This is even more immoral than it is stupid, and it’s plenty stupid. Watch, then read on.
A Trump-Sanders smoking gun.
South Carolina Trump activists in a much-promoted Facebook video: "We're asking South Carolina Republicans to show their support for President Trump by crossing over and voting in the Democratic primary for Senator Bernie Sanders." pic.twitter.com/FNqEUNXDWq
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 26, 2020
It’s not necessarily immoral or stupid to consider voting in the other party’s open primary, although (a) it’s always a little obnoxious and (b) it’s a little more than “a little” obnoxious in a year when the South Carolina Republican primary has been canceled altogether in the name of protecting His Majesty from having to make a token effort there to win 98 percent of the vote from Bill Weld. But whatever, them’s the breaks. If SC wants open primaries then they’ll have to live with the consequences. In fact, the two Trumpers in the clip mention at one point that part of their angle in doing this is convincing the parties to close their primaries going forward. That angle has been mentioned by other SC Republicans who are looking to stage an “Operation Chaos” effort on Saturday:
“We were also looking for a way to get Democrats to support the cause of closing the primary,” said Christopher Sullivan, a longtime critic of the open primary and leader of the Conservative Defense Fund, a small advocacy outfit in South Carolina. “And this is a way of showing them what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”…
Today, those looking to close the system contend that the open primary has stood in the way of lawmakers pursuing an even more conservative agenda; they believe that Democrats have interfered and thwarted the more right-wing candidates. (Experts said they have found little documented evidence of this, noting that, in many legislative races, candidates often do not face primary opposition.)
But it’s one thing to vote in an open primary held by the other team, it’s another to vote for a socialist. Which some Republicans are also encouraging:
“We think we have the opportunity here to get enough Republicans to vote to swing four or five or six points to help Senator Sanders win on Saturday,” said Stephen Brown, former chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party.
Brown, alongside Greenville Tea Party Chairman Pressley Stutts, said he and other Upstate conservative leaders believe a Sanders win would ultimately benefit the reelection of President Donald Trump in the November General Election, which is their ultimate goal…
If Sanders gets the most delegates leading up to the Democratic National Convention, Brown said he believes there’s still a chance the party denies him the nomination, which is what he said is the outcome he most hopes to see.
How stupid is this? Let us count the ways. For starters, there’s no way Democrats will deny Bernie the nomination if he has a plurality of delegates unless it’s an exceedingly narrow plurality, which is highly unlikely given how well he’s expected to do next Tuesday (especially in California). If he goes into the convention with something like 40 percent and Biden has 30 percent, with the remaining 30 split five different ways, Democratic leaders would realize that denying him the nomination would fracture the party. Same dynamic as Trump 2016: Stopping him at the convention would mean alienating his hardcore fans, potentially for years to come, without whom the party can’t win in November. It would ensure defeat in this year’s general election and maybe the next couple.
Beyond that, it escapes me how the guy quoted in the excerpt thinks a surprisingly strong finish for Bernie in South Carolina might *increase* the odds of a contested convention. If anything, it dramatically reduces it. If Sanders pulls an upset Saturday and completes a clean sweep of the early states, the race is over. Biden will be finished and a weakening Mike Bloomberg might not put up much more than token resistance on Super Tuesday. If what you want is Democrats at each other’s throats for months to come (and Bernie almost certainly prevailing in the end anyway), a Biden landslide is the preferred Republican outcome in South Carolina.
