With the most popular Republican Presidential candidate (and possibly the top two) in open existential warfare with the GOP leadership, it's clear that the party, as we know it, will not survive into 2017. A leadership change is being forced by deeply unhappy conservative voters, but the old guard leaders, represented by Senators McConnell and Graham and House Speaker Ryan (and Boehner before him) are not going quietly into the night.
In fact, recent actions by the party indicate an unthinkable level of willingness to self-destruct, even to purposely lose the election rather than allow a popular outsider like Donald Trump to win the nomination and the general election. According to Politico, GOP leadership is taking measures to set up a possible independent run at the last minute in order to split the vote and prevent their own candidate from winning the general.
Although shockingly deceitful and destructive, such a move actually makes sense. The current party leadership might survive another loss to Democrats with whom they share more in common than they do with their increasingly alienated constituency. But they might not survive a huge victory by a free candidate, like Trump, "loaded for bear" against them.
Another strategy reported by the New York Times is for the GOP leadership to force a brokered convention and nominate a candidate friendlier than Trump: Marco Rubio or John Kasich - but NOT Ted Cruz. BlurBrain commented about this as follows (emphasis mine):
Why not just run Romney or McCain again?
Once again the Party elites are bound and determined to find some way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by dumping some lackluster nominee on the unwilling Republican voters in the mistaken belief that only some Johnny Milquetoast RINO can appeal to the wider segment of society.
Dude, we tried that, TWICE and it failed...
How about for a change they just let the people decide who they want, for better or worse and then get the hell out of the way?
This election isn’t going to be about ‘likes and wants’ as much as who you hate and fear the most. And right now it seems the GOPe is siding with the Democrats.
UPDATE: Welcome readers of Adrienne's Corner. We are honored that she linked to this post.