Exhibit A for Closed Primaries

I understand the arguments for and against open primaries. On the pro side, they allegedly bring new voters into the process, who could theoretically expand the base. Independents make up a growing portion of the electorate, and the parties need to appeal to them.

On the con side, why should parties allow non-members to pick their standard bearers? And don’t open primaries expose parties to ratfucks?

Well, the energized Democrats had a chance to shit-can a bad rep in Illinois yesterday: anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, nepotism DINO Dan Lipinski. But thanks to Trump supporters voting in the Democratic primary, Lipinski will continue to not represent his Democratic constituents.

The punchline? The Trump supporters felt free to flock to the Democratic primary because a literal Nazi was running unopposed in the Republican primary. It’s a pretty convincing argument for closed primaries.

169 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Closed primaries. Fin.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    Nicolle Wallace is on vacation this week and I think I’m gonna die.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    The Trump supporters felt free to flock to the Democratic primary because a literal Nazi was running unopposed in the Republican primary.

    You mean they didn’t throw a torch lit rally in support of the R candidate? Strange.

  4. 4
    BC in Illinois says:

    The rule should be simple and inflexible:

    You want to select the Democratic candidate?
    Be a Democrat.

    If the Nazis want to help select the Republican candidate, that’s up to them.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    I posited in the morning thread that one risk of open primaries is that independents are more likely to be resentful if the party voters go with another candidate.

    Even the simple act of same-day registration would help mitigate that problem.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    I also think this shows that the assumption that somehow independents are more progressive or more antiestablishment than Dem voters is false.

  7. 7
    James E. Powell says:

    @Baud:

    I can understand that, but consider that party members will certainly be resentful when the independents go with a candidate who is a dick-weed.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    Independents make up a growing portion of the electorate, and the parties need to appeal to them.

    I’m not sure why we would want to pander to a bunch of Independents/Republicans. If these morons can’t either recognize what voting for a R means, or at least stay home, then there should be no cost or effort meant to go and pull them into the light.

  9. 9
    Mary G says:

    Only 76% of Democrats disapproved of Trump? Something is wrong with that poll.

  10. 10
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: I can’t believe I’ve become a fan. I saw her on Letterman a couple years ago and sincerely, even taking into account my partisan bias, thought she was as dumb as a rock. In part because she talked about how proud she was to have been part of the Bush White House. But if there’s a better example in politics of what an empty bag of fucks looks like, I’m unaware of it.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: Anecdotally, that rings true to me too. Same-day registration sounds like a good solution. When Sanders die-hards were installed on the Democratic rules reform committee in numbers that outweighed their actual membership in the party, they made a hard push for open primaries. I sure hope it doesn’t stick.

  12. 12

    OT but the nerve of these people!

    BOOM! Alexander Nix and the Mercers have created a new data company, EMERDATA LIMITED. Just yesterday Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer were named directors. The address on the business is identical to SCL Group (Cambridge Analytica).Don't let them get away with this!RETWEET!— Ed Krassenstein 💎 (@EdKrassen) March 21, 2018

  13. 13
    bystander says:

    @Corner Stone: Better John Heileman than Steve Kornacki. Jill Wine Banks has settled on a new hairstyle and it’s always fun to hear perfect Chicagoese.

    How was Jeremy Bash married to Dana Bash?

  14. 14
    Mike J says:

    On the pro side, they allegedly bring new voters into the process, who could theoretically expand the base.

    People who haven’t voted aren’t registered as anything. I don’t see any obstacle to requiring them to pick a party.

  15. 15
    Calouste says:

    This is not exhibit A. We’re already through the Latin, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit and a host of other alphabets on this one.

  16. 16

    How do you square closed primaries with same day registration which I also think is important?

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @James E. Powell: I just think party membere are less likely to run away from the nominee than people who don’t identify with the party. I wish there were a way to empirically test that.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You register with the party, you vote.

  19. 19
    randy khan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Election day registrants get to pick their party. If you’re already registered to vote, then you vote with the party where you’re registered. (Personally, I’d also let independents who are registered already declare on primary day, but then they’re registered for the party, and no longer are independents unless they affirmatively change registration later.)

  20. 20
    tobie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I gather same-day registration is supposed to make a big difference with first-time and/or occasional voters. I never understood what the big deal was about insisting that people register at least two or three weeks before an election. Maryland (my state) has a pretty high voter participation rate and the deadline for registering is about two weeks before an election.

  21. 21
    ruemara says:

    We can do this when we achieve being a perfect & honest species where no one has horrible intentions, we navigate our mild disagreements through a rational airing of positions and work to create solutions and we all fart unicorn glitter.

    So, 2020?


    2020000

  22. 22
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How about something like:

    1) Closed primaries, voters have to declare party N (30?) days before voting in party primary.
    2) Same day registration for General Elections. No need to declare party preference on registering.

    Primary elections should be mainly for people who have strong party identification. Voting in general elections, though, must be open to everyone even those who are apathetic about political parties.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  23. 23
    James E. Powell says:

    @Baud:

    Anti-establishment can mean just about anything. A lot of people who call themselves anti-establishment have been voting for the RW pro-corporate white Protestant ruling class party since 1980.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When you register, including same day, you pick which party you want (or pick None of the Above). That determines which primary ballot you get. Basically, the threshold is “am I willing to call myself a Democrat?”, even for just a day. If the answer is no, why should you get a voice in picking the party’s nominee?

