GOP’s Last Line of Anti-Trump Defense

Exclusive: Donald Trump shook up Republican politics with his populist challenge to the party’s economic and foreign policy orthodoxies, but the GOP establishment has one last chance to stop his nomination, reports ex-CIA analyst Peter W. Dickson.

By Peter W. Dickson

The last-ditch hopes of the Republican Party establishment to block Donald Trump’s presidential nomination may come down to whether the GOP convention frees delegates to vote their consciences on the first ballot, a prospect possibly made more likely by the appointment of two anti-Trump party loyalists to head the Rules Committee.

But the rules of any convention are ultimately set by the delegates themselves, meaning that a vote on whether to bind delegates based on the will of voters in state primaries and caucuses likely will be decided by a majority of the delegates in approving or rejecting the proposals of the Rules Committee, a test of whether pledged Trump delegates will remain loyal to the candidate or follow the will of some party establishment figures who still want to stop Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Plus, there are some in the “Stop Trump” faction who insist that delegates are free to vote their consciences in any event – regardless of state laws and party rules – a position bolstered by a federal court ruling on Monday blocking a Virginia state law binding delegates to support the primary winner.

And it is technically true that the rules for the upcoming convention in Cleveland do not yet exist, since each convention sets its own rules. Thus, rules from the 2012 convention, including Rule 16 which commits bound delegates to vote for their assigned nominee at least on the first ballot, have no standing in 2016. But prior convention rules do serve as a baseline, even if specific wording can be changed.

At least one rule (Rule 41) from the previous convention, however, does apply, obligating the 56-member Republican National Committee’s permanent committee on rules to submit its recommendations by June 18 to the 112-member Convention Rules Committee, which will meet in Cleveland on July 14-15 just before the convention to finalize rule recommendations for the 2,472 delegates to accept or reject.

One estimate suggests that at least 40 members on the 112-member Convention Rules Committee will defend Trump’s interests, meaning that those wanting to block Trump would have to sway 57 of the remaining 72 committee members to propose rules designed to sabotage Trump’s nomination.

Yet, even if the “Stop Trump” faction can’t muster a majority, there is the likelihood that Rule 34 from the last national convention – if reaffirmed for this convention – would allow minority reports with support of only 28 committee members to propose amendments to the committee’s final report to the full convention.

So, if this rule is retained, which seems almost certain, then a minority report could propose an amendment to permit the convention’s delegates to have an up-or-down floor vote on a motion to allow delegates to vote their consciences.

Such a scenario would not be a case of the Rules Committee rigging the convention against Trump, but instead a case of the committee via a minority report giving the 2,472 delegates the opportunity to decide whether they want to free themselves to vote as they see fit.

A vote on such an amendment, which would negate Rule 16, would surely cause an uproar on the convention’s first day. It would force Trump’s loyalists – a number considerably less than the roughly 1,550 delegates pledged at the moment to support him on the first ballot – to deny in full public view the right of delegates to vote their consciences rather than as dictated by primary and caucus voters.

Reappearance of Romney Loyalists

There are other hints that Trump supporters may face some serious problems inside the Convention Rules Committee.

On June 17, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced the appointment of two RNC members, Enid Mickelsen (former Congresswoman from Utah) and Ron Kaufman (a former Reagan-Bush administration official and a high-profile RNC member from Massachusetts), to chair the 112-member Rules Committee.

Some Trump supporters are paranoid about the Priebus selections and not without cause. Kaufman has deep personal and professional ties to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has denounced Trump’s candidacy. Kaufman served as a senior adviser during Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor and also worked with attorney Ben Ginsberg, a Romney loyalist, to change rules in 2012 to prevent Rep. Ron Paul’s name from being placed in nomination – a controversial action that caused Paul’s supporters to walk out of the convention.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. (Photo credit:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.
(Photo credit:

Mickelsen is, like Romney, a Mormon from Utah, a state whose primary voters gave Sen. Ted Cruz a landslide victory. She has called it a “shame” that Trump is not an appropriate role model for children. Last March, Mickelsen also said convention rules could be changed, including whether delegates should be bound.

Tim Alberta, in a National Review article entitled “Everyone is Afraid of Enid Mickelsen,” reported that tension is building among the members of the Convention Rules Committee over what might happen next.

In particular, Mickelsen has become the focus of conspiracy theories, especially among those who fear that Priebus deliberately and duplicitously chose Mickelsen and Kaufman to preserve the option of dumping Trump if his campaign continued to stumble and his poll numbers sank to a level that would almost ensure the loss of GOP control of the Senate and perhaps the House as well.

Priebus insists there will be no underhanded maneuvers when it comes to the adoption of the convention rules. For her part, Mickelsen has given assurances that the committee’s work will be impartial and said, “Nothing’s going to come out of this that’s been done by parliamentary trickery.”

Yet Mickelson said she anticipates a “lively debate” and has defended the rule that permits a minority report to be brought to the convention floor, meaning that it seems improbable that the two chairpersons would block 28 anti-Trump committee members from advancing a minority report seeking to free up the delegates to split from Trump on the first ballot.

It is impossible to escape the strong impression that Mickelsen and Kaufman are Romney loyalists who distrust Trump and will give the anti-Trump members on the committee every opportunity to shape the rules.

In the past several days, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News and The Daily Wire have interviewed Kendal Unruh, a member of the Convention Rules Committee from Colorado who is one of the leaders of the anti-Trump movement.

