COLORADO SPRINGS, Co., April 11, 2016 – Democrat voters and Republican voters alike are learning an important lesson this spring: American voters come second and party apparatchiks come first. If you’re a political insider and a clever lawyer, you’re ahead of the game.
Former Colorado State Republican party chairman Ryan Call explained today to radio host Laura Ingraham the reasons behind Donald Trump’s Colorado delegate loss, explaining that the delegation selection process works, but “cuts out any semblance of democracy or the popular will.” Call opined that the statewide convention that chooses the delegates reinforces all the worst stereotypes of the party.
“The very time we should be opening up our doors and being more open and transparent, and welcoming people into our Party, we’ve essentially made the decision to close it off and make it more cumbersome and more difficult. And, to prevent the ability of people to have their voice heard in this process. You’re reinforcing all of the very worst stereotypes about the Party and I, frankly, am very concerned about the way voters are going to feel,” Call said.
Donald Trump has been rolling along so far, singlehandedly accomplishing the formerly unthinkable, pie-in-the-sky dream of every top GOP leader. He’s widened the base and created a people’s movement (alongside that improbable democrat Bernie Sanders) by bringing non-traditional voters for the first time into his new Republican “Big Tent.” He, like Sanders, has done it by abandoning the establishment suits and talking directly to the people. He’s the proximate cause for why many Democrats are abandoning their party affiliation and crossing over to endorse “Government of the People.”
It’s no coincidence that Washington, D.C., is over-populated with lawyers, including candidate Ted Cruz. To function within the behemoth that is the current United States Federal government, few individuals, save those adept at counting the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin, can negotiate its labyrinthine rules and procedures. For instance, most lobbyists on Capitol Hill possess law degrees, a necessary prerequisite as they track proposals on behalf of their clients.
Washington insider procedures taking Trump by surprise
In the presidential race, as in Federal rule making, three old line Washington traditions must be understood and if necessary overcome: politics, policy and procedure. For Donald Trump this week, it was procedure that tripped him up. Apart from being a good communicator who is clearly meeting a majority of Republican voters’ expectations, he also needed to rely on the canny knowledge of attorneys who engage in the arcana of state and Federal election rules and procedures.
In the case of the national election, if one thinks of 2016 in terms of a “cat-and-mouse” game, one won’t be far off. Today, Trump sadly was the mouse, as he complained bitterly about his Colorado loss, complaining “The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians.“
No, technically speaking, they did not. Because, despite the candidate’s belated complaints, the state GOP was well within the letter of its stated procedures when they successfully shut Trump out.
“The rules is the rules,” as the popular saying goes. It wasn’t phony politicians who stole Trump’s votes and potential delegates. It was clever party lawyers who had “adjusted” the rules many months earlier and then somehow failed to mention the change loudly and clearly. Instead, the state’s power brokers chose to have us focus on their less than sterling intentions for the GOP convention. So incensed were Trump and his supporters, they missed the entirely legal double-dealing that months earlier already had taken place in Colorado.
What chance, then, does a businessman-non-lawyer-Washington outsider like Donald Trump have to mount a national challenge to those already entrenched, courtesy of their handy little procedures? The answer, as someone so indelicately once put it, is to get himself “an attorney who files his teeth each morning.”
That’s because breaking through Washington’s hard protective shell will take plenty of clever attorneys, who are already attuned to the highways and byways of the Federal system. At the end of the day, Trump, must be able to say, “My attorney can beat your attorney.”
Image courtesy of candidate’s portfolio of photos available for public use via Twitter.