I’ve lived most of my life in the Northeast, so can find my way pretty easily around a New York accent. Still, I’m beginning to wonder if Donald Trump has introduced, along with his “New York values”, a Manhattan way of speaking so unfamiliar I’ve been misunderstanding one of his pet slogans: Has the Donald been exulting these many months about “Winning, winning, winning!”? Or “Whining, Whining, Whining!”? Has his pledge been to “Win!” or “Whine”? If the latter, he’s already keeping it with a vengeance.
The Republican frontrunner lost Colorado’s delegation selection contest to Ted Cruz last week – spectacularly. One day few had given the possibility of Trump’s decisive defeat a second thought; the next, news of it was echoing from most front pages; certainly Trump himself has been carping about it, seethingly, loudly, incessantly, ever since.
The system is rigged! The Republican National Committee should be ashamed of itself! What about “the people’s” votes?
(Watch for more of same following his drubbing at Saturday’s Wyoming caucus, which he insultingly dismissed as a “waste [of] millions of dollars”.)
The Centennial State’s rococo process is, indeed, a bit confounding. But Trump’s and his supporters’ claims that Colorado citizens were denied a vote is factually false: In a nutshell, the chain-of-events which wrapped when Ted Cruz became their choice for GOP presidential candidate, was launched in March 2015 with scores of thousands meeting, in over 2900 precinct gatherings, to elect Colorado’s first set of delegates.
Direct democracy? Hardly. My gut reaction? Not the method I’d prefer if I lived there. But neither were “the people” barred from the mix.
It’s roughly the way things have been done among Republican Coloradans for over one-hundred years. The specifics were explained in the party’s rules, and made available to Trump’s people last summer. Some of the features he’s been griping about the past several days were formalized by state party functionaries in August of 2015; the Denver Post was kvetching front-and-center about the arrangement as recently as this past February. So, why weren’t objections raised by Team Trump at either of those junctures? Wither the sudden, heretofore absent, indignation from the New York billionaire’s campaign? Colorado’s situation was the hand he was dealt — was that too much to manage for the universe’s greatest negotiator? We’re unceasingly told how omni-capable Donald Trump is. What happened?
It’s all so confusing.
“The bottom line here,” uspresidentialelectionnews.com neatly summarizes, “is that these rules have been in place for almost 8 months with all parties aware of how Colorado was going to select their delegate[s].”
On the same political terrain, Cruz and Co. shaped their strategy according to the conditions they encountered — and came out on top. (The Texas Senator has actually topped the real-estate magnate numerous times in this nominating cycle.) Conversely, Trump, the gloatingly self-promoting problem-solver — He “gets things done!”, y’know — let victory slip through his fingers.
Seems like Donald Trump was cavalierly confident his razzle-dazzle alone would close the deal; “rel[ying] on sheer force of will and a larger-than-life personality” (Louis DeBroux). Isn’t there a malodorous whiff of deja vu in that? Haven’t we just chafed through eight years of a “charismatic”, superstar Chief Exec convinced his Olympian charms, by themselves, would fit the bill for ameliorating America and transforming the world scene?
For Trump-adulators, the verdict has gotta be discomfiting; and unbearable: their man was caught flat-footed by events — and doesn’t possess the integrity to own up to it. Turns out, the reality-TV star, who earned international fame informing under-performing colleagues “You’re fired!”, couldn’t be troubled to visit Colorado one time during this indispensable nominating period; AWOL from the proceedings. His campaign organization? Essentially, lacking any “ground-game”; without effective presence in the state. Frantic, last-minute-crunch efforts to remedy this blazing deficiency
were, reportedly, teeming with bush-league glitches.
Sounds to me like old-fashioned, hard-to-look-at incompetence — from the guy who’s smugly berated American officials’ bungling for months, while exulting he’s “a really smart person”, touting his “great brain” and greasily guaranteeing as president he’d hire “the smartest people”, “the best people”. All of which? Manifestly nowhere on display in his Colorado non-efforts.
So all he can now do is scowl, bellow and point the finger at “the system”, the RNC, Ted Cruz (who didn’t neglect the hard work of capturing the delegate prize). And fabricate bogus charges that “the people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians”.
It’d be amusing if this weren’t someone vying for the globe’s highest-stakes world-leadership post: when the “rules” accrue to Donald Trump’s advantage? Why everything’s just ducky! He’s a master! A genius! A “winners” who deals with things as they are, not as he wishes they could be!
When the set-up irksomely thwarts his ambitions? Time for somebody to call the wahhhmbulance: Purple-faced sputtering. Unfair! It’s crooked! They’re cheaters!
Donald Trump as put-upon casualty? I wasn’t aware the victimhood card was one of this “alpha-male”, success-story selling points.
We got a foretaste of what lay ahead Trump-wise following Iowa’s caucus — another contest in which Cruz dominated. Trump is still bleating about that one, that “Lyin’ Ted” stole first place from fellow candidate Dr. Ben Carson. It’s a ludicrous accusation, and one ignominiously abetted by the normally honorable and sensible neurosurgeon who’s effectively allowed it to fester unrebutted. (Carson has since, befuddlingly, thrown his endorsement to Trump).
The mogul’s dependable answer whenever he drops the ball? School-yard invective to which non-Trump-smitten observers have grown migraine-inducingly accustomed: mewling like the sore-loser “failures” he’s unrelentingly lampooning. These histrionics work as cover, “bury[ing] his countless gaffes in an avalanche of insults and lies,” (David French). The legions who unquestioningly fall at his feet are distracted and appeased.
Certainly, his shtick won’t forever work its magic. I’m speculating the Iranian mullahs, Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, adversarial Democrats, while we’re at it, would remain unmoved — except, perhaps, to giggles — by a President Trump’s foot-stomping, squalling snits.
White House Whining. Snickering everywhere else. America great again?