Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Weird Sketchiness from Rush (JM)

Alright, so I guess sketchiness from Rush is not terribly weird at all. Unless, of course, it was Mega Man's dog Rush, that was one stand up robotic dog. Anyway, it is sketchiness nonetheless. He is advocating that his listeners go out and vote for Hillary in the open primary in order to keep the Democratic contest going. Not only is this unethical, it's really really stupid.

First of all, this is a key problem with open primaries. I recognize that independents deserve a voice in the nomination process, but this level of political gamesmanship just leads to weird outcomes. The saving grace here is that it is terribly, terribly rare for tactical voting of this sort to have any effect on an election. Generally speaking just not enough people do it to make any sort of real substantial impact. However, if it will in this primary is an open and potentially unanswerable question. The truth is, we've seen so much strange stuff go down at this point that I am unwilling to predict anything any more. Chances are though that if Hillary wins it is because Hillary won, not Rush Limbaugh.

Secondly, this is a terrible plan because it really harms local GOP issues. There are apparently several contested down ballot GOP primaries that the Republican voters are shut out of as a result of voting on the Democratic ballot. Of course, the worst case scenario for the GOP would be to siphon off enough McCain support towards Hillary as to give Huck a victory in Texas. If I suspect Rush of anything untoward, it is this motivation. McCain's got the nomination, Rush and the "voices of conservatism" would love McCain to be completely dependent upon them for the support of the base. A loss in Texas will make McCain all the more desperate to shore up the base and may force him to take more extreme policy positions and nominate an establishment conservative as VP.

Finally, I am not so sure an extension of this race is all that bad for the Democrats. Obama is finally starting to get hit by the press. It's better that these contrasts are coming out compared to Hillary than compared to McCain. The fact is the media is paying very little attention to McCain with this race going on. This plays out as ideal for the Dems. No matter who the Democratic nominee is will have been pretty vetted come the general election. It will be time for the media to turn to focus on McCain after all of this is over. The closer to the actual election we are before the media slices and dices McCain the better. Put another way, there is only a certain amount of bloodied a candidate can get, to my mind it doesn't matter how it happens. Better get it out of the way now and keep the public's eye off McCain until it's too late.

Also John McCain is 982, the more names we force him to remember, the better.

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