Ben Carson on Colorado's rules: The Jim Crow era had rules too, you know

Via the Free Beacon, so this is how Carson 2016 ends — with cheap analogies between Colorado and segregation-era racism, on behalf of the alt-right’s favorite candidate no less, then noting half-heartedly to cover himself that they’re not analogous. If he didn’t mean to draw a comparison, he could have made this otherwise basic point, that just because everyone knows the rules in advance doesn’t make them good rules, without the Jim Crow nonsense. As it is, it’s more common ground between Trumpism and its left-wing equivalent, the SJWs: Both are consumed with their own perceived victimization, and if that requires reaching for an outlandish metaphor, so be it.

The punchline is, Ted Cruz could have made the same claim about Colorado before the process began. A system that cuts out the voters and leaves state delegates unbound favors “insiders,” who are more able to work the levers of power behind the scenes. Insiders also tend to be better funded and better organized because of their superior access to big donors and seasoned political operatives. Colorado’s rule change last year was as likely to hurt Cruz, who’s despised by GOP insiders, as it was to hurt Trump. To put it in Trump-speak, Cruz’s voters were “disenfranchised” too. Both candidates at the time could have (a) complained loudly about that disenfranchisement, (b) prepared organizationally to win under the rules as written, fair or not, or (c) both. Cruz chose (b) and built a top-notch organization that ended up routing the guy who’s selling himself as an executive par excellence with all the best people around him. Trump chose … none of the above, preferring to whine about Colorado only after he and his team came out of their organizational coma and realized they needed to start getting delegates elected.

That’s the question for Carson, by way of Rush Limbaugh: Why did it take eight months for Team Trump to decide that “Jim Crow” was unfair? Why are we only hearing complaints about Colorado now when Republicans there have been “disenfranchised” in the primary for 12 years? If your objection to “Jim Crow” laws runs no deeper than “the outcome didn’t go my way,” then you don’t really care about disenfranchisement. In fact, here’s a thought experiment: Knowing what you know about Trump, how do you think he’d react to a hypothetical primary system that involved many fewer people actually voting but also raised his chances of winning substantially? I shouldn’t even call that an experiment, really. He’s already basically told us the answer.

Stick around for the big finish where Carson insists that the electoral college is outdated too — which, if we’re being fair, is where Trump’s logic leads you. If we’re all about direct democracy now rather than republicanism, there’s no reason to limit that to party primaries. Get rid of the electoral college, which would badly damage the leverage red states have over the outcome of presidential elections, and let’s do a straightforward count of the U.S. general electorate, which a GOPer has won exactly once in 25 years.

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