What A Way To Pick A Nominee

By Big Tent Democrat

TPM on the Texas Caucuses reporting:

A lot of readers have wondered why the Texas caucuses have been so slow to report to the media. The answer: They're not reporting in great numbers anymore, and they don't actually have to. Nonetheless, we might still have a decent estimate of the final result for you to consider.

. . . The results that have come in came from a voluntary system set up in order to help the media get an idea of what to expect the final delegate result to be. . .

Heck of a way to pick a nominee. Yep, love those caucuses.

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    Yes, they do suck. Big time. You should have (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:50:55 PM EST
    been at one last night.  Biggest joke ever.  

    And it is so phony to claim all these delegates when you know how they were received.  Pathetic.  

    Once again:  One person - one vote.

    Soi it sounds like you did not find caucusing (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:56:30 PM EST
    to be the great party-building exercise that Donna Brazile proclaimed them to be, yet again last night on tv when other commentators finally started to discuss the discriminatory nature and downright shenanigans in some caucuses? Of course, since Donna said caucuses are so great, that conversation stopped, and so did any actual coverage of the problems with caucuses. Thanks again for blocking any progress for the party because your plan has so served your candidate, Donna "Watch Me Walk Out of the Convention" Brazile.

    i hope ole donna walks her sorry self right (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:50:03 PM EST
    out of the convention. maybe just maybe it will ruin her in the democratic party and with the media. i mean helping to demolish gore's campaign wasn't enough for the clueless dems, now this!

    Whaaaat? A caucus is great when you're (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:27:54 PM EST
    running the show and when the biggest personality bullies in the room like YOU or like YOUR CANDIDATE!  More canapes shaped like little H's!  Go Hillary!  I know how to caucus and I didn't.  I made excuses for not making sure I was there and now I get to live with my laziness as a Hillary supporter.  Sort of irritates me to no end how Obama won't really fight and all his supporters fight for him.  I lean Hillary because I clearly see she will fight.  I suppose I want to be lazy, that's my goal in getting her elected ;)

    Like I said - Biggest Joke Ever. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:31:05 PM EST

    Gee... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by magster on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:53:34 PM EST
    it's not like it's a close race where every delegate matters...

    I don't know any of you read some of the first hand accounts of the Texas caucuses diaried at Kos last night, but the whole caucus thing sounded just totally FUBAR.

    Gee (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:54:22 PM EST
    Who woulda predicted that?

    Okay, let me save you from saying it (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:58:17 PM EST
    You did. So did a lot of us. So have a lot of Dems since what they saw in Iowa, Nevada, etc. But nothing will change, because the DNC and Donna Brazile and Howard Dean and Harry Reid and the rest of the fools on the hill like it this way.

    translated, they must enjoy losing. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:50:47 PM EST
    I've been critical of the Iowa caucus system (none / 0) (#37)
    by desmoinesdem on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:52:23 PM EST
    but our caucuses were run very well compared to everything I've read about every other caucus state.  I thought Nevada was a total fiasco, but what I hear about Texas and some other places is even worse.

    I support a reform that would ban caucuses for presidential candidate selection.


    FUBAD this time. ): (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:31:43 PM EST
    What does FUBAR mean? (none / 0) (#35)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:23:44 PM EST
    FUIBAR (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by dianem on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:03:38 PM EST
    The PG version is "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition".

    My husband say otherwise... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by dianem on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 12:50:12 AM EST
    "Fouled" up beyong all repair. Anyway, you get the idea. And I spelled the header correctly this time. I spell very well - but my fingers don't.

    In the event (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by vigkat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:04:38 PM EST
    that a revote happens in either Florida or Michegan, or both, the odds of which I certainly cannot predict, the question arises whether either state uses caucusing.  The second question is whether permission to hold a revote would be conditioned upon the use of caucusing as opposed to primaries, for economic or other reasons.

    Since the original elections (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by RalphB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:11:10 PM EST
    were primaries, I would hope neither accepted holding a do-over caucus as a substitute.  That would be wrong.

    I agree it would be wrong (none / 0) (#12)
    by vigkat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:18:58 PM EST
    And I'm glad to hear that both are primary states.  I do worry that any deals that may get struck in the process of trying to seat the delegates from those states may include an agreement to use caucasing because it is less expensive, or so I have heard.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:18:20 PM EST
    Talking point spotted recently at MyDD: Obama might actually win the TX popular vote when you add together the primary and caucus vote!

    Of course, since that basically involves counting the same people twice, it's a mighty funny definition of "popular vote."  But you go to war with the spin you have, not the spin you might wish to have...