She told the Journal that regarding the 28 votes needed for a minority report that she already has “private commitments from more than 30 committee members, but that many aren’t willing to admit so publicly.” She expanded on this claim with The Daily Wire, saying: “Not everyone who is with us is willing to be public yet, due in part to the threats being made by Trump’s campaign and the RNC itself.”

The possibility of an anti-Trump rebellion on the Rules Committee has become a factor in the timing of Trump’s announcement of a vice presidential running mate. Were Trump to select someone whose positions upset many delegates, that could fuel a drive to adopt rules unfavorable to Trump’s nomination.

However, Unruh insisted to NBC News and The Daily Wire that whomever Trump selects there are at least 28 votes for a minority report. She also argued that regardless of party rules or state laws mandating that delegates follow the will of the voters, delegates have a right and a duty to apply their own judgment.

Unruh told The Daily Wire that It is the duty of the delegates to represent the best interests of their states and to select a Republican candidate who actually represents our party and who can beat Hillary [Clinton] in November. That’s not Donald Trump.

She added: “We don’t live in a straight democracy, where majority rule has the absolute say. We have a measured, representative form of government that allows time for discussion, fact-finding, and wisdom before our elected representatives make the final decision.

“Many new facts have come out since the early primaries that should disqualify Trump, and the delegates have historically always been the final stop-gate through which our party’s nominee must pass. Trump didn’t even get the vote of a majority of Republicans, and over 50% agree that he should not be our nominee. In fact, he would be the first Republican nominee to receive the nomination with more votes cast against him in the primaries than for him.”

Unruh added that if delegates are unbound, Trump would likely lose the nomination, a possibility that clearly worries Trump and his backers.

An internal survey conducted by RNC member Randy Evans of Georgia, who is trying to help Trump lock up the nomination, found that only 890 delegates are personally loyal to Trump while 680 are known to be opposed to Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal. Evans said, “900 delegates are ‘in play.’ So, no, Trump certainly does not have this locked up – particularly if delegates are allowed to vote their consciences.”

Trump’s Challenge and Dilemma

To beat back an eleventh-hour attempt to deny him the nomination, Trump needs opinion polls to show that he remains competitive with Hillary Clinton and he must avoid doing or saying more things that would deepen the fears among delegates about his conduct as a candidate and his electability in the fall.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. (Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. (Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Trump also faces a possible challenge regarding his choice of a running mate, which traditionally is rubber-stamped by the convention. However, there have been reports that some members of the Rules Committee want to propose amendments that would give the delegates the right to confirm or veto Trump’s selection and that he would have to secure a two-thirds majority on the convention floor for his pick.

And – even if he clears all those hurdles – Trump may still face the possibility of a visible protest from some Republican delegates who might walk out of the convention in protest when he appears on stage to accept the nomination. Or, there’s the possibility that his backers might protest if they feel he is being treated unfairly.

Trump has predicted that there will be riots in the streets of Cleveland if it looks like he is being cheated out of the nomination. But the city is preparing for disorders even assuming that Trump gets the nomination because groups hostile to his candidacy have vowed to make their displeasure known.

Lincoln’s Nomination and Rule Changes

If Trump’s nomination is somehow blocked on the first ballot and Cleveland becomes a brokered convention, such a development would not be unprecedented in the annals of Republican Party politics. Although recent conventions have lacked that sort of drama, manipulation of rules and various “dirty tricks” were not rare prior to the 1960s.abrahamlincoln-16

Even Abraham Lincoln’s nomination in Chicago in 1860 was not a clean or immaculate nomination based simply on his appeal as “Honest Abe.” His supporters were able to take advantage of changes in the rules and revisions in the convention schedule to have more time to cut deals in smoke-filled hotel rooms as well as pack the galleries with Lincoln supporters by printing unauthorized tickets for access to the convention hall, known as “The Wigwam.”

The two decisive changes were: a decision during the convention to lower the requirement for nomination from two-thirds to a simple majority and a late, sudden decision to postpone the balloting by one day.

The lower threshold should have benefitted the presumptive nominee, the famous New York Sen. William Seward, whose campaign manager Thurlow Weed offered $100,000 to the Illinois Republicans if Lincoln would be content to join the Seward ticket as the vice-presidential nominee.

This staggering sum of money (at the time) was rejected, but the Seward camp regarded a simple majority as easy to achieve and broke out the cigars and champagne to celebrate victory the night before the balloting.

But the postponed vote gave Lincoln’s campaign manager David Davis one last night to wheel and deal, especially with the pivotal Pennsylvania delegation, to get it to switch to Lincoln after the first ballot. Davis’s stunning success enraged the Seward supporters and many others who distrusted Lincoln because he argued that those in the party who were pushing for the abolition of slavery were reckless and risked the party’s defeat in the fall election.

A nervous, even paranoid Lincoln, staying down state at his home in Springfield, sent instructions twice during the convention that no bargains should be made that would “bind” him, especially on the slavery issue.

Davis, whose family in Maryland owned some slaves, did not try to curry favor with pro-abolitionist delegates, but he made all kinds of bargains and promises without bothering to inform Lincoln.

Then, immediately after the nomination was secure, Davis and his convention team bombarded Lincoln with eight telegrams demanding that he spurn pleas from others to go to Chicago to accept the nomination and instead stay home and keep his mouth shut until Davis could meet with him to reveal the price paid to get him the nomination. [See four of the telegrams here.]

These amazing eight telegrams survive as part of the Lincoln Collection in the Library of Congress. They convey the strong impression that Davis and his team genuinely feared for Lincoln’s physical safety given the extreme anger among many delegates, especially in the Seward camp, concerning how the nomination was stolen for a “bar room politician” whom they viewed as “soft” on slavery.

