Saturday, May 07, 2016

Option Three

You can smell it in the air. We're going to have a three-way race.

True, Donald Trump just picked up an endorsement from Dick Cheney, to match his endorsement from John Bolton. (Yet there are still ninnies -- paid, no doubt -- who argue that Trump is the peacemaker and Hillary the warmonger.) But Cheney no longer has any clout.

Look at the reactions of other prominent Republicans: It's disaster for The Donald.

Lindsey Graham says he won't vote for Trump or Clinton. Lindsey finally admits the truth: He swings neither way.
"I don't believe that Donald Trump has the temperament and judgment to be commander in chief. I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I'm not going with him."
Jeb Bush has made it clear that he cannot support Trump.
Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.
Although Paul Ryan says that he will meet with Trump before they go their separate ways, it's very clear that the separation is final.
Mr. Ryan has become increasingly depressed about the tone of the race within the Republican Party, several people who have talked to him in recent weeks said. He could not bring himself to give even nominal support to Mr. Trump, despite pressure from more conservative House Republicans, after the candidate disparaged various ethnic groups and accused Senator Ted Cruz’s father of conspiring with Lee Harvey Oswald, among other inflammatory comments. Those remarks determined Mr. Ryan’s course far more than the considerable differences on policy between the men.
Marco Rubio won't endorse Trump, and probably won't even vote for him. And why should he? Trump's trash talk during the primaries caused a rift that he cannot now heal.

Trump could have prevailed over Rubio without humiliating the man, but -- dummy that he is -- Trump does not understand the virtue of allowing an opponent to save face. Trump is a chess-player who thinks only one move ahead. Roger Stone is only a little better: He can think two moves ahead -- but no further.

The Trumpers, in their arrogance, may think that they can win the presidency without the Republican party, but they're fooling themselves. The sleazeball tactics of a Roger Stone go only so far. I've been studying that man's life -- and guess what I found? Stone loses more often than many people realize.

Carl Paladino didn't became Governor of New York, did he?

(Of course, Stone would deny that he had anything to do with Paladino's effort. Stone's Rule: Always use a cut-out.)

Option Three. It's falling apart for Trump. Right now, as we speak, during his moment of triumph. It's falling apart.

The anti-Trump GOP-ers are clearly prepping the way for a third-party run. That's why House Republicans are refusing to get behind their ostensible presidential nominee:
In the 48 hours since Donald Trump essentially clinched the GOP presidential nomination, many House Republicans facing tough elections this fall have grasped for a third way between embracing Trump and rejecting him: stalling for time. House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke for many of his members Thursday when asked on CNN whether he was ready to support Trump, saying "I'm just not there yet." A number of Ryan's most vulnerable colleagues had already said much the same thing. Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman said Trump had a long way to go to earn his support. Reps. Rod Blum (Iowa) and John Katko (N.Y.) simply did not respond to requests for comment. Several congressional Republicans, like Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop, tempered statements that they would support the GOP nominee with criticism of how Trump has conducted his campaign.”
These people have gotten the word. Option Three is a-coming.

National Review is talking openly about Option Three.
First, I would support only an independent bid that has a decent chance to succeed — either in getting the 270 electoral votes needed to win or, more likely, denying that Electoral College majority to any candidate, which would throw the election into the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. There, Clinton would stand the least chance of winning.
A good point, that. The Option Three candidate need not win the most electoral votes in order to win the presidency. As noted above, House members are refusing to get behind Trump -- and that refusal has important ramifications.

Neither Trump nor Stone saw that coming, did they?

From Reuters:
Now that Donald Trump is the last man standing in the Republican presidential race, his critics in the party are intensifying their search for a candidate they could back as a serious third-party alternative.

