Finally… a Republican sex scandal involving a man and a woman.
Archives for February 2008
One of the most entertaining local blogs in the Seattle area is run by my friends Carl Ballard and Lee Rosenberg. While also posting at Horse’s Ass, they also blog at EFFin’ Unsound, a blog dedicated to skewering slow-witted, doughy headed right wing bloggers. EFFin’ Unsound is in heavy blog rotation.
Check out the post by Lee in which he describes Dino Rossi sycophant Mathew Manweller’s foray into the blogosphere. Or this post, wherein Carl dissects Eric Earling’s shit swallowin’ vote for John McCain. It’s good stuff.
“Matt Manweller”… What is that, his porno name? Not quite as good as “Lou Guzz-oh”, but still decent.
This is an Open Thread.
Last week, I attended a press conference at the downtown Seattle offices of the ACLU with travel show host Rick Steves. Many people know Rick Steves from his television shows or his books, but one thing that many people don’t know about him is that he’s been a longtime advocate of reforming our marijuana laws. Having spent so much time in Europe, it’s given him a broader perspective on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to dealing with the problems of drug abuse and drug addiction. For example, in a country like Holland, where adults can walk into a licensed coffeeshop and purchase marijuana without penalty, fewer adults and teens use it than here in America, where we still try to send sick people to jail for using it as medicine on the false premise that doing otherwise would “send the wrong message to our kids”.
The contrast between the two approaches is clear for anyone who is willing to put aside the overwraught exaggerations of the dangers of this drug and simply look at the facts. Towards this end, Steves has set up a new website at MarijuanaConversation.org and released a half-hour infomercial-style video that discusses the history and the current state of this country’s war on marijuana. The video is available to Comcast Digital Cable subscribers through On Demand and will eventually be seen on some of the state’s major network affiliates. I’ve already seen the video myself, and I’m hoping that it reaches a wide audience in the state. Little of what was presented was new to me, but it will likely be surprising to those who’ve only learned about marijuana from sources with an incentive to maintain its illegal status.
The national prohibition of marijuana didn’t even begin until 1937 in this country. Before that time, and especially as far back as in colonial days, the hemp plant was a valued resource. It was used for ropes and sails and both The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp parchment. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that there were attempts to make hemp’s psychoactive relative, which had always been known by the term cannabis, illegal. A man named Harry J. Anslinger was put in charge of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which was made up of a number of federal employees whose jobs were rendered useless by the end of alcohol prohibition in 1932. In an attempt to preserve those jobs, he proceeded to drum up a lot of fear about the use of cannabis. In order to draw on America’s racial fears, he began referring to it as ‘marihuana,’ which was the Mexican term for the drug. Despite opposition from a number of medical professionals, Anslinger’s propaganda campaign, which incredibly claimed that marijuana was “the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind” actually worked, and it was made illegal through the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937.
While marijuana use at that time was fairly limited, the 60s brought about a massive increase in the drug’s popularity. It became a symbol of the counter-culture movement that was challenging many of the more socially conservative norms that developed through the Depression and World War II. When Richard Nixon was in the White House in 1970, he assigned a special commission to look at the dangers of this increased level of use and to recommend solutions. The Shafer Commission surprised Nixon by saying that marijuana is not very dangerous at all and recommending that it should be decriminalized. Nixon completely ignored the commission and launched what we now know as the modern “war on drugs.”
Today, nearly 100 million Americans have used marijuana, including our current and former Presidents, and numerous members of Congress. Yet it still remains illegal under federal law for anyone in this country to possess it or grow it. Over 800,000 people were arrested last year on marijuana offenses, over 700,000 for simple possession. Minorities, especially blacks, are more likely than whites to be arrested for possession and more likely to go to jail for it. While few of those 700,000 actually do serve jail time, the overall costs to taxpayers for maintaining this nationwide prohibition amounts from somewhere between $7 billion and $40 billion per year, depending on whether or not you try to factor in the potential revenue from taxing its sale. It is currently this country’s #1 cash crop.
