Leaders of the Republican establishment, alarmed by the emergence of far-right and often unpredictable Tea Party candidates, are pushing their party to rethink how it chooses nominees and advocating changes they say would result in the selection of less extreme contenders. [...] The party leaders pushing for changes want to replace state caucuses and conventions, like the one that nominated Mr. Cuccinelli, with a more open primary system that they believe will draw a broader cross-section of Republicans and produce more moderate candidates.Nice try, but replacing state caucuses and conventions with primaries won't fix the GOP's problem. In the case of Virginia, Cuccinelli was selected by a convention, but as Ed Kilgore points out, Cuccinelli would have won a primary: Cuccinelli led "establishment" Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling by a 51-15 margin in a hypothetical GOP primary matchup.
Moreover, primaries didn't stop Republicans from nominating awful candidates like Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Todd Akin in Missouri, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, and Ken Buck in Colorado. Why? Because the Republican Party's problem is ... drum roll please ... the Republican Party!
If Republicans are serious about fixing their nomination process, there is one idea that they should consider trying, because it just might work: They ought to try banning Republicans from picking their party's nominees. If they did that, then maybe they'd finally be able to offer up a slate of candidates that doesn't scare the daylights out of the American public.