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Monday, March 28, 2016

Is Ted Cruz The Tortoise & Donald Trump The Hare?

by JASmius

Trump has rallies and billions of dollars of free media and glitz and glamour and hype and bombast and celebrity, and it has gotten him farther in the GOP presidential primary campaign than anybody ever imagined it would, or ever should have.  But the one thing he has never had, and which Senator Cruz has in abundance, is knowledge and organization.  And it may yet prove to be the difference between the thrill of arrogant victory and the agony of whiny defeat:

Kay Kellogg Katz, a former Louisiana State legislator and Trump supporter who has attended every GOP convention since 1984, told the Wall Street Journal that Cruz’s team out-organized Trump’s. Katz lost her delegate position on a key Republican National Committee Convention panel in a 22-5 vote to political new comer and Cruz supporter Kim Fralick…

Five of the State’s delegates, who were formerly supporting Senator Marco Rubio are now likely to support Cruz, Louisiana Republicans believe. Additionally, a GOP official told WSJ that the State’s five unbound delegates — who are free to back the candidates of their choice — are likely to back Cruz over Trump.

Following the Louisiana primary, delegates met at a March 12th meeting to decide who would represent the State committee on three key convention committees — rules, credentials and the party platform. The majority of the delegates elected two members to each panel that day. Cruz delegates managed to fill up five of the six available posts.

Three candidates cleared the twenty percent threshold to qualify for delegates in Louisiana - Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.  Rounded up, Trump garnered 125,000 votes, Cruz 114,000, and Rubio 34,000.  Yet  because of knowing the rules, being better organized, and knowing the behind-the-scenes politicking ropes, Senator Cruz is going to wind up with twenty-eight delegates from the Pelican State to Trump's eighteen.

One would think that if a purported entrepreneur like The Donald was going to start a big, new venture in a new "field" or "sector" or "market," he would bother to acquaint himself with the ins and outs of how it works, and hire people with experience in it who know what they're doing.  That's what an expert, master "manager" does, after all.

What a surprise - that isn't what Trump did.  Instead, he let his ego convince him that the presidency is an entry-level job that ANYBODY can do, and all he had to do to get there was lie and insult and bully and entertain on a tsunami of free media - and, in teeth-grinding fairness, he may well still do just that.  But such is the cosmic Trump ego that he cannot abide even the possibility that a rival might get anything over on him, much less possibly submarine him for the nomination at the finish line.

So Trump did what Trump always does - vent on Twitter:

Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz-Lawsuit coming

It isn't unfair - it's the rules, and Ted Cruz is playing by them and using them to his advantage.  Something Trump would have been doing if he hadn't been too damned lazy to "sweat the details," like he hasn't done on any policy issue or anything else.  Because it's boring and un-entertaining and no fun, but also one of the key avenues to victory.  As Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson always says, "the separation is in the preparation".  The greatest athletes work longer and harder than everything else.  The same thing applies to politics.  But Trump and his stupendous sense of entitlement expects and demands exclusive short cuts, and threatens lawsuits when he doesn't get them.

There's also the matter of remembering that a party's nominating contest is not a democracy:

[T]he rules could have been and should have been familiar to Trump since before the campaign began, as there’s nothing new or unusual about the GOP using a system of delegates to choose the nominee if no one clinches a majority on the first ballot. It mirrors the Constitution’s deputization of the House of Representatives to choose the president if no candidate clinches a majority of electoral votes. You could have a rule that says whoever has a plurality of EVs wins — but we don’t. You could have a rule that does away with EVs entirely and makes the winner of the popular vote president — but we don’t....

Incidentally, correct me if I’m wrong, political junkies, but since the GOP is a private organization, they could change the rules to cancel all primaries and have Reince Priebus handpick the nominee and there’s nothing legally anyone could do about it. Hence Cruz’s reply today: “I’m amused – when Donald doesn’t know what to do, it’s threaten lawsuits.” [emphasis added]

Pop quiz: How many times in the past three months alone has Trump threatened to sue Ted Cruz over one thing or another?  I can remember (1) over his eligibility, (2) over losing the Iowa Caucuses, and now (3) over Cruz beating him at the one game he doesn't know how to play, never bothered to learn, and might prove decisive in Cleveland three and a half months from now:

While Trump cries foul, Cruz is racking up support from prospective delegates across the country, even in States where Trump dominated the primary. From Louisiana to Georgia to South Carolina — all Trump victories — delegates and delegate candidates are lining up to back Cruz, who’s romped among the Republican activist class that tends to control this part of the process. South Dakota’s delegates and early contests in Iowa also appear to favor Cruz.

“I’ve been telling the Trump campaign for eight months now that they’re making a mistake by not reaching out to RNC members to establish relationships,” said one South Carolina Republican participating in the State’s delegate selection process. “He hasn’t done any of that. … That’s usually the kind of thing that presidential candidates do.”…

“There’s a definite gradation of their efforts. Cruz’s campaign is very active. They are actively trying to get Cruz-friendly delegates elected,” said Jeff Kaufmann, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. “Trump’s campaign has that as a goal but isn’t doing it as aggressively.”

It turns out that - whaddaya know? - politics really is a profession, you really do need experience to succeed at it, and outsiders are neither qualified nor competent to jump into it at the highest levels and automatically and effortlessly "win".  That is, as much as any other reason, why it is critically vital to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination.  "Populism" is a dangerous cancer spouting and pushing dangerous nonsense, and it must be excised from the GOP before it can take over and terminalize the "patient".

Think of it as averting the Republican Party's "democratization".

UPDATE: Trump is trying to play catch-up, though - He just hired Paul Manafort, the guy who’s been advising Vladimir Putin’s man in Ukraine, as his convention manager.  Which means no guns in Quicken Loans Arena, but any and all manner of poisons are on the table.  I hope Senator Cruz has hired an army of food-tasters.

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