Wednesday, August 03, 2016

August 3, 2016--If Trump Withdraws?

President Obama yesterday all but called for Donald Trump to withdraw from the race. Politically, this wasn't wise, or maybe it was slyer than what one might at first think.

If this was unwise it was because it is none of someone from another party's business to be meddling in his opponents' political affairs. Thus, Obama's implying that Trump withdraw will likely have a reverse effect--the president, universally despised by most Republicans, could inadvertently contribute to an outcome opposite to what he ostensibly desires because whatever he proposes would be automatically rejected. So his hints that Trump consider dropping out will assure his staying in the race.

This is a vivid example of the political physics of equal-and-oppositeness.

But then there could be the sly part--as Trump's campaign implodes it is making it more and more likely that an almost-equally-disliked Hillary Clinton will win in a landslide. So Obama's jujitsu could be a brilliant play. A strategy to assure that Trump stays in the race and is trounced.

On the other hand, though it may be wishful thinking, I am seeing it more and more possible that Trump will withdraw, concocting some lame explanation--I made my point, now it's time for someone else to take over. My family needs me. My business needs me. My golf courses need me. NBC needs me--they want to revive The Apprentice. My . . .

In all of history, this has never happened so what would be the outcome?

If he were president the 25th Amendment would take effect and his vice president, help us, Mike Pence would automatically become POTUS. Just as Gerald Ford did when Richard Nixon resigned.

But Trump is not the president, just the GOP's nominee. With emphasis on his being the Republican Party's nominee. Not America's nominee, but the party's. This is all extra-constitutional.

That means that the party would select his replacement. Not the delegates. There would not be a second rump convention. The new nominee would be elected by the Republican National Committee's National Committee. Basically a group of establishment party officials.

What they would do is anyone's guess.

The Trump people would make a ruckus, but if Trump was really out of the way, it is unlikely that they would coalesce around any previous candidate. Ben Carson? Carly Fiorina? (I'm beginning with the non-politicains.) I doubt it.

What about runner up Ted Cruz? The party elders hate him even more than Trump and would never turn to him.

Jeb Bush? Mitt Romney? Marco Rubio? Of this sorry "establishment" lot, Rubio would have the best chance. But his fade out in the spring doesn't offer much encouragement that he's ready for primetime.

But my prediction, one I made here months ago, is that waiting "reluctantly" in the wings is the vestal Paul Ryan. The coy non-candidate hovering in pretend-denial but longing for the designation. Recall how he swore up and down that he didn't want to be Speaker of the House? And what is his current job? His current title?

From a GOP perspective I see him to be the ideal choice since he wouldn't disrupt current prerogatives and could actually be elected.

If Trump is only seven points behind Hillary, and among other unhinged things is expressing regret that he didn't win a Purple Heart (Rona says--"Doesn't he know he needed to be in the army to be in the line of fire?), if someone this unraveled is almost within the margin of error, anything can happen.

Lesson--be careful, very careful what you wish for.

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