`Bigger than Trump?’ Can the national GOP borrow the Travis County Robert Morrow playbook?

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Good morning Austin:

The Travis County Republicans, whose executive committee is meeting this evening, have come up with a nifty branding campaign to survive the impending chairmanship of Robert Morrow.

 

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It’s well done, and the beauty of it is that, with the slightest edit – by scratching the words Travis County – our local Republicans could lend the logo to the their national brothers and sisters to deal with their own Robert Morrow problem, their own that, in the person of Donald Trump, presumptive Republican nominee.

(Morrow, from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, after his election as chairman in Texas’ March 1 primary: “I’m like Donald Trump on steroids, sweetheart.”)

 

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And it’s not just the logo.

Read through this Q-and-A the Travis County Republicans put together about how it is contending with that whose name shall not be spoken, think Donald Trump instead of Robert Morrow, and, with just a few tweaks here and there it works pretty damn well, and shows how the local GOP is proving itself more sophisticated in dealing with its situation, than the national GOP is proving in dealing with its.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

“How do you plan on getting anything done with a chairman who doesn’t support all of your goals?”

We’re bigger than a single elected official. We’re truly a “big tent” of thousands of volunteers dedicated to turning Travis County red and making Texas redder. And we made several changes to our bylaws to EMPOWER the members of our party and take things to the next level.

“Your chairman will still wield significant power and can hamstring the Travis GOP for the next two years. How do you expect to navigate that?”

We’re bigger than interpersonal squabbles. Our incoming chairman has said he is willing to do whatever he can to let the executive board lead the party in most respects, while performing his statuatory duty. He has said that he mainly wishes to have a “bully pulpit” to announce his viewpoints. We’re big enough to take a man at his word and work together with our duly elected chairman for the common good of our county party.

“You’ve taken quite a hit in the media and in the public eye. Wouldn’t it be best to quit for now and come back two years later when the coast is clear?”

We’re bigger than the new chairman’s antics. No, we’re not happy with his infamous objectivication of women or wild accusations of wrongdoing in high places, but everyone knows that those views do not reflect the values of the 99.99% of us who have respect for the opposite sex and believe in making a practical difference in politics. He’s entitled to his opinions, and we’re obliged to strongly disagree. As a matter of fact, we have officially censored him.

“But his rambling makes every one of you look bad individually. How are you going to save your reputations?”

We’re bigger than a few unorthodox rambles. The new chairman may say some odd (and, frankly, very offensive) things, but those things are not in our platform and are not what we officially believe as a body. His views are not binding on any one of us. They are his opinions alone.

“How will the Travis County GOP ever recover from this?”

We’re bigger than a public relations hit. We’ve been the smaller of two parties in Travis County since the Civil War! We’re by no means deterred by unfavorable press coverage (while very appreciative of the sympathy we’ve received from many reporters!), and are more committed than ever to our mission and core values. Now is the time to stand firm.

“What about your donors?”

We’re bigger than even the Travis County Republican Party. We’re working on setting up a separate entity to raise funds and communicate our conservative message. We’ll have more information on this development soon, but in the meantime our generous donors should know that we’re committed to safeguarding the funds entrusted to us and using our resources to make a measurable difference. We are committed to fully supporting ALL Republican candidates and officeholders, and will not officially take sides in a Primary.

“Won’t you run out of money in the meantime? The Republican Party is imploding!”

We’re bigger than our current bank statement. We host a major fundraiser every year, anyway, and expect many of our loyal supporters to return. We’re not worried, and are confident the extra attention we’ve been given will result in a record-setting fundraising year. If you would like to help us out, please DONATE HERE.

“Why are you reversing the will of the voters by taking away the chairman’s power?”

We’re certainly bigger than that, and we would never think of attempting to reverse an election (if that were even possible)! The Chairman position is given some authority and responsibility in the Texas Election Code and the Republican Party of Texas rules. All other authority and responsibility the Chairman has is what is granted by the Executive Committee. Every two years the Executive Committee, which is made up of elected Precinct Chairs, is required to develop the bylaws that will determine how much more responsibility they will delegate to the Chairman and/or other officers.

