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Cruz-Kasich, A Sleazy Alliance
By now you must have heard that John Kasich and Ted Cruz made an alliance to prevent Donald Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
The rationale is to force a contested convention and have the opportunity to defeat the frontrunner on the floor at the July18-21 Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It seems plausible; the Cruz’s campaign has been aggressively courting Trump's delegates to switch their support for Cruz should Trump not reach the magic 1,237 number on the first ballot. However, If one judges by how often Trump has defied the odds and proved all political pundits, experts and analysts to be wrong, it is not at all a sure bet for the anti-Trump movement now led by Ted Cruz to think he would lose on the Convention floor.
It is blatantly outrageous nevertheless that the Republican Party chair has been silent; it has yet to denounce the alliance between Cruz & Kasich but has never missed an opportunity to lambast Trump for his comments. Such double standard makes it all the more obvious that the Republican establishment is heavily biased against Trump. Although I am not a Trump’s fan, I do value process and expect those at the helm to help or at the very least encourage all participants to follow the guidelines. Thus far, the GOP leaders have undermined the Trump’s candidacy all the while tolerated the candidacy of a candidate (John Kasich) who has proven to be much less effective than even those who already exited the race.
Unfairness aside, Donald Trump refers to the alliance between the two candidates as a collusion, and it is; the alliance is an extension of or complementary to the #NeverTrump movement promoted by the late “little Marco”, supported by a large sector of the Republican establishment.
It all began with the Super Tuesday primary held on March 1, 2016. The rift between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz urging one another to drop out of the race so the other could consolidate the votes had come to a critical crossroad. The impasse would be resolved on that date at the polls; if Ted Cruz lost Texas, his own state, he would be pressured to exit the race. He did not; Senator Cruz won the state of Texas with a comfortable margin over Donald Trump who came second (Cruz: 43.8%; Trump: 26.7%) taking over twice as many delegates as Trump (Cruz: 104; Trump: 48).
Ted’s win took the pressure off; it was now Marco Rubio who had to prove himself. It was twice as critical for Marco to win Florida a) he is a US Senator representing the state of Florida; he’s been a resident of the state for quite some time; there is a large Hispanic community in Florida and Marco (says he) speaks more Spanish than Ted b) he is the candidate of the establishment, the party darling, the Republican Obama to be, the next president.
The stakes were very high; there was no room for mistake. So, Marco did what Marco had to do; he launched an all-out assault against Donald Trump; assisted by the #NeverTrump movement and several Super Pacs which launched unflattering infomercials about Donald Trump and blanketed the airwaves with negative ads against him, Marco was more or less confident he would pull a victory in Florida. But to be 100% certain, “little Marco” would spend a full 7-day before the primary on March 15, 2016 campaigning exclusively in the state of Florida.
Marco Rubio crisscrossed the state by plane, by train, by bus, in car and on foot to meet with virtually every voter; he literally begged each constituent to vote for him on March 15. It might have been too little too late; some voters never saw Rubio since he’s elected to the Senate. In addition, early voting may have already deprived Rubio a big chunk of the electorate, some of which went to the “late Jeb Bush” and to Donald Trump.
By March 9, 2016, a few days shy of the primary, rumors aired on CNN suggested that Marco Rubio pondered exiting the race before the primary in the state. Although unsubstantiated, the rumors were a path to a gracious exit for the Senator but little Marco was much too confident God would come to his rescue – after all, he is a God of miracles - he plowed ahead to the March 15 primary. But God was very busy with other more important matters; so, he delegated the task of advising Marco to the strategists the Senator hired. They accurately predicted “little Marco” would lose to the Donald; evidences were everywhere. After more than $10 million ($4.7 from Super Pacs supporting Marco) of negative ads against Donald Trump throughout the state, with the primary just a few days away, all the polls still had Donald with a 20+points lead over Marco; you needed not be a genius to figure out the outcome.
On March 15, 2016, after just 17% of the reported votes, CNN was able to project Donald Trump as the winner in Florida, taking all the 99 delegates the state awarded to the winner. “Little Marco” was done; instead of a graceful exit, Marco left the race a sore loser with very uncertain political future.
With Rubio out, Cruz could easily take on Trump – so he thinks – but John Kasich who inherited the miracle Rubio was praying for decided he then saw a path to the nomination and will continue his campaign all the way to the Convention. What a joke! In the meantime, Trump is marching towards the nomination, collecting delegates getting him closer and closer to the magic 1,237 number. As the frontrunner, his closest challenger, Cruz, who was previously unanimously rejected by the Republican establishment has now become the Savior which could redeem the Party (the thinking goes) from going to hell.
Now, the official, recognized – albeit still unwanted – Savior, Cruz opened a number of fronts of attack, one of which was to revitalize the #NeverTrump movement to work most effectively in his favor. Cruz believed that with the full backing of the movement, he easily defeated Trump in the Wisconsin primary (Cruz: 48.2%; Trump: 35.1%) on April 5, 2016; he took most of the delegates, 36 to Trump just 6. The Senator was emboldened; with his charming, witty and at times irky remarks, he predicted with confidence his march to the nomination.
However, because he – and many others – mistakenly attributed his victory in the Wisconsin primary to the work done by the #NeverTrump movement, Cruz anticipated sweeping the remaining primaries with very little problem. What a mistake that was! The #NeverTrump movement had absolutely nothing to do with Cruz’s victory in Wisconsin; before the movement, before the primary in Wisconsin, Cruz won 10 states, six of which with margin close to or over 20+ points. Besides, in Florida, the #NeverTrump movement was in full swing throughout the state in a last ditch effort to save Rubio from the jaws of defeat. You know what happened in Florida! The #NeverTrump movement is as useless as John Kasich’s hope to become the nominee is ridiculous. It is a big mistake to think the #NeverTrump movement has any influence in the presidential elections.
The NY primary result (he took 90 out of 93 delegates) is one more proof that Donald Trump is immune of the establishment’s wishes; as of this writing, it is expected that Mr. Trump will sweep the delegates in the Tuesday April 26, 2016 primaries according to the latest polls. Update: as was expected, Trump swept all five states in the primaries, claiming all but eight delegates (5 to Kasich, 3 to Cruz).
It is somewhat refreshing that the underhanded, sleazy and outrageous collusion between Kasich and Cruz did not produce the outcome they expected; it is nevertheless undemocratic the Republican chair condones the behavior. It seems at best that the love for the country the GOP elites profess is just charade to deceive the naïve constituents who would cling to a Party no matter what. There is usually no logic, no rationale to what they do or say. The Republican Powerbrokers are even onboard with the idea of silencing The People, ignoring their will and dismissing their votes. In a democracy, everyone ought to accept the will of the majority and if the majority chooses Trump, so be it. I do for the sake of democracy, so should you.