The Caucus Conundrum
Buzzy is at the Table
Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Wednesday, February 3, 2016. Our traveling friend, Buzzy, is at the breakfast table this morning. He attended the Iowa caucus and the experience left him scratching his head and in need of an aspirin. Buzzy and I would love to see you at the table this morning. We are preparing delicious omelettes filled with ham and cheese. There will be plenty of Bloody Marys available, so please join us, if you can.
The Caucus is a Crock
Thank you all for joining Pop and me this morning. I felt a strong need to discuss what I witnessed at the Iowa caucus. My choice was to talk to my friends over breakfast, or head to a shrink's couch. I chose you. The caucus was a spectacle. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a demonstration of democracy. It was not accurate, scientific or even fair. It was a circus and the clowns were out in full force. The process left me yearning for a real primary, but the caucus is accepted as part of the primary election process. It is very different from a primary which offers eligible voters a ballot. The caucus is a free-for-all which offers voters a chance to attend a political event. The caucus process is exhausting. I attended as many as I could, and by the time it was over I could barely move my wings. The people of Iowa caucus for hours. Why they don't yearn for a simple snap of a switch in a voting booth is beyond me. Actually, the Republicans caucus by listening to speeches and then by voting just as they would in a primary or an election. The Dems are a whole other animal. The total number of voters at a caucus are counted, which is the strangest thing to witness. People raise their hands and the count begins. Sometimes it begins more than once, because people come and go and the numbers change. Are they accurate? It is impossible to imagine that they are. The process involves a lot of screaming and confusion. The people of Iowa seem to enjoy the whole thing, but I'd rather attend a Springsteen concert if I'm looking for a good time.
Does Accuracy Matter?
When it comes to votes, this bug is a stickler for accuracy and honesty. The caucus process doesn't really lend itself to those values. Just look at the Clinton-Sanders results. We will never really know who won the caucus, because the process for counting votes and reporting them are right out of the old west. When in doubt about who the actual winner is, just flip a coin. If this is democracy in action, it is democracy for dummies. The winners don't necessarily go on to win anything. It really is much ado about nothing. The Democratic caucuses have picked candidates who have gone on to win the nomination in seven of nine races. Of course, the Dems prefer to anoint a winner way in advance and not confuse the voters by offering alternatives. The Republicans, since 1980, have gained the nomination only two times. Many consider the caucuses a great beginning to the election process. To me, it looked like chaos on a grand scale.
The Pundits Blew It
Part of the fun of the caucus is predicting the winners. This year all the pundits blew it. Cruz won the hearts and minds of the people of Iowa, something which came as a surprise to many. Trump came in second, which was a surprise to Trump. Rubio came in a solid third. On the Democratic side, the success of Sanders is astounding. I had no idea that there were so many Socialists in America. Of course, Clinton is also a Socialist so I suppose the Dems can claim they are consistent in their choice for a leader. Frankly, if either Sanders or Clinton moves into the White House, I will turn in my wings and head for the hills. Iowa is just the beginning. This election process seems to be getting longer and longer. By the time the election comes around, voters may be too exhausted to vote. Let's hope the Dems sleep through the election.
Fly me to the moon
And let me live where I am free
Things are so strange right now
I think we're up a tree!