    That should be interesting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by vigkat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:20:50 PM EST
    Oh, the desperation of it all.

    That is so mind-bending (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:29:31 PM EST
    that I bet it was in a diary that got 1000 recs.

    Texas Caucus results will not be determined (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ivs814 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:36:52 PM EST
    until after March 29th.  That's when the precinct delegates elected last night actually vote at their county conventions for their presidential preferences.  

    And can the elected delegates (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:51:16 PM EST
    vote for whichever candidate they want at the county conventions or are they pledged now?

    They can change their preference. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by ivs814 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:14:22 PM EST
    There is nothing that I am aware of that would prevent them from changing if they wanted to.  That's why the caucus has to be very careful to elect faithful delegates.

    True -- I read the rules on their site (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:30:01 PM EST
    for the Texas state party. Btw, this is true of most other caucus states, too -- a reason that any candidate with a lot of caucus votes has to be considered as having a delegate count that is "soft" compared to the other candidate's count.

    It's a mess, but it is also very interesting (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 08:18:02 AM EST
    and things like this tend to only mean it can get really interesting ;)  I mean if we have to survive this mess at least I can use the prospects and perspectives of "interesting" to distract from the pain.

    Do you suppose (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:39:46 PM EST
    that we should all infiltrate the Republican party and take them over?  We could overtake them in such numbers that it won't even look like Republicans anymore.

    Their primary system seems so much more straightforward.

    I'm just saying.

    wait a second... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by p lukasiak on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:08:24 PM EST
    wasn't there supposed to be some kind of dedicated phone line that was supposed to be used to report results as soon as the caucus was over?  (I remember that control of that line was one of the concerns of the clinton campaign).

    oh, and in case anyone cares....

    I've compared the caucus returns for the Counties starting with the letters A-G  that have reported, with the popular vote percentages.
    (not all counties have reported any caucus results yet).  

    Long story short, in these counties, Clinton got 50.41% of the vote to Obama's 48.20%.  With half the precincts reporting in these counties, Clinton has received 43.48% of the delegates to county conventions to 56.52% of delegates going to Obama.

    In other words, ya want MORE proof that caucuses are undemocratic...ya got it!

    I Would Think... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:12:08 PM EST
    That GIVEN the numerous complaints abt TX, the DNC would step in and say, "Ok - this was a nightmare, and we are going to seat the final third of delegates based on the popular vote."

    I know - I'm dreaming...


    Too late (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ineedalife on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:47:23 PM EST
    Each state had to submit their plan for selecting delegates and for some reason the DNC signed off on this. Hopefully the national exposure will force the Texas  Dems to change but the DNC should have seen this train wreck coming in a close election.

    TX State Convention (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by TN Dem on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:08:39 PM EST
    Actually, I may be mistaken, but I think that there may be some play there because the delegates will be seated at the TX convention, so if they came to their senses (now I'm dreaming) and understood the insanity of it all, they could feasibly award their delagates however they choose.

    Yes there is a dedicated number (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ivs814 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:21:03 PM EST
    and each precinct has an access code but most conventions were conducted by novices that were not familiar with the procedures. I know of at least 8 precincts that did not report because the convention chair did not know about the reporting procedures.  The packet has so many forms, the atmosphere is crazy.  People want to go home and in all the confusion it's too easy to overlook the "pink" sheet with the phone number and access code.  

    the hapless dem leaders might just (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by hellothere on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:55:28 PM EST
    think they can use caucuses to get these two states out of hillary's column and into obama's. however, they can also kiss the presidencey good bye in the process. but what do we care. i mean it is all about hating the clintons. right? this country needs help but someone keeps forgetting to call 911 it seems to me.

    I read a couple comments about intimidation (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by jawbone on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:00:49 PM EST
    at the caucuses--has anyone seen things like this? Or if in TX, experienced any caucuses, whether there was boorish behavior or not?

    Well .... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by amde on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 01:43:39 PM EST
    i dont know if I would call it intimidation, but there waas a stripper at my caucus. She was there on behalf of obamas campaign, supposedly according to what she told me.  It made for an interesting night, but at my caucus a lawyer who claimed he was working for obama insisted on hovering over the temp. secretaries and got in a physical fight with the permanent chair who happened to be a clinton supportor. it was really heated. the only complaint made was against the stripper who was calimed to trying to sway voters at the last minute. the chair called the police.

