Yankees and Politics

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

It’s hard to tell who is in bigger trouble, the New York Yankees or the Republican Party.  In the 16 games they have played so far this season the Yankees have left 120 runners on base and accumulated a record of 7 wins and 9 losses, putting them nearly at the bottom of the American League East.  Since the team’s pitching is acceptable and the opponents have not outscored the Yankees by much, it is evident that the hitters are not getting the job done.  Desperate to score a run Friday night center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury stole home, together with the inside-the-park homerun the most spectacular play in baseball, which tied the score against the Tampa Bay Rays and ultimately led to a 6-3 victory.  Hopefully this will turn the team’s fortunes around, and the Yankees still have 146 games to get where they belong: on top of their league.  The management of the GOP, also known as the Republican National Committee or simply the establishment, has a more daunting task ahead.  After the New York primary Donald Trump’s chances of winning the nomination outright have improved, and therefore the party leadership is in total disarray.

In spite, or maybe because, of the fact that Trump has been blasting the RNC for allowing a primary process that is fundamentally undemocratic, since in a number of states conventions, and not the voters, elect the delegates who will choose the GOP nominee at the party’s convention, RNC chairman Reince Priebus is trying to placate the Donald by urging delegates not to change the convention rules, which would exclude anybody but Trump and Ted Cruz from being nominated.  To convince the RNC members that they can live with Trump as their nominee Trump’s new campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told them that everything the Donald has done in the campaign so far, insulting Hispanics and women, calling for Mexico to pay for a wall on the southern border and for a complete ban of Muslims from entering the US, suggesting that the use of nuclear arms in the Middle East and Europe is an option and that maybe South Korea and Japan should develop their own nuclear arsenals, just to mention a few highlights, has all been an act, and that in the general election we’ll see a different Trump: polite, balanced and presidential.

While the RNC is chewing on the idea that Donald Trump’s behavior in the forty five years he has been in the public eye only had the intention to hide his real personality, which he saved for his presidential bid, Ted Cruz is executing his own version of stealing home, or the nomination, by getting as many delegates that will support him as possible elected at state conventions, and by ensuring that delegates who are bound to vote for Trump in the first round will vote for him in the second.

The dilemma for the GOP leadership is clear: if the rules don’t change, they’ll end up with either Trump or Cruz as their nominee, in which case Trump has a better chance of unifying what’s left of the party, because his followers simply won’t vote for Cruz.  If they change the rules and other candidates can still be nominated the party will break up and their nominee won’t have a chance.

Donald Trump may not be God’s gift to women, but he might be God’s gift to Hillary.  On the Democratic side Bernie now has to decide whether he wants to enter Ralph Nader territory, by hurting Hillary without having a chance to be nominated himself, or not, and hopefully wisdom will prevail.

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