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Mark Brewer dips his toe into the Republican primary

by: Grebner

Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 00:05:09 AM EST

At first, the official position of the Michigan Democratic Party was that anyone who was caught voting February 28 should be drawn and quartered.   Since that was beyond the MDP's power, the penalty was simply being excommunicated, and forbidden to participate in such activities as the May 5 caucus.

Then, the word came down that the presidential primary was irrelevant, and we could do whatever we wanted, and the MDP would take no notice.

Today, Mark has communicated a strong suggestion that we jump in and stomp around in the Republican primary.

I assume - without evidence - that word has come from on high that derailing Mitt would be a good thing, and that Mark should do whatever he can to make that more likely.  It has never been a hobgoblin of Mark's mind to suffer any foolish consistency. And since he no longer clings to even a shred of public dignity, his involvement will cause him no great pain.

I have several thoughts on all this.


  • Whether it's successful or not, it's certainly a big deal for one state political party to deliberately screw around in the other's primary.  We're going to hear about this for years.
  • Every mentally active Democrat in the state has been thinking about this exact question for the past two weeks - basically ever since Santorum's hat trick in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota.  It still isn't clear that a massive crossover is in the works, judging from the polling and absentee request data I've seen, but there have been hints of at least some activity.
  • It's not clear that a Democratic crossover can be very effective, since some of it will bleed off into unproductive uses (Ron Paul and Newt) and the sensitive among us actually vote for Romney as they recoil from the craziness that is Santorum.  But if 100,000 Dems cross over, maybe there will be a net advantage to Santorum of 20,000 votes.
  • The presence of Obama's name on the ballot in a Democratic pseudo-primary - meaningless as it is - will sop up 250,000 to 300,000 Democratic voters, and the requirement to make a public request for a Republican ballot will discourage others.  Without these legal structures, the risk of a crossover raid would be much more severe.
  • If there were an organized effort to raid the Republican primary - and at this point I judge there isn't one - the most cost-effective step would be to convince a few thousand Democrats to help Santorum in CD13, where there are very few genuine Republicans, plenty of Democrats, and two national delegates at stake.  There are probably four districts in Michigan where a handful of reinforcments would be likely to allow Santorum to snatch pairs of delegates from Romney.
  • I'm surprised that Brewer's email hasn't blown up in the media - it really seems pretty unprecedented to me.  
  • It's not at all like the affair of the Faux Tea Party, since Mark wasn't involved in that at all.


Grebner :: Mark Brewer dips his toe into the Republican primary


Republicans have extended an invitation to all Michigan Democrats to crossover and vote in the Michigan GOP presidential primary this Tuesday, February 28th. Yesterday, Republican Senators Rick Jones and Arlan Meekhof said they'd welcome Democrats to crossover. You can check out the invitation for yourselves by watching the video clip below.

Any Democrat who takes Senators Jones and Meekhof up on their offer will still be able to participate in the Michigan Democratic Party's presidential caucuses on May 5, 2012. 

If Democratic crossover votes affect the results of the GOP presidential primary next Tuesday, the Republicans willonly have themselves to blame.


Mark Brewer

Chair, Michigan Democratic Party

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Brewer is an idiot, but...
I do think it is to everyone's advantage to keep Santorum in the fore. I have had endless discussions with normally-progressive people in the past few weeks, who are just now thinking about the potential policy issues that a GOP controlled government might raise.

How many of those in MI-1 who voted for Beniczek knew that he was blatantly anti-birth control? How many folks, for that matter, know that Roe v Wade was NOT a decision about abortion, but a decision about medical privacy based on Griswold and overturning it might just overturn our right to birth control? Or finally, how many people who listened to the two hysterical letters from the Catholic hierarchy over the past three weeks knew that the reg that set their pants on fire was already in effect in 28 states and did not apply to churches or schools but only to big businesses like hospital chains? That's just one bit of GOP dogma we will have to fight.

RMoney will lie and seem reasonable. Santorum will bring the issues that the far right espouse to the table. He simply won't lie about them. So the longer he stays in the race, the more folks will truly understand what's at stake.

Echoes of Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos"
Remember the outrage four years ago when Rush Limbaugh called on his listeners to raid open Democratic primaries and vote for Hillary Clinton? Mark Brewer (following the lead of Markos Moulitsas, the owner of DailyKos.com), is doing the same damn thing, albeit with a much smaller audience.

