MARTY RUSSELL: End the madness now, choose a candidate

By Marty Russell

Well, Stupor Tuesday is over and, although as I write this the votes aren’t in, I suspect nothing has changed. The fact that all four of the major GOP candidates are probably defiantly proclaiming they are still in the race should come as about as big a surprise as learning that pro football players get paid to hurt the opposing team’s players. Duh.
The fact that none of the four remaining Republican candidates has managed to lock up the nomination by now speaks volumes. They’re all about as popular among the party faithful as an Israeli nuclear inspector in Iran which has many in the party hoping for a do-over in a brokered convention. The last time that happened for the GOP was in 1948. For the Democrats it was more recently, in 1952.
The way a brokered convention works is that, if no one candidate has enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the party’s nominating convention this summer, then all the delegates who were previously bound to the candidate who won their state’s caucuses or primaries are released from their commitments to vote for whomever they choose. That’s when the remaining candidates begin striking backroom deals, twisting arms and offering up cabinet posts in exchange for delegates.
Ain’t democracy great?
Of course, the delegates are no longer bound to vote for any of the remaining candidates at the party’s convention in Tampa Bay, near Disneyworld. They might decide they want someone more appealing to the average voter, like Mickey Mouse.
In the end, though, a brokered convention would be a lose/lose situation for everyone. It would mean that all those votes that were cast in the caucuses and primaries would be thrown out and the eventual winner would be chosen by just a handful of the powerful elite, something Florida is already famous for. It would also mean that we sat through all those boring debates for nothing and, with just a few months remaining before the general election, the chosen candidate would have to make up a lot of ground not to mention a lot of hollow promises to get attention.
That would be tough to do considering all the promises that have already been made in the campaign. Remember $2.50 gas? Moon colonies? A Cadillac in every garage? Bombing Iran on Day One? Those would be tough to top for any newcomer in the race.
Maybe they could promise to abolish all taxes in favor of an annual bake sale. Or to invade South America for stealing our name. Or to deport all Democrats.
It’s enough to make you hope that one of the four remaining candidates can pull off a win and end this absurdity soon so we can all get back to our lives which won’t change one iota regardless of who wins.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at marusse1@olemiss.edu.