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Monday, March 3, 2008

The Texas Two Step is a Crazy Dance

I find my inner Republican straining to get out these days as I take a closer look at this Democratic primary process. What a goofy way to pick a nominee. This Texas process is just outrageous, and it's designed by the Texas democratic party. I have never cared before how they picked a nominee because I've never been a Democrat. Now that I like Barack Obama I have to watch this painstaking process and wonder how on earth this party can claim to be champions of civil rights and equality for all with an archaic process like this one.

The Texas Two-Step was explained in two great stories on NPR today. You're probably better off reading those, but if you want my random take on it, keep reading.

The Democrats use a "hybrid" process, a two step process, if you will. They first have the primary vote, and then they have a caucus. The caucus stuff is always confusing, but the REALLY weird part is the primary vote. Here's what the State of Texas says:

"Delegates are allocated among the 31 districts according to a formula that takes into account each district’s vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election and for Democratic nominee Chris Bell in the 2006 gubernatorial election."

So if you had a lot of Democrats vote Republican in the Presidential race of 2004 (as many Hispanic, Democratic voters apparently did) the party punishes your district by giving you fewer delegates than a district that voted heavily for Kerry. According to NPR, voters weren't aware that how they voted in the 2004 or 2006 election would affect their ability to vote in later primaries, that they would be punished for having voted outside the party.

Of course, the Texas Republicans simply apportion all the delegates based on the primary vote. According to the State of Texas: "None of the Democratic delegates are apportioned based on the statewide primary vote." I don't need to go into the whole Republicans keep it simple (for better or worse) and Democrats always create a branch of government thing, do I? I guess I just did.
Oh, well. Let's hope Obama's people are able to figure this out better than Hillary's. No wonder she threatened to sue.

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