As the news of the attack in Nice was flooding across the media, the members of the GOP’s Convention Rules Committee were easily fending off an attack by NeverTrump’ers. The so-called conscience clause, which would free the delegates to ignore the primary voters’ wishes – as clearly expressed in the results – and vote their conscience. That is, vote against Trump.

12 delegates voted for the conscience clause. Less than half the 28 needed to produce a minority report. Slightly over a fifth of the 57 votes needed to pass the measure through the 112-strong committee. With no willing alternative to take on Trump – is Kristol himself going to run? not likely – and with growing, if sometimes grudging – endorsements, they were not a viable alternative. Of course, the rebels led by Colorado delegate and Christian Schoolteacher Kendal Unruh, talked up a mighty wind in the more-than-willing mainstream media. But all that chatter blew itself out to a whimper when faced with the solid reality of the great majority of GOP delegates. Who have come round to Trump’s side.

What will probably make it to the floor as a minority report – it received 32 votes: 4 more than the 28 needed – is a proposal to facilitate and encourage closed primaries at the state level. Once again, an attempt is being made to silence voter rebellions towards the GOP establishment. Of course, 32 votes is 25 votes shy of a majority of the rules committee. And having it pass a floor vote is very unlikely. But it is a dying ember of the NeverTrump’ers rebellion and will likely cause a bit of debate on the convention floor.

Meanwhile, Trump’s postponement of his VP announcement as a result of the terrorist attack in Nice, has some parts of the media suddenly second-guessing their pick of Pence as the almost-certain choice. In other words, could Trump suddenly change his mind? Maybe not: late last night Gingrich called for the deportation of muslims who “believe” in shariah law. Has Gingrich been freed of the obligation to show some caution regarding Muslim Americans? Because he knows he’s no longer on the list? Not that Trump suddenly disagrees with Gingrich’s comment: it’s right in line with what he’s been advocating for months now. Could Gingrich somehow still end up being VP? Maybe. Likely not. We’ll see.

Comments