Friday, April 25, 2008

Operation Chaos -- an alternative view

Most of what follows was originally written as a response to the Hammond Report post advocating a Montana "Operation Chaos" -- a response that was shelved for the time being (but saved, never knowing when a slow day might make it worth writing about.) Then, Chuck Johnson made the topic briefly famous today, and nothing else is on the burner right now, so here goes:


Rush Limbaugh is wrong on this one for a number of reasons. He's certainly not thinking about what is best for Montana's Republican candidates or the specific political situation here in Montana.

First, Sen. Clinton is hardly the more defeatable candidate -- in fact, there's a strong case to be made that she's the more formidable of the two, so why help make that case to the Democratic superdelegates?

Second, isn't anyone else around here old-fashioned? Whatever happened to the idea (around which the Montana GOP caucus was designed) that each party has the right to choose its own candidate? There is something a bit dishonorable to an old traditionalist about intentionally meddling in another party's nomination process. The fact that it has been done before, by both parties, doesn't change that.

Third, does chaos (even if successfully produced -- a doubtful proposition) really work in our favor? Obama continues to lead, and the buzz of an active campaign continues to bring lots of money into his coffers. Democrats are registering in droves to vote in this contest that is dragging out. Are we supposed to be wild about that, and interested in perpetuating this endless Democratic voter registration drive? Whoever registers now is just more likely to vote for Democrats again in the fall.

Fourth, if Montana were to follow the trend from every other state in the region, Obama should by all rights win the primary here. Since Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, helping Sen. Clinton win Montana would only give Montana Democrats cover in the fall if Obama turns out to be as unpopular in Montana as the Montana Democrats already running from him seem to believe. They can just say, "don't blame us, we wanted the more moderate candidate!"

Finally, we have some important primaries ourselves. While Republicans are busy voting for Clinton, do we want Ron Paul to embarrass McCain in our own primary? Does it matter who we have facing off against Baucus and what kind of a campaign that Republican runs, even in the face of defeat? And don't we want Republicans to vote Republican even in uncontested primaries so those candidates will have that extra name recognition and "brand loyalty" when it comes to the fall ballot?

There seems to be a lot not to like about Operation Chaos -- even if one ignores the ethical sphere.

But then, Rush is the brilliant one. And Rush is interested in the big national race and the attention it gets him -- whereas the parochial Montana Headlines focus is on how best to get Montanans invested in our own statewide candidates, legislative candidates, and local candidates.

Ask any Republican running for office in Montana (including those in uncontested primaries) whether or not they want Republicans to go to the polls in June and fill in the circle next to their name. It would be surprising if any of them actually thought it would do them more good to have Republicans turn out in droves to vote for the Presidential candidate favored by the governor and his brother.


Auntie Lib said...

Hear, hear! I made virtually the same points in a comment on Andy's post, albeit less elegantly. There is much to be said about party members choosing their own candidates. Let the Dems shoot themselves - we should stay out of their suicide attempts.

The Viceroy's Fuguestate said...

It's fun to watch the chaos frankly. You know if they (democrats) could, they would mess with republican primaries.

David said...

Quite right. Meddling in other parties' selection process not only is in poor taste, it may well turn out to be downright stupid.

BigSky1970 said...

Operation Chaos isn't designed to nominate Obama or elect Hillary or make more future Democrats. It's design is to keep chaos going in the Democrat party.

People too stupid to figure it all out, are probably the same idiots who thought having a GOP caucus in Montana was a fantastic idea, and are the same folks too stupid to figure out how and why the GOP ended up with McCain as the "presumptive nominee".

Montana Headlines said...

1. Democrats are quite capable of producing their own chaos -- and it has a lot more effect on them when they do it themselves. All Rush is doing is giving Democrats a Republican bogeyman to blame. If we stayed out of it, they would only have each other to blame. Which is far more chaotic.

2. Put brilliance to the service of answering this question: if the Montana GOP had stayed with a June 3rd Presidential primary (the only other option to a caucus,) how would that have changed who the eventual nominee was? Seems like it would still be John McCain -- so your point on that makes no sense whatsoever.