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Liberal Bloggers for...Romney?

By Jose Antonio Vargas
When it comes to the Democratic primaries, the liberal blogosphere - aka the netroots -- is a divided house.

Many prefer John Edwards: not just the populist Edwards of fours years ago but also the angrier, more partisan Edwards of today. Some have warmed up to Sen. Hillary Clinton. They castigated her vote on the Iraq war, but they respect her experience and Democratic bona fides. And though others are skeptical of Sen. Barack Obama's strategy of drawing Republicans and independents, they're impressed by his ability to energize young voters.

But what unites the netroots is disdain for the Republican Party -- and the perceived fragmentation of the GOP's presidential field is a reason to celebrate, to say the least.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, has outlined a somewhat radical proposal : Since Michigan's upcoming Democratic primary on Jan. 15 is essentially meaningless -- the Democratic National Committee stripped the Automotive State of its delegates -- why don't Democrats vote for . . . Mitt Romney?

Michigan has an open primary. Democrats and independents can vote for a Republican. Since Mike Huckabee took Iowa and Sen. John McCain won New Hampshire, Romney's win in Michigan, Moulitsas reasoned, bodes well for Democrats.

In a blog post titled "Let's have some fun in Michigan," Moulitsas wrote: "If we can help push Mitt over the line, not only do we help keep their field fragmented, but we also pollute Romney's victory. How 'legitimate' will the Mittster's victory look if liberals provide the margin of victory? Think of the hilarity that will ensue. We'll simply be adding fuel to their civil war, never a bad thing from our vantage point."

In an e-mail, Moulitsas told The Trail: "Democrats face a battle between establishment forces and outsider ones, but ultimately, there's little difference in policy or their vision for the future of the country. Republicans, on the other hand, are fighting a battle for the soul of their party -- whether their Christian Right foot soldiers will be taken for granted as second-class citizens, or whether the corporate and neocons will give them a true seat at the table. The longer the GOP field remains fragmented, the longer these fault lines are exposed for all to see."

By Washington Post editors  |  January 12, 2008; 11:54 AM ET
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