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Time to Talk about the 2008 Election
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 11 September, 2004 | John Armor (CongressmanBillybob)

Posted on 09/11/2004 1:53:57 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob

On the 27th of August, I went in print and in electrons to predict that the Kerry Campaign was over. Most other political pundits, except those whose income depends on the pretense that Kerry has a chance, have since reached the same conclusion. In the meantime, Dan Rather has ceased to exist (though no one has told him yet), and CBS and the “old media” may also go down in flames.

But that’s not what I came to talk about. I came to talk about the election of 2008.

Last weekend I was sitting on a dock by a TVA lake in Tennessee at a barbeque with friends and neighbors of my in-laws. A gentleman named James Talley happened to tell me about a letter he had published in USA Today in January. I told him there was a story there, and I’d write it. Here are his first two paragraphs:

“The time has come for this archaic process we call election primary - a long drawn out process state by state - to be abolished and replaced by a true national primary. 2004 should be the last year for this old system.

“In our present ancient process by the time the first three or four states have voted, and the news media have declared the trends and the effective result, the party moguls have the stage set for their guy or gal. This disenfranchises the voters. Every registered American citizen deserves the opportunity to enter the voting booth and to express a choice totally uninfluenced by exit polls and media rhetoric.”

And Jim went on to suggest a date for this national primary: the Tuesday nearest to the 4th of July. In 2008 that would be 1 July.

In any proposal for major change in a long-established system, a necessary question is “How can this be accomplished?” It’s like the story about belling the cat. The mice might be in total agreement that a bell on the cat would be a safety measure. But the question immediately arises as to who will get that bell on that cat. There are two theoretical ways to accomplish what Jim suggests. One method would never succeed for pragmatic political reasons. But the other one could work, if properly approached, so it’s doable. And we can talk about whether it makes sense.

If you look over the history of national political conventions, beginning with the Anti-Masonic and National Republican Conventions in Baltimore in 1831, most of them have been reasonably exciting and have had actual tasks to perform. They have either chosen nominees in contested elections, or written platforms on contested issues.

In the span of American history, 2004 was an exceptionally dull year for conventions. Both candidates were known months in advance of their conventions. (I’m speaking here of the only parties with a chance to win in this year, the Republicans and the Democrats.) Both campaigns controlled their conventions - who would speak, what they would speak about, what the party platforms would say.

Whenever one party has a one-term occupant in the White House, its convention is almost guaranteed to be “thoroughly scripted.” That’s because no incumbent President has ever been denied renomination if he sought that. Yes, I see your hands waving. No, Lyndon Johnson was not defeated for renomination. He was not even defeated in New Hampshire by Gene McCarthy. McCarthy did run nearly even with Johnson, and demonstrated his vulnerability. Johnson then announced that he would not run again. The result was the 1968 Chicago Convention, one of the most violent and fractious in history.

Presidential nominations now begin with the Iowa Caucuses, followed by the New Hampshire Primary. Both states defend their turf by threatening to move their caucuses or primaries to an even earlier date, if any other state proposes a law to move their primaries into January. Even though these two small states are hardly typical of the United States as a whole, the press and pundits put great stock by the candidates who win in those states, plus a small number of the others who “did better than expected.”

So almost anyone who wants to be President has to spend at least a year prior to the election year preparing for a solid showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. Unless that changes, 2008 will be a repeat of 2004. Everyone seeking the Presidency will be at it for two years, and as citizens our TVs will be cluttered with both the ads and the sound bites from all those people for two years.

Then as the process continues, it’s possible that one candidate will outlast the others and force them out of the race (I’m not referring to the “tick” candidates like Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, who burrowed in and claimed to be still in the race after it was over). When the contests on both sides are over early in the year, as now, states with later primary dates find themselves spending serious money to conduct meaningless primaries in which no one campaigns and few people vote.

Is all that a good idea? Jim thinks not, and I agree with him.

