Sun 15 Nov, 2015 10:05 pm
Occasionally while watching panel discussions on FOX News Sunday, or Face The Nation, or other "serious" political programs, the panelists will give each other knowing looks while asserting that neither Donald Trump nor Ben Carson can secure the Republican presidential nomination regardless of their popularity, because the Republican National Committee will find some arcane way to sabotage them, perhaps by invalidating state delegates who support them.
It may be that the RNC will refrain from doing this simply because an independent candidacy would siphon off Republican votes in a general election, or because a sizeable portion of disappointed Republicans might decide not to vote at all in a general election, with the result a Republican loss in either case.
But the idea of a cabal of political elites fascinates me, not for partisan reasons but simply as a citizen.
After looking at a number of online articles purporting to explain the technical basis for such shenanigans, I wasn't unduly impressed with the possibilities; so I decided to have a look at The Rules of the Republican Party. "Byzantine" is how I would describe the 42 rules and their interlocking dynamics. Plenty of scope for potential mischief, but putting my finger on a clear formula for it was another matter.
After a number of false starts, the best I could come up with was Rule No. 32:
"A motion to suspend the rules shall always be in order, but only when made by authority of a majority of delegates from any state and seconded by a majority of delegates from each of seven (7) or more states, severally."
It shouldn't be difficult to obtain such a majority: one can easily imagine the existence of seven states out of 50, the majority of whose delegates agree that either Trump or Carson is a poison pill to Republicans in a general election, even if they can't agree on anything else; and note that they don't even have to be states with a large number of delegates.
Once the rules are suspended, anything goes. Or is this mere hand-waving that fails to make the case?
I'd be interested in concrete scenarios from this point which carry the ball of subversion to the end zone; or indeed, in other scenarios using other Republican Party rules and procedures, which might be used to accomplish the same thing.
It really depends what you mean by elites.
If you mean the people with all the money, the answer is yes.
They rig every election.
The very un elites also tend to rig elections. They don't bother to vote.
Think 2000 Presidential election.