I heard Herman Cain on the Sean Hannity radio show yesterday. Apparently, Donald Trump sought his counsel early in his run and Cain offered that the thing he should look out for is lawsuits. Cain said that what ultimately forced him to drop out in 2012 was the sheer number of suits being filed against him. Those suits evaporated after he left the race, as if their only purpose was to drive him out of the campaign.
Lawsuits are essentially what drove Sarah Palin out of office as well. Democrats in the state legislature abused strong ethics laws, created under Palin, to drain legal fees from her personally to defend frivolous ethics charges because she dared to do things like leave the state and campaign for other Republicans.
Donald Trump is used to lawsuits. He’s being sued right now over the dubious “Trump University” program. He’s got lawyers on retainer and other lawyers working on his campaign. Also, Trump threatens to sue people all the time, like states who don’t have primaries where winning 35% of the vote gets him 100% of the delegates.
So, how does this all tie together? Sarah Palin was not interested in picking winners and losers in the 2012 GOP primary, so she stayed out of the endorsement business. By 2016, she was courted by Donald Trump. She ended up giving her endorsement and her support to him and essentially made Trump the Tea Party candidate for 2016.
The day after the election of 2012, I wrote about the limits to the usefulness of the Tea Party in national politics. I also wrote that the GOP “won’t get fooled again.” They didn’t get fooled, but they certainly seem to have been out-maneuvered by Trump. The Tea Party has weaknesses, however. They have no money and their passion is best directed toward local races.
All through the campaign, there was an escalating series of actions that the GOP could have taken to stop Trump. Most of them involved getting behind Ted Cruz early and often. The more establishment choices didn’t want to embarrass themselves with pitiful delegate counts until enough candidates left the race. So, we were left with Cruz, who has nothing to lose, and John Kasich, who’s disgusting eating habits indicate he has no personal shame. I doubt that the party has the stones to rewrite the rules to block anyone who unregistered as a Republican 4 years ago or broke his promise to support the eventual nominee.
I think the Trump campaign has a number of weaknesses. One is that Trump is a cheap bastard who waits far too long to part with a nickel. Another is that he relies on name recognition and personal attacks to gain support. Democrats are all about money. They’ll waste it, bribe with it and advertise with it. If Trump supporters really think every one of his employees loves him, they are in for a rude awakening in about 4 months. We haven’t even gotten to the war yet.