Tag Archives: presidential primaries

Republicans ARE Discouraging Voter Turnout

It’s a dream come true for hysterical liberals and their fellow travelers in the ‘unbiased’ media. Pesky Republicans ARE actively working to discourage voter turnout in the 2012 Presidential election!

Unfortunately, in typical GOP fashion, the party is busy suppressing its own vote.

Thanks to a decision by the Virginia Republican State Central Committee, voters who may want to participate in the Commonwealth’s Republican Presidential Primary will be forced to sign a loyalty oath before the commissars allow them to cast a ballot.

Members of the Electoral College, who actually choose the President, are not Constitutionally required to swear a similar oath, but the committee — like Southern Baptists who frequently add qualifications for church office not found in the Bible — feel this is a vital improvement to the system.

The oath is brief and to the point: “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.”

Prince William County Virginia’s redoubtable conservative Republican, Del. Bob Marshall strongly objects to requiring an oath, “Virginia’s Republican leadership wants to mandate a loyalty oath when Virginia’s Republican officials are in court fighting the Obamacare mandate? This sends the wrong message.”

I’m not sure I’m in agreement with Marshall’s analogy, since Obamacare is mandatory, while voting for the GOP is optional. (An option I fear many will choose not to exercise if it means signing this pledge.)

The oath manages to offend two groups that are key to winning in November: the conservative base and the independent. Longtime Republicans will be insulted by the presumption they are so fickle an oath is required to remind them of their loyalty.

Besides, as Marshall points out, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Speaker of the House William Howell, have not always voted for the Republican nominee in November. Both supported an independent in an earlier race for Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Equally important, the Presidential election in November will be won among the 40 percent that considers themselves independent — voting for the man and not the party. What a shock it will be to the commitment–phobic independent who decides to participate in the GOP primary, only to be hit with a contract that requires him to swear an oath to a November candidate who might not even be on the March 6th primary ballot.

Which brings us to another problem. Although nationally we currently have a fluctuating total of approximately ten GOP candidates, in the Virginia primary the ballot will resemble the inventory of a Soviet supermarket with only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul to choose from.

It seems that organizing a petition drive to get his name on the ballot is the latest entry on the lengthening list of things Rick Perry can’t do.

Perry, who does have someone on staff who can file a lawsuit, and Virginia resident Newt Gingrich are attempting to gain access by judicial means — a particularly ironic move for Gingrich who blasted federal judges last week proclaiming “Judicial supremacy is factually wrong. It is morally wrong, and it is an affront to the American system of self–government.”
Unless, of course, you can find a judge who will overturn Republican rules and get you on the ballot.

The fact is if the yang and yin of presidential politics can get on the ballot under the existing rules, then the rest of the candidates should be able to clear the same hurdle, too.

This whole affair reeks of Paulophobia. Evidently the fear is that Ron Paul voters can’t be relied upon in November to support the Republican nominee if it’s not Ron Paul. It would make more sense to have Paul himself sign the oath as a condition of appearing on the ballot, since a third–party run on his behalf would only serve to re–elect Obama.

So naïve central committee members believe signing this worthless piece of paper is going to persuade a herd of black–helicopter Libertarian paranoids that they have to toe the line in November.

Fors Fortis, as the Romans say.

The other fear is wily Democrats voting for Paul in an effort to sow dissention in Republican ranks. The way to prevent this is to post a large sign informing Democrats their name will appear on Republican mailing lists and their mailboxes stuffed full of GOP direct mail and fund–raising appeals for the next four years.

My wife, Janet, still rues the day she voted for Hillary Clinton in one of those fruitless crossover voting schemes.
In the meantime, GOP Chairman Pat Mullins has scheduled a special meeting on January 21st. The only agenda item is the “loyalty oath.”

100 Years of Iowa Stubborn

“You really ought to give Iowa, a try!”

These are the famous lyrics from the first ensemble tune of the classic “The Music Man”, set in 1912.  The con-artist Harold Hill strolls into a rural Iowa town ready to spring his latest gimmick on an unsuspecting people.  It’s almost a challenge from his fellow matchstick men to try to conquer the folks of River City who, being forewarned by his colleagues may be simple, but not stupid.  This is not going to be an easy con.

Yet the words in this little ditty are quite revealing in their contradictory message – you’re always welcome here, but we’ll basically keep you at arms length.  What worked for Meredith Willson’s plot setting also seems to be the backdrop for the “first in the Union” Iowa Caucuses.  So, if we were to combine the two, we can indeed celebrate the Centennial of Iowa Stubborn.

As one experiences Willson’s great musical, one will realize that the term “Iowa Stubborn” is eventually one of endearment.  As unusual as the townsfolk seem to be to outsiders, they also eventually approve to be genuine.  At the same time, however, they also prove to have a gullible side, at least temporarily.  Such can also be said of the very long processes of the Iowa Caucus.

For years (not quite a hundred), Iowa has been at the epicenter of the presidential primary universe because of its placement among the respective caucuses and primaries.  Candidates who are truly serious about their party’s nomination will not just visit, but virtually inhabit the small, rural state in the heartland – shaking hands, kissing babies and consuming all manner of fried foods (hopefully not getting the three confused – shaking babies and kissing food is frowned upon in these parts).  Yet despite the pre-season polls and the self-anointed talking heads making grandiose predictions, Iowa often seems to flash that “stubborn” to the rest of the nation at the last minute.

Perhaps it is not as random or naïve as one may think either.  These are down to earth folks who know all too well that come January 4th, the political spring will dry up and the state will be hard pressed to see hide nor hair of a candidate except on television.  As ingratiating (ok, brown-nosing) as the candidates have been and will be for the next several days, Iowans know that their small but significant mark on the political stage has an expiration date and they have perfected the art of keeping the candidate’s attention for as long as they can.

At the same time, the people of Iowa can allow the occasional “Harold Hill” to stir them up.  All too often has the political snake-oil salesman been successful in convincing Iowans to buy their elixir in bulk.  Sometimes, this boost out of the gate will propel these folks to eventual victory by way of their party’s nomination, but more often than not, it only results in a pop-shot that ends with a quiet thud out in the desert.

Still, the caucuses have yielded the intended fruit in times past.  For the Democrats, the last three caucuses have produced nominees, dating back to the last century (if that doesn’t make you feel old..) and for the GOP, it goes back to 1992, with the exception of Mike Huckabee’s seeing-eye single that stranded him on first in 2008.

However, the question is, now that the GOP has moved to a more proportional system of appointing delegates, similar to that of the Democrats (I think I just tasted my lunch again), can Iowa stay the power player it has been in past election cycles or will the caucuses wonder into a far less relevant role?  With our Centennial celebration of Iowa Stubborn, does this also mark the end of the reign of said stubbornness?  What will the face of Iowa politics look like in 2016?

Unorthodox, stubborn, salt-of-the-earth or just downright quirky – this could possibly be the end of the Iowa heyday when it comes to the primary politics.  But while the folks of the Hawkeye state have been a combination of inviting, yet standoffish, wise, yet gullible, there are one thing – enduring.

Still, you know, you ought to give Iowa, a try!