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That about sums it up at the 36th, too.

This is a process clearly designed to give every marginalized wingnut an opportunity to feel validated and important. Not only are they debating shit that they have no power or authority to change at a local level (i.e. national defense policy), but they're getting bogged down in useless meta debates, involving idiotic misunderstandings over silly procedural rules, concerning irrelevant resolutions.

(OT: I've waiting for someone to propose a resolution re-instating Pluto as a planet.)

The worst thing about this process, is that none of it is strictly necessary: caucus rules apply, and as soon as you're signed in as a delegate, you can walk. The only thing you'll miss is the ability to vote on the stupid platform details (which don't matter), or on which bozo gets to dance in a silly hat on the convention floor (ditto).

Also, there are no young, single women. Utterly useless....

Posted by A Non Imus | April 5, 2008 2:31 PM

Also -- personal aside to the hard-charging woman in the heels and business suit: I realize that there are like 100 men for every single woman here, and that marginally attractive, thin girls are a hot commodity in Seattle, but you are nowhere near hot enough to be copping such a ginormous 'tude to guys who are trying to make small-talk to pass the time.

Seriously, sweetums: not everyone who talks to you is making a pass that must be deflected.

Fuck, I need to move...

Posted by A Non Imus | April 5, 2008 2:37 PM

I caucused in West Seattle. As an alternate who wasn't called to duty, however, I was out by noon. Woohoo!

Posted by Tish | April 5, 2008 2:51 PM

Oh. My. God.

It took over four hours for the overwhelmed 45th District to figure out which of the alternate delegates needed to stay and replace any missing delegates while a thousand people waited in the Juanita High gym.

Representative Eric Oeming made a slip of the tongue while reading an announcement on behalf of Governor Gregoire that she was about to embark on a "ten titty tour" and much hilarity ensued.

Posted by Peter F | April 5, 2008 3:10 PM

@1 - Sounds a lot like the 43rd.

Fairly disorganized, although it was interesting to observe the process. The whole thing felt like high-school, especially with the candidate rivalries. Once we got to the sub-caucus part where you listen to everyone giving their pitch, I lost interest. Most people spent their whole 30 seconds talking about why Obama is great... Uh, we're all Obama supporters here, tell us why YOU should get elected. And then the random nut getting all riled up over the fact that he didn't understand the rules.

There were so many people "running" anyways, I'm guessing most everyone there would just vote for themselves, then randomly fill in the other spots on the ballot.

Side note - Annie made a great pitch, AND her sign was the most readable.

Posted by Dan | April 5, 2008 3:13 PM

A Non- True democracy is ugly, but useful. You may not recognize it, since we haven't seen much in eight years.

The real news out of the 36th is O appears poised to add a few delegates to his already 4:1 lead.

Posted by deal with it | April 5, 2008 3:17 PM

Who has some?

Posted by Pics? | April 5, 2008 3:22 PM

Can UnPC chime in about how she felt disenfranchised by being outnumbered so badly and tell us more about why an angry negro has no right to be President when there's a white woman running?

Posted by ru shur | April 5, 2008 3:23 PM

OMG. The 43rd was pretty crazy. Especially when you have to account for a depressing looking school gym. On the upside: Sean Astin calling us sexy and inspiring.

Posted by Serene | April 5, 2008 3:28 PM

@6: yawn. simplistic, self-righteous lectures on democracy bore me.

Any chance that you were the moronic douchebag who launched into an impassioned plea for line-item veto of a symbolic resolution during a point of order?

That was a high point for me. Fucking retards.

Posted by A Non Imus | April 5, 2008 3:30 PM

Fighting 37th was packed too...over 600 people. It all came down to 31 total delegates going on to State. 23 Obama!!, 7 for Clinton.

After all that was decided we had to decide our 31 delegates and six alternates. This garnered about 100 people running, each was entitled to 30 seconds of speech time. Needless to say I filled in a bunch of people who seemed qualified and went home.

Why did we ditch the Primary system again?

Posted by Block Party | April 5, 2008 3:31 PM

Only if it can be accompanied by pages of doublespeak about FL/MI and endless yammering about Jeremiah Wright, @8.

