February 22, 2012 - 10:35 am
Exactly four years ago, Rush Limbaugh launched “Operation Chaos,” encouraging Republican primary voters to cross party lines and vote instead for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, in order to slow down Barack Obama’s march to the nomination.
Now, just a few days ago, inspired by Rush Limbaugh, Democratic activists have launched “Operation Hilarity,” a scheme in which Democratic primary voters cross over and vote for Rick Santorum, in order to throw a monkey wrench into the Republican race and slow Mitt Romney’s march to the nomination.
Some analysts (including the Operation Hilarity oganizers) believe that Operation Chaos backfired, since the drawn-out nomination race “helped President Barack Obama and the Democrats to build a national organization,” which paid off in the general election and helped him to win the presidency.
Similarly, Operation Hilarity may backfire, since in the few days since it was launched, Santorum has surged to the lead in national polls and now the Democrats are simply voting for the Republican current favorite, for no discernible reason.
It seems that neither Operation Chaos nor Operation Hilarity were planned with much foresight, other than the juvenile glee of playing in your rival’s sandbox. But to what end?
The time has come to do this right. I hereby announce OPERATION EQUILIBRIUM. Unlike the previous Operations, it has a clearly thought-out long-term goal, and does not involve crossing party lines. Here’s how it works:
How to take part:
When the Republican presidential primary is held in your state, vote for whichever candidate has the fewest number of delegates up to that point. If the guy in last place is particularly distasteful to you, then vote for the guy in second-to-last place, or third-to-last. But whatever you do, vote against the current leader.
Why? Here’s the rationale:
Just about everybody agrees that the surviving crop of Republican candidates is just plain awful. I myself expressed my opinion of these losers in a recent post entitled “Barack Obama Will Still Be President on January 19, 2017.” But the problem is: They’re all we’ve got. Either Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul will be the Republican nominee in 2012. Right? Right?
We have one final chance to get a different candidate in there and beat Obama in the general election. And that chance comes in the form of a brokered convention.
A “brokered convention” happens who no one candidate wins a majority of delegates by the end of the primary process. This doesn’t happen very often, because primaries almost always devolve into two-person races very early in the season, so that one or the other candidate is sure to top 50% eventually.
But the Republican race this time around still has four candidates in play, and all four still think they have a chance to win the nomination. My opinion (one shared by plenty of folks, especially on the Democrat side) is that none of these existing four candidates has a chance to beat Obama in November, so our only hope is to nominate someone else at a brokered convention — and the only way to get a brokered convention is to ensure an ongoing equilibrium between the current four candidates. Make sure that they all have an approximately equal number of delegates, so that none of them breaks the 50% barrier and wins the nomination outright.
I’m not naming names as to whom you should vote for, since the momentum keeps shifting back and forth. But to be specific about the scenarios:
• If Santorum has the delegate lead and/or the momentum when it comes time for your state to vote in the Republican primaries, then instead vote for Gingrich or Romney.
• If Romney has the lead, then vote for Santorum or Gingrich.
• If Gingrich has the lead, then vote for Romney or Santorum.
(You might notice that I’ve left Ron Paul out of my recommendations. That’s because I can’t in good conscience recommend that anyone vote for him, due to my personal dislike for him; but if you already have a hankerin’ for Ron Paul, and he’s already not in the lead, then you can include him in your voting options.)
The goal of Operation Equilibrium is to ensure that we arrive at the end of the nomination process with all the candidates equally split, delegate-wise: Romney 33%, Santorum 33%, Gingrich 33%. That way, no one candidate going into the convention can claim to have a “mandate,” which opens the door for a completely new candidate (Marco Rubio, Allen West, Paul Ryan — I’m looking at you) to jump in and win the nomination on floor votes at the convention. Sure, it’s a longshot, but it’s the only shot we’ve got.
There is so much simmering dissatisfaction among Republican voters with our existing crop of candidates, that I think ushering in a surprise new candidate would be a popular move and would generate excitement unlike what we’ve seen thus far.
So everybody: vote against the current Republican leader in Operation Equilibrium. It’s our only hope!