Political operatives are courting donors, calling potential candidates and developing legal contingency plans for overcoming onerous ballot qualification laws.
The group Conservatives Against Trump, which includes blogger Erick Erickson, has been holding calls and meetings to discuss third-party candidates as well as other options to stop the New York billionaire from winning the White House.
Side note: Why so much talk about the JFK assassination now? And why has the topic been commandeered by creeps (Jones, Stone, Morrow) whom Kennedy would despise if he were alive today?

For some weird reason, the JFK assassination has become a sub-theme of this campaign. Trump relies on the behind-the-scenes efforts of the consummately vile Roger Stone, author of an LBJ-diddit assassination book that was very successful -- and very, very crappy.

I don't get it. Most people consider the JFK buffs to be a tiny niche audience, so why would Trump even bother to play up to them?

I asked that question of a leading researcher, and I hope he won't mind my repeating his answer. He said that the JFK angle constitutes "an easy way to engage the kook crowd whom Trump appeals to. The right wing conspiracy lobby, more so than the Christian one is set to become a big player in U.S., politics. Look at Alex Jones and other talk show hosts going nuts."


The Alex Jonesians are the (anti-)intellectual heirs of the John Birchers. The Birchers and other far-rightists concocted all sorts of anti-Kennedy conspiracy theories while the man was still alive.

Trumpers, Jonesians and neo-Birchers should keep their lying mouths off of the events of November 22, 1963. If you're not the sort of person who would have voted for Kennedy, you have no right to talk about his death. Assassination research is for LIBERALS ONLY.

Trumper, reactionaries, Tea Partiers -- you want to know who killed JFK? Look in the mirror. It's your crime. Own it.

I would note that the Tea Partiers still revere the memory of James Jesus Angleton, the actual mastermind of the assassination.

Finally: A word about that "Evil Hillary" diatribe you've been composing in your head. I get several of these each day. They are never published, but they keep coming.

At first, they annoyed me -- but then the thought hit me: Some Clinton-phobe just spent an hour putting together a propaganda piece which will never see the light of day. 

Why should I complain about that?

It's better for you to send your propaganda to me, as opposed to some other blogger who might actually publish your words. That's why I encourage you to spend the next few hours composing a really long diatribe on the topic of Why Clintons Are Evil.

I hereby promise, with fingers firmly crossed behind my back, that your words will be published -- not as a mere comment, but as a full post. But that outcome will come to pass only if your text is very long, and only if you have devoted at least four hours of your life to the task.

You'll increase your chances of appearing in these pages -- of dominating That Bastard Cannon -- if there is clear evidence that you've really put some effort into the task. Provide footnotes. Go over your text five or six times, correcting all errors of spelling and grammar.

If you devote an entire day to the job, your heroism will be rewarded. I hereby swear by almighty Dolos to keep up my end of this bargain.
You seem to think that not being supported by Marco Rubio is a bad thing. The man is a joke, a failure, a loser. You know Trump doesn't like losers. Couldn't even win his own state. His career is over.

As for a third party run, that would only split the anti-Clinton vote. It could split the electoral votes, but a third-party Republican in all but name would take votes from Trump, and make each state more likely to go Clinton. Might take a few votes from Clinton, but far more from Trump.

So I don't think they've got the guts to go for a third option, and if they did it would only benefit Clinton. I admit, I didn't think Trump would win once most of his rivals were out of the way. I assume he had a small and solid support which would be overwhelmed once all the anti-Trump voters had a single candidate (Cruz). So now I think he will win.

Kasich would win outright. The election would not even be thrown to the House.

The Clintons are too hated by the media and the establishment. Hillary will not win.
The National Review does not understand the Twelfth Amendment when it refers to the Republican-controlled House, nor how the House would vote.

12th Amendment
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.

The choice cannot be just anyone: only the top three recipients of electoral votes are eligible. How many states have a Republican majority?

"How many states have a Republican majority?"

Enough to insure a Republican win, if the vote in the House is not split.

Remember, the blue states have larger populations than the red states. The red states are more rural, and more numerous.

