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2012 Election Richard Falknor on 27 Dec 2011 04:48 pm

VA GOP Primary: Mitt v. Ron — But No Conservatives!

UPDATES! DECEMBER 29 EVENING – “Lawsuit filed to put Newt Gingrich on the Primary Ballot in Virginia.” The link to this filing is here.

DECEMBER 27 – Matt K. Lewis (Daily Caller) reports that Rick Perry files court challenge to Virginia ballot access rules. The link to this filing is here.

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“And when an unresolved presidential primary rolls into Virginia, voters should be able to choose from the full slate of remaining major candidates—not just those who were able to collect 10,000 petition signatures, including 400 from each congressional district.”Ashby Law

What a mess! And what’s an honest conservative to do in the March 6, 2012 Virginia Republican primary election?

The Virginia Republican Rube Goldberg primary rules here and here allowed only Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul to qualify (see Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli’s comments in foregoing link) for the March 6, 2012  primary ballot.  (We are grateful to Moe Lane and Paula at RedState for unearthing the details over the holiday weekend of this latest adventure of the Virginia branch of the Stupid Party.)

Virginia to Conservative GOP Primary Voters: Our Way or the Highway?

Our concern is about effectively disenfranchising thousands of Virginia conservative voters during the GOP primary.

Whether the other non-qualifying or non-competing GOP candidates “knew or should have known the rules,” the rules themselves are flawed.  They may or may not be the “Virginia Way” but they are not the American Way.

The many Virginia conservative voters will have to “choose” between a slick governmentalist and a widely recognized loon – or worse as Leon Wolf points out today.

Even more painful, Virginia conservatives cannot even write in their own primary candidate.

What will the Virginia GOP Establishment now do about this flawed ballot-access system?

The new (and useful) Transom daily email newsletter today declares –

“Virginia’s rules are a vestige of the Byrd-machine past and not reflective of how the overwhelming majority of states put up requirements. But the effect of this, if it stands, is simple and obvious: Ron Paul will win Virginia. It’s a primary that has no party registration and will be the only question on the ballot, without the possibility of write-ins (banned in Virginia primaries), and no incentive for Romney to devote resources here versus more competitive states, it’s an opportunity for Paul to really maximize his sizable following in the Old Dominion. And that’s why the Virginia GOP is scrambling today to find a way to get either Perry or Gingrich back on the ticket, through litigation or otherwise.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

We would demur only from the Transom’s suggestion that the practices of the “Byrd-machine past” are indeed in the past.  In our view, the Virginia GOP has inherited many of the attributes of a “machine” culture. It is just a well-manicured “ruling class” organization  — not the traditional thuggish  image of a Tammany Hall — but a machine all the same.

The Ron Paul Temptation for Virginia Conservatives?

In the other part of the GOP forest, some Virginia conservatives – even otherwise capable leaders — are or have been Ronulans.

They may well see a Paul victory as fatally embarrassing the GOP Establishment  in Virginia.  And such a victory is quite possible because the primary is an open one and Democrats can participate with their own “operation chaos.”

As for Ron Paul himself, we invite readers’ attention to Debbie Schlussel’s post yesterday “Ex-Ron Paul Aide to Schlussel: ‘He HATES Israel,’ Banned Sympathy for 9/11 Victims/Support for US Military, Upset We Fought Nazis”; and to Cliff Kincaid’s post (AIM) yesterday “Ron Paul Under Fire for Praising Accused Traitor”.

Of course, a Paul victory, apparently endorsed by “conservative” voices,  could have fearful long-run consequences to the conservative brand in Virginia.

Stay tuned for any developing (and timely) remedies for the Virginia GOP primary mess.  At least allowing write-ins in the GOP primary?

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