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Saturday, March 3, 2012

How I Caucused Myself as a Republican Precinct Committee Officer for Rick Santorum

Posted by on Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 1:31 PM

We Republicans are always asking for handouts. (Click to enlarge.)
  • We Republicans are always asking for handouts. (Click to enlarge.)
Caucusing in Washington state is nothing like caucusing in Iowa. Iowa's caucuses are built for show, for the media. They're dramatic and they follow a narrative. Washington's caucuses follow a series of boring rules, and they're almost as undramatic as filling out a tax form, or waiting in line to renew your driver's license. It wouldn't be honest to say the scene at Roosevelt High School was chaotic. It was really more bureaucratic. If you didn't have your voter registration card—and most people didn't have their voter registration cards—you had to wait in line and then wait for some folks to hunt-and-peck your name into a state election site to confirm you were registered. Once they did that, they'd lead you over to your precinct sign-in line and give you the okay.

The little lobby outside Roosevelt's gym was packed with people. Many wore Ron Paul buttons, and some of those Ron Paul fans took directions from suit-wearing folks who were obviously trained by the Ron Paul campaign to coordinate the somewhat-secret delegate strategy. Because nobody else in my precinct bothered to show up for the caucuses, I automatically became my precinct's Committee Officer, which the paperwork describes as "the Permanent Chairman of the caucus and an Automatic Delegate to their Legislative Caucus and the KCGOP Convention 4/28/2012." Once inside the gym, looking around at the bleachers, you had your clusters of older folks—most of whom, it seemed, were Romney fans—surrounded at about three-to-one by Ron Paul supporters.

IMAG1563.jpeg

The party representatives who were there to oversee the caucuses were petulant and unhelpful. When Ron Paul supporters called a point of order about the line on the registration form that announced that your signature was to "certify that he/she is a member of the Republican Party"—"just because I'm here for Ron Paul doesn't mean I want to align myself with these guys," a suit-wearing young man near me grumbled—the party representative said "the rule is not open to interpretation," that there was no crime in keeping the caucuses closed to members of the party, and he explained that "there is no membership fee to join the Republican Party," so they had nothing to complain about. I signed the form with a clear conscience. Since I've attended every candidate's rally within a train ride's distance from Seattle and watched every single one of the 20 Republican debates over the last few months, I'm probably more Republican than Democrat at this point just based on how much rhetoric I've absorbed. Besides, I was pretty grumpy when I woke up this morning. Maybe next month, I'll be feeling more Democrat than Republican. Who knows?

Guess which candidate these college-aged kids eventually went for? (Hint: If you guessed Romney, youre an idiot!)
  • Guess which candidate these college-aged kids eventually went for? (Hint: If you guessed "Romney," you're an idiot!)

The rest of the process was discussed, occasionally at painstaking length. We were told that delegates would be assigned by a straight-up vote. Fifty percent plus one meant you were a delegate. A Ron Paul fan asked if a precinct only had two caucusers and both caucusers refused to vote for the other, what would happen. He was told, snippily, that "we will cross that bridge when we come to it." An older woman asked "if 100% of the vote met the threshold for victory." She was told that, yes, if you received all of the votes, then you won the vote.

Every caucusgoer was given a questionnaire to fill out. We were told that the questionnaire results would shape the platform of the Washington state Republican Party, and that "we actually care what you think." I dutifully filled out my form. As a Republican, I am very concerned about making sure that "government should be in charge of our health care system, to ensure that every person has health coverage," that same-sex marriage should be legal, and that abortions should be safe and taxpayer-funded. I suppose I'm kind of a modified New Deal/Roosevelt Republican, if you wanted to put me into a box and smother me with labels.

No, not SENIORS as in CITIZENS, wiseass. (Click to enlarge.)
  • No, not "SENIORS" as in "CITIZENS," wiseass. (Click to enlarge.)
And then the caucus began. Other precincts voted for delegates and took a straw poll on which candidate they supported. Since I was a precinct of one—with three delegates to our name—I caucused myself, long and hard. As a Republican, I had a very hard choice to make. Mitt Romney was automatically out. I believed that he would say or do anything he could to get into office, and he would not at all adhere to my Republican values. Ron Paul was automatically out, too, because I'm not a gold-hoarding sociopath or an idiot who has no idea how government actually works. But that left two very viable choices. On the one hand, you had Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich won my heart with his smug and irascible nature, his long history of sexual conquests, and—most importantly—Herman Cain's endorsement. If I could not ensure that Herman Cain became president, a Newt Gingrich presidency would be the next best thing. Perhaps he would make Herman Cain vice president, or secretary of commerce, or (dare I hope?) a Supreme Court Justice? (That last option was the most tantalizing for me—after all, I love supreme pizza!) But on the other hand, you had Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum is a complicated man. On the one hand, he stands against all of my values as a Republican—I'm a pro-gay-marriage and pro-government-funded contraception Republican, he's a bigoted Opus Dei freak. My Republican values, such as a strong separation of church and state, are vitally important to me. But on the other hand, I believe that Mitt Romney is on the verge of capturing the Republican nomination, and I can't stand Mitt Romney. I believe that Rick Santorum is the candidate with the best chance to steal the nomination from Mitt Romney. He is, if you will, the most electable. As a Republican, I want to make sure my party doesn't embarrass itself with a Romney candidacy, and the best way to do that is by caucusing for Rick Santorum. (And if Santorum won, and had to face Obama in the fall, what would I do in November when it came time to vote, you ask? Well, who knows? Identity is fluid, and I'm not even sure if I'll still be a Republican by then.) So my choice became obvious. I had to hope that Herman Cain would find it in his heart to forgive me. As the Republican Precinct Committee Officer and sole caucusgoer for my precinct, I picked Rick, and declared Rick Santorum as my presidential preference.