As the generation who grew up in the 1960s nears retirement age, many of them have been finding that marijuana really does have the medical uses that the physicians in the 1930s said it did before being shouted down by Anslinger’s angry mob. Thirteen states now have laws that allow medical marijuana use when approved by a doctor, but the Bush Administration continues to deem those laws invalid under federal law, sending federal agents throughout those states to close down medical marijuana facilities that are legal under their respective state laws. Despite petitions and lawsuits, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that the federal government deems it to have no medical use and to be more dangerous than both cocaine and amphetamines. In another rebuke to that ridiculous classification, the American College of Physicians, a group of 124,000 doctors, gave their endorsement last week for the medical use of marijuana.
I’m hoping for the best when it comes to this effort by Steves to start a new conversation and to reach out to more people with the message that our approach to marijuana in this country is fundamentally flawed. There’s a major divide between how the politically active online community sees our marijuana laws and how it’s viewed among other demographics. I get very little disagreement when I discuss marijuana legalization online, even from many of the right-wing folks who disagree with me on almost everything else. The unnecessary cost to taxpayers and the overbearing nanny state aspect of the federal marijuana prohibition resonate with conservatives, while the racial disparities and the effects on voting eligibility and the lack of opportunity for those with past convictions resonate with liberals. But Steves’ message is powerful because it reaches another very large group: parents.
As anyone who’s ever watched his travel show knows, Rick Steves has a family, and a big part of why he’s doing this is because he sees our marijuana laws as a detriment, rather than a benefit, for his own kids. Like any good parent, he doesn’t want his children to be involved with marijuana. But through his travels, he’s discovered that our marijuana laws are extremely counterproductive on that front. By choosing outright prohibition instead of a model that allows for the strict regulation of its sale for adults, it’s actually much easier for children in this country to get marijuana than it is for them to get a bottle of whiskey or a pack of cigarettes. The person who sells marijuana doesn’t check ID and doesn’t face a strict penalty for selling to a minor. As a result, young people themselves often become part of the supply chain. This is something that happened during alcohol prohibition as well and was one of the big reasons why many people began to turn their backs on that failed social experiment. The special that he recorded hits this point extremely well and I imagine that it will resonate with a lot of parents in this country who have seen marijuana prohibition both as children and adults. While they certainly don’t want their kids to be involved with drugs, as one young mother in the audience noted, it’s much worse for a young person to have a criminal record. And that’s why it’s time to start this conversation now.
UPDATE: SeattleTammy sent me an email with a link to a review she wrote of Burning Rainbow Farm, one of the best books for grasping the sheer lunacy of marijuana prohibition. If you’re in Seattle and want a copy, head to Jackson Street Books and grab one.
Chamber co-presents CityClub event on Seattle’s changing neighborhoods, March 7
Support for urban density and affordable housing is one of the Chamber’s four policy priorities for 2007-08, and the Chamber is pleased to co-present this CityClub discussion on Friday, March 7:
Urban Development: Do we recognize the changing face of our neighborhoods?
Unprecedented development is reshaping Seattle’s neighborhoods unlike any other time in the city’s recent history. From Ballard to Capitol Hill and South Lake Union, neighborhoods are adapting to a new, denser urban reality. What do these developments say about the future of Seattle and how we define vibrant, livable urban neighborhoods?
Panelists to date:
· Jim Diers, Author, Neighbor Power
· Ada Healey, Vice President of Real Estate, Vulcan Inc.
· Leonard Garfield, Executive Director, Museum of History and Industry
· Diane Sugimura, Director, Department of Planning & Development, City of Seattle
· Moderator: Jim Vesely, Editorial Page Editor, The Seattle Times
What does Vesely know about Seattle neighborhoods? What can a Mercer Islander really add to a discussion of Seattle neighborhoods? The panel looks like it was taken right out of some big wig’s Blackberry.
