Sorry I couldn't find a smaller version of this pic, but I think the distendedness fits the subject matter well, all things considered:
Donald Trump's campaign for president is accusing the Tennessee Republican Party of "doing the bidding" of the national GOP establishment in a calculated attempt to “steal” pro-Trump delegates and stop them from being a part of Tennessee's GOP delegation.
It's part of a national effort by GOP party leaders, the Trump campaign has alleged, to stop the Republican frontrunner from becoming the nominee.
A Tennessee party official disputes that allegation, instead accusing Trump’s camp of distorting the truth while noting Trump will still receive all delegates won from the State.
Here's the breakdown.
The Tennessee GOP primary was held on March 1st. From it, three candidates exceeded the 20% threshold for winning delegates: Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. The final delegate score was Trump 33, Cruz 16, Rubio 9. Signed, sealed, and delivered, yes? So about what is the Trump Train bitching and moaning?
According to the State party rules, three delegates are assigned per congressional district, and the other twenty-eight are "at-large". Now we turn to the relevant party rule, Article IX. Rule C. Section 2:
The twenty-eight (ten at-large, eighteen bonus) At-Large delegates are bound to Presidential candidates based on the results of the primary. Half are elected in the primary and half are appointed by the Executive Committee with the consent of the respective presidential campaigns. When determining “half” divide the total number of At-Large plus bonus delegates by 2. If there are fractional delegates, round up the number of delegates appointed by the Executive Committee and round down the number of delegates determined by the Primary. [emphasis added]
What does the phrase "appointed by the Executive Committee with the consent of the respective presidential campaigns" mean? Well, as Rush Limbaugh used to say (but not anymore since he's a Trump flack), words mean things. and in this case it means that the "respective presidential campaigns" have entrusted the Executive Committee to pick however many delegates they are entitled to under this rule on their behalf. It does NOT say that the Executive Committee is obligated to pick delegates that are hardcore supporters of "the respective presidential campaigns" who will stick with them after they are no longer bound at the national convention. This is why other presidential campaigns - like Ted Cruz's, for example - have "ground games" and experts who know the party rules in each State and can get their supporters elected to State party Executive Committees to ensure that they get their hardcore supporters selected as at-large delegates in these scenarios, as is the responsibility of the "respective presidential campaigns". SERIOUS campaigns headed by SERIOUS candidates who are [drumroll] professionals and not rank amateurs with gargantuan, infantile senses of entitlement.
Like Donald Trump's for example:
Darren Morris, State director of Trump's campaign in Tennessee, told the Tennessean the Trump campaign and Tennessee Republican Party chairman Ryan Hayes had agreed Wednesday on the names of seven of the fourteen at-large delegates that, under party rules, are to be appointed by the State party. Delegates will ultimately decide the party’s nominee at the Republican National Convention this summer.
But Morris said that an updated delegate list he reviewed late this week is now wiped clean of several of those names and instead features individuals who he described as "anti-Trump."
i.e. "Insufficiently fanatically pro-Trump".
"They're picking anti-Trump people," Morris said. "They're picking establishment picks who don't support Donald Trump, and it's just the same effort that they're conducting all over the country to steal a vote here, steal a delegate there, to affect the outcome of the convention in July and take the nomination away from Donald Trump.
They're not "stealing" anything, Darren. The "ground game" is part of the game. It always has been, going back decades. It just doesn't get much attention because contested conventions are so rare. But they have happened before, the last time being Ronald Reagan's agonizing defeat at the hands of President Gerald Ford in 1976. And the Gipper was a professional candidate, did have experts who knew the rules, and did try to get his supporters on party committees and selected as delegates. He just simply fell short.
Of course, after that defeat he didn't whine and complain about being "cheated" and having the nomination "stolen" from him, because he knew that the rules had been followed, just as they are being and will be followed now, in Tennessee and across the country....
.... and campaigned loyally and vigorously for President Ford that fall instead of throwing a shit-fit, bolting the GOP and sabotaging it with the independent candidacy - as the Tea Party of his day was rabidly urging him to do - that would have destroyed, first and foremost, his viability to ever run for POTUS again.
But then (1) Trump isn't a Republican, and (2) that's been his master plan all along, hasn't it? He just never imagined he'd actually get this close to winning the nomination in his own right.
But if he is this close, sealing the deal ought not be so daunting a task to be all this hot and bothered over imaginary "establishment" plots against him, yes? He does have a 273-delegate lead; he only has to win 52.24% of the remaining delegates to go over the nomination top, and to-date he's won 48.6% of the earned delegates in a horrendously divided field; AND he's beaten Ted Cruz more often than he's lost to him, and the States remaining on the primary campaign calendar tend to lean more RINO - New York, Pennsylvania, California - and that favors Trump.
In other words, all the rules and delegate machinations in the world can be rendered moot if Trump just does what Trump reputedly always does: win. If he goes over 1,237 delegates, he's the nominee on the first ballot. Period. And the RNC or whomever else cannot and will not "take it away" from him.
The only explanation for this pre-tantrum on the part of Trumplicans is that they don't think Il Douche can seal the deal. And if he doesn't, if The Donald doesn't arrive in Cleveland with the magic number clinched, then he doesn't go over the top on the first ballot, the ground game that he spent the entire campaign until just recently airheadedly neglecting kicks in, his bound delegates are released from their commitment to him, enough switch to Ted Cruz to nominate him instead, and "Plan A" of the Trump candidacy goes into effect:
A former adviser for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday he is planning massive [and violent] “days of rage” protests outside the Republican convention in Cleveland if the party tries to “steal” the nomination away from Mr. Trump.
Roger Stone, who left the Trump campaign in August....
And now we know why.
....tweeted several times Friday evening about his plans, announcing a “Stop the Steal March on Cleveland” and calling on supporters to get to the city for the convention in July.
Thus, effectively, authentically stealing any chance that Ted Cruz would have of defeating Hillary Clinton in November.
But then, that was the raison d'etere of the Trump candidacy all along, wasn't it?
Exit quote from Red State:
This interview is notable for a couple of things. First, Trump has a sense of entitlement that would be a perfect match for every Democrat candidate for president for the past fifty years. He thinks that the rules simply should not apply to him. Second, he basically says that his supporters are violent yokels whom he can’t control and they would be justified in rioting because of the unfairness of it all. In Donald Trump’s world anyone but him winning is, by definition, unfair.
Trump has less maturity and sense of self awareness than any third grader you’ve ever encountered.