Saturday, March 5, 2016
Nebraska Has Democrats?
Bernie Sanders won the Nebraska caucuses today by a 56% to 44% margin and according to the yakking pundits of CNN and MSNBC it doesn't matter because it's not Hillary Clinton friendly and has no connection to their over 49 and up advertising base. Some notes from the caucus at the local middle school that Max, Max's Mom (damn Hillary fan) and Max's Dad attended.
1) Getting to a middle school two hours early to register and get a seat in an auditorium I feel will be overcrowded is probably a fantastic idea on our part. More on this later. Standing in line some older woman gets angry at 8:04 am because they are 4 minutes late registering Democrats in line. She expresses her outrage loudly. Nobody cares.
2) Bernie Bros are all over. It looks like the main characters running this show for Bernie are a Chumly (Pawn Stars) lookalike, a guy who I think may be related to Rick Rubin, and a red headed woman eager to get out the vote. Moe on her later.
3) The Bernie Bros seem more interested on checking their phones and standing there in their blue t shirts subliminally announcing their hipness than actually doing anything.
4) Hillary voters look like middle aged Republican suburbanites looking down their nose at the ragged group of 18-80 year olds sitting on our side of the room that's filling to capacity and standing along the walls pretty early. I can smell the condescension from 100 feet away.
5) This room is packed. It's hot. I am beginning to sweat. The claustrophobia is kicking in. People are sitting on the floor in front of me. They are sitting on the stairs in front of me. An older man in back of me won't shut up about robots and GMO's and Monsanto and climate change. Geezus, it's like being at a Neil Young concert without him at least playing Down By The River for 20 or so minutes to break up the lecture. the woman he's talking to is about to switch sides. I would completely understand.
6) A caucus chairman is elected. Much like hey, you're already onstage, why don't you just do it. The chairman is a former Democratic Nebraska congressman from back in the 1970's who used to be a skinny red headed policy wonk and is now a chunky gray haired old guy like me. He keeps calling Bernie Sanders "Senator Saunders". Gee whiz, I wonder who he is for? A young woman with dyed fire engine red hair makes a joke that he's taking about a "Barney Saunders" he used to know. The crowd shouts "SANDERS" after about the 4th time we hear "Saunders". I guess if you just elect the guy who happens to be up there anyway you get what you pay for.
7) The caucus makes its first vote. Sanders voters have to hold up the caucus sheets and count off out loud because there's so many of us it's impossible for one person to physically count each one. The final count is 510 for Bernie. The Hillary side of the room has sort of filled up and they count physically. The final count over there HAS to be half of us. Maybe 300 at most. This caucus is ALL Bernie. It's a rout. A massacre.
8) The first vote is announced. 478 people for Sanders in the room. Boom, Hillary! And then the fix is in. In this state is something called "absentee caucus voting". Where you can fill out a ballot in advance, mail it in and you don't have to get up early, fight parking, register in a line, find a seat in a hot auditorium, wait for 2 hours, put up with a guy blabbering about GMO's, and inconvenience yourself. You can sleep in and it all counts just as much. Yes, there are 228 "absentee" ballots cast for Hillary Clinton and 22 "absentee" votes for Bernie Sanders. I can see the steam coming out of the Sanders folks ears. What the fuck? And yes, the rigged system hits us right in the face. Final first count......510 for Sanders, 486 for Hillary. 228 of them not even there. Fuck!
9) There are 17 undecided people sitting in the middle of the room. Personally I think they just want to sit without being crushed by humanity. Or they want attention. They get it. They move. Except for one. How much attention can one person crave? Make up your fucking mind.
10) Before the 2nd vote each candidate gets a spokesperson to pimp them for 90 seconds. An older black man stand up and expresses his admiration for Hilary Clinton. He's from Arkansas originally and remembers how she and Bill took Arkansas from 49th in everything to 48th or whatever. She cares about us. She has "evolved" on LGBT rights. Whoaaaaaaaaa. "Evolved"? It was a great speech up till that. Better to stay silent than to remind us over in the Sanders camp that Hillary is really a cynical political opportunist. Chrissakes, now I'm even more pissed.
11) The spokesman for Bernie, the aforementioned Rick Rubin relative, seems to think he's in some African American church and wants lots of "Amens" from all of us agnostic white people. It aint working. It doesn't work so bad that Hillary voters start heckling him. "How ya gonna pay for that?" seemed to be main heckle. It threw Rick Rubin off a bit to be heckled by old white people anxious to get back to their golf game. But he plowed through.
12) The 2nd vote begins. The red headed Sanders woman leans in and says " please hold up your cards" in a voice that would have made James Earl Jones blush. I thought, wow that chick has a very deep voice. Max later informed me of what exactly a transgender is. I am not sure if that is a good thing because I didn't even notice this woman probably wasn't born that way or I'm just a clueless old man. I prefer the former.
13) The 2nd vote occurs. The undecided seem to have split up equally. Still a bit bothered by this whole "absentee" scam, I holler out my number all the while seething that I've sat there sweating for 3 hours while 228 Hillary clones are home watching the Home and Garden Channel. Shit. The final tally was 518 for Bernie and 494 for Hillary. Yay! We win! Goddamit we won. And I'm not happy. Typical.
14) Hillary voters begin chanting "Hill-ar-ree Hill-ar-ree!!" It is quickly drowned out by the "Feel The Bern" chant of the young and energetic. What a great home field advantage. Too bad the road team starts with a 228-22 advantage. Ugh!
Now yes, I am from a state that makes you sit back and stay quiet if you are a Democrat. Republicanism is genetic here. There is no other explanation for the vast number of people voting for creeps interested in keeping the comfortable comfortable. But to be around over a thousand fellow Democrats for 3-4 hours was wonderful. I cannot imagine living in the nether regions of this state with a Republican knee jerk tendency that equates Democrat with commie. I fact, there were two counties in this vast wasteland of a state where nobody, yes nobody, showed up for the Democratic caucus. Another county went for Hillary Clinton by a vote of 1-0. One person showed up, perhaps the bravest of the brave. But to be dismissed by CNN pundits as welllllllllll, Sanders was supposed to win so big fucking deal, the real story is a bunch of Cajuns voting for Hillary Clinton. Do not dismiss us. We exist. Nebraska Democrats. For a Democratic Socialist from Vermont.
There were places where there were so many people they had to move the caucus outside to a field. And it wasn't cuz of a influx of Hillary Clinton voters. Remember they all stay home and send their votes in like the lazy assholes they are. Dammit I'm still mad at the absolute fixing of this system. In 2008 Obama beat Hillary's ass 68% to 32%. There were no absentee caucus ballots then. The powers that be here were not about to let that happen again. Because it would have.
They call Sanders kids slackers and moochers. Now I don't dislike Hillary Clinton and her slacker voters. But today I do. Who are the real slackers? It is not us.