One has to admire the optimism of the South Carolina Republican party leadership.
While the rest of the world looks at the 17 active investigations of potentially criminal actions committed by President Trump and wonders how much longer he can continue to avoid impeachment or indictment and a long prison sentence, the leaders of the GOP in this bastion of Southern conservatism are plotting how to protect the President from potential primary challengers on the South Carolina ballot in the 2020 Republican primary.
Surely Drew McKissick, the chairman of the South Carolina GOP, must have been a boy scout, given that he seems to be attempting to fulfill the motto of “Be prepared” so prematurely. McKissick told The Washington Examiner that the Palmetto State Republicans were so gung-ho in their support of President Trump that they were only going to do “what’s in the president’s best interest.”
While some people would interpret that phrase these days to mean that they should provide the president with the tools to commit ritual seppuku, for McKissick it means considering completely canceling the 2020 Republican primary in the state to prevent any challengers from even competing for the chance at the GOP nomination for the nation’s highest office.
The state party chairman doesn’t believe that Trump will face a primary challenge and noted that the state party executive committee hasn’t yet held any “formal” discussions about the primary. McKissick, however, refused to rule out canceling the primary and told the newspaper that he would prefer to do so.
“We have complete autonomy and flexibility in either direction,” McKissick told The Washington Examiner. “Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”
While the cancellation would be unusual, especially considering the considerable legal and ethical challenges Trump currently faces that put his ability to serve out his current term into question, there is a precedent for this type of move in South Carolina.
The state skipped its Republican primary in 2004 when President George W. Bush was running for re-election. The South Carolina GOP’s executive committee is likely to meet this summer to make a final decision on whether to simply endorse the president and cancel the primary or to allow voters to decide the state’s preference entering the Republican National convention in 2020.
A past chairman of the state party predicted the likely outcome of that vote with an appropriately colorful metaphor.
“Pigs will fly before the South Carolina GOP allows Trump to have opposition,” said Matt Moore, McKissick’s predecessor as chairman of the state party.
Genetic engineers had better be working overtime splicing avian genes into porcine fetuses to keep More’s credibility intact since 56% of South Carolinians disapprove of Trump’s performance according to recent polls.
The South Carolina Republicans seem to be taking GOP tactics to undermine democracy to new heights. Not content with mere voter suppression, absentee ballot fraud, and gerrymandering, party leaders plan to disenfranchise even their own state party members from having a voice in choosing a presidential candidate by eliminating an election altogether so that only the GOP elite’s choices move forward. Such an insult to the basic premise of democracy must be roundly condemned.
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Original reporting by David M. Drucker at The Washington Examiner.