Many of you may be aware at least from news media of the controversy swirling around the Republican presidential nomination delegate allocations between GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and frontrunner Donald Trump.
The news media has not been very good, as usual, at explaining why this is a controversy, nor at how unprecedented are the actions of Sen. Cruz.
I’m going to try to explain both. I’ll start by making it clear that nothing Sen. Cruz is doing is illegal. Nor, does it violate Republican Party rules. It is however, underhanded; ‘dirty’ if you like.
That said, the ground was made fertile for this chicanery by both the Republican and Democrat parties decades ago embracing the silly notion of open vote primaries, where a popular vote is falsely purported to be the only method of choosing a candidate in states that hold such a vote. Voters do not actually have the final say in those states, and never have.
The party apparatus in those ‘primary’ states can at will, nullify the popular vote for the party nominee for President, or any other national office. That is precisely what the Colorado GOP did when they ‘unbound’ the state GOP delegates to the popular vote straw poll in that state.
This left the field open for Sen. Cruz to come in and through what he brags to be his ‘ace ground game’, wheel & deal to secure the GOP selection of delegates who would vote at the convention for him and him alone.
There simply was no popular vote in Colorado by registered Republicans. It was entirely a caucus vote, which consists only of loyal, dues paying and hand-picked Republican Party stalwarts. All of whom are carefully selected by the GOP Elite to vote blindly for who they’re told to by the party.
But, then Sen. Cruz got even lower in the gutter, implementing his ‘ace ground game’ to reallocate delegates loyal to him in states that Mr. Trump had already handily won by popular primary vote. Trump delegates in Georgia found themselves tossed out as such and replaced by Cruz supporting delegates so brazen as to wear a ‘Cruz 2016’ t-shirt into the convention hall.
Again, this is legal and it is within GOP nomination guideline rules. Because, the party still selects state delegates and voters have only the ‘honor system’ to rely on that those delegates will represent the popular vote percentage won per candidate.
However, it is unprecedented in that it has never been used by a clearly defeated candidate, to undermine and nullify the clear frontrunner’s already won electoral victories.
Compounding this even further, is the common knowledge among regular GOP voters, that delegates are not just ‘talked into’ doing such a thing as Sen. Cruz has them doing; switching their pledges or manipulating state conventions to shove aside Trump delegates. These delegates are being promised something, they’re being ‘bought’.
Not with money are they being bought, because Sen. Cruz nor his campaign has that kind of money, and if he did have that much to sling around he’d have been caught and probably up on Federal charges by now.
Just ask Sen. Rand Paul’s former campaign manager about that. But, you’ll have to arrange a visit to the penitentiary he’s in to do it.
No, the ‘buying’ of these delegates by Sen. Cruz is more likely political promises; promises to push certain legislation if he is elected, or offers of government positions in his administration, or pushing for federal funding of pet projects in each state of these delegates.
It’s also very probable that some of these same delegates are Trojan horses, pledging support to Cruz with the wink of the RINO establishment and who have no intention of voting for Cruz. But, instead to deny Trump the magic 1237 he needs to secure the nomination on the first floor vote, and then switch their vote to whatever ‘white knight’ RINO is parachuted in by Carl Rove; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush….. are all possibilities, as is John Kasich.
Such shenanigans have gone on before in both parties and will happen again one day. Many have forgotten that the Democrat Party in 2008, nullified the party primary vote of both Florida and Michigan to strip Hillary Clinton of those victories and fudge the popular vote tally and delegates in favor of then Sen. Obama. Once those numbers were ‘cooked’, the Democrat Super Delegates all ‘flipped’ from Mrs. Clinton, to Mr. Obama.
Thankfully, the Republican Party does not have super delegates.
But, let’s get back to the root of the problem, popular vote primaries. It’s a bad idea. It encourages the same kind of ‘mob rule’ that brought down Ancient Greece. And, it allows the political ‘bosses’ to shed liability for selecting born losers they can push around without running for office themselves, by pointing at the ‘people’s vote’ and saying, YOU PICKED’EM!!
Political parties in traditional American politics are and should be responsible for nominating candidates by, for, of and within the party to present to the people for the only popular vote that counts, Election Day. It forces them to recognize and present real leaders the people will vote for, or lose an election or a few until they get it right.
That method of nominee selection gave us Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin FDR, Harry Truman, Ike and JFK. Since popular vote primaries became all the rage, the only bright spot has been Ronald Reagan.
Popular vote primaries enable the selection of candidates who simply look good, sound good, or have a sharp crease in their pants leg. But, are often cowardly and easily led by the nose by people whose faces we never see or conversely, narcissistic types who believe they can lower oceans.
That having been said however, the rules cannot be changed mid-game by one contender, simply because he/she lost. The nominating process is what it is, the time to have changed it was the year before the election, such as my state did prior to the 2013 gubernatorial election.
Donald Trump adapted himself to this flawed process and did not need a multi-billion dollar team of unelected political consultants to tell him how, at the price of their becoming his puppet masters. He and Reagan are the only two Republicans so far to have done this successfully. Because it takes a special kind of charisma to win party primaries, without the high-priced consultants community organizing or throwing money from helicopters.
Senator Cruz failed to stand out in that process. And, as a result lost blocs of states including the entire South where he literally offended voters with his clichéd ‘Southern preacher’ act.
He is now trying to mitigate having shot himself in the foot by shoving aside the will of the voters who rejected him. It may be perfectly legal, it may be within party nomination rules. But, it is the mark of a sore loser and that’s precisely how Cruz is now coming to be viewed.