Peter Dickson is a retired CIA political-military analyst and author of Lincoln, His Kingmaker Davis and the “Stolen” Republican Nomination of 1860 (2010). Copyright 2016 Peter W. Dickson

37 comments for “GOP’s Last Line of Anti-Trump Defense

  1. July 14, 2016 at 03:53

    History keeps on turning up on our doorsteps.I have never seen in my lifetime such an elite class so much full of themselves since the French revolution. Just like then these people really live in a bubble cannot c or hear the masses. Hence 64000 people dictate to the western citezenry what is rite for them. 2016 could be the year that broke the camels bak and one sunny morning the anglo-zionist will wake up to the reality that their world aint our world. 2016 POTUS election might be the nail of their rotting ways. It will be interesting how they will mange to refuse the Trump nomination and even better how they will pull of the victory of Hitler in drag as the next POTUS. Orwellian times we r a livin.

  2. IAL
    July 14, 2016 at 03:02

    Dear Mr. ExCIA:

    The people voted for Trump as a candidate. Therefore, if I were you and your pals I would stop trying to plan how to subvert what the people decided.

    The problem with your ilk is that you do not listen, which explains why you write articles like this that show what contempt you have for actual democracy. What I am sorry for now is that the morals and ideals of democracy that my family has fought for, for decades, are now so easily dismissed by elite psychopaths in Washington, DC.

    You and your ilk are on the side of evil and are on the wrong side of history. Slavery of the people (in the modern age by laws mediated by establishment corporate pandering) by elites in government is not condoned by God.

    Please know that there is an afterlife. If you do not wish to be scratching fleas in that afterlife or rolling dung up a hill (as a dungbeetle – which is quite a good metaphor), I suggest that you rethink your position of trying to subvert the will of the American people.

    Just saying.

    IAL Ph.D., MBA

  3. Evangelista
    July 13, 2016 at 20:41

    As someone noted recently, and Dickson appears to affirm in his premise from which his analysis begins, Donald Trump does not have the support of the elite of the Republican party. In fact, he appears to have the actual animosity of a significant portion of that elite.

    Considering that the ‘elite’ in the USA. of both parties, consists of about two percent, with, say, another five percent composing what we can call ‘elite monkeys’, hangers-on wanting to be elite and so imitating the elite, and so hating Trump in sychophantasy, we can estimate that the Republican elite, including simian addenda tots up to seven percent of Republicans.

    Of course, a certain number of these have already jumped ship, horrified, appalled, repelled by Trump’s outrageous and buccaneering style in boarding the Republican ship and then slaughtering the favored candidates, leaving the last one, Ted Cruz, to walk the plank of his own volition, in outrage. How many are these? Maybe three percent? Three percent who thought to; we can give them one percent who thought better and opted to remain to fight rearguard at the Convention; so, two percent. This leaves five percent of the Republican party composing, today, a solid anti-Trump Republican elite, who will oppose a Trump nomination, and who will vote “crossover” (but not switch parties) if Trump gains the Republican nomination.

    The hoi-poloi and plebe Republicans, the vast army of mostly ex-middle-class ‘conservatives’ below the Republican Elite, appear to be solidly for Trump: They, along with disaffected Democrats and ready-for-something-different Independents, are who put ‘The Donald’ in the Republican party’s eye, and have been twisting him there (it appears for the most part with glee).

    Could Trump win an election against Hillary Clinton, with all equal in the rigmarole departments of each party? With both launched to candidacy on first ballots, bunting and balloons and apparently all solidarity, if the Republican Elite took a page from the Bernie Sanders playbook and played the “Aw, I was only kidding, I really always liked her (his) policies, it was just politics…”?

    I think it could produce the smallest turnout in the history of U.S. Democracy; under twenty percent, maybe single-digit (which could make the Guiness Book of Records). And I think the margin between the candidates could then be within “black-box range”, the range within which black-box vote manipulation could be used to maneuver the vote to push the black-box manipulators-prefered candidate over the top (as appears to have been done in the last Israeli election, returning the “mandate” to Bibi). This could, however, especially if there might be some disagreement between black-box manipulators, result in the vote-count being boosted out of record-low range, to maybe even as much as thirty percent.

    On the other hand, with a scorcher of a last-ditch desperation rear-guard Republican Elite effort to block Trump, creating a dust-up at the Republican convention, lots of swearing and shouting, with Republican elites out on the firing-line blazing away. And then losing, so that Trump became the candidate, striding out from the smoke and flames the nominee…

    That would be exciting. It could catch the imaginations of a percentage of the moral Democrats, angry to have a criminal candidate, a vote for whom would be make a stain they could never wash out from their integrities; a stain like that of their votes for Obama, except with Obama they had no way of knowing, he had lied so well and covered his real intentions so smoothly before.

    Those could be good for an angry reaction vote; an “If we gotta throw it away, let’s really throw it away; let’s see what this “orange baboon” will do!” vote.

    And then there are the disaffected Sanders-kids. The kids who believed Bernie when he said all those things from his pulpit, who never would have believed high-minded and noble Bernie could be an Elmer Gantry. Who, if they had not seen with their own eyes Bernie and “that woman” in congress on her platform, would have fought you for suggesting it. Those will be kids ripe to harvest, the rug pulled out from under them by smoothie-Bernie and slippery-Hillary doing them the old double-cross and back-out to politics as usual, they could be directed to fall into the Trump camp, to throw in all their hopes and say, “OK, let’s just let ‘er rip!”

    Yep, a raucous caucus at the Republican convention, fur and feathers everywhere, could be just the ticket to assure a Landslide for The Donald. And something more than “politics as usual” for the next four, or eight, years.

