Explaining the Brokered Convention Scenario

Despite Mitt Romney's recent primary victory in conservative hotspot Illinois, I have been hearing a lot about the possibility of a brokered convention come August when the Republicans join in Tampa Bay for a process that, in most election cycles, is a formality. From conservatives who are somehow not quite satisfied with the options on display to Democrats trying the 'what's that over there' trick to media members who apparently think that 'Romney wins Puerto Rico' isn't a sexy enough topic du jour for the week, 'brokered convention' is on the lips of everyone with a column, segment, or apparently, a blog. More often than not, this mention is followed by a knowing wink and a statement along the lines of 'if I knew how that worked, I would say something more about it now, but isn't the idea itself just so exciting?'

I am typically not a fan of the type of fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants reporting that has become almost epidemic in America. I am not sure when the line was crossed, but I do know that the media was soaked with water from the Rubicon by the time John from Mississippi's Twitter feed was being cited as a source on CNN. However, an even more-casual-than-usual form of journalism may be excused in this particular situation as the last brokered convention was in 1976. And we all know that in political years, that is far enough back that no one can be expected to remember how it works. Luckily, I have done some research. Looking to past brokered conventions, and adding some minor additions to account for the new media age, I believe a timeline of the brokered convention could potentially look something like the following:

August 27th
- The convention is called to order
- Speeches are given by the remaining candidates people care about
- A very surprised-looking Nancy Pelosi gives State of the Union-esque rebuttal speeches outside the convention center for reasons no one can quite understand
- Chris Christie, Sarah Palin and sit in the corner attempting to look really really nonchalant, hoping their names are called, but also really hoping they aren't
- Speeches are given by the people whose continued presence in the race got us into this mess, followed by additional rebuttals
- The blogosphere explodes with a story that Representative X sent a semi-nude Tweet to 'who he thought was Susan, his wife and the mother of his children' but was really 'Susie his 23 year old staffer'

August 28th
- The Senate holds a committee hearing on the silliness of Republicans not having a candidate wrapped up where Democrats utilize the little-known 'committee filibuster' technique in a weak attempt to steal some headlines for the day
- Representative X from the semi-nude photo scandal the day before holds a press conference with Susan the wife where she supports him 110%
- Paul Ryan deftly deflects questions about joining the fray, noting that he couldn't possibly propose budget cuts if he were actually in charge of something
- Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton hold a joint press conference to decry how oppressive the drawn out nomination process has become. Tea partiers, in a first, find themselves nodding in agreement
- Back in DC, at least twenty really shady meetings happen at Capital Grille. Various parties heard yelling 'I'll broker your convention' after three too many fingers of scotch
- President Obama schedules a second State of the Union speech, grabbing primetime media slots. Despite not addressing continuing casualties in Afghanistan or gas prices above $6.00, analysts declare it a masterstroke

August 29th
- It is determined that the candidate will be chosen, in part, by audience voting and social media analysis
- Facebook 'Like' tallies are determined for each candidate
- President Obama is caught by staffers in the Oval Office giggling with delight at the stupidity of his opponents
- Christie and Palin are joined in the corner they had never left by Jeb Bush. All are glad to not be part of this while at the same time getting tons and tons of attention
- Rick Santorum changes sweater vests for the sixth time since the convention began
- Twitter trends are scoured to determine 'likeability' for each candidate
- Based on the social media tallies and input from the Congressional Budget Office, a winner is determined
- Wolf Blitzer has a minor exasperation-induced heart attack on live television; two commentators from Fox News are panned in the 'lamestream media' for joking about it on air
- In a strongly worded condemnation of the commentator's comments, Fox News Channel also announces that they have been placed on a 15 minute paid leave of absence

August 30th
- Wolf Blitzer is back with a clean bill of health to discuss the updates of the day
- The losers (with the American Public serving as a party in spirit but not in name) join as plaintiffs in a suit for a recount
- The Supreme Court grants cert and crafts an opinion somehow denying that this is a political question while managing to avoid citing Bush v. Gore, or any other case law, at any point
- Everyone gives up and President Obama is declared the default winner of the November general election. Luckily, this occurs early enough that delegates from the Democratic party can avoid the drudgery of having to go to a kind of Southish city like Charlotte for the 'boring convention' in September
- Mitt Romney declares bankruptcy after spending enough money during that campaign that it could have otherwise wiped out the national debt
- Yadda yadda yadda socialism, New World Order

So readers, there you have it. I hope that was a helpful look at the potential inner workings of a brokered convention. While some of the events on my timeline only have about a 60% chance of actually happening, I believe that it is a fair assessment of what might be to come. Even if only about half of this occurs, it will still be enough to leave the media trembling with excitement, and that alone will be worth the extreme headache it will cause GOP power brokers. As always, anyone with additional insights on what might be to come can feel free to leave a note in the comments section below. With things being so unpredictable, all analysis is welcome, even from John in Mississippi.

No comments:

Post a Comment