It’s Super Tuesday!

I think it’s super because it’s 8 days until Super Wednesday, which is my birthday. But also because of primary elections, and caucuses. My wife and I will be attending the local precinct caucus, and in case you wonder what’s involved in a Minnesota caucus, here’s a good summary. It’ll be just like that for us, except instead of holding it in a local school, the Morris DFL caucus will at the Old #1 Bar & Grill. Woo hoo! Super!

I must, however, lecture you on more than just the mechanics. Here are some things to do.

  1. Vote your conscience, but be conscious that there is no perfect candidate. I’m voting for Sanders, but Sanders has serious flaws. You can vote for Clinton, but she has flaws too. You are not looking for demigods, but people who you might elect and spend the next four years yelling at. (Obama has deep flaws, too, you know.)

  2. Bandwagons suck. The very worst reason to vote for someone is because they’re leading in some poll somewhere. The television and radio networks want you to think that, because that’s what they’d rather talk about than the difficult substance of policy, but this is not a horserace. You do not win a prize if you pick the candidate who comes in first place.

  3. There’s more going on than just the presidential candidates. This is the place where the party platform gets hammered out. You’re voting for Hillary, but have to hold your nose to nominate her over her ties to the big banks? Propose a platform plank demanding campaign finance reform. Voting for Bernie, but worried about his record on race and gun control? Propose that the DFL openly endorse the Black Lives Matter movement, and tighten up the regulation of firearms. You get to do that at a caucus.

  4. You’re not done when the event is over. Some attendees will be going on to the state DFL conference, to represent your precinct and push the proposals suggested at the precinct caucus. Some of those will be selected to go to the national conference. Volunteers willing to do that are important.

  5. Next November, vote. And don’t forget, this isn’t just about the presidency — you’ve got to get other representatives into office to support your choice of president.

Go forth and change the world, starting today!


  1. iiandyiiii says

    Voted this morning in Virginia. Go vote! The candidates and parties really are very, very different on many important issues. ’00 to ’08 would have been very different (and much better, IMO) under Gore; the last 8 years would similarly have been very different (and much worse, IMO) under McCain or Romney. And the last 6 years would have been a lot better had Democratic turnout for mid-term elections matched the turnout for Presidential elections.

    Vote for the better candidate, or vote for the candidate that is less bad, but please vote, in the primary and in the general elections.

  2. dianne says

    I’d like to have an opinion on what “should” happen today. I’m not a voter in a super Tuesday state so I have no direct influence, but it would be nice to at least be able to say, “I hope X wins.” However, I can’t bring myself to support either Cruz or Rubio even enough to hope they can keep Trump out. As for the Dems, well, I genuinely think we’ve got two good, if flawed, candidates and I mostly hope they can work out their differences to the point that they can work together and that the winner ends up with the loser in his/her cabinet eventually.

    ’00 to ’08 would have been very different (and much better, IMO) under Gore

    Among other things, the recession would likely have been greatly attenuated. Because the things people have been saying about Clinton and the mainstream Democrats really being Republicans is basically true: They’re old school, fiscally conservative Republicans. As opposed to the “drown the state” tea party crazies who have taken the Reps over. Gore wouldn’t have been great, but he wouldn’t have been the disaster Bush was. Also, he probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq, meaning that there Isis would be either nonexistent or not as strong.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I too never understand people who are reluctant to vote for their candidate for the sole reason of, “s/he won’t win”. As if voting for the winner has any value itself. Regardless of the policies the winner is going to implement.
    Also dislike people feeling that when their candidate does not win, their vote was wasted. As if they just threw a “century note” in the trash. Even if your candidate did not “win”, the “winner” may still be influenced by the support the “loser” received.
    Regardless of the total quantity of votes, every single one is ultimately influential. Vote your opinion, not as a casino bet: betting on the winner, vote as a way to express your opinion.

  4. says

    I am unfortunately still undecided, but I can say that whoever I ultimately cast my vote for, it will never ever ever ever ever be a Republican. If I can’t decide by the time New York holds their primaries, I do know this… I will be voting against the Republicans regardless.

    Voting is incredibly important. I used to be one of those who felt that voting was useless, but I know better now. So I’ll definitely be voting.

  5. Nick Gotts says

    I’d say any November lineup other than Trump vs Clinton is already pretty unlikely – and I expext this to harden to “extremely unlikely” when the results from today are in. The polls show Trump and Clinton well ahead in most of the states voting. Sanders will get Vermont, and looks to have a change in a couple of others, Cruz should win Texas and Trump might drop one or two more, but if the results are as the polls suggest, the most likely scenarios for Sanders, Cruz, Rubio or anyone else (Kasich? Carson? Biden? Geroge H.W.Bush?) winning the nomination, will involve a frontrunner falling seriously ill, being arrested, or dying.

