Are Republicans in in at least four states around the country really going to cancel their primaries, so that President Trump doesn’t have to compete against the two minor-league candidates currently running against him?
Apparently the answer is yes. And that, in a word, is stupid.
From Annie Karni’s article at msn.com:
The Republican parties in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina intend to cancel the 2020 presidential primaries in their states, according to three people familiar with their plans, a move aimed at depriving President Trump’s long-shot challengers of chances to build support.
The state parties have yet to formalize their decisions, but Trump’s challengers denounced the move. Joe Walsh, a former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who announced his candidacy last month, said he planned to fight the move both legally and by appealing directly to voters in those four states.
Other states could follow suit before the Oct. 1 deadline for state parties to file delegate selection plans with the Republican National Committee, campaign officials said. States that do not hold primaries still choose delegates, often by holding a state convention.
Not surprisingly, the two declared Trump alternatives – former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and former one-term congressperson/radio show host Joe Walsh – are enraged by this move.
Do you blame them? I sure don’t.
What possible purpose does this serve? Is it to ensure smooth sailing for Trump as the 2020 Republican nominee?
Or is it the opposite – an avenue for picking someone other than Trump when state conventions meet to choose delegates (admittedly a highly dubious likelihood – but, in politics, I discount nothing)?
I don’t know which answer (if either) is correct. But I do know that the most likely optics of this move – that Trump Republicans are afraid of a fair fight and therefore stacking the deck – stinks to high heaven.
My advice, which of course counts for nothing, is that there be a very, very quick reversal of direction here and that the primaries go on as originally scheduled.
Don’t count on it happening. A party this willing to shoot itself in the foot in this stupid a way, is unlikely to be swayed by common sense.