In the wake of Erick Erickson’s fizzled anti-Trump cabal, Ed Kilgore observes that one obvious problem with #NeverTrump is that it requires coordination among factions whose lack of coordination has allowed Trump to become the frontrunner in the first place:
This and many accounts of schemes to rig the convention against Trump — or otherwise keep him out of the White House through means other than beating him in the primaries — generally suffer from an extreme overvaluation of the ability of Republicans to reach and execute a complex coordinated strategy. If they had that capacity, would 17 people have run for president in this cycle? Would it have taken the Establishment so long to settle on a candidate that it basically did not matter? Does anyone in particular really strike you as having the power to “broker” a brokered convention, and if so, what have they been waiting for?
Some seem to put faith in the Republican National Committee and Reince Priebus to orchestrate things to a successful conclusion. And it’s true the RNC may not have a “putative” nominee telling him and the quadrennial army of convention volunteers exactly what to do every moment of the day leading up to and through the convention. But that doesn’t mean the party hacks will be free to do what they want. No, any surviving candidates, including presumably Trump and Cruz, will demand input on every single decision, no matter how minor. There will be no “private,” much less “secret” meetings at which deals go down; there will instead exist the special transparency imposed on people who don’t trust each other at all.
Right now, the only people who look likely to head to Cleveland knowing exactly what they want and being able to communicate with each other without fearing an imminent knife in the back are the candidates and their loyal retainers, for whom the elevation of their lord and god to the nomination is not just the first but the only consideration. Everyone else may well look as feckless as the conservative revolutionaries who sounded like a threat to Trump until it became apparent they couldn’t find their butts with both hands.
Alas, floated ideas about a third party run also seem very unlikely to happen. I yearn for the day when conservatives see the tactical brilliance of third party politics. Or, at least, when many more of them come to the belief that NOBODY OWNS YOUR VOTE and not voting is a life-affirming consumer choice and if voting mattered they’d make it illegal (and, well, they are, but not for people like you!)