Upheaval and confusion reigned on the Republican National Convention floor this afternoon when the presiding chairman ruled that there would be no full roll call vote pertaining to the adoption of the confab's governing rules. Conservative opponents of Donald Trump said they'd secured signatures from the majorities of nine to eleven delegations, easily clearing the seven-delegation threshold required to trigger a convention-wide ballot. After vociferous protests from several GOP officials -- most notably Utah Sen. Mike Lee -- the chair vacated the podium for a span of several chaotic minutes. He returned with an explanation: A sufficient number of delegates from three states or territories had supposedly withdrawn their signatures from their roll-call-compelling petitions as to render the procedural move moot.
In other words, 'free the delegates' proponents allegedly no longer had the seven delegation majorities they needed to force a floor tally. A second voice vote was called on the adoption of the rules package adopted last week, and the 'ayes' were declared the winners. RNC and Trump officials have since offered incomplete information backing up this assertion, and have reportedly declined to provide any further details. 'Dump Trump' forces are alleging the the opaque system was rigged. Here is video of how it all went down, followed by my analysis. The whole mess was over in less than 20 minutes:
Ok, thoughts: (1) I'm anti-Trump & have been all along. (2) Argued for months that rules matter, so opposed changing rules once Trump won...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
(3) Dump Trump forces found mechanism to force roll call vote under the rules. Process was short-circuited w/ dubious claims...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
(4) Under rules, RNC should've allowed (expedited?) roll call, let anti-Trump faction have its say. Or produce proof threshold wasn't met...— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
(5) Instead, an ugly, opaque, televised spectacle played out. Was Trump/RNC not confident rule change vote would fail? It seemed doomed.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
...(7) A real mess. I've never felt less attached to the party that has generally represented my worldview most closely. Sad.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
(8) Oh, and one more thing, for the record:#NeverHillary— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
If signatures were withdrawn, even under pressure, that justifies chair's ruling. Let's have evidence & explanation. https://t.co/Lqnxy4j7tg— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
Soon after some semblance of normalcy was finally restored, it was promptly violated again -- this time by an appalling "prayer" offered from the podium by a pastor. This is awful, and Republicans would rightly go ballistic if a member of the clergy did the reverse at the DNC:
1/ I've heard a lot of prayers by religious leaders of different faiths at RNCs & DNCs. But nothing like this. pic.twitter.com/RYfpn58TNi— Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) July 18, 2016
And then there's this:
You know who also called her political opponents 'enemies' on national television?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 18, 2016
Fact check: She sure did, and then some.