    Yes, my friend in Tx sent me an e-mail (none / 0) (#50)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 03:03:44 PM EST
    the next morning about not only boorish behavior but unethical and possibly illegal behavior.  The Hillary supporters, the majority of them, were strong enough in number to overcome the "pushy and aggressive" Obama leaders who tried to outshout and outmaneuver them.  The Obama official took the final numbers, but my friend has no idea if the numbers were reported accurately.

    i believe this qualifies as (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:09:03 PM EST
    an oxymoron:

    They should be embarrassed right out of politics

    by definition, politicians have no shame.

    since the DNC seems to have so much free time on its hands, i have a suggestion as to how they might spend some of it:

    set up a standard, uniform primary system throughout the fifty states. the only two requirements would be: a. it must be a primary, no caucuses allowed., and b. they are closed primaries, only previously registered democrats need apply.

    ah yes, what to do about the "independents" you ask? simply put, there are roughly 3.57 actual independents in the entire country. the rest are "independent" only on their car's bumper sticker and for cocktail party purposes. scratch an "independent" and you'll find a democrat or republican underneath.

    just ask how they voted in the last 5 elections they voted in. i can say, with near 100% confidence, they consistently voted one way or the other, in every single one of those elections. so much for the vaunted "independent".

    as another poster noted, the republicans don't seem to have the chaos associated with the democrat's primary process, for good reason. while i ordinarily don't espouse the lock-step approach to things favored by the GOP, the primary system is one area i think they have it right: mandate uniformity in the primary process, throughout the country.

    What is the rationale for TX Dem. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:57:12 PM EST
    party's decision to select delegates through both the primary and caucuses?  

    "can we really be that stupid?" (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:57:56 PM EST
    Yes, yes we can.

    YES, YES WE CAN (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by RalphB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:09:05 PM EST
    you have to scream it it's so stupid!

    Looks like even with reports of police being called to force some Obama people to unlock caucus site doors in Houston, the TX Dem party thinks everything just went great.  No problem.  What a bunch of maroons.


    Third world politics (none / 0) (#20)
    by Prabhata on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:43:03 PM EST
    The disenfranchising of the voters is common to communist states, Latin America, Africa, third world countries, and the U.S.

    Yep. Can anyone really make a serious argument (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:49:34 PM EST
    that we make it easy for everyone to vote in America?  We limit polling hours, we make people wait in line outside during snow and rain (and tornadoes!), we have draconian voter ID laws popping up all over the place, we have easily rigged voting machines...the list goes on, and doesn't even include caucuses!

    I Have a Question (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:10:27 PM EST
    I know that Washington State has both the primary and the caucus, the former for exactly the reasons many people have discussed here and at the Governors' thread - many people cannot attend caucuses for a whole host of reasons, so popular vote is more representative.

    BUT - Washington State is going with its CAUCUS delegates, and not the popular vote.  Does anyone know who makes this decision?  State?  DNC?  Thanks.


    The state Dim party did (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ineedalife on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:43:06 PM EST
    Washington taxpayers paid for and ran a primary. But the party bosses there wanted to keep the caucus. They should be embarrassed right out of politics by the difference between the two results.

    What were the differences? n/t (none / 0) (#40)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:46:25 PM EST
    Caucus's are rife for cheating behavior and should (none / 0) (#21)
    by DemBillC on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 06:49:27 PM EST
    be banned. How many votes have Obama supporters stolen in Cacus results? It is obvious through their hatred of Hillary that I see on the HUFF POST they will stop at nothing to elect their Hero.

    I went to a lecture recently given by a (none / 0) (#36)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:29:10 PM EST
    Poly Sci Professor who explained the two party delegate system.  I hate to say this but the Republicans have a much simpler and straight forward system than the Dems.  Why don't we use their system?  Save us a lot of grief.

    Republican system is a rush to nominational (none / 0) (#46)
    by jfung79 on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 04:33:28 AM EST
    A proportional system is fairer than the more winner-take-all model of the Republicans, because it allows for more voices to be heard, minority voices within the party that might never win a congressional district or a state but still represent an important strain of thought.

    But I think there should be a bonus for the winner of each state.


    I agree the winner take all is the (none / 0) (#49)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 02:57:35 PM EST
    weakness in their plan, but they don't do caucuses do they?  Caucuses are patently unfair. Two of my friends have told me about how they were run (NV and TX) and it is pathetic.  In Washinton State the differences in delegates given to Obama based on the vote vs the caucus is anywhere from 15-25% higher. This makes me believe that Obama has a lot of numbers that don't really add up.

    Hilarious post; thanks (none / 0) (#42)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:32:13 PM EST
    for saving me the time to go read this silliness elsewhere.