Posted by tsm | April 5, 2008 3:32 PM

i hate all the people asking question that could have been googled and all the delegates that kept restating that each of represented the desires of our precinct and that it was wrong to change our minds.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 5, 2008 3:32 PM

or on which bozo gets to dance in a silly hat on the convention floor

Hey we has a Bozzo in a silly red hat and a lone ranger mask who did a dance during his 30 second "I wanna be a delegate speech". Needless to say I put some other bozos down instead.

Also want to give a shout out to Gabe "The Roadie" Kerbrat who was an Obama delegate for the fighting 37th...keep up the good work man.

Posted by Block Party | April 5, 2008 3:42 PM

unPC probably met his/her demise.

Posted by A Great Day! | April 5, 2008 3:45 PM

From the 36th: Sean Astin was NOT a plus, he was a major negative. He did his candidate no favors with his terrible speech, which was supposed to be about Clinton, but was instead about himself and Obama. Huh? He also used up so much time that another speaker didn't get to speak.

The only effective speaker was an elderly German woman who came here in 1938, who spoke for Obama. She was good. Everybody else, I could have lived without, including all the candidates for various judgeships and offices.

All in all, a totally worthless experience. Democracy? If you say so. The speaker kept saying "this is the only country in the world where this happens" which was confusing. Actually, everything was confusing. The stupid bitch walking up and down the line saying "you don't need to stand in this line, you have to sign in with the campaign on the right" was super-confusing, because she was totally wrong, and I lost about 1,500 places in line after following her advice. Thanks, stupid bitch.

But the main purpose seemed to be for various subnormals in the lower levels of the party organization to practice their standing around skills, and, as A Non Imus @1 points out, air their incomprehensible grievances against whatever was stuck in their craw. Imagine, if you will, 3,000 Wills in Seattle.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 3:50 PM

Word out of the 36th is that O got 52 delegates to CD level, and C got 15. And that 300 people were running for those 52 O spots.

Posted by el ganador | April 5, 2008 3:50 PM

So glad that I was an unnecessary alternate delegate for Obama in the 34th District. When I left at 11:30 they still hadn't figured out which alternates needed to stay. A friend who's a delegate just called at 3:50 and they still haven't finished. This is ridiculous! To expect 1000 people to stick around for six hours is crazy. It essentially leaves the process to the nutjobs who are don't have a life or who are true believer types. Will Rogers comment still holds true, "I belong to no organized political party -- I'm a Democrat."

Posted by Smartypants | April 5, 2008 4:03 PM

@2 wait, 100 men for every woman? I could've been picking up guys? I thought it was just going to be sitting around listening to wackos opine, I didn't realize it was a place to meet men. Drat. Oh well, with my luck 99 of the men would've been gay and the 100th married.

p.s. Mr. Obama, please make Pluto a planet again. Thank you.

Posted by PopTart | April 5, 2008 4:46 PM

Pluto is clearly not a planet

Posted by vooodooo84 | April 5, 2008 5:19 PM

It is if you BELIEVE, vood.

Posted by Fnarf | April 5, 2008 6:07 PM

@19 I was at the 36th too and there were 100 men for every woman but 99% of those guys had fleece vests, gray beards and khaki pants. If that's your type, you'd have had no trouble getting lucky in the back of some guy's green Subaru station wagon.

Posted by sneezer | April 5, 2008 6:09 PM

@1 and @ 16 - this seems to be one area where the GOP far surpasses the Dems: message discipline. So many lefty gatherings deteriorate into individuals stridently arguing their little pet causes and making everyone look foolish.

Posted by Gabriel | April 5, 2008 6:50 PM

My boyfriend is at the Juanita HS caucus.. still, at 7:00pm. 10 hours down, ? hours to go. I guess counting tallies take a super long-ass time?

