Now our own slice of Canadian bacon and our favorite postal scion appear to be in the process of trying to deny to Donald Trump the necessary delegates to do what -- at this stage in the contest -- only he has any prospect of doing: reaching the magical delegate count of 1237. 1237 delegates voting for Trump in the first round of the balloting at the Republican Convention this summer would result in his nomination.
So Cruz and Kasich have connived to frustrate that march to success. In States where Cruz is running far behind, he appears to have agreed to expend no additional resources in the primary campaign; Kasich has agreed to do likewise. [The nature of this agreement does appear to be tenuous; Kasich has already clarified that, while he will not make devote further resources in certain States, he is not asking his supporters in those States to give their vote to Cruz.]
So, there really is only one explanation for the continuation of active campaigning by Cruz or Kasich. If they were honest, here's the letter their campaigns would release:
My Fellow Americans,
I come to you today to explain my decision to put my name in for consideration for nomination by the Republican Party for the 2016 Presidential Election.
Now, I am a practical man.
As a practical man, I recognize that I have FAILED to convince the majority of you to support my candidacy. In fact, I have failed to convince a majority of the members of my own party to support my candidacy. That FAILURE is reflected in my accumulated delegate count and in the abysmal victory record I have thus far accumulated.
As a practical man, I know that I cannot win the Republican nomination on the first ballot at the Convention this summer.
At this point, some of you may wonder, "why does he remain in the race?"
I can tell you this much.
My continued presence in the race is not at all impractical. I am practical man. So, my practical reason for remaining in the race is to insure that the only candidate for the Republican nomination that has a mathematical possibility of gaining the nomination on the first round of convention balloting is denied that show of unity and support.
As a practical man, I take this step because I believe the nation would be better off with either an outright communist, Bernie Sanders, or a lying socialist, Hillary Clinton, as our President, than a successful businessman.
In the same vein, I have joined forces with my other primary opponent to attempt to prevent Donald Trump from winning such States as New Mexico and Indiana. We have agreed to withdraw our resources from States where the other has the best chance of denying delegates to Trump.
Ted Cruz/John Kasich"Even the possibility of a Clinton presidency is obscene.
Clinton is that kind of liar whose trustworthiness lead folks to know that she is lying because her lips are moving. On matters small -- how close incoming fire may have come to her and Chelsea during their Bosnia visit years ago -- and on matters large -- whether the Benghazi rampage was believed by her or the administration she represented to be a spontaneous demonstration gone awry -- Clinton's demonstrated dishonesty is pathological.
Yet, the best possible explanation for the conduct of Cruz and Kasich is pride. That is, really, the best explanation. These are the losers that refuse to go home.
Imagine the Jamaican bobsled team mounting the gold medal stand at the Winter Olympics in Calgary so many years ago. True, that team won its way into the hearts of millions ... but it never won its way on the four man winner's stand. Insisting on the right to be awarded what you have not won is not merely gauche, it is a defect of character.
Here, that defect of character puts me in mind of the after-revealed fact that Mitt Romney sought the Republican nomination in 2012 because he believed himself to be the only qualified person to seek the office. Oh? Really? And now we realize that Cruz, whose high school boast was to one day rule the world, and Kasich honestly believe we cannot possibly understand that only they, and certainly not Trump, are qualified to be president.
Perhaps the coming further humiliations will tame their pridefulness. Perhaps repentance will come while a Republican general election victory is still possible. Perhaps, like the Ghost of Christmas Present, Ronald Reagan will appear to these two dim souls and take them walkabout in a Nation that is weary of insider dealing and insider trading.
I will not hold my breath.