April 11, 2016

"Ted Cruz Isn't Cheating, He's Winning."

Says Rush Limbaugh — and this is not inconsistent with what I have been saying, as I will explain. First, a bit of Rush:
Now, what happened in Colorado is, I'm sorry to say, it's not a trick. What happened in Colorado is right out in the open.... It's no secret that Colorado was gonna have a convention and they're gonna choose their delegates before the primary....  Nobody talked about it....  So it was left to be discovered by people who didn't know. And it turns out that people on the Trump campaign didn't know....

Every business has its rules and laws, bylaws, and specific ways that you have to climb the ladder of success..... So I don't see Ted Cruz lying and cheating his way to the convention. I see a lot of hard work. I see some people who know what they have to do, given where they are. They're in second place in both the vote count and the delegate count. They're serious about winning....  They have made themselves fully aware of how the process works, and they've been out working it for quite a while. They went into Louisiana where Trump scored a massive win but they've come out of there with many more delegates than, by appearances, they should have....

There's a way you get to the top in politics. People who don't like certain rules may call them loopholes and may say somebody's cheating. But that's just people using the rules as they have been written....
Fine... up to a point. And the point is: Will Cruz's winning get him all the way to the nomination? If his approach doesn't get him to 1237, where will it leave him? He may prevent Trump from getting to a majority and get the party to an open convention, but then what is his argument that the delegates should vote for him? Why should the man with the second-most delegates get the nomination? Because he was so sharp and aggressive in figuring out how to play the non-democratic part of the game?

Whether you call that cheating or not — and Trump will be encouraging us to think that it is cheating (or at least highly unfair and undemocratic) — it's the dirty work that's going to leave him looking unappealing to the American public. Trump is unappealing too, which mutes the horror Cruz would otherwise inspire. But once Cruz has done the nasty work of blocking Trump, how is he supposed to continue winning? He's working as a tool now. What's his clever scheme to become something other than a tool?

He won't be able to present himself in democratic terms, since he will have progressed along the nondemocratic route, playing the weird behind-the-scenes game that Trump failed to discover or wouldn't deign to play. At the open convention, Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
hombre said...

Is Cruz's tactic to benefit his campaign anything like Trump using all legal methods including bankruptcy, which hurts (cheats?) creditors, to benefit his businesses.

Trumpkins are like lefties. If they didn't have double standards, they would have no standards.

Virgil Hilts said...

Nate Silver’s article last week was pretty persuasive -- Cruz will most likely win if the convention is brokered because Cruz's kind of people make up the delegates. I think Ryan will get in only if the polls are showing Cruz losing to Hillary by 15 or more points at the time of the convention. Cruz has only been losing by 5 points or so to HC; if he can stay within that sort of striking distance I can see the convention believing he could potentially make it up in the debates.
Also, I think Hillary would probably have to debate Cruz (she would refuse to debate Trump). A Cruz - HC debate will at least be entertaining (Harvard versus Yale; New York versus Texas; Goldman Sachs versus Goldman Sachs).

Paddy O said...

"What can Cruz say?"

He can say, "I can get things done even when the odds are against me."

Or maybe, "Trump has a tendency of going bankrupt after getting a lot of investors."

Of course, he can also point to potential (yet undetermined) trends of Trump losing support as the primary season goes on.

Even better he can say, "Let's beat Hillary."

Beldar said...

What in God's name is "devious" about being better at politics than Trump?

This is warped.

Beldar said...

Worst non sequitur I've ever read in a post on the Althouse blog (ellipses by Althouse):

"But that's just people using the rules as they have been written.... Fine... up to a point. And the point is: Will Cruz's winning get him all the way to the nomination?"

So tell us, Prof. Althouse: What's the point at which it become inappropriate to win by using the rules as they are written? And why do you insist that Cruz has passed that point, without identifying it or explaining what he's done other than be better at reading and following the rules?

coupe said...
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Darrell said...

Is Cruz calling the shots or are the party elite providing the assistance? Canadians usually aren't that clever and motivated.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

The only way to feel good about anything the Republicans are doing is to watch Hillary on The View. No horror or injustice, no criminality, real or perceived, can permit a sentient being to permit her to become president.

Beldar said...

Our hostess further wrote,

"He [Cruz] may prevent Trump from getting to a majority and get the party to an open convention, but then what is his argument that the delegates should vote for him?"

His argument is that he's the best alternative overall, and that he's the only alternative who's also run a national election campaign and won millions of votes and a great many states. You might reject that argument, Prof. Althouse, but don't pretend he doesn't have one.

Our hostess went on to write,

"Why should the man with the second-most delegates get the nomination? Because he was so sharp and aggressive in figuring out how to play the non-democratic part of the game?"

First, see above.

Moreover: The fact that Cruz will have gotten, at a minimum, the second-most delegates -- and it's not close; Kasich remains a distant fourth in a three-man race -- is indeed important. It translates into things like having a campaign organization and a nationwide network of supporters.

Finally: Yes, every candidate demonstrates his fitness for office in part by the kind of campaign they run. If you're looking to assess Ted Cruz' executive abilities and compare them to Trump's, the skill with which Cruz has run his campaign is a strong Cruz selling point, just as Trump's incompetence is a red flag signaling his incompetence.

Darrell said...

a sentient being

The word you are looking for is "sapient." Amoebas are sentient beings--as you learned in high scool biology. Be better than the dolts who watched Star Trek without understanding.

pm317 said...

At the open convention: Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?

Haha.. asking all the right questions after voting for the reptile. Trump would not do what Cruz has been doing. Trump would not play that game like that and in fact, isn't that what attracts people to him, that he is not a corrupt politician? That he is standing up to these mfers?

Chuck said...

Professor Althouse I am a bit surprised that you did not blog this lengthy op-ed from Saturday's Weekend [Wall Street] Journal:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-case-for-a-really-open-gop-convention-1460154691

Noted Wisconsin conservative activist Eric O'Keefe, so well known to so many of your readers, talks about a REEEEAAALLY open convention in Cleveland.

Ken B said...

So Beldar let me ask you. Say I am a republican but feel like the party ignores me, doesn't respect me, or in NR's deathless prose thinks my community deserves to die. Hasn't the Colorado GOP just confirmed all that? Won't that make me less likely to support a guy complicit in their actions, a guy who seems proud of wangling the system, not of winning my vote? Or even thinking he should try?

Fernandinande said...

Darrell said...
Canadians usually aren't that clever and motivated.


How do you get 50 Canadians out of a swimming pool?

Patrick said...

Cruz also benefits from being the last non-Trump standing (minus Kasich). He has benefited greatly from strategic voting.

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse said ...
He's working as a tool now.


Only in your mind.

Bay Area Guy said...

I am with Beldar on this.

The primary is very chaotic, rule intensive and varies from state to state. That it looks like a normal election where people simply vote and the majority wins, is simply not the case.

If Cruz, playing by the rules, wins the nomination, then that's it. Period. Full stop. Whining about the rules won't impress anybody.

Think of the quirky Electoral College. In 2000, Gore got more votes than Bush, but Bush got more electoral votes. The only people who didn't buy this result were clueless Leftists suffering butt-hurt that Gore lost.

Multiply this quirk by 10, and then multiply this by 50 (each state has different rules) and then you begin to understand how primaries are run.



coupe said...

Trump will go third party if the GOP commits suicide. When he does, he will pull votes from the Republicans in the general election.

Having a Canadian candidate will turn off most Americans. Rather a hick from Arkansas then a Canadian migrant.

By pulling votes he can assure Clinton the win, and we all know he's a closet Democrat anyway.

DavidD said...

Oh, c'mon, Professor.

What's the problem here, really?

Surely you're old enough to remember contested conventions--they used to happen all the time. What's a wonder is that the GOPe had found a way for so long to keep them from happening.

Ryan said...

"At the open convention: Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?"

Cruz can say: Trump benefited from a fracture GOP field, but there were more ant-Trump votes than pro-trump votes. I am more popular than Trump and would have received more votes than Trump if you look at head-to-head polling and the fact that I got more votes than Trump once the GOP field narrowed.

Ken B said...

Beldar asks what is devious about being better at politics than Trump. Imagine it wasn't Trump running but Reagan, of Jefferson Smith. I think you'd see the answer right away.
And it's not being good at *politics* anyway. Politics is about winning support. This is about being good at string pulling. Cruz may be better at using the Byzantine rules the establishment has set up, but it's odd to think that when many voters object to just exactly this kind of Byzantine insider string pulling that they will or should ignore it when it's done.

Alexander said...

What we're witnessing is that Cruz clearly trumps Trump on Trump's supposed strength: the kind of intelligence, competence, and hard work that goes into making good deals. Moreover, what this point to is that at the convention, Cruz will not depend upon making one big, broad argument (though I'm sure he'll have one). Instead, he will have an argument worked out for each individual delegate, based on what his organization knows about that delegate. And that is why regardless of whether Cruz wins the nomination, he will outmaneuver Trump there.

Beldar said...

Our hostess also wrote:

"He won't be able to present himself in democratic terms, since he will have progressed along the nondemocratic route, playing the weird behind-the-scenes game that Trump failed to discover or wouldn't deign to play."

That's balderdash. Ours is not a system of direct democracy, but of participatory democracy through republican institutions. Our political parties are such institutions, and traditionally in them, convention delegates have (since the 1830s or thereabouts) served as the representatives through which the people's small-d democratic choices are implemented.

Cruz is not proceeding "non-democratically," and certainly not, as might be easily implied, anti-democratically. He's just doing a superior job of executing his small-d democratic rights through the small-r republican means of the delegate selection process. Short of direct participatory democracy, no candidate could meet Prof. Althouse's apparent standards.

pm317 said...

@coupe.. of course, he should go third party. If he was an establishment Republican, Cruz would have slithered back into his hole instead of pushing the party into chaos.

aritai said...

Looks like your Mr. Cruz read pTb's book. Will be interesting to see if he understood it, including when to be the power behind the throne. When signed both sides are vested in success against the larger goal. We'll see if Mr. C is really interested in defeating the leftists, and burning both establishments to the ground. And your Tb willing to swallow his pride to be given the Presidency. Mr. C. Can’t do this as a candidate who loses in November. Only your pTb can generate the support required to burn the left's institutions to the ground, and even if Mr. C. wins against Mrs. C. he really can't do the same to the pubs, only nibble around the edges. Hobbled by the left at every turn. Just like Mr. Reagan had to compromise all the time to buy support for the funding necessary to end the USSR. Good fun. Heads you have an even chance of getting a coalition government and the New Zealand Miracle. Tails you may get nothing. Tails you may get a Reagan who is never invited to a party or not fought tooth and nail by the opposition. Where's my popcorn?

Clark said...

I'm shocked, shocked, to find that there are rules that govern how the convention works and rules about how the rules might be changed . . . .

Our hostess has always struck me as subtle and sophisticated in her thinking. Has someone kidnapped her and replaced her by someone who has never thought about how nominating conventions work? "[W]hat is his argument that the delegates should vote for him?" If the delegates become unbound (as most of them will after the first ballot), they should vote for whoever they think the nominee should be.

chuck said...