Posted by meggo | April 5, 2008 7:09 PM

sorry meggo, seems like your boyfriend just got CAUGHT :P

Posted by sorry meggo | April 5, 2008 7:12 PM

I too was an alternative delegate in the 34th who left early – so disappointing! They managed to pack an entire school gymnasium full of people truly excited about this election and squander the opportunity. The caucus process isn’t largely known – yet there was no useful information on how the morning was going to work (bless the woman who – 45 minutes into random speeches and announcements - pointed out that, with so many new people in the room, it might be helpful to provide an explanation of the process.) The tone as a whole was disrespectful – both from the podium and from a number of people in the audience who had comments and questions that they barked out. Apparently anyone who didn’t know the process or wasn’t a died-in-the-wool democrat was a moron. It could have felt like a community-building event, and instead it completely turned me off. The Democrats have a huge opportunity to welcome in new people who could be party activists and they’re blowing it.

Posted by AlkiT | April 5, 2008 7:15 PM

@19: this is Seattle; every place is a place to meet men.

(though, @22 makes a good point.)

Posted by A Non Imus | April 5, 2008 8:06 PM

Again, I'm struck by the fact that there seems to be little or no consistency between how different caucuses are run.

My experience during the precinct level caucus in Feb., was radically different than other Sloggers.

Today at the 43rd we had no debate at all over platform issues. Hillary Madsen (our Chair) simply said if you want to talk about the platform go to the County convention and that was that. Sure it was chaotic and time-consuming, but at least we didn't have to endure typical liberal hair-splitting and pontificating.

Posted by gnossos | April 5, 2008 11:16 PM

@16 - yeah, like you participate much.

Fnarf's main problem is not realizing that the Net, and SLOG, frequently aren't the same as real life.

The caucus process is designed to weed out the weak candidates, and reward those with endurance and an understanding of how the process works - which is why Obama does so well at it.

Nobody said it was going to be fun.

The platform is voted on next Sunday at West Seattle High School at the King County Convention - and if you were a delegate or alternate to the LD Caucus, you're a delegate or alternate to the County Convention, and virtually all alternates have a good chance of becoming seated (voting) delegates.

And the turnout at the 43rd was pretty mixed male/female - and fairly diverse turnout.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 6, 2008 1:00 AM

People were discussing platform issues in the 36th, A Non Imus? Because according to the rules in the 37, those were strictly out of order, since that's covered at next week's convention.

"Fighting 37th was packed too...over 600 people. It all came down to 31 total delegates going on to State. 23 Obama!!, 7 for Clinton....
After all that was decided we had to decide our 31 delegates and six alternates. This garnered about 100 people running, each was entitled to 30 seconds of speech time. "

Block Party, your numbers are low. There were over 600 people for Obama alone. And more than 31 delegates total. I believe it was *39* Obama delegates from the 7th District, and 1 from the 9th (the 37th includes part of both districts), and then some number of Clinton delegates. There were 19 Obama alternates chosen in the 7th. There were between 200 and 300 people running to be a delegate for Obama!

Unfortunately, I know this because I was there until around 11pm. It took almost that long to count the freaking Obama delegate ballots. I helped with the counting and it is understandable that it took that long, with 39 names filled in with poor handwriting and/or spelling on each ballot, but it was still not good.

However, during the last few hours people started singing, telling jokes, and generally being goofy, and it was actually a lot of fun.

Those 30 second speeches? Yeah, they didn't finish until well after 4 pm. And then the counting agony began. The Clintonistas finished around 4, i think, but we had another 7 hours to go... but at least they moved us to the lunchroom where we were allowed to eat. The gym didn't allow food and there was no lunch break... annoying. In the lunchroom someone bought us pizza and sandwiches. :)

Posted by litlnemo | April 6, 2008 2:11 AM

AlkiT @ 26 whined:

It could have felt like a community-building event, and instead it completely turned me off. The Democrats have a huge opportunity to welcome in new people who could be party activists and they’re blowing it.

Actually, the 34th LD caucus was *exactly* the community-building event you wanted it to be. If you expect everything to start out perfectly and improve from there, I guess we'll have to muddle along without you.

For every one of you we had 10-20 *real* activists who *did* stick around. I'm sure there's some other outlet for your activism that requires a shorter attention span and that will provide the instant gratification you appear to need.

