Why a Brokered Convention Offers Conservatives Real Hope

Should We Fear It?

At this point, it doesn’t much matter if you favor Newt Gingrich, as I do, or whether you like Rick Santorum, but if you’ve come to see Mitt Romney as being nearly as bad in some respects as the President we all hope to replace, you might wish to consider getting excited about a “brokered” or “open” convention.  The mathematical realities are hard to ignore.  Of all the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney has a substantial delegate lead, but he still needs to get to 1144, and for the rest of us, the question isn’t merely how to get our own preferred candidate into the top slot, but how to prevent Romney from managing to steal away with it.  The key to doing so will be to get out the vote in favor of Gingrich or Santorum, but how do we do that?  Many conservatives have given up, and in the face of the endless waves of well-funded Romney attack campaigns against the other two, many voters are turned off.  This is Romney’s plan:  Disparage, divide, depress and conquer.  When you consider what he faces, it’s easy to understand why he must follow this approach:  If conservative turn-out swelled at the polls, he’d be done and gone quickly.

Members of the GOP establishment like to say that a brokered convention is too disorderly, and that it puts the party into chaos, but what they really fear is that on the floor of the convention, conservatives might well find their voice and unite behind a non-establishment candidate.  As some have pointed out, in 1920, Warren G. Harding came from single-digit obscurity to capture the nomination in a brokered convention.  In 1860, on the third vote, we got Abraham Lincoln in a brokered convention.  In 1976, we came within a whisker of a true brokered convention and nearly got Ronald Reagan four years earlier.  Imagine all the pain the country would have avoided, but then again, had we not gotten Carter, we’d have absolutely nobody to whom we could compare Barack Obama’s miserable record as president.  The fact is that brokered conventions often serve to set things right in the Republican party, and I don’t think there’s any reason to fear it.  Instead, I believe conservatives should view a brokered convention as the last chance for a “do-over” when it’s clear the party establishment is pushing a flawed, uninspiring candidate like Mitt Romney.

For the rest of us to have a shot, whether you  like Newt or Rick, the answer must be that we should rise in both camps to do battle against the establishment.  I realize that we’ve been trained to compete with one another as rivals, and I understand why the Gingrich camp wants the Santorum camp to give over, and why the inverse is also true.  It makes sense.  We’re Americans.  We naturally seek the advantage in order to win.  We’re good at competition, but I think this year that our competitive tendencies are being used against us.  Every time something comes over the transom that is devastating to Mitt Romney, suddenly we’re faced with a story of lesser import aimed at one of the others, and what always gets lost in the shuffle is Romney.  You don’t need special insight to observe it in action.  After the disaster of “Etch-a-Sketch,” the Romney camp had to find some way to blunt it, so they cooked up narratives about Santorum’s remarks twice in four days, and packaged them so as to give an impression that was a misrepresentation of what Santorum said, even if  we admit he said it clumsily, or with a lack of precision.

It’s not like the Gingrich camp hasn’t experienced this several times before.  If any should be able to see when the mud-slinging is about to commence in earnest, it should be the Gingrich supporters because they’ve had more dirt shoveled in their direction than any Republican candidate for any office since Sarah Palin was the VP pick in 2008.  The phony narrative about Newt’s ex-wife, and the whole week of ginned-up nonsense leading up to Florida should remind Gingrich supporters how conveniently the dirt is heaped in our direction in order to help Romney escape his own latest troubles.  This has happened so often and with such predictable regularity that when I see Romney has managed to step in “it,” I begin immediately to watch instead for where the attack against one of the others will originate.

Don’t be fooled by this, and don’t let yourselves become discouraged. As Speaker Gingrich has pointed out, if we get through the last primaries in June without a clear nominee, this really does become something of an etch-a-sketch in terms of the race.  We’ll have two months of an intense pre-convention run-up during which there will finally be a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  My view is that any of these candidates would be more effective against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney, and while reasonable people may disagree on which particular candidate, let’s be honest:  Mitt Romney doesn’t represent we conservatives in  any measure, and his Romney-care program(among lesser indignities) makes him every bit as objectionable as Barack Obama.