  4. Ol' Hippy
    July 13, 2016 at 18:46

    After Bernie sold out to her highness, we really are in for more of the same, or worse. I’m so bummed by his betrayal but I do see that he thinks Trump would be a disaster; but HRC? So I refuse to vote for either one and will go Green, at least she’s honest and cares for people and the Earth. This really will be an election where people are voting for the lesser of the evils and right now it’s a coin toss shading slightly to HRC only because of her not putting religion in the picture. And well, oh shit!! Really!!

  5. Abe
    July 13, 2016 at 15:07

    Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman and self-appointed “voter fraud” expert Reince Priebus today Tweeted: “Sanders’ supporters must be wondering if their candidate has suddenly sold out to the same rigged system he so strongly campaigned against”

    Investigative journalist Greg Palast, an actual expert on the reality of Democratic and Republican voter suppression, reveals how rigged the system really is.

    The Clintons and a Crime Far Worse Than Missing Emails or Votes!
    By Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein

  6. July 13, 2016 at 12:06

    All that really interests me as a European is preventing the USA from starting another war, and this time quite likely a nuclear one, as per various warnings from Robert Parry et al. on this website (otherwise hardly to be seen). Trump as the least anti-Putin candidate would have my vote, regardless of his other weaknesses. The question is whether he will actually be strong enough to stand up to the warmongering idiots who are obviously promoting Killharry or anybody else but Trump (since they all, including Sanders, want to “get tough with Russia”). What a refreshing change it would be to have a candidate say, “Hey, let’s get friendly with Russia.” This is not quislingism but just common sense. The Ruskies have done nothing (including Crimea) to deserve the hate-mongering that has come from Uncle Sam and the European mainstream.

  7. akech
    July 13, 2016 at 10:41

    American young men and women, mostly from middle/low-class families are ordered to go abroad to kill, maim, torture and dislocate (make homeless and destitute) thousands and thousands of foreign citizens in the distant lands. In most cases, these young Americans have no history of criminality associated with murder or/or assault. Some of these young people are merely seeking the opportunities, offered by the GI Bill, to better themselves through education.
    On the other hand, one finds the war mongering elites, majority of them avoid at all costs putting themselves or sending their families, friends or allies on the firing lines; these elites are eager to promote policies in which the lives of others are sacrificed or ruined. After returning from the killing fields, those young American men and women who are lucky enough to return home alive after killing other humans, are emotionally changed or permanently scarred for life. Unless you are a psychopath or a sociopath who relishes killing others, taking another human’s life, even when you are forced do so in self defense, may not be a glamorous act!
    • Unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others
    • Often have disarming or even charming personalities
    • Very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust
    • Learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them
    • Will appear normal to unsuspecting people
    • Are well educated and hold steady jobs
    • Good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature
    These descriptions fit, very well, with the activities of Bill and Hillary Clinton and people in his camp. The Clintons are fighting for a possible fourth and fifth terms at the White House. My deductive thinking has led me to conclude that Obama’s foreign policies was either hijacked by the Clintons’ group or voluntarily delegated to them by Barack Obama and that Hillary’s private server was set up to serve as “Independent Foreign policy joint” at the Clintons’ residence in New York. Otherwise, all official/unofficial explanations given by Hillary and her supporters, James Comey and Loretta Lynch do not make sense to any logical thinking citizen! The American citizens must be considered “absolute idiots” by Bill Clinton and Attorney General if they are expected to accept that the meeting at the Phoenix Airport was all Bill’s golfing moves, grandchildren and Brexit! This ridiculous explanation reveals the level of contempt these elites have for citizens whose votes they seek! These elites do not even feel they need voters because they can get away with rigging elections! They are, literally, spitting on voters’ faces because voting has merely been rendered a dreaded formality!
    There is something about Bill and Hillary that is very attractive to the power elites who have commandeered the US political system! This happens to be Bill Clinton’s ability disarm atargeted adversary by appearing to be very friendly and harmless. Once the target has been charmed and disarmed, Bill Clinton will then implement policies that are very detrimental to that adversary, in most cases, with the participation of that very adversary. The policies smoothly advanced by the former president have immensely profited his corporate friends!
    The two Clinton’s institutions (Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation) are examples of what the “New World Order or Borderless World or One World Government” is all about! Bill Clinton is a very charming smooth operator who delivers the world to the oligarchy. The “No-Fly zones or refugee camps” house million of displaced refugees around the globe. While the displacement of these unfortunate refugees is taking place, NGOs rush in to take advantage of the catastrophic human events in order to cash in on the donations that follow!
    Yes, Bill Clinton is one of a kind and he is heading back to the White House using Hillary!
    The questions one may ask are:
    (a) What motivates these powerful elites in spilling the blood of so many people on earth without the desire to stop, cogitate and/or offer any apology to the victims** ?
    (b) What is so patriotic about going to a foreign land and laying to waste every infrastructure and the human beings supported by the infrastructure?
    (c) Are these elites just after the natural resource?
    (d) If so, what is wrong with the civilized exchanging of goods, services or technologies used for exploiting these world’s resources in countries where these resources are found in abundance?
    (e) What rights do these marauding elites have in their desire to control everybody and everything or kill anyone who dares to stand in their way?
    (f) What is the difference between the behavior of these marauding elites and a violent robber coming into your home, confiscating your belongings and killing you if you dare to resist!
    (g) Why is this kind of behavior being condoned by voters, most of whom are being adversely impacted by the very policies and practices advanced by the same marauding elites?
    **The victims I am referring to here are American young men and women who are ordered to kill, maim and dislocate millions in foreign countries while facing similar predicaments.
    Bullying is a huge topic in this country right now; however, it seems to be only directed towards the people being controlled, the lower classes, the powerless or young people in grade schools and colleges.
    Apparently, the bloody bullying and associated deaths being delivered to foreign citizens in their homelands by the same marauding elites has been put into special “civilized and acceptable” category! The people giving orders to bully others have conveniently sanitized/blocked their minds because their brilliant work of delivering death and destruction has been outsourced to the condemned peasants and plebeians who are recruited to kill or be killed while the elites (patricians) are enjoying good lives in their gated communities with security (guards and cameras), The subjects are given ample of reasons through MSM to hate one another!

