Saturday, February 9, 2008

Washington State Caucuses

Wow. It's been quite a day. Today I led my caucus in electing delegates to our county convention and turned in my caucus members' preferences for President for the Republican party. I am pleased to report that most, if not all, of my caucus participants were first time participants, and they were interested, curious, and anxious to have their voices heard. While so much apathy in the Republican party is reported, I saw none today. We had grass roots activism for everyone from McCain to Romney (who officially suspended his campaign this week) Huckabee and was a fantastic day to be an American citizen and to be a Republican and see independent minded people coming together to find common ground, have their ideas heard, and participate in the democratic process.

I am listening to Barack Obama right now in Virginia giving his victory speech for his wins in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington. Did you know he is wiping the floor with Senator Clinton? Now, I am no Obama supporter. He is a wonderful speaker and he is even now poking fun at his critics that take issue with him over his perpetual hope with no actual policies to back it up. There is nothing wrong with hope. Without it, most of us would not get through the day. This, however, is not sufficient to get us through a war, staggering economy, faltering social security policies and everything else we face. He tells us that it is not blind hope, and for that I give him credit for moving forward on this platform and kicking Hillary's behind with it. Yet, while I do not agree with his policies of universal health care, (hey, wasn't that Hillary's idea?), pulling out of Iraq and "changing the mindset that got us into war in the first place"...(sorry Barack, still TOO naive for my taste...) I am heartened that many democrats and left leaning independents are pulling away from the tired old Clinton machine.

Just do not forget...for all his uplifting rhetoric, if there are not sound, firm policies that can be implemented on day one, we all suffer for the hope we desire that comes unaccompanied by actual policy that a country can be run on. But, I digress...what about those Republicans? Well, McCain is still the frontrunner, but I am so awestruck by the results here in Washington State with McCain being taken out by Mike Huckabee. As I write there are 37% of the precincts reporting and Huckabee is up by 4% with Ron Paul pulling in 11%. (Paul has a HUGE grassroots effort here...) This, as we are often told, is a BLUE state. Huckabee should not be anywhere near the percentage lead he currently has, yet, there it is. I have already spoken about the left's efforts to leave the Clinton machine, perhaps Republicans here in Washington are pushing against the Republican machine of putting the "inevitable" old guy whose turn it is to serve in place in the White House.

At any rate, democracy is alive, people's voices are being heard, and it is a healthy thing. Elections should not be predictable. As candidates are heard more and more from place to place it should be a logical thing that people change their minds, make up their minds, and perhaps in some cases, move forcibly against a frontrunner they do not agree with. This is a wonderful thing, and it should be embraced.

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