Resist the Third Party Temptation

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Prominent conservatives gathered privately in Washington to hear arguments for leaving the Republican Party if Donald Trump wins the Republican Presidential nomination. Some of the participants, including leading office-holders, wanted to provide a third party option for those who are unwilling to vote for either Trump or Hillary Clinton.

While I share the revulsion toward Trump’s demagoguery, the third party idea is a dangerous delusion. First, a conservative candidate would take votes from Trump, but very few votes from Clinton. Maybe he could grab some states from the GOP electoral college column, but with no ability to “flip” the necessary four Obama states, or even to hold all the Romney states, there’s no path to victory.

Second, if Trump suffers the crushing defeat that most observers expect, the GOP will need competent, credible conservatives to rebuild the party. Those who experiment with doomed third party adventures will lose all meaningful ability to participate in that process after the election.

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  1. Karen Teiken  •  Mar 18, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    With Ted Cruz being the exception, the Republican and Democrat leadership are a bunch of useless, whiny, self-serving demigods, more interested in protecting their jobs then in protecting this country and its citizens. I would like Ted Cruz to become our new president, but if Trump wins the nomination, I WILL vote for him! I'm sick and tired of how Republican leadership has acted and reacted regarding Trump, and it's time for them to bow out and let other, less dictator-types take control. Retire! Go away! We're tired of your non-leadership and stubborn, whiny theatrics!

    • Susan McNeil  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      I agree, after a GOP rep got on TV and stated plans to get at the convention and just pick another establishment kiss ass i become the president, i am determined to watch them and leave the party if they do. What is the use in voting if none of them represent us.
      Now we find out Cruz is taking globalist money so he will end up another kiss butt to the globalist (satan worshippers) that does us no good. It is just pathetic.
      Both parties have let us down, making up rules to help them get what they want to furtger thrir own plans. We are tired of the tyranny!!!!

  2. Rizzo  •  Mar 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Oh my God, I love you.
    Thank you!

  3. Nani  •  Mar 21, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Michael, the party of REPUBLICANS has been poisoned by the so called base who wants only to destroy her. Read what many of your commentators have been saying…they are TIRED of the Republican party. Well, it's time for the party to be good and sick of them. Their juvenile tantrums and refusal to listen to reality has them supporting an unstable bully just to stick it to the party shows a true lack of character. If they won't leave, the party must leave them.

    Oh yeah, we will lose the White House, the SCOTUS, and Congress. The last super Saturday sealed that deal. Even if Cruz manages to take down Trump, Hillary will win because Cruz has made a career of bashing the GOP and making no friends. And let's face it, while this is primarily a push back to Black lives matter and political correctness, the very fabric of Americans is the concept of decency. If it is a choice between a lying Hillary or an unstable Trump or a confrontational, sanctimonious Cruz, the voters will choose Hillary.

    The angry, spoiled hard Right has given them no choice.

    By the end of the General Election, conservatives will be seen as sexist, racist, xenophobes akin to the KKK. The only chance we have to keep the Democratic party from having sole power is to offer them another party. Maybe one called The Centralist party (so that the hard right can't pretend to be the base and the talk show mafia can't pretend to speak for them).

    After the spectacular defeat of Trump or Cruz, there won't be a Republican party that any serious politician will want to hang their talents on. Rebuild the party? The poison has destroyed the foundation Michael. We need to let it burn and create another party. We need to plant the seeds NOW. So that when the end comes, those who espouse the value of strength thru unity, calm judgement to attain common goals, and above all: civility and respect, will have a place to call home. Many of the politicians, even those who has been disillusioned by those that were supposed to have their back will come. It may take awhile and too bad America has to be hurt by these selfish people, but there really isn't a choice. There comes a time in every product where one has to decide if it's worth salvaging it or is it time to just get a new one.

    My only hope is we remember the people who put their anger, their frustration, and their ambition above the needs of this party and the nation. When they come around trying to gain entry to distribute their virus, they need to be shut down, period.