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 13, 2016 at 11:07

      This is one of the better expositions of the true nature of the yankee regime and why Trump has emerged as an alternative.

  8. Tim
    July 13, 2016 at 10:38

    The problem with this argument is that it is based on the premise that Trump is one of those rare “black swan” events that no one saw coming, thus justifying a necessary (but unpopular) bailout. However, as the ongoing coup to depose Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates, this could be a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

  9. akech
    July 13, 2016 at 08:36

    Is this the kind of Democracy the American young men and women, mostly from the middle and low classes, have paid for with their lives?

  10. onno
    July 13, 2016 at 06:49

    It’s obvious to me now that Democrat Bernie Sanders is endorsing Clinton that the (super) delegates got involved realizing that splitting the ticket would favor Republican Donald Trump. The dirty tricks in this election campaign just started with the full cooperation of MSM propaganda hiding all the failures and incompetence of Hillary Clinton such as her ‘bloody Libya policy’ and now the cover up by Lynch and the FBI regarding her confidential e-mails causing the death of US Ambassador in Libya and 3 of his American body guards. Or let’s talk about her time in the White House and her failed attempt to re-organize the US Health Care system and so on.
    This woman is so obsessed with her becoming the first female President that she would do ANYTHING including the use of illegal methods like Nixon did before (Watergate). She is already endorsed by US Defense industry, big banks and all the Media that bad mouth Donald Trump with questionable accusations and even lies. Not only that ‘MONEY in the USA can buy you anything apparently also the White House. Not the American voters will decide but corrupt and bribed (super) delegates do, similar to ANY BANANA REPUBLIC on this planet.

  11. Joe Tedesky
    July 13, 2016 at 00:05

    The mob feels the same way, as the Republican Party establishment does. The mob doesn’t like flashy things. A real mobster keeps it low, and on the inside. Nicodemo Scarfo, ánd John Gotti, were to outrageous, and flamboyant, for the likes of the rest of the crime syndicate, and for this these two fancy dans paid a heavy price. So, is Donald to be trusted to staying on script? Will, the Donald consult or speak his mind first? How could he possibly be considered a good Republican if he hates trade agreements, very bad trade deals? I mean is this to be part of the Republican platform? And what in the hell is he saying about NATO? Doesn’t the Trumpster know how the MIC depends on that dough that NATO yields them? I mean, what the hell!

    Ricordi che tu appartieni a me

  12. F. G. Sanford
    July 12, 2016 at 23:57

    Twas the month before Philly, the outcome a rebus,
    Not a sycophant stirred, not even Reince Priebus,
    The pundits had clamored, “We might see indictment”
    Till Comey surprised us with quite a requitement,
    Then what to our wondering eyes should appear,
    But a jet on the tarmac, the runway was clear.
    Loretta and Bill had a cordial encounter,
    Reports all deny he endeavored to mount her,
    Or offer incentives to sway her assessment,
    Accounts all insist on a social impressment.
    Despite all the lies and the careless infractions,
    Comey and Lynch would take no legal actions.
    Some were surprised, and others were baffled
    Many inferred that state secrets were raffled!
    Meanwhile the polls seemed to favor the Trumpster,
    And Hillary’s numbers were down in the dumpster.
    Her war chest contained forty million and change,
    While “The Donald’s” remained in the two million range.
    All those rabid right wing-nuts at C.N.A.S.,
    Agonized she might lose even with that largesse.
    Now don’t try to claim it’s conspiracy theory-
    The coup in Maidan has left too many leery.
    A.I.D. is a front for regime changing spooks,
    And the CIA pays for those N.E.D. kooks.
    Victoria Nuland was Dick Cheney’s pal,
    And somebody else was a Kissinger gal,
    Look up the Board of the Council Atlantic,
    You’ll find the connections are somewhat romantic,
    There are no such things as the Dems and Repubs…
    Both sides are full members of C.F.R. clubs.
    Some wonder what Clinton was holding on Comey,
    Why all of a sudden the deal turned out homey…
    There are crime sprees and jobless all over the nation,
    Anger and poverty could cause deflation.
    The worser it gets – well, the better Trump looks-
    So the deep state decided they’d best cook the books.
    The problem they’d have is a delegate squabble,
    And most of their candidates babble and wobble
    They’d need a reliable ventriloquist’s dummy-
    Mitt seems obsequious, facile and chummy,
    Michael Flynn could add poise and he isn’t so smarmy,
    It helps out a lot that he served in the Army!
    If the delegates dither, don’t go to the mat,
    The voters could riot, they might smell a rat.
    That’s why the Comey decision occurred,
    And why Madam Lynch so politely demurred.
    Reince Priebus called candidates, shouted their names,
    Be quick to your places, it’s time for the games!
    On Jebber, on Cruiser, on Randy and Ricky,
    No time to delay, the voters are picky!
    On Carly on Christy, on Carson and Graham,
    The Republican Party is in quite a jam!
    It wasn’t the Clinton Machine that succeeded,
    A plan to restore reputations was needed.
    The only Repub that might salvage the ticket
    Was caught in a classified document wicket.
    So Comey and Lynch had to cook an excuse
    That cancels out blame for TOP SECRET abuse
    The scheme was not planned just to fool or betray us,
    They needed to nominate David Petraeus!
    Reince Priebus exclaimed as he sneaked out the door,
    Good luck to you all in the Crimean War!

