The Virginia Republican Party decided to change its ballot access rules last month, and as a result neither Rick Perry nor Newt Gingrich has qualified for the March primary. A friend from Virginia writes in to comment:
OK, lots of schadenfreude here. Lots of windy rhetoric about how elections shouldn’t be about technical rules but who gets the most votes. (Unless you’re black, Hispanic, a college student or out of a job). Damnit, a freakin’ Mormon is going to win Virginia!
We do tend to have a problem in Virginia with the parties monkeying with the rules when no one is looking (you ought to see our gerrymanders) and this one seems to have blown up in the GOP’s face. I have no doubt that this was done to knock out the charlatan factor, esp. Cain who, with his unapologetic lack of organization, was probably the one surging when these rules were drawn up. The friendly fire aspect of taking out Perry was likely a surprise to the crafters of the rule change.
This is a riot. Seriously, I wonder if the Virginia GOP hasn’t already responded — Hey, we’re Republicans, this is what we do!
The indignation is really something. I know it’s not the same thing as de-legitimizing millions of voters through voter ID laws — but it doesn’t take much scratching to draw up the comparisons.
Frankly, considering the clown show the GOP has put on so far this year, I’d be sort of disappointed if they hadn’t done something like this.