  25. 25

    There’s same day party registration in Iowa. I once saw a guy switch his party to D, vote, and then come out and switch back to R.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Has anyone proved that those 19% of people who approve(d) of Trump yet voted in the Democratic primary were *not* registered Democrats? I don’t see that anywhere.

  27. 27
    Haydnseek says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: As I recall, Nicole Wallace was Bush’s communications director, a job not unlike being Stevie Wonder’s optometrist.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    I like closed primaries too, but mostly because I hate those “I vote the man, not the Party people”. They always say it right before they tell you they are voting for a horrible person. They think it’s some indication of how high-minded they are- not at all true.

    Ohio’s are closed, thank God.

  29. 29
    Mike J says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It would be odd since most polls show nowhere near 20% of Dems approving Trump.
    https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/politics/democrats-trump-approval-history/index.html

  30. 30
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @BC in Illinois: Agreed. Joining a party is free, fairly trivial (in most states). It’s not an impediment towards voting in a primary.

    If you want to pick the Dem nominee, join the Democratic party. If you want to pick the Republican nominee, join the Republican party. If you whine about these choices, you’re not taking the entire thing seriously.

  31. 31

    @Baud: @randy khan: So if you are already registered, you must actively switch party registration before Election Day? If you are not registered, the act of registering to vote also registers you as voter for the party whose ballot you want? Okay, I could see that working.

  32. 32
    John PM says:

    Betty, I don’t think Lipinski is a good example to use to push for closed primaries. Lipinski serves a heavily white ethnic district in Chicago’s Southwest side and Southwest suburbs. The fact that 19% of people who voted in the Democratic primary support Trump does not necessarily make them Republican rat-fuckers. Instead, the voters are exactly the kind of people who would (a) vote for Lipinski because they have always voted Democratic in the primary and voted for Lipinski’s father, and (b) would vote for Trump because they do not like the blacks and browns.

  33. 33
    James E. Powell says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Good point. I’m thinking there are still quite a few people who ID as Democrats for local & state, but vote R for president, senator, and congress.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    I always wonder about these electeds, too. Who do they represent? They’re in the ratfucker caucus? They represent “Democrats, but circa 1986”? Why does he want this job, anyway? So he can oppose Democratic priorities? There aren’t enough Republicans to handle that job?

  35. 35
    germy says:

    The recently suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica referred to black clients using a racial slur, according to a leaked email.

    Alexander Nix referred to two prospective clients as “n*ggers” in the internal email, which was first reported Wednesday by The Times of London.

  36. 36
    Barbara says:

    I think Illinois is like Virginia. It doesn’t register party affiliation at all. When a person shows up, there is no party affiliation that is documented in any voting registrar. You ask to vote for the primary of one party or the other. The alternative is for the party to hold a caucus. You can still show up and vote, but the reality is that many fewer people vote, and voter outreach is usually made to those who are known to the party, and thus essentially party members. My understanding is that Lipinski had the support of many unions, which helped get out the vote for him . I don’t think a single example of an undesirable outcome can be generalized so broadly to say that open primaries should be abolished.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I can understand that, but consider that party members will certainly be resentful when the independents go with a candidate who is a dick-weed.

    Sure, but at that point they’re stuck. It’s not as if the Democrats are going to vote for the Nazi, so they’re stuck with the lousy DINO.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Status, and being invited to the coolest parties.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @James E. Powell: West Virginia is still a Dem state. And so was PA-18 where Lamb won.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @Barbara:

    I don’t think a single example of an undesirable outcome can be generalized so broadly to say that open primaries should be abolished.

    Do we have any examples of open primaries leading to a “desired” result? I see who is pushing for open primaries and it makes me a little unnerved.

  41. 41
    Another Scott says:

    @germy: This is my Shocked, Shocked face.

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  42. 42
    les says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How do you square closed primaries with same day registration which I also think is important?

    UHH–register as a Democrat on the same day?

  43. 43
    Steve in the DFW says:

    @MisterForkbeard:

    If you want to pick the Dem nominee, join the Democratic party.

    Also, if you want to BE the Dem nominee, join the Democratic party.

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I see No Labels, the Republican front group that employs erstwhile perennial veep short-lister Evan Bayh, Tweety’s favorite Democrat Ed Rendell and I believe Loathsome Joe Lieberman (with Pete Peterson’s money?) is declaring Lipinski’s scrape-by as a victory for the center against the “far-left”

  45. 45
    eyedubya says:

    Not Exhibit A, I would posit. This district was drawn specifically to corral as many Polish and other white ethnic Chicago Democrats into one constituency for Lipinski’s benefit. Furthermore, I cannot imagine any r-w Republicans ditching the chance to dump their pro-Choice governor in their own Republican primary just to ratfvck a much lower-profile Democratic primary.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Pick a side! It’s all about him. He needs a hand-crafted, individual party? Party of One. And in a legislative body that requires a majority! He’s not even in the right place. Be in the executive branch, or better yet, work in a different sector all together.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    as a victory for the center against the “far-left”

    Seems awfully labelly.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Kay: He probably would if he had marketable skills for the Executive Branch or another line of work.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: just saw a blurb on MSNBC about Bannon and CA focus group testing most of trump’s campaign, including “the wall” and “drain the swamp”, both ideas trump thought stupid until the mouth-breathers at his rallies started hooting their approval, as well as “race realism” in 2014. Found that people who responded to those messages were also very pro-Putin. I thought they said it was based on a WaPo article but I just checked their website and can’t find it

  50. 50

    There are NO good reasons for open primaries. None. People who want to vote for the party’s candidate but don’t want to actually JOIN the party can just eat a bag of dicks. Tired of that whining. Do you also want to pick the Green Party’s candidates? No? Then STFU. You can vote for whomever you want in the general election.

