The most cogent defense of what happened in Colorado was posted by Ari Armstrong here. We stipulate the rules were used by Cruz to his advantage and that Trump was asleep at the wheel. We also stipulate that the caucus or any other form of allocating delegates is the right of the party and its members. We take great issue with the fact that caucus or choice by party elites is democratic or just as democratic as primaries. Colorado’s Republicans changed the rules in August and that was meant to thwart Trump and his popularity. The fact that the Colorado Republican party chose the delegates, and is part of an establishment, suggests an attempt to thwart voter will and take away consent.
Under the old system before primaries became so popular, the parties did a decent job of picking candidates through pledged delegates because they polled the party voters. In many cases this cycle, the party is doing what it can, taking into account state differences, to not poll those members and is choosing trojan horse, or stealth, delegates who are really supporting Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination, even if he had the most support of the popular vote of the party.
That is disenfranchisement. And that is what Colorado Republicans attempted to do. Indeed, the party did not even hide its preference in a tweet. Let’s say that Colorado was overwhelmingly for Cruz, would that really translate into no delegates for Trump? Hardly.
The point is not how clever and more organized Cruz was, for he was. To praise that is to, in a serious way, deny the will of the voters, and for Colorado Republicans, it appears not to matter so much that they are doing exactly that. It also means that winning, over voter preference, matters most to Colorado Republican party members. This should be summarily rejected and condemned. The state party, and Cruz supporters, think they are clever and are proud of their slight of hand to deny voters a voice (allegedly in Missouri there was another sham). As Plato notes through Socrates, there is something about being clever connected to injustice. We ought not be in awe of Cruz for his clever electoral ways.
Ann Althouse has been commenting on this for some time, and finds no fault with the way Cruz is playing the game according to the rules. But again, this is beside the point: The whole purpose of the delegate selection is that delegates who are the candidate’s delegates are not stealth delegates. In order for a contested convention to work honestly and openly, the delegates for any given candidate must first be FOR the candidate they are voting. In that way, they will fight for their pledged potential nominee. Cruz has exploited a problem in the rules that circumvents the intended practice at convention. In that sense, he’s cheating. The irregularities in the process (and some shenanigans with delegates not being pledged to any one candidate so those who were allowed to vote knew who they were voting for) only adds to the perception that something foul is afoot. The irregularities actually provide the opportunity for Cruz to deal dishonestly in the state.
What Colorado, and Wyoming and Louisiana suggest is that Cruz is no outsider. He is very much an insider playing an insider’s game. He has made Trump the only outsider worthy of consideration in the Republican primary.
As James Taranto notes, the argument that Trump can’t win means that Clinton can’t lose, and “that seems awfully premature.” It’s also false, and betrays an objective sense of the numbers and politics on the ground.