Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cancelling primaries is a GOP act of desperation

Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld take a position on the GOP cancelling its own primaries. They say We are Trump’s Republican challengers. Canceling GOP primaries is a critical mistake.

You, we, have a stake in this one because our own state’s GOP has cancelled its primary - thus preserving Trump as the only Republican on the national presidential ticket. In so doing the AZ GOP has signed onto every lie, every deplorable behavior, every act of corruption, and all high crimes and misdemeanors committed daily by the sitting Pettydent. In so going, the AZ GOP is complicit in the wrecking of our democracy. Read on.

Aw, but before you do, let me digress slightly. I regard the cancellation of GOP primaries as an act of desperation. The GOPlins pushing this claim they are saving money because their anointed king is sure to win anyway. But King Donald is in trouble as Steve Benen reported: Latest polls point to real trouble for Trump’s re-election prospects.

Earlier in the summer, Donald Trump hosted a news conference with farmers and ranchers, who heard the president talk about how impressed he is with himself. “A strange thing is happening: My numbers are going up,” the Republican claimed about his standing in the polls. “Someday, you’ll explain that to me.”

It wasn’t at all difficult to explain: Trump’s numbers weren’t improving. He just made it up.

As the summer nears its end, conditions have grown worse for the troubled president. The latest Gallup poll, for example, shows Trump’s slipping from 44% to 39% since July.

[Trump] published a tweet yesterday [Sep. 10] that was nearly perfect in its encapsulation of his deeply strange worldview: “ABC/Washington Post Poll was the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken prior to the 2016 Election. When my lawyers protested, they took a 12 point down and brought it to almost even by Election Day. It was a Fake Poll by two very bad and dangerous media outlets. Sad!”

First, shortly before the 2016 election, the final Post/ABC poll showed Trump trailing by about 3 points and Trump ended up losing the popular vote by about 2 points. That’s hardly evidence of “the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken.”

Second, the news organizations did not receive a complaint from Trump’s lawyers.

Third, the idea that the Washington Post and ABC News deliberately altered polling data to satisfy complaints from Trump and his legal team is hopelessly bonkers.

An analysis the Post published in July continues to ring true: “Trump is incapable of accepting that most Americans don’t like him.”

His sycophants know this and the polls are scaring them sh!tless . That’s why they are engaging in this act of desperation - avoiding the competition in the marketplace of ideas, as argued below, by cancelling their own primaries. Now read on.

Mark Sanford was governor of South Carolina from 2003 to 2011. Joe Walsh represented Illinois’s 8th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013. Bill Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. All three are seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

The three of us are running for the Republican nomination for president in a race that will inevitably highlight differences among us on matters of policy, style and background. But we are brought together not by what divides us but by what unites us: a shared conviction that the United States needs a strong center-right party guided by basic values that are rooted in the best of the American spirit.

A president always defines his or her party, and today the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, led by a serial self-promoter who has abandoned the bedrock principles of the GOP. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against one another.

No surprise, then, that the latest disgrace, courtesy of Team Trump, is an effort to eliminate any threats to the president’s political power in 2020. Republicans have long held primaries and caucuses to bring out the best our party has to offer. Our political system assumes an incumbent president will make his case in front of voters to prove that he or she deserves to be nominated for a second term. But now, the Republican parties of four states — Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina — have canceled their nominating contests. By this design, the incumbent will be crowned winner of these states’ primary delegates. There is little confusion about who has been pushing for this outcome.

What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing. Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership. Each of us believes we can best lead the party. So does the incumbent. Let us each take our case to the public. The saying “may the best man win” is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights. Warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.

Across the aisle, the Democratic primary challengers are still engaged in a heated competition of debates, caucuses and primaries to give their voters in every corner of our country a chance to select the best nominee. Do Republicans really want to be the party with a nominating process that more resembles Russia or China than our American tradition? Under this president, the meaning of truth has been challenged as never before. Under this president, the federal deficit has topped the $1 trillion mark. Do we as Republicans accept all this as inevitable? Are we to leave it to the Democrats to make the case for principles and values that, a few years ago, every Republican would have agreed formed the foundations of our party?

… They conclude:

In the United States, citizens choose their leaders. The primary nomination process is the only opportunity for Republicans to have a voice in deciding who will represent our party. Let those voices be heard.

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