Home / The Texas Two-Step: A Dem Disgrace

The Texas Two-Step: A Dem Disgrace

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Barack Obama should be proud of March 4, 2008. Texas has made Martin Luther King, Jr. smile this week when thousands – millions – went to the polls to vote for a candidate who most embodies the dream of King — the candidate who best represents the closest thing to a third party candidate — a party of the people.

Obama has won more net delegates thus far; the counts vary. And all delegates in Texas are not counted yet. My precinct alone has seven delegates to add to his count on March 29, compared to six for Clinton's side. In fact, Obama could win the most Texas delegates, but first we all had to survive caucus chaos night. It's all over but the voting.

Predicting a record voter turnout for the primary, a local news source reported, "Thanks to the excitement surrounding the Texas primary, election workers expect to see a huge turnout in early voting, which will have a big effect on state and local races as well."

The Dogs of Mississippi

That’s the good news. The Texas two-step was like the dogs and fire hoses of Mississippi set upon black Americans who sought civil rights including the right to vote. Tuesday night’s caucus complaints were endless but much of it due to the surfeit of voters and caucus-goers, over a million. No wonder caucus sheets were in short supply.

It seemed like a lifetime since I went to the rally, voted, and wrote about it. I've been too busy with test preparation and since today was TAKS day for kids across Texas I had to get to school early. Other teachers were seeking me at the doorway because I now have a reputation as being a knowledgeable political junkie. They were eager to compare notes and wanted to know if I had planned to start a petition about the horrors of the Democratic caucuses. I told them I hoped that my next article would serve as such a petition.

What the general public does not know is that many people who voted on March 4 were told that they need not stay, return for caucus or caucus at all because their vote had been counted! "Go home," they were informed. Huh? Another teacher who voted in Cedar Hill related that thousands were there just to caucus. The precinct captain had to bring in one precinct at a time. They ran out of sheets for voters to sign for their candidate. In my Fort Worth precinct I was able to get home by ten only because we were dealing with less than 200 people, still a large number by past years' standards. My late night netted a delegate slot though. I stayed behind to become one of Obama’s pledged state delegates, while most Texans were not so lucky — midnight was their quitting time.

The Early Voter Gets the Worm in the Apple

The early voting was also a big story in Texas. When I went to volunteer with the Fort Worth rally, 300 people showed up for a 100-person volunteer chore. More than 12 thousand came to rally. And when Obama asked how many had voted already everyone raised a hand… what a moment. He had paid radio spots on Tom Joyner’s morning show asking people to vote early, and they did, again in the millions. But we were not the only ones listening to a radio prompt. Conservative talk radio talked overtime to push GOP members to cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton. 

I saw it with my own eyes — neighbors who weren’t voting for Obama were voting Clinton and it was not because they love her. Was it political fratricide? My guru would advise his disciples against going to higher planes in meditation out of fear in order to win. One must be well warned about forced change and manipulated things bent for one's advantage. Why? Because of unintended consequences.   

Hating Is Not Helpful

Since hating is neither healthy nor helpful I have to take a political break by watching an old western, The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie, to keep from being blinded by rage at both the Dems and the GOP. Tarrant County is a deep Republican stronghold. I didn’t know that before I moved here. I moved to a county that is highly conservative and one that comes with a high cost of living. And this past week I had my fill of both. I am now more deeply entrenched in politics than ever before. It has not been this hot for me since the democratic process that elected Harold Washington mayor of Chicago. I have never had to caucus in Chicago but for Barack and for those damn delegates — I did.

The primary voting ended just past 7 p.m. and we were told that we could come inside. I chatted with a Mexican woman. I was at first afraid to ask who she was standing for. She was an Obama supporter and told me that she spread the word among other Mexicans that Obama was their man, too. I had to agree with her. The wait was over.

I had been waiting from 6:30 until we went in at nearly 7:30 p.m. We were seated according to precinct. That’s when I discovered I lived in one of the largest precincts and we had 13 delegates to divide between the Obama and Clinton camps. But before we could get to that we had to nominate and elect officers: a secretary and a chairman. Then we were told that this was actually a mini-convention. After the two officers were selected we were divided into two groups. Each person had to sign the form with their information, which has to be verified for candidate of choice. Then those signatures were counted: total 158 — 84 for Obama and 74 for Clinton, with a net gain of one delegate for Obama!

Real-Time Caucus

Then the crowd was told to wait if we wanted to be a delegate. I stayed. Here’s where the math got nice. We needed seven delegates and eight people raised their hands. Then we said we would have to vote one off. Someone volunteered to drop out of the race. Another show of hands and now we were seven. Then we needed seven alternates, exactly seven folks raised their hands and were accepted, end of race. We all signed our names and were told we had to caucus again on March 29 for more voting. On that caucus day the votes would decide who would go to the state convention on June 6 and 7. More voting, more caucuses, more unsettling scenarios.