There are two ways to defang the early overemphasis on Iowa and New Hampshire. One appears in the US Constitution. Article I, Section 4, of the Constitution gives the control of election laws first to the “State Legislatures,” but then adds, “Congress may at any time by Law alter such regulations....” So if Congress decided that a national primary was desirable, it could pass a law and require that result. This is theory only. The leaders of Congress have all grown up in the current system of nominations. They know how to play this game, not the new game which would result with this change. Discount to zero the chance that Congress would act on this idea before 2008.

Fortunately, that does not foreclose the change. What if two-thirds of the state legislatures decided that a national primary was a good idea? What if those legislators agreed that 1 July 2008 was a good time to conduct this primary and did so by law?

First, the excessive focus on Iowa and New Hampshire would disappear. Every candidate would justly say that for anyone to win a majority of the delegates to his/her convention, that must include a strong win in many states on 1 July. The primaries on other dates could not, mathematically, foreclose the nominations at the Conventions.

The first obvious result is that all states holding their primaries on 1 July, 2008, would be guaranteed to have contested and relevant elections. All candidates would have an incentive to go to all such states - in person, on TV, by Internet - because all such voting would matter.

The second obvious factor is this: It would be far less likely for any one candidate to take a mathematical majority in the 1 July Primary. All candidates would be “in the race” through 1 July. None of them would be likely to be “scraped off,” like an unsuccessful Indiana Jones falling off a speeding German truck. It isn’t just the press focus on the horse race aspects, but the federal election law’s provisions concerning federal matching funds, that destroys candidacies early under the present process.

It’s more likely that a national primary would produce just leading candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations, rather than absolute winners. It’s common sense that the leading candidates would negotiate with the trailing candidates that they generally agreed with. Perhaps that would result in a committed majority (and ticket) in either or both parties before their 2008 conventions.

But there’s a far greater chance under this process than under the present one, that there would NOT be a final, mathematical victory in either or both of the Republican and Democratic Conventions in 2008 as there was in 2004. Are there public benefits to this difference?

Some Democrats are already having buyer’s remorse about their selection of John Kerry in 2004. The wrong time to find out about major defects in your candidate for President is after your Party has selected that person. The whole point of primary elections is to test candidates against each other, including a comparison of their defects as well as their assets.

If the proposed National Primary did not produce nominees for both Parties, that would guarantee that the public and press review of the candidates continued until the Conventions. That would allow a maximum opportunity for sound decisions on nominees and minimum risk of buyer’s remorse. “Marry in haste, repent in leisure,” is attributed to Ben Franklin. Committing to a candidate is a form of political marriage. The observation applies, though Franklin may have borrowed it.

Another public advantage concerns issues. If the candidates are not buttoned up before the Conventions, then the issues and party platforms are probably not buttoned up either. When was the last time you recall seeing a debate on any platform point at a Convention? And yet, choosing between policy choices on subjects from war and peace to social security are the very essence of modern American politics.

Why should the presidential nominating process continue to be rigged the way it is today, so that the conversations Americans routinely have around water coolers and at kitchen tables are prevented at the Party Conventions? A National Primary offers the best chance of Conventions that have real work to do - candidates to choose, issues to decide.

And if the Conventions offer more than pre-scripted content, the press is more likely to offer more coverage. Danger attracts the press. Would anyone cover NASCAR races if there was a written guarantee in advance of no car crashes? Think of the plot theory behind all movies and TV shows. If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.

Of course the purpose of the leading candidates is always to go over the top. Close out debate on issues. Line up supporting speakers, and conduct a unified Convention. But what’s good for the individual candidate isn’t necessarily healthy for either the whole Party, or the whole nation.

I think a National Primary is an excellent idea. And I thank Jim Talley for reminding me of it a week ago. What are your thoughts on the subject?

