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Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton today. Plenty of smug Democrats will taunt others who feel utterly betrayed, and that will eclipse far larger questions that aren't going anywhere. Both major parties are preparing to field presidential nominees who consistently have unfavorability ratings over 50 percent. Each produces open revulsion. A majority of all Americans tell pollsters they would prefer "someone else."

dumping trump

Why Bernie Sanders Endorsed Hillary Clinton—Larry Wines and Geo. McCalip:

There is plenty going unasked. Indeed, key questions that beg examination are accumulating at a rapid rate, and mainstream corporate media is avoiding some that are most important. We'll get into these and the rather shocking implications of where they lead.

If Trump Is Dumped, Does Hillary Survive?

It's not a thought exercise: if the Republican convention blocks Trump, and they might, could Hillary prevail against another candidate?

That is THE great, unasked question of the 2016 Election. Given the frequent attention paid to the Trumpster Dumpsters, it should be a compelling topic for corporate mainstream media — if they would breach it. They don't. So we are.

Plenty that isn't being discussed is crucial for understanding and acting — between now and the conventions, and into November, and probably into January when the House of Representatives may decide the election.

Every day we hear tales of some GOP faction, elite or otherwise, scheming to seize the convention in Cleveland and block Donald Trump's presumptive nomination. It's real enough to have a permanent story tag at every big media outlet, as the "Dump Trump" movement. It might even be powered by the party's top financiers. And it's fueled by poll after poll showing sizeable numbers of registered Republicans with buyer's remorse.

What about the level where that matters? Much of the GOP establishment is horrified that Trump's outsider insurgency has brought record turnouts in GOP primaries — of "new" people the party establishment can't control — people espousing ideas they see as political suicide.

Thing is, it's not just Republicans. Some Democrats, especially "new" people with no history of being influenced by the DNC or its cadre of party establishment organizations like Emily's List, are horrified, too, or at least disgusted. For them, it's party insiders' anti-democratic tactics, and worse, that they've encountered in an elitist resolve to anoint Hillary. There is a contravention of the most energetic progressive movement in decades. The strongest young voter mobilization ever is about to be cast into the wind, with a real effort to throw it in as many different directions as possible.

Mainstream media predictably dedicated a few days to cheerleading for blowing-off steam immediately following FBI Director James Comey's announcement. The FBI will not seek an indictment of Hillary Clinton for any of the many security violations he identified involving her emails, and now the qualifying catharsis has passed, and the media has checked-off the "been there, done that" box. So the way is cleared for what apparently will be a contest of major party candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As long as CNN doesn't lose track of another airliner.

But there is still noticeable reluctance on the part of many — in both parties — to accept as settled narrative those presumptive nominees.

A large percentage of Democrats, represented by 45% of pledged delegates, still prefer Bernie Sanders. A significant number of these Democrats have made it clear they see Hillary as the embodiment of the oligarchy that Bernie has been running against. And/or they refuse to support the lesser of two evils in a Trump-Hillary contest. Or they simply believe her demonstrably compromised integrity and vacillating veracity render her unacceptable in absolute terms, with no need to consider comparative terms. And disenchantment with Bernie if he endorses her hardly translates into support for her. Net result, plenty of presumptive Democratic voters are vowing never to support Hillary, and the Democratic Party is preparing fear-based psychological warfare to inflict on those it angrily believes are its own wayward supporters lured away by an unwelcome invader's idealism.

Meanwhile, the Republicans appear to be in a position of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If they run Trump, his shockingly overt insults and pontifications lay bare the racism behind assorted GOP dog whistles, and worse, of the last half-century. If they don’t run Trump, what other choice do they have? You can't replace something with nothing. They need to field a candidate. And Trump has already proven the weakness of the GOP bench.

Publicly rejecting their party's presumptive nominee are the Bush dynasty, GOP intellectuals like writer George Will, last go-'round's presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and other iconic Republicans of the past half-century. It couldn't be more clear that, for the party elite, the offhanded, often alienating, pontifications of the egotistical motormouth make him a pariah.

Whether it is about decency or the fact that Trump is an unreliable facilitator for the financial needs of the GOP establishment, they are wrestling with one question: how to stop the Donald?

