Pro-Trump forces steamroll #NeverTrumpers in rules fight

The never give up NeverTrumpers finally had the stake driven through their heart. But it took some fancy footwork by Trump supporters and their allies on the RNC to make it happen.

The anti-Trump faction gathered a majority of signatures from nine state delegations to petition the chair to hold a roll call vote on the rules. By rule, the convention chair should have accepted the petition and started a roll call vote.

But the chair of vote procedures, Rep. Steve Womack, rammed the rules through on a voice vote and then promptly walked off the stage, leaving the NeverTrump faction livid and causing some members of the Iowa and Colorado delegations to walk out of the convention. (They can be replaced by alternates.)

Politico:

The blistering speeches appeared to stitch back together a Republican Party that hours earlier suffered an embarrassing show of dissension, as party leaders steamrolled over anti-Trump forces demanded a roll call vote on whether to adopt the party’s rules that cement Mr. Trump as the nominee.

The rules mean the delegates won by Mr. Trump in the primaries are bound to vote for him on the floor, giving him far more than the 1,237 needed to be nominated.

Anti-Trump delegates were enraged, saying the party denied them the chance to force a roll call vote on the rules. They said if they could defeat the rules, delegates would be free to vote their conscience, creating the opening for someone other than the outspoken billionaire to emerge.

But party leaders cut them off, saying they failed to collect enough valid signatures to force a roll call vote. Instead, a voice vote was held — and Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, acting as convention chairman at the time, said the “aye” votes won and pounded his gavel.

“This is a fixed convention,” shouted Diana Shores, an anti-Trump delegate from Virginia. Others chanted, “Roll call vote.”

Womack explained why there was no roll call vote:

“The secretary received requests from a total of nine states requesting roll call vote on adoption of report on the committee on rules,” Womack said, addressing the delegation several moments after he abruptly walked off the floor. “Subsequently, the secretary received withdrawals, which caused three states to fall below the threshold required under the rule. Accordingly, the chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote.”

There was some arm twisting to get those "withdrawal" notices, no doubt. When you throw the rules out the window, it's best you have a somewhat plausible explanation for doing so.

The irony is that the New Establishment employed tactics exactly like those of the Old Establishment. There should have been a roll call - one that Trump would have won going away. But the prospect of a couple of hundred delegates voting to allow them to vote their conscience would be proof that the party is not fully united - which would be a bonanza for the press looking for stories the Trump campaign doesn't want them to focus on.

The party is not united, but it mostly is. The prospect of a Hillary presidency - like hanging - focuses the mind wonderfully. The Trump campaign hopes that the rest of the convention will be all about Trump and bashing Clinton.

They've had enough drama for one convention.

The never give up NeverTrumpers finally had the stake driven through their heart. But it took some fancy footwork by Trump supporters and their allies on the RNC to make it happen.

The anti-Trump faction gathered a majority of signatures from nine state delegations to petition the chair to hold a roll call vote on the rules. By rule, the convention chair should have accepted the petition and started a roll call vote.

But the chair of vote procedures, Rep. Steve Womack, rammed the rules through on a voice vote and then promptly walked off the stage, leaving the NeverTrump faction livid and causing some members of the Iowa and Colorado delegations to walk out of the convention. (They can be replaced by alternates.)

Politico:

The blistering speeches appeared to stitch back together a Republican Party that hours earlier suffered an embarrassing show of dissension, as party leaders steamrolled over anti-Trump forces demanded a roll call vote on whether to adopt the party’s rules that cement Mr. Trump as the nominee.

The rules mean the delegates won by Mr. Trump in the primaries are bound to vote for him on the floor, giving him far more than the 1,237 needed to be nominated.

Anti-Trump delegates were enraged, saying the party denied them the chance to force a roll call vote on the rules. They said if they could defeat the rules, delegates would be free to vote their conscience, creating the opening for someone other than the outspoken billionaire to emerge.

But party leaders cut them off, saying they failed to collect enough valid signatures to force a roll call vote. Instead, a voice vote was held — and Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, acting as convention chairman at the time, said the “aye” votes won and pounded his gavel.

“This is a fixed convention,” shouted Diana Shores, an anti-Trump delegate from Virginia. Others chanted, “Roll call vote.”

Womack explained why there was no roll call vote:

“The secretary received requests from a total of nine states requesting roll call vote on adoption of report on the committee on rules,” Womack said, addressing the delegation several moments after he abruptly walked off the floor. “Subsequently, the secretary received withdrawals, which caused three states to fall below the threshold required under the rule. Accordingly, the chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote.”

There was some arm twisting to get those "withdrawal" notices, no doubt. When you throw the rules out the window, it's best you have a somewhat plausible explanation for doing so.

The irony is that the New Establishment employed tactics exactly like those of the Old Establishment. There should have been a roll call - one that Trump would have won going away. But the prospect of a couple of hundred delegates voting to allow them to vote their conscience would be proof that the party is not fully united - which would be a bonanza for the press looking for stories the Trump campaign doesn't want them to focus on.

The party is not united, but it mostly is. The prospect of a Hillary presidency - like hanging - focuses the mind wonderfully. The Trump campaign hopes that the rest of the convention will be all about Trump and bashing Clinton.

They've had enough drama for one convention.