Sunday, April 10, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt's Delegates Refused To Participate In Fixed Convention;Omen For 2016?

In the 1912 Republican convention Teddy Roosevelt's delegates "remained at the convention but abstained from voting" in protest at the party bosses fixing the nomination via control of the non-primary states and "fraudulent seating" of delegates.

The day after President Taft was renominated a new party, the "Progressive" (Bull Moose) was formed and 2000 delegates subsequently met at their convention and nominated Roosevelt.

Roosevelt's candidacy saw Taft humiliated into third place more than 630,000 votes behind Roosevelt who finished second, with Taft only garnering 8 electoral college votes (Utah and Vermont) to TR's 88 from six states (including Pennsylvania and California). A brief history of these events and the electoral map/voting is detailed below.

If, as with Roosevelt, Trump arrives in Cleveland with the overwhelming majority of primary elections won, and millions in popular votes ahead, but is denied the nomination then the historical precedent of 1912 is open to Trump and his supporters-and rightly so.

If the party machines, as illustrated in Wisconsin and Colorado amongst numerous examples, use their muscle to steal Trump's delegates, create a campaign of lies and fear and blatantly and cynically "support" Cruz who they would dump at the first opportunity, then they will get what they deserve.

Roosevelt's progressive campaign didn't start until August and yet he easily ran massively ahead of a sitting president. It would be too late to register in Texas but that state is not crucial to a viable third party and the so called "sore loser" restrictions do not generally apply to residential candidates

How much better could a new third party do in this age of mass communication and transport? Neither would such a campaign suffer from the financial restrictions Roosevelt's did as huge financial support could be raised from an enraged populist voting block (possibly enlarged by similarly enraged Sanders supporters).

Could such a third party succeed, beyond ensuring a "Republican" loss? Absolutely it could. If Roosevelt getting more support than a sitting president, and Ross Perot's later example (which can't be fully judged as he made a massive tactical errors) are significant precursors. 

Fremont in 1856, the first Republican presidential candidate and breakaway Democrat Breckinridge in 1860, both won more votes and/or states than the party they broke away from. 

I set out a possible scenario for a successful third party run which involved the House choosing the president with no candidate having a majority on the Electoral College on election day see "If The Establishment Sabotages Trump Is A Trump/Palin Third Party Viable?"

The Trump presidential run marks the end of the GOP as it has been up to this year. If Trump gets the nomination then it will have been transformed into a populist party freed from the Establishment and party functionaries. It will have broken the shackles of "crony capitalism big finance and those of the leftist media and the Establishment media lapdogs. 

If the nomination is stolen and given to the conservative Cruz-ite block or a Ryan or Bush, the "Reagan Democrat's"/Independents and Palin-ite populists will either sit on their hands in November.  Either that, or they will destroy the GOP as a political entity (as happened to the Whigs) with either Trump as the leader of a new populist party (with hopefully Palin as VP) or some other populist (hopefully Palin) as candidate if Trump decided not to run.

From Wikipedia
"This convention marked the beginning of a split in the party, resulting from a power struggle between incumbent Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt. This was the first year for Republican primaries. Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the primaries winning 9 out of 12 states (8 by landslide margins). 

Taft won only Massachusetts (by a small margin); he even lost his home state of Ohio to Roosevelt. Senator Robert M. La Follette, a reformer, won two states. Through the primaries, Senator LaFollette won a total of 36 delegates; President Taft won 48 delegates; and Roosevelt won 278 delegates. However 36 states did not hold primaries, but instead selected delegates via state conventions.
Entering the convention, the Roosevelt and Taft forces seemed evenly matched, and a compromise candidate seemed possible. The Taft and Roosevelt camps engaged in a fight for the delegations of various states, with Taft emerging victorious, and Roosevelt claiming that several delegations were fraudulently seated. 

Following the seating of the anti-Roosevelt delegations, California Governor Hiram Johnson proclaimed that progressives would form a new party to nominate Roosevelt.Though many of Roosevelt's delegates remained at the convention, most refused to take part in the presidential ballot in protest of the contested delegates.Roosevelt ultimately ran a third party campaign as part of the Progressive Party  
Roosevelt far outpolled Taft in the primary elections which were held in a few of the more progressive states. But Taft had worked far harder than TR to control the Republican Party's organizational operations and the mechanism for choosing its presidential nominee

So, despite Roosevelt's last-minute attempt to block Taft's re-nomination, the party re-nominated Taft in June. Before the final vote, Roosevelt had said that he would accept a presidential nomination from a new, "honestly elected", convention. He ordered pro-Roosevelt Republican convention delegates to abstain from voting, in rebuke of Taft's "steamroller tactics".The next day, Roosevelt supporters met to form a new political party of their own. 

Despite these obstacles, the August convention opened with great enthusiasm. Over 2,000 delegates attended,Roosevelt ran a vigorous campaign, but the campaign was short of money, as the business interests either backed the other candidates or stayed neutral.

 Roosevelt drew 4.1 million votes 27%, behind Wilson's 42% but ahead of Taft's 23%. (6% went to Socialist Eugene Debs). He received 88 electoral votes, compared to 435 for Wilson and 8 for Taft.This was nonetheless the best showing by any third party since the modern two-party system was established in 1864. Roosevelt was the only third-party candidate to outpoll a candidate of an established party."

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