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Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:31 PM

The sudden virtues of Caucuses

I'm new to DU but my Facebook discussion group and Bernie friends on Facebook couldn't say how terrible and undemocratic caucuses were in January. They were the "worst" way to allocate delegates.

Suddenly now they are virtuous. For some reason they think they can't be tampered with.

I've always been happy in PA we have primaries. Caucuses disenfranchise working people, the elderly, and people with kids.

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply The sudden virtues of Caucuses (Original post)
Trenzalore Mar 2016 OP
liberal N proud Mar 2016 #1
lunamagica Mar 2016 #2
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Mar 2016 #3
MSMITH33156 Mar 2016 #4
KitSileya Mar 2016 #5
jsmirman Mar 2016 #6
KitSileya Mar 2016 #7
jsmirman Mar 2016 #8
pandr32 Mar 2016 #9
Cha Mar 2016 #11
pandr32 Mar 2016 #18
Cha Mar 2016 #19
pandr32 Mar 2016 #20
lunamagica Mar 2016 #12
pandr32 Mar 2016 #17
Trenzalore Mar 2016 #13
pandr32 Mar 2016 #16
DemonGoddess Mar 2016 #14
pandr32 Mar 2016 #15
Dawson Leery Mar 2016 #10

Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:34 PM

1. It's sad isn't it?

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Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:34 PM

2. And people with disabilities. They need to be abolished

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Response to lunamagica (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:48 PM

3. There were a couple of disabled people at my caucus

But they were helped by family members.

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Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:53 PM

4. Much like with

super-delegates, whatever helps Bernie is virtuous. They spent months complaining that the deck was stacked against them because even if Sanders won more delegates, the supers would hand the election to Hillary. Now that it is obvious that Hillary will win more delegates, they've done a 180 and now it would be virtuous for the super delegates to hand Bernie the nomination over Hillary.

It's a clown show of immaturity, and their loyalty is not to ideology or fairness, it is to one person they have deified. It's not a revolution, it's a cult.

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Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 05:57 PM

5. In 2012, participation in caucuses was 6.5% and primaries 51.3%

This was the average participation of registered voters in the first 11 states of the republican contest. The first 11, which should bring in the highest participation because everyone is fighting for their guy and no one's dropped out yet. How anyone cannot see that caucuses are a huge (small-d) democratic problem is beyond me.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 06:25 PM

6. They're part of the agreed on current rules, so it is what it is BUT

they need to seriously abolish these ridiculous caucuses after this primary season.

I spoke to a lot of old people last night in WA who it was clearly too big a burden on.

It's just a ridiculous burden on people's basic right to participate in a democracy. I won't lie - I loved them in '08 because I wanted Obama to win. Now that I'm on the side that has more old voters and I've talked with more of them, I realize that I was wrong and that it's just not equitable.

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 06:40 PM

7. Not only old people are affected either.

People with difficult work schedules, stay-at-home parents and carers, people with disabilities or some mental illnesses, social anxiety, people who don't speak English - the list goes on. Not to mention how undemocratic it is not to have a secret ballot.

No, caucuses were designed for privileged white men, only so many more people have gotten the vote now. Caucuses are inherently undemocratic, period.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 06:57 PM

8. Talked to just about all of those types, too

definitely a vestige of the past that needs to be excised as soon as this slate is over.

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Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 09:13 PM

