Virginia’s Republican loyalty oath

First, Virginia prevents everybody except Romney and Paul from appearing on the Republican primary ballot.  And now this:

In order to cast their ballots in the GOP nominating contest, Virginians will have to sign a form that says, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first reported the move.

On Wednesday, the state Board of Elections approved the pledge form, as well as signs that will hang in polling places advising voters of the state party’s policy.

The pledge has no legal weight — voters are free to sign the form and then disregard it if they choose — but it is meant to discourage mischief-making by non-Republicans. Virginians do not register to vote by party, making it possible for Democrats and independents to show up and vote in the Republican contest.

Not everyone in the GOP is on board with the idea. Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) said in a press release Thursday that he was opposed to the pledge.

“Virginia’s Republican leadership wants to mandate a loyalty oath when Virginia’s Republican officials are in court fighting the Obamacare mandate?” Marshall said. “This sends the wrong message.”

Marshall noted that the pledge would even disqualify Gingrich, a McLean resident, because the former speaker has said he could not support Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) if Paul secured the nomination.

via Virginia Republicans to require loyalty oath for primary voters – Virginia Politics – The Washington Post.

To bind voters’  conscience or to encourage people to perjure themselves is beyond the pale.  (I know it’s no legally binding, but, as I keep saying, promises are morally binding.)  I guess I won’t be voting, which I bitterly resent, since voting to me is a high civic privilege.  I’m thinking I’ll quit being a Republican.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • LAJ

    That is awful! Why don’t they just change the law so that only registered Republicans can vote?

  • LAJ

    That is awful! Why don’t they just change the law so that only registered Republicans can vote?

  • Random Lutheran

    They’re afraid one of the candidates might have popular appeal and get elected. This is part of their drive-away-the-voters-early campaign.

  • Random Lutheran

    They’re afraid one of the candidates might have popular appeal and get elected. This is part of their drive-away-the-voters-early campaign.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s nice to see Republicans make the voting process difficult for themselves for a change.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s nice to see Republicans make the voting process difficult for themselves for a change.

  • helen

    In NJ, if I remember correctly, I once had to register party affiliation to vote in a primary.
    (The only primary that affected the election was the Democratic at that time. A young buck was challenging the “status quo” so I did it.) :)

  • helen

    In NJ, if I remember correctly, I once had to register party affiliation to vote in a primary.
    (The only primary that affected the election was the Democratic at that time. A young buck was challenging the “status quo” so I did it.) :)

  • Cincinnatus

    Ridiculous.

    On the other hand, I think electoral primaries themselves are ridiculous. Of course, open primaries are the most ridiculous (in what cosmos does it make sense for registered Democrats to be selecting the Republican candidate), but closed primaries are also ridiculous. Primaries have ruined the presidential selection process, and are one of the major factors ensuring that the United States will never have significant and interesting third-party activity.

  • Cincinnatus

    Ridiculous.

    On the other hand, I think electoral primaries themselves are ridiculous. Of course, open primaries are the most ridiculous (in what cosmos does it make sense for registered Democrats to be selecting the Republican candidate), but closed primaries are also ridiculous. Primaries have ruined the presidential selection process, and are one of the major factors ensuring that the United States will never have significant and interesting third-party activity.

  • Tom Hering

    I’m keeping one eye on the Americans Elect experiment. I’m not convinced it will offer us a better candidate, but I’m open to the possibility.

  • Tom Hering

    I’m keeping one eye on the Americans Elect experiment. I’m not convinced it will offer us a better candidate, but I’m open to the possibility.

  • Steven

    This is the Republican Party of the 21st Century. It would be a joke if it didn’t have such deadly serious consequences for our nation.

  • Steven

    This is the Republican Party of the 21st Century. It would be a joke if it didn’t have such deadly serious consequences for our nation.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steven@7 (and Tom as well): I don’t think this little indiscretion is rooted exclusively in some flaw in the Republican character. Would anyone be more surprised were Democrats requiring such “oaths”? I wouldn’t. In my opinion, this is a symptom of partisan politics and mass over-democratization in general.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steven@7 (and Tom as well): I don’t think this little indiscretion is rooted exclusively in some flaw in the Republican character. Would anyone be more surprised were Democrats requiring such “oaths”? I wouldn’t. In my opinion, this is a symptom of partisan politics and mass over-democratization in general.