If you’re going to this event, let me know and report back. I’d love to witness the huffery and puffery for myself, but the 40 bucks is a bit steep.
Do you want to know more about running a successful campaign, political fundraising, political communications, or volunteer recruitment for political efforts?
This Saturday and Sunday a DfA Training Academy will be held in Kent, Washington in the IBEW hall (19802 62nd Ave S, Kent, WA). (Note the corrected address.) The event is sponsored by the Eastside DfA, the 8th CD Democrats, and the Darcy Burner campaign.
Day One is similar to Camp Wellstone—focused on learning the ropes to help in campaigns. Day Two is focused on grassroots organizing in precincts and neighborhoods. Darcy Burner will show up to kick off the training and give a brief talk.
There will also be a social from 6:00–8:00 pm on Saturday with great food ($12) and bluegrass music.
This document (pdf) is the agenda for the weekend. Here is a sampler of some of the training:
If you’ve ever wanted to know the secrets of running a successful political campaign, don’t miss this great opportunity for first-rate training.
To find out more or to sign up, begin with this DfA event page.
It’s been obvious for some time that November is going to see an historic election, with either a woman or a black man heading the Democratic ticket, so while Barack Obama’s streak of ten straight landslide victories since Super Tuesday certainly adds more than a bit of drama to the campaign season, it hasn’t exactly been a surprise. February promised to be a good month for Obama, but it had to be a very good month to give him the momentum necessary to smash through Hillary Clinton’s presumed firewall in delegate rich Ohio and Texas on March 4. It has been, and with a small but widening delegate lead, and a narrowing gap in the firewall states, the smart money is now on Obama.
For an idea of how impressive Obama’s streak has been, yesterday’s 17.4% margin in Wisconsin was the closest this month, with Obama only winning 58.1% to 40.7%. More significantly, Obama racked up majorities throughout most of the state, capturing 40 delegates to Clinton’s 28, where he had only been projected to manage an 8 delegate pickup. Meanwhile in the Hawaii caucus, Obama thumped Clinton 76% to 24% for 12 delegates to Clinton’s 4.
Exciting for Obama fans, but again, not surprising; this has pretty much been the story all month long. Obama now leads Clinton 1140 to 1005 in pledged delegates. Sure there are some loyal superdelegates who will go for Clinton no matter what, but in general I really don’t see Democratic electeds being that stupid or that self-destructive to throw the nomination to Clinton if Obama manages to win a clear majority of the pledged delegates, the states and the popular vote… and unless Clinton stages a dramatic comeback in Ohio and Texas, that’s exactly what Obama looks like he is set up to do. In their speeches last night both Obama and McCain each turned their sights on the other, so with the focus beginning to shift toward November I think the big news coming out yesterday’s primary is another trend that’s been building since Iowa: the enormous turnout differential between the two parties nationwide.
In Wisconsin, a swing state with an open primary, Obama alone drew more votes than the entire Republican field combined. But more impressively, so did Clinton despite her distant, second place finish. And even here in Washington, where the Republican primary determined more than half the delegates while the Democrats held nothing more than a beauty contest, the Dems already enjoy a 35% turnout advantage with most of overwhelmingly blue King County yet to report. Nationwide the Democrats have produced a 45% turnout advantage thus far, and while such numbers won’t correspond to turnout in November, it surely signals a huge disparity in voter enthusiasm. Yes, rank and file Republicans will largely get behind McCain, but even a small turnout disadvantage or a couple point swing to the Dems amongst independents could spell disaster for GOP candidates up and down the ticket.
While our local Republicans like to blame all their losses on electoral fraud, it was the KCGOP’s lax Get Out The Vote effort that proved the decisive factor in our infamously close gubernatorial election in 2004. And with little more than half of KCGOP primary voters (and only a quarter of caucus goers) willing to cast their ballot for McCain, weeks after securing the nomination, that doesn’t say much for his potential presidential coattails. If I were a local Republican, I’d be feeling more than just “dirty” or “unenthusiastic” — I’d be awfully damn worried right about now.