9. My first caucus today--I am disgusted

Pierce County precinct in WA State at a middle school. I already was aware that Bernie is the savior of everything in WA--he will right all the wrongs according to all the hipsters and kids, but also conservatives who take him at his word about "what we've got to do" to fix the rigged economy. My local area is full of Fox News types who drive pick-up trucks, and they seem to be split between Bernie and Trump.
Arriving at the caucuses it was hard not to notice that it was a male crowd at least 2 to 1. It was assumed the moment we walked in that we were with Bernie. As we sat at our district table we filled out our form and right on the top is who we are caucusing for. Clinton caught attention right away. It was a very unwelcome place. I caught a glimpse of an older lady walking in and she was pointed to a table that was full. One guy and girl brought their kids--filling up the table and no-one made much effort for this woman to sit--I am guessing it was assumed she was there for Clinton.
The atmosphere was "Bernie, Bernie!" and a woman brought around Bernie stickers. When I declined she seemed surprised. The guys that were sitting at our table were pretty hostile when we got to the discuss our differences part. My husband and I fielded nasty questions of "why are we for Clinton" facing crossed arms and shaking heads in disbelief that we would try to "defend" her. Not one person knew what they were talking about and one guy was so in my face I cannot imagine how bad it would have gotten if my tough looking husband had not been right beside me. We refused to change our positions and so calculations were made. A coin toss was called for and the nasty guy who was the one who captained our table said he sure as hell wasn't going to trust a Clinton supporter with the toss. An older guy threw after calling heads for Bernie and tails for Clinton with 'Nasty Man' overseeing. His face went white when it was tails and he started complaining that it wasn't fair and wasn't democratic. As the result both my husband and I are elected delegates.
I doubt very much there were many others there elected for Clinton. Even if they walked in the door to stand for her it would have been very likely that they would have bowed to pressure right away. It was a very unpleasant experience. There was not much oversight, either. If they were there they weren't spotted except for one. Everyone left way too quickly, too. I can promise you that many Clinton caucusers today got intimidated in WA State.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 01:08 AM

11. Sounds horrible and horrifying

pandr!

We had Preferential Polls like Arizona.. but anyone could register as a Dem today and they did.. and I'm sure they did just to vote for the BS.

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Response to Cha (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:44 AM

18. Probably!

I was shocked with the Hawaii results. We will be moving there soon, but by then Clinton should already have the nomination locked up!

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:54 AM

19. I know.. I was really bummed.. hoping

it would be closer but when I went to the polls today I could tell by how many eager kids there were signing up to register that it wasn't a good sign. Thankfully being a Dem for 5 minutes doesn't mean they get to chose our Nominee.

More like the Twilight Zone! I had the feeling I was the only one there for Hillary.

I should hope so!

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Response to Cha (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 09:10 AM

20. "being a Dem for 5 minutes"

Ha-ha...about right in way too many cases this year. It is as though our Party is being hijacked by Indies who are either displaced conservatives and/or libertarians, or are kids who have never been involved with politics before and want to be part of the next big thing (in their view) right out of the gate--and Bernard is no Democrat, either.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 03:40 AM

12. Unbelievable. How can this be acceptable?

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Response to lunamagica (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:41 AM

17. Caucuses are run by volunteers I think

And quite possibly Bernie supporters as well.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 05:47 AM

13. That is awful

But not surprising given the behavior I've witnessed here, on Facebook, and in real life of Bernie supporters. When they have a large enough number they quickly turn into bullies.

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Response to Trenzalore (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:38 AM

16. It is a strange group

But then most of us know how those in groups embolden each other.
I am quite convinced, though, given the large numbers of Bernie supporters that other caucuses would have been intimidating for Hillary supporters who may have given in under the pressure--or left. In my area most of the people were right-wing style Bernie supporters, but in others they may have been younger and full of themselves--so insisting that they know better. Clinton supporters would immediately be made to feel like out-of-bounds tourists.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 06:23 AM

14. That sounds like an awful experience

Just makes me more appreciative of the fact that I get to go vote in a primary. I wouldn't do well in a caucus setting, I fear. Too short of a fuse, and a lack of willingness to overlook stupidity and bad behavior. Don't have the time nor the patience for it.

Thank you pandr, for being delegates, you and your husband. Thank you for not being intimidated.

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Response to DemonGoddess (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:28 AM

15. You are welcome

I think primaries are a better solution!

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Response to Trenzalore (Original post)

Sat Mar 26, 2016, 09:41 PM

10. Bernie is no friend of reform.

If he were, he would call for primaries instead of caucus's. Not everyone has time to travel a long distance and wait for hours.

He will never call for such reform because a primary system would ensure his loss.

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