Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump to Political Science: Drop Dead (Unity, Schmunity)

Time for another episode of Trump to Political Science: Drop Dead.

Every time one party has a divisive primary, the commentariat wonders whether or not the party can unify around the eventual nominee.  In 2008, Barack Obama won more delegates from primaries and caucuses than Hillary Clinton.  He beat her.  And it wasn't a three-way contest where democracy is a mathematical impossibility (see my comments on that here).  Obama just won.  However, the Democrats give Members of Congress, Governors and other muckety-mucks the right to vote for whomever they want at the convention.  These "superdelegates" constitute around 20% of the voting delegates at the Democratic convention.  After all of the primaries and caucuses in 2008 had concluded, Hillary had lost, but she tried to convince the superdelegates to give her the nomination over Obama.  She tried REALLY hard.  There were brutal, televised events, even in the summer of 2008 in which Hillary tried to convince the superdelegates to override the voters' decisions.  'Cuz, ya' know, it worked out great when they did it in 1968.  President Humphrey, right?

During those brutal meetings in the summer of 2008, a group who called themselves PUMAs emerged.  PUMA:  "Party Unity, My Ass."  Yes, really.  The point was to reject the notion that the party should unify around the eventual nominee.  Some Hillary supporters insisted that they would never, ever support Obama.  Thus, Obama would lose to McCain, and the party needed to nominate Hillary.

See how that worked out?

Ted Cruz and John Kasich are essentially in the race now to convince the RNC to screw Trump out of the nomination at the convention.  Trump is now essentially promising to run as an independent and oppose the nominee if that happens.  We shouldn't be shocked because, well, this is Trump.  But, it is worth pointing out that it is different this time.  Normally, such threats would be empty.  With Trump?  As far as Trump is concerned, the worst sin a person can commit isn't genocide, child slavery, or any conventional evil.  No, to Trump, the worst evil you can commit is to spurn Donald Trump.

Would Trump run as an independent now?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Even if he knows he can't win, he'll do it just to screw the party to which he never had any loyalty anyway.  And the party knows it.  Any move to block Trump from the nomination at this point hands the White House to Hillary.

This is weird.  The party normally has no difficulty unifying, even in the face of PUMAs.  Why is it different this time?

Trump is just... disharmonious.  Unmutual.  I'm right, of course.  Quite right.

Are you really reading this blog without getting the reference?


  1. If the polls are to be believed, Trump as the Republican nominee also keeps the Republicans out of the White House. Whatever are the Republicans to do? Of course they have only themselves to blame. Their behavior for more than the past decade is what has laid the foundation for the rise of Trump.

  2. The Republicans are a mess right now. Political Science will spend the next few years trying to figure out how Trump happened, but they are out of good options for 2016. It's time for them to worry about the long game.