Friday, June 24, 2016

Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

An essay at The Federalist yesterday suggests that a third party candidate could, possibly, maybe win the election given dissatisfaction with the current candidates, especially among millennials. The article, "Yes, There Will Be An Independent Candidate For President," by Bethany Mandel and David Marcus, is essentially an advertisement for a group calling itself "Better for America."  They describe the group as "comprised of religious leaders and political operatives" who gathered "in a private room at a swanky hotel in midtown" in "a sincere attempt to find alternatives to Trump’s new vision for conservatism and Hillary Clinton’s corrupt crony politics." According to the article, "[t]hose present represented some of the most influential faith leaders in America—thought leaders in their respective denominations and intellectual circles. Also present were lawyers and those with the practical experience necessary to undergo the steps to get another candidate on the ballot without a party apparatus behind it."

The reason for the lawyers and "those with practical experience" is because of the legal hurdles of getting a candidate on the various state ballets, especially since the deadline for registering as a candidate has already passed in Texas and North Carolina, and other states deadlines expire soon. But, according to the piece, "[w]orking with several experts in the field, the group is confident that through petition-gathering and legal maneuvers ballot access can be achieved in virtually every state, including those with deadlines that have already passed."

The group claims to have three potential candidates that have committed to run if selected, but has not revealed the identity of these candidates. In fact, Better for America seems rather opaque as to who is in the group and what is their political affiliation. Not only does the group not name the three potential candidates, but does not even reveal the identity of the alleged "influential faith leaders" that are advising the group.

Mandel and Marcus indicate that "the week-old organization is not an attempt to undermine Trump." Yet, their admission that the group's goal of winning the election "may sound farfetched, and is indeed unlikely," seems to clearly indicate that the purpose of the group is not to elect a candidate, but to make sure one of the current candidates lose.

But which candidate are they hoping to undermine? It is pretty obvious that it is Trump.

The piece criticizes those that have labeled certain leaders of the Republican party as "RINOS" yet now support Trump.

According to the Wikipedia page on Better for America, the chair of the group is John Kingston, III, who, besides being a Wall Street insider, also served as executive director of the documentary Mitt (about the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney) and is described as a member of "the American Enterprise Institute National Council, and was formerly the Vice Chairman of the National Faith and Values Steering Committee for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, as well as a member of the National Republican Senatorial Committee Majority Makers and the Republican Governors Association Executive Roundtable." In other words, a reliable party insider. Amee Latour, writing at Bustle, further describes Kingston as "a conservative donor who has worked with other conservatives in the dwindling 'Stop Trump' camp, including William Kristol and Mitt Romney."

The executive director is Anne MacDonald, who the New York Times indicates was the chief of staff to the first lady Laura Bush.

The Times also indicates that the group is working with the Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, who supports a third party run to stop Trump. The group is being advised by Joel Searby, a Republican strategist. Searby was behind the push to get retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis to run for President, and more recently has urged that Condoleeza Rice enter the race.

And it is also probably no coincidence that with this very public announcement about Better for America in The Federalist, George Will has announced that he has changed his political affiliation from Republican to "unaffiliated."

So basically, Better for America is a group comprised of Rockefeller Republicans: i.e., those that have been labelled RINO, lost the last two presidential elections, have no interest in protecting gun rights or our national borders, and are globalists. They are more willing to allow Hillary Clinton win the election, and alter the makeup of the Supreme Court for a generation, than to tolerate a president that might seek to limit America's foreign entanglements. They will not present a candidate that can draw votes away from Hillary Clinton, but they will certainly split the vote for Donald Trump. These are dangerous times.

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