- 30 -

About the Author: John Armor is a civil rights attorney who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. CongressmanBillybob@earthlink.net

- 30 -


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: 2008; 2008election; bellthecat; benfranklin; buyersremorse; cbsnews; danrather; genemccarthy; iowacaucus; jamestalley; johnkerry; nationalconventions; nationalprimary; newhampshireprimary; oldmedia; yndonjohnson
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Comments in article. I also think this would diminish the likelihood that Hillary! will be nominated by the Democrats in 2008. Once Kerry has crashed and burned over defects that should have been anticipated, it is more possible that when push comes to shove, the Democrats will choose someone with greater substance and integrity than Hillary!
1 posted on 09/11/2004 1:54:00 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
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To: Constitution Day; TaxRelief; mhking; JohnHuang2
F.Y.I., Billybob
2 posted on 09/11/2004 1:55:35 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
well according to Dems Bush never won the first time, so by their logic he can run again in 2008!
3 posted on 09/11/2004 2:03:51 PM PDT by escapefromboston
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To: Congressman Billybob

Let's keep the old primary system and get rid of the old media "system".


4 posted on 09/11/2004 2:04:33 PM PDT by exnavy
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To: Congressman Billybob

A national primary loads the dice in favor of the candidate with the most name recognition and money. Having primaries in small states first, lets more obscure candidates a chance to show their stuff and gain momentum, or lose it. I prefer having Iowa and New Hampshire vet candidates on a retail basis first. Granted, in a perfect world, which states got this honor would rotate. But heaven forbid if it should ever be California or New York, which are anomic and media driven, and in the case of New York, the GOP is really more of a phone booth party.


5 posted on 09/11/2004 2:06:35 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Congressman Billybob

A national primary is a trojan horse for abolishing the electoral college.

If a national primary were ever established, the political pressure to abolish the electoral college would become unstoppable. Pundits would have a field day -- "A national election is good enough for the primaries, so why isn't it good enough for the general?"


6 posted on 09/11/2004 2:08:50 PM PDT by nsc68
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To: Congressman Billybob

Speaking as a distant observer, I see it as somewhat odd that the government gets involved with party candidate selection; surely this is the job of the parties themselves. It is certainly strange to push this into the hands of the Federal Government, rather than the several states.


7 posted on 09/11/2004 2:09:27 PM PDT by tjwmason (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

I'm gonna go with the old saying, always follow the money. A one day event would pound that reality into the system in no uncertain terms. The candidate with the most money upfront, before even one vote is cast will be the nominee. Yes, I realize that's already a big part of the whole process as it's in place currently, but a single day vote will make it even worse.

Hillary has alreay been working for a long time to get her war chest ready. If you can think of the name of any other Democrat in a similar position, put their name on the table.


8 posted on 09/11/2004 2:09:36 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Congressman Billybob

"Democrats will choose someone with greater substance and integrity than Hillary!"

This will not be hard to do, since she has no substance, no experience (very important), no love for country, she is a devout Marxist, she hates the military, and would be on a par with Kerry when it comes to pandering to the enemies of the U.S. -- even though she is standard Democrat anti-American trash, one of her biggest problems is that her resume (qualifications) is a blank piece of paper.

She is accomplished though at bimbo-suppression, throwing lamps, generating the foulest language, spraying anti-semitism, maintaining relationships with the enemies of the U.S., defending and promoting anti-establishment militants, and totally lacking in self-respect and ethics.

Other than that, she would be a fine candidate...(looking for barf bucket...)


9 posted on 09/11/2004 2:13:05 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Congressman Billybob
election day should be a nationwide 24 hour period. ie all polls should open and close the same time. eg: polls open on the east coast at noon and close the next day at noon while polls open in hawaii at 6:00am and close the next day at 6:00am.
10 posted on 09/11/2004 2:13:22 PM PDT by phxaz (w: 7 minutes of composure. kerry: 37 minutes of paralysis.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

There is no primary system. Think about it. In fact the Republicans and Democrats should be footing the bill for their use of public money supporting their party selection process.


11 posted on 09/11/2004 2:25:29 PM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1 (Lock-n-load!)
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To: GoLightly
I have read the history of fund-raising in thousands of Congressional races. As a GENERAL rule, the candidate with more money wins. However, candidates have lost for the House while spending $10+ million, and won while spending less than $100,000.

