.

Newt Gingrich has slowed down his campaign, planning to sit out the fight between Romney and Santorum, then join back in for the contested convention.

Rick Santorum vows to stay in the race, even if he does not win Wisconsin this Tuesday.

My Call

Everybody wants to forecast events before they occur.  I will join them.

Gallup Polls

  • Santorum is rapidly gaining on Romney:   Gallup Polls indicate that Romney and Santorum are competing closely, and are alternating in the lead during the last two months.
  • Santorum plans to stay in the election.  So, there could well be a brokered convention.
  • Santorum is a true conservative. Tea party likes him.  Evangelicals like him.
  • Gallup also says that most Americans are conservative:  40% conservative, 35% moderate, and only 21% liberal.   Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.
  • Romney is a question mark.  Romney has a shifting record that does not guarantee his sticking to promises any better than Obama has done. He takes direction well and changes direction well.  He would be better than Obama, but not better than Santorum.

Put it all together, and I say:

  • There will be a brokered convention.  Romney will not get 1144 delegates.  Santorum will not quit the primary.
  • At the brokered convention, people will choose what they want: a conservative, Rick Santorum.
  • The Republican establishment will have to make a correction to accommodate the Tea Party: less frills for everyone in Washington.
  • We will all celebrate the fact that our system of government did in fact protect the people of the United States as the Founding Fathers designed it to do.

Vote for Rick Santorum for President!


And if I’m Wrong?

If I am wrong, Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.

If he beats Obama, since trying to prove why he is different from Obama on central issues like ObamaCare and Abortion will not be easy, he will do one of two things:

Fulfill all the promises he made during the election, unlike his predecessor Obama.


Change his mind and continue Obama’s policies, or something akin to them.


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