"I rarely read any Latin, Greek, German, Italian, sometimes not a French book, in the original, which I can procure in a good version. I like to be beholden to the great metropolitan English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven. I should as soon think of swimming across Charles River when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Books"
A primary offense

I worry about national morning talk show host Laura Ingraham.

I listen to her show every day, and I have a lot of fondness for her. I think I was half in love with her a couple years back, when her show was more fun. Also she recently hired Bryan Preston, the founder of Junk Yard Blog, who was probably the highest profile advocate for my writing career, back when I had a writing career.

But Laura’s gotten shrill, it seems to me, since her major health crisis a couple years back.

This morning, she was taking calls from Republicans in Texas who’d crossed party lines to vote for Hillary, just as spoilers for Obama. She was cheering them on, reveling in their stories.

I don’t like this. It seems to me that if you love this country you’ve got to hold the electoral process in a kind of reverence. The fact that there are cynical people out there who game the system doesn’t justify us, the people who say we believe in moral absolutes, in pretending to belong to a different party so we can sabotage its nomination process. If they did it to us, I’d be angry about it.

Maybe I’m just judgmental.

Think Daylight Saving Time conserves energy?
Maybe not.


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Comments on "A primary offense":
1. Dan Nelson - 03/04/2008 9:08 pm EST

Not judgemental at all.
Who the other party picks is their business.
I also get irritated because, to me, the parties should be able to pick their candidate without wasting millions on advertising, etc. They should be able to get a website together, post their positions, etc. and let those interested look there and make their decision. All that money could be used for so much better things. (BTW, I am an environmentalist type of guy so we all know where I'd be putting the money if I had it).

2. Dan B. - 03/04/2008 9:10 pm EST

I think that the whole crossing-lines thing bothers me as well. In Virginia we have open primaries where you can vote for either party (though only one), which seems to make being registered for either party somewhat pointless. The election procedure would seem to get up-ended if voters of one party could essentially determine who they want to defeat. But again, this is a consequence of a two-party system.

And I did listen to Laura the other day and wondered what was up.

3. Susan - 03/05/2008 8:08 am EST

I understand cross-party voting and the stategic ideals, but there are too many variables as far as I'm concerned. Hugh Hewitt said it best yesterday. He said to imagine the candidate you crossed party lines to vote for won the White House. Could you live with the guilt?

Not me. I feel guilty for enough things over which I have no control, adding to it would not be healthy.

4. Phil - 03/05/2008 10:18 am EST

I agree with you, Dan Nelson. Post their positions, have some real debates, and drop the advertising. Of course, we don't want to abridge freedom of speech, and political advertising can be that for the people and the candidates.

I think encouraging Republicans to vote for Mrs. Clinton was Limbaugh's idea, and he's argument is that McCain and national GOP leadership have demonstrated their unwillingness to fight hard against Mr. Obama, the certified black candidate. He hopes Mrs. Clinton will fight him if she can remain in the race, so he encouraged GOP faithful to vote for her to that end. Now, if the two of them run together on one ticket, McCain could be in real trouble, but only if he refuses to argue for strong conservative principles. He'll be in trouble if he tries to take a soft liberal approach, for instance, my opponent wants to raise taxes 20%, but I only want to raise them 8%.

McCain will not have an easy road, but I think he can do pull it off. We should be praying for him, his people, and our many other elected officials.

5. Frank - 03/06/2008 10:12 am EST

Back in 2004, I lived in Missouri which allowed crossovers. Some friends of mine (all staunch republicans) voted for Al Sharpton in the D primaries. Their logic? As long as Smilin' Al is in the race, he's sucking up donations that would otherwise go to the eventual nominee.

I couldn't bring myself to do it (I wouldn't want the other party picking our candidate). Besides, there were other pubbies on the primary ticket who needed my vote.

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