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.