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Cleveland 2016: The GOPís Waterloo
The Hill's Congress Blog ^ | July 17, 2014 | Eric Ham

Posted on 07/17/2014 11:07:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The Republican National Committee has chosen to host its 2016 GOP convention in the all-important battleground state of Ohio. The GOP has been waging an all-out battle with itself since the 2012 presidential election that saw Mitt Romney’s campaign go down in flames.

Since then, the party has rolled out “autopsy” strategies and seen the rise and fall of some of its most promising 2016 candidates, most notably, scandal-plagued New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. By choosing the city of Cleveland to host its nomination event the party sends the message that Ohio will be its last stand. What’s further interesting is it chose a Democratic and unabashedly blue city. It did not choose undeniably and reliably red Cincinnati, home to the leader of the GOP, Speaker John Boehner.

The GOP has been smarting since upstart Barack Obama upended maverick Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who was seen by many as the most seasoned and experienced of the two. Like Romney, McCain has never been able to live with his and Obama’s places in history.

All of this gave rise to the tea party movement, and ever since, the GOP establishment and tea party wings of the Republican Party have engaged in an all-out GOP Civil War. This summer’s GOP primary season has been especially bruising as Eric Cantor (R-Va.) became the first House majority leader in history to lose a primary contest. Moreover, Mississippi state senator and tea party darling Chris McDaniel is considering a legal fight after black voters came to the rescue of incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in their June run-off.

While the GOP is only getting stronger at the state level, with a majority of governorships and state legislatures under their control, nationally, the party is slowly regressing. It has been unable to develop a viable policy agenda and is constantly beset by infighting on direction and strategy. The tit-for-tat fighting is eating away at what was the “Party of Lincoln.” By deciding on Cleveland, the GOP is making a last stand as a viable national party. Ohio is a perennial battleground state and its 18 electoral votes will play an important role in deciding the next president. The GOP has decided to take on itself and the Democratic Party in a fight for Ohio’s crucial electoral votes. The GOP is courting a two-front battle for the soul of the party and for the nation and Cleveland is its Waterloo.

Waterloo was the decisive battle with much at stake. The battle ended a series of wars that waged throughout Europe. It also was the end of the first French Empire and more importantly, ended the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, undoubtedly one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history. However, the battle at Waterloo did usher in nearly a half century of peace in Europe. Might Cleveland too? Will it be decisive in finally bringing an end to a brutal and bruising GOP Civil War that has raged throughout the Republican landscape since the end of the 2012 presidential election? More importantly, will Cleveland bring an end to political careers of some of the more divisive voices in the Republican Party a la Mr. Bonaparte?

Cleveland is a fascinating choice for sure. Coming out of the nomination process the GOP will either be a stronger united party or fractured and weak. Either way, a potential showdown with a possible challenger such as Hillary Clinton will be too much for the latter and still formidable against the former.

Post-2012, the GOP has seen some of its biggest supporters turn against one another. The Club for Growth vs. Chamber of Commerce; former RNC Chairman Michael Steele vs. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus; establishment vs. tea party; Bush wing vs. Romney wing; hawks vs. isolationists; the one constant being the fights get nastier and more detrimental both to the party and the nation.

The Republicans have a very real shot at taking control of the Senate in 2014 but will tea party factions get behind vulnerable incumbents such as current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)? Will Laura Ingraham, Sara Palin and spurned tea party candidate Chris McDaniel support “establishment” candidates in 2014? Will the growing rift over foreign policy percolating between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney be resolved by 2016 or will the growing uncertainty across the globe only lead to greater chaos at home within the GOP?

All critical questions to be sure and if they’re not answered now, they will most certainly be answered in Cleveland in 2016. And much like Waterloo, the answers will be decisive and final.

Ham, a national-security and political analyst is author of the bestselling book, THE GOP CIVIL WAR: Inside the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party.


