Colorado is getting falsely smeared by Trump’s lies repeated by a lazy and ignorant media. “They (the party establishment) took the votes away from the people in Colorado” he raves. Is Trump laying the groundwork for claiming that GOP “unfairness” is driving him to a third-party run if he doesn’t have the majority of delegate votes by the Cleveland convention?
The utterly insane accusations ignited by loser Trump and eagerly blown up by an unbelievably irresponsible media include: Colorado GOP officials (party hacks) changed the rules last year to deny Republicans a vote on their presidential nominee; Colorado GOP officials cancelled the primary and picked the Cruz delegates themselves; and probably the most outrageous, screaming from the Drudge home page in huge red letters, “Fury as Colorado has no primary or caucus; Cruz celebrates voterless victory.”
Coloradans like me aim our fury squarely at Drudge, Trump and the entire unscrupulous media because we know none of this is true. I was there: first as precinct leader who led my precinct caucus in a schoolroom March 1. I was elected to the County Assembly, and then at the County Assembly I was elected to the State Assembly. At State, I voted for Cruz delegates running to go to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. That’s three votes, not zero votes. Ordinary Republicans like me, not party operatives, gave Ted Cruz all 34 delegates and 30 alternates while Trump earned only four alternates. Nothing was rigged; and there were no “shenanigans” as Trump shamefully accuses. Colorado is a practical state proud of its Western values of honesty and integrity and we know a con man when we see one. How dare Trump and his trolls accuse us or our party of corrupt elections.
Colorado also been a caucus state for over 100 years. Colorado Republicans have not held an actual binding primary election since 2000, a year we also held caucuses. For over 15 years in the modern era the caucus process all by itself has been the only way we choose our delegates to the Republican National Convention. Trump and his minions were too stupid or too uninvolved to figure this out. Or both.
In each individual precinct caucus (usually five to 50 people come) we also traditionally took a presidential “straw poll” (sometimes called a beauty pageant), which simply indicated who the attendees favored as the nominee. Never was this straw poll binding, and never did it allocate actual convention delegates like the primary states do.
This year we did what we always do with one single exception, which disenfranchised nobody. This year we had no straw poll because the Republican National Committee had decided that any poll in any state would be treated as binding for the purpose of selecting delegates to Cleveland.
The Colorado GOP leadership decided they didn’t want the straw poll to be binding, probably a smart move because one year the straw poll victory went to Ron Paul and another year to Rick Santorum, neither of whom made it to the finals. The concern was that the straw poll if held on March 1 would award Colorado’s delegates to contenders who later dropped out of the race.
The absence of the straw poll, which was meaningless anyway, is apparently what Drudge and Trump had in mind when they shrieked that Colorado Republicans had been disenfranchised. Nonsense. Our state’s largest newspaper, The Denver Post, even joined the shameless defamation with the headline, “Colorado Republicans Cancel Presidential Vote at 2016 Caucus.” No wonder the Post has lost huge numbers of readers and is in financial trouble. Meanwhile, a female CNN commentator actually called Colorado’s process “Gestapo-like tactics.” Is this woman even aware that the Gestapo murdered dissenters to Hitler’s socialist (NAZI is an acronym for National Socialist Party) agenda; that they rounded up Jews and sent them to the ovens?
And the deranged vilification goes on. Even the august Larry Sabato, TV political commentator and alleged professor of politics at a prestigious university, got it drastically wrong, declaring that Colorado caucus goers didn’t get to vote to choose their delegates. Of course we did. The former Republican named Larry somebody got his face on video tearing up his Republican ID card, claiming as a Trump voter he was allegedly refused credentials to the State Convention April 9. He went viral, as they say.
First of all, no way the credentials people would know which candidate he preferred. And another little problem: our pal Larry neglected to attend his County Assembly where the delegates to the State were elected. He should have been there because he was chosen as a delegate at his precinct caucus, but because he was a no-show at the County meeting he didn’t get elected to State. Thus, he didn’t get in. Boo hoo. We won’t miss you, lyin Larry.
Rush Limbaugh got it wrong too, saying that “it’s a total establishment insider game, greasing the skids for someone like Jeb.” Rush is right about one thing though. On April 12, he quoted a pro-Trump friend who confided that Trump knew all along he couldn’t win in Colorado so “he’d claim he’d been cheated, that the game was rigged. He had this all planned…Cruz thinks he got a big win but Trump knows how the media works.” And he knows how to work the media.
Many are now predicting that Trump’s fraudulent smear campaign against Colorado will actually give him more support. That would be horrendous. But I’m wondering if his false accusations of Republican corruption in my state will give him the victim status he needs to claim he has been treated unfairly by the party. And that would open wide the door for him to run third party, thus crowning Hillary Clinton. He’s already lobbying to change the convention rules so if he gets a plurality instead of a majority of delegates in Cleveland, he should get the nomination.
This shameful episode indicates what kind of president Trump would be: a leader who would whine and accuse the Chinese of cheating if he didn’t get his way in the “art of the deal.” To quote Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner, “If you can’t navigate Colorado’s delegate process, what’s your plan for Putin?”