Polls don’t close in Wisconsin for another 15 minutes, but early exit polls already suggest a good night for Obama. That said, I wouldn’t trust the early exit polls as far as I could spit.
I don’t think there were any early exit polls in WA’s Republican primary, because frankly, nobody cares.
UPDATE [6:01 PM]:
That was fast. Within seconds of the polls closing, the networks called Wisconsin for McCain. No surpise there. They haven’t called the Democratic primary yet, but acknowledge exit polls suggesting an Obama lead.
UPDATE [6:14 PM]:
I’m listening to McCain’s speech now. Man he lives in a scary world. Did you know there are monsters living underneath your bed? Monsters! And McCain promises to win the War on Scary Monsters. Good for him.
UPDATE [6:19 PM]:
Thank God McCain kept tonight’s speech to under 15 minutes. McCain came out against deceiving Americans with eloquence. No chance that happened tonight.
UPDATE [6:24 PM]:
The networks just called Wisconsin for Obama. Again, no surprise, but I am curious why it took them 22 minutes to call Wisconsin for Obama, based on exit polls, whereas it only took them a few seconds to call it for McCain. Makes Obama’s victory seem less decisive than McCain’s, even though it is likely they’ll both get around the same percentage of the vote. I’m just sayin’.
UPDATE [6:30 PM]:
Hillary Clinton is speaking now from Youngstown Ohio. She’s putting on a pretty good face despite having lost her 9th primary/caucus in a row. She wants to get America back to work, and apparently “the best words in the world aren’t enough.”
UPDATE [6:37 PM]:
Clinton’s audience is putting on a good face too, but they just don’t sound genuinely enthusiastic. MSNBC is about to interrupt her speech to air Obama’s. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the state of this race.
UPDATE [6:47 PM]:
That was a power play, Obama knocking Clinton off both CNN and MSNBC. And he made a point of mentioning the “twenty thousand” people in the audience in Houston TX. And he’s just spent most of the first five minutes delivering a call to action. Honestly, if I knew absolutely nothing about this race, and just happened to flip the TV on at 6PM tonight, I’d just assume that Obama was by far the front runner.
UPDATE [7:05 PM]:
This is not only Obama’s 9th victory in a row, it is his 9th victory in a row by double digit margins. Currently, he leads Clinton in Wisconsin from 56% to 43% with 22% of precincts reporting, a 13-point margin. By historical standards, that’s generally considered a landslide.
UPDATE [7:12 PM]:
Obama “wants to end a politics based on fear.” Was he referring to McCain’s speech tonight? If so, I just don’t trust him to fight the War on Scary Monsters.
UPDATE [7:19 PM]:
“Hope is the thing with feathers.” I keep hoping Obama will say that, but he never does. And just curious, but the networks do realize that Obama is delivering his standard stump speech to the crowd in Houston, rather than a relatively brief victory speech, and that this thing is likely to go for a good 50 to 60 minutes?
UPDATE [7:26 PM]:
Obama closed a little early; only 45 minutes. The one new thing that I take away from this speech is that he’s now running against McCain not Clinton. The folks on CNN are complaining that Obama’s speech was too long, but when you have 20,000 people packed into an arena, waiting for hours, you don’t cut the show short.
UPDATE [7:44 PM]:
60% of the vote in and Obama still leads Clinton 56% to 43%. Meanwhile, over at (u)SP, Eric “feels dirty“, Stefan is “unenthusiastic” and Jim was reduced to quoting Sylvester Stallone in support of McCain. You can just feel the excitement.
