Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Unbinding delegates and Clinton's chances in Utah

While the country is being dragged through Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and whatever the latest idiotic thing is that spews from Donald Trump’s mouth, the national conventions are approaching. The GOP convention, especially, could be exciting.

Pressure is increasing — locally and across America — to unbind Republican convention delegates so they can dump Trump. Former Utah member of Congress Enid Mickelson is Rules Committee chairwoman, putting her on the hot seat. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee and Sharon Lee are also members. Should they and their colleagues make every effort to ensure someone other than Tromp is nominated?

Pignanelli: “The 1928 Republican Convention opened with a prayer. If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it's been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking.” — Will Rogers

Republicans … please don’t do this. A political institution founded on the nobility of eliminating slavery and blessed with the incredible legacy of Abraham LincolnWilliam McKinleyTheodore RooseveltCalvin CoolidgeRobert Taft, Howard BakerJack KempDwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan demands better than the Trump chaos.

Republicans, please don’t do this. Your party rightfully claims a deep intellectual tradition of conservative thought. My 15-year-old boys have a better grasp of political philosophies than the presumptive nominee.

Above any partisan wrangling, we are all Americans. We do not deserve the nonsense and hateful messages the Trump campaign generates. If another candidate espoused the junk Trump effuses, he/she would be rejected by millions of Republicans.

Republicans, please don’t do this. Yes, Trump won the primary elections. But he is breaking the implied rules by not developing a general election campaign, offending voters with racist comments, preventing expansion of the party and refusing to honor the policies and traditions of the GOP.

Chairman Mickelson and the Lees enjoy a reputation of thoughtfulness. Many hope they will use their skills this week to protect their party and our country.

Here ends my guilt trip (My mother would be proud). I have faith my fellow Utahns will do what is right.

Webb: I say play by the rules. Trump won sufficient votes, state by state, to be the “presumptive” nominee. But he has to win the vote of delegates to be the “official” nominee. If rules allow delegates to change their minds, so be it. I’d love to see a Paul RyanJohn Kasich or Mitt Romney nominated instead of Trump. But I don’t expect that to happen. And a successful revolt against Trump would tear the party apart and probably ensure the election of Clinton.

It’s just incredibly unfortunate that in a presidential election year when Democrats nominate the worst possible candidate — Hillary Clinton — Republicans are going to nominate the only candidate she can defeat — Donald Trump.

Utah is in the political spotlight because it is a deeply red state wavering in support of Trump. Does this offer opportunities for Clinton and Libertarians, or do Republicans come home and vote for Trump?

Pignanelli: Trump is Trump. Even as the nominee, he will continue to offend decent, tolerant, ethical people. Therefore, a majority of Utahns will be uncomfortable with him as president and continue to consider alternatives. (At last, a fun presidential election in Utah!)

Webb: Most Utah Republicans will collectively hold their noses and vote for Trump over the deeply flawed Clinton. It’s true that Clinton isn’t as crazy as Trump and is more qualified. But it’s also true that with Clinton you know exactly what you get, and Utahns don’t like it. Clinton is a predictable, old-fashioned, leftist liberal who will tax more, regulate more and increase the size of the federal government. In an era of incredible innovation and creativity giving us ultra-high-tech electric, autonomous Teslas, Clinton is a pink ’59 Cadillac DeVille with enormous fins, belching clouds of exhaust. She doesn’t have an original idea in her head.

Meanwhile, many Utah Republicans understand that Trump is completely unpredictable and maybe even a little dangerous. But at least he will shake up Washington, and an outside chance exists he might even do something good.

The FBI investigation cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, but stated she was “extremely careless" in the handling of classified information. Does avoiding prosecution mean the path is clear for her to win the general election?

Pignanelli: The Clinton campaign is relieved they do not have deal with formal charges of misconduct. But the decision has created a perception of a double standard that will haunt the secretary until November.

Webb: The FBI conclusions further damage the credibility of an already terribly defective candidate, although Trump has no clue how to exploit it. (Praising Saddam Hussein instead of keeping the focus on Clinton!?!?) The lack of consequences for Clinton furthers the widely held belief that the Clintons are above the law, making up the rules as they go — with seeming impunity.

All I can say is (deep sigh), how the heck did we get in this fix?