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SC Republicans organize to vote for Bernie in open Democrat Primary to give Trump “an avowed socialist to face in November”

SC Republicans organize to vote for Bernie in open Democrat Primary to give Trump “an avowed socialist to face in November”

Democrats are furious at this lawful maneuver: “Operation Chaos 2020 is engaging in interference in a free and fair election.”

Earlier this month, I wrote about “Operation Chaos: South Carolina Republicans Urge Voters to Cast Dem Primary Vote for Bernie.”  The South Carolina primary takes place on Saturday, February 29th, and it looks like the movement is gaining some steam.

As I noted in that post, the strategy is intended to prove to South Carolina Democrats that open primaries are ripe for abuse by the opposing party’s voters skewing the results.  This “party raiding” accusation is not new in South Carolina (nor elsewhere that open primaries are held).

But there is a growing sense in some right-leaning quarters that socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the ideal candidate to pit against President Trump because socialism is anathema to everything that America is and stands for.

To that end, some right-leaning, pro-Trump Republican and Tea Party groups in South Carolina are urging their supporters to vote for Bernie on Saturday.

The State reports:

More Republican groups hoping to meddle in the state’s Democratic presidential primary on Saturday have decided who will get their vote.

The Greenville Tea Party has chosen to support for Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, as he has risen in the polls and has won the popular vote in the Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada contests.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has consistently led in the South Carolina polls, but the lead over Sanders has shrunk in recent weeks.

Stephen Brown, the former chairman of the Greenville Tea Party, said a few thousand votes may tip the scales of Saturday’s primary in Sanders’ direction.

A Sanders nomination would provide a clear contrast with President Donald Trump in November, supporters of the so-called “Operation Chaos” movement say.

A Trump vs. Bernie, capitalism vs. socialism/communism, showdown is tempting, particularly now when there is still a majority in the country who reject socialism.

The New York Times has more:

By canceling this year’s presidential primary, the Republican Party of South Carolina essentially endorsed a second term for President Trump, who handily won the state’s electoral votes in 2016.

But some conservative activists, eager to unearth any political advantage, are encouraging Republicans to vote this weekend anyway — for a Democrat.

If they can stomach it, backers said, Republicans should take advantage of South Carolina’s open primary system, which allows voters to cast a ballot without registering with a party. Multiple organized efforts are underway, with one going so far as to quote-unquote endorse Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who state polls show is closely trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“We’d like to have a hand in helping the President by giving him an avowed socialist to face in November!” the organizers of one of the groups, Trump 2-29, a reference to the date of Saturday’s primary, wrote on its Facebook page. “Haven’t you waited a VERY long time to DO SOMETHING for President Trump??? Here ya go.”

The organizers conceded that they relished the chance to roil Democrats, especially during a moment in the campaign when friction between the party’s candidates has become especially acute.

. . . . Charges of “party raiding,” as the tactic is known, have been leveled repeatedly over the years from both parties, in presidential races as well as down-ballot statewide legislative contests. Still, experts said, evidence of these efforts achieving any sort of significant influence is hard to find.

Organizers acknowledged on Tuesday that it was impossible to tell whether this go-round would be any different. “We’re just three volunteers with a Facebook page,” said Karen Martin, an organizer of the Trump 2-29 group. “It’s hard to gauge the impact other than anecdotally.”

Supporters of the Operation Chaos initiative in South Carolina are confident that Americans will reject socialism at the ballot box in November.

WYFF reports:

“We are calling for specifically for Republicans and Trump supporters all across South Carolina to turn out and vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary on Saturday,” said Stephen Brown, conservative activist, of Operation Chaos 2020,

With wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, Sanders could possibly win South Carolina.

WYFF4’s Renée Wunderlich asked Brown, the former chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party, about his thoughts should ‘Operation Chaos 2020’s strategy backfire for the conservative activists, and Sen. Sanders beats President Donald Trump in November.

“I believe that our nation will reject socialism – I can’t say there’s no risk, any time you have an election there’s a risk – but I think we’ll have an overwhelming and resounding victory for President Trump. And if we can’t defeat a socialist here in 2020, we wouldn’t deserve the freedoms that we have. I’m confident that Donald Trump will prevail,” said Brown.

“We see things happening behind the scenes to help undo Bernie’s nomination, so we as Republicans think that there’s a very reasonable chance that Democrats might deny the nomination to Bernie Sanders, and if they were to do that, we believe it would enrage the left, cause the Democratic Party to split and only help Donald Trump in his reelection because I want to be clear; all of us are fully supporting Donald Trump in his reelection. We’re excited about that. We can’t wait to vote for Donald Trump in November.”

It’s a gamble, but perhaps one we need to take as a nation.

