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It's time for us to take an active role in the GOP nomination process. That's right, it's time for those of us who live in open primary and caucus states—Michigan, North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee in the next three weeks—to head out and cast a vote for Rick Santorum.

Why would we do such a crazy thing? Lots of great reasons!

Republican turnout has sucked, and appears to be getting worse by the contest. Unlike the 2008 Democratic primaries, which helped President Barack Obama and the Democrats to build a national organization, the GOP is an organizational disaster, with waning voter interest. That means that it takes fewer votes to have an impact than if Republican turnout was maxed out.

Several of the contests have produced razor-thin margins of victory. Rick Santorum won Iowa by 34 votes, Mitt Romney "won" Maine by 194 votes. It won't take many of us to swing contests the way we want them to swing.

The longer this GOP primary drags on, the better the numbers for Team Blue. Not only is President Barack Obama rising in comparison to the clowns in the GOP field, but GOP intensity is down—which would have repercussions all the way down the ballot.

The longer this thing drags out, the more unpopular the Republican presidential pretenders become. Just look at Mitt Romney's trajectory, which followed Herman Cain's trajectory, and Newt Gingrich's trajectory, and Michelle Bachmann's trajectory, and so on.

Rick Santorum will inevitably follow the same path once he gets properly vetted. Mitt Romney has been unable to stem the bleeding despite his tens of millions. Just imagine Santorum, with the far more radical record and a continued inability to raise real money.

It's a no-brainer! The following states have completely open contests coming up:

2/28: Michigan (Primary)
3/6: North Dakota (caucus)
3/6: Tennessee (primary)
3/6: Vermont  (primary)

If you live in one of those states, pledge to participate in Operation Hilarity by voting or caucusing for Rick Santorum. Click here for Michigan, here for North Dakota, here for Tennessee and here for Vermont.

If you live anywhere else, please contribute $5 to our Facebook ad effort to turn Democrats out in those elections. You can see a sample ad at the top right of this post.

And if you're squeamish about this, just remember what's at stake—not just the White House, but Nancy Pelosi's gavel and a Senate run by Mitch McConnell. The weaker the GOP standard bearer, the better our chances in November. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have had no problem meddling in our own contests. And if there's one thing Daily Kos is about, it's about fighting fire with fire.

And in any case, it's freaking hilarious. I mean, Rick Santorum? Really? The Republicans have offered up this big, slow, juicy softball. Let's have fun whacking the heck out of it.

Please, contribute $5 to help us turn out Democrats in open Republican primaries and caucuses.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.

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