Bonnie Prince Donnie Wants to Thwart the Will of the Voters

By Tommy DeSeno

Tommy DeSeno1Call him Bonnie Prince Donnie.

In the 18th century, Bonnie Prince Charlie, aka Charles Edward Stuart, was the last Jacobite Pretender to the throne of England. The Bonnie Prince thought the English throne was his birthright, so he traveled the countryside picking fights with anyone who disagreed.

Donald Trump, our current Bonnie Prince, acts very much the same. His intemperance and penchant for vengeance is manifest in response to any challenge to him, with no crack too lowbrow, be it McCain’s heroics, Carly’s face or Megyn’s menstrual cycle. Only a Jacobean sense of entitlement could bring a Wharton grad into the gutter. Even Jeb knew the Presidency had to be earned, not inherited or claimed.

Bonnie Prince Donnie entered a Republican race with rules – rules made clear to him along with everyone else: A candidate either wins a majority of delegates, or he subjects himself to a contested convention.

Don’t like the rules? Don’t play.

Trump wants us to ignore the rules. He wants to be declared the winner even if he doesn’t win the majority, citing nothing more than his personal sense of entitlement, like a little-leaguer to his participation trophy despite not winning.

Let’s look at the rules. The rules from the previous convention (2012) always remain in place and act as temporary rules for the next convention until new rules are passed at the start of the new convention. By joining the race Trump and all the other candidates agreed to use the 2012 rules until the convention started.

The Republican rules are very deferential to the people under Rule 16. Voters get to decide on the nominee by voting for who the delegates in their state will be bound to vote for at the convention. If a candidate earns a majority, 50 percent + 1 (this year it’s 1,237 delegates), they will win the first vote at the convention and be the nominee.

However this isn’t Athenian Democracy. It’s not “most votes wins” as Trump is crying. It’s a pass/fail test. The people only make a valid decision if their votes reach 50 percent + 1. If they don’t, they have not made a decision. The closest candidate doesn’t score any points – this isn’t horseshoes, hand grenades, or bocce.

Think of a criminal jury, whose rules say they have to be unanimous. If they fall short they are hung – they have not made a decision. The Court doesn’t see if there were more guilty or not guilty votes and decide it that way. The defendant is found neither guilty nor not guilty. Double jeopardy does not attach and the jury keeps voting until they do make a decision under the rules.

There is a good reason for having the 50 percent + 1 threshold: Any number of candidates are allowed to run, so the opportunity for manipulation or failure to represent the will of the people is a danger. Imagine if all 17 Republican candidates stayed in the race. The leader could have as little as 6 percent of the vote, so 94 percent of the people would have rejected the nominee. It makes no difference if it’s 6 percent or 46 percent — neither reflects the people’s will and that’s why they both fall short under the rules.

Being even more deferential to the people, the Party allows the states to decide how long the delegates get bound to the candidate. Some are bound for the first vote then released. Some states release them after the second. After a third vote, nearly all are free to vote their consciences. That’s why the people’s vote is for delegates not candidates. If it were otherwise, they could vote forever and not have a candidate. Delegates are a fail/safe to ensure a candidate is chosen when the people fail to choose.

Now Trump is demanding we ignore the people’s will, ignore the party rules and ignore math; the Bonnie Prince wants the kingdom with less than a majority because he says so. Like Bonnie Prince Charlie’s violent foray into Scotland, Bonnie Prince Donnie has warned of riots at the Convention if we don’t see to his whim.

It is interesting that a contested convention requires a candidate to have one particular skill to win it – negotiation. A candidate has to convince recently freed delegates after the first vote to vote for him. Isn’t negotiation skill the raison d’être for Trump’s candidacy? Anyone so persuasive as to make Mexico pay for a wall and China to ditch all trade deals should relish the opportunity to go head-to-head negotiating against Ted Cruz or anyone else who joins the fray. Yet he foreshadows riot instead of negotiation.

Beware what that portends for a Trump presidency. Business tools are not political tools, so it is a fallacy that we need someone to “run the government like a business.” Were that true, Jon Corzine would be New Jersey’s greatest governor instead of its most recent one-termer.

A business negotiator can always run to the bankruptcy court if he doesn’t get his way, as Trump knows quadruple well. In diplomacy, bankruptcy means war. Since diplomacy is owed first to the soldier, careful of a man whose art is running from the deal and hiding behind the protection of others.

Much press has been given to Rule 40, which is claimed to say a candidate has to have won eight states in the primaries to win the nomination. It doesn’t say that. Note first if a candidate carried the 14 biggest states, he wouldn’t have enough delegates to secure the nomination. Eight states are what a candidate needs to be considered for a vote.

But take a closer look at Rule 40. The requirement that a candidate has the majority of delegates in eight states has to be certified one hour before a vote. That means as delegates become free in rounds two, three, four, etc., anyone who can secure a majority of delegates in eight states can be on the roll call vote, even if he hasn’t run before. He or she will still need to get to 1,237 to win.

Speaking of eight states, Trump also agreed to be bound by Rule 32. A majority of delegates from eight states can make a motion to suspend the rules (but it still has to pass a full vote). That ought to twist his knickers, but again, thems the rules going back to when he joined.

In short, Prince Donnie, you have to win. Don’t be a loser. A “winner” gets the majority to vote for him at the convention. Winners don’t include the best in a plurality. Those people fall into the category of loser. Republicans don’t hand out participation trophies. You have to win here and abide the rules.