Writing at the Federalist, Brian Linville makes the case for supporting a Trump vs. Bernie election. Here’s a small snippet, but do read the whole thing.

Like it or not, the socialists are here. The only way to change that is to crush their ideas at the ballot box and thereby convince Democrats it’s in their interest to expel them from mainstream American political discourse. If we let the movement fester, there is no guarantee the next face of the socialist left will be a septuagenarian with a history of celebrating murderous dictators or that they will be making their appeals against the headwinds of economic plenty. Let’s gird for that fight now rather than postponing it for another day when conditions may be less favorable.

There is, of course, a risk here: We could lose. But if we can’t make the case against socialism in such a favorable environment, shame on us. In that case, the music was doomed to stop soon anyway. But more likely, we’ll see one of the most unpopular men in modern politics win in a landslide — and then people will know it was his ideas that carried the day, and those of his opponent will return to the dustbin of history.

It should be noted that the groups supporting Operation Chaos in South Carolina are not the Republican Party itself.

“The Republican Party is not encouraging voters to cross-party vote,” said Nate Leupp, chairman of the Greenville County Republican Party. “We understand some of our affiliates and members and friends are and we understand the logic behind it. But from a party standpoint, we feel that that push is best left to the activists like the Trump 2-29 organization.”

Organizers with both Operation Chaos 2020 and Trump 2-29 say they are separate movements, but they share the same goal.

The Democratic Party in South Carolina and the Sanders campaign have also weighed in on the effort:

The Greenville County Democratic Party released this statement following Operation Chaos 2020’s announcement regarding Sanders, written by Kate Franch, chair of the Greenville County Democratic Party:

In calling for voters to select a specific candidate for the purpose of disrupting Saturday’s primary, Operation Chaos 2020 is engaging in interference in a free and fair election. They are undermining and dishonoring the very right to franchise that they claim to want to protect. Elections are not games. Democrats believe in the right to directly choose our representatives and welcome any voter to participate in the democratic process we champion. Every voter should carefully select the candidate who most closely reflects his or her values with the knowledge that that candidate can ultimately win the seat. Your vote is your voice – it should not be wasted or debased.

The Sanders campaign sent WYFF4 a statement in response to ‘Operation Chaos 2020’ from Bernie 2020 SC State Director Jessica Bright:

Recent reports have made it clear that Donald Trump and the Republican establishment have always been afraid to run against Bernie Sanders going back to 2016 and this is more of the same. The truth is that Sen. Sanders consistently beats Trump in general election matchup polls in battleground states. He’s the only candidate with more individual donations than Trump and the only candidate with the network of grassroots volunteers it takes to win in November.

This is the same thing Sanders and his supporters said in and after 2016:  Only Sanders and socialism/communism can beat pro-America, pro-capitalist Trump.  Maybe it’s time to find out once and for all.


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It’s only ever a problem when Republicans do it.

NeverTrumpers can encourage this, media can encourage it, Democrats can do this. In which case it’s principled.

But when Rs do it, it threatens the integrity of elections because they are taking lawful allowed steps that are inconvenient to Ds.

Two past the pole, ballot harvesting, and every other shenanigan including this by Ds? Tough luck, kiddo.

    At this point my standard response when hearing progs whine about inane shit like this is “suck a dick.” It’s something they can easily understand.

    A problem to who? Paul ryan? Boehner? Romney?


    Halcyon Daze in reply to PrincetonAl. | February 27, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    “A Dose of Their Own Medicine,” at theaters near you!

      Exactly! A friend of mine in Charleston tells me that when the tables are reversed, the Democrats come out and support the most moderate Republican on the ticket. I don’t recall ever hearing any complaints about that.

    In 2012 Clair McCaskill paid for ads in the Republican Primary for Todd Akin figuring he would be the weaker opponent – which he was – if you don’t remember he is the dumb ass that said:

    “Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child”

    She was right.

I plan on doing similarly up here in loony Massachusetts where the so-called “unenrolled” aka independents can choose the ballot of any other party in the primary.

Getting Bernie v. Trump will give us, people who are real Americans, at long last, a real confrontational election. Not an election of choices of the Uniparty. The Bushes were just awful in this respect. McCain and Mittens were likewise Uniparty choices. Meaning, no choices at all.

OleDirtyBarrister | February 27, 2020 at 7:25 pm

I laugh at their pain.

And I am certain that all those new voter registrations in swing states are entirely legitimate.

And those illegal aliens with driver’s licenses that are able to vote in local elections would never get access to a ballot with candidates for federal officers on it.

Who but a Democrat would denigrate voting in an election as “interference”?

    CorkyAgain in reply to tom_swift. | February 27, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Here I thought their mantra was something like “Count every vote, no matter what the reason for it or who it was that cast it.”

