The Caucus

So yesterday was primary and caucus day here in Texas. As far back as I can remember, the primaries never were particularly important in Texas because the candidates had all pretty much been chosen by the time we had ours but this year was different, at least for the Democrats. Because that wimp Fred Thompson dropped out and McCain was the de facto choice for the GOP, I decided to vote in the Democratic primary for the one I think is the lesser of two evils. K voted for her too.

Then last night, I left work late and decided that since this was probably the only time in my political life that the caucus in Texas would be meaningful and worth seeing that I would attend. I called K up and she decided to tag along as well. It was a fascinating experience, one I’m glad I participated in even if I wasn’t doing it with exactly the best intentions. We showed up at our polling place about 7:10 and they still had a line with about 100 people in it just for the primary voting. Because the caucus can’t start until everyone votes in the primary, they put all of us (I estimated 4-500 and K thought maybe 200 but it was a lot regardless) in the cafeteria.

There were people there of all types but the crowd was definitely pro-Obama. It wasn’t particularly well organized but given the fact that the Democratic party has probably never had to run a caucus of this size, I think that can be forgiven. In the end, it was about 9 before all the primary voters made it in and they lined us up to sign our names and cast our caucus vote. We didn’t stick around for the choosing of the delegates which happens after everyone has voted but I think if we would have, we could have been a delegate to the county Democratic convention which might have been interesting.

Overall, I was thrilled to see people turn out in the numbers they did at 7:15 on a Tuesday to do something they clearly believed in. We spoke with several people including one guy at length and it was obvious I didn’t politically agree with much of anything they did but it’s important that we live in a country where this can happen. No one got shot, there weren’t any bombings and it was a very satisfying experience. With all the talk of how our civil liberties have been so infringed over the past 8 years, it’s nice to see that really isn’t the case. We live in a wonderful country where we have rights that are the envy of almost everyone else on the planet. Last night reminded me of that and for that, I’m thankful I participated.

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