THE PLAN

Like the ruggedly independent Central Texas conservatives we are, we didn’t lay down and lick our wounds while our detractors laughed at our misfortune.

Rather, we pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps and came up with an expertly crafted plan to turn this controversy into a positive for Travis County.

Our plan to build the Travis GOP into a stronger volunteer-driven force for good in the Greater Austin area is still under development. Check back here soon for bullet-point highlights of our bylaws changes and a link to our new bylaws.

Pretty good, huh?

But, perhaps not enough to save the national Republicans from what in the last few days has come to appear the possibility of a real disaster.

Indeed, if one were to come up with a crazy-to-consequences-quotient, Trump would outdo Morrow.

But, for a bigger, more comprehensive plan to save the national GOP, we again have to look no further than the wisdom of Travis County Republicans in the person – gulp – of their incoming chairman, Robert Morrow.

There, I said it.

But let’s look at the tweetstream, or at least that which, considering the proclivities of Morrow, decency and a family newspaper, permit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, as they say great minds, because, yesterday, before these last tweets, I was thinking that there had to be a lot of Republicans around the country thinking, it’s time for an intervention.

 

 

I can see the scene. Trump is called into a conference room at Trump Tower. Everyone’s there – Hope Hicks, Paul Manafort, Melania, Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric, the Big Lewandowski,  Omarosa, Sam Clovis, Chris Christie, Dr. Ben, Reince Priebus, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, well, maybe not Rick Perry – and they say, “Donald, we love you, you’re amazing, what you’ve done is huge, no one’s ever done anything like it before, but, Donald, you’re not well, you have the whole weight of the world on your shoulders, you’re not sleeping right, you’re not listening to anyone, you’re not listening to the people who love you, and, Donald, you’re saying stuff that’s not good, that’s crazy, that’s hurting you, that’s hurting us, that’s going to hurt the country.”

And then what?

 

 

 

 

Unlikley? Sure. Unthinkable? No.

From my May 30 story on the convention:

The Rules Committee, which will draw up the rules that the convention must adopt as a first order of business, offers even more intriguing possibilities.

Those rules will determine whether Cruz can have his name entered into nomination, which might also offer Cruz a chance to speak to the convention by placing his own name in nomination.

In theory, the Rules Committee — with the OK of the full convention — could unbind all the delegates, unleashing all kinds of havoc.

“It’s not over till the fat lady sings,” said Ray Myers, chairman of the Kaufman County Tea Party, who will be a Cruz delegate in Cleveland.

Myers is not alone in believing there remains a whisper of a hope that Cruz could still emerge with the nomination if Trump finally goes too far.

“With Donald Trump’s personality, when he gets behind a microphone, anything can happen,” Myers said.

In just the past week, Trump suggested former President Bill Clinton was a rapist and, at a rally in Albuquerque, N.M., attacked the record of Gov. Susana Martinez, the first Hispanic female governor and head of the Republican Governors Association, who has not endorsed him.

And, with his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and obsession with Trump U, it’s been downhill, way downhill, ever since.

During the late stages of the Republican primary campaign, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick would say that if and when it came down to a race between just Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with just the two of them up on the debate stage for an hour, Trump would be done for.

Maybe.

But, in retrospect, I think it was good for Trump to have Cruz in the race because it gave him an opponent who had his own negatives who he could run against and beat. When Cruz got out of the race, he did it with as frank an assessment of an opponent’s psychological problems as you’ll see.

But, as it’s turned out,  Cruz’s withdrawal from the race – by sheer accident or diabolical strategery – may have been the best way to undo Trump, leaving him all alone on the stage.

It’s as if, on bowing out, Cruz handed Trump some ball bearings and said, “Here, boss, it’s all yours, and be sure to tell them about the strawberries, I mean, Trump U. Man, that Mexican is really screwing you on Trump U. Be sure to talk about that. See you in Cleveland.”

 

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