Look at any red state/blue state electoral map.
That's enough to "ensure", not "insure". Also, it doesn't matter if the vote is split. It has to be a majority of a majority of states, not a majority of a plurality. If Clinton gets 20 states and Trump and A N Other get 15 each, then Clinton doesn't win. 26 or nothing.

I don't think Kasich would win. Even with the crazy-vote split between Trump and Cruz he could barely get third place in his own party, At best he would split the moderate vote, and make it easier for Trump to get in. You know, he gets the Cubans in Florida and suddenly there aren't enough anti-Trump voters voting for Clinton, so Trump gets the plurality of the vote in Florida and all of its electoral college votes. For example.
Significant third party runs always hurt the incumbent party in a national election. See 1992, 1980, 1968 and 1912. A significant third party candidate will seal the election for Trump. A GOP hawk running as a third party candidate - Lindsey Graham? John McCain? Peter King? - splits the hawk vote not the Trump vote. Hillary should eschew gun control and embrace marijuana decriminalization. Will shore her up in the upper Midwest and rust belt,,especially Ohio, and get her back some of the millennial Sanders voters.
The Trump vote IS the hawk vote. He talked non-intervention, but that's just talk. What is much more telling is the fact that Trump is backed by Bolton, Cheney, Phares, Schmitz and various other and sundry neocons. His turn toward Carter Page indicates that Trump sees a business opportunity in Russia, but his belligerent attitude toward Iran is on the record, as is his commitment to ground troops in the Middle East.

I'm hopeful -- just a little -- that Hillary's neoconservative talk is two-faced. At worst, any Dem will be like Obama: All covert action, no regular army. There are a lot of people (who won't be published here) who will tell you otherwise, but they've simply drunk the Roger Stone Kool-Aide.

To shore up the millenials, she could choose Russ Feingold as a running mate. Most of the kids haven't even heard of him, but they'll like him. Elizabeth Warren has received a lot of talk, but she is a currently-serving senator, and I'm not sure that they want to open up another seat.

Bernie Sanders? NO. He is purely a creature of Roger Stone by this point, as I shall demonstrate soon.
These comments have diverged into two issues: (1) a third-party run will split the Republican vote allowing Clinton to win with 270 (+) electoral votes -- or -- (2) a third-party run will deny any candidate the 270 electoral votes needed, throwing the election to the House of Representatives.

in Scenario (1), the only requirement is at least 270 electoral votes. It matters not how many states were carried to earn these votes. The popular vote matters only in determining how the electoral votes for each state (or congressional district in Maine and Nebraska) are to be voted by the Electors when the Electoral College votes on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

Note: For a candidate to be considered in Scenario (2), that candidate must have earned at least one electoral vote in the above vote.

In both Scenarios, a Joint session of the current House and Senate meets at 1PM on 6 January 2017 to count the electoral votes. If no candidate receives 270 or more, Scenario (2) arises and the House of Representatives will immediately go into session to vote. The Representatives of each state (including those who lost in the previous November election, not newly elected members) fight amongst themselves to determine which of the top three candidates receiving electoral votes that state supports. Each state (DC counts as a state in this instance) then casts one vote. At least one Representative each of 2/3 (34) of the states must be present at the time of the vote to constitute a quorum. A candidate must receive a majority (26) of the states' single votes to become president. Failing this, additional votes are to be conducted -- presumably with such "corrupt bargains" as were alleged between Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams -- until someone receives more than 25 votes.

It is the new congress, not the outgoing, that assembles on January 3rd, so those who lost in November won't be there. DC does not count as a state for purposes of a contingent election (its non-voting delegate will not participate). Of course, that still leaves the required number of states at 26.

I think, but I'm not sure, that the vote in each delegation is first past the post, meaning that a plurality is enough, as long there isn't a tie for first place, i.e. a 4-4-1 split will mean no vote but a 4-3-2 split will be a vote for the first candidate.

A Scandinavian
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