last white man standing

Fighting Baby Elephants

This year you may be seeing right before your eyes the death of the Republican Party in national politics.  If it happens, we lament it. (We feel that our country benefits by have a strong two party system.) It appears that the GOP could find itself threatened in this crazy political year.

Here’s how this might turn out, outlined in a shortened step-by-step process.

  1. Donald Trump doesn’t get enough delegates to become the Republican nominee for president. Mainline Republicans nominate a non-Trump candidate.
  2. Trump bolts the party and continues his race for president on a Third Party ticket.
  3. This causes a split in the GOP conservative camp so that the Democratic nominee wins the election.
  4. Mainline Republicans place third behind Trump in the election.
  5. The Grand Old Party becomes less significant and could waste away in national politics, though the Republicans would remain strong in state politics across the nation.
  6. Meanwhile, the Third Party that Trump heads recruits more to their cause, becoming the main opposition to the Democrats. Many long-standing Republicans would join his ranks.

We suggest: this probably won’t happen. But we foresee that it could, in this turbulent political season.

After last week’s castigation of Trump by mainline Republicans, perhaps the Grand Old Party can nominate someone more to their liking. It could happen, as we have said before, the Republicans will go into their Cleveland convention with no one having a delegate majority, and have to fight out the nomination on the floor.

That would be the crucial time for the Republicans. What could happen at the GOP convention could determine just how this political year goes.

The emergence of Trump as a strong candidate, and its ramifications, may end up causing just what neither Trump nor the Republicans want: making it even more impossible to capture the presidency. With polls showing either of the Democrats, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, with significant poll numbers over any Republican, it looks more and more like a Democratic year.

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Meanwhile, the efforts by Republicans to block any nominee for the vacancy on the Supreme Court could throw a monkey wrench into this process. Now we see several candidates being suggested for the court vacancy who are already Appeals Court judges. They have previously won approval of the Senate, often by significant margins. All seem more centrist candidates than liberal.

Instead of not holding hearings on President Obama’s eventual nominee, this spring and summer might be the best chance for the conservative element of the Republican Party to influence the selection of the court nominee. After all, should a Democrat win the next presidential election, the Republicans may kick themselves for waiting to consider perhaps what would have been a more centrist nominee.

Consider this: should the Democrats win, the new president could nominate Barack Obama for the Supreme Court. Man alive! What a confirmation hearing that would be! For Obama’s confirmation, it might require that the Democrats win several Senate seats. But it could happen.

With this Supreme Court vacancy coming at a time when the court is often split, the nomination of the replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia takes on added importance.

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Editor's Note: This story first appeared at the Gwinnett Forum.
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.