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Why Democrats* make the baby jesus cry: - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Just me.

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Why Democrats* make the baby jesus cry: [Jan. 12th, 2004|02:39 am]
Just me.
First, a little news about the Washington Primary:

From the Secretary of State's site:

Washington's presidential preferential primary, formerly scheduled for March 2, 2004, has been cancelled by action of the Washington Legislature and Governor (House Bill 2297, signed into law Dec. 9; visit the Washington State Legislature web sitefor the text). County and District caucuses are scheduled during February, March and April.

Okay, got that- No primary here. We are having a Caucus on Saturday, February 07, 2004, but I'm not sure how that works and why it matters if you aren't in Iowa. Something I found on the web (but can't attribute now) says:

"Although the caucus was the original method for selecting candidates, it is now the least popular, with only 14 states and Washington, D.C., participating in them. The other 36 states hold primaries. Although both select delegates, the process of the caucus and primary are radically different. The caucus requires voters to show up at polling locations where they will listen to speeches and debates sometimes lasting for hours."

Okay, got it- even if the caucus "counts" like a primary towards deciding who goes against Bush in November (and I'm not sure that it does), I'm not committed enough to participate anything political that "lasts for hours".

So why do Democrats make the baby jesus cry?

A nice elderly woman campaign volunteer came by today to talk to me about...Dennis Kucinich! In the last local election I voted in a few months ago, no one came to my door beforehand. Not one school board candidate, monorail board member, port commissioner, city councilman...NO ONE. These were are candidates that were already on the ballot (some in races that were polling neck-and-neck) and conceivably could win and affect my quality of life in Seattle in substantial ways.

So, I didn't talk to the woman, as I was in the middle of painting the kitchen, but I took her flyer. Later though, I wondered, why is she walking around West Seattle pestering Democrats (or is she going door to door pestering everyone)? We have no Primary this year. Iowa has a caucus on January 19. Unless you are Dan Savage, Seattlelites do not generally vote in the Iowa Caucus.

After Iowa is NH on 1/27, and then on February 3 (I think this is Super Tuesday?) AZ, DE, MO, OK and SC have primaries and NM and ND have caucuses). Then on February 7, should I attend the caucus, and only then, will it matter what opinion I, a Washington Democrat, have about Dennis Kucinich.

If I were this woman volunteer, I'd be using the internet to pester people in those states first. I suppose there's a snowball's chance in hell that Dennis might pick up some delegates in the 6 primaries (and 3 caucuses, if those even count) that come before Washington's, but I'm thinking Dennis will be left on the cutting room floor with Al and Carol long before I have a chance to vote for him (assuming I'd even want to).

This problem with this Dennis Kucinich volunteer applies to lefties and Democrats in general lately (or so I've observed): the idea that doing SOMETHING, however inane and futile, in support of your candidate/ideals is better than "picking your battles" or conserving your energy. Even assuming that Kucinich could get the nomination (stop laughing, shoutingboy), having volunteers working Washington State 3 weeks before the caucus seems premature. Maybe if we were having a primary (which we're not), 3 weeks is right, but even then it seems too soon to me. By the time we have our caucus, I'm guessing it will be apparent who the nominee will be, and it won't matter who we vote for.

I wish this woman would have put her "walking around your neighborhood pestering people about politics" energy into stumping for Seattle City Councilwoman and Big Ole' Lefty Judy Nicastro in November, who lost to a little old lady newspaper Gossip Columnist. The cynic in me says that once Kucinich loses the nomination (and loses spectactularly), she'll put away her clipboard and never walk a precinct again. Which is a shame, because I'd like to see people like her out in force in October, when it actually matters.

*I've been a registered Democrat since 1988, so I can say this.

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: moodtobestewed
2004-01-12 02:29 am (UTC)

If the polls are any indication...

Perhaps the elderly woman is Kucinich's only volunteer.

