Fleeing the Republican Convention: ‘I’ve got other things to do,’ etc.

    GOP to DNC: See you later

    GOP to DNC: See you later

    Republicans have become so toxic that even Republicans don’t want to be around them. Here’s a list of Republicans who plan to boycott the national convention in Cleveland. 

    Republicans have become so toxic that even Republicans don’t want to be around them.

    Here’s a list of Republicans who plan to boycott the national convention in Cleveland. Some of them have spun rationales for going AWOL, but clearly they do not wish to be associated with, or infected by, the presumptive nominee whose con artistry becomes more apparent with each passing day.

    In fact, I compiled this list before the court-ordered release of the Trump University trove, which includes this sworn testimony from ex-staffer Ronald Schnackenberg: “Trump University was engaging in misleading, fraudulent, and dishonest conduct … Based upon my personal experience and employment, I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme, and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

    And I compiled this list before Trump had his toddler tantrum in front of the press corps this week. And I compiled this list before we all learned, via those court documents, that Trump hailed the 2008 housing crash as “one of the most lucrative investment opportunities ever” — essentially promising to tutor his “university” enrollees on how to swoop in as vultures to profit from the misery of average Americans. And I compiled this list before he attacked the Indiana-born judge in the Trump U case as a “Mexican” — playing racist politics in the hopes of protecting his personal financial interests.

    Yep, the reasons for fleeing the Trump convention keep piling up. The sheer volume of dropouts is unprecedented in the modern era. The preliminary tally (along with excuses that nobody believes):

    Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona (“I’ve got other things to do.”)
    Sen. John McCain of Arizona (“I have to campaign for re-election.”)
    George H. W. Bush, Barbara Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush
    Mitt Romney
    Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (“I can watch it on TV.”)
    Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire (“I’ve got a lot of work to do.”)
    Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina (“I’m more valuable outside of Cleveland.”)
    Congressman Rick Mulvaney, co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus (“I’m going to stay home and work.”)
    Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin (“There’s a lot of stuff for me to do.”)
    Congressman Duncan Hunter of California (“I have other stuff to do.”)
    Congressman Paul Cook of California “(“It’s a long way across the country and everything.”)
    Congressman Frank Guinta of New Hampshire (A spokesman says “he is focused exclusively on the challenges facing New Hampshire.”)
    New Hampshire Senator emeritus Judd Gregg (“Don’t like large crowds.”)
    Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
    Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri (He hadn’t missed a convention in 16 years, but this time, a GOP consultant says, “It’s smart for Senator Blunt to be in Missouri.”)
    Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas
    Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland (“I don’t even want to be involved.”)
    Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada
    Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts (A spokesman says “the legislature will be in session.”)
    Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming (A spokesman says he has a busy summer.)
    Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois
    Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan (“Michigan has some pressing challenges right now.”)
    Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio (“I’ve spoken at every convention since 1996. Nobody listens.”)
    Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois (A spokesman says “he will be working hard” in Illinois.)

    Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina says she may not go. Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia may not go. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul may not go. Heck, even John Kasich, governor of the state that’s hosting the convention, says he may not go.

    But one guy who’s definitely not going is Josh Claybourn, an Indiana delegate who quit last month because he couldn’t stomach the notion of voting on the first ballot for the noxious nominee. As he explained in a blog post, Trump “constitutes a danger. [He] lacks a mature temperament needed at home and abroad …. I cannot in good conscience attend a convention supporting him.”

    So I guess Trump’s party unification project isn’t going so well. On the other hand, the North Koreans praised Trump this week as a “wise politician” and the best choice for American voters in November. Hey, those guys know a thug when they see one. And if Kim Jong Un wishes to lead an honorary delegation to Cleveland, no problem. It appears there will be sufficient empty seats. 

    Follow me on Twitter, @dickpolman1, and on Facebook.

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