  • Tom Hering

    Or a symptom of the whole, overblown fear of voter fraud. Which is just partisan politics anyways. Dang. Cincinnatus wins this one. :-(

  • Tom Hering

    Or a symptom of the whole, overblown fear of voter fraud. Which is just partisan politics anyways. Dang. Cincinnatus wins this one. :-(

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@9: I know what you’re trying to do–ZOMG REQUIRING PHOTO IDs AT THE VOTING BOOTH IS A REPUBLICAN ATTEMPT TO REPRESS THE VOTE!!!111–but how does an attempt at “loyalty oaths” relate to voter fraud or movements in other states to, as you implicitly reference, require photo identification in order to limit opportunities for fraud?

    Look, everyone knows that, in states with open primaries, Democrats try to sabotage Republican primaries and vice versa. I personally know dozens of people who do this. Heck, I know lots of people–the overly partisan types–who are specifically changing their party registration just so they can go attempt to screw up the other party’s primary by voting for the most ridiculous Republican (or, again, Democrat in other election years). This is one reason that open primaries are even more ridiculous than regular primaries. It appears that Republicans are making a vain effort to minimize this sort of behavior. All they’re doing, however, is providing bad publicity for themselves and perhaps even exposing themselves to a legal challenge.

    The argument about voter IDs, by the way, is stupid, but I’ve contested it elsewhere and don’t wish to rehash my objections. Let’s just stick to the topic at hand, Tom.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@9: I know what you’re trying to do–ZOMG REQUIRING PHOTO IDs AT THE VOTING BOOTH IS A REPUBLICAN ATTEMPT TO REPRESS THE VOTE!!!111–but how does an attempt at “loyalty oaths” relate to voter fraud or movements in other states to, as you implicitly reference, require photo identification in order to limit opportunities for fraud?

    Look, everyone knows that, in states with open primaries, Democrats try to sabotage Republican primaries and vice versa. I personally know dozens of people who do this. Heck, I know lots of people–the overly partisan types–who are specifically changing their party registration just so they can go attempt to screw up the other party’s primary by voting for the most ridiculous Republican (or, again, Democrat in other election years). This is one reason that open primaries are even more ridiculous than regular primaries. It appears that Republicans are making a vain effort to minimize this sort of behavior. All they’re doing, however, is providing bad publicity for themselves and perhaps even exposing themselves to a legal challenge.

    The argument about voter IDs, by the way, is stupid, but I’ve contested it elsewhere and don’t wish to rehash my objections. Let’s just stick to the topic at hand, Tom.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s all part of the same mindset, Cincy. And is “off topic” going to be your objection to every different take on a subject? But okay. Enjoy the discussion. I’m done.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s all part of the same mindset, Cincy. And is “off topic” going to be your objection to every different take on a subject? But okay. Enjoy the discussion. I’m done.

  • Joe

    Tom – Voter Id should not be a partisan issue. And in fact, here in Wisconsin* (where a bi-partisan task force consisting of the US Attorney (GOP at the time) Milwaukee DA (Democrat), FBI and Milwaukee PD) did in fact find proof that many invalidly cast ballots were counted in Wisconsin’s 2004 general election. A handful of people were prosecuted (from both sides of the isle). The MKE Police Department put out a 60+ page report detailing the investigation, the findings and making suggestions for changes to the system and explaining why under the current system it is almost impossible to prosecute anyone.

    Here is a link to the report: http://media2.620wtmj.com/breakingnews/ElectionResults_2004_VoterFraudInvestigation_MPD-SIU-A2474926.pdf

    *Am I correct that you are also in Wisconsin?

  • Joe

    Tom – Voter Id should not be a partisan issue. And in fact, here in Wisconsin* (where a bi-partisan task force consisting of the US Attorney (GOP at the time) Milwaukee DA (Democrat), FBI and Milwaukee PD) did in fact find proof that many invalidly cast ballots were counted in Wisconsin’s 2004 general election. A handful of people were prosecuted (from both sides of the isle). The MKE Police Department put out a 60+ page report detailing the investigation, the findings and making suggestions for changes to the system and explaining why under the current system it is almost impossible to prosecute anyone.

    Here is a link to the report: http://media2.620wtmj.com/breakingnews/ElectionResults_2004_VoterFraudInvestigation_MPD-SIU-A2474926.pdf

    *Am I correct that you are also in Wisconsin?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, how is a bipartisan attempt to prevent voter fraud (whether it exists in problematic numbers or not) equivalent to an (ill-fated) attempt by one party to prevent members of the other party from sabotaging their primary? I don’t see the connection. It is, indeed, off-topic.