Also, if the National Primary did not result in an absolute majority for any candidate, then all the leading candidates would have until their Conventions (up to 60 days) to sort out the best candidate to pick. Consider that John Kerry has more money (when you throw in his wife's assets) than any other candidate in US history. Yet he is about to lose.

That proves both of my main points.

John / Billybob

12 posted on 09/11/2004 2:25:48 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: nsc68
Actually, a National Primary would be very much like the Electoral College. The voting in the Primary will not be purely for the candidates, but for delegates who intend to vote for those candidates. In the ultimate outcome, those delegates could wind up voting for someone else, who then winds up as the nominee.

John / Billybob

13 posted on 09/11/2004 2:28:52 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: tjwmason
I am not "pushing this into the hands of the federal government." I note that the Constitution gives this power to Congress, but also that I don't think there's any possibility Congress will take action.

On the other hand, I state clearly that if the states themselves decide for reasons of their own decide to move their primaries to a single date, they can do so. And if 2/3rds of the states do that, the result will be achieved. A few states not in the agreement will not sabotage the plan.

John / Billybob

14 posted on 09/11/2004 2:32:58 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Interesting essay, as always, sir. Permit be to object on two grounds. Legal, and pragmatic. A national primary would start us down the slippery slope to eliminate the elctoral college. More and more focus would be paid to TOTAL vote, not the states won..besides, NH will never go along. Thye'd just move the 2008 primary to the third week on Jan 2005...

Tactically, the problems with the primary system in its presetn form are due for the most part to the Democratic party's schizophrenic nature...The hard left in the party controls the primaries. A natinal primary would have given us Dean as a nominee..a scary thought indeed..You need a sequence of primaries to allow different candidates to ebb/flow, and see how they can handle the political process..a vetting if you will...Look at Iowa and NH for whom they eliminated..The Dem party should have changed the rules, and kicked the candidates out of the debates, those with less that 10% of the vote...Again..Iowa eliminated Dean..

15 posted on 09/11/2004 2:35:38 PM PDT by ken5050 (Bill Clinton has just signed to be the national spokesman for Hummer..)
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To: Rightwing Conspiratr1
Actually, depending on the laws of the various states, sometimes the Republicans and Democrats DO pay for their own primaries. Especially if one Party does want a primary and the other does not, the Legislature can (and sometimes does) set up a one-party primary and cause that party to pay for the costs.

John / Billybob

16 posted on 09/11/2004 2:36:17 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob

I take a somewhat different view.

There is absolutely no reason why political parties are permitted to involve the governments, states and federal, in the selection of their candidates.

Governments should only be involved in the actual election of candidates to public office. Political parties should choose their candidates by whatever means they see fit, including reading tea leaves. But they should not have access to nor restrictions from government mechanisms in doing so.

Bluntly, deny political parties government support, including voter registration (by party), and polling services.

This would then return the primary system to its original function of the party members determining the course of their parties. It would also make things much harder for media manipulation.

Will there be abuses under this method? Of course. That is not the concern of government. It is the concern of the party members. But most importantly it provides for political parties to grow & evolve, wither & die...all at the dictates of its members.

Sounds a lot like political free enterprise. Or just maybe it's how a healthy representative republic functions.


17 posted on 09/11/2004 2:36:23 PM PDT by DakotaGator
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To: exnavy

Ya wanna get rid of 'em, I've been kicking around an idea & I see a hugh gap in what we'd like to happen & our approach to the status quo.

The idea bubbled up from the whole CBS thing, but needed a couple of other things to finally gell it in my mind.

DoctorZIn has put a lot of work into a couple of projects. His site is a good hint about where I'd like to see things to go:

http://www.newsignored.com/

Then we had the RNC & President Bush's speech. He rattled off a website during his speech & something crept into my brain related to that, something about a multi-page press release with details of all of his new proposals... Anyone see any press reports about any of the details?

