MT GOP: Shut the Front Door!

About 200 Republican delegates decided over the weekend to close their primary elections to nonparty members in Montana. In other words, the Montana Republicans told independent and moderate Montana voters to go fly a kite.

It also means the extreme folks have taken over the party.

Just before they voted, I wonder if someone shouted, “Hold my beer, and watch this!”

One major reason proponents gave for adopting a closed primary was because some other states do it that way. I guess the delegates were never asked, “If Johnny jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?”

Rep. Jeff Welborn of Dillon said a closed primary was a “minority maker.” Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick of Great Falls said it was “a really bad idea.”

They are both correct. I was a little more straightforward. Last week I said it was a stupid idea, and that the Republicans were heading down the road to Loserville.

Fortunately the closed primary rule will have to be approved by the legislature and governor to go into effect.

Fellow blogger James Conner over at Flathead Memo has a great column about the issue HERE.

A judge could also order it to happen, but Republicans wouldn’t want a judge to legislate from the bench, would they?

If it ever happens, you and I might get to see which way our neighbor leans politically. We might be able to find out which way the local reporter, or pastor, priest, or the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker lean.

Many Montanans may not vote in primaries because they place a very high value on their privacy. That means they will leave the decision up to the most extreme members.

Yep, Montanans are going to love closed primaries…


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