    Especially since voter ID laws do not suppress (legitimate) votes. If you insist on having that argument, we can. But I don’t see the relevance. Loyalty oaths are designed to suppress votes, I assume–votes from those who really shouldn’t be voting in a closed primary anyway.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, how is a bipartisan attempt to prevent voter fraud (whether it exists in problematic numbers or not) equivalent to an (ill-fated) attempt by one party to prevent members of the other party from sabotaging their primary? I don’t see the connection. It is, indeed, off-topic.

    Especially since voter ID laws do not suppress (legitimate) votes. If you insist on having that argument, we can. But I don’t see the relevance. Loyalty oaths are designed to suppress votes, I assume–votes from those who really shouldn’t be voting in a closed primary anyway.

  • steve

    Joe, when Democratic legislators start pandering to residents who not only can’t legally vote but aren’t even legal residents, it does indeed become a partisan issue. I know, I know, they will scream “but Republicans do it too!” Sure, but it is largely a Democratic offense.

  • steve

    Joe, when Democratic legislators start pandering to residents who not only can’t legally vote but aren’t even legal residents, it does indeed become a partisan issue. I know, I know, they will scream “but Republicans do it too!” Sure, but it is largely a Democratic offense.

  • The Jones

    It is one thing to have this type of pledge to get on the ballot (although the Newt Gingrich/Ron Paul thing shows eventual holes in that type of pledge, too), but to participate in the primary? Oh my goodness. This is ridiculous. As Dr. Veith hinted at with his moral inability to vote now, this turns politics into a power-peddling and lying game.

    My question is this: Where did this come from? Who (as in, their name and position) thought this was a good idea in the first place. I think this is more of a case of gross ineptness, ignorance of moral obligations, and naivete than intentional designs for constraint of the political process.

  • The Jones

    It is one thing to have this type of pledge to get on the ballot (although the Newt Gingrich/Ron Paul thing shows eventual holes in that type of pledge, too), but to participate in the primary? Oh my goodness. This is ridiculous. As Dr. Veith hinted at with his moral inability to vote now, this turns politics into a power-peddling and lying game.

    My question is this: Where did this come from? Who (as in, their name and position) thought this was a good idea in the first place. I think this is more of a case of gross ineptness, ignorance of moral obligations, and naivete than intentional designs for constraint of the political process.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    To force political parties to allow outsiders to participate in choosing their candidate is likewise beyond the Pale.

    I just don’t get open primaries.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    To force political parties to allow outsiders to participate in choosing their candidate is likewise beyond the Pale.

    I just don’t get open primaries.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Somewhat ignoring the more recent discussion, I find this to be an interesting tactic, precisely because it seems guaranteed to fail as to its intended goal.

    I mean, people who want to engage in “mischief-making”, will they be dissuaded by this tactic? I’m guessing no. Meanwhile, upstanding Republicans appear to be put off by it. Which, ultimately, will shift — if ever-so-slightly — the primary demographics away from upstanding people towards mischief-makers. Mission accomplished?

    That said, I don’t see how this could, in Veith’s words, be considered encouraging “people to perjure themselves”, though it clearly is a form of conscience-binding. Of course, the legalist will, as he always does, find his way out of conscience-binding by emphasizing the word “intend”.

    Regardless, I for one would like to know if Dr. Veith will actually follow through on his potential threat to “quit being a Republican”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Somewhat ignoring the more recent discussion, I find this to be an interesting tactic, precisely because it seems guaranteed to fail as to its intended goal.

    I mean, people who want to engage in “mischief-making”, will they be dissuaded by this tactic? I’m guessing no. Meanwhile, upstanding Republicans appear to be put off by it. Which, ultimately, will shift — if ever-so-slightly — the primary demographics away from upstanding people towards mischief-makers. Mission accomplished?

    That said, I don’t see how this could, in Veith’s words, be considered encouraging “people to perjure themselves”, though it clearly is a form of conscience-binding. Of course, the legalist will, as he always does, find his way out of conscience-binding by emphasizing the word “intend”.

    Regardless, I for one would like to know if Dr. Veith will actually follow through on his potential threat to “quit being a Republican”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Which brings to mind another question: does “being a Republican” carry some meaning (in Virginia or elsewhere) beyond merely being registered to vote in that party’s primaries?

    I ask because, as I noted elsewhere, I’m registered to vote in the Democratic primaries in Oregon, but I do not consider myself a Democrat. I just wanted to have some sort of input on the partisan ballots (which do, of course, have an impact on my life in later elections), as the best candidates rarely make it to the general ballot, in my opinion. But I don’t recall signing a form when I made this decision that imported anything greater than merely being registered to vote in the Dems’ primaries.