I think it’s time both the camps of Gingrich and Santorum consider that for either to prevail, Mitt Romney must be stopped.  We’ll never stop fighting with one another completely, because it would be contrary to the nature of the competitive spirit that is inherent in our conservative beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be smarter about it.  At this point in the campaign, it’s all over if we let Romney obtain 1144 delegates, or anything close to that number.  We can’t stop him from outspending Newt and Rick 10:1, 20:1, or even 50:1 as has been the case thus far in Wisconsin, but we can debunk it all, whomever it’s aimed at.

My thought is that what we need to change our focus: Mitt’s the problem.  Mitt’s the obstruction.  Mitt’s the guy throwing millions upon millions at his more conservative rivals, but most astonishingly, he does so while claiming he is the real conservative.  It’s a laughable claim, but while we laugh, he’s managing to get away with it.  You might join me in preferring Gingrich, or you might be like my sibling who prefers Santorum, but we’re brothers, after all, and one thing we can agree upon is that Mitt Romney is not the guy we want to see go up against Obama this Fall.  My brother and I have made a bit of a truce on the matter.  We’ve agreed, one to the other, that we’ll not spend our time hammering back and forth, but we will focus instead on the guy who will sneak away with it all if we spend too much time fighting between us.

My brother and I talked about this at length, and what we decided is that for the good of the party, but more importantly, for the good of the country, we need a brokered convention as our only means by which to reset all of it.  Growing up as we did, we often found ourselves in situations in which one of us needed to have the other’s back.  It wasn’t that we didn’t squabble and fight between us, because in truth, few fight like brothers against one another.  The thing we always tried to remember is that that while our fights were fine and dandy when the struggles were among and between us, you didn’t let somebody else step in and divide us to his own advantage, ultimately defeating us both.  Instead, we’d team up against the interloper and deal with our own differences later.

I think that at this point, whatever our differences, they pale in comparison to our similarities.  I’m not suggesting to you that we circle ’round and sing Kumbaya, and that this will cure all differences between us, but I think we ought to deal with the interloper first.  Mitt’s not a conservative, and the truth is that a fair number of the people now voting for him will not be there for him in November, and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of DNC mischief picking our candidates.  I’ve heard a few rumors about DNC operations trying to help Santorum, but it’s hard to find evidence, since the counties in which Santorum lost in Michigan and Ohio were really fairly strong Democrat areas.  In Florida, Newt lost in the South end of the state, but in the panhandle, Newt won.  In fact, if you look at these election maps, what you will notice very quickly is that they appear much as if  the conservative had been running against Obama:  The more urban counties went heavily for Romney.  This trend has been repeated in battle-ground states, one after the next.  You’ll remember that analysts loved to say it was about education, smearing either Newt or Rick on the basis that only dumb, hick, rednecks were supporting them.  My question has been:  Who’s supporting Romney in all of those heavily Democrat counties and districts?  Conservatives?  Hardly.

Make of it what you will, but I’m telling you what I see, and it looks something like this:  If conservatives permit Mitt Romney to be the nominee, I can see four more years of Obama, which may be an eternity for all intents and purposes.  Even if Romney were to some how pull off the win, I don’t see where that would advance our cause much.  He’s already got Pam Bondi working on a task force of some sort for the “replacement” of Obamacare, which is to say that we’ll get some form of Romney-care that will still run our country into the ground, and destroy the private insurance market.  In other words, I don’t see much hope for the country even if Romney wins.  He won’t fix it, and chances are that while he won’t break it quite as much, or quite as quickly, the destruction will continue.  If we’re going to prevent that, we must do so now by dragging our conservative friends to the polls to vote for Newt or Rick.  Either way, it’s a vote against Mitt, and we need all those we can get.  After we stop him, we can refocus on beating one another in a more honest competition.  After all, it’s the brotherly thing to do.

 

 

 

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  • thevault

    I have been a Newt Gingrich supporter from the start of this campaign and I am glad he’s not quitting yet.  I am concerned about a brokered convention only in that there is not much time afterwards to mount a good anti-Obama campaign.  But there seem to be plenty of people on the radio and on television who are finally vetting Obama – something that wasn’t done in 2008.  So maybe that will suffice and anyone who is doubting their Obama choice will see that he is not a good choice at all.  In the mean time, Newt has put forth an excellent plan for our Country.  No other candidate has done that and no other candidate is as well-prepared to be our President.  

  • Will32

    Looks like he does not know the name of Ron Paul. I am a delegate from GA and have been added to the slate to the National Convention. If cut loose I will vote RP. And I will not be the only one. A brokered convention is a RP win. Just wait and see.

