Why the GOP can't take the nomination from Donald Trump

So the nomination will have been taken from Trump, in part because he is widely seen as unelectable, and given to someone else who loses. Who would the blame naturally fall on in such a catastrophe? Why, the people who “robbed” Trump and his supporters, a group that would conceivably include everyone from grassroots anti-Trump conservatives to local party bosses to Paul Ryan, who’s made his anti-Trump sympathies known, and Reince Priebus. The entire infrastructure of the party, in other words, would be implicated in an undemocratic scheme that ended in failure.

Then there will be the rumors that this or that delegation was bribed by Cruz or Karl Rove or the Koch Brothers; the convention itself might actually end in a Chicago ’68-style riot. And after all that, the GOP will be left with Cruz as their nominee, a man much of the party leadership despises, who most of the GOP electorate didn’t vote for, and who probably can’t win the general.

This outcome will also vindicate a central thesis of the pro-Trump wing of the party: that a GOP establishment exists, that it works against the interests and desires of GOP voters, and that it is fundamentally incompetent, having won the popular vote in a presidential election only once since 1988. In fact, it would be hard for anyone, be they pro-Trump or anti-Trump, to disagree with that analysis, and the GOP will spend the next few years not only at war with itself, but trying to justify its very existence in a two-party system where it seems unable to compete at a national level.

This is all a long way of saying that if Trump, as expected, goes into the convention with the most votes, the most delegates, and the most contests won, it will be in the ultimate interest of the GOP to hand him the nomination regardless of whether he’s secured a majority.