Here's Michael Steele's astonishing confession:
"I wanted a brokered convention. That was one of my goals." He explains: "We had had a more traditional approach [than the Democrats]. If you're [the candidate] next in line, you get [the nomination]…Yeah, you may be next up, but you may not be the best candidate ..." Steele wanted to escape "the tedium of 2008, [but] was surprised at how many people liked the idea of creating tension within the process."
The Democratic Party has always been endearingly chaotic — "I don't belong to any organized party, I'm a Democrat," Will Rogers famously said — but there was order from that chaos and strength derived from internecine chaos. Historically, the risk for Democrats was a deep party split as occurred in '68, '72 and '80. Democrats worked out those kinks in later campaigns, particularly 2008, by assuring a combative and competitive primary campaign, but a nominee before the convention. Lessons learned the hard way in the streets of Chicago, 1968. Democrats have a history, and plenty of experience handling political chaos. Republicans do not. Their natural disinclination and knee-jerk reaction to political chaos is to try imposing order with a crack-down, shutting off debate, and silencing the opposition. Not so easy when the chaos is intra-party.
So here's to the Steelenator who sidestepped the Chris Christie Kriptonite (the new rules are "the dumbest idea anybody ever had") by garnering support from, ahem, "Sparta," the Romney campaign. Why? Because the fatal flaws of the Romney campaign laid bare under the new rules were well known to the wimpy "Spartans" back then. Why else would they cling so desperately to their "mathematical inevitability" as shoestring candidates Rick Santorum, and even Newt Gingrich, savage them week after week on the field of battle.