Rules are made to be broken, according to the RNC. It’s like when I was in the Alaska Senate, and complained to Senate Majority Leader Bill Ray that he was conducting the business of the Senate in violation of the duly enacted Rules of the Alaska Legislature. He explained that the “rules” were really just guidelines, and that the only Rule that mattered was Rule 11. Eleven votes was a majority, and that was the rule that counted.
On March 1st thousands of Alaskan Republicans voted in precinct caucuses, from Ketchikan out to Nome, 1300 miles away. Cruz won by 622 votes, and was awarded 12 delegates, to Trump’s 11 and Rubio’s 5. That’s the vote State Party Chair Tuckerman Babcock just announced to the Chair of the Convention. But by some cynical interpretation of the “rules” of the RNC, all 28 Alaskan delegates were counted as Trump votes. The express will of the voters, and the delegates they elected, was ignored.
This was completely unnecessary. It’s as though Trump and Manafort are little mini-nazis, throwing their weight around because they can. This attitude does not bode well for Trump. Attitude counts, or at least it used to. I always thought Reagan’s humility was one of his great political assets. But that was long ago.
I’ve seen enough of Donald Trump to form an opinion of him, as a man, and that’s not going to change. But one of his flaws, his ignorance, may represent an opportunity. I think he knows full well that he doesn’t understand all of the issues, and will need guidance to make sound decisions. If he listens to sound people, giving sound advice, there’s a good chance he’ll follow it. I feel like I’m grasping at straws with this guy, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and it’s hard. With him, hope is all you’ve got.
One of Trump’s henchmen in Alaska, Jim Crawford, served on Platform with Judy Eledge-Norton, and supported her successful efforts to insert the Transfer of Public Lands into the GOP Platform. The Trump forces were in control of Platform. Nothing went in over their objection, and they didn’t object to TPL. To me, this means Trump realizes he made a mistake opposing TPL, and has changed his position.
After he won Nevada, either he or someone on his behalf looked at the State to see where he did well, relative to his total statewide. He won every county in the state but two, and he knew why. Those counties were the birthplace of the Sagebrush Rebellion, and Cruz campaigned there on TPL. Largely on the strength of that issue, Cruz proceeded to make a virtual sweep of the Far West, beginning in Alaska, where his win was unexpected. Trump has figured out that TPL is a political winner, and will use it to try and win Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. All four states have over a third of their land in federal ownership, and they want their land. This issue could put him over the top in all four.
If Trump wins we could actually get our land. It all traces back to the call I made to the Cruz campaign’s Joseph Semprevivo five months ago. This issue, or this movement, if you will, is blossoming before our eyes.
I’ll never forget, the night before the Nevada vote, Trump was at a rally in a Vegas hotel. He meanders on to the subject of the Transfer of Public Lands, and he says, almost apologetically, ” . . it’s not a subject I know anything about.” It was an awkward moment, which he escaped by telling someone in the crowd to go ahead and punch some guy.
Trump’s not stupid, and his political gut is telling him this issue is a winner. I’ll be looking for it in his acceptance speech. As the world turns.