Donald Trump isn’t the republican nominee, and Ted Cruz hasn’t been mathematically eliminated . . . yet.
At roughly noon on May 4th, after running fourth in a three-man race for seven consecutive weeks, John Kasich finally suspended his presidential nomination campaign (raising the obvious question of, “What the hell took so long?”), leaving Donald Trump as the “sole survivor” of what was originally an eighteen-candidate republican field. And, go figure, before Cinco de Mayo was in the books, various talking heads and keyboard pundits were acknowledging, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, that The Donald was now the presumptive republican nominee. However, to channel L. P. Berra, this campaign ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and despite a certain well-circulated AP report, a certain critical milestone hasn’t yet been tallied into Trump’s column, and so June 7th is still going to matter . . . very much.
Did the Michigan Republican Party pull another fast one with RNC delegate allocation?
Those of us who’ve been hanging around RightMichigan since prior to 2014 likely remember well the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012. As a quick refresher, on Tuesday, February 28th of that year, Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum in the statewide popular vote, 41.10% to 37.87%. However, because 28 of Michigan’s 30 post-penalty delegates were awarded on a district-by-district basis (Romney and Santorum splitting the state at 7 districts each), and because the statewide vote totals were so close (requiring the two at-large delegates to be split one each), the resulting 15-15 delegate tie didn’t exactly square with the RNC/GOPe’s preferred media narrative that Romney won his native state. Thus, in the telephonic equivalent of a late-night, backroom deal, the MIGOP Credentials Committee (then consisting of Bobby Schostak, Sharon Wise, Saul Anuzis, Holly Hughes, Bill Runco, Mike Cox, and Eric Doster) voted 4-2 – Hughes was not present at the meeting – to creatively interpret State Party Rule 19C, and award both at-large delegates to Romney. The resulting backlash fueled an eleven-week effort that culminated in a two-day Showdown in Motown, with the end result being the ballot box blowout ouster of the national committeeman regarded as the chief engineer of the ex post facto railroad job.
It’s probably not going to draw much attention (likely because damn near no one noticed), but the potential for a Grand Theft Delegate con job similar to the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012 was averted, largely due to one person explaining a key state party rule in a way that eliminated the possibility of applying that rule by political discretion, and instead imposed a resolution rubric according to plain mathematics.
To understand the Butterfly Effect, one must understand whence the butterfly came.
To say that the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign has become interesting since June of last year is a bit of an understatement, to say the least. An out-of-the-blue “chaos injection” on June 16th (that FOX News polling saw coming as early as March 31st, but no one else picked up on until late May) became the nationally-recognized front runner not five weeks later, completely leapfrogging the “heir apparent” (who promptly went into a freefall, and has now exited the campaign). Because of this chaos injection, one candidate, who was until that point considered to be irrelevant, leapfrogged to become the national runner-up about five and a half weeks later (and was the national front-runner for three days in November), and two young guns are now openly tussling for second place nationally, neither of whom were supposed to have a realistic chance to begin with.
As should have been expected, the thorough derailing of the coronation train for the republican heir apparent makes the professional political establishment very unhappy, and, of course, they’re hell-bent on doing something about that. But the reason that all of their scrambling is increasingly ineffective is that they don’t seem to really understand the causa provocare of the outsider’s challenge, perhaps because they really don’t understand the degree to which the typical voter is disgusted with the political status quo in America, or why. Thus, predictably, the flailing increasingly exposes them for who they are and what they intend, which conversely makes the outsider’s job that much easier.