It would be nice to have a candidate who can find his ass with two hands and a flashlight. Trump isn't that candidate.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...it's the dirty work that's going to leave him looking unappealing to the American public

Right, because up until now you've found him appealing. Oh, no, wait, you haven't.
Look, we get it--you decided to vote for Cruz and you want to make sure everyone understands that you and lots of people like you voted for him not because you like him or think he'd be a good President (or found him appealing) but because you wanted to vote for an outcome that prevents Trump from winning and possibly lets someone you'll like more win. Acknowledged, ok?

pm317 said...

Trump is one lucky guy. His latest lucky streak is what happened in CO. If people had problems with caucuses, this thing in CO is beyond fix and that the reptile played that game well, will not endear him to the majority.

Dude1394 said...

I am so inspired by how effective my standard bearer is in playing the political system! Why he is right up there with Mitch McConnell!!

It is so important for POTUS to know how the political game is played and be able to play it better than anyone, even though they are behind in delegates and voters by..well...a lot.

I just cannot wait to pull the lever for the bureaucrat who knows how to game the system best! THAT is LEADERSHIP, I tell you what.

Forget it, Cruz is a horrible candidate. When (if) the republican party completes this 100 day plan to stop trump and puts someone else as their candidate, will be the day I decide to vote a straight democrat ticket.

n.n said...

This is how we got Obama. Too many lawyers.

Allison said...

Cruz can say: I played by the rules.

Buy more, he will be saying to the people who wrote the rules, the people who make up this organization called a political party, that I know you and your concerns, your hard work at the local level, and I support This Party and I hope this party supports me.

If Trump doesn't like it, maybe he shouldn't have run as a Republican.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

You won't be happy with the Republican nominee, you'll settle for Hillary as the lesser of two evils, and of course Hillary will win. You won't need to do a "how the GOP nominee lost me" post because they never had you and Hillary'll get your vote more or less by default. Hey, you might even vote for some down-ballot Republicans and tell yourself that you're pulling for divided government in the hopes that we'll all come together and the government will start working again. We get it.

Terry said...

Well, we now know that Trump can't even hire the right people to help him accomplish his agenda.

pm317 said...

This is how we got Obama. Too many lawyers.

Cruz is the Canadian Obama in skullduggery.

Ken B said...

Terry, is it possible that they both look bad?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...He won't be able to present himself in democratic terms, since he will have progressed along the nondemocratic route, playing the weird behind-the-scenes game that Trump failed to discover or wouldn't deign to play

How much did that count against Candidate Obama? How much did you hold it against him then, Professor? Just kidding, you liked candidate Obama so his use of the rules to amass delegate's votes and win the nomination wasn't devious or undeomcratic, it was clever and showed intelligence and savvy.

Beldar said...

@ Ken B, who asked of me:

"So Beldar let me ask you. Say I am a republican but feel like the party ignores me, doesn't respect me, or in NR's deathless prose thinks my community deserves to die. Hasn't the Colorado GOP just confirmed all that?"

No, not one bit. Do you live in Colorado? If so, did you show up for a district convention, like every other Colorado voter could do, and like the people who Cruz organized did? If so, you had a spectacularly greater relative and proportional impact on the selection of Colorado's GOP delegates than I could have had here in Texas. If you didn't, then it's your fault. And if you don't live in Colorado, then you don't have standing to tell the Republican Party there how they ought to run their delegate selection process.

If you look into the history of that, though, you'll find that Colorado's unusual process wasn't created to favor Ted Cruz. Rather, it was created to advantage party insiders and favorites over insurgents like Cruz or Trump. It's just that those people were all gone by the time of the district and state conventions (except for Kasich), so Cruz -- by good organizing -- was able win even though the system was set up to benefit others.

Rhythm and Balls said...

There's actually a guy named "Rush?"

The only Rush I know is the Canadian rock trio of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson.

No one gives a fuck about some fat, impotent pill-popper named "Rush." Or his stupid, bullshit opinions.

Amanda said...

"If Trump doesn't like it, maybe he shouldn't have run as a Republican."

He ran as a Republican because he knew Democrats wouldn't have him and his agenda of sexism, racism, Islamophobia, the mocking of the disabled and the disrespect for POWs, bigotry, a penchant for using torture on our enemies and a longing to squelch free speech. He would never have gotten as far as he has if he had run as a Democrat. He's the Republican's headache and the Democrat's good fortune.

Oso Negro said...

Good God, Professor! How about 1) I have political organizing skils or 2) I have policy positions and here is what they are or 3) I am not a maniacal bully who insults people at the drop of a hat. I can go on.

Amanda said...

Oh yes, and his incitement of violence, add that to my 6:39PM.

Qwinn said...

"He won't be able to present himself in democratic terms, since he will have progressed along the nondemocratic route, playing the weird behind-the-scenes game that Trump failed to discover or wouldn't deign to play."

Um, this is utterly ridiculous. Cruz played Colorado *the only way Colorado can be played*. This is how Colorado selects their delegates. That was decided before Cruz declared his candidacy. He has done nothing whatsoever, to my knowledge, that is not in keeping with how Colorado *requires* their input into the primary to be decided. That Trump completely failed to participate does not make what Cruz did some "weird behind the scenes game", it makes it nothing more or less than Colorado's primary! Dear Lord!

Dude1394 said...

I do not know if Cruz will manage to finagle his way to the nomination, but I am pretty sure Colorado just turned blue, forever.

James Longfellow said...

"He's working as a tool now. What's his clever scheme to become something other than a tool?"

He's 45 years old. That's his clever scheme. He can afford to play the waiting game. He doesn't need to be the nominee this election cycle. He probably didn't run with the expectation he would be the nominee this election cycle. So if Cruz is looking down the road at 2020 or 2024 his job right now is to do the best he can, build that voter network, establish that donor base. Winning the nomination right now could be the worst possible thing as it would expose him to the country before he is ready.

The most recent analog to Cruz today is Reagan in 1976. Losing to Ford was the best thing that happened to Reagan as it prepared his way to taking over control of the Republican party from the moderate Ford wing once Ford lost to Carter.

I have long wondered if Cruz isn't going to walk into the nomination and give all his votes to Trump. Why not? It would shut up all those say he is a selfish a-hole who won't do anything for the party. If Trump wins, Trump owes him big. If Trump loses the field is now clear for Cruz to take over the party.

So from where I sit Cruz situation is win-win. So long as he keeps fighting until the Convention he's going to win. Maybe the nomination. Perhaps the thanks of the party. Most certainly he has established himself as the future of the conservative wing; a force that will have to be dealt with in 2017 and beyond no matter what happens. That alone is a major victory.

Mada Gasper said...

Cruz can make the 'argument' that he's playing by the rules (setting aside the point that the rules are rotten). But what is Rush Limbaugh's excuse for this mealy-mouthed talk? He has no qualms making value judgements on things day in and day out but suddenly goes cute now that it is his guy Cruz who is the beneficiary of this establishment chicanery.

As for Althouse - if Trump doesn't get the nomination (I think he will) then my wish is for Paul Ryan to get it and win the election, followed by an air drop of 5000 Somalis and Syrians into Althouse's neighborhood. The 'vibrancy' and 'diversity' will no doubt be salubrious to Frau Professor.

Qwinn said...

I read here somewhere, this or another thread, about how Cruz being a lawyer is a bad thing because people are sick of lawyers running things.

If that were true, Democrats wouldn't get a single vote anymore, because they are ALL lawyers.

Every single Presidential and Vice Presidential nominee of the Democrats since Carter, with the exception of Lloyd Bensen, was a lawyer or tried to be but failed out of law school (that last category is just for Al Gore)

Conversely, the only Republican ticket with a lawyer on it since Carter was Bob Dole, and Dole had about 12 other professions besides just lawyer.

So if people are sick of lawyers running things, why do Democrats, who never ever put up anything BUT lawyers, get any votes?

Frankly, Cruz being a lawyer is desperately necessary. All these Democrat lawyers in office have basically weaponized the law, and conservatives have disarmed themselves by rejecting any lawyers on their own. It will take a highly skilled lawyer like Cruz, from a position of power, to discover the ways in which Democrats have weaponized the law against conservatives and dismantle it. It's long past time we fight that particular fire with fire.

rhhardin said...

It's like gay marriage. It came in under elite rules while opposed by everybody who could vote.

Surprise, that eats away at unwritten rules that make the system work, and suddenly the system has stopped working.

mccullough said...

Why do people think any of the delegates are loyal to Cruz and not to the party? The candidates themselves can only pick their delegates in 12 states, and even then it's usually local party people who agree to be their hand-picked delegates. The rest of the delegates are local and state party people. Are they more loyal to Cruz or Trump or to the local, state, or national party who will be lobbying them as much as Cruz but who have more to offer than Cruz does.

tim maguire said...

There are a lot of people here missing the point. The question is, will voters be turned away by Ted Cruz's backroom wheeling and dealing?

You can argue all you want about whether people should care, you can argue all you want about what it should mean to people. But you'd do best to save your breath. You're huffing and puffing about irrelevancies.

What matters, the only thing that matters, is, will voters be turned away by Ted Cruz's backroom wheeling and dealing?

Humperdink said...

Amanda said: "Oh yes, and his incitement of violence, add that to my 6:39PM."

Obama said: "“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”

mccullough said...

Romney was more of a lawyer than Gore. Romney graduated from Harvard law school, just like Dukakis, Obama and Cruz.

Qwinn said...

It is infuriating to me though, that in my entire life noting lawyer after lawyer put up by the Democrats, the VERY FIRST FREAKING TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE that I have heard someone say "Do we really want another lawyer running things?", it's applied to Cruz. Hillary's a lawyer, Obama's a lawyer, Kerry was a lawyer, Biden, Edwards, every freakin' Democrat is a lawyer, but NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE, EVER have I heard anyone complain that maybe lawyers shouldn't be President... until Cruz.

Seriously, it is infuriating.

CStanley said...

At the open convention: Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?

Haha.. asking all the right questions after voting for the reptile. Trump would not do what Cruz has been doing. Trump would not play that game like that and in fact, isn't that what attracts people to him, that he is not a corrupt politician? That he is standing up to these mfers?


How is it possible to believe this about the guy who boasts that he participated in the corrupt system as a businessman, and that he took every possible advantage of the laws of the country in the bankruptcy courts? I'm astounded that people actually think that Trump would not have done exactly what Cruz is doing if he had better understood the process. There is absolutely nothing in his past behavior that would support the belief that Trump would have taken some sort of high road approach; he has always done everything possible to advance his personal and business interests, to the degree that he boasts of it and it can be seen as something of a strength. You really can't have it both ways- if you accept his past behavior as a selling point because he's been ruthless, then you have to accept that he screwed up this time. If you don't think his past behavior indicates a strength he can use as POTUS, then how do you explain it?

David Begley said...

If Trump and his Top Men can't figure the rules of the CO GOP, how is he going to negotiate great trade deals with China?

eric said...

I'm still convinced that no matter what, it's going to be either Trump or Cruz.

In my book, this is a win/win. I'll take either of those guys over most of the others. Although I do also like Ben Carson a great deal.