    I guess I don’t really get partisan identification — likely because I’m, well, not terribly partisan. I’ve voted for a number of parties (yes, more than two!) in my time in Oregon. No doubt there’s an overall trend in what letter follows the candidates’ names next to my pen marks, but still.

    Point being: Dr. Veith, are you merely threatening to change your official registration, or do your words portend following through even into the voting booth?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Which brings to mind another question: does “being a Republican” carry some meaning (in Virginia or elsewhere) beyond merely being registered to vote in that party’s primaries?

    I ask because, as I noted elsewhere, I’m registered to vote in the Democratic primaries in Oregon, but I do not consider myself a Democrat. I just wanted to have some sort of input on the partisan ballots (which do, of course, have an impact on my life in later elections), as the best candidates rarely make it to the general ballot, in my opinion. But I don’t recall signing a form when I made this decision that imported anything greater than merely being registered to vote in the Dems’ primaries.

    I guess I don’t really get partisan identification — likely because I’m, well, not terribly partisan. I’ve voted for a number of parties (yes, more than two!) in my time in Oregon. No doubt there’s an overall trend in what letter follows the candidates’ names next to my pen marks, but still.

    Point being: Dr. Veith, are you merely threatening to change your official registration, or do your words portend following through even into the voting booth?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I do understand the reason for this, but if state law provides for an open primary, then it’s an open primary. For the Republican party to impose a loyalty oath would seem to circumvent the law. And voters must always have the option of voting for a third party candidate or even the Democratic candidate if they cannot abide the Republican nominee. To promise to vote for the nominee when you don’t even know who it is would be a great abridgment of political liberty.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I do understand the reason for this, but if state law provides for an open primary, then it’s an open primary. For the Republican party to impose a loyalty oath would seem to circumvent the law. And voters must always have the option of voting for a third party candidate or even the Democratic candidate if they cannot abide the Republican nominee. To promise to vote for the nominee when you don’t even know who it is would be a great abridgment of political liberty.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now, into the fray. Cincinnatus asked (@5):

    In what cosmos does it make sense for registered Democrats to be selecting the Republican candidate?

    Meh. As long as you’re only capable of voting in one party’s primary, does it really make a difference? Isn’t voting for Not-Your-Party’s “worst” guy tantamount to casting a vote for Your-Party and/or its “best” guy?

    Primaries … are one of the major factors ensuring that the United States will never have significant and interesting third-party activity.

    Explain.

    I know lots of people–the overly partisan types–who are specifically changing their party registration just so they can go attempt to screw up the other party’s primary by voting for the most ridiculous Republican

    Yeah, I don’t know. I think plenty of dyed-in-the-wool Republicans will also be voting for the “most ridiculous Republican” this year. :) Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    For that matter, I’m fairly certain that the Republican that you and I favor most, Cincinnatus, is largely considered by most registered Republicans to be, well, the “most ridiculous Republican”. So it goes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And now, into the fray. Cincinnatus asked (@5):

    In what cosmos does it make sense for registered Democrats to be selecting the Republican candidate?

    Meh. As long as you’re only capable of voting in one party’s primary, does it really make a difference? Isn’t voting for Not-Your-Party’s “worst” guy tantamount to casting a vote for Your-Party and/or its “best” guy?

    Primaries … are one of the major factors ensuring that the United States will never have significant and interesting third-party activity.

    Explain.

    I know lots of people–the overly partisan types–who are specifically changing their party registration just so they can go attempt to screw up the other party’s primary by voting for the most ridiculous Republican

    Yeah, I don’t know. I think plenty of dyed-in-the-wool Republicans will also be voting for the “most ridiculous Republican” this year. :) Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    For that matter, I’m fairly certain that the Republican that you and I favor most, Cincinnatus, is largely considered by most registered Republicans to be, well, the “most ridiculous Republican”. So it goes.

  • Joe

    Dr. Veith isn’t the primary question, “why in the world is the state regulating, paying for or involved in anyway with the selection of the nominee of a private entity?”

    Any particular parities nominee should be selected in anyway the party wants from the old “smoke filled back room” to a round of Duck-Duck-Goose. But why in the world is state gov’t involved in the process and why in the world do I have to pay for the primaries used to determine the candidate of parties I don’t belong to.

  • Joe

    Dr. Veith isn’t the primary question, “why in the world is the state regulating, paying for or involved in anyway with the selection of the nominee of a private entity?”

