Your GOP Caucus: Ideologically Pure

Another of the glowing appraisals of Montana’s irrelevant GOP caucus in today’s Missoulian offered two tidbits to think over:

Deschamps suspects one of the 104 people voting in Missoula’s caucus Tuesday is actually a Democrat.

The names of new caucus members are checked against a national voter database operated by the Republican Party, Deschamps said. It shows which way a person tends to lean politically.

And in the War is peace; Freedom is slavery file, we find this quote from the Montana GOP executive director Chris Wilcox:

“It never occurred to me that a Democrat would want to sign up as a Republican precinct committeeman,” he said. “Most Montanans respect the process and the duty of that process. If that’s what happened, I think that speaks to the openness of this process and the big tent of the Republican Party.”

That certainly seems like an open process, doesn’t it? Consulting a national database to determine one’s fitness for belonging to a party? I suspect that, despite the interesting theory that Ron Paul might do well in Montana, ideological purity tests like those employed by the Montana Republicans will prevent that.

I kind of like my party’s theory: that we’re better off letting the people speak than the unelected leaders of parties. Given the GOP’s approach, why bother even having people show up on Tuesday? 

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • It’s amazing (okay, not really, it is the Missoulian after all) no one followed up on Deschamps’ claim that a Democrat tried to sneak into the caucus. It’s just another Republican smear tactic designed as a bit of patriotic partisan puffery.

  • Yeah, it did seem to me that it might have been a logical move to actually investigate such a claim. That might take some, you know, reporting, though. 🙂

  • Come on, Don. You and I both know that the Democratic Party (“my party”?) has its share of exclusionary measures as well. They may not be as overtly fascistic, but they are certainly oligarchical. Take, perchance, the superdelegate system, which seems more and more likely to play a substantial role in the election, and is more pronounced in the Democratic than the Republican party.

  • Perhaps, you nitwit, but we do have a primary, not a hand-selected caucus of party hacks.

    Dan, I think your point is a fair one. The Democratic Party process could certainly be more, well, democratic, but I think it is better than the one instituted by the Montana GOP, where party leaders can impose an ideological purity test on voters.

  • And I know a lot of Republicans are miffed at the caucus system too-anyone remember the ‘YourTurn’ in the paper about how the Republican Caucus would be ‘more representative’ and would make us significant in the national election? I do, and I remember the Republican response to it to.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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