And Cruz isn't going to let a rules committee replace him with a Mitt Romney or a Paul Ryan. Those dreaming for that shouldn't hold their breath.

StephenFearby said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

"...it's the dirty work that's going to leave him looking unappealing to the American public."

"Dirty Work" can be taken in several ways, honorable or not. For example:

'to do the unpleasant or difficult things' Well, usually I do the dirty work and someone else gets the credit for getting it done."

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/do+the+dirty+work

'dishonest, unethical, or criminal acts'

He always sends his henchmen to do his dirty work rather than doing it himself.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dirty+work

Our Professor seems to have applied the dishonorable form, perhaps in advocating for candidate she might vote for with less reservations that might come out of the Republican convention. (Like Paul Ryan or perhaps John Kasich.)

That's certainly OK for her to hope for, but I think should acknowledge this bias without resorting to tarring what is generally acknowledged as an effective ground game by Senator Cruz as being dishonest.




exhelodrvr1 said...

Well, if the media continues to ignore when Demos do similar things, we're screwed anyway.

tim in vermont said...

Dirty Harry was kind of a mensch.

CStanley said...

.At the open convention, Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?

How is this any different than a candidate in a general election who wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college? If it's not compelling in that situation, why should it be here?

mccullough said...

It wouldn't be the rules committee replacing Cruz. They can only adopt proposed rules changes by majority vote and then the delegates approve them by majority vote. Then the majority of delegates would pick whoever they wanted but would probably pick someone who has been vetted by the general electorate (Romney) or semi vetted by the general electorate (Ryan and Kasich) if they don't pick Trump or Cruz

R. Chatt said...

Cruz has been running for President since he was elected to the Senate. No one here has mentioned it, so I don't know if it is common knowledge or just underreported, that Cruz has been establishing networks of pastors and stacking the delegate count that way. It worked in Iowa and and now dramatically in CO, but I'm sure other places as well. Of course Cruz never talks about that openly; he actually claims lots of crossover voters from the Democratic party and Independents. There is nothing illegal in what he is doing, I'm not sure people fully understand his message to his core constituency.

BTW, I watched the speeches by Trump and Ryan at AIPAC a little while back. Trump gave a prepared "presidential" style speech, used teleprompters and hit it out of the park. Thrilling, IMO. Ryan's speech was fine, but not in same league. So Trump's capable. He's running as a populist though.

Dr Weevil said...

If Trump wants to claim he "played it straight", he might want to debate Cruz just once. With or without Kasich: it doesn't matter much. The fact that he doesn't have the guts to debate Cruz is just one of his many disqualifications. The fact that no one in the media is even asking him why he won't help us decide between him and his main rival by debating him is just one more bit of evidence that they're all partisan shills, who don't even bother to pretend to aim for objectivity any more.

pm317 said...

@CStanley, Cruz spread the rumor about Carson to win Iowa. He gave Carly Fiorina's campaign 500K, why? He has mostly collected his delegates in Caucus states unable to win majorities in a primary. He has totally misrepresented what Trump said on many occasions -- listening to him, I would shake my head knowing what exactly Trump said -- Ly'ing Ted. His sex scandals while thumping bible. What exactly did he do with CO delegates? I don't see such shenanigans on Trump side. I am not a Trump supporter and just observing what is going on. In fact, Cruz will be easy to beat for Hillary. But I do hope for a Trump vs. Hillary general.

mccullough said...

Cruz isn't cheating but he's not winning. As for his behind the scenes lobbying for unbound delegates and those unbound after a first or second ballot, including his own, what is the evidence that he has enough of them to win? Trump may not be lobbying them but others in the local GOP parties, the state GOP parties, and the national GOP parties must be lobbying the delegates as well. And what are they lobbying the delegates to do? How many more of them are there than Cruz paid staffers?

Sayyid said...

"Because he was so sharp and aggressive in figuring out how to play the non-democratic part of the game?"

You say that like it's a bad thing. I see it as a selling point. One of Trump's arguments has been, albeit less elegantly stated, "vote for me because I know from experience how to abuse the system, so I'll use that knowledge to fix it." That was the premise of his whole "I used the laws" rebuttal to pointing out he's gone bankrupt so many times. Or his companies, or whatever.

Cruz is putting the lie to that argument -- and in fact co-opting it for himself -- by using his knowledge of the system against Trump. If Trump had a better grasp on the minutiae of politics, he wouldn't be getting clobbered like this in state conventions. It takes someone with a grasp of this sort of insider game to be able to throw the tables in the insiders' faces.

Now, as for how to convince the delegates to vote for him? That's the whole point of what Cruz is doing here. He's not planning on scrambling about the convention floor at the eleventh hour trying to schmooze delegates into voting for him. He's stacking the convention floor with people he has already convinced through his stances on the issues.

Really, you're looking at this backwards, Professor. What do you say to try to convince a duly selected delegate? These will be delegates head over heels for Cruz, because they sincerely and passionately believes Cruz is the best man for the job with the best ideas. How do you convince those folks that they should ignore everything they believe in order to instead nominate Professor Althouse's Preferred Candidate who has obtained zero votes so far?

Keep in mind while you think that over, the exact byzantine rule structure you are decrying is exactly the rule structure these delegates have personally voted for and meandered through during the convention process. That it's excluding Trump but the guy they support is able to navigate it is a feature, not a bug.

mccullough said...

What is there for Cruz and Trump to debate about? Tax rates? Illegal immigration? Supreme Court nominees? What would you like to know that hasn't been answered in the dozen or so debates?

mccullough said...

Cruz has to do what he's doing because Trump is getting more votes than Cruz. Cruz has to be clever because the GOP voters are rejecting him in most states. Getting fewer actual votes is not a selling point. That's the point Trump is pounding on and it's a good argument. If Trump blows out Cruz in New York and Pennsylvania then Wisconsin was an outlier and Trump's point becomes even stronger. And the case for the delegates passing over Cruz if Trump doesn't get to a majority is even stronger since they are both radioactive in the general election.

mccullough said...

Sayyid,

Cruz doesn't get to pick most of his delegates. He gets to lobby them. So does Trump and so does Kasich and so does anyone in the GOP. Where is the evidence that enough of these delgates love Cruz?

Dr Weevil said...

mccullough:
I have a pretty good idea what Cruz thinks about those three issues, but know very little about Trump's ideas on any of them, except that they seem to vary from day to day, or from audience to audience. I'd like to see Cruz try to pin him down. I'd also like to see how they argue, without the argument being constantly interrupted by a dozen also-rans, as in the so-called debates already held. How could more information on their qualifications possibly be a bad thing? How often do we have campaigns where the front-runner refuses to debate? And have we ever had one where that happened without anyone from the media or the general public objecting?

Birches said...

This post has finally led me to understand what you've been getting at in regards to Cruz. I see your point and kind of agree with you. But I don't think most people will see it that way.

pm317 said...

What does winning over a delegate mean? Bribe them?

CStanley said...

I also do t see how a person who votes for one candidate she does not really support, in order to use the rules of the system to defeat a different candidate, has any standing to complain that the candidate she voted for is gaming the system. It seems pretty clear that it comes down to accepting the quirks of the system if and only if you get the outcome you want, and crying foul if you don't.

I don't see anything wrong with a strategic vote like Prof Althouse cast, but I also don't see anything wrong with Cruz lining up delegates who support him and I think it's inconsistent to cast aspersions on one of those actions but not the other.

mccullough said...

In other words, Cruz positions are known and Trump's positions are either non existent, incoherent, and/or flexible. So there's no reason for any more debates other to enrich some media company.

Right now, in a poll among GOP voters, Trump has 42% support, Cruz has 32% support, and Kasich has 20% support. Not Cruz is larger than Not Trump.

gadfly said...

There seems to be evidence that Trump's real problem is money and of course, Trump has thrown campaign manager Lewandowski under the bus for another liar by the name of Paul Manafort.
Reported fundraising for the Trump campaign through 3/31/16 shows only $36.5 million raised, mostly from his website. Whatever Trump has personalty contributed has been in the form of loans to be reimbursed by Federal Election Funds. As the number of primaries mount, the more people find themselves in the street. From Politico:

Since March, the campaign has been laying off field staff en masse around the country and has dismantled much of what existed of its organizations in general-election battlegrounds, including Florida and Ohio.

Last month, the campaign laid off the leader of its data team, Matt Braynard, who did not train a successor. It elevated his No. 2, a data engineer with little prior high-level political strategy experience, and also shifted some of his team’s duties to a 2015 college graduate whose last job was an internship with the consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive. Some of the campaign’s data remains inaccessible.

Only four of 11 Iowa staffers continued on after Trump lost that state’s caucuses in February. More recently, most of Trump’s South Carolina, Florida and Ohio teams have not had their contracts renewed, according to a person familiar with the campaign, who said the lack of organization in Florida was putting Trump at a disadvantage in the delegate selection process.

While Trump’s South Carolina coalitions director, Nancy Mace, remains on payroll and is organizing in Wisconsin, most of the rest of Trump’s South Carolina team did not have their contracts renewed.


So after winning the vote, it would appear that Trump is abandoning the state delegates. No hand-holding, no schmoozing, no money maybe, likely resulting in reduced votes starting in the second or third round of convention polling.

In the meantime, the Cruz team is working the delegates. In Colorado, they spent 3 months pulling off the coup de gras and backfilling in states already won by Trump has been a gold mine. Understanding state rules is necessary such as Indiana where Cruz will have the delegates in hand before the primary.

pm317 said...

Not Cruz is larger than Not Trump.

LOL!

Ken B said...

Beldar addresses my hypothetical by talking about my "standing." Proves my point for me.

Ken B said...

The phrase AA wants is Pyrrhic victory.

Mac McConnell said...

"Why should the man with the second-most delegates get the nomination? "

Because Cruz has evidently read the Republican election rules and the US Constitution, Trump obviously has read neither. ;-)

Jack Wayne said...

So Althouse wants democracy in our political dealings. But female uber drivers are discriminatory and should be outlawed. Can someone square this circle for her? I can't.

Sebastian said...

"then what is his argument that the delegates should vote for him?" To pile on with Beldar et al.: that he is the Republican with the most votes. Also, that he has run the most credible campaign, and will run a credible campaign that may lose the presidency but won't destroy the party.

bagoh20 said...

I'm sure that Putin, and the Chinese, and the Mullahs will all be much more fair to our President than our vicious system is. The dictators of the world, not to mention the Democrats here, will all treat a Whiner in Chief with the compassion and deference he has earned.

Sebastian said...

"it would appear that Trump is abandoning the state delegates. No hand-holding, no schmoozing, no money maybe" It would appear he ain't in it to win it.

Crazy Jane said...

I came of age reading of the bad old days when candidates were selected in "smoke-filled rooms." I have preferred to be an independent, choosing the best candidate in every race and rejecting the "push the lever" option. Yes, I thought I knew better.

I'm still an independent, but I think the best thing that could happen for our country now is for each party to have a brokered convention and select its own candidate, and for both those selections not to be among the four big vote-getters in this dismal primary season.