People here are good at dragging news reports from all kinds of media sources for all of us to pick apart, but are we going to the primary sources to eliminate the media middle men? Kamp Kerry also has details of his proposals & I've seen a few instances of things from there being brought over here to be picked apart, but I can't say it's as often or as far reaching as I think it should be.

We've gone to some or all of these sites & others to adress something the media has reported, but I can't say I've seen threads started by using them. Take a look, they have press releases. These government offices are informing reporters who filter info & report to us. I don't think any of them are on the front page as resources of FR. I took a quick glance & found a site by Linda Tripp there?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/
http://www.centcom.mil/
http://www.senate.gov/
http://www.house.gov/
http://www.defenselink.mil/
http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml?src=a
http://www.state.gov/
http://www.hhs.gov/

I could go on, but I'm gonna now redirect you to the offical sites of the candidates of the two biggest parties. Lotta stuff on each of 'em...

http://www.georgewbush.com/
http://www.johnkerry.com/front/splash.html

Going through information overload yet? *Replace* means there is a need to do the work & that means more than just picking apart the work done by the "professionals".


18 posted on 09/11/2004 2:37:29 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Congressman Billybob
Um, I thinks Iowa REQUIRES the funding of both political campaigns and the subsequent media coverage in order to sustain what economy they possess..

Just a thought. Of course, this is silly, as Jesse is going to do away with the electoral college anyway..

19 posted on 09/11/2004 2:43:02 PM PDT by Experiment 6-2-6 (Meega, Nala Kweesta! KERRY EDWARDS... Forging ahead...)
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To: ken5050
There is no "slippery slope" to eliminate the Electoral College. The states which have 3, 4, or 5 Electoral College votes have a doubling of their votes. They have 1, 2, or 3 votes based on population. The other 2 votes per state are the "bonus" for their Senators.

Count up those small states. They are more than enough to block an amendment to abolish the College from passing the Senate. And even if it passed the Senate somehow, those states could kill the amendment in the ratification process.

People tend to get nervous when Hillary! proposes a major and disastrous change in American government or society. Socialized Health Care got killed because it was stupid. Abolishing the Electoral College is constitutionally impossible. Just do the math.

John / Billybob

20 posted on 09/11/2004 2:45:11 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Re: "...the Democrats will choose someone with greater substance and integrity than Hillary!"

Don't count on it. They are bone stupid. As an example it is a wonder to me that a party with the power, money, experience and (hack, cough, hauch spit) talent as the Democratic party would pick a man who was promoting his Vietnam War credentials as qualification for President during wartime while at the same time stating he was proud of his antiwar efforts. How can a logical and sane man claim he is proud of his war efforts and at the same time be proud of saying he participating in war crimes? It defies all logic, it makes no common sense. Like the Clintoon scandal, the swift boat Vets were predictable well before the primaries were over. Hand wringing over their candidates short comings is a little late.

I doubt they will do any better in four years. Lets face facts they have never faced the real problem which is their world view, their fantasy land outlook. I can sum up the reason they won with Clintoon in 92 and 96 in two words:

Ross Perot
21 posted on 09/11/2004 2:48:49 PM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: DakotaGator
What you describe is the way that all American elections were conducted until the Australian "secret ballot" was adopted here, beginning in Louisville, Ky., in 1888. I could, with you, list the benefits of returning to that system. But I see no pragmatic possibility that the nation will ever go backwards on that general decision.

John / Billybob

22 posted on 09/11/2004 2:49:00 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
The Parties, or a party, could set a date for primaries in all states and bar it's candidates from running in earlier ones.

Of course that'd be 'too easy'.

You're right about the problem. Maine and Iowa are not bellwethers of any sort.

23 posted on 09/11/2004 2:50:17 PM PDT by mrsmith ("Oyez, oyez! All rise for the Honorable Chief Justice... Hillary Rodham Clinton ")
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: GoLightly
I think the first step to putting the MSM in it's proper place (the ash heap of history) is to explore the legal steps possible, both criminal and civil, as that regards memogate. I have told more than a few people I know that you are witnessing the begining of the end of the DNC and its media wing(MSM).

