Over at Human Events, Jed Babbin endorses a Republican primary reform plan that, if Scott Bakula was able to head back and implement it a few months ago, would have prevented the nomination of John McCain. Jiggle the order of the primaries every four years, and don't let independents and Democrats vote in them.
By allowing cross-over voting, the Republican Party is enabling liberals to choose its nominee. Just as conservatives demand our borders be secure against illegal aliens, conservatives insist that Republicans—and only Republicans—choose the Republican nominee for president.
Just as America cannot be a sovereign nation without secure borders, the Republican Party cannot claim to be an political entity that stands for any principle if it permits its political opponents to control its nomination process.
Actually, Republicans are damn lucky they didn't follow these rules in 2008. John McCain was the only Republican with half a chance of winning the general election. Go back and check those Mitt Romney trial heats: Hillary Clinton could have run Barack Obama over in a Sherman tank, put the video on YouTube, and still clobbered Romney like one of those "opponents" in Mike Tyson's post-Holyfield comeback.
But let's assume Babbin is making a normative argument. What's more in the interest of Republican voters: Getting the candidate that the majority of them want, or getting a more electable candidate (by definition, if he's scoring crossover votes) with whom they don't quite agree? When you ask that question, you have to ask what a "Republican voter" is. It's not a clear-cut question. I've lived in two states (Illinois and Virginia) where I did not choose to belong to a party when I registered to vote. No one did. I would show up on primary day and choose the ballot I wanted, Republican or Democrat. A lot of states run their elections like this: Is the quadrennial choice of a presidential candidate worth overturning all their laws?
What about the states where people join up to vote by party? In every one of them, you can change your affiliation at any time. In some of them, you can do that on election day… in some of them, you can sign a statement explaining why you've done so, how honest you are in your new affiliation, etc. The pool of voters who are always going to vote Democratic, or always going to vote Republican, is fungible. Asserting their right to a nominee is asserting that the idea of a presidential primary is pure democracy, which it clearly is not, and shouldn't be.
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