published Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Crossing over Jordan: Looking for the best leader can be a bipartisan sport

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., addresses supporters and volunteers at his runoff election victory party.
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., addresses supporters and volunteers at his runoff election victory party.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Just think of cross-over voting as the new bipartisanship.

Since Congress can't compromise any more, we voters have to act at the polls.

That's what happened Tuesday in Mississippi when quiet, moderate incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran got an unusual assist from Democrats, including many black voters, to win his Republican primary. With those unlikely ballot-box allies, Cochran defeated tea party favorite State Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Afterward, an angry McDaniel claimed that Cochran had called in the troops of crossover primary voters and abandoned the conservative movement: "There is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that's decided by liberal Democrats. ... So much for principles."

Never mind that McDaniel had relied on the money and support of outside groups.

For months, the contest between Cochran and McDaniel was viewed as this year's main event in the clash between ultra-conservatives and Republican incumbents. When Virginia's Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, was toppled in his primary recently, the Mississippi race really heated up.

As the New York Times put it: "Cochran shifted his campaign message from polishing his conservative credentials to extolling his record of keeping Mississippi flush with federal cash. He also attacked Mr. McDaniel for his vows of austerity, especially in education."

It worked, and the crossover votes from Democrats left many of McDaniel's supporters seething about a "corrupt" system.

It's not corrupt. It's called democracy. It's called voting the way you want to vote. And the top vote-getter wins -- no matter what combinations of support he or she receives.

In Mississippi, many blacks came out, voted and helped turn the tide. One analyst tweeted: "Turnout increased by 92 percent in Jefferson County, the county where black (voters) represent the largest share of eligible (voters) in the country."

No wonder the GOP-led Supreme Court wants to reverse black voting rights. But beware, the next thing we know the tea party will be trying to suppress the Republican vote, too.

As for the fairness question: Has it been fair that the nearly 700,000 residents of Tennessee's 3rd District have been served since 2010 by a representative who only received about 28 percent of the votes cast in his first Republican primary in 2010?

Chuck Fleischmann received only 26,860 votes of the 90,528 votes cast in the GOP primary election that year. In that same year's Democratic primary election, about 18,000 votes were cast. Later, in November 2010, Fleischmann won the general election in a very conservative district with only 57 percent of the 162,056 votes cast.

Two years later, he still didn't have overwhelming primary support from voters. In August 2012, Fleischmann received 29,947 votes -- 39 percent of the ballots cast.

Is is fair? No, it's not fair, but that's democracy. In a very red district in a very red state in a very red region, Democrats and moderates alike have too few options not to exercise a vote to elect the best leader possible. Sometimes that means picking the lesser of two evils -- or at least the lesser of two undesired choices.

Perhaps it would be better, certainly less noisy, if we just let all candidates run a few weeks before a general election and then have a run-off between the two top vote-getters in the top two parties.

But we don't do that. Instead, coalitions of moderate Republicans and liberal voters may have to continue to ensure that the primary elections offer us choices in general elections that will give us and our country the best chance at a true, functional government.

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timbo said...

You know, even this idiot Pam Sohn can give some good ideas.

Since liberals think crossing over in a Republican primary is such a good idea, maybe us Tea Party types should try it.

Let's all cross over and vote for Hillary's opponent in 2016. Here are my reasons that this is a great idea.

First, we could defeat a threat to this country's welfare. More of Obama-like presidents will end us. Elect a weak candidate and then vote for whomever we want in the general election.

Second, the Republican establishment will probably stop anyone that would really change things in the Republican primary. They will make sure we get another McCain/Romney choice. That is no choice at all. Our vote in the Republican primary is useless anyway.

Third, if we defeat Hillary, the states that allow cross overs might rethink this stupid plan.

Yea Pam, let's give you democrats a little of your own medicine and see how you like it.

June 30, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.
timbo said...

Oh by the way Pam, just think of cross over voting as the new bipartisanship... what an idiot.

June 30, 2014 at 9:55 a.m.


A very interesting read.

Malleus Deum

June 30, 2014 at 10:48 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

timbo, Clay's ostrich cartoon comes to mind...

June 30, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.
timbo said...

This is the new scheme between the establishment Republicans and the Democrats. They want this to be a closed game with just two players. They are both cooperating to defeat Tea Party candidates. This might be good for democrats but the dumbass Republicans have forgotten one important thing.

If the Tea Party keep getting the sorry treatment, they might just move on to a third party. Then the Republicans lose forever. Tea Party types are 25-30% of the electorate.

This just shows that there is no lesser of two evils with these two parties. There is little difference in them if any. They can both go to hell, ..the problem is they are taking the rest of us with them. is inevitable that the liberals will get what they want and this country is doomed. Time to buy some land in Belize.

July 1, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.
gypsylady said...

Ecuador's got some pretty good deals too. Even on the coast. Of course if you want no government interference, Yemen might be your cup of tea.

July 2, 2014 at 11:10 p.m.
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