Primaries Are Stupid

15 Oct 2011

From The Associated Press:

“President Obama has failed the American people by failing to secure the southern border,” said Bachmann. “I will secure that border and that will be job one.”

That’s Rep. Michelle Bachmann, at an event meant to (attack / ignore) Governor Rick Perry, attempting to maneuver passed Herman Cain, the recent (flavor of the month / crazy person / front-runner), in the polls for the (impending / January 3, 2012) Iowa caucus that the (front-runner / dark horse) for the Republican nomination, Governor Mitt Romney, is (ignoring / not ignoring / investing large amounts of time and money) because he has (no support / a strong support base) in the state.

The entire open primary process was, at some point, a useful mechanism for determining the most viable candidate. There was a time when nominations were set by men who sipped on bourbon and chain-smoked cigars in the back rooms of some gentlemen’s club. It may not have been democracy, but, by God, it got things done. Now, with our newfound democratic process, candidate selection has turned into an eighteen month cage match where the winner is simply the last still standing. And, as an added bonus, there is a giant firepit next to the cage that the candidates pour money in some sort of desperate attempt to stay on their feet for “just one more primary”.

The argument is that this makes for a stronger candidate in the next election; everything that can come out, will come out in these primaries and whomever remains afterwards has, somehow, become invincible. I imagine that those who believe this would also drink the blood of unicorns and subscribe to the “if it does not kill you, it makes you stronger” newsletter.

There is a romance to this notion, but it is not true. Politicians will say anything to get themselves nominated and then ignore their pledges once they arrive at the general election. This is no surprise, as this process occurs again during the general election too. Our politicians lie to us! What a terrible, terrible revelation that us innocent babes have learned; whatever will we do?

Primaries encourage candidates to make outrageous promises that are simply not possible and we need to have less of that, not more. The notion that one “campaigns in poetry, but governs in prose” needs to be abolished. Politics is hard and, no matter how vehemently a politician may claim, there are some things that cannot be done. Oil independence will not happen overnight; some wars need to be fought; and there will never, ever be a fence or a wall between the United States and Mexico.