None of the leading candidates has said anything about the metastasized bureaucracy at the federal, state, and public university levels. None has discussed reducing the regulatory overload on business owners or the protected licensure of jobs at the state level. We have a huge economy of rent-seekers whose wealthiest city is Washington, D.C., where local politicos want to deprive poor children the opportunity to attend successful schools like those available to the president's daughters.

We have problems, but the leading candidates aren't even up to the job of naming what those problems are. If the two parties want credibility with their memberships, it's well past time for them to say what, exactly, their candidates will do to make things better.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Well, at least we won't have to worry about the Demos doing anything like unsealing divorce records, or making ridiculous claims that an opponent is racist. And if they do, certainly the media will point it out. ANd that would force the Demos to take responsibility!

Qwinn said...

"None of the leading candidates has said anything about the metastasized bureaucracy at the federal, state, and public university levels. None has discussed reducing the regulatory overload on business owners or the protected licensure of jobs at the state level. "

Cruz has talked about this at length on multiple occasions.

"His sex scandals while thumping bible ... I don't see such shenanigans on Trump side."

Wow. Just wow.

mccullough said...

Would does it mean to destroy the Republican Party? 26% identify as GOP and another 16% lean GOP right now. (29% identify as Dems and another 16% lean Dem; another 10% are independent moderates and the rest are third parties). Would 20% identify and 10% lean after this general election cycle be considered the destruction of the GOP? What does it say about the GOP that Trump leads Cruz 42%-32% among GOP voters? Is the GOP already destroyed at the national level?

mccullough said...

Cruz and Jeb and Rubio talked about the federal bureaucracy but there are no votes to make even modest reforms to the civil service laws, much less get rid of federal employee unions. So the managers and workers remain unaccountable and will remain so until the federal government runs out of money

Michael K said...

"The fact that he doesn't have the guts to debate Cruz is just one of his many disqualifications."

When did he decline to debate ? I thought those were all debates but with multiple people.

"So after winning the vote, it would appear that Trump is abandoning the state delegates. "

It does sound like that. Maybe it is inexperience or maybe it is a different theory of campaigns. Romney had a big staff and they made a mess of the GOTV on election day.

I'm still wondering if the donor class is using Cruz as a cats paw to take out Trump. Even O'Reilly who I rarely watch, was commenting on the hatred of Trump in the GOP hierarchy.

Kristian Holvoet said...

"Trump will go third party if the GOP commits suicide. When he does, he will pull votes from the Republicans in the general election."

A few things:
- A lot of states have sore loser laws, and he won't be eligible for the ballot.
- I think he is broke, and can't afford to run a campaign. He has been running a shoe string operation so far, benefiting greatly from free media.

mccullough said...

Trump gets the free media because he understands the entertainment nature of news, as well as politics. No one gave him free media attention. He earned it.

Jim Gust said...

Does anyone seriously think Cruz can win in the general? What states that Romney lost will be flipped to Cruz? Any?

The only group that hates the Tea Party more than the Democrat establishment is the Republican establishment. They've realized that they've already lost the Presidency--if they can get the nomination to Cruz and he loses, then they can rid themselves of the
Tea Party also. They will say, you had your chance and you lost. Now get off the stage.

On the other hand, I think Trump has a good chance of beating Hillary, or Bernie when Hillary is indicted. He could flip New York, for example. He is unpredictable, and the Dems don't really know how to respond. The MSM has gone into high gear to paint Trump as poison--but maybe this year the voters no longer want to be told what to think and who to vote for.

Trump is no slam dunk to win the general, but he really is the only hope for Republicans.

MikeDC said...

As the current President once said, Cruz's response will be I won.

What Cruz is doing is pretty impressive. He's hated by the establishment, but he's successfully using them and using their rules. He may very well be the stereotypical cockroach of a lawyer, but he seems to be pretty good at it.

bagoh20 said...

Trump has a 70% disapproval rating, the highest of any candidate in history from any party. How could that be the only hope for Republicans?

Beldar said...

@ Jim Gust: Start with Dubya's 2004 electoral map. There's no reason Cruz can't do at least that well in the general. If you're focusing on counting individual states at this point, you're engaging in mental masturbation around the margins -- Romney- and McCain-style small-ball. Think Reagan.

AprilApple said...

The GOP did have a caucus vote. They ditched the non-binding straw poll. The rules were changed back in August.
40% of the district Caucasus goers were NEW this year.

Cruz stole NOTHING. Trump said FU to CO.

AprilApple said...

auto correct - LOL! "Caucus"

Beldar said...

@ Darrell, re "sentient" versus "sapient": Thanks, that's neat! I blush not to have known it already, but am glad to learn it!

D. said...

gee maybe ted cruz is smarter then to the ivy league clowns ruining the country?

mccullough said...

The electorate of 2004 is not the same as now. Reagan is dead and so are more than half of the people who voted for him more than 30 years ago. Start with the electorate of 2012 and hope fewer of Obama's voters turn out for Hillary. Also hope that the GOP nominee does better with whites in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire than Romney did.

Neither Trump nor Cruz could flip any of those states and would lose North Carolina and maybe Missouri and Indiana.

Beldar said...

@ AprilApple: Thank you for making that important point!

I've just heard a Trump shill on TV insisting that the Colorado GOP "canceled the election" and "didn't allow citizens to participate." But all that was canceled was the non-binding straw poll held in previous years.

And the delegate selection process was moved to a combination of votes held, in sequence, at the district conventions (corresponding to Colorado's congressional districts) and the state convention. Trump, his campaign, and his Colorado supporters among the voting public failed to show up in sufficient numbers and organization to win any of the district conventions, and then compounded that failure by again failing to show up at the state convention in Colorado Springs.

Ironically, these were changes made by the state party to make it harder for any insurgent candidacy (like Rick Santorum's or Ron Paul's in 2012). That is to say, the changes between 2012 and 2016 were just as detrimental to Cruz, as an anti-establishment candidate, as they were to Trump, as an anti-establishment candidate.

But except for the figment of his own imagination named John Kasich, there aren't any more establishment candidates left. So Cruz simply outdid Trump in the system set up to disfavor them both.

bagoh20 said...

Cruz is more electable according to every major poll, and Trump even loses to Hillary on the question of "Who will make America great again?" - his own campaign slogan. Trumpers live in an echo chamber maintained by wishful thinking and a highly selective filtering of information, also known as delusion.

Beldar said...

@ mccullough: Obama won't be running.

gadfly said...

John Fund was a delegate at the Colorado GOP Convention. Read his piece at Power Line and you can judge Trump's competence.

traditionalguy said...

Oddly the sign above the entry to the Kingdom of Cruz with all of its Uber Christian Prayer Partners and Duck Commander High Priests s reads " Abandon Hope All Who Enter Here."

Trump is shining the light of truth directly on that miasma of Ted's lies and half truths. And poor Rush is caught between a rock and a hard place because Cruz has seduced most of Rush's audience. So Rush has been throwing them a bone regularly to quell their hostility at him.

And as The Professor explains, Cruz is the pawn in the Paul Ryan Immaculate Nomination game. Rush will keep sitting on the fence and say his usual I told you so after it's over.

But through, through the night Trump's flag is still there yet waiving over the land of the free and the home of the brave.



AprilApple said...

Beldar- NO -thank you!

Rhythm and Balls said...

Trump has a 70% disapproval rating, the highest of any candidate in history from any party. How could that be the only hope for Republicans?

Um, because their entire platform sucks and has been stale and unresponsive to actual problems for years.

AprilApple said...

Beldar--
Also, the changes to the straw poll rules were made back in August, long before any "#NeverTrump". The changes had nothing to do with Trump.

AprilApple said...

R & B - unlike your wonderful money wasting corrupt welfare--state nanny-statist democrats?

bagoh20 said...

I agree R&B, but you always vote for the people who actually cause the problems that Republicans haven't fixed, so why change now?

AprilApple said...

When Trump KNEW he was going to lose at the CO convention, he cancelled. No-show. Trump made zero effort in CO prior to our convention - but he and his usual gang of liars are making every effort to confuse and un-enlighten the masses.

bagoh20 said...

And R&B, every other Republican can beat her, so clearly "Republican" is not the problem with Trump.

wildswan said...

Trump has hired a political expert to get delegates at the convention away from Cruz so it will be a free-for-all at best; a bloodbath is likely. I predict screaming delegates, sobbing delegates. Podium storming. Waves of booing - no twinkle hands here. What about Occupy-Convention?

Well ... I know, it isn't just a pass the popcorn moment but I no longer know who I want to win. Cruz supports all my positions but I am clear on how unpopular they are - I'd rather have someone who can win and supports half of what I want than someone who will lose and let in the Hildebeast. But perhaps he'd beat her in a debate; he has a quick debater's mind. Or maybe Trump would crush her the way he has the others.

It's interesting to read descriptions of the Republican and Democratic conventions of 1860. Lincoln unseated Seward, the front-runner, by convention machinations after Seward did not win on the first ballot; the Democrats also refused to accept their front-runner, Stephen Douglas, split into three parts and lost, for that reason, to Lincoln. Whatever happens we won't get Lincoln and I feel we need him.

traditionalguy said...

Remember the Continental Congress Rebels under that doofus Washington only had a 30% approval rating when they stood up to the political Establishment to get Liberty and a Democracy.

The British Monarchy and Parlement had their complex fixed outcome rules too. Ben Franklin finally tried and tried to comply, but gave up and joined the rebels and thus lost all favor with the 70% including the Governor of New Jersey, who was his son whom he gotten the job.

n.n said...

AprilApple:

On the contrary, the Democrat Party has profited greatly from construction of minority fiefdoms, redistributive change schemes (e.g. welfare, eminent domain and similar (e.g. regulatory), etc.), class diversity schemes, anti-native policies (e.g. mass exodus, refugee crises), progressive wars, impulsive regime changes, selective exclusion, disenfranchisement, reactive parenthood, planned parenthood, dysfunctional (a.k.a. sexual) revolution, female chauvinism, faith-based scientific enterprises, and establishment of a pro-choice or selective principles church. Depending on your perspective, there has been very little waste.

That said, Republicans need to do a better job of reconciling individual dignity and intrinsic value with natural imperatives, and not overlook the exceptional corruption in their own ranks.

Terry said...

Howabout Trump gives his delegates to Cruz -- in return for a supreme court nomination. Couldn't be worse than Ginsberg -- decide what you want to do, then use tortured logic and cherry-picked precedents to retroactively justify (har!) your decision.

Mike said...

Early on it was said that Rubio's goal was to be "everyone's second choice" so that as others dropped out he would accrue their voters. That is now Cruz's game on the convention floor, to be first on everyone's second ballot. I'm kind of shocked at how poorly Trump is running the ground game. It gives the lie to his "I'll hire the best people" schtick.

bagoh20 said...

George Washington = Donald Trump. Common Core, no doubt.

grimson said...

Amanda @ 6:39 said "If Trump doesn't like it, maybe he shouldn't have run as a Republican."

He ran as a Republican because he knew Democrats wouldn't have him and his agenda of sexism, racism, Islamophobia, the mocking of the disabled and the disrespect for POWs, bigotry, a penchant for using torture on our enemies and a longing to squelch free speech. He would never have gotten as far as he has if he had run as a Democrat. He's the Republican's headache and the Democrat's good fortune.


