The purist instincts of the right wing of the Idaho Republican Party are being replicated by the left wing of the Hawaii Democratic Party, reports Boise State’s emeritus political scientist Jim Weatherby.
In an online column for Ridenbaugh Press, Weatherby writes:
“Mirroring Idaho Republicans, Hawaii Democrats recently filed suit in US District Court to keep the crossover undesirables from voting in their primary. And again as in Idaho, many elected officials, Democrats in this case, opposed the lawsuit. According to Governor Neil Abercrombie (D), ‘the Democrats have been inclusive, drawing strength from bringing together a diversity of people and perspectives.’ But those in support of the lawsuit thought a closed primary would ‘ensure Democrats are elected at the primary stage by their fellow Democrats’ and that the potential for crossover voting in the open primary weakened the party and made it more difficult for its views to be seriously considered. Sound familiar? Different set of actors, same dialogue, and same play!”
Weatherby continues, “In Idaho there’s fear that the radical right, empowered by a closed primary, will overreach and in Hawaii there are similar fears of the excesses of the radical left.
“Closed primaries in states with a one-party system typically produce more extreme candidates – and it appears that’s the goal of hard core activists in both Idaho and Hawaii.”