SuperDuperUltraMegaTsunami Tuesday

It’s here – February 5, 2008. Super Tuesday. Super Duper Tuesday. Tsunami Tuesday. Whatever you want to call it, it’s as close to a national primary as we’ve ever had in this country, and there’s a decent chance that today will determine the Republican presidential candidate. The Democratic candidate may be determined also, although that’s significantly less likely – the two top candidates earn delegates according to the proportion of the vote they received. Regardless, however, with such a high percentage of states and delegates up for grabs today, the results matter a great deal.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to caucus here in Colorado today, but given that I still haven’t settled on whether I prefer Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama, that’s not necessarily a problem. I spent some time yesterday on both websites and each of the Democratic candidates is wrong about enough things that I don’t like either of them much. Too many details are left out of each candidate’s various proposals that it’s hard to pin either of them down. And I literally cannot make up my mind. Nebulous hope vs. questionable experience isn’t exactly an inspiring choice.

So I won’t be caucusing today. Instead, I’ll be hoping for a strategic change in the race – I hope that one Republican locks up the candidacy and that the two Democrats stay about equal. That way both of them can start focusing some of their energy on a single Republican opponent. That way some of the progressive NGOs can start targeting the Republican candidate. And that way we’ll have a true nominating convention in Denver in August, one where the candidate is not a foregone conclusion.

Not likely, I know, but I can dream, can’t I?

9 replies »

  1. Wow. And here I was ready to email you where our caucus location is (Legacy High School) and which precinct you belong to (4) and you can feel free to bring your kids (we’re bringing ours).

    Ah, well. If your wife is willing and able pass along this info and we’ll see her tonight.

  2. The problem is that Jennifer is working (so she won’t be able to caucus either) and there’s no way I can handle both kids and caucus myself at the same time. Not when they’re tired already today, will be more tired, and almost the entire caucus is after their bedtime.

    Supposedly caucusing is easier and cheaper, and I was looking forward to being convinced by one camp or the other, but today I wish we had a primary instead. That way I could feel a little less out of the loop.

  3. Caucuses do pose a problem for working families and primaries are more convenient. Nevertheless, this election cycle presents an opportunity for real grassroots involvement in caucus states such as Colorado. Since the mid-sixties the ruling elites have made a concerted effort to discourage grassroots participation. This is a unique opportunity for more people to actually participate in the process of nominating candidates.Note,also,the major effect of the caucus is on local participation and local candidates and issues. I’m glad to hear Djerrid will be taking children to the caucus. Encourage every parent you know to do this if possible.

  4. Frank: There’s a trade-off, though. I have to teach tonight and can’t go. In a primary structure like we have for other offices I could participate.

  5. I’m with Sam. I have to attend class tonight so I am out of it as well. A primary would at least have allowed me to participate even if I can’t stand any of the options posed by my party, this year or for the last 16 years either.

  6. I remember being pretty pissed about five years ago when the Republican controlled statehouse here in Colorado got rid of the primaries in favor of caucuses. They said it was in order to save money. I’ve always had a feeling that the GOP wanted to stop the dems from having a dry run at voting for Kerry.

    Now there will be tens of thousands of people who can’t commit to the extra hour it takes to caucus. The delegates will then go towards the candidate which has the best organization rather than the one who best reflects the will of the people. And I’ve seen first hand that Obama has the upper hand in the grassroots.

    As a precinct captain for Obama I have been extremely impressed with how well put together and well organized his campaign has been run. From the inside I’ve seen independent grassroots organizations blending seamlessly with the national campaign. Especially considering he has built this all from scratch in one year and going against the largest and most established political machine this side of the aisle. It has always been my belief that you can tell a good deal about how a candidate would run the White House by how they run their campaign. And all of this seemingly effortless coordination bodes well for how he would handle his office and gives him an inherent edge in caucuses.

    That being said, I still morn the thousands of you who can’t participate in these states with closed primaries and caucuses.

  7. I am sympathetic to maximizing participation in a primary, but I am very concerned about losing the grassroots participation in the political process that caucuses provide. If we stop meeting with each other face-to-face in meaningful discourse about the issues that concern us, then I fear we are more susceptible to control and manipulation by power elites.