  • 1lumpsum

    If you support Newt or Ron Paul or non of the above and want a white knight to come out of a Brokered Convention, you need to vote for Santorum. Santorum is NOT my guy, and he will not win a Brokered Convention, but who did I vote for? Santorum. You Ron Paul Supporters and Newt Supporters need to get with the program. In winner take all states yet to vote, if you support a Brokered convention then go on to vote for your guy now, guess who’s going to win the state and get all its delegates? Romney.

    • http://www.eganmedical.com/ Egan Medical

       The RNC establishment will stop at nothing to subvert the will of the
      2/3 majority of voters (and more than 3/4 of actual registered
      Republican primary voters) who do NOT want a liberal Massachusetts
      governor to be the nominee. The whole reason they railroaded Michael
      Steele just weeks after the man orchestrated the most successful and
      dominant mid-term election in the party’s history (net 126 vote swing in
      the house, 12 in the Senate and that should be 14 had Harry Reid’s
      massive electoral fraud been punished) is because he implemented a set
      of rules that actually give the VOTERS some say in who the nominee is.

      So they fired him and replaced him with a well behaved puppet. Since the
      process began, they’ve seen to it that BOTH conservatives were kept off
      the ballot in Virginia, one was kept off the ballot in Missouri and
      decided that the rules don’t apply to Florida (since after all, Romney
      won after outspending his opponents 20-1). Per RNC rules, Florida’s
      delegates MUST be allocated proportionately for breaking party rules by
      moving yet another liberal state to the front of the calender. However,
      since it was the Massachusetts liberal who won, they decided to ignore
      the rules and give ALL the delegates to the liberal.

      I’ve written a detailed account of the despicable and reckless disregard
      for both party rules and the will of the voters on my personal and
      non-commercial blog:  http://www.peteregan.org/1/post/2012/04/could-michael-steele-save-us-from-mitt-romney.html

  • http://www.eganmedical.com/ Egan Medical

    The RNC establishment will stop at nothing to subvert the will of the 2/3 majority of voters (and more than 3/4 of actual registered Republican primary voters) who do NOT want a liberal Massachusetts governor to be the nominee. The whole reason they railroaded Michael Steele just weeks after the man orchestrated the most successful and dominant mid-term election in the party’s history (net 126 vote swing in the house, 12 in the Senate and that should be 14 had Harry Reid’s massive electoral fraud been punished) is because he implemented a set of rules that actually give the VOTERS some say in who the nominee is.

    So they fired him and replaced him with a well behaved puppet. Since the process began, they’ve seen to it that BOTH conservatives were kept off the ballot in Virginia, one was kept off the ballot in Missouri and decided that the rules don’t apply to Florida (since after all, Romney won after outspending his opponents 20-1). Per RNC rules, Florida’s delegates MUST be allocated proportionately for breaking party rules by moving yet another liberal state to the front of the calender. However, since it was the Massachusetts liberal who won, they decided to ignore the rules and give ALL the delegates to the liberal.

    I’ve written a detailed account of the despicable and reckless disregard for both party rules and the will of the voters on my personal and non-commercial blog:  http://www.peteregan.org/1/post/2012/04/could-michael-steele-save-us-from-mitt-romney.html

  • 2020EyeintheSky

    This is exactly what we (Ron Paul supporters) want.  I don’t care who you vote for in the primaries we all know Romney is going to win and that everything is a set-up/fraud.  Wake up people and vote for the only candidate that has absolutely no baggage and is the best for America and the World. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Hale/100000547720637 Angela Hale

    Excellent. Do you mind if I post the link to this article on a couple of websites? 

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      Please do, with a link please.

  • the unit

    If it happens…conservatives permit  it then.  The ole cookie crumbles the way it crumbles.  The most staunch conservative in my area told me yesterday at a run in at the local post office…time to get behind Romney to keep O out.  Cookie crumbles…Titanic don’t float.

    Conservative cookies sinking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barbara-Haney/100000145161473 Barbara Haney

    Outstanding article Mark!!

    Fox need to stop letting the “media” misleading them. 
    Don’t let the FOX tell you about “Superdelegates”… Lol… that is the Democratic Party! 

    Learn about YOUR Party. Take your party back.