Laboriously re-writing my storyDear gods, just as I was starting to doubt the campaign season could get any dumber. http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/01/03/396323/virginia-gop-will-require-primary-voters-to-sign-party-loyalty-oath/
Pledges have become something of a fad in the Republican primary this year. Except for Jon Huntsman, the GOP hopefuls have all signed pledges to radical right-wing groups like the FA Mi LY Leader promising to ban pornography and only appoint anti-abortion cabinet members and judges, among other things. As the New York Times editorial board put it, “It used to be that a sworn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution was the only promise required to become president.” But today, “each pledge they sign undermines the basic principle of democratic government built on compromise and negotiation.” Now the Virginia GOP is extending the trend to voters, requiring them to sign a loyalty oath to the party before they are allowed to participate in the primary: The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary. Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign will be barred from voting in the primary. During a brief meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol, the State Board of Elections voted 3-0 to approve three forms developed by the election board’s staff to implement the loyalty pledge requested by the state GOP. Those who wish to vote in the primary must sign a form that says, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.” The pledge so impinges on citizens’ fundamental right to vote for whomever they want in the general election that even some Republican lawmakers in the state have come out against it. This is not the first time Virginia Republicans have tried to implement a loyalty pledge. They backed off their attempts in 2000 and 2008 over concerns about alienating independent voters. Of course, loyalty oaths have disturbing historical connotations in this country, harkening back to the Mc Carthy era where many organizations required employees or members to sign loyalty oaths or lose their jobs.http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/10380-va-primary-gop-requires-qloyalty-oathq-to-support-whoever-is-nominated (somewhat snipped due to length)
This rather radical requirement invokes several questions of constitutionality. First, the decision to make the loyalty oath a non-elective qualification for voting triggers a 14th Amendment analysis. The threshold question, then, is whether this decision on the part of the Republican Party of Virginia qualifies as state action. It would seem that it does. According to the decisions handed down by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944) and Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461 (1953), political parties are not private clubs and any action taken by them that affects the right to vote is subject to scrutiny under the 14th Amendment. The second legal hurdle that must be cleared by the Republican Party of Virginia’s effort to control access to the voting booth is pre-clearance of such a scheme by the Department of Justice. The requirement that the Department of Justice review (or “examine, ” to use Attorney General Holder’s word) proposed changes to the procedures implemented by the states to qualify voters is called “pre-clearance.” Ron Paul (who’s name will appear at the top of the Republican primary ballot in Virginia as a result of a drawing held by the State Board of Elections) is running for President as a representative of the Republican Party, but his views on foreign aid, foreign wars, abolishing the Federal Reserve, and restoring states’ rights place him outside of the central channel of the mainstream of Republican Party policy. If Paul were to go on a tear through the primaries preceding the one in Virginia, there may be a fear that independents would line up to cast votes for the Texas Congressman in the Republican primary, thus denying the state’s delegates to Mitt Romney (the only other Republican on the ballot after the other GOP hopefuls failed to submit the requisite number of signatures). Were Paul to win, the theory goes, the bloc of independents that voted for him in the primary election would abandon him in November and throw their support behind Barack Obama (or a third party candidate), thus effectively nullifying Virginia’s Republican primary.Some other points not mentioned in the article, is that on the Virginia ballot only Romney and Paul are listed - none of the other candidates managed to get their names on. Secondly, the state constitution of Virginia specifically allows political parties to impose loyalty oaths, but only on their members, not on just any person who shows up to vote. Thirdly, some of the same people pushing for this loyalty oath, which must be signed as a prerequisite to voting, are the same people* who during the 2008 election encouraged Republicans to vote in Democratic primaries for trailing candidates as a way of drawing out the process. The whole thing is, of course, completely unenforcable; there's literally nothing to stop anyone from signing it and then still voting for Obama in the actual election. It is only for a primary election, and AFAIK they can't demand another loyalty oath for that election either, only the primaries. If I wanted to be charitable, I could even imagine that their intent was to reduce infighting once a definitive candidate for the GOP has emerged*. Overall, it almost makes me wish I was registered to vote in Virginia, if for no other reason than to troll the election with a write-in vote for Isaac Asimov. Your thoughts, OTC?
Family reunions are like colonoscopies; no matter how much you’d rather not, you still need to have one every few years.
War ProfiteerIf this trend spreads to more states, it'll ensure a democrat victory, as the one thing Republicans can count on, which is a loyal voter turnout, will plummet. The only thing the GOP stands to gain is a concrete number of how many radical supporters they have. Not enough radicals to win an entire state, that's for sure.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Prince of DorneSince it is in fact unenforceable I don't think it's a big deal...
Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken. Unrelated ME1 Fanfic
I see the Awesomeness.Didn't they try this before? And wasn't there a "Herby" typo on it?
Will people remember by November?
Raven WilderWait, since when can someone who's not a member of the party vote in the party's primaries?
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
Depends on the state.
MentorUnenforceable pledges=why even bother?
See ALL the stars!There are actually psychological effects to writing things down. IIRC, people try to be consistent with what they've written in the past, even if nobody heard/saw it. Also, The idea of Loyalty Oath Crusade seems familiar.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
Feeble Turtle Duckbecause if they get away with it under the "unenforcable" argument they might just slowly working to make it enforcable under the "we always had loyalty pledges, people." argument Also its simply undemocratic and thus should be fought out of sheer principle. And there are people who are just so honest that they would vote Republican because they made the Oath even if Richard Nixon would get the candidacy. Fun fact: while writing this post I somehow read the title as "please post, as soon as you sign your Loyalty Oath", which kinda made me laugh :P
edited 5th Jan '12 5:03:18 AM by 3of4
Rule 1 of Fantasy: The Fair Folk are Assholes.
They're only shooting themselves in the foot if enough of their own party 1) Give a damn. 2) Think it's a bad idea. From what I understand of Republicans, they don't always think in those forms when it comes to something other people consider completely stupid or dangerous.
Hey look, another reason to not vote for any of the GOP candidates (except Huntsman, who I liked already). Aaaand also another big reason to think that Paul is willing to discard his libertarian-ness at the drop of a hat, which means that he's just another far-right nutjob at this point.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
Sidequest ProliferatorThey've tried this in the past, too. I live in Virginia, and from what I understand many more moderate Republicans (and some hard-line ones, too, who are fearful of a Romney victory) are simply refusing to vote in the primary as a result, including my father who identifies as an independent. This is a man who has never failed to vote in either a primary election or a general election since he was 18. They really are self-defeating here. Further, as has been pointed out to me on several occasions, the people who will obey the oath are those who are already loyal to the GOP anyway! The ones they're trying to stop, namely spoilers from the eeeevil Democratic side, will sign the oath with fingers crossed, vote for Paul, and walk out singing the troll song at the top of their lungs. Note: Virginia's primaries are open, meaning voters aren't officially registered as party members with the board of elections and can vote in either primary, or in some cases both. Since there's no Democratic primary this time around really, the Republicans are terrified of motivated Democratic voters coming into their primary and voting for unsuitable candidates. Like Ron Paul, or Isaac Asimov apparently.
edited 5th Jan '12 8:02:09 AM by Chalkos
Overall, it almost makes me wish I was registered to vote in Virginia, if for no other reason than to troll the election with a write-in vote for Isaac Asimov. Your thoughts, OTC?isokaywiththis.jpg
"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
Chalkos; Wait, is this something that's really happening right now? Because that would be pretty cool if people went and all signed in voted for Isaac Asimov.
TrivialisHaving a stance on two issues is understandable. Being entrenched in pledges over a couple of issues out of many just further alienates the rest of the voters.
Now using Trivialis handle.
Hey look, another reason to not vote for any of the GOP candidates (except Huntsman, who I liked already). Aaaand also another big reason to think that Paul is willing to discard his libertarian-ness at the drop of a hat, which means that the's just another far-right nutjob at this point.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Nothing Obama could do to the Republicans beats what they do to themselves.
linkupThe Pledge of Allegiance is the only oath I kind of care about (if you consider it an oath at all), and it doesn't care which party you ascribe to.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
Thataway/looks at Virginia GOP Face Palm Oh, wow, guys, you continue to stoop to cartoon supervillain tactics. Must really appeal to the Cartoon Network loving crowd among you, except that CN is populated by evul librulz.
I have a blog. (That updates sometimes.)
Pledge of Allegiance was founded out of a fear of communism... Why can't we just be citizens? Honestly, like the idea of a pledge really means the same thing to the broad general population now as it did 200 years ago...
linkup^ Granted, I haven't said the thing in years, and yes, we're supposed to be citizens, with all that goes with it. Oaths to mere men and political affiliations don't do us much good. Just a bunch of noise at this point.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
Who Am I?If I wanted to be conspiratorial, I would presume that this is a ploy by Romney supporters to make sure that independents and moderates do not vote in the primary, thus ensuring that Romney must win. As for pledges, it would be amusing to document how many candidates actually abide by their pledges once they take office...
Pro-Freedom FanaticI'd say it's a ploy to lock Paul out of a potential Libertarian candidacy: If he pledges to support the GOP nominee no matter what, he can't run as a Libertarian later and split the vote.
You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
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