    And Exhibit A would be that asshole Sheriff David Clarke, who got elected AS A FUCKING DEMOCRAT time after time, even though he’s a Tea Partier’s wet dream.

    BTW, I live in an open primary state. If you are a Republican who decides to “cross over” and vote in a Democratic primary for whatever reasons, your name will be listed on canvassing rolls as a Democrat from here on out. So if you don’t want your local Democratic party calling you for money and knocking on your doors and sending you postcards, then don’t vote as a Democrat. It’s really that simple.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Pundits should be term-limited. That market doesn’t function properly because rich people are skewing it. The state needs to impose some rules.

    A decade after leaving office – no more tv appearances. Presidents get an exception. How long, exactly, are we stuck with Ed Rendel? Forever? Until he dies on the set of Morning Joe?

  52. 52
    trnc says:

    It’s a pretty convincing argument for closed primaries.

    I agree. Close that shit up pronto.

  53. 53
    Chyron HR says:

    Um, no, the great one decreed that Republicans who vote in Democratic primaries are actually more progressive than the filthy Democrat masses. That’s why His Revolution demands all primaries be open so that progressivnessism will blossom across this land. Now say fifty Hail Janes, then go forth and sin no more.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    It;s such an obnoxious role to assume for yourself. “I’m in charge of watering down what these other people come up with”

    No one needs that person, really.

  55. 55
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: How long, exactly, are we stuck with Ed Rendel? Forever? Until he dies on the set of Morning Joe?

    They’ll prop him or put his head in a jar or something

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    Democrats are completely justified in complaining too, because it’s NOT reciprocal. There are NO moderate Republicans.

    Why are we stuck with being “the moderating influence” while Republicans run around expressing their id all over the place?

    I’m sick of that role. They can do it for a while. They get to act like 3 years olds having tantrums and our role is to soothe the agitated public? “There, there. Everything is FINE” They can be the adults for a while.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Maybe he can become a pundit.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    kindness says:

    I agree with Betty. California moved to Open primaries and I did not agree with it. If someone really wants to mess with the opposition party let them re-register under that party in time for them to be able to vote in a primary for that party.

    Also – I was so offended at all the BernieBros who whined incessantly that Hillary won the CA primary it pissed me off royal.

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    @eyedubya: You and others who pointed out possible flaws in my theory may be correct. I don’t know the district, so I’ve made assumptions that might be bullshit. Happens a lot! 🙂 I should be on Morning Joe!

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Southern Beale:

    And Exhibit A would be that asshole Sheriff David Clarke, who got elected AS A FUCKING DEMOCRAT time after time, even though he’s a Tea Partier’s wet dream.

    Unless the party is allowed to throw people out for failing to toe the ideological line, that kind of thing is going to happen.

  62. 62

    @les: Okay. Do already registered voters get to change on Election Day? If not, why not? If so, what is the point of registering?

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I always loathed him. He’s always been like this, too. He took the 1990’s conservative Democrat and molded it into a newer version for plutocrats. In what sense is he relevant? I have heard everything he says a million times and it wasn’t that smart when I heard it the first time. My God, how many Pennsylvania governors have their been since he left? Why is this ONE with us forever?

  64. 64
    lgerard says:

    Why would republicans pass up an opportunity to vote in the highly contentious governors race just to vote for Lipinsky?

    This doesn’t make sense to me

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I would like to play the role of the Dem’s Torquemada.

    Torquebauda!

  66. 66
    Barbara says:

    @Corner Stone: No, you just have to recognize that in some states like Virginia the opposite of an open primary isn’t a closed primary, it’s a caucus, which tends to freeze people out of the process even when they do agree with you.

  67. 67
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mary G:

    Only 76% of Democrats disapproved of Trump? Something is wrong with that poll.

    No, 76% of people *voting in the Democratic primary* disapproved of Trump. The problem is that 20% of the people voting in that primary were r*atf*ckers, not Democrats.

    Similar problems propped up Hillary’s vote in 2008 and Sanders’ in 2016. Anything to mess up the Democratic party.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Illinois also has same day registration. You can’t have closed primaries and same day registration.

  69. 69
    Yutsano says:

    @Baud: NO ONE EXPECTS THE BAUDIAN INQUISITION!!!

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @kindness:

    California moved to Open primaries and I did not agree with it.

    Then we switched to top two primaries, which are better in some ways and worse in others. Personally, I think we should trash a lot of the system and go to proportional representation wherever it makes sense. Proportional representation would also do away with gerrymandering.

  71. 71
    The Moar You Know says:

    We have voluntary open primaries in CA.

    Dem is open.
    GOP is closed.

    I eagerly await the disaster that will inevitably unfold. All it takes to prevent it is a decision by the CA Democratic Party. They won’t do it.

  72. 72
    ruemara says:

    @germy: Read that. My face, t’is unsurprised.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @rikyrah:Illinois also doesn’t require you to declare a party when registering to vote. How do you police whether the person voting is a Dem or not?

    There are also people (like me) who don’t register their political affiliation for religious reasons. What do you do with those people?

    (happy Naw Ruz y’all too!)