The tone as a whole was disrespectful – both from the podium and from a number of people in the audience who had comments and questions that they barked out.

Respect is a two-way street, ace. Most of the 1,400 attendees who got that showed a lot of respect for the work we had done, and walked out feeling that they had received it in return.

The caucus took more time than we had expected it to, because we took the time to do things right, and I'm damn proud of our team in the 34th. If anybody has a problem with that, let me have it. My contact information is on our Web site for the world to see.

Posted by ivan | April 6, 2008 8:46 AM

@16 -- She left Germany in 1938? Man, what rotten timing -- she totally missed out on all the really good stuff. Oh well...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | April 6, 2008 10:48 AM



I look forward to reading a detailed description of the procedure for a Fnarf-approved "Democracy" that would run perfectly smooth, not bore, include local input, and represent the populace fairly while getting everyone back home in whatever short amount of time Fnarf deems necessary to commit to for a representative democratic republic.

I'm waiting. You can post your alternative manifesto here or just email me directly.

Posted by Andy o' the Forty-Third | April 6, 2008 11:59 AM

Here you go, Andy:

1. Hold a primary.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2008 12:04 PM

@34 -- FTW.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | April 6, 2008 12:08 PM

I guess what galls me the most is this constantly-repeated notion that this is democracy, that this is really working together and getting to know your community. Most of your community isn't there, and there's an inverse correlation between sharpness and attendance at these things. You're listening to your most useless neighbors deliver unintelligible 30-second speeches, and parade around with signs, and thinking that's thoughtful analysis? That's community? It's high school. You could get more out of a one-page magazine article.

Posted by Fnarf | April 6, 2008 12:08 PM

Fnarf @ 36:

Thanks for telling the world, in this one comment as never before, what an elitist douchebag you are.

Posted by ivan | April 6, 2008 2:51 PM

@37, Fnarf is pointing out that the caucus process winds up only providing real representation for a small fraction of your actual community, for all the talk about it being "democracy in action". How is he wrong, and how is he an elitist douchebag for pointing it out?

Posted by tsm | April 6, 2008 4:02 PM
there's an inverse correlation between sharpness and attendance at these things. You're listening to your most useless neighbors deliver unintelligible 30-second speeches, and parade around with signs, and thinking that's thoughtful analysis? That's community?

If that isn't an elitist statement, I don't know what is. I met people at my LD caucus I had never seen before, and who might not be the best speakers, but when I was able to draw them out, I found them to be delightful folks.

We all have something to offer, and anybody who thinks they can determine that one way or another from a 30-second speech, and write somebody off as "useless" based on that is not only a douchebag, but also not a very effective political actor.

Posted by ivan | April 6, 2008 4:41 PM


Not everyone wants to waste their time listening to self-important douchebags speak. Events like this turn people off from participating, creating a much much less representative democracy.

We do NOT all have something to offer. Some opinions actually are more informed and well thought out than others and some people are also considerate enough to be concise and not subject people to their ramblings.

Posted by Dawgson | April 6, 2008 6:34 PM

Dawgson @ 40:

That's a crock of shit, all of it. This is not the only way people can participate.

We recognize that these caucuses are not for everybody. "They turn people off from participating" is bogus. People who want to participate have plenty of other ways to do it, and just about every LD organization in King county has a long list of potential activities for people who want to be active.

I mean, $1,000 a plate fundraising dinners are certainly not for *me,* yet I find a way to be active, and I don't whine that these events keep people from participating.

Plenty of our members in the 34th who are otherwise quite active did not attend our LD caucus. We know we can count on them because they find a way.

Anyone who *really* wants to be politically active will find a way. Real activists to not have to spoon fed.

Posted by ivan | April 6, 2008 8:03 PM

exactly, ivan.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 6, 2008 8:35 PM

My experience in the 33rd district was similar. We were in a High School gym and things seems disorganized and chaotic. The whole thing was poorly run and involved lots of sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing. The only positive parts of the whole day were a young girl who sang the national anthem (unlike the 43rd, we began with the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem), a very young african american kid who did some kind of break dance performance, an inspirational speech from our local Rep. Upthegrove, and some yummy pizza in the cafeteria. The rest was very unmemorable. Lots of people I talked to were frustrated with the silly and cumbersome process.

