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Ellis Mistakes Open Non-Partisan Primaries for Marxism, Misses Opening for Party Purity

Bob Ellis continues to construct his own reality, alleging that Democrats have an “infatuation with Marxism and anti-Americanism.” (For the record, I am infatuated with pizza rolls, not Marx, and I know no active American Democrat who is anti-American.)

But before Ellis collapses in that puddle of hyperbolic goo, he lodges an almost reasonable critique of Amendment V, the proposal for open non-partisan primaries on our ballot in November. Almost.

Ellis contends that each political party ought to be able to nominate its own candidates, without interference from outsiders:

Currently, Democrats elect their own Democrat nominee and Republicans elect their own Republican nominee, and these nominees then go on to face each other in the general election. That’s how it ought to be.

Primaries belong to the respective parties. The primaries are the mechanism through which each party chooses the nominee it wants to field against competitors in the general election for the elected office in question [Bob Ellis, “Constitutional Amendment V,” The Right Side, 2016.04.17].

As I said, almost reasonable. If primaries belong to the parties, why should the state run them? In the current system, the state decides who belongs to each party and can thus participate in each party’s primary. I’d think arch-conservative Ellis would revolt at such state interference. Ellis complains that his party is already overrun with Republicans in Name Only, but he strangely embraces the state’s lax registration process that allows RINOs and DINOs and other fakers to participate in each party’s primary process:

People who want a say in this primary or that are free to join the respective party of their choice; all they have to do is fill out a voter registration form. There are no requirements whatsoever, it doesn’t cost anything and no further action is required to join that party; you don’t even have to vote if you don’t want to.  But you do have to show a minimum amount of “buy in” to that party by taking the time to register as a member [Ellis, 2016.04.17].

The current state-run primaries saddle parties with ideological fakers like Annette Bosworth and Mike Rounds. Amendment V would allow Ellis and other party faithful to out such fakers sooner. Under an open, non-partisan primary, Ellis and his fellow Republicans could hold a pre-primary convention (like in North Dakota and Minnesota), set up all the rules they want to ensure that only the truest Republicans can enter and vote as delegates. Those delegates could then endorse one Republican in each race as the bearer of their pure, conservative, Republican standards and authorize their party to actively campaign during the primary on that candidate’s behalf. Unendorsed RINOs could still run in the primary if they wanted to, but that stinging rebuke from their own party would surely put them at a disadvantage.

Bob Ellis thinks government is too big. I would think Ellis would prefer a system that takes party nominations out of the hands of government and empowers each political party itself, by its own rules, to choose its nominees and then fight for their victory in both the primary and general elections. If Ellis weren’t so infatuated with imagining that the rest of us are infatuated with Marxism and anti-Americanism, he might realize that Amendment V is quite reasonable.


  1. grudznick 2016-04-17 13:34

    Mr. Ellis is a professional journalist of east-river proportions, but he is not a conservative.

  2. grudznick 2016-04-17 15:43

    Mr. Wiken, you are indeed righter than right. There are two Mr. Ellises and I mistook the one who is insaner than most for the libbie journalist one. My apologies, sir.

  3. mike from iowa 2016-04-17 15:48

    Tsk,tsk,tsk, Grudz. Even end timers will be right once-maybe.

  4. grudznick 2016-04-17 15:55

    My brain is addled, Mr. Mike, and my best hope is that I will never visit Iowa on the chance that my end time might come there.

  5. mike from iowa 2016-04-17 16:12

    Nothing personal,Grudz, but I am more convinced today than ever,there isn’t a wingnut alive in Washington,Dead Chickens with a functioning brain cell. Did you catch the latest on 9-11 that proves your former Potus and his cabal knew Saudi Arabia was behind some of the hi-jackers and our FBI rounded up Saudis and safely shipped them home? That slack-jawed mule that dumbass dubya likes to be photographed kissing on the mouth had full government protection. And to think of the outrage of your party when they impeached Clinton for a blowjob!

  6. Donald Pay 2016-04-17 16:14

    Wisconsin has an open primary, but it’s only open in that I have to choose my party at the time of the election. I can’t cross parties on the same ballot. I guess you could, but my ballot would be tossed. I have never chosen to vote in the Republican Party primary.