    Any particular parities nominee should be selected in anyway the party wants from the old “smoke filled back room” to a round of Duck-Duck-Goose. But why in the world is state gov’t involved in the process and why in the world do I have to pay for the primaries used to determine the candidate of parties I don’t belong to.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@20:

    In order,

    1) My disgust with open primaries is rooted in my larger disgust for primaries in general, including closed primaries. But I simply don’t understand the concept of open primaries. The entire point of creating primaries (as, since 1968ish, a replacement for conventions) was so that a party’s members could select their nominee in a more democratic fashion. While I’m familiar with the arguments for closed vs. open primaries, the notion that anyone, including communists, Democrats, fascists, etc., should have any say in whom the Republican party selects for its presidential candidate is simply baffling. I have not enough faith in the mass public to assume that most of them have an altruistic interest in ensuring that the best candidate from both (or all) parties, including the parties they oppose. Like I said, I know many Democrats who are voting in the Republican primary in a (mostly pointless) gamble to distort the results. I know of no Democrats doing so simply because they want to ensure that the best/most sensible Republican wins (and, of course, their notions of what constitutes the best Republican would probably still undermine the notions of actual Republicans).

    On the other hand, my complaint may be mostly obviated by the fact that, in states with closed primaries, it’s relatively easy for a person who wants to screw with the primary results of an opposing party to switch registrations temporarily. And I know people who do it.

    Maybe I should just rant about primaries in general, but that would be beside the point…

    2) Most scholars of campaigns and elections (yes, there are such scholars) agree that the advent of electoral primaries in the late twentieth century is one (among many) of the main factors that has stifled diverse third-party activity in the United States. This is because the primary format provides a forum for moderate (not usually extreme) dissent to be co-opted by and filtered through the mechanisms provided by the two major parties. Whereas Ron Paul might actually be inclined to run as, say, a Libertarian (as he did in 1988, in fact) or a Constitution Party candidate, he now (unfortunately) has a powerful incentive simply to integrate himself as best he can into the Republican Party where the resources, publicity, and power are. I say “unfortunately” because, among other things, the major parties are still the major parties; primaries just ensure that real dissent, like Paul’s, is formally filtered out and thus away from public attention earlier. Paul will never make it to the general election.

    Maybe I should also rant about all the factors stifling meaningful third-party activity/viability as well…

    3) Yes.

    Gene Veith@19: I don’t expect a response from you, necessarily, but a topic for conversation. Your comment here seems to root your disgust/concern with this practice in the fact that it is an attempt to “circumvent” the law of open primaries. Maybe I’ve been underestimating Lutheran fidelity to positive law NO MATTER WHAT, but why is that a problem? I say if there is a loophole in a law that disadvantages you, why not exploit it? My problem with the “loyalty oath” is that it is arguably unethical, not that it skirts closely to “breaking” a (stupid) law.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@20:

    In order,

    1) My disgust with open primaries is rooted in my larger disgust for primaries in general, including closed primaries. But I simply don’t understand the concept of open primaries. The entire point of creating primaries (as, since 1968ish, a replacement for conventions) was so that a party’s members could select their nominee in a more democratic fashion. While I’m familiar with the arguments for closed vs. open primaries, the notion that anyone, including communists, Democrats, fascists, etc., should have any say in whom the Republican party selects for its presidential candidate is simply baffling. I have not enough faith in the mass public to assume that most of them have an altruistic interest in ensuring that the best candidate from both (or all) parties, including the parties they oppose. Like I said, I know many Democrats who are voting in the Republican primary in a (mostly pointless) gamble to distort the results. I know of no Democrats doing so simply because they want to ensure that the best/most sensible Republican wins (and, of course, their notions of what constitutes the best Republican would probably still undermine the notions of actual Republicans).

    On the other hand, my complaint may be mostly obviated by the fact that, in states with closed primaries, it’s relatively easy for a person who wants to screw with the primary results of an opposing party to switch registrations temporarily. And I know people who do it.

    Maybe I should just rant about primaries in general, but that would be beside the point…

    2) Most scholars of campaigns and elections (yes, there are such scholars) agree that the advent of electoral primaries in the late twentieth century is one (among many) of the main factors that has stifled diverse third-party activity in the United States. This is because the primary format provides a forum for moderate (not usually extreme) dissent to be co-opted by and filtered through the mechanisms provided by the two major parties. Whereas Ron Paul might actually be inclined to run as, say, a Libertarian (as he did in 1988, in fact) or a Constitution Party candidate, he now (unfortunately) has a powerful incentive simply to integrate himself as best he can into the Republican Party where the resources, publicity, and power are. I say “unfortunately” because, among other things, the major parties are still the major parties; primaries just ensure that real dissent, like Paul’s, is formally filtered out and thus away from public attention earlier. Paul will never make it to the general election.

