How the Anti-Trump Republicans Set Themselves Up to Fail

There is no scenario in which anti-Trump Republicans can now thwart Trump’s nomination without sabotaging the party ahead of the general election. Dan McCarthy explains what giving the nomination to someone other than Trump and Cruz would mean:

.. There is no scenario in which anti-Trump Republicans can now thwart Trump’s nomination without sabotaging the party ahead of the general election. Dan McCarthy explains what giving the nomination to someone other than Trump and Cruz would mean:

That might console the #neverTrump elites—until they stop to think about just what might be in store at Cleveland, where Trump and Cruz together will command a majority of delegates. Cruz is personally disliked by much of the party elite, which has come to resent his grandstanding ways in the Senate, while Trump is actively hated and feared. Yet if both of them were to be denied the nomination or some significant consolation prize—and what could that be?—by the party’s D.C. leadership class, there would be hell to pay in the long run.

The convention would go down in history as the GOP’s ultimate betrayal of its own voters.

.. Anyone foolish enough to accept the nomination under these circumstances would be seen as illegitimate by at least half of Republican voters whose preferences were ignored, and a nominee foisted upon the part in this way would have enormous difficulty securing the loyalty of his party’s core supporters.

.. If anti-Trump Republicans were capable of thinking through the long-term consequences of what they’re doing (and that is a questionable assumption), they would realize that stopping Trump’s nomination would be a thoroughly discrediting Pyrrhic victory for their faction. It would confirm everything that most Trump and Cruz voters think is wrong with the GOP, and it would vindicate them in their loathing for the party’s elites. Instead of accepting the temporary defeat that a Trump nomination represents for them, his opponents are trying to do something that would all but guarantee more populist insurgencies for years to come.

Will Mitt Romney’s Anti-Trump Pitch Work?

Romney is in just the right position to make the moral case against Trump. He’s well respected, his public image is squeaky clean, and, perhaps most importantly, he operates outside the Washington bubble. But where Romney went wrong Thursday was in presenting his criticism of Trump’s electability as equal to his criticism of Trump’s fitness to lead.

.. In his own way, by straying from his more powerful moral narrative, Romney gave Trump and his supporters an out: They can criticize Romney’s prediction, and ignore his larger, ethical case against Trump.

A National Descent Into Trump’s Pants

A gobsmacking day of intraparty pie-throwing ended with Donald J. Trump, from the stage of the Fox Theater in Detroit, assuring the American public that the size of his male appendage was just fine. “I guarantee you,” he said, “there’s no problem.”

There was a time when I might have been stunned. There was a time when Mr. Trump kept his anatomical allusions to post-debate interviews, when he referred to the moderator Megyn Kelly — who was tough on him at his last debate on Fox, in August — as having “blood coming out of her wherever.”

I might have been shocked, once, at this whole debate — the hooting audience, the barking candidates, the NSFW content — but those days are over.

.. They attacked him for lies; he answered with size.

.. Mr. Romney’s speech was high-minded and flowing, quoting presidents and philosophers. Mr. Trump throws sentences like punches. Sentences that repeat. For emphasis, they repeat. Mr. Romney disparages Mr. Trump’s integrity. Mr. Trump visualizes Mr. Romney as, literally, beneath him. Romney: You lack gravitas, sir! Trump: I got your gravitas right here!

.. But Mr. Romney was at least partly arguing for standards that Mr. Trump’s supporters reject. Over and over, they tell reporters, “He’s just saying what everyone thinks” and “He says what’s on his mind” — which are not the same thing as “He always tells the truth” or “He never contradicts himself.”

“Never Trump” and the Rise of a New Republican Respectability Politics

Another enumerated Trump’s boasts about sexual conquests and the moral superiority he associated with wealth and concluded, “He embodies virtually everything I strive to teach my young sons not to be and not to emulate.”

.. The more a voter goes to church, analysts have found, the less likely he or she is to vote for Trump.

.. In this election, that movement may be happening along a strange and unexpected axis: we are seeing the rise of a conservative respectability politics.