In Friday's "Real Time" blog post, Bill Maher discusses election primaries, and a recent Chuck Schumer New York Times op-ed. Schumer called for open primaries or "top two" primaries, folks can vote for whomever regardless of party, and you might end up with GOP versus GOP, Democrat versus Democrat, or neither party at all. (California, approved open primaries in 2010, and introduced this system during the 2012 election.)
In the blog, which reads like a half-baked monologue, Maher writes:
"Another friend of the show, Chuck Schumer – that’s right, I know people – wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about how the primary system is all screwed up. He says it gets gamed by extremists and rich dopes. And he says the rest of the country should do what California does, and go to a “top two” “open primary” where you don’t have to be in the party to vote, and you might not end up with a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot. He says that means we’ll get more moderate candidates, as opposed to the system now, where the kooks on both sides elect the Nutcracker to fight the Mouse King."
Maher isn't sure if he agrees with Senator Schumer or not. "Top two," "open primaries" could mean more moderates are elected, who compromise, and allow government to function, he muses. However, it would make politics a heck of a lot more boring. (For Maher, the argument seems to boil down to comedy -- peppered with a serious political argument.)
"Do nuts ruin primaries? Yes." Maher writes. "Nuts ruin everything. On the other hand, it is fun when someone knocks off Eric Cantor."
The thought Maher does arrive at is that open primaries might as well be tested. Why? Because, regardless of primary structure, he says, Republicans are likely to discourage voters from showing up at the polls.
"I think the Republicans like the primary system just fine. They think voting should be legal but discouraged, like interracial dating. And the result is they get the Tea Party, but then they can’t control them."