Sunday, March 4, 2012

Republican For A Day

I'm planning to vote for President Obama in November. I'm also planning to vote for Ron Paul in next Tuesday's Virginia Republican primary. (The only two choices in Virginia are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.)

First, let's be clear: this is completely legal. When you register to vote in Virginia, you don't select a party affilitation. So any registered voter can vote in any party's primary. And there's no obligation to support the same party in the general election.

Now, I don't doubt that Mitt Romney will eventually stumble into the Republican nomination. He has more money, and sanity, than his rivals. So what's the point? Well, a strong Ron Paul showing is a splinter that Romney can't ignore, lest it become a populist infection. Romney's Super PAC will have to spend a few zillion dollars attacking Paul. And the more they spend in the primary season, the less they'll have left to spend against Obama in the general election.

But is this ethical? That's a tough question, one I'll defer to Mitt himself:

In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary,” said Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. “When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.

 

Thanks, Mitt. Good idea.