If, somehow, we could make sure that a Republican was elected in 2008, and served two terms, along with a republican controlled senate and congress ...

I truely believe that would be the end of the DNC.

I will explore the links and see what can be done.

25 posted on 09/11/2004 2:51:11 PM PDT by exnavy
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To: Congressman Billybob
Proxmire used to spend around $100 per year & that was in statewide elections, so yes, I know throwing money at a seat is no guarantee.

As you know, throwing money at any problem doesn't always work, else there would no longer be any poor people, all horrible diseases would have cures & all students would become educated.

If your system was adopted before 2008, Hillary would be cozy & in place with the first round of votes, while the Republican party would likely be in disarray. Sure, I'd love to be in a state where candidates aren't already set in place by the time I can vote. Be interesting to have rolling polls, with a ban on any counting of votes until all states have voted.

26 posted on 09/11/2004 2:51:53 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Experiment 6-2-6
There is no doubt that for Iowa and New Hampshire, these primaries are cottage industries by bringing in money in the winter when the trees and the fields are frozen. For purely economic reasons, neither state would voluntarily get rid of their primary.

However, as I point out, if enough other states move the dates of their primaries, Iowa and N.H. can keep their dates but their importance nationally will be "defanged."

Billybob

27 posted on 09/11/2004 2:56:30 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: nsc68

I agree with your analysis... Anything that even attempts to impugn the integrity of the electoal college I'm opposed to.

The founders had very, very good reasons to do what they did and I'm very reluctant to even consider going against the founders. I respect them that much.

I also live in a small state (Montana); and I don't want New York; California; and Illinois dictating to the nation...

THE EC IS WHAT PROTECTS US AS A NATION...


28 posted on 09/11/2004 2:57:25 PM PDT by gatorgriz ("The world is full of bastards - the number ever increasing the further one gets from Missoula, MT")
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To: Mark in the Old South
As soon as it is clear that Kerry is down the dumper - about four minutes after the polls close on the East Coast - Hillary! will be the favorite to get the Democrat nomination in 2008. What I've set forth is that her chances are less of being the eventual nominee under the single primary pattern than under the current rolling campaign. She would almost certainly copy the Kerry pattern in 2004, given the chance.

Billybob

29 posted on 09/11/2004 3:01:14 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: mrsmith
You are right that the national Parties could do this, if they wanted to. But the national parties are run by the same people who led the Parties in Congress. For the same reason that Congress won't act, the Parties won't act.

So, this will only happen if common sense rears its ugly head in the state legislatures, it can be done. And to my experience, the state legislators are common sense folks.

Billybob

30 posted on 09/11/2004 3:07:34 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
...no incumbent President has ever been denied renomination if he sought that.

...no incumbent President since Chester Arthur in 1884 was unsaddled in favor of James Blaine has ever been denied renomination if he sought that.

Fixed it up for ya. No charge, of course. Boola boola, and all that. (g!)

31 posted on 09/11/2004 3:10:41 PM PDT by SAJ (Wait until Tues, then write OJX calls, 100 and 105 strikes. Write SFV 7700 puts on any decent dip.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
But I see no pragmatic possibility that the nation will ever go backwards on that general decision.

You are correct sir. And I agree with you.

My stance is that the further we depart from our original system, the worse it will become. As long as government is involved with the political parties' processes those processes will be terribly tainted.

Mr. Talley's idea of a National Primary has an appealing elegance. But to my way of thinking it deepens government involvement. And that worries me.

Our political parties are already stagnant due, in large part, to government freezing of their structures. I believe this is unhealthy. And I am loathe to increase government involvement.

Having said that, let's presume the National Primary idea was adopted. What is your position on adding the selection "None of the Above" to each office's list of candidates?

Might make the parties and primary candidates more accountable and work harder. Or it just may stir up the pot!