UPDATE [8:18 PM]:
18 minutes after the poll closed, none of the networks have bothered calling the Washington state primary for McCain. Or even mention it. That’s because, I’m guessing, they didn’t even bother to pay for exit polls. Turnout, by the way, is projected to be very low.
UPDATE [8:34 PM]:
When the night is done, Obama will record more votes in Wisconsin than McCain, Huckabee and Paul combined. And, um… so will Clinton. Wisconsin, FYI, is usually considered a swing state.
UPDATE [9:36 PM]:
After their drubbing in the Washington state Democratic caucus, the Clinton folks had been hoping our beauty contest of a primary might at least provide some sort of moral victory. I’m not so sure it’s gonna work out that way. With 53% of the vote in, Obama now leads Clinton 50% to 47%… but that’s with only a few percent of King County precincts reporting. Obama should do better in King County than much of the rest of the state, and I’m guessing his margin of victory will spread as more votes come in. For whatever that’s worth.
Meanwhile on the Republican side, where the primary results will actually be used to apportion delegates, McCain is winning by a comfortable margin, but is still garnering less than 50% of the vote. Hell, Mitt Romney, who dropped out weeks ago, is still getting 20% of the vote. I think that says something about the disaffection amongst rank and file Republicans for their putative nominee.
UPDATE [10:00 PM]:
In the most significant race of the night, Obama now leads Clinton 59% to 41% with 96% of precincts reporting… an 18 point margin. Still no word out of the Hawaii caucus, and I’m not sure I’m gonna stay up late enough to follow it.
UPDATE [7:26 AM] (from Geov):
According to the Honolulu Advertiser (it’s a newspaper) Obama wins Hawai’i 76% to 24%, all precincts reporting.
The Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally meets tonight (and every Tuesday), 8PM at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Stop on by for some hoppy beer and hopped up conversation.
I won’t be there tonight, but Open Left’s Matt Stoller apparently will, so there will be more than enough blogger mojo to make up for my absence.
Not in Seattle? Liberals will also be drinking tonight in the Tri-Cities. A full listing of Washington’s thirteen Drinking Liberally chapters is available here.
Should the bill pass in the House and get signed by Gov. Gregoire, the new law will have the effect of…doing absolutely nothing. At least not for now. But once enough states have signed up—so that their combined electoral votes total at least 270—the law will change Washington’s allocation of electoral votes from the “winner take all” system (currently used by all but two states) to a system where signatory states select Presidential Electors who are pledged to the winner of the national popular vote.
In other words, the compact could eventually lead to a national popular vote—and does so while fully retaining the electoral college in all its (distributed1) glory.
Currently the compact has been signed into law in Maryland and New Jersey. Illinois and Hawaii will likely join soon—there is a bill on the Governor’s desks in both states. Washington state joins Arkansas, California, Colorado, and North Carolina as states where the bill has passed one chamber. Combined, these nine states hold a total of 146 electoral votes. Bills have been introduced in 35 other states as well.
If you like the idea of a national popular vote, take a few moments and contact your Washington state Representatives.
1The Electoral College doesn’t actually meet as a single body. Instead they meet in each State’s Capital on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, and conduct a series of votes under procedures mandated by Congress.
We hear a lot from editorialists and columnists about the supposed virtues of bipartisanship, and so you’d think our local media elite would have echoed Darryl’s call to cross the aisle and join our friends in the GOP in helping to select the next Republican nominee for President. And yet nary a peep. Huh. Hypocrites.
As for me, I long ago decided to embrace Republican values — at least for one day — and vote for Mitt Romney in Washington’s primary. They way I figure it, he’s the perfect Republican for a visiting Democrat like me: I’m Pro-Choice, he’s sometimes Pro-Choice… I’m soft on immigration, he’s sometimes soft on immigration… he’s a Mormon, KIRO is owned by Mormons (a little brown-nosing might not get me back on the air, but it couldn’t hurt.) So who better to symbolize a Democrat’s one-day embrace of Republicanism than a “conservative” Republican who said and did all the right things to get himself elected governor of a liberal, Democratic state like Massachusetts?
