I must admit to taking more than a bit of pleasure from the charges of irregularities in Washington’s Republican presidential caucus… and our local GOPologists muddled efforts to defend their party’s honor.
I cut my nasty, sharp blogger teeth covering the 2004 gubernatorial election contest, and while I wouldn’t mind sinking them into the pasty white necks of my friends over at (u)SP, they seem to be doing a pretty good job rending their own flesh all by their lonesome. First Eric expresses dismay over the tone of Mike Huckabee’s campaign, and his “scorched earth policy of throwing bare-knuckle punches at a state party and a state party chair.” (Heaven forfend!) And now Pudge dismisses the whole hoohah, arguing that the caucuses were so chaotic and mismanaged that the result “literally means nothing at all.” (Gee, didn’t I read something like that somewhere before?)
Well of course Mike Huckabee (and I’m guessin’ the apostles of Ron Paul) suspect error and/or fraud in Saturday’s caucus… such suspicions are part of the Republican Party’s DNA. Hell, Pudge’s own description of the process is far from reassuring; if this had been a general election in which officials simply called the race for the Democrat with 13% of ballots left uncounted, you can bet dollars to donuts that both he and Eric would be crying foul at the evil Democratic machine. But this wasn’t a general election, it was a caucus, and as such, perception is at least as meaningful as the ultimate delegate allocation. Luke Esser called the election for McCain on Saturday night because that was the headline McCain needed in the papers Sunday morning. Even Pudge understands this, though he clearly fails to understand (or admit) it’s meaning…
This is clear if you understand the process. The results were released just so that the party could make some news. They have no meaning.
Because… um… in politics, making news has no meaning. Uh-huh.
Back in 2004, when talk radio was calling for a revote and the EFF’s Bob Williams was repeatedly demanding that Dean Logan be jailed, I argued that errors occur in every election, and that the error rate in that one was well within the statistical boundaries described in the scholarly literature… an argument to which Stefan responded by accusing me of aiding and abetting a criminal cover up. So forgive my amusement at the sight of Republicans eating their own with accusations of election fraud. And forgive Huckabee for being so suspicious of a Washington state Republican establishment that has proven itself so cavalier and nakedly partisan on issues of election integrity.