  74. 74
    Fair Economist says:

    @eyedubya:

    Furthermore, I cannot imagine any r-w Republicans ditching the chance to dump their pro-Choice governor in their own Republican primary just to ratfvck a much lower-profile Democratic primary.

    But it’s a fact many did. 19% of the voters weren’t Democrats, and they overwhelmingly supported Trump, so they weren’t left-leaning independents.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    That’s what I was wondering.I like being able to tell anyone-find the polling place where you live , take a piece of mail and go vote.

  76. 76
    Schlemazel says:

    Out here on the frozen tundra we have had problems with the GOP voting on the Dem side in primaries. You can chose one party the other & then vote only on that side. Because the GOP is top-down they rarely have a primary fight while the DFL has more challengers. It has happened that Republicans have helped chose the weakest opponent to run against. There is no counter argument that overcomes this disadvantage.

    The dreamy-eyed here are now big on ranked-choice. In heavily liberal areas that would probably produce more liberal results (and the opposite for heavily conservative areas) I have no real idea what to expect from the vast middle though

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    I like making people stand up and declare themselves Democrats. Maybe 2 weeks before the primary.

    Actually, I think the upcoming Marches for our Lives this Saturday are going to be a huge organizing tool for Democrats. Even while the kids are staying stringently nonpartisan, they are doing their homework and it’s crystal clear which party is doing the bidding of the NRA, not permitting the CDC to study gun carnage … they are woke. They will figure it out.

    And I gag at hearing Lipinski described as a “moderate” Democrat. No, he is not. Atypical Democrat, maybe.

  78. 78
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Nooo! Who’s subbing in? I hope not Kasie “D.C.” Hunt. She has been bugging me lately.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Barbara: I am afraid I do not follow. If we don’t have open primaries then we have to have a caucus?

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
    Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

    This fits with what Comey said too- Comey said Sessions had to recuse because of facts he (Comey) couldn’t reveal- or something like that.

    Jesus CHRIST but they are corrupt. The AG being so corrupt still shocks me. It’s the shred of institutional faith I still held. It’s terrifying because federal prosecutors have so much power. They’re really in a category by themselves as far as the opportunity to abuse power.

    Sessions may have fired the people who were investigating him. The hubris of these people cannot be over-stated. They think they’re untouchable.

  81. 81
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Dem is open.
    GOP is closed.

    I eagerly await the disaster that will inevitably unfold. All it takes to prevent it is a decision by the CA Democratic Party.

    CA Democrats are liberal enough that I don’t think Republicans can mess things up here. I’m sure they tried with Hillary-Sanders and if they couldn’t throw *that* to Sanders, they aren’t going to get a forced birther or such through.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    @randy khan:
    Illinois doesn’t require you to register with a party when you register to vote.

  83. 83
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Can’t you? I thought same day registering states could hold closed primaries as long as they required the same-day registrants to vote in the primary of the party they chose (and excluded unaffiliated voters from primaries).

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @rikyrah: You can’t pick a party and then vote right after?

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    We have voluntary open primaries in CA.

    Only for president. For everything else, we have jungle primaries.

  86. 86

    No primaries. Candidates must be selected by opaque processes. Ideally, the names of individual candidates would not even appear on the ballot — this is the logical conclusion of scrutin de liste. No one votes for any individual candidate for any office. All votes are cast against a party.

    (Also, if elections are to be first-past-the-post, then there cannot be more than two candidates. If you want to be able to have more than two candidates, then you must use something other than first-past-the-post.)

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @germy:

    He seems nice.

  88. 88
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah:

    You can’t have closed primaries and same day registration.

    (Serious question) Why not? Why couldn’t something like my proposal at #22 work?

    Party elections and general elections are different things (and treated as different things at least in some states).

    I think parties being able to set their own rules and decide what they stand for is important. I also think that voting in general elections needs to be as universal and easy as possible.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  89. 89
    Barbara says:

    @Corner Stone: There is no party registration in Virginia. Virginia doesn’t identify voters by party. Neither does Illinois. When the state holds primaries, voters ask for the slate of whichever party’s primary they want to vote in. When a party wants to stack the deck in who gets to be nominated, it holds a caucus. That’s how Republicans froze out Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in favor of Ken Cucinelli in 2013. A primary almost certainly would have given us a different and stronger Republican nominee. They haven’t tried that gambit again, considering the consequences. This whole area is a little dicey, legally, as to the interplay between what the state has to offer in the way of resources and what the party can insist on in the way of party identification rules.

  90. 90

    @Elizabelle: Okay, what about the lifelong party activist who moves to the state a week before the primary? Effectively shut out. Can’t vote in the old state, can’t vote in the new. Are we okay with that? Is it a price we must pay to avoid ratfuckers?

  91. 91

    @Betty Cracker:

    Happens a lot! 🙂 I should be on Morning Joe!

    THAT would get me to start watching Joe of the Morning.

  92. 92
    The Moar You Know says:

    CA Democrats are liberal enough that I don’t think Republicans can mess things up here. I’m sure they tried with Hillary-Sanders and if they couldn’t throw *that* to Sanders, they aren’t going to get a forced birther or such through.

    @Fair Economist: I’ve been voting since I was 18 – 1984 for reference. For about ten of those years, CA has been a “guaranteed blue” state. For about another five years before that, it was a tossup.

    For 19 years of my “voting career” before that, it was “guaranteed red”. And it was red for a long time before that.

