After Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump lost the Wisconsin primary to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, it seemed as though some of the air had come out of Trump’s balloon. Sure, there have been weeks and weeks of criticism from mainstream GOP players, innumerable editorials calling for conservatives to do something, ANYTHING, to end Trump’s bid for the Republican presidential ticket. Journalists have been shamed for not taking his rise seriously— and for creating him by being his echo chamber. Calls have grown for reporters to conduct deeper truth-squadding.
But there appeared to be a new urgency in the form of Twitter feeds (#StopTrump, #NeverTrump) and, on Sunday, a faked cover by The Boston Globe, which imagined the world with Trump as president. Experts are furiously doing math, counting delegates and calculating the various possibilities the final 16 primaries may offer. And campaign operatives are going back to states where caucuses and primaries have already been held, trying to find delegates to sway or steal.
Next week’s New York primary — with 95 delegates at stake — will give us a clearer picture. In the meantime, the knives are out.
The Nuclear Option – Memo to Donald Trump: It Has Been Entertaining, But Now It’s Time to Win
Charles Hurt – Breitbart
Why didn’t Donald Trump upset Ted Cruz in Wisconsin and put this thing away already? The obvious main reason is that the establishment GOP have soiled their britches at the Trump juggernaut and dutifully coalesced behind Mr. Cruz…. But there is another, bigger and more important reason Donald Trump did not upset Ted Cruz in Wisconsin: Mr. Trump did not play to win. Instead, he played — as he often does — to land hard punches, zing vicious insults and score meaningless points….
But now it is time to win. Now is time to start playing president and appeal to new voters who have serious and understandable concerns about his temperament and grasp of the issues…. It is time now for Mr. Trump to hang up his Twitter spurs, holster his six-shooter loaded with insults and set into full gallop for the horizon before the sun sets on him and his campaign.
Republican Convention’s Theme May Be Damage Control
Bloomberg View – Albert R. Hunt
It’s a myth that the Republican anti-Trump movement is just the establishment. It includes prominent officeholders and donors, but also movement conservatives and leading economic and national security advisers. They are convinced that Trump would be an electoral disaster — polls show that he’s the most unpopular political figure in modern times — and that he would splinter the party.
Already some Republican politicians say they won’t back him — “I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgement, temperament and character,” says Representative Scott Rigell of Virginia — and more suggest privately that they expect to follow.
The substantive schisms are deep. Trump’s recent foreign-policy pronouncements were derided by Senator Lindsey Graham as a “complete disaster.” His pledge to force Mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border by withholding all remittances to that country is legally dubious, experts say…
Donald Trump Is Sloppy about Policy Details, but Precise at Managing Party Factions
Jonathan M. Ladd – Vox
On the public policy substance, Donald Trump sounds like an ignoramus. He knows almost nothing about a large percentage of issues….
Yet when it comes to managing political factions, the situation is completely different. Trump acts like he has a precise plan. This is his true gift — what has brought him to the cusp of the Republican presidential nomination.
While Trump can’t discuss the details of policy, his campaign has taken many positions. When you look at them, as well as the cultural cues Trump gives off, it is all carefully calibrated to appeal to cultural conservatives while shearing off Koch-style libertarians and foreign policy neoconservative hawks.Appealing to the former while shunning the latter two factions is hard to do. Trump has shown immense political skill in attempting it, and in realizing that if he successfully divides the GOP electorate this way, a majority of GOP voters would be with him.
When Journalists Join the #NeverTrump Movement
Will Bunch – The Philadelphia Inquirer
The piece is accompanied by a non-fake editorial that proclaims “the GOP must stop Trump.” The GOP? Again…really? That’s like asking cancer to remove your tumor, instead of asking a surgeon. Trump is merely an extreme, gross symptom of decades of Republican pathology — using coded language on issues like race and immigration until Trump tossed the code book out their window. The GOP is not capable of stopping Trump because the GOP created Trump.
Only WE can stop Trump….
This new genre of #NeverTrump journalism could have an impact — not on the GOP, but in convincing more people to register and vote in November if Trump is the nominee. But it won’t sway a single Trump supporter over on the Republican side. They didn’t believe a single word in the Boston Globe — even before it started making stuff up.
Donald Trump Cannot Close
Jennifer Rubin – The Washington Post
Trump is whining that delegate allocation processes are “rigged” and that the system is “corrupt.” He insists he should get the nomination with less than a majority of the delegates (1,237 is not some arbitrary number, but 50 percent plus one of the available delegates).
It is ironic that the man who reportedly took advantage of every tax break, who as a business tactic sues at the drop of the hat and who brags that he bought politicians to influence them now whines about “corruption.” He was supposed to be the expert at manipulating the system. He was supposed to be the guy who understood the levers of power so well that he’d finally use them for the benefit of ordinary Americans.