#NeverTrump says #NeverDie (updated again)

Updated for background on the Turkish coup attempt[1] and again as reports continue to say the coup attempt is not over but it appears to be failing.[2]


Donald Trump

Jack Ohman, July 15, 2016, via GoComics, fair use.
It’s over. Really, it’s over. Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. But even having failed to get even a quarter of the Republican Convention Rules Committee (the proportion needed to at least bring the matter up for a vote on the floor) to free delegates to vote their ‘conscience,’ Committee Senator Mike Lee “told Buzzfeed that people shouldn’t ‘assume the problem’s gonna go away,’ leaving the possibility open for some sort of last-ditch delegate action on the convention floor.”[3]

That’s getting a lot harder. Elaine Kamarck claims that defeats in the Rules Committee rule out three of four possible last-minute scenarios for stopping Trump.[4] I’m not quite clear on which three; from her description, it appears to me that two remain theoretically possible.

McClatchy‘s David Lightman sheds little additional light. He claims that “[t]he NeverTrump idea survives, barely, because if supporters can gather enough support, they can force the convention to vote on their proposal,”[5] but Kamarck seems to have ruled out this possibility.[6]

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential candidate.[7] The move appears to shore up support with functionalist conservatives and social conservatives. Pence appears to be well-enough liked by authoritarian populists and may even peel off some neoconservatives.[8] As such it should help to isolate remaining neoconservatives who are most prominent in the #NeverTrump movement. On the other hand, Daniel Larison’s praise at the American Conservative for the choice is sufficiently backhanded[9] as to raise doubt that Trump will have swayed any traditionalist conservatives and I suspect that capitalist libertarians who normally vote Republican and are thus resigned to ideologically “impure” candidates will be more tempted than in most years by the Libertarian Party ticket.

Daniel Larison, “A Trump-Pence Ticket?” American Conservative, July 6, 2016, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/a-trump-pence-ticket/

Elaine Kamarck, “Live from the GOP Rules Committee: Four ways the GOP convention could have exploded…but won’t,” Brookings Institute, July 15, 2016, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2016/07/14-national-conventions-republican-rules-committee-kamarck

Allegra Kirkland, “GOP Sen: Delegates ‘Silenced’ By Rules Committee, Forced To Support Trump,” Talking Points Memo, July 15, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mike-lee-delegates-silenced-forced-support-trump

David Lightman, “NeverTrump forces lose big, barely alive as convention nears,” McClatchy, July 15, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article89782712.html?rh=1

Peter Schroeder, “Pence brings conservative bona fides to Trump,” Hill, July 15, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/287895-pence-lends-bona-fides-to-trump

Donald J. Trump, [microblog post], Twitter, July 15, 2016, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/753965070003109888


Hillary Clinton

Polls are seeming especially noisy this year. I would advise treating any margin less than twenty points skeptically.

I think there are two problems: First, I’ve been hearing for a while that survey-takers are facing increased difficulties in getting a random sample. People have changed their communication habits and solutions which worked in the past simply don’t anymore. But on top of that, I’ve heard that response rates have been declining precipitously because so many so-called ‘surveys’ are in fact marketing or fundraising ploys—people are ignoring even legitimate surveys. Both of these problems introduce skews, which I’ve heard poll-takers claim they can correct for. I think they’re overconfident.

By this standard, Hillary Clinton probably should worry about how the public perceives her handling of classified emails.[10] But the Democratic politicians worried about her standing against Donald Trump[11] are probably relying on unreliable information.

Alexander Bolton, “Democrats ‘freaked out’ about polls in meeting with Clinton,” Hill, July 14, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/287845-democrats-freaked-out-about-polls-in-meeting-with-clinton

Julian Hattem, “Poll: Majority believes Clinton broke the law,” Hill, July 15, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287884-huge-majority-believes-clinton-either-broke-law-or-made-poor


Coup attempted in Turkey

The dust has not settled. Historically, the military in Turkey has served as guarantor for the country’s secular constitution.[12] Recep Tayyip Erdogan had succeeded in moving Turkey a long ways to being a religious state but was a heavy-handed autocrat disliked by urban youth.

Christopher Torchia, “Turkish military has a history of staging coups,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 15, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/turkish-military-has-a-history-of-staging-coups/387040581/

Dion Nissenbaum and Emre Peker, “Attempted Coup Sets Off Fight for Control of Turkey,” Wall Streete Journal, July 15, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/turkish-prime-minister-reports-coup-attempt-1468613584

Steve Almasy, “Turkish President Erdogan declares coup attempt over,” CNN, July 16, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/asia/turkey-military-action/index.html


  1. [1]Christopher Torchia, “Turkish military has a history of staging coups,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 15, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/turkish-military-has-a-history-of-staging-coups/387040581/
  2. [2]Steve Almasy, “Turkish President Erdogan declares coup attempt over,” CNN, July 16, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/asia/turkey-military-action/index.html; Dion Nissenbaum and Emre Peker, “Attempted Coup Sets Off Fight for Control of Turkey,” Wall Streete Journal, July 15, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/turkish-prime-minister-reports-coup-attempt-1468613584
  3. [3]Allegra Kirkland, “GOP Sen: Delegates ‘Silenced’ By Rules Committee, Forced To Support Trump,” Talking Points Memo, July 15, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mike-lee-delegates-silenced-forced-support-trump
  4. [4]Elaine Kamarck, “Live from the GOP Rules Committee: Four ways the GOP convention could have exploded…but won’t,” Brookings Institute, July 15, 2016, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2016/07/14-national-conventions-republican-rules-committee-kamarck
  5. [5]David Lightman, “NeverTrump forces lose big, barely alive as convention nears,” McClatchy, July 15, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article89782712.html?rh=1
  6. [6]Elaine Kamarck, “Live from the GOP Rules Committee: Four ways the GOP convention could have exploded…but won’t,” Brookings Institute, July 15, 2016, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2016/07/14-national-conventions-republican-rules-committee-kamarck
  7. [7]Donald J. Trump, [microblog post], Twitter, July 15, 2016, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/753965070003109888
  8. [8]Daniel Larison, “A Trump-Pence Ticket?” American Conservative, July 6, 2016, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/a-trump-pence-ticket/; Peter Schroeder, “Pence brings conservative bona fides to Trump,” Hill, July 15, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/287895-pence-lends-bona-fides-to-trump
  9. [9]Daniel Larison, “A Trump-Pence Ticket?” American Conservative, July 6, 2016, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/a-trump-pence-ticket/
  10. [10]Julian Hattem, “Poll: Majority believes Clinton broke the law,” Hill, July 15, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/287884-huge-majority-believes-clinton-either-broke-law-or-made-poor
  11. [11]Alexander Bolton, “Democrats ‘freaked out’ about polls in meeting with Clinton,” Hill, July 14, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/house/287845-democrats-freaked-out-about-polls-in-meeting-with-clinton
  12. [12]Christopher Torchia, “Turkish military has a history of staging coups,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 15, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/turkish-military-has-a-history-of-staging-coups/387040581/

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