Washblog

Why is Sam Reed trying to destroy the Republican Party?

Did anyone else see the US Supreme Court ruling that came out this morning?  I heard about it on the Radio this morning, and paid very close attention to the subject all day, actually reading the 33 page decision.  The article in the Seattle Times stated Secretary of State Sam Reed's reaction.  He was surprised and delighted that "the people of the state of Washington are going to be able to control who gets elected through this process."

Mr. Reed has evidently never attended a meeting of his local Republican Party.  If he ever had, he would have seen that there actual humans at those meetings, not automatons.  The people have always had control of the process of who gets elected.  The General Election in November is where our elected officials actually get elected.  The primary is a different purpose entirely.

Freedom of association means something, Sam.  I really wonder why you are trying to destroy your own party by making sure that Republicans are never challenged in the high population density areas, and you are giving Democrats the opportunity to take even the suburbs and rural areas because of the national failure of the Republican brand to actually solve problems.

Thanks, but I thought you were a Republican.  Maybe I'm wrong.

Here is what I posted in the comments of the Seattle Times article today:


Interesting. I'm the first person who is willing to stand up and express concerns about this ruling and what it means for Washington State. Everyone else is looking at this ruling from the "outsiders" viewpoint. Well, I'll try and do justice to the "insiders" viewpoint.

But first, I want to say that I think the terms 'insider' and 'outsider' are part of what is driving this country crazy. It's a perception that keeps people out of the process, and creates the illusion of the "elites" that Ann rails about in an earlier comment. We create that illusion, and it's self-fulfilling prophecy. If we want to fix that system, if we want to shatter the illusions and make sure that our voices are heard by our elected officials and the people who actually do the work to put those people into office, then we are the ones that have to get involved.

What is a primary process? There are two ways to answer that. It is either a method to narrow the field of candidates, or it is a way for the political parties to select a nominee to run in the general election. The Blanket Primary, which Washington has used for the past 70+ years until it was challenged by both political parties in our state and canceled by the same Supreme Court that has now functionally restored it, was a method to narrow the field. It let people who have no idea and no care what the Democratic or Republican Parties stand for vote, and thus make the choice on who should represent those platforms on the floor of the Olympia Legislature and the US Congress. That is why the parties challenged the method. Because they wanted people who were involved in the process of developing the platforms and positions of our parties to be the ones who chose the candidates who would represent those views in the general election.

The other potential answer to what a Primary election is can be summed up by the debate that has been happening on these pages since it was made clear that the Democratic Party would only use the Precinct Caucuses to determine the delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where the Democratic candidate for President will be selected.

Selected. Not elected. On February 9th, no office was filled, none of the candidates won or lost. The process advanced, that's all. And why should the Republicans want people who don't support their view of smaller government to help them choose their candidate for the general election? Why should the Democrats want people who don't support their view of universal health care help them choose their candidate for the general election? Shouldn't we be giving ourselves a choice in November? That's what voting is supposed to be, making a choice between two candidates who have differences, rather than just how much money they can raise during a campaign.

What this ruling has done is thrown the platforms of the parties under the bus. Who cares what the parties stand for, and let's eliminate the ability of the people of Washington to make an actual choice in the general election between two or more views of the role of government in our state and our society. In heavy Democratic and heavy Republican districts, this new primary system will tear the party infrastructure apart by continuing primary contests that should be resolved in August during the Primary all the way to the November election. In swing districts, it will encourage playing with the voters by making money the rule and giving the top two slots in the general election to the candidates who do the best job in getting their name recognition high enough, no matter what they actually stand for as a candidate or what they plan to do in office.

This ruling is the worst thing that the US Supreme Court could have done to people who care about their platforms on either side of the debate, Republican or Democrat, progressive or conservative. We will be reeling from this blow for years to come.

Also, it's not often that a US Supreme Court Decision declares that it would be inappropriate for Oscar the Grouch to claim that he likes Campbell Soup without giving Campbells the opportunity to disavow such an endorsement... Seriously. Chief Judge Roberts compared candidates associating with a political party with a consumer expressing a preference for Campbell Soup. Judge Scalia in the dissent declared that such a comparison is only valid if we consider the consumer to be like Oscar the Grouch, and by preventing the parties to specifically disassociate with a candidate on the ballot is like saying that Campbell Soup is prevented from disassociating with an endorsement from Oscar. It's in the text of the decision, on page 3 of Roberts consent, and page 8 of Scalia's dissent. Only in America...
< VICTORY for Washington Public Campaigns! | Is Dino Rossi a sleazy politician or are just his politics sleazy? >
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At least this puts paid to the debate about primary versus caucuses.  IRV would work really well in this scenario.  No state run primary necessary.  I really hate winner take all type runoffs and this absurd WA law is just obscene.

All of this makes me think about emigrating to BC if I want to continue to live in the Pacific Northwest :-)

Makes one consider that the WA Democratic Party should have our own registration system so that we can run our own endorsement votes for every single office.  That is effectively what they do in Canada.  You pay your $5 and you are a member and get to vote for who you want as the endorsed candidate.  

The government just deals with the general election, and anyone who gets the requisite number of signatures can run, endorsed candidates get the party name after their name on the ballot.

I think the idea that LaRouche could declare himself a Democrat on the ballot is the part that MUST get undone.  Is the Supreme's decision really saying that is dandy, or is it saying that is an acceptable side effect?

We could consider getting it together and launching and initiative for party registration and party based primaries...

by ktkeller on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 11:59:26 PM PST

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