THE BLOG
02/12/2008 11:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Problem with Open Primaries

The primary system is messy and awkward and favors some small homogeneous states more than others, allowing an active minority to make decisions for an increasingly frustrated majority. But not this year. This year, Florida, you would've mattered even (and only) without jumping the gun. Now that states other than New Hampshire and Iowa are integral in determining the Democratic candidate, we must revisit the open primary debate. Do you hear that, Virginia?

In an open system you can choose to vote in either primary regardless of party affiliation. Thirteen states have open primaries, but until now I haven't read an influential Republican write about (and applaud) his degradation of the process by voting for whom he thinks is weakest. Robert Bluey of the Heritage Foundation today came out and said he voted for Obama because he thinks Barack will be the easiest candidate for McCain to defeat.

This not only offends me as a Hillary supporter (I imagine it offends Obama supporters as well), but as a small 'd' democrat. In Virginia's system each individual is allowed to degrade the process by voting for whom they think will be the worst, the slowest, oldest, most inexperienced, the least qualified, etc. They are not voting with the good of that party or the good of the country in mind, and that is a inexcusable practice.

But Bluey applauds it:

"One of the best parts of living in Virginia is the ability to cast a vote in either primary -- Republican or Democrat. I've often found the Democrat races in Northern Virginia far more interesting. Take the contest between Jim Webb and Harris Miller in June 2006. I cast my vote for Miller, even though he was far to the left of Webb. A race between then-Sen. George Allen and Miller would have been far easier for the Republican. Allen might still be a senator had it played out the way I envisioned."

Ahh, wonderful, if it had worked out Bluey's way his conniving would've kept a racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobe in office by voting to his extreme left. Awesome. Yes, this system allows those whose candidate has already been decided to aid in the choosing of his opponent. It allows the best interest of the party, and country to be undermined. This is not just a practice of Republicans, Democrats have similarly corrupted the process in the past. In 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Virginia open primary statute was unconstitutional after a group of GOPers complained that Dems were meddling in their nominating process. Go figure. Apparently, when given the power to choose an opponent, none of us can be trusted. That is why the open primary system must be abolished. It does not serve any of us to be voting in each others worst interest.