Had Trump run as a Democrat, he would have said completely different things. (And, squelching of free speech is far more common among Democrats than Republicans.)

Gusty Winds said...

Maybe we should incorporate a Superdelgate system into our major American sports leagues.

Why should the team with the most points win every game?

jr565 said...

"obody talked about it.... So it was left to be discovered by people who didn't know. And it turns out that people on the Trump campaign didn't know....:
This is the problem with the Trump campaign, and the problem with being an outsider frankly. cruz knows all the inner workings of how elections work, and Trump and his campaign seem to be flabbergasted every time they get hit with the rules. He really needs to hire a few seasoned campaign workers to help him out so he doesn't get blindsided.
And this wasn't a new creation designed to help Cruz. they had changed the rules after the last election. Its not rigged. Trump's campaign is just dumb. Or to be charitable, neophytes.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I agree R&B, but you always vote for the people who actually cause the problems that Republicans haven't fixed, so why change now?

Progressive Democrats aren't Bill Clinton and his supine congressional "triangulators" of Dick Morris yore that deregulated their way into every mess we're living with now.

But that's too complicated and well-known a reality to fit on your bumper sticker understanding of things, I guess.

narciso said...

well he did push subprime, through the cra revisions, and the justice department nudge, he did slash defense and intelligence, repealing glass steagal, was a very minor part,

Rhythm and Balls said...

R & B - unlike your wonderful money wasting corrupt welfare--state nanny-statist democrats?

Right. A decimated to near-non-existence "welfare state" has caused all the interventionist wars, the 2008 crisis and subsequent malaise (as if 2.6 million people decided to just "stop working" following a global banking meltdown, as the GOPelitists think they can convince everyone to believe. Yep, it's always the lazy unpowerful people who are screwing up the country, April. Never your lazy-ass establishment).

How badly does one have to want to toady up to power to blame everything on the people who can do the least about the system?

Incorrigible. The things you'll convince yourself to tolerate.

sane_voter said...

the rationale for Trump is being smashed against the rocks with his campaign incompetence.

Goodbye, @realDonaldTrump! What a loser! Sad!

Rhythm and Balls said...

Bill Clinton gave in to a right-wing agenda. And the establishment Democrats have been limping along with it ever since.

Everyone hates the Clintons here, and yet, the RINOs on the board want to convince me that our country's problems result from not being Clintonesque enough.

Yep, let's keep pushing the country even further along the right-wing. We just need to push these ideas to even further extremes. And then we'll go from consistent disasters and crisis-to-crisis governing to a system that works just the way it's intended. And never has.

Never-mind that the most popular positions articulated this season align closest to the Sanders platform. But there's away around democratic popularity too, the establishment and RINOs and DINOs want us to believe.

It's called a dictatorship.

sane_voter said...

Trump has hired a political expert to get delegates at the convention away from Cruz

Ha, good luck with that. That horse has long left the Trump barn and is now at Cruz Stables.

traditionalguy said...

Washington was The Father of this country. For 120 years many male children of original settlers and of immigrants were named George Washington plus the family name. A common nick name for them was Wash. That man had class .

So maybe Trump is more of an Andrew Jackson who along with Jefferson was the father of this country's electoral Democracy tradition.

Both have had to be stopped by a corrupt bargain done by the establishment " just keeping the rules" one to protect the Bank of the United States. Although Jackson was the popular vote winner, and also leading but short in electoral votes, he was ditched for second place finisher from Massachusetts from the Adams Family of Presidents, and his surprise Secretary of State.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, The problem is that the Code of Federal Regulations does not fit on a bumper sticker. Do you actually think it's shrinking? Under W. we added over 2 thousand pages per year, and over 17,000 pages added by Obama in his first 5 years. Is that the deregulating you imagine at the root of our problems?

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ritmo, The problem is that the Code of Federal Regulations does not fit on a bumper sticker. Do you actually think it's shrinking? Under W. we added over 2 thousand pages per year, and over 17,000 pages added by Obama in his first 5 years. Is that the deregulating you imagine at the root of our problems?

Sanders caught flak in a debate for his alliance with Ted Cruz to stop the corporate subsidized import-export bank. You keep going on with this shit about Democrats wanting as complex regulation as regulation can be. Obama's Democrats are establishmentarians, though. We're as done with him as we are with Clinton. You can get your streamlined stuff. No one's against making things easier for the poor, struggling elite, privileged, whining businesspeople like you. But it takes compromise. You hate how things are, 99% of the country has it exponentially worse. Their opportunities suck. Help them fix the problems that they face that you've neglected for so long and maybe you can get your comic book-friendly CFR. But no one's going to give a shit about your problems if you don't care about theirs. And theirs are more numerous, greater and more devastating.

So be a non-Trump for a second, recognize that the country consists of something more than just you, your company and the military, and then bitch about how you've regained your position as the center of the American universe after that's done.

I've never met a friendlier guy who was so oblivious to what an inconsiderate a** he was. This is not just Hollywood Limousine Liberal stuff. This is what keeps the French and Russian revolutions from happening. Take your head out of the sand already, you wealthy beach bum.

FullMoon said...

AA uses adjectives for "tool" Cruz "....dirty...nasty...devious... "

Subtle strong persuasion ?

mccullough said...

Most of Obama's voters will show up to vote against Trump or Cruz since they both have very high negatives. And neither Trump or Cruz will be able to win suburban whites in states in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, and New Hampshire. All of these are states Obama won twice and W won most of them twice and won New Hampshire in 2000 and Iowa in 2004 and Cruz is the anti W.

Bob said...

Devious? No! Complex? Yes!
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433890/2016s-political-revolution-both-parties-upended

http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/11/colorado-proves-donald-trump-cant-handle-the-rigors-of-a-campaign/

http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2016/04/do-not-sacrifice-voice-of-grassroots-in.html

http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2016/04/in-colorado-it-all-started-in-our.html

chickelit said...

@traditionalguy: Regarding your 10:27 PM, it's interesting that Andrew Jackson was the only face that Ted Cruz wished to see erased from our currency: link. There really must be something to Cruz's* loathing of Jackson. Perhaps one of Ted's Cruzados here can explain?
____________________
I refuse to write "Cruz'" because I don't want to associate the man with Jesus in a good way.

Bob said...

One more: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-representative-model-of-government.html

Rhythm and Balls said...

To sum it up more diplomatically: Get rid of the establishments. They are the ones writing the CFR, and making it longer and more complex in order to navigate a fine line between what lobbyists want and not suffering a coup d'etat.

But regulation is complex stuff. It can be addressed, but how does one do that if they can't look around at the simple stuff like how compensation has stagnated for decades and the drying up of opportunities? You believe all of that has to do with excessive regulation, alone? That would be madness!

But the simpler explanation is that, as with Mitt Romney, you're just "not concerned about the very poor." Or is it the 47%? Either way, this situation makes it so that they keep growing. At some point you can't just blame everything they face on THEM and the REST on just regulation. It goes way, way, way beyond that.

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, You always try to insult me. Do you imagine that's persuasive, or does it just give you that funny feeling inside like climbing the rope in gym class? It must be that, because it has nothing to do with the discussion here, yet you always do it. I'm a human being, and not just an imaginary thing for you to vent on about your personal failures. Keep your chin up little fella.

bagoh20 said...

R&B, how have you helped the poor? Do you hire them? Do you teach them anything? Do you raise any out of poverty? Do you even pay their tax burden? No, you buy them a 4 star take out once and pat yourself on the back, then vote for people with similar plans. Now after a lifetime of that, you're gonna tell people how to fix it? Thanks a lot.

Rhythm and Balls said...

No offense, Bags - but I think it's possible for you to consider that the reason that this current crisis of the middle class eludes you, is because you've only known poverty or wealth.

It's the middle class that's getting squeezed. There is no magic "less regulation/more bootstrapping" that works that way for them. Or even the presumption that bootstrapping is the only solution for the poor.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ritmo, You always try to insult me.

You always insult everyone who does not have your position in life.

And yet, you seem to wonder about why those people vote differently than you do.

Do you imagine that's persuasive, or does it just give you that funny feeling inside like climbing the rope in gym class?

Do you imagine that your disregard for everyone who is not a mid-to-large sized business owner finds your own rhetoric persuasive?

Do you realize that they get to vote, too? And in the greater numbers that they are relative to you?

Why is this so hard for you to understand?

It must be that, because it has nothing to do with the discussion here, yet you always do it. I'm a human being, and not just an imaginary thing for you to vent on about your personal failures. Keep your chin up little fella.

That's some projection. I think your class hatred is its own personal failure, but that's just me.

You hate everyone who came from where you were and isn't what you are now.

THat's deplorable, if I may say so.

Sayyid said...

"Does anyone seriously think Cruz can win in the general? What states that Romney lost will be flipped to Cruz? Any?"

Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Colorado for sure would flip. No question. So at that point Cruz would need either PA or FL for the win (PA would technically be a 269/269 tie, but Republicans control the house, so tie goes to Cruz). Either would be very doable, considering PA has been drifting rightward this cycle on the heels of some local scandals involving Democrats.

Rhythm and Balls said...

R&B, how have you helped the poor? Do you hire them? Do you teach them anything? Do you raise any out of poverty? Do you even pay their tax burden? No, you buy them a 4 star take out once and pat yourself on the back, then vote for people with similar plans. Now after a lifetime of that, you're gonna tell people how to fix it? Thanks a lot.

Well, we can't all be self-styled superheroes like you, but I daresay I've done my part.

But I'm sure your own part must be very considerable, given all the inconsideration you give every one of them that you don't know personally.

Bags is so important that only the poor people whom he knows personally and has had a direct relationship with should ever benefit from society's kindness. That's just how important he is.

You really are the most subtle mini-narcissist I've ever known. ;-)

mccullough said...

Sayyid,

None of those states would go to Cruz. His negatives are too high already at 54%. People don't like him and don't believe in small government conservatism. It's no more popular now than in 1964 when Goldwater lost on that platform. People don't like Hillary but they don't like Cruz either and don't agree with his policies.

Rhythm and Balls said...

R&B, how have you helped the poor? Do you hire them? Do you teach them anything? Do you raise any out of poverty? Do you even pay their tax burden? No, you buy them a 4 star take out once and pat yourself on the back, then vote for people with similar plans. Now after a lifetime of that, you're gonna tell people how to fix it? Thanks a lot.

Robespierre, how have you helped the poor? Do you feed them cake? Do you teach them about the estates into which French society is organized? Do you raise them up? Do you even realize how expensive Versailles is to keep in good shape?

No, you rally them around my lovely chateaux, and actually inspire them to believe that something better in life is possible from their king. But how can you know better than the king? Thanks a lot.

With grace, Le Roi Lous XVI.

bagoh20 said...

Your hatred and anger needs focus - it's wildly misdirected, based on facts you have made up, and not what anybody here wants to read. Lets keep our lengthy love affair from interfering with the discussion here, can we?

chickelit said...

Does anyone seriously think Cruz can win in the general? What states that Romney lost will be flipped to Cruz? Any?

