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Challenge Politicians Living Political Money on the Table in Primaries

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Cynthia Nixon is singlehandedly demonstrating the value of serious primary challenges to politicians less liberal than their constituents:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed Wednesday to grant voting rights to tens of thousands of paroled felons, arguing that they’ve paid their debt to society and should have the ability to cast a ballot.

Cuomo, a Democrat, signed an executive order that would provide conditional pardons to upward of 35,000 felons who have completed their jail sentence but remain out on parole supervision.

Those pardons would restore the parolees’ ability to vote.

This is just the latest reaction. Even if she doesn’t win, Nixon is playing a valuable role here.

The utterly ridiculous logical contortions people will go to to convince themselves that vanity third party consumer wank campaigns are a viable vehicle for progressive change notwithstanding, the idea that the represent a better tactic than primary challenges makes no sense at all in theory and has been disproven again and again in practice. Wank campaigns present little of the upside with vastly more downside (with the two being related; precisely because of disasters like 2000 third parties generally can’t get enough support to influence the Democrats even if they can get just enough support to throw a close election.) Serious primary campaigns of out of sync politicians are more useful in both winning or losing. Conservatives didn’t take over the Republican Party with consumerist vanity campaigns; they try to get the best candidate for them in the primaries and they vote Republican in the general win or lose. It’s not complicated, it doesn’t allow you to order candidates a la carte like you’re at the toppings bar at a frozen yogurt shop because politics is group-and-coalition based not atomistic-consumer based, but it works. This is not a close question.

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