    Republicans are working hard to “mess things up” again and sooner or later they will succeed. There’s an attitude among CA Dems I find very disquieting: they think CA will be blue forever. That is not guaranteed and TBH it freaks me out a lot when people assert that it is.

  93. 93
    Fair Economist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Can’t vote in the old state, can’t vote in the new. Are we okay with that? Is it a price we must pay to avoid ratfuckers?

    It happens anyway when they move to a state with an earlier primary, or one that requires pre-registration.

    As an activist of sorts myself I’m perfectly content with possibly losing my vote in a *party* primary if not doing so means dozens of people will vote in my party’s primary to mess up my party. It’s not like they are losing their vote – they can vote in their own primaries.

  94. 94
    lgerard says:

    One of my favorite tasks as an election official was explaining to someone that they were ineligible to vote in the primary election because they had registered as a member of the Green Party, and the Green Party had no candidates on the ballot.

    consequences!

  95. 95

    @germy: You could see how Nix was dripping condescension when talking to the supposed Sri Lankan contact in those videos. I also think that the supposed Sri Lankan contact person did a great job of lulling the CA guys into complacency by playing the part of an ex colonial subject in awe of the pucca sahibs he is dealing with.

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    They can be the adults for a while.

    Kay, they’re the kind of adults who’d rape and murder children if there weren’t laws against it.

  97. 97
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I enjoyed that aspect as well.

  98. 98
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    I don’t know why you are so shocked, Kay. I am not.
    The man was too phucking racist to become a judge in the REAGAN Administration.
    I guess I was one of the people who believed in the Russian conspiracy from the beginning, because it’s the only thing that explained everything. I guess the only thing that I didn’t figure was that the GOP, as a whole, has no problem with TREASON against this country. Now that that is clear, they must be dealt with accordingly.

  99. 99
    Elizabelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. It might very well be. That activist can still vote in the general. I don’t think we are going to be losing longtime activists. They know the stakes.

    ETA: I worked in Delaware for the 2008 primary, which was closed. Party registration required; in the Obama volunteer office, we fielded so many calls from voters anguished they could not vote for BHO. So it goes, lesson learned for them, and I doubt we lost any support when the general rolled around.

  100. 100
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know: I’d say CA has been distinctly blue much longer than 10 years. All the way back to 2000 it was thought slightly scandalous that Bush would campaign here since he supposedly had no chance.

    That said, I’m not assuming CA will be blue forever, just the next few elections. We can always change the rules if CA shifts back to be a swing state.

  101. 101
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Fair Economist:

    19% of the voters weren’t Democrats

    Citation needed.

  102. 102

    @Fair Economist: As noted above, I think that same day registration is important. I am trying to figure out how to have effective closed primaries and same day registration.

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    @Corner Stone: you do pick a party and then vote.hmmm…I guess closed primary and same day registration could work

  104. 104

    @dmsilev:

    Basically, the threshold is “am I willing to call myself a Democrat?”, even for just a day. If the answer is no, why should you get a voice in picking the party’s nominee?

    Ding ding ding.

  105. 105
    debbie says:

    Has this been shared yet? Pretty classy. Not to mention the penmanship is far superior to The Current Misery’s.

  106. 106
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    The AG being so corrupt still shocks me. It’s the shred of institutional faith I still held. It’s terrifying because federal prosecutors have so much power. They’re really in a category by themselves as far as the opportunity to abuse power.

    And if not stopped soon, there won’t be enough federal judges left that can be trusted not to actual fucking Nazis too.

    The institutions are crumbling before our eyes.

  107. 107
    Elizabelle says:

    All that said, I think New York’s registration system for the primaries is insane. What is it — six months? Ridiculous. A shorter deadline would be better for the voters.

    I don’t agree with much Bernie says about electioneering (caucuses, for dog’s sake), but I agree the six month cutoff was insane.

  108. 108
    Fair Economist says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    19% of the voters weren’t Democrats

    Citation needed.

    Seriously? The OP pointed out 19% approved of Trump. We all know Democrats who approve of Trump are a rounding error.

  109. 109
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Kay:

    The AG being so corrupt still shocks me. It’s the shred of institutional faith I still held.

    Forgot John Mitchell, did you?

  110. 110
    Fair Economist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    As noted above, I think that same day registration is important. I am trying to figure out how to have effective closed primaries and same day registration.

    Having people declare party preference on registration should be enough. There aren’t going to be that many people so dedicated to the Republican party they’ll vote to mess up the Democratic primary yet who never voted before. You’re basically down to campus Young Republicans at that point and how many of them are left?

  111. 111
    debbie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Couldn’t the people who recently moved cast a provisional ballot?

  112. 112
    Waratah says:

    @Another Scott: I thought this is what we already had
    But if not this what we should have.

  113. 113
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Fair Economist: Poles in southwest Chicago? Voting Lipinski and Trump is far from a rounding error. Again, if there are data, show them. If all you have are feelings, duly noted.

  114. 114
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    What if the key is Sessions and we had a Saturday Night Massacre and we didn’t even know it?

    This is how I think now, because none of these fucking people TELL me anything I want to know. I don’t care about Hope Hicks. I want to know if Sessions lied in congressional testimony (he did – “perjury” may have a legal meaning but “lying” doesn’t) but more than that I want to know WHY he lied. Why did the attorney general lie about Russian contacts? That’s the question.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Heck, Bush’s firing of AGs who didn’t go along with his shit.