Obviously, they're running out of time, whatever they are or are not organizing to do in Cleveland. One obvious approach for the Republican elite to stop Trump is simply to hope that the Democrats do it for them. They can hope, or they can quietly help.

The latter would seem to require tacit acceptance of a Democrat in the White House — THE Democrat they have collectively vilified longer than any other in modern times. Before it reaches that point, they still have at least two other options:

  • Establishment Republicans are still at work to secure a majority on the convention Rules Committee that would adopt a change, allowing delegates to "vote their conscience." It's a bit of a crap shot to stop the Donald with delegates mostly sent there to represent him.
  • Another possibility is a page from Karl Rove's extensive playbook. This one is in the model of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman: Have Trump indicted and arrested on fraud charges related to Trump U. His involvement began and continued before a court forced the business enterprise to drop the word "university," given its abject absence of academic accreditations. these categorical concerns already have The Donald facing a class action suit under the federal anti-racketeering RICO statute.

Perhaps the GOP establishment already formed the question: Do the Democrats need Donald Trump in order to have a chance with Hillary? Even after all the years of planning by the Clinton machine?

Against Donald Trump, easy to characterize as a raging Godzilla of a boogeyman, the Democratic Party simply makes the argument that you really have no sane choice but to vote for Hillary. But it's an argument without substance, incapable of finding traction against anyone but Trump, and leaving its adherents utterly unprepared to answer how Hillary would fare against anyone else. And that's an important question if you intend to elect a president who will face reelection in four years.

The Republican Establishment certainly has that two-term concern. Both for being in or out or office that long. And nobody in Gopperville expects Trump to weather a second election contest. Another concern that comes back to the question, if they do manage to stop Trump in Cleveland, who do they run?

For their rejection of Trump to justify dynamiting their party, it must be purposeful, have a realistic chance to unite their base, and nominate someone who can beat Hillary Clinton.

Unless they don't want to beat her, as we have suggested. Just because they've come after her for 25 years doesn't mean her policies wouldn't aid profit-taking by prominent GOP oligarchs and be a windfall to their legislative agendas, like that of ALEC (the ultra right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council). Don't dismiss it.

Often overlooked in discussions of the multiplicity of Clinton foundations, the Clinton Global Initiative, etc., are the Clinton "enterprise partnerships" that exploit lopsided trade agreements to exploit low-wage work forces in other countries, or invest with global mining moguls who have terrible environmental records, and in general, concentrate operations where regulatory oversight in host countries is scarce or non-existent. Republicans that scream "Benghazi!" scrupulously avoid such megabuck financial issues.

The two big parties, while playing-up divisive differences over health care, civil rights, and a myriad of social issues, are both corporocratic enterprises. The vast majority of elected office holders of both parties are thoroughly beholden to globally connected oligarchs. Or, perhaps because they are, after all, Republicans, they would fall all over themselves to put a true one-of-their-own in power, expecting they could square it with the sponsors.

Hillary's favorability ratings are abysmal, second only to Trump's. Comey’s speech read less like a clean bill of health and more like a copy-and-paste bill of particulars for Articles of Impeachment against a newly elected President Clinton. And Hillary seems unable to stop herself from going on the record time after time — more than enough to fill a full 60 second commercial — saying it was just "an error of judgment" on her part that resulted in a "security review," when that's so ludicrous that the State Department has reopened their investigation after Comey's scathing condemnation without charges and Loretta Lynch's tarmac tete-a-tete closed the Justice Department file.

Against such a candidate, the GOP should be able to find, well, SOMEBODY. To have a chance of losing, the GOP would need to nominate someone worse than Trump (like most of the candidates who lost to Trump). The Dump Trump movement is as much a bang-their-heads-against-the-wall last minute realization of that as it is the cringe factor he induces in them. But it's nearly mid-July. Convention month.

Presumably, the GOP wants to win, whatever else is, or isn't, happening. But Trump entails equivocation, hesitancy over losing their party to his peculiar brand of barbarians if — without the standard entanglements of favors owed — he wins the highest office in the land.

That hesitancy brings the layer of complication we aren't used to seeing. And casts him as an obstacle to the fact that, without him in the equation, they absolutely want to win.

So, how? The Republican Party establishment could move toward the center with a moderate candidate, and, taking their cue from the Democratic establishment, blackmail the Trump supporters with what it expects they find most distasteful — the threat of Hillary, if everybody does not fall in line behind the chosen candidate.