Yes, I know my handwriting is awful. Handwriting is a dead art. Get over it.
  • Yes, I know my handwriting is awful. Handwriting is a dead art. Get over it.

After that, it was easy. As I was the only Republican in my precinct, I didn't have to vote to see who would be attending the King County Republican Convention on April 28th that we were assured would be happening "somewhere in Bellevue"—my invitation was automatic. Hopefully, I'll be attending with at least one other likeminded Santorum supporter (and Stranger employee). Now all I can do is sit, and wait, and hope. The announcement of the results will come from my fellow Republicans at 5 pm today. To be honest, I suspect Romney is going to win. And even if he does, you know what? That's okay. I did my part. I voted my conscience. I helped spread Santorum throughout my precinct. I took part in democracy, and democracy is what makes America great.

 

Comments (19) RSS

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19
I guess you think you're pretty clever; really, what ever floats your flip flop in the Guvment protected wetlands. To liberals, the idea of democracy in our great Republic of a country, must be some kind of joke. I get it, you're too damn stupid to understand the true meaning of liberal (one seeking liberty or freedom) let alone our system of guverment designed to allow us to keep our liberties. You prefer the paint-by-number socialist/statist type bureaucracies that leave you few choices and even fewer opportunities to support yourself. But that's OK, there are all kinds of rich folk out there to tax and rob their money (don't forget your mooovie stars and ball players and forked tongued democrat congress-critters). Problem is eventually your milk cow will run out of milk and all we'll be left with is Euro-greece, wetlands and electric cars with no electricity.
Posted by Unhappycamper on May 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM · Report this
18
Celine is Canadian. THIS GUY'S A FRAUD!
Posted by Concerned Gold Hoarder on March 7, 2012 at 8:05 AM · Report this
17
BTW - just so that you know, you are *not* a Precinct Committee Officer, that's totally different from being "Permanent" chair of the precinct caucus. It's easy to confuse because someone who was already a PCO automatically becomes chair of the caucus *if* they show up, but the converse does *not* hold (i.e., getting "elected" chair at the caucus does *not* make you a PCO)

In order to become a PCO you have to get elected in the August primary in an even year, which is actually pretty easy if there's nobody else in your precinct who wants the job --- just wait for filing week (in May) file the form with county elections, and you're done; you can even do it on line, now. Either that or you have to get the local party organization to appoint you to fill a vacancy between elections -- I don't know what the Republican process for this is, but I'm guessing you'll at least have to show up at the montly district meeting, and you'll probably have your work cut out for you convincing the meeting that you actually *are* a Republican...
Posted by wrog2 on March 7, 2012 at 5:27 AM · Report this
16
I can't understand why anyone would pick a blob of frothy, whiny shit and ejaculate over President Obama.

When it comes to voting Republican, I just say NO.
Posted by auntie grizelda on March 7, 2012 at 1:27 AM · Report this
15
This sort of thing was interesting when Dan Savage did it over a decade ago....
Posted by deja vu on March 6, 2012 at 10:44 PM · Report this
Big Matt G 14
@13

You know that you're a concern troll, right?
Posted by Big Matt G on March 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
13
You know that Santorum defends the Patriot Act right?
Posted by Ryan Richardson on March 5, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
12
@1 un-DRAMATIC, not un-DEMOCRATIC you fucking dolt
Posted by pioneer on March 3, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
11
er...with, not without...
Posted by Pol Pot on March 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
10
As long as they don't require that you swear you are not a member of some other party as well, I see no problem with so swearing. A party that doesn't let you participate in any other party would be a pretty lame party.
Posted by kinaidos on March 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
9
So, members of the party that screams about "vote fraud" and tries to pass repressive voter ID laws everywhere can't even show up to caucus with out their voter registration cards... is there perhaps some irony in that construct?
Posted by Pol Pot on March 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
8
As Precinct Committee Officer (and aren't these elected?), you are responsible for networking with your Republican neighbors - you may have two or three and a couple stray cats in the 43rd - and get out the Republican vote come Election Day. Don't be neglectful of your duty. It is your sacred honor.
Posted by floater on March 3, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
balderdash 7
@1, I get that you're trying to make a joke that is also a cutting criticism - or something - but you might ask yourself the next time you take a stab at it whether the things you're saying actually make any sort of rational sense for any human being at any time in history, ever.

Like, if you catch yourself about to say, "Ha ha! Liberals sure do like to be stabbed with frozen eels, those pervert socialists!" you might stop and consider, "Wait, is that even a thing that can happen? Maybe I'm actually kind of a lunatic for even thinking of it."
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on March 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
6
@1: It's almost like you don't actually understand liberals. I'm glad you're starting to realize it.
Posted by also on March 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Hernandez 5
@1 Why would I want my tax preparation and license renewal to be drama-filled affairs?
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on March 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
Congrats on your election!
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
3
Adorable!
Posted by gloomy gus on March 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 2
I also turned out to be the precinct officer, delegate, and sole attendee of my precinct.

"Somewhere in Bellevue" cracked me up.

Looking ahead to the county convention...I'm thinking resolutions to endorse I-502 and R-74.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
1
"undramatic as filling out a tax form, or waiting in line to renew your driver's license. "

I thought liberals loved paying taxes and dealing with bureaucrats. In one fell swoop you managed to show distain for the two pillars of your ideology.
Posted by Freedom is what you long for, admit it! on March 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this

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