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All state primaries are not created equal. But in some of them you must declare your party affiliation, and thus get to vote only for candidates in that party. In effect, that makes it impossible to vote for a candidate you happen to favor in one party if you declare in the other one. But it also creates an interesting opportunity for voters to cross over to the other party when it is convenient to do so in primaries, without affecting how you will be able to vote in the later general election.

What that amounts to is a golden opportunity to help shape the "other" party's candidates even before they get to the general election. Here is a chance to help eliminate the obstructionist Tea Party element from even getting to the ballot in the general election.

Voting this way can have some distinct advantages, but there may be some drawbacks to consider. If, for example, there is a primary race of importance in the Democratic primary, then you may want to forgo this strategy. But if the ink is pretty much dry on the Democratic ticket in a Red State, then helping to shape the look of the Republican ticket is all that much more important from a practical logistics point of view.

Simply go to a Tea Party website that is vocal about  who they support, copy and print their list of favorites, and take it into the booth with you on Primary day. Look for those names and cast your vote for anyone else running in opposition to them. Especially look for alternatives who are known moderate incumbents. It's just that easy.

There is no illusion here that enough left-leaning voters will turn the election, but the fact remains that the Tea Party gathers and maintains its stranglehold on the GOP largely because Republicans see bucking them as significantly counter-productive. If Tea Party candidates sweep into office with a striking majority of the vote, this impression is intensified. If they barely squeak in, or better yet, are actually defeated in many election results, the GOP will see that the Tea has begun to go rancid. The stranglehold will release. Moderate Republicans will gain back some of their spine. The world will be a better place.

So, do your part in those Red State primaries. Give the GOP back to the moderates by helping to vote out those obstructionist right-wing radicals who have taken hostage that which used to actually be a Grand Old Party.

March 4 is primary day in Texas, and I have my list printed out. Do your part. Vote! (Even if it is for people you don't actually want to be elected.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Respectfully disagreed, here is why (7+ / 0-)

    1. If the tea party wants to elect extremists who sour their brand in general elections, let them. Never correct your enemy when he is making a mistake.

    2. Far more important to elect the strongest progressives we can in Democratic primaries.

    Basically, I'd rather have a Dem party full of Elizabeth Warren's than a GOP full of Bob Corker's. Even if the bankster Corker wing of the GOP is the least distasteful of that bunch of rotten apples.

    Just my .02. Though I had once thought the same and can kinda appreciate such a diary. Cheers

    Regulate banks, not vaginas

    by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:21:21 AM PST

    •  Maybe, maybe not. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bluefin, Sylv

      I understand your points. They are well taken. And I agree that the Tea Party is the biggest mistake the GOP has ever made, and should probably be allowed to take down the Republican Party. But in the meantime, we will have to suffer the consequences of its influence over us, and I think that, in the short term, this could easily be too high a price to pay. Plus, the GOP may, indeed, not flounder and fail entirely, but be further transformed into the monster the Tea Baggers desire. That would be a really ugly consequence.

      I also want to mention that I did point out the importance of paying attention to key Democratic Primary issues of consequence before adopting this voting strategy. In my case (Texas) there are no such Democratic issues of concern. Wendy Davis has a shot, and I will certainly vote for her. Any Dems of consequence have no serious opposition on my ballot, so it is a clear case of doing the best thing available by voting on the Red ticket this time around.

      If the Tea Party had not swept into power so dramatically, and if I did not personally know as many conservatives as I do, who are willing dupes to the kind of thinking that has brought this extremism to power, then I would not be inclined to suggest this cross-over voting strategy.

      If they further tarnish the Republican brand, that could wind up being a good thing for liberals. But standing back and allowing this could easily backfire in a way that might be even worse for liberals than the TeaFascist ideology seems to be today.

      I believe our system requires the balance of at least two parties. I would like to see more, but the current system is set up to violently oppose that idea. A destruction of the GOP at the hands of fascist extremists would make the liberal point of view far more influential. But I can't see the absence of a balancing party influence as a good thing (for very long) in this country.

      Now, a crash of the GOP might engender the creation of whole new parties--it probably would. But the Tea Party is unfortunately the most prepared to take advantage of that vacuum right now. That would be even worse for this country than the current mess of a GOP, unless a new moderate party sprang up in the middle of the spectrum. That is unlikely, however, as the people in control are not as well prepared to handle that kind of variety, and would reject and fight against it immediately and forcefully.

      They have already created their own media and their own political party. They don't want any additional competition for either one of them, or for themselves. They are extremely comfortable with the ease of controlling a two-party system. Three would be a little more difficult to control. And as long as the Republicans are willing dupes, content to cater to the Tea Baggers' whims, the power elite will maintain their control. If the GOP splits, the factions would spread apart more than they are currently aligned. The split would not do the one-percenters all that much good. They like things the way they are.

      So, I find myself in the peculiar position of arguing for the preservation of the GOP, largely because I remember how it used to be run, and what it used to stand for. The party is probably dying. So be it. But I see no need to allow further suffering than absolutely necessary in witnessing its demise. The Tea Party represents a huge increase in suffering. That's just not called for. Push them out, and push them out now.

      Anyway, thank you for your reply. It was highly stimulating, as you can readily see….

  •  Not much impact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, Sylv

    This has been going on for ages on both sides. Net result. No significant impact.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:24:17 AM PST

  •  that's not the entire story... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin, Mannie, MRA NY, Sylv

    ...you're correct, that in places where it's likely that the Republican will win the race no matter who gets the nomination, progressives could help by voting for the moderate, especially if there is no Democratic primary, however...

    ...in other places, there could be an advantage for Democrats running against an out-and-out crackpot...there have been quite a few high-profile examples of where Democrats have picked up seats in recent years because the crazier Republican won the nomination.

  •  I recommend the opposite.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluefin, Mannie, MRA NY

    Vote FOR the craziest wingnut running, who would be the weakest gen. election candidate. I voted for Santorum in the Ohio pres. primary in 2012.

    •  I voted for Santorum in Arizona's "primary" (0+ / 0-)

      in 2012 for the same reason. (Yes, I'm a card-carrying Republican. Ma has been crying ever since.) I probably slowed down the GOP by two minutes there.

      Actually, Arizona has a primary and a "Presidential Preference" election. Their (open) primary is in May, by which time the tickets have been established. So Arizona created a PPE to be held in February, which is not open; you have to register for the party you're voting in the primary of.

  •  A strategy that could backfire... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wilburhorse, Bluefin, Mannie, MRA NY, Sylv

    Following that strategy in Nevada could have resulted in a candidate that would have ousted Harry Reid.  Same in Missouri.

    I can see where this strategy, if successfully applied in Texas, might have kept out Cruz.  But I would rather have a  Tea Party Cruz in the minority than a non-Angle Republican representing Nevada as a member of the Senate majority.

    Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

    by cks175 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:41:26 AM PST

  •  I disagree. Here's my reason. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv

    Dems should stick to bringing out the largest possible electorate in every election.
    The reason a lot of "red" districts are red is because the potentially blue voters there are not voting dependably.

    Progressives, if they're not satisfied with moderate Dems, should be supporting and voting for the most progressive candidates they can find.

    The red districts that vote for an idiot should have to own that idiot. They shouldn't be able to blame Democratic voters that manipulated their primary.

    Also:
    Dems should also insist on ethical behavior from Dem candidates, when it comes to public issues.

    Dems should stay out of everyone's bedrooms and private lives.

    Eventually, if we have these standards, they will help us win over a majority.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:38:24 PM PST

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