Virginia to Rick Perry: ‘Get Lost’

January 16, 2012

By Cole

Friday the 13th was unlucky for Rick Perry & Co. (Gingrich, Santorum, and Huntsman). A federal judge ruled they couldn’t play the Virginia primary game, lose, and then whine about its unfair rules.

(Actually, Santorum and Huntsman were just hoping to catch a break. They hadn’t previously tried to qualify for the ballot in Virginia.)

And in a twist whose irony was apparently lost on this rat pack, they complained that having to hire Virginia residents to gather votes is TOO EXPENSIVE ($50K-$100K).

So, Virginia’s Republican primary on March 6 will have only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the ballot, with no write-ins allowed.

On another front, the state GOP is considering scrapping its loyalty oath, which all primary voters must sign, promising to support the eventual Republican nominee. Even Virginia’s Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, who typically loves any discriminatory, backward idea that crosses his path, thinks this unenforceable oath is a bad idea.

Waiving the oath could open the door for Democrats and independents to flood the polls, hand Paul a resounding victory, and give Romney another dose of heartburn.

Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Perry’s appealing the ruling, but it’s too late. By law, absentee ballots for the military and other votes have to go out by January 21, so Virginia can’t keep diddling around with this indefinitely.

Besides, this mess is probably self-inflicted, if we believe the person who watched Republican volunteers qualifying the signatures candidates collected and tossing out enough, often on a whim, to make Perry come up short. (So did Gingrich, but he admitted some of his names were bogus.)

But after watching George W. Bush “win” twice in questionable squeakers, voting hanky-panky is sort of expected from Republicans. They talk about loving this country, then treat it like some banana republic, where rules can always be bent to their advantage.


Let’s Abolish Pointless Primaries

January 13, 2012

By Cole

Mitt Romney won Iowa by 8 votes (or maybe not) and got 39% of New Hampshire’s primary votes.

Why won’t people admit it signifies NOTHING?

Candidates trying to woo voters one state at a time is expensive, inefficient, and crazy. The only ones who benefit are TV talking heads who need gum-flapping fodder.

Romney managed to snow a fraction of the voters in 2/50ths of the country, and suddenly he’s the “inevitable” choice to run against Obama.

Fiddle-ticks.

Instead of having candidates play hopscotch across the map, preaching to the choir, they should be given a month (2 max) to make a national pitch. Give them the air time the networks would otherwise squander on baseless prognosticating.

After they give it their best shot, their fate is decided at the convention.

As it is now, they get so many do-overs every time they stick a foot in their mouth, they manage to get something right sooner or later. We’ve seen this as, one by one, the Republican wannabes have risen to the top, only to quickly plunge again into disfavor when they remind people again what jerks they are.

Here’s how we kill primaries:

  • Voters, consistently lie to every pollster. Give a different pick every time you’re asked. Keep the poll numbers hopping. I had hoped New Hampshire voters would be wily enough to do this, but they were so disgustingly predictable, they deserve to forfeit “First Primary” status.
  • Use “eeenie, meenie, mynie, moe” in the voting booth. Or if you can write in a name, make it someone dead. The results couldn’t be less meaningful than how you choose now.

By dragging things out with state primaries, the contenders just have more time to fling dirt at each other, which the press eats up and pukes out on the rest of us. It’s downright sickening.

Instead of vying for the title of “Phoniest Panderer,” let candidates forget stumping, handshaking, baby-kissing, and debating, and get real. Force them to channel their energy into submitting detailed, factual blueprints of their proposed presidencies that people can evaluate and compare without all the hot air.

Electing a president should be serious, yet people begin it with this party game.

And instead of incessantly bilking the electorate for millions in campaign donations, candidates could let the money stay in people’s pockets, where most of them claim it belongs anyway.

The bottom line is that our political process desperately needs to grow up.


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