- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2020

It’s hard to believe the party of President Donald Trump and Ronna Romney McDaniel can be so out of sync and dysfunctional this late in the game. But, God help us, it does appear so.

Mrs. McDaniel, who is Mitt Romney’s niece and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, so far has rejected every proposal for putting Mr. Trump’s imprimatur on the party’s written platform.

And, so far, she has slammed the door on Mr. Trump’s request for the 2020 platform to be boiled down to readable size for the everyday voter.

Mr. Trump said as much way back on June 12. “The Republican Party has not yet voted on a Platform,” he tweeted. “No rush. I prefer a new and updated Platform, short form, if possible.”

In other words, the president wants to add to the 2020 GOP platform a “short form” statement of principles.

These would be built around his novel idea of having an American president and his party put America’s interests first.

That idea includes moving heaven and earth to keep or bring back home strategic industries.

The president’s preference is for four pages of policy goals and principles instead of 54 pages of details as was the case with the 2016 platform.

But who cares what he wants? He is merely a U.S. president seeking reelection. Mrs. McDaniel’s Republican National Committee exists to make that happen. You would think the RNC cares about what he wants.

Somebody might actually read a short platform that succinctly brags on the president and his accomplishments in office.

But forget about it. Mrs. McDaniel is determined to drag the 2016 platform’s 54 pages, cobwebbed but intact, onto the stage in Charlotte.

She reasons that to do otherwise would invite a civil war among Republicans who normally help write the quadrennial platform.

The platform pleaders didn’t go near it this time because the platform committee never met, thanks to widespread Wuhan willies.

Think of it as a gift that keeps on killing. A late Christmas gift that Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping and the lovely city of Wuhan surprised us with early this year.

The war that she feels is sure to break out will be among Republicans who normally make the case for this or that social or economic issue. And they would turn into peaceful rioters if they find out Mrs. McDaniel let someone add something without their knowledge and consent — or that they didn’t write themselves.

They couldn’t have met to write the 2020 platform because of those Wuhan willies.

How about a pre-release conference call with the platform people the night before to explain the incorporation of Mr. Trump’s principles and achievements?

Nope, that would not placate the platform crowd, Mrs. McDaniel insists. There would be war!

Really? Even though the platform writers and pleaders are all 100 percent pro-Trump?

Doesn’t anyone think it a bit odd that there’ll be no trace of Trump DNA in a party platform meant to kick off the fall election campaign, especially when the only purpose of that campaign is to keep the Donald and his new Republican Party atop the heap and leading the nation?

You can see the logic here. Why tout what’s best in your basket? Why risk winning a presidential election when there’s so much more you can do to ensure you lose it?

A civil war would distract from the heavenly aura of all-for-one, one-for-all unity the White House, Trump campaign and RNC want to convey in their Monday through Thursday mostly-virtual convention. At least, that’s what Mrs. McDaniel told her party.

Normally, the presidential nominee or the president seeking a second term and his campaign organization dictate to the RNC where and when to jump and how high.

Not this time. Is it because the RNC runs smoother than the Trump reelection campaign?

Even if that’s true, the RNC itself is scared of its own shadow. With Mrs. McDaniel at the party’s helm, Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and has lost special elections.

Now it’s the presidency at stake, and with it the need to put Trump DNA into the convention’s holiest document.

The consolation at this point for Republicans is that they aren’t debating whether to put in their platform the accomplishments and principles of someone like Joe Biden.

The 2020 GOP platform would be an empty sheet of paper in that case, no form instead of a short one.

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