Posted: March 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Opinion, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Bonnie Prince Donnie Wants to Thwart the Will of the Voters”

  1. Hillary Clinton is a Liar said at 4:20 pm on March 22nd, 2016:

    I am not a Trump supporter, but this article is a bad analogy. If anyone was a Bonnie Prince Charlie, it was Jeb Bush. Many in Monmouth County, fancying themselves to be county club GHW Bush republicans, basically ordained Jeb to be the nominee out of the gate. It was embarrassing for those people to see Jeb trounced so badly; which was then the case with Rubio and will soon to be the case with their new-found best friend Kasich. On the other hand, Trump is a self-funded political outsider (as in he has never run for office) who made mincemeat out of the aforementioned career politicians with relative ease. It bothers the establishment that Trump’s base of support runs the gamut of social classes because they don’t like sharing the table with people who don’t drink Starbucks and don’t support amnesty. To be blunt, those are the breaks and the establishment will have to get used to it if they want to get the country back on track. That is the goal, right?

    The convention rules are what they are, but it will be a sad state of affairs if the establishment or Trump throw a temper tantrum and cost us the election. We need to pick a viable candidate and funnel all of our energy and resources into getting that person elected. Anyone who threatens not to vote in the general because their top choice didn’t get nominated needs to grow up and recognize that the America we all claim to support won’t exist if Hillary Clinton is president.

  2. What part of said at 7:26 pm on March 22nd, 2016:

    bringing in thousands of crossover voters, blue collar, “Reagan Democrats,” disenfranchised, disgusted citizens, and getting millions more actual votes than the opponents don’t some people GET? I hope and pray each day, that between tonight and the last primary day, that Trump has or exceeds the magic 1237 delegates, heading into Cleveland: THEN what will be the excuse/ trick to dump him, and put in another RINO loser? It is getting more outrageous and idiotic every day, to hear of this hysteria and plotting against the front- runner a lot of people obviously WANT, to shake up and fix this horribly broken and incestuous Washington culture, and begin to repair our country!

  3. Tom, you just don't get it! said at 10:02 pm on March 22nd, 2016:

    You and the rest of the County Republican establishment just don’t get it. We need a breath of fresh air like Trump who has reinvigorated the party with bringing in thousands of new Republicans, plus crossovers from the Democrats and Independents. This has not happened since Reagan.

    By the way, why am I voting for Trump? Because the Republican establishement and the Democrats don’t want me to.

    Another reason: Paris, Brussels, and Istanbul. We have a problem worldwide, that wants to come here to do us harm. It’s called Islamification!

  4. Tom Stokes said at 1:12 pm on March 23rd, 2016:

    Having been a GOP committeeman for many years, I guess I might be considered “establishment”.

    I believe most, if not all, Republicans, believe, as do, that the current Obama administration has been an unmitigated disaster for this country, both in terms of foreign policy and economic policy.

    I also believe that the GOP control of congress has also been a disaster, as we seem to have done nothing to meet our promises to the people. Talk is cheap. Just what have we accomplished with our control of the House of Representatives and the US Senate?

    That is the fodder feeding the Trump revolution – a politically incorrect (to say the least) phenomenon that is giving the “establishment” a good dose of heartburn.

    We have an extremely serious security problem with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and it needs to be addressed by a competent government – which currently we do not have.

    The failure of the establishment to provide proper leadership is the root cause of Donald Trump. People are frankly fed up with the establishment class of both parties who seek power and glory only for themselves, not for the rest of America.

    Every American needs honest, hardworking public officials, at all levels of government, working for their interests, not bureaucrats working for their own individual interests.

    Where have the establishment candidates been on the issues that really matters to the average American?

    America needs to have its vision uplifted, its dignity restored, the principles upon which this great Republic was founded adhered to once again. We need an economic revitalization which will employ workers (human beings, not robots) in jobs which provide dignity to the individual worker.

    Our families must be protected from outside threats of extremist ideologies (i.e – Islamic fundamentalism).

    Where is the establishment GOP candidate who will accomplish this?

  5. He's in said at 2:18 pm on March 23rd, 2016:

    Trump Tower and on the trail, all over the country, bringing in many from all the “special” groups Chair Reince and his establishment SAID they wanted to reach out to and bring in! If the arrogant, appalling and embarrassing, not to mention outright dangerous behavior, of the current president’s last few days on the road isn’t enough to clarify how dire our situation is, I can’t help ya! Only Trump can and will do as he says,and take these threats seriously, get the right people involved, and take these terrorists out! Libs can just go stuff it for once, get out of the way, go back into their little idealistic,nirvana world, and let the grown ups cone in and get us straightened out!

  6. Trump is the new George Washington said at 8:05 am on March 24th, 2016:

    The American Revolution was lead by BUSINESSMEN who were fed up with their government like George Washington and Sam Adams, not dirty career politicians.

    Senators like Hilary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and especially Lindsey Graham and Corey Booker, are dirty career politicians, not leaders.

    This country needs a modern day businessman, needs Donald Trump, to lead a new revolution like the businessmen before him did, and Make America Great, Again!

  7. Tommy De Seno said at 2:03 pm on March 26th, 2016:

    I have not ruled out support for Trump. For all you morenonmouthmusers who claim there is something I don’t get, I get this:

    He has to win; by the rules. He can’t cry his way into the nomination, which is what he is doing now. Boo-freakin Hoo.

    Act like a man and win. If you don’t win, still act like a man.