Sometime in the first years of the 20th century, the term grassroots began to appear in political discourse. Especially as it related to Teddy Roosevelt’s heyday, including his notorious Bull Moose (Progressive) Party that resulted from a split with the Republican Party. This was in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt was outmaneuvered for the GOP nomination by Taft, despite winning far more votes in the primaries.

Sound a touch familiar? The problem in 2016, however, is that nothing can be taken for granted. Especially the grassroots. Because if grassroots means anything it means local. But local is not necessarily free from party machinery influence. In fact, when it comes to party rules, the grassroots goes to the better organized campaign. As in Ted Cruz and his impressive local outreach to delegates. From Wyoming to Jewish-heavy districts in NYC. Totally impressive, without a doubt.

The problem is you can’t have it both ways. You can’t proudly point to grassroots and then snidely say that it’s in the rules and you should have read page 14 section 1.a paragraph 6. Ha ha. Ha ha.

Actually you can. And they are. So is it astro-turfing? Or grassroots local organizing that’s killing Trump at the committed delegate level. In other words, after the first round, should the almost-inevitable contested convention become a reality.

It’s not a mushy cop out to say it’s both; because it is. Yes there’s a top-heavy mission (get Ted the nomination by stopping Trump) but the mechanics can only work if you talk to people at the local level. And …. if …. you …. listen …. to people at the local level. Trump clearly picked the right year to run. That means he actually did listen to voter anger over the last few years, and crafted a platform that responds to that anger. But Ted Cruz’s team seems to have their ears a little closer to the ground.

So it’s in this election cycle that top-down meets bottom-up like never before. And it all collides in the person of the individual delegate. They are indeed in a squeeze, and some have admitted feeling it like never before perhaps. While they might relish the power, they have had more light and heat thrown their way than they could ever have expected.

Understandably, the latest clash in the GOP is once again in the RNC rules committee. The chairman of the RNC rules committee, Bruce Ash, is publicly scolding Reince Priebus over Priebus’ request to cancel a rules committee meeting due shortly. As well as pressuring Ash and Oregon RNC member Solomon Yue to retire Yue’s proposed rule change that would require a majority of delegates to re-open the convention.

Currently to bring in a fresh face – in Rove’s term – the convention chairman – Paul Ryan – can open the convention up. That’s pretty astroturf. Just ask Ron Paul’s followers. Why not let a majority of delegates decide whether to open up the convention? Let a thousand (plus) blades of grass rise up through all the fertilizer! And the astroturf.