Weighing in on that scenario as Priebus and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listened, several longtime Republican power brokers argued that if the controversial billionaire storms through the primaries, the party’s establishment must lay the groundwork for a floor fight in which the GOP’s mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative, the people said.
The development represents a major shift for veteran Republican strategists, who until this month had spoken of a brokered convention only in the most hypothetical terms — and had tried to encourage a drama-free nomination by limiting debates and setting an earlier convention date.
Now, those same leaders see a floor fight as a real possibility. And so does Trump, who said in an interview last week that he, too, is preparing.
After the Fox debate, I received an email from an old friend who advises one of the Republican Party’s very largest donors. I quote an extract with his permission:
This is the first time I’ve ever done anything but throw cold water on this idea, but I think the Republican Party is about to split.
The establishment’s utter failure to even consider what Trump’s rise means, much less how the Republican Party must accommodate Trump supporters rather than the other way around, means a split. And a good thing, too.
I have never voted anything other than straight-ticket Republican ticket in my life, nor ever considered doing so. But I think I’d be happy to cast one for Trump as a protest vote.
But, but, but … I wanted to say to my friend, you and your boss are the Republican establishment, or at least two of its very most important members! If we’ve reached the point where even the establishment hates the establishment, the mood is dangerous indeed.
It has only intensified since then.
I have a series of questions exclusively for this blog’s right-of-center readers. Do you hate the Republican establishment? If so, why? Be specific. Whether or not you plan to vote for Trump in your state’s primary, do you think the damage he is doing to the GOP establishment is, on balance, a good thing or a bad thing? Explain your answer.
Only conservatives and Republicans on this thread, please.