And that’s why I’m swearing my loyalty to the GOP — for one day only — and casting a vote in today’s Republican primary for Mike Huckabee. It is, after all, a Romney Republican’s prerogative to change one’s mind.
Or at least I would be voting for Huckabee, if I were registered vote-by-mail, or I hadn’t gone out of of town at the last minute and missed the election. Ah well, I guess this wannabe oath breaker will just have to watch the results from afar.
As for those of you who insist that there is something untoward about caucusing for the Democrats and primarying for the Republicans, I can only respond that if you really cared about the purity of the nomination process you wouldn’t cling to your childish, bullshit objections to party registration. Yeah, I voted for Ellen Craswell in our blanket gubernatorial primary… and four years later I voted for John Carlson. That’s not manipulating the system, that is the system, and if you don’t like it, change it! A week and a half ago 250,000 passionate Democrats gave up a couple hours of their time on a sunny Saturday afternoon to engage in politics at its most grassroots… so why the fuck should a bunch of dithering, holier than thou, self-proclaimed “Independents” get equal say in choosing our nominee? (Hint: they shouldn’t.)
There are a lot of things wrong about our nominating process in Washington state and nationwide, but party registration is not one of them. And if it takes violating a bullshit oath to cast a vote for Mike Huckabee to help prove that, well so be it.
At one point during my first full day as a Republican yesterday, I was overcome by doubt. I had publicly announced my support for Mike Huckabee, but I realized that I didn’t have a good reason—as a Republican—to support him.
I mean, as a Democrat I’d have every reason to support Huckabee as the Republican Nominee. All national polls show him losing to both Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. My own analyses of state head-to-head polls suggest that Clinton and Obama would beat Huckabee.
Now that I am a Republican I really should have some positive reasons to support the Huckster. So I examined his positions on many issues and realized I disagreed with almost all of them:
- I find Huckabee’s positions on homosexuality antediluvian. I disagree with his opposition to civil unions, same-sex marriage, and adoption by same-sex couples. I disagree with the harebrained idea of a constitutional amendment defining “marriage” as a union between one man and one woman.
- I am fundamentally opposed to Huckabee’s stance on abortion. In fact, I have voted for Republicans before over this very issue. While living in Pennsylvania in 1998, I voted for Sen. Arlen Specter instead of his “pro-life” Democratic opponent Bill Lloyd.
- I cannot agree with Mike’s opposition to embryonic stem cell research.
- I think Huckabee is a idiot for refusing to accept the findings of modern evolutionary theory (hell…even the Catholic Church has recognized for some 30 years that biological evolution is real and is not incompatible with Christianity).
- I don’t agree with Huckabee at all on education—charter schools, display of the Ten Commandments in public schools, or “character education” in public schools. Give me a fucking break!
- Huckabee’s promise to replace the income tax with a national sales tax is utterly ludicrous.
- I don’t agree with Huckabee’s anti-gun control stance.
- I oppose Huckabee’s opposition to a government-mandated universal health care system. And I think his ideas for isolating AIDS patients is fucked-up!
- On immigration I cannot figure out where the Huckster stands—it looks like he is all over the place.
- I find the Chuck Norris thing really, really creepy.
- Huckabee is a Southern Baptist minister. Even though I was baptized at age nine as an American Baptist (and later became a Lutheran), Southern Baptists frighten me. They strike me as having a high proportion of radical extremists in their midst….
- Finally, I think Huckabee’s ideas of changing the Constitution to be more God-friendly reveal a radical extremist side to the man that I find scary.
In fact, there are only a small number of issues that I agree with Mike on. I pondered my political paradox. And then I fretted…and I fretted some more, and I….
Then, in the midst of my fretting, it struck me!
I don’t have to use rational positions, logic, consistency, or ethics at all. I’m a Republican now!