    Wisconsin is a purple state with both parties often having some contested primaries, so for party faithful, there is relative little party jumping from primary to primary. What changes are the number of independents who decide to vote in one party or the other. Open primaries tend to increase the options for independents, and that has historically had a moderating influence on the type of candidate who emerges from the primary. That, however, is changing, as candidates have figured out that driving out the base vote is key, not appealing to the independents.

    As Cory said, the state parties often decide at party conventions prior to who gets the party endorsement. Generally, the parties don’t endorse for President, however. They endorse for Governor and sometimes other state offices in off-year elections, though. I can’t recall that they endorse for US Senate or US House candidates.

  7. grudznick 2016-04-17 16:22

    I think Mr. Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. It’s a crime, they say. If he had been in Iowa where the courts said that buggery is not against the law he should have just come clean instead of committing perjury.

  8. mike from iowa 2016-04-17 16:29

    And your buddy dumbass dubya knew about his terrorist brethren’s plans,did nothing to stop them and helped them escape,then covered it up. The he started two illegal wars, outed a covert CIA agent,her family and endangered her contacts around the world,then lied about all of this and wasn’t even issued a citation for jay walking. Wingnut family values. No wonder I hate them.

    Come to iowa,Grudz, the stench of hogs will clear whatever pathway used to get oxygen to your brain.

  9. grudznick 2016-04-17 16:34

    I do love a good shot of ammonia now and then.

  10. Robin Friday 2016-04-17 17:22

    Just have to say, having formerly raised hogs, that it’s more the methane than the ammonia. Could be why I have such a hard time following Ellis’s reasoning.

  11. grudznick 2016-04-17 17:43

    I do love a good shot of methane now and then.

  12. Porter Lansing 2016-04-17 18:12

    Mr. Ellis, you paranoid old pedantic. You’re just another minority, now. Older Angry White Males and your time in power is short. (this means you Grudz)
    – If you want to understand today’s young Americans, consider this: 58% of them think “socialism” is the most compassionate political system, compared with just 33% who pick “capitalism.” Heck, 9% even voted for “communism.” That’s right: Two-thirds in a poll I did last month say socialism or communism is more compassionate than capitalism.

  13. mike from iowa 2016-04-17 19:07

    Of course with nitro-methane you’d be a 300+ mph mother bear, Grudz.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-17 21:13

    Robin, don’t work too hard at following that path. I sometimes think Bob Ellis’s (Bob, Grudz, Bob!) writing is just a vehicle for insulting Leftists and others (dregs, Marxism, schizophrenic and more, all in one post!).

    Donald, Wisconsin has endorsing conventions before the primary? Does the party’s endorsee usually win the primary?

  15. drey samuelson 2016-04-18 00:45

    Cory–very well said, as usual. If primary elections are the sole property of the political parties (or in South Dakota’s case, the Republican Party, as the Dems allow Independents to vote in their primaries) , then they oughta pay for them, rather than the taxpayers. That seems indisputable, to me.

    There are other reasons to support Amendment V, unless you believe that one party rule is superior to legislators of all parties (including Independents) working together to solve problems, but you’d sure think that a conservative like Mr. Ellis would believe that the taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the actions of private entities. Independents don’t get to fully participate in our primaries, but yet are forced to help pay for them, isn’t that what our forefathers called “taxation without representation?”

  16. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-04-18 11:23

    Kind of funny to read the various posts on here, talking about the party picking the candidate, and even insinuating that, that is how it should be. No one has bothered to allude to the fact that the Dems have done this for years in selecting the Democratic candidate for president. They get behind the least liberal, or the least wanting to change the drift by the party to the right, in order to compete with the Republicans for the rightist vote.

  17. happy camper 2016-04-18 12:32

    You can’t trust the parties themselves especially if that allows some sort of pre primary. The Republicans are having a big dust up. “At issue: a controversial proposal that would drastically alter how the convention would function, changing the underlying rule book for proceedings — and potentially affecting whether party insiders could draft a so-called white knight at a deadlocked convention.”

  18. Douglas Wiken 2016-04-18 16:23

    Comparing “capitalism” and “socialism” is nonsense. One is a government system and the other is an economic system. And socialism is not communism despite SD retrograde attempts to conflate the two.

