A perfect example of why it can be hard sometimes to dislike Trump. He may be a con artist but every now and then he’ll all but tell you that he’s conning you. There’s a certain integrity in that.
Are you concerned that your state’s primary system is “rigged,” as Trump and his lackeys have spent the past week insisting about Colorado, and that democracy itself may hang in the balance? Well … hold that thought. Let’s see how he does delegate-wise there before forming any hasty conclusions.
“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” he said, accusing party leaders of maneuvering to cut his supporters out of the process. “They wanted to keep people out. This is a dirty trick.”…
Asked about the appearance of disorganization, Mr. Trump said in an interview, “You have to remember I’m leading.” He added, “I’m more than 200 delegates ahead, so over all, I’m doing very well.”
But in what sounded like a wink-wink aside, he said, “Don’t forget, I only complain about the ones where we have difficulty.”
Protecting the people’s right to choose their nominee is essential to maintaining the west’s democratic heritage — unless doing it some other way would lead to Cruz getting skunked, in which case, hey. That’s true to the spirit of Trump as a sort of American caudillo: Democracy is useful or not to the extent that the outcome benefits him personally or not. If Paul Manafort had come aboard and outfoxed Cruz in the delegate game to win Colorado, suddenly the outcome there would be offered as proof (not unjustifiably) that Trump really is the wily far-seeing executive with all the best people around him that he presents himself as being. They’ll pay lip service to democracy to flatter populism but in the end it’s only the results that matter.
Speaking of Colorado, here’s a smart aside from Rush Limbaugh’s program today. If Colorado’s system is an obvious travesty of justice, why didn’t Trump notice until about a week ago? Why wasn’t his democratic spirit inflamed last August, when the state GOP decided that they wouldn’t bother with their usual beauty-contest caucus vote?
We all know that the Trump campaign is continuing to actively — I don’t want to use the word “complain,” but they’re being very critical of the Colorado process, okay? So my question is this. The Colorado process has been known for months and months and months. I’m serious here. Not trying to make a point with it. I’m actually asking a question.
Why not complain about this two months ago? Why not call attention to it last month, two weeks ago, two months ago? Why wait until after the results to start complaining about how it was rigged? It’s not as though something happened in Colorado that nobody knew was gonna happen. It’s not as though they changed the rules in the middle of the process during the weekend. So why complain, why call attention to it now? Why not do so a month ago? Why not back in September or October or whenever the Trump campaign found out how Colorado was gonna manage its affairs here during the primary?
Purely as a matter of PR, it would have been smart for Trump to start attacking Colorado’s delegate process months ago. That would have inflamed his fans there, encouraging them to run for county and state delegates in order to thwart a “rigged” system, and it would have tainted any eventual Cruz victory by shaping public opinion in advance to see the results as illegitimate. The answer to Rush’s question, though, is that Trump doesn’t really care how Colorado does things. That’s the point of the first excerpt above. All he cared about was the outcome, and apparently his campaign is so disorganized in Colorado that not until very recently did they even realize they were going to get their asses handed to them in wrangling delegates. If Corey Lewandowski or whoever had come to Trump last October and said, “We have no campaign staff in Colorado and we’re going to get blown out at the state convention,” Trump surely would have started complaining at the time. But to all appearances, the inner circle didn’t understand until it was too late just how much of an advantage Cruz had. The best spin you can put on it, I think, is that they thought they’d finish Cruz off at the ballot box and clinch 1,237 even without Colorado, rendering the outcome there irrelevant. Although even on that theory, they’re guilty of poor planning and overestimating their strength.
On that note, here’s Rudy Giuliani explaining his strange decision to say that he’s voting for Trump, is encouraging others to vote for Trump, but is not endorsing Trump. Why not? Because, says Rudy, he doesn’t know the people in Trump’s campaign and, quite palpably, doesn’t want to work with them. He was even more blunt in an interview with Fox News this morning: “If you endorse somebody, you sort of take on the organization and I’d like to see Donald make some serious changes to his organization for his good.” Giuliani doesn’t want to be a surrogate for a group which he obviously thinks doesn’t know what it’s doing. When was the last time you saw someone quasi-endorse a candidate for president while adding, in so many words, that his campaign’s a loser?