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Loathing Caucus & Letting It Go . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I generally loathe standing in lines, inefficiency, arbitrary decisions and forced exuberance, but despite this brutal combination of dislikes, I chose to attend my local caucus in Austin last night.

The entire point behind a caucus seems antiquated and semi-ridiculous. Texas has a truly horrible system as you have to vote at the polls - this number represents 2/3 of the delegates selected - but then you also have to return to a different venue to vote in the caucus where the remaining 1/3 of the delegates are chosen. Why?

I can think of no good reason for a dual system except that it provides you with twice the opportunity to screw things up.

Another pet peeve I have is piss-poor planning. As I stood in one long continuous line after another, I kept hearing staffers for the caucus mutter things like "I had no idea there'd be this many people" and things of a similar nature. I wanted to run up next to them, shake them repeatedly and yell "A blind, mentally-deficient rhinoceros living under a rock could have expected a record turn-out this year."

I might have done this after the first hour of standing outside the venue, however, I would have forfeited my place in line. Who knew democracy could be so frustrating? Probably a lot of people, including me.

Anyway, it's too nice outside today to stay angry about the lingering chaos of last night. It's 70 degrees and sunny with piercing blue skies, and only a fool wouldn't take advantage.

I think I'll toast the voting process sitting outside the Draught Horse, an oversized pint of Fat Tire in hand at one place where the world always looks infinitely more appealing.



  1. Gypsy Says:
  2. That place in the last pic looks gorgeous. Hope you enjoyed your Fat Tire (?????) while enjoying the sunshine.

  3. BostonPobble Says:
  4. I kept noticing that Clinton was leading in the TX primary...but Obama was leading in the TX caucus. Very confusing to someone watching the news. The Draught Horse looks like a good place to toast just about anything!

  5. vivavavoom Says:
  6. congrats to you for sticking it out and voting twice. it is a bizarre system. I voted in colorado's and that was just caucus style and it was bizarre! like being at a town hall with people standing up to count their vote and people actually making speeches about why the 'undecideds' should vote their way. Now you just have to do it again in November, but it will be a better one step process I hope.

  7. I don't pretend to understand the US voting system. The immediate, direct experieince with democracy that a caucus is supposed to represent is really unwieldly in a country with more than ten million people, and the US has a lot more than ten mil. But it is well done that you stuck it out.

  8. It wasn't just TX. My caucus was extremely disorganized as well. Were people yelling at each other at yours? Just curious.

  9. j Says:
  10. texas just likes to defy convention, i think.

  11. I thought the yelling was the whole point of caucusing? If not, why put strangers in a room and yell "politics".

    For Gypsy: Fat Tire is some great beer.

  12. Grace Says:
  13. I'm extremely jealous of that last pic. We had a snow storm here today... 35cm of snow. I was trapped in my house all day. Life is so unfair.

  14. Gypsy - I like to sit outside on the benches (not pictured) when the weather is nice. And I did enjoy the sunshine - perhaps too much. Ha.

    Bostonpobble - The Draught Horse has been a sanctuary for more than a decade. And yes, it is confusing (and still is) because Clinton won the vote, however, Obama was leading the Cacus the last time I checked. Bizarre.

    Vivavavoom - Thanks, and I'm glad I did for a story at the very least. I didn't realize CO was a caucus, and you're description is dead-on. I agree about November as that should be easier.

    Getoffmylawn - Unwieldy is a good word. I'm sure it worked fine 100 years ago, but with so many people trying to cast a vote, it's like a circus.

    Native minnow - It seems disorganization is the one constant with a caucus, eh? There was lots of grumbling, but no yelling at mine. I know of others, however, where lots of yelling occurred. Ugly.

    J - I tend to agree, but I also think it's been so long since our votes mattered that they didn't realize just what a mess the system entails.

    Anonymous Boxer - Yelling seems to be a large point, and who can scream the loudest. Luckily, I missed out on most of that action. And yes, Fat Tire is fairly delicious.

    Grace - Ouch. I can't even picture snow from my vantage point. Ha. Enjoy the time inside & then dig yourself out.

  15. cats Says:
  16. i've never voted in a caucus... sounds like... um... fun.

    but kudos to you for doing it. it is exciting that people have finally stopped being such pussys and are finally starting to care about the election process.

    (of course i HAD to use the word pussy, cause it's my favorite curse word and i missed replying in your last post.)

  17. Heff Says:
  18. I've still got to try me some "Fat Tire". That name just has me curious as "shit".

  19. Miss Ash Says:
  20. That is such a bizzare system....but then again that's expected from the US :)

    As for the weather I envy you and am bitching and moaning on my blog about our horrible weather.

  21. Even though Ive watched every episode of The West Wing, I still dont understand how your system works. I mean, how come some states are more important than others so get more votes towards the end result? If they tried that over here, there would be ructions!

  22. Cats - With any luck, you never will have to vote in one. And I'm glad you saw the previous post as I know your fondness for that one. Ha.

    Heff - It's tasty shit. It's an amber, and perfect for this time of the year.

    Miss Ash - I heard from another Canadian who was snowed under. It's actually a little colder here now - it's only 60 degrees and sunny. I will ignore the U.S. crack. Ha.

    Havingmycake - It's confusing - no doubt about that. My brother has the whole West Wing series on DVD, though that's neither here nor there. The states question is simply due to population as some states are very large while others are relatively tiny. Still, it can be a mess.


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