No sooner had the ink dry from all the bad press, did the Republican Party of Virginia repeal its requirement of a loyalty oath from all voters who participate in its February 12 presidential primary to vote for the GOP's eventual nominee. While we sympathize with RPV's concerns over assorted liberals infiltrating its presidential primary, or any nominating primary, a loyalty oath is no way to endear voters to any party. Furthermore, what do the party wise men and women expect of values voters if, for example, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, or any non-traditional values candidate, wins the Republican nomination? If a candidate of those views gets the nomination, it is up to him to make his case. It's not up to the party to attempt to obligate voters to a candidate for an election which still would be eight months away.
One has to ask what RPV was thinking. Did no one there expect the uproar? Since there is a Democrat primary on the same day, how many liberals really were going to vote in the GOP contest? By requiring a loyalty oath, the Republican Party of Virginia also may have driven away thousands of open minded independents, who more than likely would stick with the nominee anyway. The important thing is to get them to vote in your primary first, because then voters are more likely to stick with the party in which they show an interest.
In the meantime, something does need to be done to eliminate liberal infiltration in Virginia Republican primaries. A portion of Virginia's primary law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in October. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals stated that parties have a right to ensure their own select their own and the decision may lead to party registration. There is the story, for example, of a voter who approached a poll worker for low-tax conservative Joe Blackburn during the 12th senate district Republican primary in June. Blackburn challenged incumbent Walter Stosch who voted for Virginia's largest-ever tax increase and was in favor of a second in 2006. The voter said, "If you don't believe in tax increases you're either an idiot or a fool and probably both."
Why is someone like that voting in a Republican primary and is there any doubt for whom he voted?