32 posted on 09/11/2004 3:11:02 PM PDT by DakotaGator
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To: Battle Axe
Yes, it is important that the voting be simultaneous. So, if the polls are open noon to midnight in the East, that would adjust with the time zones going west, so that everyone gets to vote early at the same real time, and ends at the same time. Everyone would get a choice of voting during working hours or off hours.

And yes, you are right. Most of the poll workers are elderly women. Around here we call them "Q-Tips." Short, straight, thin, and with white cotton on top. To have them cover 12 hours would probably require two 7-hour shifts, overlapping at the change of shift.

Billybob

33 posted on 09/11/2004 3:13:05 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I totally agree but I was under the impression that you believed the Demons would pick a better candidate. I doubt they will even with the single primary system. My point being they see the world through wavy glass spectacles. They have never faced reality because they see lots of voters who think like they do (sad to say many voters are bone stupid as well) but there is not enough to win elections without a third party to skew the results in their favor. They can only win if there is:

(1) Republican scandal
(2) a third party that is attractive to Republican leaning voters
(3) a national disaster that the Republicans mishandle
(4) they select a viable candidate who also appeals to Republican leaning voters.

They will not pick #4 because they just can not shake their Utopian illusions. #3 is out of their control and can backfire in making the Republican look heroic. That leaves #1 which is left to luck unless they can manufacture a false scandal, which can also backfire, see threads on memogate. And #2 which they can help along by grooming shills which is the most likely option they will try in 2008. Hillary is not called Lady Macbeth for no reason.

The question remains what will the Republicans do to counter this?
34 posted on 09/11/2004 3:20:49 PM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: SAJ
Thank you for that correction. You caused me to pop up and read a biography of Chester Arthur before replying to your post. Yes, he ran for reelection and lost the nomination. According to his biography, he ran to seem "not to fear defeat" but wasn't concerned about losing because he know that his kidney disease would be fatal, as it was in 1886.

But I will never again say that all incumbents who sought reelection were at least renominated. I stand corrected; thank you.

Billybob

35 posted on 09/11/2004 3:22:24 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I think that would be a very poor system.

Money and name ID would rule.

In the current system an underdog with a great message can win. In a national primary they would have no chance in hell. Advantage would go to governors of NY, CA, TX, cabinet members, prominent senators.

36 posted on 09/11/2004 3:25:41 PM PDT by JohnnyZ ("The common man doesn't look at me as some rich witch." --Teresa Heinz Kerry)
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To: Congressman Billybob
All candidates would have an incentive to go to all such states - in person, on TV, by Internet - because all such voting would matter.

The Founders would have loved this idea. Why weren't you there!? ;))

37 posted on 09/11/2004 3:26:18 PM PDT by Indie (Ignorance of the truth is no excuse for stupidity.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
I disagree with the national primary. I think there should be four regional primaries held starting in July and then every two weeks. That takes us into September giving the candidates time to lie tell us what they plan for us.
38 posted on 09/11/2004 3:26:48 PM PDT by raybbr
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To: DakotaGator
I am in favor of "None of the Above" as a ballot option. Nevada is the only state, so far, to put that in its laws. Unfortunately it has no teeth.

An effective "None of the Above" option would declare the seat vacant, disqualify all the candidates on the prior ballot, and require a special election to fill the seat. In the toothless Nevada version, it is only a protest vote. If "None" wins, then the human with the second highest vote total, which could be only 25% or so, gets the job.

I'm with you that "None" is a great idea. Experience suggests it won't happen.

Billybob

39 posted on 09/11/2004 3:29:31 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob; All

I'd be for a national primary if each state could only vote for residents within their state to go to their respective party national conventions where party delegates would pick the best candidates their parties have to offer. Each state would be limited to their two top picks from each party as candidates for president. State party delegates would be selected at the same time.

National conventions are now little more than Broadway plays with very little substance. They nothing more than a rubber stamp of policies agreed to before the opening act. This needs to be changed.


