Donald J. Trump more or less laid down the predicate for his candidacy when he announced it this past summer.
The Republican Party had better treat me nicely, he said, or else I’m going to make life miserable for the political brass.
I cannot help but wonder today if that prophecy is about to come true.
Trump and the other two surviving GOP presidential candidates are taking back their pledge to support the party nominee — no matter who it happens to be. Ted Cruz went back on his pledge, presuming the nominee is Trump; so did John Kasich, for the same reason.
Trump has more delegates than any other candidate. He’s in the best position as the primary campaign heads into its second half.
What happens, though, if he gets to Cleveland with a commanding delegate lead, but is still short of majority he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot outright?
This is where it might get real nasty for the Republican Party high command, which already detests the idea of Trump carrying the party banner into battle against the Democratic Party nominee.
Trump said he wanted to be treated “fairly” at the convention. I’m guessing by “fairly” he means that he gets his way. The other candidates would drop out and release their delegates to back Trump. He well might demand that the Republican National Committee insist that the others drop out. If it doesn’t, well, then what?
Trump then might have to decide if he’s going to carry through with his threat to run as an independent, which would guarantee the Democrats keep the White House.
What happens if he stays within his newfound party home, captures the nomination and then goes on to get blown out by the other party’s candidate who, I am going to presume, will be Hillary Rodham Clinton? You know as well as I know that Clinton’s camp is going to be loaded with ammo with which to launch a heavy barrage against Trump.
No matter which course Trump takes between now and the convention, the road ahead for the Republican Party appears to be strewn with land mines, sink holes, booby traps, crocs in the swamp … you name it.
I’ll hand it to the party’s presumptive nominee.
He gave the country — and his party — fair warning.