When your most important political goal can be summed up in one hashtag -- #nevertrump -- I'd say that winning must be a secondary goal. But the most important goal for los cruzados will have been met: Trump will have been stopped. That's all this ever was and ever will be about. It's pure negation.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Bags, you don't have to go getting all romantic again. Think of what I'm doing as giving you help... this time in the form of advice. And you know what happened to the last guy who schtupped the help.

You don't want to end up like Schwarzenegger. Trust me.

Real American said...

Cruz is well organized. Trump isn't. That organization will be required to beat HiLIARy. That's the argument.

mccullough said...

Voters will be required to beat Hillary. Neither Cruz nor Trump will get enough of them as the majority of voters view each of them negatively. Cruz delegate organizational skills are the least relevant thing to winning in November. He would be better off working on his off putting televangelist personality and getting his flabby body in shape.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Time frame is all that matters here.

Rule 40 states, per Cruz, only Trump and Cruz will be able to be nominated, as the only two to have won 8 state's delegate majorities, presumably (i.e. Ted ain't there yet).

All the talk about other things is what it is, which for some has to be the assumption changing the rule perfunktory, because, hey, rules change, and this is just fine, indeed not only fully expected but demanded, given the circumstances.

I talked all about CO and linked the the recent Drudge headline months ago, naturally of course.

It is what I do, is exude brilliance when brilliantly prompted. You may have noticed I have to use vulgar camowords in order to stay safe, and I appreciate your implied understanding.

Guildofcannonballs said...
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28700919/colorado-republicans-cancel-2016-presidential-caucus-vote

Colorado GOP acts like Democrats vis-a-vis caucus': just in case the little guys don't pick right and, well, then our delegates can't get bought off by Mike Bloomburg or Tom Stoyer or, oh yeah, Pat Stryker, we'll keep our guys in the game so they can gain graft and market value.

Like, duh, uh, why would you want votes to count in a primary?

2/15/16, 8:11 PM
Guildofcannonballs said...
To be fair, these Colorado GOP have stood up for the 2nd Amendment as written, not improved upon by Leftists, and their reasoning, if the 24 delegates are truly representative, could indeed elect Ted Cruz POTUS.

The thing is hoping/trusting the reps to rep, which isn't possible.

Too much trust among too many persons would have to conspire (no intention pre-cascade prefererencewise) toward a mangledness ultra-sploofered.

2/15/16, 8:22 PM

Michael K said...

On the other hand, I think Trump has a good chance of beating Hillary, or Bernie when Hillary is indicted. He could flip New York, for example. He is unpredictable, and the Dems don't really know how to respond.

I agree but have already prepared myself to see the GOP lose. The only question is whether the Democrats will really go with Hillary. They have as big a problem with a voter rebellion as the GOP. The Bernie supporters might just stay home although I suspect many will turn out if Cruz is the GOP candidate.

It is really an odd year. I will not at all be surprised at a major terrorist attack before the election. The borders are wide open and the FBI is obsessed with Hillary. The whole Obama administration is so shot through with PC and Muslim sympathy that they will not prevent it. The Muslims did it in Spain a couple of weeks before the election there and they think we are rotten ripe like Spain was.

Gold and ammunition.

David said...

"Why should the man with the second-most delegates get the nomination? Because he was so sharp and aggressive in figuring out how to play the non-democratic part of the game?"

It often has happened that the candidate with the largest percent of votes in the first ballot or ballots does not end up the winner. People love to bring up 1860 as an example and it's a good one. Seward was more prominent than Lincoln and was considered to have a stronger anti slavery stance. In normal times he most likely would have been the nominee.

But the times were not normal. There was a guerrilla war in Kansas over the issue of the expansion of slavery, and John Brown--well known for his depredations in Kansas--had attempted to foment an armed slave uprising via his actions at Harper's Ferry. Seward was identified with the Republican supporters of John Brown. Lincoln played a more clever game. He took a trip to Kansas and arranged to be there (at Leavenworth) on the day that Brown was executed. As a result his speeches were well publicized, and he made it clear that he did not endorse Brown's actions. "“Old John Brown has just been executed for treason against a state. We cannot object, even though he agreed with us in thinking slavery wrong. That cannot excuse violence, bloodshed, and treason.”

Come the convention, Seward was seen as the radical and Lincoln the moderate. Seward was far ahead of Lincoln on the first ballot, but he failed to increase his vote on the second, while Chase's support dwindled and Lincoln's improved. It became clear that even though Seward had the largest plurality, the votes were not there to deliver him a majority. Lincoln was just short of a majority on the third ballot, with Chase fading further. It was clear that Seward could not win and Lincoln seemed the best alternative, so the third ballot was "extended" and Lincoln got his majority.

Lincoln had the good sense to promise his main two rivals important Cabinet posts (in an era where the cabinet had a lot more influence) and thereby held the party together. Lincoln had been the sharpest at the non-democratic part of the game, and indeed his sharpness in this game was a good indicator of how he would perform as president.

grimson said...

mccullough said: [Cruz] would be better off working on his off putting televangelist personality and getting his flabby body in shape.

You think Hillary is in fine shape? And you don't think her always wearing coats and topcoats for her professional attire is off-putting and downright bizarre?

Zach said...

At the open convention, Trump can say: I played it straight. I appealed to the people. I got the most votes. What can Cruz say? I was dumbfoundingly devious?

Doesn't matter. 2/3 of the party hates Trump's guts. They'll be as fair as they have to be, slip the dagger in at the first opportunity, and walk away whistling.

It would be one thing if Trump was a basically acceptable candidate who could only muster a plurality in a crowded field (ie, if Trump were Cruz). Then having the most delegates would be a powerful argument. But Trump is a basically unacceptable candidate. He's unelectable and would be a horrible president if he won. He's basically defined himself in opposition to the rest of the party. For a candidate like that, close doesn't count.

Zach said...

The simplest argument for Cruz: he's got an effective national campaign already. Nobody else has that except Trump, and Trump's a sure loser.

Anybody else -- Paul Ryan, say -- might be an effective candidate if he wanted to be. That is, if he started preparing a year and a half ago. But as of the convention, he would be two years, several hundred million dollars, and several thousand campaign volunteers behind the pace needed to win a presidential election.

Somebody like Rubio or Kasich could in principle run a winning campaign. They've already done the prep work, and could reconstitute their campaigns. But there we run into the reality that they already ran this cycle and couldn't find a constituency.

Steven said...

Cruz won't need an argument. The majority of the delegates will be Cruz supporters, regardless of nominal binding. That's the whole point of working the delegate selection system, not just in places like Colorado but in places where the primary binds how the delegates have to vote on the first ballot. If Trump doesn't reach 1,237, the first ballot goes through with no majority, and then the second ballot elects Cruz. The Trumpkins wail impotently at having their "master dealmaker" completely outmaneuvered and threaten an irrelevant third party/write-in campaign, while the Acela Corridor/Washington insider establishment sighs and consoles itself with at least having NotTrump.

grackle said...

A Cruz - HC debate will at least be entertaining …

The unfounded assumption here: That after rejecting Trump the party bosses will nominate Cruz. Fond fantasies abound among the Cruz supporters.

His argument is that he's the best alternative overall, and that he's the only alternative who's also run a national election campaign and won millions of votes and a great many states. You might reject that argument, Prof. Althouse, but don't pretend he doesn't have one.

The above actually sounds like an argument FOR Trump. Trump has run a “national election campaign,” has “won millions of votes and a great many states,” in fact Trump has won millions of votes MORE than Cruz and in MORE states than Cruz. It’s not even close. Tell me some reason to nominate Cruz that isn’t more of a reason to nominate Trump.

Ours is not a system of direct democracy, but of participatory democracy through republican institutions.

I do not believe this particular argument will get much traction in public opinion. The public in general believes the candidate with the most delegates should be the nominee. The public still believes that primary votes should count for something more than a suggestion to the power brokers. If I were Trump I would do just as he seems to be doing – bashing the power brokers that disenfranchise the primary voters.

It would be nice to have a candidate who can find his ass with two hands and a flashlight. Trump isn't that candidate.

Yet Trump has won millions of votes more than his nearest competitor, won more primaries and is currently the frontrunner. Not bad for someone who “can’t find his ass.”

And Cruz isn't going to let a rules committee replace him with a Mitt Romney or a Paul Ryan.

Sorry, but I’m just not seeing how Cruz could control the power brokers. Cruz is not in control of the “rules” or those who dictate the “rules.” If they reject Trump they can just as easily reject Cruz for the same reasons they reject Trump. Surely the logic of this is self-evident and obvious but some cannot seem to comprehend it.

How is this any different than a candidate in a general election who wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college?

Because the electoral college is embodied in the Constitution in Article 2, Section 1, and in the 12th Amendment. The electoral college is law. The so-called delegate “rules,” manipulated at the whim of the power brokers, are not law and not embedded in the constitution. So there’s at least one clear distinction between the electoral college and the power broker delegate game.

Trumpers live in an echo chamber maintained by wishful thinking and a highly selective filtering of information, also known as delusion.

Yet the voters seem to love our candidate. Are the Trump victories “delusion?”

If Trump doesn't reach 1,237, the first ballot goes through with no majority, and then the second ballot elects Cruz.

Speaking of delusions …

Brando said...

A few points:

1) There's nothing "devious" about openly courting delegates in accordance with each state's particular primary rules. This is no more "devious" than focusing a general election campaign on swing states rather than being more "democratic" and trying to win votes in California, Texas and New York. If Trump never understood the rules, then it's just evidence he's not serious and not willing to hire someone who is.

2) Ted Cruz is stacking up delegates favorable to him, prepping for a second ballot, because unlike a certain blowhard he's smart enough to understand this nomination will almost definitely come down to a second ballot. If this is "devious" then maybe the GOP needs some of that. It's called actually understanding how to run a campaign by knowing the rules. Should the GOP instead have a rule saying primaries should be held in all states on the same day, and whoever gets a plurality of total votes (not delegtes) gets to be nominee? Maybe, but news flash--that's not how it works. If you can't be trusted to figure that out and all you can do is whine when your team is better suited for getting you free media time (oh yes let's talk about that evil anti-Trump media which runs to his beck and call) then you can't be trusted to actually read international treaties. I don't trust a person like that to understand NATO, let alone renegotiate NATO.

3) Cruz's "argument"--to the extent he needs one, considering his strategy is rounding up delegates favorable to him--is simple. A lot of Republicans may not like him, but he's their best option now. Trump is unacceptable because he is not serious about being president, erratic, cruel, ignorant and unreliable. Paul Ryan can be forgotten because he's smart enough to know better than to accept a nomination this year, with just a few months to start a general election campaign while at the same time trying to win over all the Trump and Cruz voters who would consider him a usurper. Cruz already has an organization and was tested in primaries around the country, but unlike Trump, you know what you're getting with him. And Cruz is in striking distance of Hillary.

sinz52 said...

Should Cruz get the GOP nomination despite being way behind in the popular vote:

Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, only has to remind Americans that this is the way that representative democracy works.