So she'd have to start early - she's got a lot of people to see.
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[User Picture]From: quelqueparte
2004-01-12 05:51 am (UTC)
i could go on and on and on and on . . .

down at 47th and broadway is the favored protest spot--insert recent Incident here--and one weekend they are there in their thousands--and pow, Incident is overish, and they are All Gone. case closed, for them.


except the ones down at the coffeshop that i get to hear yammering, but not even doing things as pointless as this poor lady's exercise.

'but we are making people aware!' of dennis, of this, or that, or the other--if you change one mind, then you can change the world! pfft.

i'd say the only place where changing a mind has a shot at succeeding is florida. the lady better go down there and teach people how to frickin' vote properly. that might be more useful.
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[User Picture]From: shoutingboy
2004-01-12 08:51 am (UTC)

It's not necessarily stupid to campaign for Kucinich.

Okay, it is stupid, but not because he can't win.

You can look at Kucinich's primary run as being the equivalent of a third-party race--it lets leftist, hard-core-anti-war Democrats show how they feel, so the party brass has to count how many there are. And by giving delegates to Kucinich, they insure that he has a role at the convention.

And unlike a full-on third party race, a Kucinich run doesn't directly help Bush the way the Nader run did.

The only bad thing about the Kucinich race is that he's a fringe wacko who makes the Dems look bad. But in a race with Rev. Al, Kucinich's weirdness is just a rounding error...

(The other bad thing is that Kucinich's backers may decide they were robbed and the party betrayed them, and stay home. Some of them will need to work hard to support a mainstream candidate (i.e. "Dean or someone to his right"), and they need to start practicing now.)
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[User Picture]From: lemur68
2004-01-12 07:51 pm (UTC)
I've been a registered Democrat since 1988

Your old Ohio registration card which reads "Republican" might say differently. ;)

But I know how and why that happened; the same happened to me (we had that discussion once.)
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From: ex_futch238
2004-01-14 08:37 am (UTC)
Dennis, Carol, Al... wait a minute, those are the only three who are a real alternative worth voting for...

Dennis: sure some of what he says is utopian pie-in-the-sky stuff, but he is THE anti-war candidate and the only candidate whose past shows a willingness to put his political position on the line for principle

Carol: every word out of this woman's mouth is rational common sense, but her record of actually getting stuff done is slim, still it was only one session thanks to scandal mongering of a vindictive Jesse (racist piece of shit) Helms

Al: at times he has been wrong in the past but he has been working with direct action to help the disenfranchised for twenty years

Lil' Johnny Edwards: before the war started an anti-war group went to his office to see him. Edwards refused to meet with them. They had a brief sit-in in his waiting room. Edwards called the cops and had them arrested. Futchy no vote for Johnny!

John Kerry: Smart enough to have known better than to have voted with Bush (against the American people) so many times

Dick G: Democratic Party Machine Man, always in lock step with the party, never took a stand that would endanger his career

Dean: in bed with the NRA, will not cut the Pentagon budget, NOT even close to being a progressive candidate despite what drug addict Rush Limbaugh and his narrow minded ditto heads repeating the word "liberal" as if it were a mantra

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[User Picture]From: shoutingboy
2004-01-14 01:36 pm (UTC)

Which kind of proves my point...

This is why I said, '...Kucinich's backers may ... stay home. Some of them will need to work hard to support a mainstream candidate (i.e. "Dean or someone to his right"), and they need to start practicing now.'

I mean, regardless of what one might think of Kucinich, Mosely-Braun, or Sharpton (and I bet Steve Pagones could offer a few choice words about Sharpton's "direct action to help the disenfranchised"), there's absolutely no chance--not the slightest chance whatsoever--that any of the three will be nominated this year.

That means that the people who back those three are going to have to make a tough decision in six months. Fairly or not, the fans of those three (especially Al & Dennis) regard the real candidates as GOP-lite. Will they swallow their indignation and vote for a mainstream Democrat against George Bush?

I expect some will, some won't. But the Democrat is going to have a hard fight this fall, and he won't be able to afford losing any of his base.
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