    But I guess I had it wrong. It’s “Count every vote for the candidate of our choice. All the other votes are suspect.”

    McGehee in reply to tom_swift. | February 27, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    A NeverTrumper?

    Oh, right. They’re Democrats now too.

Payback is a bitch!

I come from a different point of view. I think it’s wrong for the Rs to assume (remember what that word means!) that making Bernie the nominee equals a slam dunk for Trump. God help us all if Bernie wins and according to a poll I saw in The Five tonight, some 76% of Dems polled said they could/would vote for a socialist. I don’t think the Rs should take one vote for granted.

    healthguyfsu in reply to EOS. | February 27, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    I also hate this move. This reeks of a foolish strategy that could easily backfire by uniting the less crazy and more crazy democrats against a common enemy resorting to this.

    I think it’s a mistake and hope they reverse course. Their current party is fracturing due to its own hypocrisy and emotional baggage…don’t meddle and give them a reason to unify.

      artichoke in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 27, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      They are already united against us, and will crawl over broken glass to vote against PDJT.

      They’ve been incredibly united against us for 3 or 4 years, both openly and in the recesses of the spy agencies, everywhere.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to artichoke. | February 27, 2020 at 10:09 pm

        HEAR HEAR!!!!!!

        SPOT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        healthguyfsu in reply to artichoke. | February 28, 2020 at 11:52 am

        Bernie bros stayed home last time and have a tendency to alienate the rest of their party (see articles above this one).

        If you help bring Bernie bros together with the moderately crazy Dems, you increase voter turnout. It’s a stupid move, especially since, at this juncture, he can’t do worse than splitting the party into a civil war if he loses right now.

    SHV in reply to EOS. | February 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    I thought about voting Bernie in the up coming Super Tuesday but in the back of my mind is the recurring thought that the Germans thought it was a good idea to send Lenin back to Russia to destabilize the Czar. That didn’t work out to well or too clever by half!

      artichoke in reply to SHV. | February 27, 2020 at 9:20 pm

      The others will act like Sanders if elected, except Bloomberg. All the rest are just the same with a moderate face. Yes even Clueless Amy Klobuchar who didn’t know anything about the Mexican president despite serving on a Senate committee dealing with Mexico. In this latest debate she suggested having our ally, Russia, help us against NK.

      There are so many things wrong with that conception I don’t know where to start but she is clearly just a soundbite generator.

        artichoke in reply to artichoke. | February 27, 2020 at 9:21 pm

        (I didn’t call Russia our ally, she did! She said we should have our allies help, and then asked more detail, said Russia.)

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to SHV. | February 27, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      And it did destabilize the Czar.

      The Russian Revolution was going to happen because there were just as many Communists then working to destroy it as there are Democrat/Communists working now to overthrow U.S.

      Lenin was totally irrelevant. There were too many other Communists who would have happily filled his role, imo.

      tom_swift in reply to SHV. | February 28, 2020 at 8:18 am

      I hate to pick on nits, but when Lenin took several trains and ferries from Zurich to Germany, Sweden, Finland, and finally Petrograd, the Czar had already abdicated, and the Provisional Government (ie, Kerenski’s) was nominally in charge.

    inspectorudy in reply to EOS. | February 28, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I appreciate your view but believe it is incorrect. What we see from the msm is the rabid Sanders nuts, daily, and how on fire they are. But what we don’t see are the millions of normal Dems who are more centrist in their beliefs and they will have nothing to do with him. Many will either not vote or will vote for Trump. They never make the TV shows but they are the majority of Dem voters. When Sanders is exposed on the open stage by someone who is not afraid of exposing him, DJT, and his radical views, many Dems will be disgusted. He has already lost FL because of his extreme views and many other radical beliefs will be high lighted and discussed by Trump and his campaign. Sanders is not going to be elected no matter the left-wing hype.

Having a strong sense of Arkancide in the near future. Ominous.

Ideally what we want is Bernie with a plurality but not a majority. That way a large swath of democrats feel cheated and stay home.

I’d rather support Jake from State Farm, except he’d have a chance.

Agree with SVH.

Chaos comes from confusion. A Biden victory would keep the DNC guessing about who could stop Bernie. It will fuel the ‘we wuzz robbedd’ conspiracy theories. It would reduce the chances any one candidate has a first ballot majority in Milwaukee. It might also keep a declared Socialist off the ballot in November.

    artichoke in reply to Christopher B. | February 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    But we want that socialist on the ballot. He expresses honestly the endpoint of Dem policies. It’s dishonest for them to run anyone else, in a way.

    Have them nominate Sanders, and let the voters have a real choice.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to artichoke. | February 27, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      Pelosi, Feinstein, and lots of the DEM leadership have publicly announced that they would be happy with a Bernie Presidential Democrat Party nomination.

