THAT'S ONE WAY TO SECURE THE BASE.

The Virginia Republican Party is serving voters that precious combination of desperation and authoritarian impulse for which the national GOP is becoming known:

The Republican Party of Virginia wants voters in the Feb. 12 GOP presidential primary to sign a pledge that they will support the party's nominee.

The state Board of Elections approved the request yesterday.

Those who wish to cast a ballot in the Republican presidential primary will have to sign a statement that says, "I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president."

Here's another plan: the week before the election, we kidnap every child in the state, and tell voters that unless the Republicans win, they don't get their kids back!

-- Paul Waldman

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