  116. 116
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Kay:

    What if the key is Sessions and we had a Saturday Night Massacre and we didn’t even know it?

    He recused himself. Besides, I would think something that serious if it happened would have leaked by now.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Anyway, here in RI, to vote in a primary you have to be registered 30 days before (registered to vote and affiliated with that party.) If you were previously affiliated with another party, you have to disaffiliate 90 days before. To vote in the general, you likewise have to be registered 30 days before.

  119. 119

    @debbie: provisional ballots are a last resort, not something to be used to plug a hole in our primary voting scheme.

  120. 120

    @Fair Economist: I wouldn’t rely on the blueness of your voters to solve systemic issues. WI has a proud progressive history. Until 2010, we were solidly blue.

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The other thing I would like to know is the connection/affiliation between the religious Right and Putin. Not a political theory. Whether there is an actual connection between US religious Right groups and far Right Russian politicians. Sessions is one of theirs. He’s the AG of the religious Right. If he’s lying about Russian connections then they are somehow involved in this in a formal organizational sense.

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay: At this point the $500 question is what are the career people in AG thinking. If Sessions goes, suddenly they’re in the spotlight and we know next to nothing about them beyond their career achievements on their public profiles.

    Adam has been fairly confident that Sessions has been neutralized by the IC warning him they know what he’s done.

    I am not so sure about that. It seems to me that Sessions is gradually moving towards his own all in on the Treason express and may be the one to drop the actual hammer. Though I’m not so much worried that they’ll try to fire Mueller as I am they’ll try to ruin the investigation by other methods while pretending that its still ongoing.

    But yeah, we’re relying a lot on leaks to get any real information at this point because the fucking fucks in the media are too concerned about ratings and official access to do actual reporting.

  123. 123
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The party primary rules make sense to me.

    The register-30-days-before-the-general is probably very common, but it’s excessively restrictive these days. Google/Demos tells me that 15 states + DC have same day registration. That should be a national standard for general elections.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  124. 124
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    If they’re just going to leave me in the dark forever I will come up with my own theories. It’s been almost 3 years. When do we get some actual information about the sleazy, lying Trump hires and just what they are up to?

    Comey has his faults but he isn’t a liar. He knew they were looking at Sessions, and he (essentially) said so, if an annoyingly cryptic way. Why didn’t the public know?

  125. 125
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Didn’t Sessions recuse himself?

  126. 126
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Found that people who responded to those messages were also very pro-Putin.

    Any chance they asked them about Hitler?

  127. 127
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    No argument there, but having just moved and not thinking to re-register, voting provisionally was what allowed me to vote.

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    The other thing I would like to know is the connection/affiliation between the religious Right and Putin. Not a political theory. Whether there is an actual connection between US religious Right groups and far Right Russian politicians.

    That’s a money question. There’s been some reports in the news about it, but nothing concrete because that would require forensic level accounting to tie specific groups and people to the Russians.

    Outside of the FBI, IRS And Secret Service, not a lot of organizations at home have the resources and expertise to unravel it.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Didn’t Sessions recuse himself?

    He did. He also lies a lot.

  130. 130
    kindness says:

    @Another Scott: The problem with same day registration is that doesn’t stop anyone who just wants to screw with the opposition parties results. That’s kinda the point of Betty’s piece.

    For me I think 30 days prior to the election is plenty. You can still carry out your diabolical scheme of screwing the other guy. You just have to plan ahead. And it is all the Boaty McBoatfaces we want to keep out.

  131. 131
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    It’s been almost 3 years. When do we get some actual information about the sleazy, lying Trump hires and just what they are up to?

    The media is too busy enjoying the never-ending flood of new Trump stories to care.

    The lack of research and investigation has been shocking and horrifying since day one.

  132. 132

    @debbie: it’s what allowed you to “vote”—was it even counted, if the difference between the top two was more than the number of provisionals? Anyway, I have no problem with a same-day closed primary. It would keep out the people from 2016 who wanted to vote in the primary but were unwilling to sully themselves with a party label, because why the fuck should they get a say? And it avoids the appearance of, as well as actual, suppressive rules.

  133. 133
    different-church-lady says:

    @Chyron HR: Let’s just call Sanders’ campaign what it really was: a hostile takeover attempt that got rebuffed, but left the target company badly battered and weakened.

  134. 134
    Another Scott says:

    @Kay: The SPLC has several articles documenting the connection between right wing “religious” groups and Russia. E.g. ‘Religious Liberty’ and the Anti-LGBT Right:

    In 2014, [the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)] dispatched chief counsel Benjamin Bull to Russia to meet with Yelena Mizulina, the legislative leader of that country’s crackdown on LGBT people. Support for the criminalization of gay sex has been a continuing activity for the group since the Lawrence ruling. In 2012, Piero Tozzi, an ADF senior legal counsel, argued in Jamaica that the country should keep its sodomy law because “the pressure to revise the penal law is part of a larger [homosexual] agenda.” He added: “Retention of the legislation prohibiting sodomy is a bulwark against this agenda: remove it and I guarantee the rest of the agenda will follow within a matter of years.” Tozzi also provided input on a case related to the retention of Belize’s criminalization statute, which is still under review by that country’s highest court.

    Vlad’s tentacles are everywhere.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  135. 135
    Princess says:

    Betty, you’re smart but your assumption that the Trump-approvers were Republicans is off the mark in this district. As I commented this morning, this district is full of white guy working stiffs who voted Bernie, and vote Lipinski on the regular. A good number of them no doubt voted for Trump in 2016 rather than vote for — ugh — Hillary. Closed primaries would have made no difference here.

