Said Donald Trump today. Does he sound like he's encouraging violence even when he's saying he hopes there won't be violence? If so, it's because he doesn't say "I don't want violence" or "I urge my supporters to refrain from violence." There's something oddly passive about "I hope it doesn't involve violence" — as if he holds no sway with his supporters, as if he's suggesting it's up to the other side to resist doing the things that will necessitate violence from my people. So I hear a vague, deniable threat. And this too contains a vague, deniable threat:
The process of courting delegates, Trump said, is "rigged" because "you're basically buying people." He said he is not interested in "playing the rules game."It's implied: I could do this — and I'd beat you at it — if you say this is the system and this is what we are doing.
"Nobody has better toys than I do. I can put them on the best planes and bring them to the best resorts anywhere in the world," Trump said. “You’re basically saying, ‘Delegate, listen, we’re going to send you to Mar-a-Lago on a Boeing 757, you’re going to use the spa, you’re going to do this, you’re going to do that, we want your vote. That’s a corrupt system."
NBC just did a poll that showed that 62% of Republican voters believe that the candidate who gets the most votes in the primaries should be the party's nominee. Chuck Todd confronted Reince Priebus with that number on "Meet the Press" today and Priebus gave the sort of answer that I think a lot of people will find irritating:
"If he was winning the majority of votes, he'd likely have the majority of delegates."Only likely, not for sure, because of the delegate selection process.
"But that's not actually what's happening. He's winning a plurality of votes, and he has a plurality of delegates."But he doesn't have a plurality of delegates that's proportional to his plurality of votes.
"And under the rules and under the concept of this country, a majority rules on everything."Which doesn't mean the one with the most votes wins, only that if you get a majority you win, but not even a majority of votes, because you could get a majority of votes but not a majority of delegates, and in the end — after the funny business — a majority of delegates will decide. Does he really think the people will see that as the good old majority-wins concept?
Just 38 percent of Republicans say it's acceptable if Trump goes into the Republican convention with the most delegates but does not become the nominee, versus 54 percent who say that outcome is unacceptable.To be fair, the poll was taken before Priebus went on all the Sunday shows and put his spin on the business that Trump is calling "rigged" and "100% corrupt."
And only 20 percent say it's acceptable if Republican delegates choose a nominee who has not run in the primaries, versus 71 percent who think that's unacceptable.