The Great Cruz-Kasich Alliance of 2016 will go down in history as one of the single dumbest, most short-sighted, shallow, and feeble political plots ever.
See, this is the problem with theories hatched through the haze of the smoky back room: when the smoke clears reality proves a very different landscape.
The political strategist who thought this would work ought to be publicly tarred and feathered. Trump had just spent two straight weeks shouting the word “rigged” into every microphone he could and in response some genius on the payroll for Cruz or Kasich thought, “Hey, let’s team up and try to fix the system to ensure Trump loses. Oh, and lets announce it on national television.” Brilliant.
When news of this “alliance” broke, you better believe a single ray of sunlight beamed down from a break in the clouds giving Trump’s wispy yellow coif a fresh golden glint as he smiled from ear to ear.
You know what word is more sinister sounding than “rigged?” “Collusion.” Cruz and Kasich would have been better off gift wrapping a ballot printed on gold leaf that said “Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton” and presenting it to Trump on Meet the Press.
Not only was the strategy behind the move politically suicidal, but it was also outrageously arrogant to assume that voters would go along with the plan. Most voters are not party operatives who think with a team mentality. People support a candidate because that is who they believe would be the best leader and after months of further depreciating their car with a bumper sticker, do you really think they’re going to punch the ballot next to someone else’s name?
The publicly toed line by Cruz and Kasich that “this is just about resources” is about as thinly veiled as a penny-pinching bride’s headpiece. After campaigning for months, cancelling a couple rallies a week before a state votes is not going to cause enough of a shift to have the desired effect of halting a Trump victory. The only possible way to do this is to have all of the combined Cruz/Kasich voters vote for the same candidate, aka Cruz asking his folks to vote for Kasich and vice versa.
This might be how a convention can be won, but this isn’t how a democracy works. The Republican primary is all but over thanks to almost a year’s worth of political miscalculations in combating Trump. As the coffin containing the Republican party’s presidential hopes teetered on the edge, Cruz just asked Kasich to hold the nail while he brought the hammer down.
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