Defeated US Rep. David Davis still insists there was a well-funded and systematic effort by outside parties to influence the Republican primary – and he thinks, once he buys your voting history, he can prove it.
According to Davis, “information provided by witnesses and anecdotal evidence shows that many voters who have never voted in the Republican Primary chose a Republican ballot this time.”
Bah! Anecdotal evidence… which is by it’s very definition is useless? Witnesses? Witnesses to what? Someone holding a Nathan Vaughn and Phil Roe sign? This isn’t illegal. (And we’re choosing to believe the the signs indicate Roe had an evil network of disingenuous Democratic pseudosupporters rather than Vaughn, the Democrat who has been continuously re-elected in a predominately Republican district, having the usual Republican poll stumpers. The latter would be unthinkable, right? Think again.)
And I’m still not seeing the “fraudulent” or “perverted” part.
However, Hank Hayes (who is covering the story quite well) reports Davis’ campaign cited a code section of Tennessee law saying voters “must be bona fide members of the political party” in the primary they seek to vote. (Of course, as Jake points out, Davis conveniently left out other parts of the law, which specify affiliation must be challenged at the polls.
Davis’ second argument (just in case the first one doesn’t fly) the party system and the right of political parties to determine nominees goes to the core of the right of association guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567: but this case involved Blanket Primaries. Not open primaries, which I think would weaken the argument.
So, still not seeing it.
And the bottom line is Tennessee is an open primary state. Voters can select which primary they wish to vote in at the polling place – and personally I prefer it this way. I think it’s important, particularly here in the 1st District, that voters be able to decide this based on the options before them.
Let’s say, hypothetically, I’m an animal-loving black voter. I typically vote in the Democratic Primary but feel no strong ties to the party. I live in district where 80% of the voters are Republican. There’s a congressional election coming up. While It’s not impossible that a Democratic candidate could win -it’s not likely either. Chances are my representative is going to be a Republican.
Now, in the Republican Primary, the choices are (a) a former Klansman, who kicks beagles as a hobby and (b) a conservative guy – who kicked a dog only once but by accident and some of his best friends are black. The race is expected to be close.
With the knowledge that one of these guys is most likely going to represent me in Washington, the Republicans would prefer than I stick with my own kind, keep my nose out of Republican business and hope for the best. I don’t think so.
Look, I understand the arguments in favor of closed primaries. I just don’t agree with them- and I certainly don’t think this makes the case for a switch.
The “other side” did not strategically cross invisible lines to nominate a weak candidate. Phil Roe is not a weak candidate. Gray Sasser didn’t help cook up an evil plot and use the local Lady BlueBelles as his henchgals. Despite his claims or what he believes, David Davis has not been the victim of an organized effort by any certain group or party. The truth is – while area Republicans, Democrats, Independents and voters with no real affliation cannot seem to agree on much of anything here – they did agree on this. And the message was clear.
David Davis, thank you for your service. Your time is up.
Rather than accept this graciously, Davis continues to push and whine for a recount – one that could not possibly have a favorable outcome for him, his party, or his constituents. A new election would almost certainly see Davis defeated in record numbers. And if he’s handed a “judicial win,” he’d simply make history once again by being the most loathed politician to ever serve in the 1st District and he’d become the subject of a few very rude CafePress t-shirt designs.
(And the other thing that bugs me about Davis’ meltdown…. in 2006, when Richard Venable lost to Davis by 576 votes and was considering a recount – he did not hesitate to congratulate Davis as the apparent winner. As far as I know, Davis has yet to extend the same courtesy to Roe. Yeah. Whatta Guy. )