  19. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-04-18 16:49

    I must wholeheartedly disagree, Mr Wiken. My dicionary defines both as:

    “capitalism |ˈkapətlˌizəm|
    an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.”

    “socialism |ˈsō sh əˌlizəm|
    a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
    • policy or practice based on this theory.
    • (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.
    The term “socialism” has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammeled workings of the economic market.The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late19th century have generally tended toward social democracy.”

    They are comparable systems. However as we have seen in the past 100 years, ever since Herbert Hoover, and particularly since Ronald Reagan the laws passed by our government, have been to skew the balance of power toward capitalism and toward the banks, and big business and away from labor and the people. That is why, in spite of the enormous amount of wealth created in this country since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the 80% or more of the population have not shared in that wealth creation.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-19 10:14

    Interesting point from Drey about taxation without representation… or participation. If we are going to fund an election, should not every taxpayer be able to participate in that election?

    Ah, but careful: one does not have to pay taxes to vote… and one can pay taxes yet be denied one’s right to vote (felony conviction, non-resident/immigrant status, not yet of voting age). Of course, in the instances where we deny someone a right to vote in an election, the state identifies a compelling interest in restricting franchise. What compelling interest does the state have in holding a closed election to decide a partisan nomination?

  21. leslie 2016-04-20 10:23

    1. grudz- do you not dance? ever? “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”[17] is the standard.

    as you know, “impeachment is a ‘two-step’ procedure.

    Its a “two-step”. pretty simple. The House must first pass, by a simple majority articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or allegations. Upon passage, the defendant has been “impeached”.

    Remember the House? It has been in republican control for 10 years. It has voted against (“charged”) the ACA 60 or more times… with no successful prosecutions. Have you no shame?

    Next, the Senate tries the accused, the Chief Justice presides over the proceedings. You know that the charge for getting his semen on monica’s dress was not successfully prosecuted in the Senate.

    guilty as charge but not convicted, or innocent? wiki

    2. Senate Republicans on Tuesday approved letting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership team of little guys from little, ‘southern’ states remain in their posts through 2018.

    Three leaders — Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.), Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso
    (Wyo.) and conference vice chairman Roy Blunt(Mo.) — had faced the possibility of term limits kicking in at the end of this year.

    a Tea Party favorite and close friend of presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz(R-Texas), had stirred the controversy last week by arguing that the three leaders should have to leave their posts after the election.

    But the conference of 3 from little/and/or ‘southern’ states took a voice vote Tuesday and agreed the partial term the leaders served in 2012 should not count against the rule that restricts leaders to serving three terms. (the “joop” rule :)

    the motion was adopted by an overwhelming voice vote. No dissent was heard. (the SD Banking Commission rule :)

    Thune, Barrasso, Blunt and Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) will have to step down from their posts at the end of the 115th Congress, in 2018. Watch then for thune’s next career decision. I’d like to see mutual divorces and a re-marriage of Thune and Noem-at Mt . Rushmore!!

    3. Party divides. a nation divided?

    Fifty-six percent of Republicans surveyed by Pew believe immigrants “are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care,” a position endorsed by just 17 percent of Democrats, more than three-quarters of whom said immigrants “strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents.”

    Seventy-one percent of Democrats maintain that the increasing number of people of different races and ethnicities make the U.S. a better place to live, compared to 46 percent of Republicans.

    Fifty-eight percent of Republicans think corporations make a fair and reasonable profit, while 75 percent of Democrats believe they make too much.

    Even assessments of “objective” economic reality reveal sharp partisan skews. Gallup recently found 54 percent of Democrats saying it was a good time to look for a good job, for example; only 28 percent of Republicans shared that view.

    The differences in Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index were similarly striking: in March it was plus 14 for Democrats, and minus 35 for Republicans.

    supporters had the same perception.

    Perhaps respondents are just cheerleading for their party, giving it credit for good and their opponents blame for bad. Perhaps they are agreeing with what they see as their party’s view of the world without really endorsing the view themselves.

    Two Yale professors provide evidence on both sides of the argument.

    Half [a study] sample was merely asked questions. The other half was given a very small financial incentive to give the “correct” answer.

    The incentive for the correct answer reduced the partisan gap by about 50 percent.

  22. leslie 2016-04-20 10:35

    disregard above pls-“supporters had the same perception.”

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