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Wisconsin Republicans Who Dare Not Speak His Name At State Convention

May 15, 2016

Throughout my life I have never failed to be amazed how the foundations my Grandma lived by, and taught others, have proved to be so correct.  She always told the youngsters around her home they should hang around people they would not be ashamed to be seen with in the light of day.  That piece of sage advice came to mind this weekend as the news from the Wisconsin Republican State Convention percolated out.

The Associated Press reported there were few signs of excitement for  presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump at the annual convention.  That is a rather stunning development given the nature of state conventions.  These events are a time to be boisterous and energized over the upcoming election while demonstrating a commitment to win in the fall.

But it was reported by Scott Bauer that one person wore a Trump hat and a vendor had Trump buttons for sale along with items for other candidates. There were no Trump signs hung in the convention hall.

It has a been a number of years since I was a delegate to a state convention but I am pretty certain there still should be a robust confirmation the party nominee is going to clean house on the opposition.    So it was just remarkable to read this weekend that Governor Scott Walker in his speech was side-stepping Trump.   In fact, the main movers and shakers in the state party went so far on Saturday morning when making speeches they did not even refer to their presidential nominee by name.    Most simply did not mention the race at the top of the ticket at all.

This all underscores the nervous nature of a party that is left watching as a usurper is stripping away conservative underpinnings; those foundations they have believed in and won elections by running on them for decades.   Party officials and elected representatives are in a bind as to whether they should simply support or go further and actually endorse the Trump nomination.  There is no way to predict what will be the next absurd comment or action from the billionaire and so one wants to be too tethered to him politically.

While many Republicans around the nation do not want to be seen as rejecting the will of the primary voters the elected members of the Wisconsin GOP gathered in Green Bay could have been more honest given the strong winning support Ted Cruz garnered in the April primary.  They could have registered their  opposition to Trump’s stand on trade, entitlements,  and the minimum wage.   They could have spoken out for the conservative values they freely give voice to at almost any other time, and pointed out that Trump does not share them.

Instead they tip-toed around Trump and made it seem like there was no major rift in the party, that no great upheaval had just occurred over the past many months, and that everyone was just blissful about the outcome.  If these conservative men and women can not speak Trump’s name at a state convention we can rightly assume they will have others things on their schedule when the nominee lands in Wisconsin for campaign rallies.

We all know there are agreements being made among the GOP movers and shakers for the sake of the election to disagree without being disagreeable.  I certainly understand that political requirement.   But it does speak volumes when the certain nominee for the top office in the land has no signs for his candidacy at a state convention and people go out of their way in speeches to not even mention his name.

As Grandma would say if a person has too much baggage to be seen in daylight with perhaps you need to hang around with someone else.  Those words should have been strung up on a banner in Green Bay.   I am sure the irony would not have been lost on everyone.

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