Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The smoke-filled room

We attended our Precinct Convention (a.k.a. caucus, a.k.a. The Texas Two-Step) yesterday evening. Most people around here had never been to one of them before and of the ones who had, one man said that last time about 15 people showed up. At our polling place, there were easily 500 people there. We started out reasonably organized in a long line that left the building and snaked around the sidewalks and parking lot. It was obvious that all these people would not fit in the room, so they snaked the line through the building and back outside into the parking lot. Then they broke us up into two gangs: Hillary over here, Barack over there... so then it was getting a pep rally feel to it. It look a really long time before it was apparent that progress was being made at all, plus we had to move en masse whenever a car need to drive through, or when a car that was being used for a writing table drove away.

The Obama crowd was easily twice the size of the Hillary crowd, and both sides were vigilent in trying to make sure nobody cheated. About 8:00 pm the Republican caucus took place inside the building with what looked about a dozen people, but then there was no good reason for them to show up, unless it was to show their support for Ron Paul out of principle (and he gathered about 17% of the red vote locally).

My consolation on the Democratic results is that Travis County (where Austin is) went 2-1 for Obama, and some areas of Houston and Dallas were also very strong (and more I'm sure).

By any means necessary?
Rush Limbaugh "Why We Want to Keep Hillary Alive":
RUSH: We're already screwed. What we have to do is limit the being screwed to as small a screwdriver as it can be. And here. Here's the thing. The strategy is not to have these guys win. They may form a fusion ticket at some point down the road. Do you understand what the purpose of the strategery is?

CALLER: Yes. To keep Clinton in, to keep Clinton in. You think they're going to claw their eyes out.

RUSH: No, the strategy is... Yes. The strategy is to continue the chaos in this party. Look, there's a reason for this. Our side isn't going to do this. Obama needs to be bloodied up. Look, half the country already hates Hillary. That's good. But nobody hates Obama yet. Hillary is going to be the one to have to bloody him up politically because our side isn't going to do it. Mark my words. It's about winning, folks!

2 days ago, Bill Clinton was interviewed on Rush's show (by guest host Mark Davis) [Listen]. After all the righteous indignation from Hillary over Obama denouncing the support of Louis Farrakhan not being enough -- that it needs to be taken to the level of "reject" -- is this her showing an example of rejection of support? This is the height of hypocrisy. Rush has been urging the Republicans to crossover for Hillary, and it looks like it worked. Statistics show that ~5% more registered Republicans voted Democratic in this primary over the last Presidential Primary. That's enough of a bump to account for her win. And what about the Ann Coulter support? Where's the rejection of that? Where's the outrage? I like to take that wagging "Shame on you" finger of hers and wag it back at her, and I am being as respectful as I can here.

The outcome of this race really IS going to be decided in those proverbial smoke-filled rooms, where backs are scratched and the voters are uninvolved.

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muffinmidi said...

Hi! I always wondered what a caucus was like as opposed to a primary.We had a primary here in Florida, but I early voted too.It wasn't too exciting. I think caucusing was probably more what the founding fathers imagined for this country.Sadly, a lot of modern Americans would consider it too much work.....

enigma4ever said...

wow...thanks for sharing all of that..I was wondering what

the shenigans !!!
Bill on that show...well well...

thank you for voting and caucusing...

Blueberry said...

The caucuses all over town and probably in other large towns were similarly chaotic. This is the first time they've drawn big crowds so nobody was prepared to handle. The two-step process made it take longer. If you didn't bring the card that proved you voted (and some people weren't even offered them) then they not only had to determine that you were eligible to vote, but that you DID vote. Still, it all worked out.

scottus said...

Very interesting comments [and a great blog, by the way]. I found the whole "caucus" process here frustrating, amateurish---and highly moving. When are we finally going to be rid of this smarmy, self-righteous, whining, terminally out-for-yourselves and stop-for-nothing crowd? I had thought the answer would be "Tuesday night," but alas it appears not.

Blueberry said...

I think it's time for some intervention from whoever is in charge of keeping the Party together to take down the "McClinton" machine before we screw up a sure thing and get stuck with "McBush".