Disposing of Trump means the party has a chance to root-out Trump's insurgency with a purge of the extreme elements that gave rise to Trumpdom. It means the GOP can have many messy years of struggle, orders of magnitude worse if they get into office and operate from positions of prominence and power. Or they can go for broke. Expel not just the forces of Trumpdom, but all their problem children who have gravitated to Trump. They have a singular opportunity to get the most divisive factions out of their party, out of the positions of power where they have dictated to the majority of Republicans since they began their rise during Reagan's insurgency in 1980. Traditional, economic-policy-centered Republicans who have gritted their teeth for years can tell the religious zealots and Tea Partiers it's time for the adults to drive.

Thus, Republicans of the all-important campaign financing class would gain the position to support — and to elect and appoint — those who issues matter most to them. It's a fleeting opportunity, made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions and a chance to recruit temporary allies to depose Trump before prospective compatriots have time to fully analyze implications for their stock portfolios. At the moment, they are protected in purchasing politicians, and that prime directive is one any Ayn Rand follower should seek to protect.

The Trump-dumping/zealot-fringe-dumping gamble can deliver the ultimate prize: assurance of control of their dream world of unregulated industry, banks and financial institutions that can never be too big but that can demand bailouts, declaring environmental safeguards to be unconstitutional constraints on the freedom of exploitive extraction and destruction, and anything else that involves privatizing public needs for profit, gambling using guarantees from the public treasury to cover their risks and inevitable losses, and, of course, paying no taxes because they're entitled not to.

So, Who Replaces Trump?

A dark horse who makes sense is Susan Collins, the senior Senator from Maine. With twenty years experience in the Senate and no image of being part of the manipulative do-nothing insiders, she has real credibility. And drafting her would allow the traditional Republicans who matter most — like those rooted in devotion to unregulated monetary policy — to throw the crazies off the quarterdeck.

Granted, she is hardly known for oratorical charisma. Neither was Eisenhower. But she negates any advantage Hillary has among those who base their believe that it is "time for a female President."

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Granted, suggesting Susan Collins is more a nod to the process than the person. It is one part of understanding that replacing Trump's base with someone who can win means producing broader appeal — especially for independent-minded younger swing voters. As one of the few pro-choice Republicans, Susan Collins would be a safe choice for those concerned about Supreme Court appointments and the litmus test of Roe v. Wade. And that's one area that speaks to Bernie voters who re-registered as Democrats from independents, and it erases a voting bloc that otherwise goes to Hillary by default.

Clearly, the Dump Trump forces have plenty to take to GOP movers and shakers. There is ample reason to believe a counterrevolution would succeed, and more reason to see the long-term damage to traditional high-end interests within the GOP as unacceptable if they don't do it. Indeed, it may be more likely that GOP elite will turn up in the Libertarian Party fold if they fail to stop Trump.

That brings us back to the other side and the central question.

What do the Dems do if, suddenly, a week before their convention, they are not running against Trump? Can Democrats afford to run Hillary? For months, Hillary supporters have been flailing-away at Sanders supporters with, “If you don’t vote for Hillary, you elect Trump.” What happens if Donald Trump and that argument disappear?

What if we had a race between Hillary Clinton and Susan Collins? Latest data from Pew Research shows that 30.4% of voters identify as Democrats, while 23.7% identify as Republicans. The winner will be decided by the 40.1% who identify as independent, and given that Hillary would then be alone in having the lowest favorability ratings of any major Presidential candidate in the history of favorability ratings, Susan Collins would probably win.

Now let’s get back to reality. Short of his indictment and arrest, the Republican establishment likely will not be able to stop Trump, any more than the Democrats can stop Hillary since she escaped indictment.

If it's back to stopping Trump, do we have to vote for Hillary? No. Hillary supporters using that argument/threat are guilty of employing a false dichotomy.

The Green and Libertarian Parties will be on the ballot in most if not all fifty states, and this year each of them may actually stand a chance. That's a valid statement based on how reviled the two major party candidates are, and the consistency of polls showing roughly two-thirds of Americans wish they had "some other choice."