    • Rizzo  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 11:55 am

      If by the "so called base", you mean CONSERVATIVES, then you are WRONG AS USUAL.
      We are not the "so called base", WE ARE THE BASE.
      Is the sky "so called" blue, is water "so called" wet?
      Wise up!

    • S Johnson  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      It's those like Mitch McConnel and Lidsey Grahman who are causing the trouble and Medved is part of it.

  4. Jim Bird  •  Mar 23, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Ref: Silence of the Clams

    Who should leave the GOP? The establishment old guard, march-in-lockstep with Obama, cowards of the Beltway liars, whose utter silence on the democrats daily atrocities should. They destroyed the Party and are looking for someone else to blame it on. DID YOU REALLY THINK WE WOULD DO NOTHING! Karen's description of you – whiny self-serving demigods – is right on point. Do any of you old guys ever
    speak? What do you do for a living? Have you cut the cost of govt? What the hell is so difficult about your job? RIANCE, You lose the easiest election in U.S. History to win. Why go on? It's gone from funny to pathetic.

  5. Jim Bird  •  Mar 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Ref: Where's Barach
    A couple of days ago Michael and Arthur Brooks, two people who started out in life as Liberals and now are conservatives, we're trying to think up ways to get the economy going and new ideas for job creation. The discussion was "…….Sweden's govt. has this special plan to re-educate ……..I know their Socialist but….. TED talks get people excited…….." on and on and on what government can do for you!? I guess once a liberal always one? Then I realized Michael and Arthur make a living commenting on social issues, writing columns and books and never experiencing the work that goes on it seems in small or large businesses. They are in effect career politicians. They also seem clueless when it comes to figuring out what's wrong with America and why working people are fed up the talking heads.
    With the exception of the military, 80% of the rest of govt. is worthless corruption. THE GOVERNMENT DESTROYS JOBS, THE ECONOMY. Re-education centers, seminars with breakout sessions, beer summits and thousands upon thousands of govt. granted grant programs are worthless as well.
    The people that pay for all this corruption are being hammered daily by truly dumb and cruel people. We know how to fix the economy and the world as well but the talking heads will NEVER do it for a zillion reasons they will gladly talk about and discuss until the end of time.
    Everyone out here knows the secret to job creation which was never brought up between you and Arthur. But since commentators don't produce anything for mankind, they simply lack the experience of asking others what their specific needs and desires are. Did you know the origin of the word "desire" means "of God?"
    Here's a clue: cut govt. everything and everywhere – leave working people alone, we are far more compassionate than govt. That's the secret too.
    It will never happen though. It's too simple, crony capitalists can't build their empires, blah, blah, ………………………blah. Maybe the two of you and Barach can get together and, you know, do the reach-across-the-aisle thing to gain a consensus, for a re-eduction internment program for all concerned citizens to do what's right for all of us or even a Third Party whose platform is educating the masses! Wow, I'm energized!

  6. Nani  •  Mar 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Honestly, if the GOP is so useless, cowardly and RINO, why on earth STAY? I never got this. A long time ago, a popular radio talk show host told her listener that she was like someone who bought a Labrador and was disappointed that it didn't act like a Rottweiler. Ingraham, Hannity, Hewitt, Tantaros, Rush and all their minions have for years been so angry and has made sure their audience is angry because the "establishment", the leaders, the entire GOP weren't acting the way they thought they should act.

    They tried electing the Tea Party which despite all promises FAILED to overturn Obamacare. Once again, the "establishment" was blamed. They shut down the government, even though they KNEW and was told that would only hurt Republicans, but once again the GOP was to blame. For the Love of Common Sense, why stay with a group that so disappoints you?

    Again, the poison has reached beyond salvation and I for one am all for allowing the "real" conservatives to have the GOP and see how many serious politicians who really want to get elected will run under their banner. I ask this question because if they don't face WHY they remain, they will eventually want to join the new party. They will in effect, keep buying a Labrador while they wanted a Rottweiler.