Open primaries in SC are why the R party kept nominating Lindsey Graham for Senate. Does he remind you of a SC good old boy? Me neither, but the Dems kept putting him over the top for the R nomination.

Turnabout is most definitely fair play here.

    Sanddog in reply to artichoke. | February 27, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Democrats in the South used open primaries to put in a weak opponent for decades. No one every cried foul until Republicans finally got smart and started doing the same.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm

“The State” newspaper is so bigoted!

Calling a completely legal and DNC Approved procedure “meddling?”

buckeyeminuteman | February 27, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Be careful what you wish for. Bernie has too much enthusiasm behind him to count him out. I sure wouldn’t want him to win. A better idea would be for Rs to mix up their candidate state by state to make the Dem convention as rowdy as possible in picking a candidate.

Given their history … and their present, too for that matter … I have no sympathy for the Dems on this. None.

But as a Canadian layman, I do have a question.

Why is this allowed/mandated at all? Why should non-members (effectively, at least) of a party get a vote? Does that not violate freedom of association?

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to hopp singg. | February 27, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Because the decades long (more than a century in many cases) Democrat controlling Party in those states wanted that.

    Someone just explained that’s how RINO Lindsey Graham was able to keep getting elected – because DEMS cross over in the primary and decimate his GOP competition.

      Thanks, I understand now.

      So why no court challenges?

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to hopp singg. | February 27, 2020 at 11:27 pm

        The SC GOP members have tried for years to get the state to change it – don’t know that they’ve ever tried suing in court.

        Of course the DEMS don’t want to change it – until this one time this year – because it’s benefited them too much.

        It’s like the school yard bully who never changes their bullying until one day they are totally KO’ed and humiliated in front of their entire public.

        Milhouse in reply to hopp singg. | February 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

        So why no court challenges?

        For precisely the reason you brought up — freedom of association. Since the Democratic Party wants open primaries it has that right, and it’s nobody else’s business.

        Now if it were to object then it could ask the state to close the primary, but the state could say: “If you want us to run your primary for you we set the rules. If you don’t like it you can hold your own primary at your own expense, or choose your candidates by some other method.”

So, they’re going to take out the Democrats’ only hope, Joe Biden?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 28, 2020 at 12:08 am

Daily Caller:

Dozens of Democratic superdelegates say they’re willing to sacrifice party cohesion to prevent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from becoming their party’s nominee at the Democratic National Convention in July.

The New York Times spoke with 93 superdelegates following Sanders’s victory in the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, the vast majority of which said they believe the Democratic Party is headed toward a contested convention. Of the superdelegates interviewed, 84 said Sanders does not deserve to become the party’s nominee based solely on having secured the most, but not over 50%, of the delegates during the primaries and caucuses.

This is a mistake. If the market tanks completely, and takes the economy with it, combined with a large number of deaths from the coronavirus, Bernie will become president. The greatest collective disaster in American history.

Back when I was in college, the Democrats (LBJ’s machine) controlled the statewide offices. The anti-Democrats would vote for the worst candidates to provide the candidates most easy (or least impossible) to defeat. We eventually won.

I think we need to be careful what we ask for. Remember, Trump had ZERO percent chance of winning. Bernie is picking up steam with a lot of voters who aren’t using their brains.

Open primaries with no party registration are generally the rule in most southern and Midwest states.

In the South (except closed primaries in NC and FL) they are the vestige of long-gone days when such states were overwhelmingly Democratic. Back then, with no GOP to speak of, the Dem primary was tantamount to the winning the race outright, so requiring a party preference when registering to vote was totally superfluous. Of course, that has no longer been true for 50+ years.

In the “good government” states of the Upper Midwest, the rationale is that it’s no one’s business which party one belongs to. Thus, they have what is known as “open primary, private choice”, in which the voter chooses the party ballot in the privacy of the voting booth, so that no one knows not only who you voted for, but also which party primary you chose. This is in contrast to the “open primary, public choice” system in the South, where your party ballot choice is recorded (although you decide that on the spot and can ask for any party at any election), although your votes for individual candidates are still secret.

I once participated as a “raider” myself in an open primary long ago, and I don’t have a problem with the practice, although I do think the SC GOP is playing with fire this year and fear that Bernie may be a lot stronger a candidate than we think.

And even closed primaries don’t always keep the outcomes fair. In 2004 there was a concerted effort in PA to re-register thousands of Democrats to vote in the GOP primary for Sen. Arlen Specter. Specter won, and most of those Republicans for a day returned to the Dems shortly thereafter.

Nevertheless, such moves take a lot of organizing effort and are very rare. The best protection for the integrity of the parties is to adopt a closed primary framework.

Be careful about what you wish for. I think this is a dangerous path that could end up putting Bernie Sanders in the White House.