TOPICS: Ohio; Issues; Parties; State and Local
KEYWORDS: 2016rncconvention; boehner; palin; romney; teaparty
This is the caliber of thinkers coming out of the University of Chicago?
1 posted on 07/17/2014 11:07:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Cleveland has been in the news a lot lately. Johnny Manziel... LaBron James.... and their homicide detectives are currently on The First 48.


2 posted on 07/17/2014 11:12:14 PM PDT by Veggie Todd (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TJ)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The GOP should never run pro-choice ads again, in Ohio, like Romney did in 2012.

“”NEW YORK (AP) — Mitt Romney’s campaign has released a new TV ad suggesting the Republican hopeful believes abortion “should be an option” in certain cases.””


3 posted on 07/17/2014 11:15:53 PM PDT by ansel12 (LEGAL immigrants, 30 million 1980-2012, continues to remake the nation's electorate for democrats)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Waterloo was the decisive battle with much at stake...

Don't you just hate being talked down to by someone who knows less than you?

4 posted on 07/17/2014 11:18:51 PM PDT by stormhill
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To: stormhill

Indeed, that was my thinking throughout reading the whole article. He’s not getting much love at the link, either.


5 posted on 07/17/2014 11:20:28 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I think every convention should be in DC ...

It's neutral ground, all the bugs are in place .. or not .. the place is accustomed to traffic jams, DC is politics all the time, both parties can control the crime/prostitution, transportation is focused and localized ... in fact, people could plan a lot more easily to be present or not ..

Maybe in time, "the convention" would become a strict and exclusively controlled environment, but hell ... folks already suspect the political "scheme" is beyond the common electorate anyway ... make it official.

6 posted on 07/18/2014 1:05:16 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: knarf

Better yet, Las Vegas. They do conventions for a living.


7 posted on 07/18/2014 1:09:44 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Black Panthers were intimidating people in 2012 in Cleveland.

There were 100% 0bama precincts there, too.

Cleveland. Where panhandlers relish travelers.

0f course, the GOPe decided to hold a convention there.

rant off


8 posted on 07/18/2014 1:50:43 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve often wondered at the often-used statement of Ohio being a critical battleground state as if it were the only place that mattered. It seems to me that money, bribing, pandering of ideals to suit the capricious whims of Ohio voters comes at a high price and the risk of permanently alienating other once-strong states in this country.

The GOP establishment and their rules, use of rules to enforce their second-tier will, seem all too willing to give up ideals and conservatism (if they still have any left) to capture these elusive butterflies, whether it be Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire or that mythical majority Hispanic GOP vote.

In the end, all I know is that I’ll never vote for another RINO non-conservative again - EVER. I’ll see the Republican party end before I do that.

When you spend all your time pandering to special interests or locales, when you spend the rest of your time scheming to beat out Tea Party sentiment candidates, when you belittle and berate conservative voters’ ideals, when you appease to Democrats on spending and immigration, you end up with a party that has no ideals or principles save only that required to get re-elected.


9 posted on 07/18/2014 2:13:46 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: stormhill

1996-San Diego-lost California
2000-Philly-lost PA
2004-NYC-lost NY
2008-Twin Cities-lost Minn
2012-Tampa-lost Fl
2016- Cleveland-????


10 posted on 07/18/2014 2:38:47 AM PDT by personalaccts (Is George W going to protect the border?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This is the caliber of thinkers coming out of the University of Chicago?

Only some of them. Many wrote for the Chicago Maroon. The "Grey City Journal" writers were mostly Deltas.
11 posted on 07/18/2014 4:53:16 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They picked Cleveland because Cleveland was one of the few cities that WANTED the headaches.


12 posted on 07/18/2014 4:54:20 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It will not be the Waterloo regardless of the outcome.
Wishful thinking


13 posted on 07/18/2014 5:39:11 AM PDT by reefdiver (Be the Best you can be Whatever you Dream to be)
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