    • Abe
      July 13, 2016 at 12:51

      When can their glory fade?
      O the wild charge they made!
      All the world wondered.

    • Abe
      July 13, 2016 at 12:58

      “No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
      A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
      We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ’em how?
      You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”

    • Abe
      July 13, 2016 at 13:00

      Unlike Tennyson’s poem, Kipling’s poem was largely ignored.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 13, 2016 at 15:29

      F.G. It is good to have you back and contributing to this comment board.

  13. Zachary Smith
    July 12, 2016 at 23:16

    Fascinating read, especially the last part about Lincoln’s 1860 convention.

    Trump is a totally wild card, and there is no telling what he’d actually do. That is quite a contrast with Hillary, for she has a long political history, and to me and many others it’s amazingly ugly.

    Hillary will ram TPP down our throats. And she’ll continue to ignore Global Warming. Trump claims he’ll not go with the TPP, and his “wild card” status is what gives me some hope with the coming Climate disaster. If it occurs to the man that he could go down in history as one of the greatest humans who ever lived by starting the earthshaking moves we must make to stop the Warming, he would do just that.

    Saving the Earth would get that kind of attention in the history books.

    First he’s got to get the nomination against the wish of the Establishment Republicans. Then he must pull enough Independents and Democrats to go with his Base to win in November. (and he’d better keep a close watch on those touchscreen voting machines as well as arranging for really extensive exit polling everywhere) Let me tell you this, some version of Sarah Palin on the VP part of the ticket won’t cut the mustard with the Dems and Indies. They’ll just stay home and mourn.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 13, 2016 at 11:02

      This seems realistic. Again it seems unrealistic now that Trump has over 2/3 of the delegates according to pledges that one quarter of those delegates would jump ship at the convention. For one thing, they don’t have a viable alternative, other than the harpy, who is probably paying them off, and the damage this would cause to the party would cost many of the office-holders their jobs. Since Gary Johnson is an alternative already polling significantly high, I think he could win in the unlikely event of 25% of Trump’s pledged delegates doing a Benedict Arnold. Also, I think that the ensuing fracas, in light of the controversy it would cause, could even propel a Trump victory as an independent running against the establishment. lawsuits would also throw everything into doubt and petitions could be signed lightning fast. Meanwhile, meaningless third parties have lines in many states and they could be employed to get Trump the state ballot lines quickly under the hothouse situation which would occur.

  14. Kiza
    July 12, 2016 at 22:41

    It is an old basic fact that two parties are one and the same party because it is the same crooked, corrupt elite which is controlling them both. Proof?

    Mr ex-CIA analyst here spends a good amount of paragraphs pontificating on the rules of the GOP convention, without a single word on the morality of “voting by delegates according to their own conscience rather than voting according to the wishes of the people who they represent”. This is a sign that the elite and their retired servants do not concern themselves any more with even a pretence of Democracy. They only busy themselves with how to rewrite the laws (for Clinton) and the rules (against Trump) and could not care less if this rewriting breaches the social contracts with those being ruled. Is that not the best sign that US is ready for a civil war to replace the crooked “elite”?

    Since Trump is the only Republican candidate who could beat the criminal Hillary, the GOP essentially wants to clear the path towards POTUS Hillary. Therefore, one party of crooks – two names. Also, please note that the opposition to Hillary within Democratic Party voters is grassroots, there is nothing as organised as against Trump within GOP.

    • Zachary Smith
      July 12, 2016 at 23:23

      In fairness to the author, “politics” and “morality” are about as mixable as oil and water. I agree that Trump is the only Republican who can beat Hillary. IMO the GOP Establishment would rather lose with someone else than win with him.

      • Bart Gruzalski
        July 13, 2016 at 07:03

        Zach, I agree with your comments on the Republican Establishment and their great love for The Donal.

        You need to reflect on your comment that politics and morality don’t mix. Mahatma Gandhi mixed them well. Abe Lincoln mixed them well when he freed the slaves. I can’t remember the details, but a couple of Scandinavian governments were built solidly on democratic moral values. Bhutan is one for sure and it has a much more moral way of measuring the effectiveness of its economy than the usual GDP. It has the GHP. What’s that you didn’t ask? GHP=Gross Happiness Principle.

      • Kiza
        July 13, 2016 at 07:48

        Just as Bart made the comment, we do expect the rotten politicians to separate morality and politics, but why is Mr Dickson writing only about politics without morality. Is he an aspiring politician?

        Besides, my main point is not about the morality then about the social contract. The elites are breaking it at their own risk. They can create two sets of laws and rules, but it had always been cheaper and easier to rule with the (implied or express) consent of the ruled than without. Breaking the social contract is a slippery slope or a spiral process which leads to a break up eventually. It only requires a critical mass of the governed to realize that they have been had, which is just a matter of time for the current one-party-two-names US regime.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      July 13, 2016 at 00:17

      Kiza, an excellent comment and right on the money. Thank you for affirming that some readers on this site definitely get it.