Edmund Burke said in 1774: "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

IOW, you choose representatives who will hopefully use their own judgment, not public opinion polls, as to what America should do. That's statesmanship. If you hate what your representatives have done, then you get to vote them out at the next election. But in the meantime, they got elected because they were trusted to make decisions, not slavishly follow the polls.

And so there is nothing undemocratic about state legislatures or Congress or political conventions having to exercise their own judgment on issues, not always deferring to the people.

Brando said...

Funny, I don't see Trump complaining about how unfair it is that he won 37% of the votes in the primaries so far but has amassed over 45% of the delegates. Surely this system is rigged for him! I'm waiting to hear him announce that he'll release enough delegates to bring his total down to match his share of the popular vote.

rhhardin said...

There is a report, if I heard right, that a CNN graphic reporting Hillary's delegate count left off the o in count. A screenshot is needed for this.

sdharms said...

This is about playing by the rules and using the rules to your advantage exactly what trump claims he is good at but what he is good at is deception self interest Cruz is exceptionally smart he outsmarted the state GOP in Texas also it's time we had a president who is smart we haven't had one for eight years

rhhardin said...

Did you mean: delegate count cnn

says Google, not finding anything so far.

damikesc said...

What matters, the only thing that matters, is, will voters be turned away by Ted Cruz's backroom wheeling and dealing?

Almost none will care. Did the DNC decision to ignore primary results in several states in 2008 impact Obama at all? Nope. Nobody cared.

He has totally misrepresented what Trump said on many occasions

Ly'ing Ted. His sex scandals while thumping bible.

Well, we can say that consistency isn't a strong suit here.

How badly does one have to want to toady up to power to blame everything on the people who can do the least about the system?

When Enron committed massive crimes, they got prosecuted by Bush's DoJ.

How many bankers have been prosecuted by Obama's DoJ? How many IRS agents who violated the law?

Mark said...

Ted Cruz playing the delegate game to most Americans look like diving at soccer games.

While diving to get the ref to call fouls on what isn't a foul is part of the game, most Americans do not see it as playing the game fairly and will not respect those who win that way.

Sure, the people who hate Trump will take a win any way they can .... but the TV audience sees what happened there.

grackle said...

But Trump is a basically unacceptable candidate.

Says the commentor. Yet the voters keep accepting Trump wholeheartedly.

He's unelectable …

Says the commentor. Yet Trump gets millions of votes more than his nearest competitor.

… and would be a horrible president if he won.

Predicts the commentor. I predict the opposite. Aren’t predictions fun!

He's basically defined himself in opposition to the rest of the party.

I think by the “rest of the party” the commentor must mean the power brokers, the establishment, the eGOP, the MSM – all terms used to describe those who manipulate events and attempt to control opinion. Are the voters part of the party? Do they count in this at all? Apparently not.

For a candidate like that, close doesn't count.

It’s called “moving the goalposts.” An awkward rationale in an attempt to justify a glaring double standard.

On to another:

It often has happened that the candidate with the largest percent of votes in the first ballot or ballots does not end up the winner. People love to bring up 1860 as an example and it's a good one … [Etc., etc., etc.] … Lincoln had been the sharpest at the non-democratic part of the game, and indeed his sharpness in this game was a good indicator of how he would perform as president.

Why is this argument irrelevant? Because the primaries did not exist in 1860. The nominating system of 1860 was very different than the modern era. The first example of a primary occurred in 1910 in Oregon. I will concede that may be more recent examples than 1860 of the will of the primary voters being thwarted by power brokers at conventions but I have yet to see one offered. Furthermore, the primary system as we know it today didn’t come about until 1968. Here’s Wiki on the subject:

The impetus for national adoption of the binding primary election was the chaotic 1968 Democratic National Convention.

http://tinyurl.com/j5k2w3c

Therefore examples offered before 1968 are irrelevant.

On the question of Trump’s elect-ability and who Hillary would rather run against, here’s an argument I heard on one of the cables:

Readers, ask yourself who the MSM, the Left and the Democrats are attacking. Do they block traffic to Cruz rallies? Do they disrupt Kasich rallies? Are they harassing Cruz supporters as they line up to get in to see Cruz? Readers, they always attack the most who they fear the most and Trump scares the hell out of them. In a general election Trump would destroy Hillary and they know it.

Bob Ellison said...

Grackle, Trump has united the country, left and right, by showing what an incompetent boob he is. That's quite an achievement. Such a successful guy!

damikesc said...

Ted Cruz playing the delegate game to most Americans look like diving at soccer games.

The "Delegate game" is what is also known as RUNNING FOR THE NOMINATION.

Notice how the press frequently mentions delegate counts? Want to know why?

Because your popular vote means little. Your delegate count is the ONLY relevant number.

Trump has a laughable ground game and nobody who seems willing to do the work to actually work within the rules.

pm317 said...

So he is another Obama, a Canadian Obama and you guys are OK with it.

The lawsuit in New Jersey (thanks Christie!) about Ted’s citizenship is interesting. Ted has everything sealed about himself and his mother. She seems to have had two husbands who were Brits (have possibly/probably changed her own citizenship to UK) and then used a fast track citizenship route to get Canadian citizenship for herself and her then new squeeze Cruz. Both of them were still married to other people when they were doing this in Canada. All kinds of immigration fraud, bigamy, stuff like that from a couple of people hopping countries. If any of it is true the “come to Jesus” stuff is even funnier.

Brando said...

"Grackle, Trump has united the country, left and right, by showing what an incompetent boob he is. That's quite an achievement. Such a successful guy!"

That's one good thing to come from Trump--he's getting Left and Right to bridge our differences and accept that this guy is a douchebag.

"So he is another Obama, a Canadian Obama and you guys are OK with it."

Of the many problems I have with Obama, the BS that some nuts came up with that he was not born in this country was not one of them. And the fact that Trump has been a Birther, a 9/11 Truther and an Anti-Vaxxer (the holy trifecta of tin foil nuttiness) says plenty about his brain functions.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Ted Cruz Isn't Cheating, He's Winning."

I read this and thought it was about his affairs.

Perspective.

I am Laslo.

damikesc said...

Pm, don't go Mick on us here.

damikesc said...

But at least you're showing that Trutherism isn't racial. It's a Trump thing.

Robert Cook said...

This may be apropos of something, or it may be apropos of nothing, but I came across it this morning and it reveals that the problems we have with our political parties today are not of recent vintage.

By the way, I still don't believe Trump ever did want to become President, which I've said here from the beginning. I think he did this either as a lark, an ego trip, an honest desire to shake up the quadrennial farce that is our means of placing another factotum of Wall Street in power, or some other less clear motive (even to Trump). I think his increasingly wacko statements--from a man who is certainly intelligent--have been his way of trying to alienate enough voters to insure he did not prevail, yet which will allow him to say he didn't simply punk out and quit.

Karen of Texas said...

@Robert Cook - I made an argument along those same lines regarding Trump to a friend. Otherwise I simply cannot square some of what has come out of mouth. When he speaks he does a "stream of consciousness" sort of thing. But diarrhea of the mouth, if he were serious, would be something he should have, at some point, taken an anti-diarrheal for. Surely he doesn't broker deals, running his businesses in the same way?

Steven said...

Sorry, but I’m just not seeing how Cruz could control the power brokers.

It's not that Cruz has to control the "power brokers" -- it's that the "power brokers" won't be able to control the convention.

Call them "power brokers", the "establishment", the "donor class", the "Acela corridor GOP", or whatever you like. The US Chamber of Commerce and K-Street people, the high-seniority Representatives and Senators and their staffs? They control money. Which usually makes them important and powerful in the primary season campaigns. But their money is irrelevant if things come down to a convention floor fight.

This isn't the age of the machines where delegates are on the payroll of party bosses and people work for parties for money/patronage. The state and local party organizations in the GOP are made up of conservative true believers, because it's the conservative true believers (of several different strains, of course; some are conservative-libertarian, some are religious right, and so on) who spend their free time volunteering to do all the tasks that make the local and state parties actually function as organizations, including going to the local and state conventions that pick delegates.

And the conservative true believers, the people who coined the term "RINO", don't care what the guys with money want. They also don't care what Trump voters want or what polls say the American people want. If you're appealing to any of that, you're wasting your time. They might bend enough to avoid nominating someone losing in the polls by ten points to Hillary Clinton, but otherwise they're going to pick someone they see as a fellow conservative true believer.

So, Cruz is making the obvious move. Disliked by the "establishment" precisely because he's spent his time doing things that win support from the conservative true believers, he's now organizing them, and so organized, they're filling the delegations with fellow conservative true believers, whomever the nominal pledge is for.

It's not too late for Trump to win, but he'll need 1,237 votes on the first ballot, whether all from pledged delegates or not. After that, he's utterly impossible to nominate.

It is too late for the Establishment to win, because they need to sew up a nomination before it becomes the choice of a delegate corps with a significant majority of conservative true believers. Most of the time they manage to do that, but this year they failed, and it means they've shot their wad. They'll get to influence the VP pick, because Cruz will need money for the general, and they control the money. But the nomination? They're irrelevant. Cruz doesn't need to control them, because they themselves aren't in control.

Brando said...

"Robert Cook - I made an argument along those same lines regarding Trump to a friend. Otherwise I simply cannot square some of what has come out of mouth. When he speaks he does a "stream of consciousness" sort of thing. But diarrhea of the mouth, if he were serious, would be something he should have, at some point, taken an anti-diarrheal for. Surely he doesn't broker deals, running his businesses in the same way?"

Running off at the mouth has long been a problem for Trump, and back in the '70s and '80s (when he was actually in the real estate and development business) he mostly kept it in check, as his main business was using long-established family connections with local politicians, builders, unions and the like to arrange transactions and use other people's money to do them, and get a fee for setting it up. Not a bad deal if you can get it. But sometimes his mouth got him unneeded trouble, like the large property along the upper West Side (the rail yards) in NYC in the '80s. He'd gotten an option on the property in the '70s out of a bankruptcy deal, and had plans to get it developed for a huge profit for himself and others, but required a massive ($700millions level) tax abatement from the city. Mayor Koch turned it down, and instead of negotiating or bringing leverage on Koch, Trump sends him a nasty letter (precursor to tweets) and escalates a feud with the guy. Ultimately, the deal fell apart due to no tax abatement, and he had to let the property go in the early '90s after the market dropped and he ended up losing a lot of money on the deal.

But in the past 20 years, his business hasn't been actual development so much as lending his name to other developers and getting paid for that. It's why when he says he's worth "$10 billion" it's because he thinks about 90% of that is the value of his "brand" (which becomes self-defeating--if you sell your brand out enough it keeps becoming worth less). And a large part of his "brand" is being the "in your face" constantly trash talking Kanye West style celebrity. So it has suited him well in the second stage of his career, and he sees no reason to stop now. It's certainly worked on 37% of the GOP electorate.

Peter said...

Trump's message of "Vote for me, I'm a winner (and by electing me you can feel like a winner too!)" doesn't work so well when he's not winning.

Trump probably never thought about how he was going to modulate that message if/when a time came when he was not winning. Perhaps the best strategy would be to ignore the prior messaging and just move on, but he can't seem to do that.

