I feel like I have been had by the Republican Party. We were told: Go to the Iowa caucus, participate, and vote for the Presidential candidate of your choice.
Then come to find out it was all for show. Candidates are determined by the delegate process and what you were really voting for was the delegates from your precinct to the county convention to the district convention to the state convention and they, not you, ultimately choose who they want to vote for.
They don’t tell you who they support at the caucus and few there knew the process or what questions to ask.
They will argue that the rules are transparent, but they are made to order to be taken advantage of and 95 percent of the people attending the caucuses are clueless as to the ramifications of the local delegate selection.
They think that they are determining the delegates by their vote that night by Presidential choice and that is little more than a straw poll.
It is not just the Republicans who are phony; the Democrats are even worse. They have a group of super-delegates that are not elected at any caucus or primary that can tip the balance of delegates to whomever the party insiders favor, because they are the party insiders.
Ted Cruz may be running as an outsider but in the delegate contests his campaign is the most inside.
The Ron Paul people were the first to figure out how to manipulate the GOP party rules in conventions after the Iowa caucus in 2012. Paul got 21.5 percent of the caucus vote coming in third, but the Iowa delegation cast 22 of 28 votes at the GOP convention for Ron Paul and for a period of time gained control of the Iowa GOP. How did they do that?
They followed the rules. They saw to it that their people were elected delegates at the caucus and as the process advanced from the county, then district and then state level conventions, their majority strengthened through each delegate selection until in the end they were the super-majority.
The delegates, not the voters, determine the preference and the nominee and they frankly don’t give a tinker’s damn what the voters think.
What we are finding out is that there is a similar process like Iowa’s in many states, some even worse. The major political party’s hold themselves out to be functions of democracy and they are actually undermining it.
You thought that Rick Santorum won the 2012 Iowa caucuses? He didn’t get a single vote at the convention from the Iowa delegation. Romney got the other six.
What the Paul people did was well noted by the Ted Cruz people for this election cycle. They were ready to circumvent whatever the majority of Iowa caucus voters decided that night by putting their people in place where it really counted – selection of delegates.
Cruz officially won eight of a total 30 delegates that night with 27.6 percent of the caucus voters. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each won seven delegates.
Ben Carson won three and Paul, Fiorina, Bush, Kasich and Huckabee each won one delegate.
After the Cruz people worked the process through the party conventions they now reportedly have 28 of the 30 delegates. What surprised me most is after seeing what the Paul people did, gaming the system in 2012, the Iowa GOP did nothing, changed nothing to prevent it.
What Donald Trump is complaining about is that in many states around the country – Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana and West Virginia just to name a few – he is getting screwed out of receiving delegates that he thought that he won or should have won by the GOP internal party processes being adeptly exploited by the Cruz people.
The Cruz people chuckle that all is fair in the rules and this is grass-roots politics. They can keep chuckling as they can all go to heck as far as I am concerned. I feel that here in Iowa I was screwed, too.
Granted, Donald was not enough of a competent politician to know ahead of time that the delegate selection process was set up to be exploited. After winning delegates in the popular vote they have to be protected all the way through party conventions where they can otherwise be taken from you.
Unless this is changed, I would see no reason why I would bother to attend a party caucus ever again. Why go when your vote doesn’t really matter?
After what the Ron Paul people did, circumventing the delegate selection process in 2012, one might have expected the party to fix it. No, instead of doing that, they left it so that it was kept open for the Cruz people who planned to exploit it from the very beginning.
I talked to two individuals from opposite parts of the state that were Republican caucus delegates that went through the state’s convention process. Neither of them were Cruz people and the narratives were nearly identical.
Here is the narrative from one who participated in the post caucus delegate process:
“The Cruz people had five out of eight positions on the nominating committee. The five met privately last Friday night and selected their 18 delegates. A state senator on the committee told me the first 16 were selected in 20 minutes. The next 8 hours were spent on whether the Gov. and Lt Gov. would be delegates.
In the end they made it over objections of the Cruz machine. The point is 28 out of 30 are Cruz people regardless of how many votes are taken to determine a nominee. I am disappointed, but have learned a valuable lesson about politics. I agree that Cruz will roll Trump on 2nd ballot. He has nothing coming from Iowa.”
When Donald says the delegate selection system is “rigged” and when I say that it disenfranchises voters – believe it.
Word is that the Cruz people just trumped the delegate selection process in Maine gaining 19 of 20 national delegates selected after being allotted 12 from the state’s caucus.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.
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