    ETA: As a bunch of people said before me. Not a good idea to use a district you aren’t familiar with to propose a rule for the whole party.

  136. 136

    @different-church-lady: it’s not like they tried to hide it.

  137. 137
    Timurid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Speaking of recusing oneself and very good reasons to do so… this is going to be awkward.

  138. 138
    Another Scott says:

    @kindness: The “Operation Chaos”/ Screw-with-the-other-party stuff only works in Primary elections. That’s why I think that declaring party affiliation sometime before the Primary elections makes sense. I realize that perhaps states that have same day registration may not make the distinction between Primary/General when it comes to registering – I haven’t checked. If they don’t make the distinction, I still would be in favor of same day registration – expanding the universe of voters is important. But, ideally, the rules would be different for party primaries.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  139. 139
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:
    Not that it matters much in the big picture, but I wonder Vlad really believes in the shit he sells; that he truly is White Christianity’s saviour.

  140. 140
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Timurid:
    Sessions should recuse himself from the AG position at this rate.

  141. 141
    The Lodger says:

    @Elizabelle: I know you were talking about the primary, but I immediately thought of this historic Candid Camera bit.

  142. 142
    different-church-lady says:

    @Timurid: Hmmm. And they thought we’d never find out about it?

  143. 143
    Florida Frog says:

    @Yutsano: Off to a Naw-Ruz celebration in a bit. A bunch of us local musicians here played/sang a choral piece to celebrate the Baha’i founder’s 200th birthday. It was a lovely day. The local Baha’i congregation invited us to their Naw-Ruz celebration as a thank you.

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    Why are we stuck with being “the moderating influence” while Republicans run around expressing their id all over the place?

    That’s what makes us the “Mommy Party.” We have to clean up everyone else’s messes, with no thanks and no help from the Daddy Party, forever.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Barbara says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s not a rounding error. I looked at the most recent Gallup data, and 7% of Democrats approve of Trump, and that includes 9% of non-Hispanic whites in total. For white Democrats, of course, the support might exist disproportionately among certain groups of whites — older, midwestern, religiously observant, blue collar, you know, the kind who might be voting in Lipinski’s district. Could it be as high as 19%? I don’t see why not.

    Here’s the link if you want to have a peek: http://news.gallup.com/poll/22.....20Approval

  147. 147
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @James E. Powell: Party organization often lags well behind the willingness of voters to change affiliation. In the blue-collar suburb where I grew up, in southeastern Baltimore County just outside the Baltimore city limits, the GOP has never (in my lifetime) managed to put together enough infrastructure to mount serious challenges to lower offices (state legislature & county council), even though the locals tend to vote Rethuglican for higher posts (I’d have to look this up, but I’d guess that for President, Clinton may have been the only Democratic nominee who’s won the district since the 1960s).

    The point is that since the Democratic primary is really the only election that counts for the lower offices, & MD is a closed-primary state, anyone who wants to have a say in who represents them in Towson (county seat) or Annapolis registers D. As a result that district has more DINOs than Jurassic Park saw on the most fecund of days…

  148. 148
    patroclus says:

    No way to closed primaries in Illinois after the LaRouchian fiasco. How about we have a closed system where only Illinoisians get to decide on what kind of a primary we want? Why should Floridians have a say? And we don’t want binding referenda or initiatives or recalls Californians. I wanted Newman to win, but she could have done that by getting more votes. I want the opportunity to vote for Solidarity or Green or Chicago First or Harold Washington Independents if I want to. As someone who lives in Illinois, I see no reasons for a closed primary in Illinois. Not one.

  149. 149
    Barbara says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I have seen arguments that people should register as a Republican in areas where local government is controlled by Republicans just to have a say in local decision making. I don’t necessarily buy it, but I do know that where I live people who might be Republican in their voting habits never run as Republican, but as Independent, because where I live, Republicans have a hard time getting elected to anything. I suspect that in Lipinski’s district, there are a lot of Legacy Democrats who never changed party affiliation but who are classic Reagan Democrats.

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    @The Lodger:
    @Another Scott: Thank you both. Funny.

    From delaware.com story:

    In a 1963 episode, the show famously closed the State of Delaware at the Pennsylvania border. Dressed in “an official-looking hat,” holding a clipboard and standing at a barricade with a DELAWARE CLOSED TODAY sign, a man from the TV show stopped traffic on Ebright Road leading from Pennsylvania into Delaware and simply told drivers Delaware was closed …. And people fell for it. One woman even asked if New Jersey was open and happily said she’d go there instead.

    It would be fun to watch some vintage Candid Camera episodes today. I mainly remember the one where a guidance counselor told some high school boy that his vocational tests showed he should be a shepherd.

  151. 151
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Well, this is about as extreme an example of “in any given election, any Democrat is better than the Republican opponent” as you can find. This general election will be a choice between a shit sandwich and a shit sandwich with cheese.

  152. 152
    Gravenstone says:

    @ruemara: In the year 2525…

  153. 153
    jackmac says:

    I love Betty Cracker’s perspectives, but she’s wrong here. Trump was hardly a factor in Lipinski’s victory. It was the traditional — and still potent — Democratic organization and it’s powerful election day ground game that helped carry Lipinski. Those were Democrats — albeit many conservative Trump lovers — voting for Lipinski and a closed primary wouldn’t have made a difference. Kudos for Marie Newman for such and impressive showing.