  15. July 12, 2016 at 17:47



    2LT Dennis Morrisseau USArmy Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR, retired.
    POB 177 W Pawlet, VT 05775 802 645 9727 [email protected]

  16. Joe Tedesky
    July 12, 2016 at 16:39

    The real Republican candidate isn’t a Republican at all, she is a Democrat.

    • Lin Cleveland
      July 12, 2016 at 17:13


    • Andrew Nichols
      July 12, 2016 at 23:09

      Love it – so True!

      • rosemerry
        July 13, 2016 at 14:24

        Just like Obama.

    • Joshua Laudermilk
      July 12, 2016 at 23:54

      To quote the always quotable Donald Trump:

      “It’s true-woo”

      But @Joe Tedesky, in all seriousness, you’re right. Hillary Clinton is a right wing Capitalist, whose policies are somehow more right wing than the Republican Party Platform of the 1970s.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 13, 2016 at 02:33

        You know it’s said that the original Neocon’s were Democrate’s.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      July 13, 2016 at 00:08

      Well said as usual, Joe. She’s not only not a Democrat. She’s a Neocon with no feelings for those her warmongering slaughters. She’s worse than heartless. She was the instigator of the war against against Gadhafi, which Obama says is the most disastrous of his military adventures. When she heard he’d been killed, did support her no longer do because she should be in prison. I asked my Labor adviser why the Communications Workers of America labor union switched from Bernie to Hillary. “Politics,” he said. I asked again (I’m a bit dense) and again he said “Politics.” I asked for a bit of help and he said what happened wasn’t unusual. Some of the top union officials had gotten a quid pro quo Money? Support for a Congressional seat? Then I remembered a rather serious betrayal when I was at Northeastern University. I had written a “brief” for several senior faculty who my junior and own colleagues had been taking advantage of for years before I entered the department. Anyway, the case was airtight and as easy to make as the case that Hillary Clinton suffers from bouts of confusion. I submitted the case, signed by me and the older faculty on whose behalf I had filed the grievance.

      I submitted the case to my lawyer friend who was the Chair of the relevant committee at that moment. He and I were friends, he and his wife had come over for dinner a couple of times, and I did hundreds of hours of pro bono work (lecturing and writing) to support his anti-tobacco work. The time by which I should have heard from OFFICIAL CHANNELS had passed. I called his “big deal position” chair, whom I’d known for over five years, and she said that he’d written his recommendation and that I should receive it tomorrow or the day after.

      I gave him a call at home that night. I was stunned beyond surprise. I saw him the next morning at the Coffee Truck and I couldn’t even force myself to say hello. He said he voted down our grievance because it was the other side’s turn to win one. “Politics,” he said. “It is not a reflection of my legal opinion of your case [he was a lawyer with a reputation for honesty] which was very strong. The politics of the situation required me to kill your grievance.” I just hung up. Not angry but stunned by that kind of “politics” [!??] betrayal of fairness and of following the rules.

      My labor advisor assures me this happens all the time when candidates are seeking endorsements from unions. “What do I get out of it” is the fundamental question. Hillary has so much money sloshing around that she could buy out all the union leadership on the East Coast.

      It’s also interesting that the author of this piece seems to assume that Trump is not a candidate the Republican leadership OR the rank-and-file want. He’s right about the leadership: they are the Establishment and Trump will turn the Establishment over. And it is this “pro” Establishment leadership position that provides the take-off for the article which begins:

      “The last-ditch hopes of the Republican Party establishment to block Donald Trump’s presidential nomination may come down to whether the GOP convention frees delegates to vote their consciences on the first ballot, a prospect possibly made more likely by the appointment of two anti-Trump party loyalists to head the Rules Committee.”

      From this beginning ex-CIA analyst Peter W. Dickson’s article continues down a path of disappointment. Dickson’s theme seems to be all about “politics”—for example, the processes of freeing up delegates so they can vote against Trump.

      The nearest Dickson comes to a substantive issue—and it is not near at all, just a little less of the Robert’s Rules of Order kind of picayune details he had been discussing —is the claim that Hillary will beat Trump.

      From my perspective, Joe, Hillary won’t beat Trump. I believe it is even likely that she won’t be the nominee of the Democratic party.

      Why and how are all relevant to the article, but this comment is long enough. Till later, good night.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 13, 2016 at 02:24

        Bart, I’d like to think that what Bernie did, was to not put the screws to the next Independent who will want to caucus with the Democrate’s, and then move along. I felt that Bernie had nothing to lose to if he had jumped over to the Green Party, but I’m not Bernie Sanders. What does make Bernie stand out, is he has shown a path for a true independent run at America’s highest office. He shunned Wall St. Money, he brought back the single payer healthcare issue, minimum pay, etc., so this is not a bad thing. In today’s U.S. Political climate, that’s really turning up the heat.

        I knew a fellow who wanted to get up into the big leagues of Union politics. He went to the yearly convention, and soon found out which rooms the card games were in, and in the early evening with 1k in hand he went off to try his luck, as if luck or skill had anything to do with it he would have won by morning six times that as he had started with.. (This is 1966) after cashing in, he left to find the guy running for president, and donated 4K to this guy’s campaign, with the soon to be presidents gratitude he asked how this lowly union worker could have this much money…when the card shark guy I knew told him, the soon to be union president laughed, and then said “Good you’ll be my secretary treasurer. Politics.

