It’s happening again. They might as well organize as ‘Violent Leftist Punks for Trump.’
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June 03, 2016
 
 
Morning Jolt
... with Jim Geraghty
 
 
 


Another Successful ‘Violent Flag-Burning Thugs to Unwittingly Help Trump’ Rally

It’s happening again. They might as well organize as ‘Violent Leftist Punks for Trump.’

Donald Trump supporters were mobbed and assaulted by protesters on Thursday night after the candidate's campaign rally in California.

The violence broke out after the event in San Jose wrapped up just before 8 p.m. local time (11 p.m. ET). Some Trump supporters were punched. One woman wearing a “Trump” jersey was cornered, spit at, and pelted with eggs and water bottles.

Police held back at first but eventually moved in. San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia told NBC News that several protesters were arrested and one officer was assaulted in the melee.

Lan Hoang said anti-Trump protesters stole his “Make America Great Again” hat off of his head and set it on fire as he was leaving the rally.

The 24-year-old said he saw “a lot” of Trump supporters get attacked on the walk back to his car after the rally.

You can guess how local officials handled it:

The mayor, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo said.

John Stanton’s Twitter feed has a lot of images and video, including footage of an anti-Trump protesters burning a small American flag:

What happened, guys, you couldn’t find an ISIS flag to wave?

 

The Enormous Scale of the Challenge before David French Right Now

The task before my friend David French is… gargantuan.

Let’s take a look at ballot access. The deadline in Texas was May 9; French or any other independent candidate will have to run as a write-in option there.

North Carolina requires 89,366 signatures by June 9. Unless there’s been some massive get-French-on-the-ballot effort going on in the Tarheel State completely under the radar, he’s not going to make that one, either. Illinois requires 25,000 signatures by June 27. New Mexico requires 15,388 and Indiana requires 26,700 by June 30. It will be tough to make those.

Even in some big states with later deadlines, the number of signatures needed is considerable. Florida? 119,316 signatures by July 15. In Michigan, he’ll need 30,000 signatures by July 21. Pennsylvania? 25,000 by August 1. California? 178,039 by August 12.

Are the people urging him to run ready to set up an immediate mass mobilization of volunteers to get David on the ballot in forty-some states? Again, none of this reflects on David’s qualities as a person or potential president. It’s a question of what organization is around him when he starts, and he’ll have to start very, very, very soon.

Some states will be easy. David’s home state of Tennessee will be a piece of cake, just 250 signatures. A good effort, getting 10,000 signatures per state by July 21, would get him on the ballot in 37 states. That’s nothing to sneeze at! But the Libertarians, Gary Johnson and William Weld, are already on the ballot in 32 states and say that they’re on track to qualify for all 50 states. Last time around, Johnson was on the ballot in 48 states.

(I hear people expressing concern that David could turn out to be the Ralph Nader of the 2016 election, winning just enough votes to tilt the election from Republican nominee Donald Trump to Democrat Hillary Clinton. For perspective on ballot access, Nader appeared on the ballot in 43 states in 2000, and won 2,882,995 votes, or 2.74 percent of the popular vote. He won more than 5 percent in ten states, including 10 percent in Alaska.)

Then there’s the question of funding. He and I have never discussed finances, but I think it’s safe to assume he won’t be self-financing. (If he is, National Review is seriously underpaying me.)

Mitt Romney tweeted praise for French the other night. If he adds, “I’m endorsing French, and I’m encouraging all of my donors from my past races to help him financially”, we’re talking a different ballgame. Are there big conservative or Republican donors willing to write large checks to a “Make America French Again” SuperPAC? There are undoubtedly millions of grassroots conservatives less than thrilled about the thought of voting for Trump in November. But are they willing to donate money to make a French candidacy a real option?

Just about every elected Republican official has lined up behind Trump, some enthusiastically, some begrudgingly. Will any of them jump over to the French bandwagon? Now that they’ve chosen to alienate the anti-Trump crowd and placate the pro-Trump crowd, wouldn’t most of them see backing French as compounding a controversial choice?

This year’s Trump campaign demonstrated that you don’t need as many television commercials if you get to advertise in between the commercial breaks, i.e., live coverage of your press conferences, speeches, and rallies. Will David French, the presidential candidate, be able play Trump’s game?

You can hear David French analyzing overly restrictive military rules of engagement here, addressing Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy at the  YAF Nashville Freedom Conference 2016 here, discussing runaway prosecutorial abuse in Wisconsin here, and dissecting the Obama administration’s fight to eliminate voter ID law in North Carolina here.

He’s no slouch in public speaking; he’s a damn good lawyer. You’ll notice that he knows what he’s talking about, which may actually hurt him. Trump works as a stand-up comedian, dishing out insults like Don Rickles. (Marco Rubio had to emulate that style to get live cable news coverage of his speeches; once Rubio turned back to the cheery ‘America’s best days are ahead’ portions of the speech, the cable networks went back to other topics.) Trump never explains anything. There’s no details or policy wonkery to a Trump speech. And that’s part of why Trump’s style is so effective. Sure, the contradictions make the speech incoherent, but you can have ignored

 

You Can’t Beat Somebody with Nobody

Apparently there’s a #NeverTrump group that finds David insufficient…

The activists are working separately from Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, who favors French, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

“We’re not going to be jumping on board with what Kristol is doing,” said a person involved in the discussions. “We learned about this from the media along with everyone else.”

Organizers of the self-described Conservatives Against Trump group said Kristol’s decision to champion French, a conservative writer, constitutional lawyer and decorated Iraq war veteran, took them by surprise, especially because French has a relatively low public profile.

“This is like flipping open the phone book and picking someone on page 325,” the source said.

The group includes Erickson; South Dakota businessman Bob Fischer; Bill Wichterman, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.); conservative columnist Quin Hillyer; and strategist Liz Mair.

Everybody’s waiting for that better option that is… going to show up any day now? Waiting for an Uber driver? Catching the bus right behind the one that Godot took?

One chunk of the Republican Party is waiting for the new, better, more dignified, less incendiary, less insulting Donald Trump to appear; the other is waiting for some hybrid of General James Mattis, Mitt Romney, Condolleezza Rice, and Ben Sasse to suddenly appear out of a puff of smoke.

 

ADDENDA: Ryan Nobles of CNN had me on his podcast this week, discussing David French and what anti-Trump conservatives can do now. Despite the depressing circumstances, we have a lot of laughs.

Ironically, we don’t have a new episode this week, but some recent ones have had a lot of listens and must be doing something right Check out my geeking out about the Marvel movies, our ripping of  the insufferable lifestyle advice of Gwenyth Paltrow, chain restaurant menu experiments gone wrong, and Mary Katharine Ham’s guest appearance dissecting the sociological insanity of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Finally, Father’s Day is in two weeks. Right now Heavy Lifting is just $8.61 with Amazon Prime, which is an insanely low price for a hardcover book. Grab it while you can.

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