The Runback: Convention Catastrophe

The GOP has transitioned from being a party of ideas to a party of one man

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The Monday Thought

It’s somewhat ironic that I’m about to talk to you about all the ways the Republican National Convention is in serious trouble. But the upcoming convention is already a catastrophe in the making.

Let’s start by talking about the speakers for the upcoming convention. Just take a look at this list of…….I’m not even sure I can use the word talent sarcastically here.

So let’s take a look at some of these speakers:

Charlie Kirk, whose only contribution to conservatism is to give constant praise to Trump and an organization that creates occasionally factual memes? Matt Gaetz, most recently seen gleefully endorsing a QAnon hero? Jim Jordan and all the scandals and baggage he brings with him? The McCloskeys of St. Louis and their terrible trigger discipline? Abby Johnson, the controversial abortion worker-turned pro-life advocate who has been accused of making racist comments and has QAnon connections? And Pam Bondi, who took a $25,000 donation from Trump at a time she was investigating his dealings?

The convention speakers are not exactly a murderers row of intellectual heft and conservative bonafides. And that's before we get to the fact that the preponderance of the speakers at the convention are named “Trump.” Or the fact that President Trump himself is speaking every night of the convention.

You might almost think that the center of attention at the convention is Trump and not the history, tradition, and principles of the Republican Party.

Which brings me to the second problem with the convention:

After decades of having an official party platform, the official platform of the Republican Party amounts to “whatever Trump wants.”

Here’s the “platform document.”

Here’s a link to the PDF version.

At this point, they might as well adopt this as the new anthem of the Republican Party while they’re at it.

Look, I understand that it’s difficult to come up with a party platform, and I argued as recently as Friday’s episode of Dr. Politics I linked above that the platform committee shouldn’t even be a function of the convention. But abandoning even the adoption of a perfunctory platform based on traditional Republican principles (whichever ones are left) is a dereliction of duty by Republican National Chairmwoman Rona Romney and the entire Republican National Committee. Every member of the Republican National Committee, every National Committeeman, and every National Committeewoman voted for this insanity and it’s mind-bogglingly stupid.

This is far and away the most shortsighted and stupid thing I have ever seen the GOP do. And at this point, that's saying something.

This is stupid even if he wins. That gets compounded tenfold when you remember that Trump currently trails in a whole lot of polls and that increases the likelihood that the Republican Party platform is going to be whatever passes through the brain of a guy who might not even be in office five months from now.

This is a total abandonment of principle by the GOP as a whole and the complete abandoning of leadership by the people elected to lead the party. It’s a rubber stamp to appease a temperamental diva masquerading as a Republican who just happens to be the President.

It is not a platform that will help grow the party.

It is not a platform that will help encourage young voters to become Republicans.

It is not a platform that will encourage anti-Trump or Trump-skeptic voters to consider supporting the GOP in the future.

You can’t even attack the platform on its ideas and its principles because the document fundamentally lacks ideas and principles. Based on this document, the principles of the GOP depend on who Trump sees on Fox News that day.

Sunday was the day the Republican Party officially stopped being a political party of people who believe in an idea and started being a political party of people who are loyal to one man.