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This may make Chicago in 1968 look like an Episcopal church service

The Alt-Right National Convention opens tomorrow in Cleveland- and the Rules Committee refuses to release the set of rules it's recommending.

"Delegates arriving from all over the country at this very moment have a right to know what the Rules Committee proposed. What we already know it is the most sweeping anti-grassroots rules package sent to the delegates in 40 years," says Regina Thomson, one of the leaders of the Maquis.

At least one duly-elected Rubio delegate from Washington, D.C.  has already been unseated on trumped-up (ahem!) residency grounds.

This is going to be interesting. The potential for the Cleveland coven to turn into a Twenty-first Century Nuremberg rally is huge. But will it also be the scene of some kind of putsch against the rank-and-file?

From the Trumpist point of view, that would be smart- if the movement has any ambitions to survive past November. 55% of the rank-and-file are dissatisfied with the nominee, and polls have shown that a third will refuse to vote for him in November (I suspect that the number is considerably smaller now that mass rationalization and Hillary-hatred is motivating so many otherwise decent people to change their minds and decide to vote for an unstable authoritarian after all. But still, alienation among the rank-and-file is a major problem for Il Duce).

That 45% of the Republican electorate voted for the candidate of the Alt-Right crowd is both shocking and frightening. But the fact remains that it's a minority. It was able to nominate a candidate in 2016 only because many of those who voted for Trump were motivated less by ideology (to the extent that an authoritarian actually has an ideology other than power) than by anger. And if the opposition hadn't been so badly divided, an electable, real Republican would have been nominated this week.

But the delusion that Trump is going to win is common among his supporters. In fact, it's almost an article of faith. When they're willing to concede the possibility that they won't,  they hallucinate that it's the NeverTrump crowd, rather than they themselves, who will be pariahs after the result their candidate's nomination made inevitable. It's entirely possible that the savvier  and less deluded among their number might be plotting to use the rules to create as many obstacles as possible to the inevitable counter-revolution in 2020.

I've said three things about the Republican party since The Donald clinched the nomination. The first is that it will suffer a historic defeat this Fall. The second is that it will be the fault of the Trumpistas, that the Trumpistas will blame the NeverTrumpers, and that the Republican party is going to blow apart, probably by 2020 but certainly soon thereafter. The third is that I want no part of the Republicans until it does, and the cancer the Trump movement represents is excised or is at least in remission.

By the end of the week, we'll have a much better idea how openly crazy the Trumpistas are willing to be, and how openly fascist.  Here are three more predictions: while conventions ordinarily offer a temporary "bump" in the polls to the party holding them, this one will hurt Trump. The second is that Reince Priebus is finished as RNC head after November. And finally, by the end of the week the division in the Republican party, which is already irreparable, will be a gaping and mortal wound impossible for the most skilled of spin-doctors will hide.

Well, on reflection, one more: that Fox News, Drudge, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart will try anyway- and to present the maquis, rather than they themselves, as the eventual losers.


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