The Black Hills Pioneer talks to local Republican National Convention delegate John Teupel about his experience at Trumpapalooza (emphasis on –looza). Maybe they’ve misquoted or underquoted the Spearfish realtor, but the former Walker/Jindal supporter* doesn’t really make clear that he’s moved much from his position of “lukewarm” support for his party’s nominee.
Teupel tells Lacey Peterson that Trump’s pick of social and fiscal conservative Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his replacement of Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort as campaign manager made him feel more comfortable with the Trump nomination. But then Teupel offers this odd praise of Trump:
“You’ve got to respect the fact that he’s (Trump) not telling people what they want to hear,” Teupel said [Lacey Peterson, “John Teupel, of Spearfish, Shares His Experience as Delegate at RNC,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2016.07.30].
Teupel says he “was probably more disappointed with” the refusal of the Trumpist convention chair to allow a roll call vote on the rules than anything else he’s been involved with in his twenty years with the Republican Party. He says “making sure our message appeals to women and minorities” is a key challenge facing a party whose Presidential candidate habitually insults women and minorities. What countervailing qualities could possibly compel Teupel to jump on the Trump bandwagon?
“We need to set aside some of the partisanship, left/right ranking, and be Americans,” Teupel added. “There needs to be compromise. Maybe Donald Trump will be able to accomplish that” [Peterson, 2016.07.30].
“Maybe” Trump can compromise? “Maybe” Trump can bridge partisanship, when one of the only good things Teupel can say about him is that he picked a running mate who meets Teupel’s favorite partisan bona fides? The only sign that Trump can bring people together is in getting Republicans to join Democrats in condeming his attack on the Khizr family and his inflammatory response to the Orlando massacre.
Teupel’s incoherent ambivalence toward Trump shows just how hard for good Republicans to make excuses for their Presidential nominee. Spare yourself some grief, John: admit your nominee is not fit for office, and focus your political efforts on other Republicans closer to home.
*Bonus Speculation: Jindal, Walker… hey, that reminds me! Nobody’s come up with a good explanation for Rep. Steve Westra’s hitting the Eject button on his District 13 House reëlection bid (not that he needs one… and I’m waiting for my Thank-You card, Steve). But on further review, I’m reminded that Westra, like the rest of us, thought Trump would flame out long before convention. Westra was prime South Dakota organizer for Jeb Bush’s doomed Presidential campaign. Maybe Westra is so glum over the defeat of nominal competence and GOP dynasty that he doesn’t want to appear on the same ballot as Trump.