Some ideas are just bad

Tonight a small group of mostly Democrats gathered in a room at the local community college to watch President Obama give the State of the Union Address. The event was sponsored by both Democrat and Republican student organizations. We gathered about half an hour early and talked about what we wanted to hear him say, and we were happy afterward that he covered our concerns. I was particularly pleased, since his speech proved that he has been reading my e-mails.

During the discussion before the speech, one member stood and declared himself to be a Republican. We see a lot of these in southwest Virginia, so we were not frightened. He did not have an issue that he wanted to see President Obama address in the speech, but he did have an idea to present. He pointed out that we were all Democrats except himself, and he asked us to crash the Republican primary and vote for Ron Paul so that the Republicans would go to the convention with a split vote. He had some rationale for this being a good thing, based on his assertion that he would never vote for Romney or Gingrich, and somehow a split ticket would make the Republicans give him a better option — presumably Ron Paul.

Virginia has an open primary, and on March 6 Republicans here will choose between two candidates, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Perry, Santorum, Gingrich, and Huntsman failed to qualify for the ballot, sued the Virginia State Board of Elections and the Virginia GOP for an exception to the rules, and lost.

I am a Virginia Democrat who knows from working at the polls that when we have a primary it is standard practice for Republicans to cast spoiler votes in our primary, I know it is possible for us to do this dastardly deed as much as it is for Republicans to do it to us. That is, it would be possible for us if:

  • we thought governing was a game that you should game
  • we had no ethics, and
  • we didn’t mind being on the phonebanking lists for the next 10 years as Republicans.

I’m not saying that no Democrat ever voted in a Republican primary, but I am not aware of any Democrat ever doing that. Certainly we do not do organized get-out-the-vote party crashing. We could not, because we are, well, Democrats.

Most particularly we should not even consider voting in this Republican primary to advantage Ron Paul, a racist sexist isolationist snapping turtle who throughout his career has bitten the hand — that would be the government hand — that feeds him. And if a Republican wants Ron Paul to win, he should be out campaigning for Ron Paul, not trying to finesse an unethical spoiler vote in the primary from outside his own party.

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