Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keeping the clowns performing

It’s no secret that some liberals/progressives have openly urged Democrats living in open primary states (that is, states where voting in a primary election isn’t restricted to members of one party) to vote in the Republican Primary for that troglodyte extraordinaire, Rick Santorum. Apart from the entertainment value, they argue that it serves to weaken the Republicans going into November and, if Santorum wins the nomination, he’d be easily defeated by President Obama. Hm…

This video from Second City’s “The Partisans”, loaded with innuendo and double entendres, is an open appeal for Democrats to do that. They say on their YouTube post:
“To any who oppose such tactics on moral grounds, one might ask if they're part of the same group of people who oft bemoan the passive, compromise-y tactics of the current administration. Be the change you've been waiting for, and so forth.”
There’s ample precedent for this. In 2008, for example, rightwing radio blowhard Rush Limburger Limbaugh suggested that Republicans vote in Democratic primaries where they could. “Operation Chaos” was Rushies’ plot to disrupt the Democratic selection process by having his backers cross party lines to vote for Hillary Clinton. In at least two states, Indiana and Texas, Clinton was inarguably helped by Republicans crossing over, though it’s impossible to know whether they were participating in “Operation Chaos” or if they simply preferred Clinton over Obama; while either explanation is possible, in my opinion the latter is far more plausible.

In a pure and perfect world, I’d be opposed to this sort of thing because it makes a mockery of the election process and it’s downright nasty to meddle in the other party’s affairs to gain advantage for yourself. But this world—especially the world of US politics—is far from pure and absolutely not perfect, so people will seek strategic advantage wherever they can find it, regardless of what anyone else thinks. So, I won’t condemn it, even though I doubt I would do it.

Dubious morality aside, is this too risky? The Partisans answer that, too:
“To those who say Santorum is an actual threat in national polls because Rasmussen has him up by three amongst left-handed seniors or whatever: whatever. Careful observers will note that in a field of candidates this jaw-droppingly lame, everybody gets a taste of sweet sweet candy—if only for a moment.”
They provide a link to a HuffPo story from October of last year about how Herman Cain (anyone remember him?) was surging in the polls. The implication is that the Republican field is filled with no-hopers, all of whom get a turn as “front runner” in the race to their party’s nomination, so Santorum is just another of those.

Maybe—but he’s also the most dangerous of them all. Romney has never met a position on an issue that he doesn’t like, Newt will say anything and pander to anyone if it will help Newt make money, Ron is loopy on his best days. Santorum alone actually believes what he says. He’s not pandering to the radical religious extremists as Bush 2 did in 2000 and 2004, he really believes what he’s saying. He doesn’t believe in separation of church and state and really does want the US to be a radical right “Christian” theocracy. The question is, do enough US voters want that too, and, would enough Democratic voters sit home in a childish hissy fit and allow Ricky to squeak in?

For me, the morality of voting in a Republican primary in order to weaken the eventual nominee is irrelevant: Voting for Santorum for any reason is just too risky.

I would love to hear what you think about all this—don’t be afraid to tell me in a comment!


cheapblueguitar said...

I completely agree. That man is so dangerous it's scary that he's gotten this far and this much attention already.

Roger Owen Green said...

I ABSOLUTELY would vote for Santorum. The chaos factor alone is sweet.

There are only c. 30 delegate votes up; Michigan was penalized by 50% for voting early. It's a proportional state, NOT winner-take-all.

Santorum's not going to win - a brokered convention, though, is more likely, and it's going to be either a damaged Romney or some white knight.