In all fields of human endeavor, winning by cheating is losing.
In a competition, when someone cheats, he gets disqualified. The disqualification does not make the runner-up the winner. Rather, it reveals that the man who appeared to be the runner-up had in fact been the winner all along.
In the race for the GOP nomination for president, therefore, Ron Paul won.
As the New York Times wrote yesterday,
Delegates from Nevada tried to nominate Mr. Paul from the floor, submitting petitions from their own state as well as Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands. That should have done the trick: Rules require signatures from just five states. But the party changed the rules on the spot. Henceforth, delegates must gather petitions from eight states.
When Mr. Romney and the RNC cheat so blatantly, they make the game no longer about politics: they make themselves ineligible for the vote of anyone who cares about his own morality, his own honesty or his own integrity -- regardless of his politics. And from a purely practical standpoint, they invite Americans to ask if they want to live in a nation governed with the same contempt for those who don't toe the party line as has been displayed both in Tampa and throughout the primary process.