So instead we get this strangled cry, "I'm a winner, so if I'm not winning it must be because someone else is cheating!" It's ugly and it's not very effective, but Trump just can't seem to drop back to a more thoughtful position.


In any case, electoral politics must be about what's possible, not what's ideal. And winning ugly is still winning, but not so much if what you've won ugly is just the nomination as the ugly will stick to you in the general election.

Brando said...

"Trump probably never thought about how he was going to modulate that message if/when a time came when he was not winning. Perhaps the best strategy would be to ignore the prior messaging and just move on, but he can't seem to do that."

It's easy--just keep saying he's a winner and that his mistakes are really genius and his losses are really wins. Just like he's worth $10 billion because he says so, and he's the biggest developer in NYC because he says so, and he has a brilliant mind because he says so. It's good enough for his fans so why should he let any reality into that feel good story?

His best hope to keep up his legend is to be denied the nomination, claim unfairness and corruption by the establishment, and walk away. He can then leave a split GOP to lose in the fall and claim that if he were nominated he would have won. Who can prove otherwise? He can say the polls showing him way down were all wrong, and that he was just about to start acting real presidential and that would have won over the rest of the voters he needed.

JPS said...

Amanda, yesterday, 6:39 PM:

"He ran as a Republican because he knew Democrats wouldn't have him"

They sure did have him, though, for many more years than he's been a Republican, didn't they?

And yes, I get it - you mean as a candidate. My guess is he'd have done a lot better than you think on the Democratic side. I know a Sanders supporter who would gladly vote Trump if Bernie! doesn't get the nomination. A mutual friend, a progressive, thinks this is contradictory. I don't.

AprilApple said...

Ace buttresses the argument that Trump is all talk and no substance.

damikesc said...

I still don't believe Trump ever did want to become President, which I've said here from the beginning.

I'm inclined to agree.

AprilApple said...

If Trump does want to win, he has a funny way of showing it.

I think he hates the "right" and wants to lose to Hillary. That will teach us.

Brando said...

"I think he hates the "right" and wants to lose to Hillary. That will teach us."

If Trump were a leftist performance artist trying to pull a Stephen Colbert, what would he be doing differently from what he is doing now?

AprilApple said...

ACE

"Trump's sales pitch has been -- implicitly -- "Sure, I've done a lot of shady deals and exploited the US bankruptcy laws for my advantage, but now I'm offering to bring my high level of caginess, toughness, and smarts and use them on behalf of you, the Republican Primary Voter."

Okay, sounds good.

What happens when Trump turns out to not be particularly cagey, tough, and smart?

The rules of the game were laid out from the start: A real #Winner should be exploiting the rules for his own advantage, not reduced to whining, essentially, "The other guys is better at this game than me and it's not fair."

I hear that a lot from a lot of people, and "#Winners" is not a word I'd associate with them.

Trump, meanwhile, continues at what he's best at, hurling unsubstantiated personal attacks at adversaries. See downpage, for example, Trump insisting, with no citation or evidence whatsoever, that Ted Cruz is basically bribing delegates."

AprilApple said...

btw- Is Trump bribing anyone with fancy golf perks?

Karen of Texas said...

@Brando - Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I enjoy this blog - commenters with the rest of the story. ;) Or at least a jumping off point for further investigation.

AprilApple said...

@ Brando

If Trump were a leftist performance artist trying to pull a Stephen Colbert, what would he be doing differently from what he is doing now?

.... um... Nothing?

Brando said...

"@Brando - Thanks for the information. One of the reasons I enjoy this blog - commenters with the rest of the story. ;) Or at least a jumping off point for further investigation."

Happy to oblige--growing up in the NY area, I've seen the guy's constant deaths and rebirths covered in local media since the '80s. His real talent is in commanding attention, and there's something to his "hypnotic approach" as some have suggested. But overall as a businessman he's benefitted from a family head start (not so much in money but in connections which are key in NYC), a real estate bubble, and flashiness, but his downfall has been overpromising and overleveraging as well as volatile "gut" decisions which often don't pan out. He also tends to rely a lot on loyalty (which is of course good) to the expense of competence and ethics in his subordinates (which is of course bad). We can see a lot of the weaknesses he'd bring to the table as president.

Sayyid said...

"None of those states would go to Cruz. His negatives are too high already at 54%."

Which makes him more favorably viewed than Hillary. So again I say those states are sure things.

WVFarmLife said...

Part of the reason for having an electoral college is to protect against corruption.

Reading through the comments I keep seeing this comparison of the primary or caucus in Colorado (which was an insider's game) to the Electoral College, and that's just plain wrong. The electoral college is a good thing. It's there in part to prevent corruption in the voting in one state from creeping out and totally invalidating legitimate votes in other states.

A real world example is something I read about in Baltimore some time ago. I wonder if it was during the O'Malley administration. In any case to vote you have to be registered in Maryland and I'm not quite sure of the details but apparently in Baltimore this is something that has be verified every now and again. So there are these forms mailed out to every registered voter that this person has to return to verify their existence, and if not, the person is removed from the voter roles.

They did this in Baltimore except that the forms weren't mailed to districts where Republicans were the majority. Several hundred thousand voters discovered on election day that their votes didn't mean anything.

So Maryland's vote in that election was a fraud. It was a big lie. It was certainly enough to have changed the results of the governor's race. Now if this had impacted the presidential election, the corruption would have stopped at the border of Maryland. Yes, Maryland's vote would have been a lie, but it didn't change the results elsewhere. Without the electoral college, that corrupt vote would have been mixed in with valid votes everywhere.

Although the particular form that this vote fraud took may have been unique to Maryland, as a general theme vote fraud is going on every election in a lot of big cities dominated by the Democrats. The electoral college helps somewhat to fight that corruption.

RonF said...

"Why should the man with the second-most delegates get the nomination?"

Because the delegates committed to the candidates that got the third-most, fourth-most, fifth-most, sixth-most, seventh-most, eighth-most and ninth-most delegates don't like the guy who got the most delegates and would rather vote for the man who got the second-most delegates.

Trump "won" a lot of primaries but didn't get a majority in any of them. Pluralities don't win nominations. Majorities do.

clint said...

"JPS said...
Amanda, yesterday, 6:39 PM:

"He ran as a Republican because he knew Democrats wouldn't have him"

They sure did have him, though, for many more years than he's been a Republican, didn't they?

And yes, I get it - you mean as a candidate. My guess is he'd have done a lot better than you think on the Democratic side. I know a Sanders supporter who would gladly vote Trump if Bernie! doesn't get the nomination. A mutual friend, a progressive, thinks this is contradictory. I don't.

4/12/16, 9:03 AM"

Keep in mind that if Trump were running as a Democrat, he'd be doing an entirely different performance-art version of an ideologue.

He'd be talking about how he knows from experience exactly how the fat cats on Wall Street buy politicians like the Bushes and Clintons -- and it makes him sick. In fact, he'd be giving pretty much the Bernie Sanders speeches. And the same people who are now rioting to shut down his speeches would be chanting his name instead of Bernie's.

grackle said...

Grackle, Trump has united the country, left and right, by showing what an incompetent boob he is. That's quite an achievement. Such a successful guy!

Sometimes the #neverTrumpers puzzle me. I understand other arguments although I might not agree with any particular argument. But to try to downgrade Trump’s success? Don’t they follow the news? Have they not noticed all the primaries Trump has won?

Did they notice that right off the bat that Trump single-handedly made illegal immigration an important issue? And did the same for trade policy and the ME refugees? Without Trump we would all be debating about issues designed and promulgated by the Left/MSM to be favorable to Hillary. Hillary and the MSM would have already set the agenda for what passes for debate among the Lefties. Trump has disrupted all that crap.

As for the “left and right,“ Opposition to Trump from the left is expected because the Left realizes that Trump could break through the cozy relationship the Left enjoys with the MSM and the stranglehold the MSM and the Democrats have on recent presidential election cycles. They MUST protect their own.

But I never thought the eGOP would completely ignore the will of their constituents, even to the point of total disenfranchisement. I believe it’s political suicide to ignore their party’s voters but I’ve come to terms with the fact that the eGOP would prefer to lose the upcoming election rather that contemplate Trump in the Oval office.

It's not that Cruz has to control the "power brokers" -- it's that the "power brokers" won't be able to control the convention.

If this is true, that the power brokers will not be in control, then Trump has a better chance than Cruz. If they will not be able to block Cruz then for sure they won’t be able to block Trump. I hope the comment will be true but for a much different reason than the commentor.

This isn't the age of the machines where delegates are on the payroll of party bosses …

The delegates may not receive pay from them but they do whatever the power brokers desire. Behavior is relevant – not the details on how that behavior is enforced.

And the conservative true believers, the people who coined the term "RINO", don't care what the guys with money want. They also don't care what Trump voters want or what polls say the American people want.

I heartily agree! They truly do not care and haven’t cared for many years now. This diffidence toward those who vote them into office is baked in as part of their culture, thus fueling the rise of Trump. Couldn’t have made a better argument myself.

They sure did have him, though, for many more years than he's been a Republican, didn't they?

Trump, as any savvy businessman does, played both sides of the court. As a business owner with construction projects to promote he rubbed shoulders with and contributed to both Left AND Right – whichever was in power at the time and place. In NYC that meant being friendly with Democrats which necessarily involved Hillary who was a Senator for New York much of the time. In places like Las Vegas, Florida and elsewhere it meant winning over a completely different set of gatekeepers. That was back in the day when Trump was more or less apolitical.

Here’s what the National Review, a publication that despises Trump, says:

He first spoke to CPAC in 2011; the then-director of the conference, Lisa DePasquale, said it was “the largest crowd we have ever had” in anticipation of the billionaire. “We have overflow rooms filled! This ballroom filled!” Trump was warmly received by organizers and the audience in 2014 and 2015 as well.

http://tinyurl.com/zuqwpjn

Robert Cook said...

"Part of the reason for having an electoral college is to protect against corruption."

It's really to protect against too much democracy.

Robert Cook said...

"Did they notice that right off the bat that Trump single-handedly made illegal immigration an important issue?"

And yet...it isn't really an important issue. Illegal immigrants are just a convenient scapegoat to blame for the loss of jobs in this country.

grackle said...

And yet...it isn't really an important issue. Illegal immigrants are just a convenient scapegoat to blame for the loss of jobs in this country.

ALL I can say is that millions of GOP primary voters disagree with the commentor. He doesn’t think it’s important but they do. But I forgot - the voters do not matter to the #neverTrumpers. The voters exist only to rubberstamp their choice – failing that they are studiously ignored.

damikesc said...

Because the delegates committed to the candidates that got the third-most, fourth-most, fifth-most, sixth-most, seventh-most, eighth-most and ninth-most delegates don't like the guy who got the most delegates and would rather vote for the man who got the second-most delegates.

Trump "won" a lot of primaries but didn't get a majority in any of them. Pluralities don't win nominations. Majorities do.


Some people would be stunned to learn that a lot of Presidents didn't win on the first ballot. Hell, Lincoln's strategy wasn't to be the #1 guy.

walter said...

It's like details matter...

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