Those Wonderful Primaries

Is this any way to pick a president?" That is the question of choice for anyone aspiring to the title of Thoughtful Political Observer. It doesn't matter what year or decade we're talking about, that critique is obligatory.

Back in the day when party bosses chose presidential nominees at conventions, Thoughtful Political Observers (TPOS for short) demanded that voters be brought into the process through primaries. Frank R. Kent, one of the more prominent journalists of the 1920s and '30s, made something of a crusade out of this view.

When primaries took hold in the '70s, TPOS deplored the loss of...

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