Cruz’s successful campaign for delegates

Not all states have either primaries or caucuses.  Colorado, North Dakota, and Wyoming–as well as the territories of Guam and American Samoa–simply have local and state party Republican conventions to choose their delegates, who then can vote for whomever they want to.   That was the way it used to be, when parties chose their candidates instead of turning that job over to the public, often including non-party members.  There are 112 delegates like this, enough to make a difference in a close vote in the national convention.  (See  Unbound Delegates Could Hold Key to Stopping Trump at Convention | RealClearPolitics.)

Well, Colorado has gone through that process and has given all of its 34 delegates to Cruz, whose organization has been targeting not just primary or caucus voters but the actual delegates who will be going to Cleveland.  (Wyoming Democrats do have a caucus.  Bernie Sanders won.)

In another coup, Cruz is being successful in electing his supporters as delegates from South Carolina.  As the local conventions unfold, a process which will take months, Cruz has jumped to a big lead already.  (See this and this.)

In the primary, Trump won all 50 of South Carolina’s vote.  By law, the delegation has to vote for him on the first ballot.  But after that, if Trump fails to get a majority, the delegation is likely to change their votes, en masse, to Cruz.  (Does that bother you?)

Cruz is winning similar delegate victories in Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana.

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Delegate selection as a way to stop Trump

Despite the primary elections, it’s the party, through its delegates in convention, that selects its presidential nominee.  But who gets to be a delegate?  Those state boosters in funny hats that we watch on TV are mostly party insiders, chosen at state conventions or given an automatic slot because they are current office holders.

By law, they have to cast their first votes according to the results of the primaries.  But after that, if the nomination goes to a second ballot, they can vote for whoever they want.  And, as the state selection process gets underway, it is already evident that many of the delegates who have to vote for Trump actually prefer Ted Cruz, whose organization is actively working to get his people chosen as delegates.

Read about this after the jump.  Do you think this backdoor, inside game could thwart the will of the people who voted in the primaries?  Or is it entirely legitimate?  Would the return of the politics of the “smoke filled room” be anti-democratic or a good thing?

It would seem that Trump’s only way to get the nomination is to win enough pledged votes on the first ballot.  And that is extremely likely.  But if it goes to a second ballot, his own delegates are likely to abandon him because of the way they were selected.  Either way, those of us watching at home will be watching a convention comprised of lots of delegates who do not like the person they are voting to nominate.   [Read more…]

Young voters prefer socialism, reject conservatism

A poll of first and second-time voters, age 18 to 26, has found that two-thirds prefer socialism or even communism to capitalism.  A majority believe that America is no better than any other country.  And only 15% favor Republicans.  This may spell doom for Republicans and conservatives in general for the next three decades.  So says pollster Frank Luntz.

I would say that once this cohort gains some life experience, some of their political beliefs will change.  That’s usually the pattern.  It certainly was for those of us in the Sixties generation.  I also suspect we are seeing the fruit of today’s educational system.  The founders believed that a free republic requires an educated citizenry.  Not just any kind of education, but a “liberal” education, the term coming from the Latin word for free citizens.  That is, the classical liberal education that expanded the mind, taught discernment, stressed the lessons of history, and studied the high points of our civilization.

When that kind of education is jettisoned in favor of relativism, revisionism, and leftist political indoctrination, what can we expect?  Why wouldn’t they think that socialism and communism are “more compassionate” than capitalism, if they know nothing about economics, history, or objective reality? [Read more…]

Is the Republican establishment now accepting Trump?

The last Republican debate was a subdued affair, with none of the yelling and low blows of the earlier debates.  This reportedly came at the direction of Republican officials, who told the candidates that they needed to start thinking about the general election and to assure the public that they would all rally behind whoever gets the nomination, which looks like it is going to be Donald Trump.

Before the debate, Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chair, said as much to the crowd.

It sounds like the Republican establishment has reconciled itself to a Trump victory.  Will they try to co-opt him?  Or is Trump, for all of his fiery rhetoric, basically the kind of candidate the Republican establishment always wants:  another moderate, big-government Republican with liberal social values and ties to big business?

I mean, talk about a country club Republican.  Donald Trump builds country clubs! [Read more…]

The Republican Party’s botched efforts to stop Trump

The Republican Party is trying to stop Donald Trump from getting its nomination, but every effort so far has self-destructed.  The other candidates are refusing to bow out to consolidate behind one contender.  Public criticism of Trump seems to have started too late.  Donors and political operatives are paralyzed.  So reports the New York Times, with some relish.

Read the excerpt and follow the link.  Then read my thoughts after the jump.

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Supporting the Republican, even if it’s Trump?

In Thursday’s debate, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich all ripped into Donald Trump.  But then, in response to a question, they all agreed that if he gets the Republican nomination, they would support him.

That made me lose respect for all of these candidates.  If their criticisms of Trump are true–that he is a genuinely bad man and would make a terrible president–how could they ever support him?

Since when should loyalty to a political party trump (sorry) loyalty to one’s country?  Or to one’s principles?

I suppose they felt bound by their pledge in the very first debate to support the eventual nominee, which everyone but Trump–who was at the time a very unlikely winner–agreed to!  But still, as it says somewhere in the Lutheran confessions, immoral vows are not binding.

I stand with Ben Sasse on this issue.  (Read his open letter on why he would rather break from the Republican party than support a Trump candidacy.)  What about you? [Read more…]