The Republican Party
Establishment Elite are a panic about the insurgent candidacy of Donald Trump
-- a man outside the puppetmastery of the party apparatus. So much so that last week (so it has leaked) a meeting was hastily convened to come up with a plan to derail Trump, if not from the campaign, from earning the nomination
. (Notably, the Bush and Rubio campaigns were the only ones allowed to be represented at this invitation-only huddle.) But the plan as formulated by the Elites is a dangerous play. Acknowledging that Trump enjoys massive leads in virtually every state polled, and that attacks against him only seem to make him stronger, the Elites have determined that instead of choosing "a candidate" to back against Trump, they'll back different candidates in different states -- not in earnest support of those candidates, but solely intending to draw just enough delegates away from Trump to deny him a clear majority, and to use that prospective shortcoming to push an establishment-controlled candidate into the slot at the Republican National Convention in the Summer of 2016.
And so, though their own preferred candidates are known quantity Jeb Bush
and easily controlled Marco Rubio
, the Elites are funding firebrand Ted Cruz
's resurgency in Iowa
and blowhard Chris Christie
in New Hampshire
. They may additionally back John Kasich
, Cruz and Christie again in their home states of Texas
and New Jersey
, Rand Paul
, Ben Carson
, and so on. But the question remains quite open: will voters vote for the Establishment-backed spoiler
for a given state knowing that the whole goal of the patrons of that candidate are to deliver a quite different candidate as the nominee. Will anti-Establishment Iowans and Texans and other middle-Americans vote for Ted Cruz if they know that their vote has no chance of making anti-Establishment Cruz the nominee, but some chance of diverting the nomination to an Establishment marionette like Rubio? And will the Elites themselves bend to accepting a candidate like Christie who is not as controlled, but still more controllable than a Trump or a Cruz?
And the biggest question looming of all: will the voters the GOP needs accept the last-minute substitution of an Establishment pick in place of an anti-Establishment crusader who has received the most votes and the most delegates of them all? Will they react to the fact that at some point in the process they were baited to vote for another non-Establishment candidate for the whole purpose of enabling the Establishment to switch them for one of its favorites? Or will some sit on their hands in such a circumstance, rendering the effort more harmful than helpful to party prospects?