  154. 154
    patroclus says:

    @jackmac: Indeed. The reason for the formation of IVI-IPO was to try and break the power of the Democratic organization – they helped get the open primaries to be standard so that independents and liberal Republicans (and the frequent third party voters) could vote in the omniscient Dem primaries in Cook County and challenge the power of the machine. Only after decades have we even partially succeeded at that goal. And now, because of one primary, we’re being told that all those decades of fighting should be wiped out because of one result that out-of-state liberals don’t like??!! How about trusting those of us who actually live here? How about we Illinoisians just change all of Florida’s rules based on no actual experience or shared history?

  155. 155
    KithKanan says:

    @patroclus: As someone with no dog in this particular fight, Illinois and Florida have both proven to be pretty shit at this whole democracy thing over the years to such a degree that an outside party arbitrarily changing all their elections rules might well be an improvement.

  156. 156
    patroclus says:

    @KithKanan: Possibly, but it wouldn’t exactly be “Exhibit A” for representative democracy, which is supposedly what the system in the U.S. is. I think it was Churchill who said that “[representative] democracy is the worst form of government…except for all the others.”

  157. 157
    Another Scott says:

    @patroclus: Eh?

    I only lived in Chicago for 4 years, long ago, but it looks like the IVI-IPO was formed in 1944.

    Jayne Byrne won because of a freak snowstorm.

    Harold Washington won a 3-way race against Byrne and Dailey with the help of a huge effort to turn out new voters on the South Side.

    Even with all of that, the Machine was still very, very powerful (witness Dailey). I left Chicago in ’83. I don’t know what’s happened there (other than peripherally) since.

    Now that may be your point – that the Machine is still powerful. It’s not at all clear to me, though, that the primary races outlined above turned out the way they did because of there being an Open primary.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  158. 158
    KithKanan says:

    @patroclus: At the moment, I’m not really sure what the system in the U.S. is aside from “Exhibit A” against itself.

  159. 159
    StringOnAStick says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I don’t think Vlad thinks of himself as white Christianity’s savior, but he’s quite aware that posing as such has been very helpful to him with the US evangelicals that think they are!

  160. 160
    patroclus says:

    @Another Scott: Jane Byrne won because Bilandic was a terrible machine Mayor who merely became Mayor because of the first Daley’s death. IVI-IPO, started in 1944 to combat the corrupt Dem machine, supported Byrne and lots of non-Machine Dems voted for her because they were outraged that Mount Bilandic, a humongous pile of salt, was not used to melt the snow and the City was shut down for days. Harold Washington won because of an influx of non-Machine first-time voters (including me in my first Chicago primary) voted for him because he was a competent Congressman and far more in tune with Chicago’s independent voters. Both of those primaries turned out the way they did because they were open primaries – if they had been closed to only machine Dems, Bilandic and either Byrne or Daley would likely have won. jackmac is right – if this were a closed machine primary, Lipinshi would likely have won by a much bigger margin. I like Betty’s posts, but she is wrong here.

  161. 161
    patroclus says:

    @KithKanan: And I’m not sure what system you’re arguing for, but it sure ain’t representative democracy.

  162. 162
    swbarnes2 says:

    @The Moar You Know: California’s being minority-majority is not going to change, so as long as there is a difference in how the parties treat minorities, California will be on the non-racist side, no matter what the parties are called.

  163. 163
    James E. Powell says:

    @swbarnes2:

    Agree for the most part and certainly in the short run. But I’m still ragging on Democrats to avoid complacency, build party structure, and get the next generation of voters involved.

  164. 164
    satby says:

    @John PM: You’ve got it. And in previous elections Lipinski walked away with it even with good challengers. He had union and Democratic party backing. His opponent was great (in spite of the Wilmer endorsement) and she came the closest in 14 years.

    I don’t think Republican voters out Lipinski over the top.

  165. 165
    Chitown Kev says:

    @satby: No…Trump supporting Dems did and as someone already said, in that part of Chicago, “Trump supporting Dems” is not an oxymoron…they didn’t vote for Harold Washington either but they did vote for Obama.

  166. 166
    satby says:

    @Chitown Kev: dude, I’m from Beverly in that area. Lipinski is the “white flight” representative for sure.

  167. 167
    Dupe1970 says:

    @Corner Stone: Also, independents are increasing solely at the expense of Republicans. Which means these voters are not likely “gettable” by Dems.
    Additionally, one could make the argument “forcing” people to vote and identify as Dem could make them more willing to consistently vote for Dem candidates.

  168. 168
    Rob in CT says:

    Semi-open/closed is, IMO, the right way. CT does it like this: you can change your registration up to the day before the primary election if you are registered unaffiliated. If you’re trying to switch between parties, there is a 6 month waiting period. I’d be fine with switching the 1st bit to same-day. But I like the waiting period for going GOP -> Dem or vice versa. And I like making unaffiliateds change their registration to participate, even though I want that to be as painless as possible.

  169. 169
    louc says:

    I live in D.C. and I think we need open primaries. The registration is so lopsided that the winner of the Democratic primary is then by default the winner of the general election. And I find that un-democratic. It also leads to complacency and bloat in the party infrastructure. It’s unhealthy. And look at how Dems are locked out in so many Red states. The advantage of the open election is it could curb the gerrymandering instincts of the dominant party apparatus.

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