Mainstream corporate media will, without doubt, proclaim the air has come out of the balloon if Bernie endorses Hillary, as he is expected to do on Tuesday. But his focus on the Democratic Platform still failed to get opposition to TPP, President Obama's still unratified trade agreement that Bernie supporters find so disastrous. So, it isn't out of the question that boldly principled Bernie Sanders could bolt from his new association with the Democratic Party if Hillary, as she is expected to do, tacks to the right after the conventions.

He could yet accept Jill Stein’s offer to head the Green Party ticket. Read this as a continuation of the GOP dumping Trump, and the Democrats being left with Hillary against a suddenly acceptable Republican candidate, or play it out as an alternative to the Clinton-Trump "Clump" scenario. Either way, the Greens will have an organization in place that will make them competitive in many states.

They won't be alone. The two former Republican Governors on the Libertarian Party ticket may receive endorsements from Mitt Romney, and both former Presidents Bush. If that happens, the Koch brothers may put a few hundred million behind the campaign — especially considering that one of them has run as a VP candidate on a past Libertarian ticket.

We can assume the Clinton supporters will continue to argue that voting for anything other than her coronation is a vote for Trump. It is, demonstrably, as much a lie as most of Hillary’s defenses of her emails.

Let's play out the scenario. We'll assume Bernie, in the nick of time before the Green Party convention in August, has accepted Jill Stein’s offer and is heading the Green ticket, and the Libertarian ticket has endorsements and financial backing from the estranged Republican establishment. That brings along an important "therefore" — Trump would not find much of the financial backing traditionally available to a Republican standard-bearer.

It gets better. Keep going. Due to the way the Constitution mandates the presidential election is determined in the Electoral College, a refutation of Hillary or Trump is not a national argument. It depends on each particular state under consideration. We won't tackle all fifty states. But we will run through a few different scenarios. Remember, to win, a candidate must get 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes.

Starting with solid blue California, the contest will be between two candidates, Bernie and Hillary. While splitting the vote might give another candidate a shot, the tickets headed by Johnson and Trump would split the red vote. In California, where registered Republicans practically qualify for cult status, that GOP candidate and the Libertarian ticket would likely cancel-out each other. As a safely blue state, California will go to either Bernie or Hillary, with substantially more votes in play than the primary.

On the other end of the spectrum we have Texas, generally conceded to be a safely red state. The question there is whether Trump or Johnson would carry the state. Even with the motivating factors of the horrible tragedy in Dallas and the organization of Black Lives Matter that will be a bigger factor in many states than anyone could have predicted before three days of gunshot deaths captured on multiple cell phone videos. Texas would likely be a purple state were it not for the most successful gerrymandering in the nation, giving nearly all congressional and state legislative seats to Republicans. So things get complicated. Given the number of African-Americans and Latinos in Texas, the demographics certainly do not favor Trump. And they would not favor Trump when things are realistically seen as an unprecedented two-way race with Johnson. Texas minorities will be motivated by anti-Trump animosities. Will that bring them, in meaningful numbers, to the point of voting for Johnson? It's a valid question, since he did win two gubernatorial races next door in heavily Latino and very Blue New Mexico.

Then we have swing states like Florida. In a true four-way race, it could go to anybody. But given the high percentage of voters of ethnicities that Trump has insistently alienated, not to mention the female vote, the weak status of Trump's campaign finances, and the full field of candidates, it would take a miracle for him to finish in the top three.

In swing states with high proportions of whites voters, Trump might actually manage to finish with a plurality and capture the Electoral College votes in those states. But states with those characteristics are limited and rural, with low electoral vote totals.

We see no way Trump as the GOP candidate can get 270 Electoral College votes. Nor do we see the Green Party ticket, with or without Bernie Sanders, or Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, getting to the magic 270. That leaves only one other possibility: Hillary on the Democratic ticket. Up against the full field of four contestants, she is the only one who could win the election — with Bernie running as a Green, her chances of seizing the requisite number vanish. If Bernie is not on the ballot, we're back to those national numbers showing 22% of Bernie voters going for Trump.

