For anyone who has missed this bit of lovely schadenfreude, Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party has filed suit in Texas to strike both John McCain and Barrack Obama from the Texas ballot this November.
The reason? Per Texas law, a candidate must file proof of certification of their candidacy prior to a deadline of seventy days before the election date. Which was Aug. 26. A date, you may note, which precedes the date at which either major party had had their nominating conventions. Which would seem to most unbiased observers to be the point at which a candidate could claim to be officially, and certifiably, the candidate of their party.
The Texas Secretary of State has already said that he was satisfied that the two campaigns in question met the intent of the law, and saw no problem with the campaigns having their ballot positions. But, anyone who has followed third party campaigns at all in the past knows that such goodwill and reasonableness never attends a third party candidacy. When dealing with anyone but the Dems or the Repubs the courts have time and time again demanded that every jot and tittle be properly filed, or else.
IMNSHO it would be sauce for the gander to see it happen to the Republicans and the Democrats. (And about as likely as a blizzard on the fourth of July in Washington, D.C.) Hell’s bells, I still recall the way that the Republican national committee fought tooth and nail to keep John McCain off the primary ballot here in NY in 2000.
This issue, to my mind, is a far more important and more infuriating issue than any complaints about the Electoral College can ever be. Whether one likes the EC or not, there hasn’t been a recent charge that the EC doesn’t follow its own rules. Whereas the bullying by the Democrats and the Republicans proceeds apace across the nation - to the extent that third party candidacies are routine scrutinized to a degree reserved for criminal complaints. And in some states the major parties don’t even have to file any paperwork for their candidate’s ballot line. (NY, I’m looking at you.) Ideally, whatever court Bob Barr gets will side with his arguments, and throw both Barrack Obama and John McCain off the Texas ballot. In reality, I expect the court to hand down a decision that goes something like this:
Let me note that said chastisement will not cost either campaign a penny beyond the fees for the lawyers to get up in court and argue “You can’t take the right of Americans to vote Demlican from them!” All in the name of freedom of choice, and retaining the franchise for the voters. Mind your step for all the fertilizer falling from that line of reasoning, which has never been a consideration when dealing with Green, Libertarian or other third party candidacies.
Per this Daily Kos piece, there’s even some room to question whether a write-in candidacy for McCain would be legal.
I’m not thrilled by Barrack Obama as a candidate. But I’m scared by McCain, and Palin is even worse. The idea of McCain losing Texas’ Electoral College votes is just too amusing, anyways. It won’t happen, but I do like the little moment of fantasy.