A bill proposed by East Tennessee Republicans calls for U.S. Senate candidates to be nominated by the Legislature’s partisan caucuses rather than in contested primary elections.
Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, proposes that the new system take effect on Nov. 30, 2014. That effectively “grandfathers in” incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s re-election under the present system “because he’s doing such a good job,” said Niceley.
Humphreys writes that this change would,
avoid the huge fundraising and spending in primary elections and open the door for more qualified candidates with fewer financial resources to seek the nomination, Niceley said.
Bullshit. It would neuter the Tea Party, whose only power right now is in threatening to primary any candidate who doesn’t sufficiently bend and scrape and spout the crazy they need to prove they’re the “real conservative.” It would end the kind of stuff currently causing Mitch McConnell the vapors in Kentucky. It would take the power away from the most dedicated voters, the ones who vote in primaries.
I get why they want to do this. It’s not just the money. Primaries force candidates to say stuff necessary to win the base that they then regret in the general election. To which I say: Awww. I’m sorry that the GOP base is so extreme that it turns off most sane voters. Really, I am!
Tennessee’s Democrats aren’t immediately nixing the idea, either. They well remember the disaster that was the Mark Clayton senate candidacy. Again: Awww. Sorry, but your inability to do your damn jobs and sufficiently vet the candidates and sell your candidates is no reason to take the power away from voters. Sorry to make you guys actually work for a change.
I understand that people don’t vote in primaries (well, I do. But I’m one of those crazy people who thinks voting matters). But whose fault is that?