Point is, almost no polls have specifically shown the choices of the Libertarian and Green Party candidates. And all three of Hillary's competitors — not just Trump — have a candy store of material for negative ads against her. So the H-arrow team's mantra of voting for anyone other than her is a vote for Trump will simply wear threadbare and become more laughable as time goes on. In addition to the clear possibility that the tangled webs of Clinton foundations and initiatives and opportunistic and exploitive financial partnerships must somehow get through nearly four more months without somebody taking something shocking to court.

We believe that in the coming four-way race, the likely outcome is the presidential election will go to the House.

If the election is indeed decided by the House, it will be the new one elected in November. Suddenly, all the emphasis by each major party on electing their legislators up and down the ticket has added meaning. (It also factors-in for Trumpster Dumsters.)

Obviously, we have no way of knowing the exact makeup of a body that won't be elected for another 120 days. But if the election ends up being decided by that august body of the lower house of Congress? It will be unlikely that anyone had long enough coattails to make a major change compared to the current House. Therefore, for the sake of argument, let's use the current D & R numbers, approximate from there with some likely changes we'll cite, and accept it's all within a reasonable margin of error.

Choosing a president in the House of Representatives, each state gets a single vote. To win in the House requires 26 votes. If a state’s delegation cannot reach a consensus to determine their state's single vote on any given ballot, their vote is not counted.

The current math shows that the Democrats hold 14 states, the Republicans hold 33, and three states are split equally. There is one other factor to consider: only the top three presidential candidates, as ranked by the Electoral College votes, are eligible.

Thus, four candidates become three. We'll assume that the Democratic and Republican candidates are there, despite disapproval ratings over 50%. Straight party lines determine that Hillary cannot secure 26 states when Democrats hold only 14. But don't assume Trump gets it simply because the GOP holds 33 states, for all then reasons we've discussed. Those 33 red state delegations will surely split if Libertarian Gary Johnson, the ex-GOP governor, is among the three choices. In that circumstance, there is no way that either Hillary or Trump would win in the House.

The only way Bernie wins the presidency in the House is in a three-way contest with Hillary and Trump, where he would emerge as the acceptable compromise who is widely respected on both sides of the aisle in both houses of Congress. And if he is the Green Party candidate, Bernie's legions should beat Johnson in enough states to place him among the three from which the House chooses. In any other match-up, as in, Jill Stein as the Green Party nominee, the favorite would be Johnson, rather than Stein, going to the House.

If Bernie has endorsed Hillary and he is not on the November ballot? It follows that, in the House, the choice will be among Hillary, Trump, or Gary Johnson. So, what happens?

There is a very sound strategy for setting up the House to elect Johnson. Start with Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. They each have only one Representative and their populations are generally Libertarian-friendly. Next on the list would be replacing one Republican in a state where this would lead to a split vote for that state. This list includes Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, and Wisconsin; once again, not unfriendly territory. At least a few of the current Republican office holders are not running for re-election.

That totals 12 states where Jonson could either take the state or at least keep it from The Donald. Assuming he gets 8 of the 12 and nothing else changes in the make up of the new House vs. the current house, this would be enough to stop Trump even if all of the Republicans went straight party line and voted for The Donald.

So, here it is, examined from multiple directions.

If there is no way Trump gets 270 Electoral College votes, or 26 votes in the House, why are the Democrats running a candidate whose main selling points are (a) she is not Trump and (b) she will be the fist woman President?

If they set the bar that low, Sarah Palin qualifies. As trite as it sounds, is the Democratic establishment not aware of the stakes in this election? Were they not aware when they greased the skids for a Hillary candidacy and threw sand in the gears of her primary challenger and his massive and enthusiastic movement? It begs a "Duh?" What don’t they get? Clearly Republican elites "get it," and they are responding with Dump Trump or embrace Gary Johnson or even co-opt Hillary strategies.

What the Democrats don't get is astounding. Millennials outnumber boomers. Independents outnumber Democrats. Yet a small cadre of Democratic Party establishment insiders and their privileged superdelegates thoughtlessly assume and arrogantly behave like they can alienate both groups and force a coronation of their cackling champion — a candidate that America consistently expresses it does not like. And yet, somehow, they expect to win. Because otherwise it's The Donald.

More is in play than is being considered elsewhere. If future-focused Republicans have their way with a GOP convention surprise, it won't be a slam-dunk for Trump. And a four-way field suggests it can't be one for him in November, anyway. Or for Hillary.

Larry Wines and Geo. McCalip