    • Jim Bird  •  Mar 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      You are so correct, Nani. We are so stupid that we can be so easily brainwashed by talk radio and not by Liberals arming terrorist countries with hundreds of billions of dollars and nukes. Who's your guy for President? Bernie?

      • Nani  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 3:22 am

        Obviously you haven't bothered to read a word I've written.

      • Jim Bird  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 11:16 am


      • Nani  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 3:17 pm

        Wow Jim, you've just admitted to judging without having the slightest idea what you're talking about.

        Sometimes Jim, it isn't always good to be that honest. It renders everything you say questionable.

      • Rizzo  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        I read Nani's painfully inept postings…. And you were smart for having not read them.

    • Rizzo  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      We stay, because we ARE THE REPUPLICANS. YOU ARE NOT.
      GOOD BYE….. GO AWAY.
      Go start your useless third-party, that stands for open borders, and lawlessness…. or, you could just join the Democrats. Same thing.

    • Rizzo  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Nani ….
      All the Republican candidates claim to be CONSERVATIVE. Even Kasich.
      If you hate Conservatives so much, leave….. This party doesn't want you.

  7. Nani  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Jim Bird, another one to add to my list of those not worth my time responding to.

    Right after Trump and or Cruz gets nailed by the ads that paint conservatives as ugly, intolerant bigots, many will claim never to have been a member of the party. Many will say they never supported the unstable bully known as Trump. There will be deniers as there was in Germany as the GOP will be liken to the KKK. Much changing of user name will occur.

    I won't have to do any of those things because my posts going back to Front Page will show that when I called myself a Republican, it was a party that believed in unity and decency. I will not have to try to excuse my beliefs to my children or grandchildren. Nor will I have to hang my head in shame when I face the final judge.

  8. Rizzo  •  Mar 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Nani…. Which Republican candidate in the passed 35 years have libtards not tried to paint as ugly, intolerant bigots? Grow up!
    BTW, the ONLY KKK members recently in national government, belonged to THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!
    Now, go face your final judge as you enable Hillary to the highest position in the world.

  9. Alexander M.  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I hear you Michael, but if Trump is the nominee he's going to lose big one way or another. Obviously a third party has no hope of winning anything, and I wouldn't support one just to spite Trump either. But if we're going to lose anyway, we may as well have the opportunity to cast a vote for someone we believe in.

  10. Sheldon Dan  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Michael, I am sorry, but if it comes down to Trump vs. Clinton, I will refuse to vote for either. If there is a viable third party candidate, I will possibly vote for them. But I think we might have to accept the fact that we may have to have Clinton for four years, and then vote her out, as the lesser of two evils. I do not trust Trump one bit, and if the Republicans feel they "must" support him, then the Republicans will pay for this eventually.

    • Rizzo  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      Sheldon, your logic and strategy are reprehensible.

  11. Robert Spanfelner  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Michael, if the republican party offers Trump as it's candidate maybe a political party other than the democratic or republican party is in order.

  12. S johnson  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Of all the comments not one did I see addressing the fact that both party's are private, can change the rules any time, Reince himself said something about third party (Michele). both Lindsey and Mitch have said they would rather have Hillary in. And Reince has also said that they decide who the nominee will be not our votes.
    So those of you who still want to stay on this sinking ship with the establishment using an ax to chop more holes in the bottom go ahead,none of your loyalty is going to save you.nor is trying to keep the lie going.

  13. S johnson  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Censorship my comments are not getting posted

  14. Royak  •  Mar 25, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    No! Don't just resist a third party, REJECT it. The Electoral College essentially makes a third party victory impossible. Remember that control of the Supreme Court is the Super Bowl of modern politics. If you gag at the eventual G.O.P. nominee, vote for him/her anyway. If not for you, then for your kids & grandkids.

  15. John Train  •  Mar 26, 2016 at 4:38 am

    Donald Trump is a con man and a bully. He is very much like the character Harold Hill in music man. As Ted Cruz pointed out Trump changes his views by the minute but a lie detector test would show Trump believing what he says at the time that he says it.

    Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar who is participated in many actions that are detrimental to the United States. For example, her servers were hacked by China and Iran and the lives of American operatives were placed in extreme danger. She is complicit in the current situation in Libya; an architect of the "daylight between the US and Israel" policy of the Obama administration; the rise of ISIS in Iraq;and she laid the groundwork {before Kerry} for the underground dealings with Iran. Below are some materials relevant to Iran in the Obama legacy which she will continue.

    Introductory clarifying notes:

    1. I was one of the five advisors that nominated the scientist who served as one of Hillary Clinton's science advisors for more than half of Clinton’s term of office as Secretary of State. He is an expert on the Iranian nuclear program [pro-Iranian] and many of his former students are active in key roles in the Iranian nuclear and missile programs. Both he and I participated in back channel communications with Iran and to put it mildly ,we were completely outfoxed by the Iranians who were then led by Rouhani [who later publicly bragged about how he had maneuvered and manipulated us to preserve the ongoing Iranian nuclear development programs.]

    2.Concerning the JCPOA: More than 400 retired admirals and generals (including many former Chiefs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and more than two thirds of defense and intelligence professionals publicly stated that the JCPOA unleashes dangerous threats to the United States. The JCPOA:

    * Exposes the East coast of the US {New York, Washington and Boston to the direct threat a nuclear attack and the entire US to the direct threat of an EMP attack.

    * Gives Putin and Russia the free hand they have been seeking to dominate Eastern Europe{Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia and a major position relative to Poland} and opens up Syria as a base of operations in the Middle East

    * Allows Iran to expand the scope and depth of its entire global terror operations including expanding its currently active penetration and terror networks in Central and South America.

    Thus, those who supported the JCPOA also accepted a. Iran's increased terror operations to kill Americans everywhere in the world; b.expanding the ability of Russia to dominate Eastern Europe and penetrate the Middle East; and c. enabling Iran to continue the development of their missiles and their EMP capabilities which could devastate the United States.

    3. Current developments indicate that the solid assurances given by the US administration to the US public were deceitful. Below is the conclusion of Jonathan Tobin which we share:

    “… the American people that were also opposed to the nuclear deal — were lied to by the administration during the sales process for President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement. Treasury and State Department officials consistently claimed that sanctions relief would only come after proof of Iran’s good behavior was clear. But the unseemly race to lift restrictions on economic activity with the regime is now being compounded by measures that would greatly expand the benefits available to Tehran.”

    4. Full information was provided to Senator Cory Booker Representatives Adam Schiff and Ted Lieu (among many others). Booker and Schiff chose to ignore these risks. Representative Lieu [a Democrat] after a thorough examination voted {courageously] to oppose the JCPOA and issued a comprehensive analysis justifying his opposition.

    5. The article by Jonathan Tobin {Will Obama Give More Cash to Iran?} Is an (alarming) update:
    Will Obama Give More Cash to Iran?
    JONATHAN S. TOBIN / MAR. 25, 2016

    Earlier this month, Iran decided to send the world an answer to the question about whether the nuclear deal it signed with the West had changed its aggressive intentions. It conducted yet another ballistic missile test that violated United Nations resolutions passed in conjunction with the nuclear pact. But lest anyone be in doubt as to the target if Iran decided to start shooting for real, it announced to the world via its official FARS news agency that the weapons bore the inscription in Farsi and Hebrew, “Israel must be wiped out.”

    This brazen demonstration made it clear — as if the regime’s continued support for terrorism had not already done so — that President Obama’s hope that the nuclear pact would allow Iran to “get right with the world” was misplaced. But rather than worry about having sanctions increased against it for these actions, Iran is going forward under the assumption that it has nothing to worry about. That belief was buttressed earlier this week when, as the AP reports, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said he was prepared for further U.S. action on sanctions to “make sure Iran gets relief.”

    Thus, while Israelis have to think about the testing of missiles that can reach their cities and the possibility that they will be able to carry a nuclear weapon once the nuclear pact expires, the Obama administration is more worried about whether Iranian complaints that they haven’t been sufficiently rewarded for agreeing to the deal.