    Maybe I should also rant about all the factors stifling meaningful third-party activity/viability as well…

    3) Yes.

    Gene Veith@19: I don’t expect a response from you, necessarily, but a topic for conversation. Your comment here seems to root your disgust/concern with this practice in the fact that it is an attempt to “circumvent” the law of open primaries. Maybe I’ve been underestimating Lutheran fidelity to positive law NO MATTER WHAT, but why is that a problem? I say if there is a loophole in a law that disadvantages you, why not exploit it? My problem with the “loyalty oath” is that it is arguably unethical, not that it skirts closely to “breaking” a (stupid) law.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@21: Good question, and I may agree with you. However, political parties are now viewed as quasi-public entities. They are so deeply embedded within both state and federal law that we might as well just make them cabinet-level offices.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@21: Good question, and I may agree with you. However, political parties are now viewed as quasi-public entities. They are so deeply embedded within both state and federal law that we might as well just make them cabinet-level offices.

  • DonS

    This kind of mischief occurs because of the modern popularity of “open primaries”, which are a ridiculous concept on their face. Both parties would do well to de-emphasize the primaries, making them “advisory” only, and once again empowering the party conventions to make the final candidate choice. And, as Joe said @21, states should feel free to opt 0ut of even holding primaries, if they so desire.

  • DonS

    This kind of mischief occurs because of the modern popularity of “open primaries”, which are a ridiculous concept on their face. Both parties would do well to de-emphasize the primaries, making them “advisory” only, and once again empowering the party conventions to make the final candidate choice. And, as Joe said @21, states should feel free to opt 0ut of even holding primaries, if they so desire.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Cincinnatus, I’m not being a lawyer or a theologian in this. My complaint could be seen as libertarian. The law, properly, protects my freedom to vote as a way of participating in the political process. The Republicans, with their loyalty oath, are restricting my liberty to vote for the person of my choice, which is a pretty fundamental political right. They are doing so with a “show of right” (Lutheran catechism language), even though their practice is unjust.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Cincinnatus, I’m not being a lawyer or a theologian in this. My complaint could be seen as libertarian. The law, properly, protects my freedom to vote as a way of participating in the political process. The Republicans, with their loyalty oath, are restricting my liberty to vote for the person of my choice, which is a pretty fundamental political right. They are doing so with a “show of right” (Lutheran catechism language), even though their practice is unjust.

  • Gary

    How about if the loyalty oath went something like this instead:

    “I, the undersigned, promise my participation in this primary is not intended to help any other party’s candidate win this election.”

    Not that such a promise would do much good, but your problem of conscience would go away.

  • Gary

    How about if the loyalty oath went something like this instead:

    “I, the undersigned, promise my participation in this primary is not intended to help any other party’s candidate win this election.”

    Not that such a promise would do much good, but your problem of conscience would go away.

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  • boaz

    The republican party is a private organization you took a similar oath to be permitted to vote for leadership in your church, another private organization. You dont have any right to vote for leaders of private groups. This rule makes perfect sense if understand political parties are private organizations.

  • boaz

    The republican party is a private organization you took a similar oath to be permitted to vote for leadership in your church, another private organization. You dont have any right to vote for leaders of private groups. This rule makes perfect sense if understand political parties are private organizations.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good point, Boaz. So why is there a state law detailing how the primary is to be conducted? (I see that it explicitly allows for loyalty oaths, so my complaint that the party is trying to get around the open primary isn’t valid.)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Good point, Boaz. So why is there a state law detailing how the primary is to be conducted? (I see that it explicitly allows for loyalty oaths, so my complaint that the party is trying to get around the open primary isn’t valid.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Whoa, I had no idea that state law permitted loyalty oaths. That’s…weird. Like you say, it seems to be rather an abridgment of the inviolable franchise. On the other hand, primaries, especially open primaries, are weird animals themselves.

  • Cincinnatus

    Whoa, I had no idea that state law permitted loyalty oaths. That’s…weird. Like you say, it seems to be rather an abridgment of the inviolable franchise. On the other hand, primaries, especially open primaries, are weird animals themselves.


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