Monday, January 14, 2008

This Is Sleazy

The next big contest in the presidential primaries is tomorrow in Michigan. Well, for the GOP, at least. The Democratic primary is essentially meaningless, as the state's decision to move the primary up to January resulted in the DNC basically telling the delegates "you're not welcome" at the convention in December. In the wake of that decision, Obama and Edwards pulled their names off the ballot, leaving Hillary as the only front runner left.

What's a Dem in Michigan to do with their, in essence, worthless vote? Well, there is an "undecided" option if their candidate of choice isn't on the ballot. Or they could simply stay home and join those of us whose votes generally never count for anything.

Unsatisfied with those options, Markos, the namesake ringleader over at DailyKos, came up with a third option. Since Michigan practices open primaries, he's encouraging Michigan Dems to cross party lines and vote for local boy Mitt Romney in the GOP primary. The theory is that by helping Mitt win in Michigan (which he desperately needs), it will keep things hopping in the GOP primaries for months to come. The remaining candidates will beat each other up so badly that once the general election comes around it'll benefit the Dems.

I think that's a pretty shitty idea. While I'm not sold on the strategery behind it, that's not my main objection. This is precisely the kind of "politics as sport" that turns voters off from the entire process. It places "team loyalty" over ideals of fair play. For the record, the problem is not that Dems would vote in the GOP primary -the dumbass open primary system ensures that - it's the attempted coordination attempting to influence the race. It's perfectly legal (again, thanks to those open primaries), but not at all ethical, in my opinion. And the argument that all's fair because the GOP has done it before doesn't wash - we're supposed to be better than that, right?

The open primary is an idea that's time has passed, if it ever made any sense in the first place.

UPDATE: All that being said, this is pretty funny:

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