But it’s stupid beyond that too. There is reason to believe that Bernie would be a uniquely weak opponent for Trump (and weak downballot too) but there was reason to believe Trump was a uniquely weak opponent for Clinton in 2016. I mean, really:
Proof there is a God: I prayed every night for a year for Trump to win R primary. SHE EXISTS, and she made him win! Tx God. #Trump
— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) May 4, 2016
As late as three weeks before Election Day, Messina was still thanking God publicly for giving Democrats the gift of Trump as an opponent. Sanders does have unique liabilities in the field but he also has unique assets; I could easily argue that Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren is a weaker opponent for Trump on balance than Bernie would be. Warren has much the same stench of radicalism around her that he does (minus the Castro apologetics, perhaps) but without the ecstatic support among young progressives. She’s not as charismatic personally and has chosen to brand herself as a wonk rather than a visionary, which encourages people to check her dubious math on programs like Medicare for All. She’s polled worse head-to-head against Trump than Bernie has thus far. And if he’s right that a woman nominee would be at a disadvantage against the president that a male nominee wouldn’t, that makes her odds of winning that much longer.
Buttigieg? He’s too young and inexperienced to be president, and the country may not yet be ready to elect someone who’s gay despite the sea change in attitudes towards homosexuality over the past 20 years. He’s weaker among black voters than Bernie is too. The left has come to loathe him as an overprogrammed too-slick pretender, leaving it an open question whether they’d turn out for him in the numbers needed to beat Trump. More so than perhaps even Warren, Buttigieg is also the most clear-cut elitist in the field. Is that really the guy you’d task with taking back the Rust Belt from Donald Trump?
Buttigieg and Warren are each safer bets for Democrats downballot than Sanders is, but the case against Bernie ultimately comes down to skepticism that he can generate the turnout tidal wave among young voters that he’d need to overcome his comparative weakness among moderate voters. He probably can’t do it. Probably. Probably.
But what if he can? He’ll have a ton of money from grassroots donors and a full-throttle organization ready to challenge Trump. Do you want to bet the future of socialism in America on a single election, against a not-very-popular president, at a moment when there’s a massive X factor in the form of a heretofore unknown infectious disease circling the planet? Medicare for All is going to sound a lot better to a lot of undecided voters amid a major public-health crisis.
So it’s very, very, very stupid for a Republican to vote Bernie in South Carolina. But it’s also immoral. Kevin Williamson:
The American Left believes, and always has believed, that American society is fundamentally corrupt, that American power is a cancer, that American prosperity is a sham enjoyed only by the undeserving, that American business is great barrier to happiness at home and abroad, that the American way is dangerous hypocrisy, that the American foundation is not the story of liberty but the story of slavery and genocide, and that the shortest way to utopia is making common cause with those who oppose this stockpile of wickedness. And so the American Left has found something to love about every monster it can go abroad to find: Lenin and Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, Mao, the Castros, the ayatollahs, the Sandinistas (Greetings, Mayor de Blasio!), every tinpot tyrant and posturing revolutionary from Mussolini to Che. Even when it comes to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, the Left feels compelled to reinterpret history so that the crimes of Osama bin Laden et al. ultimately can be laid on the Pentagon, Wall Street, Main Street—if Americans are dying in Benghazi, it must be became some crazy American Christian stirred up the locals. If there are crack addicts in Los Angeles, it must be that the CIA was behind it. That is really what Senator Sanders’s weird little rape-fantasy literary œuvre is about — the unshakeable conviction of the Left that American society is fundamentally corrupt, an abomination that only can be saved — if it can be saved at all — by means of “revolution.”
It’s immoral to vote for someone whom you believe is morally unfit for power, let alone the most powerful office America has. I understand why righties are hammering Joe Walsh for saying he’ll happily support Sanders over Trump but the “Operation Chaos” idiots are doing the same thing one step removed: They’re all helping Bernie advance towards the presidency. I’m sure there were Democrats who crossed over and voted for Trump in open primaries in 2016, whether for the lulz or because they were certain — certain — that he couldn’t win the general election. They have their reward now. The Republicans-for-Bernie idiots will deserve their reward too if he pulls the upset in November.
“I’m a Republican & Trump supporter… we have an operation chaos going on & all over the state we’re encouraging Republicans to vote for Bernie because we believe Bernie is the best worst candidate in contrasting his socialism against Trump and his capitalism.” #RidinWithBiden pic.twitter.com/wV7PyafIQj
— Bryan Dawson (@BryanDawsonUSA) February 26, 2020