Being a Republican means never having to say you’re sorry for eschewing logic, rationality, consistency or ethics in a political context. As a Republican, all I need is a positive emotional response to Huckabee—some emotional bond….
That’s me (ca. 1984) and Mike. You see, we share the common bond of the bass. That’s the only connection I need.
So if you are a bass player or a guitar player, or play any instrument at all, you, too, can get behind Mike Huckabee this primary season. Maybe you like Chuck Norris movies…that’s a good reason, too.
And if you liked what a saxophone player from Hope, Arkansas did for America, just imagine what a Bass player from Hope could do!
No, it’s got nothing to do with politics, but who doesn’t enjoy a really elaborate prank?
Breaking news from Postman: apparently, Dave Reichert is running for Congress!
In other Congressional news, Reichert will get some big-name help to start his re-election fundraising. First Lady Laura Bush will headline an event Feb. 27th for Reichert in Medina.
So, the million bucks Reichert has raised thus far, and last August’s high-donor event with the First Lady’s husband… none of that counts as fundraising? Is Reichert challenging Mike McGavick for the WA state record for most campaign kickoffs?
“Most people know me as a football player, but I was also in social studies class.”
Introducing Brock Olivo, former University of Missouri football star, and newly minted Republican candidate for Missouri’s 9th Congressional District. Really.
During the last campaign cycle, local Republicans took to criticizing their opponents’ support from Progressive Majority as evidence of some sinister, out of district plot, but really, their most important contribution to any campaign is the kind of hands on candidate training that helps you avoid coming off as a total blathering doofus… like you know, Brock Olivo. (I think Camp Wellstone just found themselves a new training video on how not to conduct an interview.)
Speaking of which, Progressive Majority is bringing Wellstone Action’s Advanced Candidate and Campaign Management School to Federal Way, April 25-27, and a few spots are still available. Click here for more info.
Joni Balter (surprise!) disses the caucus. Some of the goofs are just too dumb to let slide.
Taxpayers are spending almost $10 million for 19 delegates to be awarded in a race Republican Sen. John McCain has all but won; and so Democrats can stage a high-profile, show-and-tell event with no delegates forthcoming from the results.
And for us Democrats, the primary is a dumb waste of money. That’s why we don’t use it to award delegates. (There are, you know, constitutional issues too.)
For one thing, local election officials have a better record tallying votes. The best proof that the caucus system is full of holes came with the premature announcement by Republicans that McCain had won, while Mike Huckabee was still too close for that call to be made.
For fuck’s sake. Our caucus went off without (much of) a hitch, and our turnout was fifty times their turnout. Just because Luke Esser and his “short bussers” can’t count votes doesn’t mean the caucus method is broken.
Caucuses are quaint gatherings that are unwelcoming to the military,
Theoretically, yes. For all those Democrats serving in The Big Sandbox, getting together on a Saturday to discuss politics can be a tough one. Solution: bring the troops home.
This would come as a big surprise to the disabled folks who attended my caucus. We had to negotiate some stairs, yes, but everything worked out ok.
and a variety of other voters who don’t want to sit around with their neighbors and hash out the decision.
Like Seattle Times columnists, apparently.
The Democratic race is very much alive and close. State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz knows voters will be furious with him when they realize they have to sign a pledge affirming they are Democrats to cast a primary vote — only to have the votes not count toward delegates.
Dwight Pelz could give a shit. He’s just protecting the integrity of our presidential nominating process (such that it is) by ensuring that Democrats (or people who want to sign a piece of paper saying they’re a Democrat) will have their votes count towards the selection of delegates.
But I am going to make a wild prediction. Our election system with caucuses and primaries is so convoluted and confusing, and the Republican tallying so troubling, that the parties will come to their senses by 2012 and abandon the caucuses.
My prediction is that in 2012, columnists will still be whining, ill-informed, about the nature of our caucus system.