        I haven’t a clue to what either party is doing, but two years of this junk just goes towards being filed under one of the many chapters of America’s decline as empire book ‘Imperium USA’, soon to be released. Just kidding, there is no book, but it fits my monologue. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll love America even after it’s fling with empire is over. Hillary vs Trump is an amazing result after so much time this country has spend on this crazy election process we have here in America, so many commercials, so much nick picky childish punditry on cable news…..and this is what you get after all that annoying time we all spend over these last couple of years is these two rejected donut holes Bombastic Don & Crooked Hillary. Trump and Hillary are quite the bewilderingly result after an exhausting two year campaign in order that we the people may feel we elected another front for the Wall Street banking and trade deal negotiators, and a couple others with high influence, and yes even foreign interests, to be our leader. And still somehow make it believable that they are serving us.

        Party rules, ‘what rules, we don’t need no stink’n rules’!

    • Peter Loeb
      July 13, 2016 at 07:04


      1. I think “stopping Trump” etc. is a waste of time and thought.
      We must instead adjust ourselves to the fact that in 2016 the US
      will elect either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

      2. CONSPIRACY: Based on my own political gut instinct—not
      any tips, leaks etc.— I have long thought that some Democrats
      have wanted Trump as an opponent. He is out-of-control
      and , they believe, prone to insult enough tired out parts
      of the old Democratic collection (was it ever there?) to
      make HRC’s election possible. They are secretly convinced
      that Trump could not win of course.

      Naturally, the faithful media was engaged to highlight and
      mock Trump’s every statement.

      I am not so convinced that Trump cannot possibly win. That
      can only be known after November’s result.

      So far, Trump is playing by thia playbook it seems.

      HOWEVER: HRC is also making gaffes and sinking her
      candidacy. (This does not even count her foreign
      policy which is my primary reason to oppose her.)
      Trump does not seem in several cases to be as
      astute a politician to make the most of Hillary’s
      errors. That’s politics, not business by the way.

      Despite who is “more Republican” (Joe Tedesky
      above), the horrible fact is that one of them will
      be President. Period!

      You might as well wish away the entire CIA,
      saving only the analysis portion. It just will not

      Does Trump realize he is being set up? He may
      but his “you’re fired/you’re hired” approach may
      sink him in the end (November). Or perhaps it will
      not if enough voters support a to-hell-with-it-all
      approach. It is reminiscent of January, 1933, when
      (for a variety of additional reasons) German voters’
      opposition to all parliamentary systems and “political”
      agreements resulted in Hitler’s take-over.
      It should be noted that many voters then felt that
      they were being more “democratic” not less. Every
      individual could directly support the National Socialist
      party and could do away with the deadlock of so many
      political parties and factions elsewhere….

      To repeat: We do not yet know if this secret conspiracy
      strategy in the inner sanctum of HRC’s campaign will
      work for her. She sounds more tired than in 2008. She
      is older. She IS the Establishment.

      Many are betting that Donald Trump will elect her.
      We shall see.

      Aware of both of their egregious (if not criminal) faults,
      our task now is to decide—probably in small rather
      than large gatherings— how we will survive in an
      administration run by either Trump or HRC.

      [Don’t be fooled by the so-called “progressive
      platform committee”. Platform committees are
      not binding on any candidate, campaign, or
      administration. They are and have always been
      for show and only for show. HRC has used
      the Democratic platform committee with expertise,
      allowing the disappointed to spout off with statements
      on a document which has no effect whatsoever. For
      HRC, that “worked”.]

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 13, 2016 at 11:08

        Peter, as always you make a solid point with what you say.

        I have no idea if this election is fixed in a way as to make it easy for Hillary to win. Somehow Hillary puts the screws to herself, at times. This isn’t me talking, it’s the pollsters who claim that the more Hillary makes appearances, the more her poll numbers go down. Does this mean if she gets elected president, that she will serve herself and the country well to stay out of sight? I could deal with that.

        Trump, says so many wrong things daily, and sometimes even when he’s right about something, then it’s the way he says it. The man is a walking disaster, but still he stays within reasonable distance up against Hillary. Is it that his competitive edge is due to his sparkling personality, or is it because no one likes Hillary? I mean the man literally looks like he’s trying to lose this election….gee, what’s a guy got to do, to get thrown out of this campaign?

        People say, how both major parties are one and the same, and possibly because they are, well then elections like this one in 2016 is what you get. Either way, you must admit, that there is nothing smart about either candidate, and there is very little optimism to go around to make the voters feel the excitement. Isn’t this America the land of choices, and variety, so what gives?

        Now, when I watch an old documentary about German voters electing Adolph Hitler, where once I always though, how could they be so blind and stupid, well now I know. We are living it!

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 13, 2016 at 10:56

      That is the problem. Meanwhile, anybody who actually thinks 300 pledged delegates are going to jump ship and get the reputation of having betrayed the party is whistling past the graveyard. Trump would also then run as an independent and have real momentum as the candidate betrayed by the establishment against two establishment lackeys.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 13, 2016 at 11:24

        You make a lot of sense, and what you bring up is important. The trick for the party leaders, is how to dump Trump, and yet still make things look like the Republicans value the little people’s vote. Maybe in the eleventh hour, the Republicans could get the Supreme Court to take Trump out of the election. Why, not they destroyed Al Gore with their hairball ruling back in 2000. Sorry, we’re trying to forget that one. Yes exiled off mainstreet the Republicans somehow have painted themselves into a corner. Don’t fret too much, this is the country where anything can happen. I mean that’s what the news media is for, to cover over any incident and spin it to the good. It’s all stupid, and if you sometimes get the impression it all maybe fixed, well it is. The question is, how fixed is it? So fixed that the quarterback said there is to much air in this football! (Sorry Mr Parry just had to use that line since there was no better line in my head)

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