The Washington caucus is coming up in early March [in the comments N in Seattle points out the GOP caucus is March 3 and the Dems are April 15], and it seems to me that liberals and moderates who want to get involved have a few options:
First, caucus for Obama. You’re not going to decide the nomination, but it’s still worthwhile to show your support.
It’s also your only real chance to change the platform. While most of the platform will be whatever Obama wants, there will be a push for a marriage equality plank. It probably won’t be a floor fight or anything like that, but every vote for delegates who support that plank is helpful. In any event, you don’t get to have your say on the final product unless you show up.
The second option is the chaos option. Goldy outlined it here. Vote for Santorum, and hope that it gives him the momentum to eat up Romney resources. The fight will ultimately hurt them.
I’m not convinced that this is a good idea for a few reasons. Primary elections are generally good for the party that has them. They get to test their message, they get to build organizations early. While this year may be different, it doesn’t seem like we need to take that chance with Obama already ahead in the polls. The other reason is I really don’t want Rick Santorum to win Washington. Even if he loses the nomination, every state he wins mainstreams his horrible philosophy. I for one, don’t want to say I helped increase his speaking fees, got him more TV time, or made outright opposition to birth control more mainstream in this country.
So if you’re looking to move the Republican party with your caucus vote, I’d like to recommend a third option: Fred Karger. No, he isn’t going to win. But voting for him sends a much more clear message than voting for Satorum, or even Obama. It says to the GOP enough with demonizing gay people and trying to push women’s rights back to where we’re arguing about birth control.
So I’m probably going to show up for Karger. Who knows? In Seattle, there might be few enough delegates that I can take that message to the next level.