A few moments ago, I received an email from the Wasinger campaign regarding Barbara Comstock. For those unfamiliar with these names, Wasinger, Comstock, and a whole host of others are seeking the Republican nomination to the 10th congressional district of Virginia. This email includes the line, “Barbara Comstock voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.” As you might image, I found that idea curious. Why would a Republican openly admit to voting for a Democrat, especially one like Barack Obama.
Therefore, I did a little digging and discovered that Barbara Comstock did say that she voted for Barack Obama. However, it wasn’t in the general election, but rather the 2008 Democratic primary.
To offer you some perspective, Virginia has open primaries and so in any given election a voter can choose to vote in a Republican or a Democratic primary, but not both. I don’t know if you remember, but back in 2008 Rush Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to vote in the Democratic primaries in order to stir up trouble and prolong the process.
Now I am no stranger to voting in Democratic primaries. For example, in 2013 I voted for Ralph Northam. It wasn’t the general election, but rather the Democratic contest. I thought Northam would be better than Chopra in much the same way Comstock preferred Obama to Hillary Clinton.
However, the Republican Party of Virginia recently decided that if a Republican votes in a Democratic primary, he or she would be prohibited from participating in Republican activities. I believe such a move to be anathema to the principles of a free and open democratic republic like ours. In addition, if this rule had been in place in 2008, Barbara Comstock would have probably been expelled from the party, not won as seat in the House of Delegates in 2009 as a Republican, and thus it would be exceedingly unlikely that she would be seeking the Republican nomination in the 10th today.
If I lived in the 10th district, would Barbara Comstock be my choice? No. She and I disagree on a few important issues and the names on her list of endorsers raises more than a few red flags. However, to attack her for exercising what I believe is her civil right to vote for Barack Obama in an open Democratic primary, which her tax dollars helped fund, is absolutely ludicrous. Unfortunately, an increasing number of Republicans in Virginia have been swept up in such partisan madness.
I encourage you to take the time to educate yourself and don’t assume that everything you read is completely accurate or not skewed for political gain.