Chest Beating

So much in politics can really be explained as the same reason a Gorilla beats his chest. It’s a display, intended to scare rivals or assert dominance. Since it’s primary season we can expect to see a lot of that. Paul Helmke’s latest bit on the Indiana primary, which is today, falls into that category. Helmke notes the NRA favored candidates are expected to lose, noting:

Tomorrow’s results in the Indiana GOP primaries could tell us how strong the anti-DC mood is with the GOP in the heartland, and whether the NRA’s opposition or support makes any difference.

For another perspective on the Indiana primary race, you can look at Jim Geraghty’s summary here. My feeling is that it’s a three way race, which always complicates things. The pro-gun vote will be split between two candidates. But this is far from a race where there’s a wide open lead. NRA generally won’t waste money on a lost cause, so this will indeed be interesting to see. All three candidates have wide open leads over Brad Ellsworth, so in this instance, the primary is pretty much the general election for the Hoosiers.

Look for Brady to play this card often. They are beating their chests to show that NRA is not so tough. This will be fertile ground too. NRA is going to be getting behind some pro-gun Democrats who are likely to lose their seats because of their votes on other issues. Oddly enough, the 2010 elections I think will not be a good year for NRA, in terms of their win percentages. The biggest loss is likely to be Harry Reid, who is the only reason we’ve accomplished anything in the 111th Congress. His likely successor is either Dick Durbin of Illinois or Chuck Schumer of New York. Either of those two leading the Senate, we better hope we don’t replace these pro-gun Dems with squishy Republicans. I hope all the Hoosiers get out there today to vote.

6 thoughts on “Chest Beating”

  1. Voting in a partisan primary legally obligates one to vote for a majority of that party’s candidates in the general election. Ouch.

    1. Easy, it doesn’t work that way. A law like that would never be upheld.

      The oddity of Indiana primary voting isn’t that you’re forced into voting for candidates of a party in the general. It’s that if you vote for a majority of one party’s candidates in, say, 2008, you are allowed to pull the ballot for that party’s primary the next election (presuming that would be 2010, unless they had elections last year). If you weren’t around in 2008, but you want to participate in a party primary, then you may do so if you tell the election worker that you plan to vote for a majority of the party’s candidates later on in 2010. Basically, it’s just a really crappy system of pledges that can’t actually be enforced since no one knows how you voted or how you will vote.

      So if a Libertarian said that he/she had previously voted for more Republicans than other candidates in previous years, they can vote free and clear in a primary. If they have never voted before, they are supposed to pledge to vote for Republicans in the general. However, as Slate pointed out back during the 2008 elections, the only way they could ever prosecute is if you went around screaming, “I willingly violated state law!” Even then, the constitutionality of it would be challenged.

  2. Me thump chest hope get mate. Helmke thump chest try get mate. Helmke weak little baby. Me get his mate, too.

  3. Coats is the winner. Queue more chest-thumping by the Brady Campaign about the NRAs irrelevance!

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