40 posted on 09/11/2004 3:34:50 PM PDT by backtothestreets
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To: Congressman Billybob
What I've set forth is that her chances are less of being the eventual nominee under the single primary pattern than under the current rolling campaign.

I entirely disagree. Under a single primary Hillary would start out with 40-50% of the vote under her belt, by far the most money, and by far the most name ID. There is no way another candidate could come close to competing with her, except maybe Bill. Where is the money going to come from to fund a national campaign against Hillary?

In a rolling campaign, other candidates would at least have the chance to take their message voter to voter, and could show a truer appeal to the rural Iowans and indy New Hampsherites and set up a David vs. Goliath scenario.

41 posted on 09/11/2004 3:35:49 PM PDT by JohnnyZ ("The common man doesn't look at me as some rich witch." --Teresa Heinz Kerry)
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To: Congressman Billybob
How would the votes be counted in such a national primary? Electoral College-wise or national popular-wise? I'd prefer the former.

I'd like to see a two-tiered process where an earlier primary narrows the field rather early, thus eliminating the nuisance ticks.

42 posted on 09/11/2004 3:48:32 PM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington (Kerry fled while good men bled.)
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To: PeoplesRepublicOfWashington; backtothestreets
The election of delegates would not change. They would still be pledged to a particular candidate for as long as the law of that state specified. They would be residents of each state, elected in each state, with no carryover from state to state.]

The only way that delegates would go to the Convention as "uncommitted" is if that particular state permitted that option, and the voters of that state chose all or some of such delegates.

Billybob

43 posted on 09/11/2004 3:57:49 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Visit: www.ArmorforCongress.com please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
Both the Demos and the Repubs have been nominating weak and defective candidate for some time now. I feel poorly in this election having to argue that my candidate is significantly less defective than your candidate in this election.

Maybe a different nominating process will do the trick. Best of luck to you.

44 posted on 09/11/2004 4:06:39 PM PDT by FreedomSurge
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To: Torie

I agree completely. A national primary is a really scary idea. It would complete the centralization of power in this country -- not that it isn't already pretty far gone.


45 posted on 09/11/2004 4:47:45 PM PDT by Brandon
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To: Battle Axe

work harder to man the polls.


46 posted on 09/11/2004 4:48:53 PM PDT by phxaz (w: 7 minutes of composure. kerry: 37 minutes of paralysis.)
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To: phxaz

In '08, the Dems will nominate Hillary and Howard Dean and take the worst thrashing in political history. Just a thought.


47 posted on 09/11/2004 5:41:14 PM PDT by rdl6989 (<fontface="Rather Not">)
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To: Congressman Billybob
To be honest with you, I don't even like the idea of government getting involved with political parties at all.

What the GOP or the democratic party does internally, is what they do. They should set there own primaries, states and dates, without any kind of implicit help or interference from the government. I'd much rather roll back then push into the process.

48 posted on 09/11/2004 5:53:51 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Congressman Billybob

For '08 we need to run Bill Owens.


49 posted on 09/11/2004 6:19:03 PM PDT by RockinRight (Vote early, vote often)
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To: gatorgriz
THE EC IS WHAT PROTECTS US AS A NATION...

Which is why this election, like 2000, is being played out in a handful of "meaningless" "Battleground" states? Oh wait, that includes PA, Florida, Michigan, Ohio... what were you saying about protecting the small states?

California doesn't matter in selecting the GOP candidate--we tried moving our primary up *twice* and even still it was all over a week beforehand and it doesn't matter in the national arena because it's been written off as Democrat territory. This is why even in the midst of a terror war, our illegal immigration problem lay unaddressed in a Republican administration. It's pathetic! Of the southern border states, only New Mexico (and maybe Arizona) are in any "play" and it looks like this time it'll be just New Mexico.

Why not try to get Republicans to increase numbers in states demonstrated by their democrat -run cesspool cities?

50 posted on 09/11/2004 9:10:01 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Why are we in Iraq? Just point the whiners here: http://www.massgraves.info)
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