Operation Hilarity

Screen Shot from Video Below

On Tuesday, the primaries in both Arizona and Michigan took place. The long standing tradition where members of a political party are called forth to cast their votes for the person they think is best suited to be the next President of the United States. Voters weigh the pros and cons of each contender against their own beliefs. They question what it is that they truly want to see in the leader of the free world. It is no light task, and it is no easy job for which the candidates are campaigning. Yesterday, Republicans cast their ballots for the candidate they wish to see run against President Obama. Weirdly enough, so did Democrats.


In something called Operation Hilarity, organizers in the Democratic camp asked fellow Democrats to go out and vote in open-primary states (an open primary is one where anyone can vote, regardless of party affiliation). Michigan happens to have an open-primary and Democrats were asked to go to their local polling place, ask for a Republican ballot, and, here’s the hilarious part, cast a vote for anyone but Mitt Romney (pause for uproarious laughter).

Although it looks like Romney has won Michigan anyway, the campaign seemed to be working. As I was watching the numbers begin to come in, Democrats were being interviewed by exit-poll takers and were admitting to voting for Santorum or even Ron Paul. Close to eight percent of voters were speculated to be Democrats. The thinking behind Operation Hilarity is that the longer the process to pick the GOP candidate the easier it will be for Obama to win in November. And isn’t that what our election process is for? Don’t we want to make it as easy as possible for the person responsible for running our country to be elected? Having a discussion about real issues and offering different points of view is overrated, and besides, this is hilarious.

Even Rick Santorum’s own campaign tried to capitalize on Operation Hilarity.  The former Pennsylvania Senator created an automated message to Democrats urging them to vote for him. Not because he believes he represents their values or because he is the best candidate, but because Romney voted against the auto industry bailouts. The automated message conveniently left out that Rick Santorum also voted against the auto industry bailouts. Now that’s funny. The fact that he omitted that little fact is funny not the fact that he tried to use a dirty political trick and a subversive Democrat political movement to try and defeat his opponents.  That was more ironic if anything coming from the candidate claiming moral superiority.

Then again, elections in this country aren’t really about finding out who is the best candidate.  It is more about who can win.  The actual voice of Republican voters don’t need to be heard in this national primary process. Who can get the most votes anyway they can is what really matters. So maybe I am thinking about Operation Hilarity’s motives all wrong. Maybe the hilarious part isn’t the fact that Democrats are trying to tamper with election results by asking non-Republicans to vote for candidates they don’t believe in. Maybe the hilarity is that they are pointing out that I naïvely still think the election process is there to choose the best candidate. Now I get it. I’m in tears from all the laughing I’m doing.

What could be more hilarious than voting for someone you have no actual desire to see run or plan to vote for in November? Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to sabotage an election so the “weaker” candidate is up against your guy? Why not help a politician win a state on a technicality instead of their merits? I mean, it’s not like we are trying to pick the best person for the job or anything? It’s only the presidency.

Actually, if I remember correctly, there was a Nobel Prize winning writer, I mean comedian obviously, that wrote about this very kind of democratic hilarity. My favorite quote of his is:

“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Hilarious, right? Gets me every time.


This is an interview by Keith Olbermann with Markos Moulitsas, the person who created Operation Hilarity. If you’re drinking something be careful not to shoot it out your nose while watching this stand-up routine. “Extend the primary process so it is easier for Obama.”  Hahaha, priceless!