Primary challengers: good for everyone but incumbent presidents?

King Charles I, advocate of the divine right of kings

It’s bad that we can’t even run, let alone nominate, a decent presidential candidate. It’s bad that conservatives are so willing to fall for sub-par rapscallions masquerading as statesmen. But one of the biggest problems is a major flaw in our party system. And no, I’m not talking about open primaries (we’ll get to that one another day).

Competition: the politician’s nightmare

One of the first things you notice when you start observing the behavior of elected officials is that there are two things they fear: voters and primary challengers. One of the really encouraging things that the Tea Party has done is recruiting primary challengers for patrician-minded legislators.

Here in Anderson county, we’ve seen legislators go bonkers over primary challengers. Worth the price of admission, I can tell you. (And if you’d like to help turn more of our SC potentates out, click here.)

The divine right of Presidents

It occurred to me the other day that while we are vocal about the need for primary challengers, it’s an accepted thing for presidents to go unopposed by their own party. That was a “Duh!!” moment for me. Why are we doing that???

Are presidents somehow entitled to serve two terms just by virtue of being nominated once? What if they do a lousy job upholding the party values? Why should they get a free ride? Imagine how differently a president would behave in office if he knew he’d have to give account to his party in another primary before he got a second term.

What’s good for the goose…

It’s time to kill the notion that presidents are somehow above the rest of the political class. If competition is good for the goose, it’s even better for the gander. No party nominee (whether president or dog-catcher) should ever be allowed to take the support of his party for granted.

It would be hard to challenge a president, no doubt about it. But the president needs the accountability that would provide, and the party shouldn’t be locked into supporting anyone. And who knows….a challenger might actually get somewhere sometimes.

Anyone with me?

4 Responses to “Primary challengers: good for everyone but incumbent presidents?”

  1. Here, here! Plus it makes for a great show 🙂

    – Trent

  2. You bet!

  3. This will take a compete turnover of RNC leadership and philosophy. May God give us the courage to make it happen!

  4. Just found your blog Hannah. This was a delightful thing to read first! :). I second that motion!