Caucus (n) caw-cuss: (1) something that you use to fix the bathtub. (2) proof that our country is not as democratic as we pretend to be.

I realize this is a little late as the primary caucus in Washington state was a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been thinking a lot of my caucus experience.

Like many of my fellow Americans, I caucused this year. No, that’s not a home remodeling job or even something left better for x-rated blogs. I went to my precinct and stood up with my neighbors and declared my vote, publically, for the person I think would best represent the democratic party this November in the general election. (Go Bo.)

There were a lot of cool things about caucusing. I got to meet people in my neighborhood who are liberals. (Where are you hiding, people?!) And it was certainly inspiring watching our middle school gymnasium fill up way beyond capacity – to three times the people they planned on. I loved standing up and actually giving a little speech about why I think Obama is da man. And I loved hearing speeches from people who also supported him, or supported Clinton. I even spotted a few known republican faces that crossed lines to support their candidate this year.

But that is all beside the point.

Where I live, we have a mail-in ballot system for all voting processes. It is very convenient (though certainly not as patriotic feeling) to be able to make your choices from the living room, or on the toilet.

But recently Washington State’s voting system when it comes to the presidential primary was declared unconstitutional. It is all very complicated and I certainly don’t understand it in the least, but apparently the parties themselves, constitutionally, get to declare their own candidate. So the parties don’t have to listen to what the voters have to say. And if you are a democrat (one time when I think the republicans have it right), your paper ballot vote means absolutely nothing. It is not counted at all towards who will be the presidential nominee. If you didn’t show up for your caucus, you are out of luck.

The unwell – people in hospitals, or who are homebound won’t get their vote heard this year. Also at my convention there was a lot of pats on the back for my husband and I being young people involved and wondering why there weren’t more of us at the caucus. Well let me tell you why. Caucusing is not exactly a friendly place for preschoolers. We only got to go to ours because my mother-in-law agreed not to go to her own (republican) caucus. When families have to pick which member votes, this is not a democracy.

How about all the people who had to work on caucus day? The underprivileged are among people who might feel they cannot chance asking for a day off to get their vote heard.

And what about American foreign nationals? I hear there was even a caucus in Argentina – but how far did they have to travel to get to it? Apparently our citizens living in other countries are not American enough to get to decide who is president without serious inconvenience.

Then, what about those “superdelegates“? Those privileged people who get a seat and a vote at the convention automatically, no matter what candidate they support? Just because they hold an important position in the tapestry of our political world. And with a race this close, they will most likely decide the nomination. Talk about the power of one.

I’m calling the democratic party out on this aristocratic bullshit. Yep, I just used “democratic party” and “aristocratic” in the same sentence, and I meant it.
There was a reason we went with a mail-in ballot system. I’d like to see the Democratic party acknowledging it.

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3 Responses to “Caucus (n) caw-cuss: (1) something that you use to fix the bathtub. (2) proof that our country is not as democratic as we pretend to be.”


  1. 1 jenefur February 22, 2008 at 11:52 am

    The whole voting system is ridiculous if you ask me. Personally, I think popular vote should win. PERIOD

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