The alliance between Messrs. Cruz and Kasich is a strategy to maximize the use of their remaining funds to deprive Donald Trump of as many delegates as possible and guarantee a brokered Republican Convention. For Cruz, this tactic is somewhat understandable, considering he cannot reach the necessary delegate count for the nomination. Nevertheless, this maneuver could leave some Cruz supporters with the impression that he cares less about a conservative winning the White House and more about his own chances of winning the nomination. In that respect, he joins Kasich as a spoiler for the Republican National Committee that seems to be in love with the idea of a brokered convention.
Presumably, John Kasich has stayed in the race for the nomination at the behest of the RNC. The intention all along has been that his continued candidacy would pull delegates from both Cruz and Trump. Now, with Cruz joining ranks with Kasich to stop Trump, it looks like the RNC has double-downed on its bet for a brokered convention and the chance to manipulate the nomination to their liking as opposed to considering the will of millions of people who have supported the Trump campaign. It would be stupid, however, to believe that Kasich is in line for the nomination. As long as Rule 40 is in play—a regulation that requires a win in eight state primaries—Kasich is not even eligible. Consequently one can only wonder what would behoove him to continue on, unless he has inside information on a last minute pre-convention rule change that would dispose of Rule 40 altogether. Has someone been whispering in Kasich’s ear?
For Ted Cruz, this gambit with Kasich is a huge gamble—likely the biggest of his entire campaign and maybe his worst one yet. As the word of this unlikely alliance hits the street, Cruz may very well lose credibility and momentum which would not play well, even in a brokered convention. Meanwhile, the RNC will be focused on getting the man of their choice into the nomination by multiple balloting of the delegates. And who would that be, might you ask? Well, it won’t be Trump, Cruz or Kasich. No, the RNC has its sights set on Bush or Rubio, with Bush being the favored son. About this time Kasich will figure out that the misleading information that he was privy to regarding Rule 40 was just a rumor—nothing else.
What’s wrong with this picture? What’s wrong is we are watching the establishment elite of the Republican Party gamble with the future of the party and the core conservative supporters. Certainly there will be many in the base who feel disenfranchised by what plays out on the convention floor and so disillusioned they do not turn out to vote. These machinations also open the door wide to the emergence of a third party with far more momentum than we saw from the Tea Party. All of this potential damage will be done in the name of keeping the party elite in power and sustaining the status quo—even if it means losing the presidential election. Of course, when all of that plays out, the establishment will look to lay the blame on Trump and Cruz as a way of saving face with the base. However, I for one do not think the voters will swallow that. In the end, Hillary Clinton will win the presidency because the RNC handed it to her on a silver platter.
There will be naysayers out there who argue that brokered conventions are nothing new, and certainly that is the case. That said, never in history do I recall a time when so much manipulation of the process took place beforehand to assure a brokered convention. That is the case today—the establishment does not want Trump or Cruz, so, evidently, nothing is too big to gamble on assuring that neither one succeeds.
Come November there will be millions of people asking the same question on both sides of the aisle: Why did we take the time and trouble to educate ourselves, or stump for Trump or Bernie when the establishment refused to support these candidates even nominally in the first place? This year it won't matter whether you are a Conservative or Democrat: chances are this election cycle will leave you disillusioned.
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