    What’s worrying is the low turnout in Democratic primaries. Despite the hype, Sanders has not apparently brought out new voters in significant numbers. Neither Democratic candidate evokes great enthusiasm – and for good reason. However, assuming Trump does get the nomination, he could face an independent run from the religious right. And then of course there’s Bloomberg. So I’d say the result in November is still wide open, alarmingly. If Trump does win the Presidency, I will conclude that this is not the real world, but a world-simulation from UXperience Unlimited’s series: Wacky pasts that just could have happened!!!.

  6. Nick Gotts says

    Apologies for typos in #6, “Preview” wouyldn’t work for me. Anyone else had that problem?

  7. says

    Sanders and Clinton both beat Trump in the latest CNN/ORC poll, which is a national poll.

    Sanders led Trump 55 to 43 percent.
    Clinton led Trump 52 to 44 percent.

    Polls are a snapshot in time. No doubt these numbers will change several times before the November election. However, the trend is reassuring: both Sanders and Clinton have increased their leads over Trump.

  8. Great American Satan says

    I quibble with numba 2:
    “Bandwagons suck. The very worst reason to vote for someone is because they’re leading in some poll somewhere… You do not win a prize if you pick the candidate who comes in first place.”
    Bandwagons do suck, which is why I avoid doing fandom things, even (& maybe especially) for stuff I like. But it is not true to say people voting on electability are doing so out of some desire to be proven right or other selfishness. We’re doing it because the republicans are so horrifying that we feel we can’t take any chances. I have a bad feeling president drumpf is a much more plausible scenario than anyone is letting on. That’s the prize – preventing a living nightmare.

  9. says

    Donald Trump is trying to back away more from his KKK connection. He told a host of “Good Morning America” that he is renouncing support from white supremacists.

    To prove his “equality for everyone” bonafides, Trump touted his Mar-a-Lago club:

    “There’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have,” he said. “You take a look at Palm Beach, Florida. I built the Mar-a-Lago club, totally open to everybody. A club that, frankly, set a new standard in clubs and a new standard in Palm Beach and I’ve gotten great credit for it. That is totally open to everybody.”

    Members to the Mar-a-Lago must pay a $100,000 initiation fee and annual fee of $14,000 […]


    Equality, Trump style.

  10. freemage says

    We’ve been dealing with a few of those “all the candidates are just as bad” idiots over at We Hunted the Mammoth. I swear, South Park has done more damage to actual political activism than I would’ve thought possible.

  11. Bob Foster says

    Mensch, this was so frigging hard! My wife has been a Hillary supporter for as long as I can remember, so it was an easy vote for her. Not for me. I’ve whipsawed back-n-forth between Hillary and Bernie for weeks now. I like Bernie a lot. I agree with almost everything that he says. But I see a steely resolve in Hillary. After seeing how starry-eyed Obama was stiffed by the GOP all these years I decided I had to go with toughness. I voted Hillary. There. It’s done.

    Now lets see who the crazed, camo cap, open carry gang will serve up.

  12. grendelsfather says

    I really, really wanted to vote for Bernie this morning, but I couldn’t. We have a raving lunatic tea-party type (but I repeat myself) in my congressional district running against a very conservative, but establishment-type Republican. The nut job forced me to participate in the Republican primary just to vote against his sorry ass, since in this part of Texas, the primary is where federal and statewide offices are decided.

    I ended up voting for Trump, as he is far, far less dangerous than Cruz, and I wanted to cut into Cruz’s margin of victory here (or Cthulu willing, increase his margin of defeat). Kasich is the most reasonable Republican running, but in Texas that simply means that he will not be able to crack the 20% barrier to receive any delegates. I stood in the shower for hours afterward trying to scrub off the shame.

  13. says

    For those who found “The Authoritarians” interesting*, you might also like this piece, discussing the current election in the light of that type of research (link):

    And so the rise of authoritarianism as a force within American politics means we may now have a de facto three-party system: the Democrats, the GOP establishment, and the GOP authoritarians.

    And although the latter two groups are presently forced into an awkward coalition, the GOP establishment has demonstrated a complete inability to regain control over the renegade authoritarians, and the authoritarians are actively opposed to the establishment’s centrist goals and uninterested in its economic platform.

    *For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, the piece has enough background that you can jump right in. I recommend you do so.

  14. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    I really like Naomi’s election write-ups, including for the very local things: she started out years ago by researching candidates for Soil and Water Commissioner, and figured she might as well post what she found out.

    I like her writing enough that I read these even though I have never lived in Minnesota.

    Speaking of elections, I am nominating some of Naomi’s short fiction for the Hugo Award this year: if you haven’t read “Cat Pictures Please” I highly recommend it, whether or not you care in the slightest about the Hugos.

    (I wrote the first two paragraphs above and then remembered “Naomi Kritzer…writing…Hugo ballot.” Despite my referring to her by her first name, we aren’t at all close; we talk online occasionally, and I’ve chatted with her at a couple of Wiscons.)

  15. inquisitiveraven says

    I don’t vote in the presidential primaries. There’s no point since by the time my state’s primary rolls around, the nominations are already determined. May, why is my state’s primary in May?

    By contrast I make a point of voting in the mayoral primary because I live in a town with a Democratic machine, so if I want to have any effect on the choice of mayor, I have to vote then.