Posted by delaney | April 7, 2008 2:28 AM

40th LD--
Things ran fairly well considering the turnout was at least 4 times what the district had seen in the past. Over 100 people wanted to be Obama delegates (breakdown was 16 for Obama and 4 for Clinton). Obama crowd was jovial, excited. Clinton people not so much, they seemed bitter and frustrated and took every opportunity to accuse the Obama people of marginalizing them. (Just because there's more of us does not make you discriminated against). Despite the overwhelming number of people new to the process, we got through all the speeches and the questions in the allotted time and many of the delegates and alternates stayed on for the Platform approval etc.

It was good times.

Posted by SDizzle | April 7, 2008 9:41 AM

You almost ruined the caucus experience for me with your STUPID hat and grump disposition. You were rude and disrespectful of people's questions about the process. And THEN you didnt even know what the process was (had to have someone else explain it).

Thankfully, Dow Constantine got to take over the duty of chairing the caucus.

Posted by wsea delegate | April 7, 2008 12:13 PM

At the 34th we no platform discussion but I left my subcaucus at 4 pm and things were still going on. We had regular people stump for the candidates. But the best part was how KC Councilmember Dow Constantine (our Caucus Chair) introduced the 5 minute speeches.

"So now representatives for both candidates are going to come up and spend 5 minutes each trying to persuade all of you people who made your minds up months ago and are completely entrenched in your candidate’s campaigns to suddenly change your minds, after a 5 minute speech".

Laughter by most of the audience.

My second favorite part of the day was when Tim Nuse (speaking for the Obama Camp) getting the loudest and strongest 'boo' of the day started talking about Clinton being 'divisive'. Two big old bubba gay boys stood up with their backs to Tim for the rest of his speech. That was awesome!

Another woman was loudly booed by at least some people during the time in the agenda where they let any random idiot stand up to say whatever they wanted (Good of the order or something. We were still waiting for all of the delegates to be sat and certified this process lasted until 2 pm!) Anyway, this numbskull stood up to complain that they were going to put parking meters in on California Ave. There were some boos and someone else yelled 'NO FREE PARKING!" That gave me some hope for urban planning!

In a day that began at 9 am and ended at 4 pm (I left without hearing the speeches from all of the candiadtes who wanted to move on as next level delegates) I probably spent about 7 actual minutes doing anything. It took my about 30 seconds to signed in, 2 minutes to get my badge tied on properly, 4 minutes to fill out my 10 votes cards for CD level delegates, and 30 seconds to fill out the ballot of top vote getters to pick who would be delegate v. who would be alternate.

If I am ever stupid enough to do this again, I will give someone my cell number and ask them to call me when we convene into the sub-caucus to vote for our candaiates next level of delegates. Then I will go out to a nice mimosa brunch at Jaks, or go home and mow the lawn.

Really, between 9 am sign in and 2 pm sub caucus there was really nothing to do but sit in the gym, luckily I was in a real chair and not the bleechers.

Posted by 34th District Represents | April 7, 2008 12:17 PM

wsea delegate @ 45:

The "stupid hat" is so that people can find me in a crowd if they need me. It has come in handy many times before and it came in handy Saturday. It serves a definite function, which all the people who *work* at the caucus appreciate, and it is not there to satisfy your fashion criteria.

Obviously I should have taken the time to explain that. If you think *you* could be all things to 1,400 people right out of the chute, many of whom are perfect strangers, without pissing at least a few people off, then you're a better human being than I am.

The caucus is an atypical experience for any Democratic Party LD organization. Many people wish we didn't have it at all. For me the positives of the process far outweigh the negatives, even after it has taken three weeks out of my life as a volunteer with no remuneration.

Fortunately, most people I talked to came away with a positive experience, and enough people congratulated us for the work we put in that I don't really sweat the few who found fault, especially with the superficialities.

We'll go over all the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we'll do our best to make it better across the board next time.

Posted by ivan | April 8, 2008 12:19 AM

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