    That “relief” apparently consists of a relaxation of existing U.S. regulations that still prevent Iran from access to U.S. financial markets. If the administration allows Iran to conduct transactions in dollars either in the U.S. or via offshore banks, that will further enrich the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It will also make it even harder to isolate the Islamist regime when and if it chooses to “break out” of the current rules and race to build a bomb.

    Of course, the Iranians already know that they can violate the UN resolutions on missiles with impunity. That was amply demonstrated when this month Russia came to Tehran’s defense and pointed out, not without some justice, that a change in the wording of the resolution in question allowed by the U.S. gave the Iranians the right to do as they like without fear of retaliation. In spite of American protests, a Russian veto will prevent any UN action about the violations.
    But the important thing to understand about the halfhearted U.S. diplomatic effort to demonstrate concern about the missile tests is that they are being undermined by Treasury’s actions, which send a very different message to Iran. If Lew is preparing to loosen up the regulation of Iran financial transactions, that’s a clear sign that the administration is no longer even bothering to pretend that it isn’t seeking full détente with Iran in spite of its continued bad behavior.

    It should also be pointed out that if Lew follows through on his plan for more Iranian “relief,” it will constitute a flat out contradiction of the promises the Treasury Department made last fall when the administration was trying to convince Congress not to block the Iran deal. At that time, the man in charge of Iran sanctions enforcement, Undersecretary of the Treasury Adam Szubin explicitly said that the nuclear deal could not be construed to mean that Iran had the right to “dollarize a payment” for any transactions. He also said that the dollar prohibitions would have to stay in place because they predated the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program. Which is to say they were enacted to deal with Iranian support of terrorism and are thus not related to any effort to bribe Tehran to slow down its bid for a nuclear weapon.

    Congressional Republicans are unhappy about Lew’s signal that more goodies may be in the pipeline and rightly so. They — and the American people that were also opposed to the nuclear deal — were lied to by the administration during the sales process for President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement. Treasury and State Department officials consistently claimed that sanctions relief would only come after proof of Iran’s good behavior was clear. But the unseemly race to lift restrictions on economic activity with the regime is now being compounded by measures that would greatly expand the benefits available to Tehran. Combined with the economic gold rush going on as European companies — and select American ones like Boeing — seek to cash in on the end of sanctions, and Lew’s hint is a further demonstration that the U.S. is no longer even seeking to disguise its desire to embrace the Islamist regime.
    The problems associated with this development are twofold.

    First, ending the dollar restrictions will make it a lot easier for Iran to do business and thus enrich the regime and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. As the New York Times reported earlier this year, it will be their companies that will be the principle beneficiaries of the post-sanctions windfall, not ordinary Iranians. That will greatly increase its ability to spend on its military and subsidize its foreign terror auxiliaries like Hezbollah and Hamas and there isn’t a thing the U.S. can do to stop it. Nor, given Lew’s desire to given them even more “relief” than they’ve already gotten, does the administration want to do anything about it.

    Second, the passive response to Iran’s missile violations, and the willingness of the U.S. to even further reward it with the new banking rules, sends an even louder message to Tehran that nuclear cheating or any other form of bad behavior will not result in any consequences. Just as it showed throughout the negotiations leading up to the deal when the desperation of the Americans to get Iran to agree to the deal resulted in the West dropping most of its key demands about the nuclear issue, the same pattern seems to be repeating itself as the pact is implemented.

    Iran is already benefiting enormously from the deal but continued U.S. restrictions on doing business with dollars or with American firms is one of the last carrots to be given away. For now, Congressional Republicans can ensure that the laws keeping sanctions in place on Iran are not repealed even if President Obama may not enforce them. But as Iran signals that it will push the envelope on missiles, terror and ultimately its quest for a bomb, this exchange over the dollar rule is a sign that there is no reason for them to believe the U.S. will ever hold them accountable for their actions.

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