I agree with Grebner: this little stunt will produce meager results at a huge cost in public relations. Par for the course for Brewer, who has a knack for publicity stunts that blow up in his face.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

What's a stunt?
What I do when I vote is my business. It would only be a stunt if a fool like Limbaugh tried to push it. If individual Michigan citizens decide that they want the most transparent candidate on the fall ballot, it is no one's business but theirs and certainly not a stunt.

[ Parent ]
Republicans created this mess
I think it's worth remembering how we got here. It starts with Senate Bill 584 that established the primary. In the Senate, it passed with every Democrat voting against it, as well as one Republican; same case in the House. The Democrats were going to have a caucus that the party would pay for, and the Republicans knew that. Still, the bill required the Secretary of State to put the President's name on the ballot, just to make the claims that this is an exercise in democracy instead of a single-party closed primary election paid for with $10 million of taxpayer money at a time when the Republicans are cutting education, public safety, the social safety net and taxing pensions.

There is no reason the Michigan Republican Party couldn't pay for a caucus with all the corporate cash they have. Other states are holding a caucus. In fact, 16 are, including Iowa, Kansas and Washington. The way I looked at it, any election my tax dollars are paying for, even if the President's name was not on the ballot, I'm voting in. I haven't missed an election since I was in the Navy.
I reached my decision to vote for Santorum - Google it - after Senator Whitmer pointed those facts mentioned earlier out on Tuesday, and Republican Senators Jones and Meekoff's mocking of her by inviting Democrats to vote in the Republican primary.

As a member of the Michigan Democratic Party, I will vote for President Obama at the May 5 Caucus that my membership dues are helping pay for, and I will also vote for him in the Nov. 5 General Election.

It's also worth noting that there two special elections in the House to fill vacant seats in the 29the and 51st Districts. The party that gets there people out in these low turnout races usually win, so this is even more reason to get Democrat out to vote.

Communications Guru The Conservative Media http://liberalmedianot.blogspot.com

The reason the Republicans can't rely on a caucus
... Is that they were trying to help Mitt, and it was pretty clear they'd get walloped in a caucus.  So they held their noses, voted for this, and now can't be sure Mitt can even survive this.

[ Parent ]
Mitt may have skewed the caucuses
In both Iowa and Maine individual precinct chairs either lost or pitched votes to favor Mitt. Is that a coincidence? I'd doubt it. Only when the press forced them to add with all their fingers and toes did the possibility that RMoney lost Iowa come up, and he certainly didn't win Maine by much if at all.  

[ Parent ]
I was trying to explain this to someone in the media
Some progressive was complaining about the cost, and the media person said, "hey, what price for democracy," and I said that it's not a cost that we're covering because an otherwise private entity made a choice for purely political reasons.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Political nerds
I think what we're seeing is that only political nerds give a rip about this kind of stuff.  The average person has NO interest in this back office stuff.  

The more outrageous right wingers are reaching for that time-tested cure for all their headaches - Demonizing Planned Parenthood - only to find that Planned Parenthood has won social networking and is leveraging Facebook's "Share" button to make the Right Wingers look terrifying and completely out of control (See also: Bob Morris, Indiana).  

Brewer has nothing to lose.  The public is distracted with asprin-between-the-knees-gate.

Public outrage isn't the problem
At the risk of reporting the obvious, I note that the other side presently contols both houses of the legislature, the governorship, and both levels of the appelate courts.  This might not be the best time to screw with their primary.

If you think they won't or can't think of a way to get even, you're in company with Mark Brewer.

[ Parent ]
What are they going to do?
Stop being NICE to us?

[ Parent ]
You know, the MEA had exactly the same thought.
And then they discovered they could lose the right to collect dues through the schools' payroll system...

[ Parent ]
Two words...
Bring. It.  

[ Parent ]
You know, the MEA had exactly the same thought...
...and then recalled a Republican in a random, locally red district.

Sometimes, you have to lose to remember how to win, and boy have we learned.  2012 will not be a bad year for Democrats, nationally or locally, period.

[ Parent ]
Mark Brewer comments to CNN on crossover voting
Firstly, a link to the article.

Secondly, the relevant bits:

"It's not dirty tricks, it's not our official policy," Brewer said. "We think Democrats should nominate Democrats, Republicans should nominate Republicans, but in Michigan there's been almost a tradition of this for 50 years. People have crossed over."
Brewer added, "We wish they wouldn't do it but it's gonna happen."

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