The night was fun because the woman who had been standing in front of me at the rally was there. We were both within a few feet of Obama and the riser he spoke from. So, I spoke to her and then we realized the attraction — we were both vegans. So we said that if we were sent to the Denver convention we would display a Texas-sized “Vegans for Obama” sign; we both laughed.

We Can Take a Punch

The night was a go. I wanted to hear that Obama shook off Clinton tonight, but I had an uneasy feeling that it was not to be — just yet.  My fears were confirmed when what was to be the only early win posted was for Vermont with the other two still too close to call. It never fails — when I don’t feel buoyed at the beginning of the day of a primary, it won’t go my way. Crying is no way for a candidate supporter to respond. I don’t want to hate Hillary. 

I really don’t want to see the Democratic Party implode over "the couple." But implode they will if this thing is not settled soon. I mean I had some really dark thoughts today like enshrining my Obama yard sign and voting Republican — again. But then I came to my senses and realized that the GOP wants us to fall apart. They want us to tear each other apart. They want us to Hillarize and self-destruct. And if The Art of War is instructive then one must do the unexpected in time of embattlement — confound the enemy. Throw him or her off the scent by keeping the balance.

Our Crystal Balls Are Bigger Than Yours

And most of all be careful what you wish for, GOP pundits, because our crystal balls are bigger than yours. We’ve had more experience crystal-gazing and navel-watching. We have been sicker, suffered longer and harder, cried more tears, eaten more dry bread, been poorer and imprisoned more often. As much as independent voters like me hate the Billary divisive dickering we hate the thought of a hundred years' war, debtor’s prison, and sick to death without medicine even more.

The election of a president and a new president makes history by definition. This season is no different except that it may go down as one of the greatest enthusiasm and largest voter turnout in the history of primaries and caucuses. It may go down as the primary that chose Barack Obama as its presidential nominee. And it may be the sun that did not shine after so much promise. We may all need psychological counseling when this thing is done wringing us out on its high-spin cycle. Or will we blow away like billions of shredded bits of confetti in the Texas wind? Because I believe that if there is no Obama sunshine on the Dem ticket — that, too, would be a Dem disgrace.

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About Heloise

  • Based on how well Senator Obama has done in caucuses compared to how well he has done in primaries, one could make the case that caucuses are exactly the opposite of the metaphorical fire hoses you suggest!

    I expect Senator Clinton to begin making much hay of the fact that Senator Obama does well in every caucus, but often fares poorly when people vote in private — as they will come November.

    I also expect Senator Obama to begin making much hay of the fact that Senator Clinton can deliver votes when all it takes is five minutes to mark a paper (and could include “strategic voting” by Republicans), but not when it takes the commitment of several hours.

    Both are interesting points to make. I find the difference fascinating.

  • Propagandist

    Psychological counseling? Are you kidding? I’m loving it! It is pure fun watching the Democrats destroy eachother – after all that is what they are known for.
    And it is their own fault for having wimpy rules (‘aww, you lost the primary? here have a few delegates’)
    Let the games begin – I have my pop corn and beer out!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I actually enjoyed your article very much. When I still lived in the States, I went to caucus with the DFL in Minnesota, so I understand very well what you were talking about in describing the caucusing process you were dealing with, and I also understand why it is that Senator Obama does better in the caucuses than Hillary Clinton. Supporting him takes more commitment. The same was true of Paul Wellstone as opposed to Norm Coleman when he was still a Democrat.

    Having said all this, I honestly have no use for Barack Obama. But I have equally no use for Hillary Clinton or McCain; in my eyes, looking out of my window eastwards towards the village of ‘Elí over the red roofs of Ma’alé Levoná and across Highway 60 in Samaria, they are all trash; all of them would throw me out of the house I live in.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. Obviously, you are having the time of your life. Your pleasure and joy at finally feeling that you could make a difference showed through in your writing.

  • Heloise

    Hello, he has said many times that his dad left them when he was two! That’s dead beat dad alright.


  • Heloise

    Check out this link about the wealth of the Clintons!!!
    Clinton’s BIG Wealth How the Clintons went from regular folks to super wealthy in just decades.

  • Heloise

    Below is an email someone sent me also about how much money BILLARY will cost the US if SHE is elected:

    If Hillary wins in 2008 and Bill is ‘appointed’ to fill her Senate seat and either live to retire ‘they’ (together or alone) would get two US Presidential retirement checks, two US Senate retirement checks, and a retirement check from the State of Arkansas . About the only thing they MIGHT NOT get is a Social Security check….but I wouldn’t bet on it…
    I understand ole Bill has earned $40,000,000 in the past six years.
    What a guy!

    Hillary Clinton , as a New York State Senator, now comes under the
    ‘Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan,’ which means that even if she
    never gets reelected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she
    dies. (Would it not be nice if all Americans were pension eligible after
    only 4 years?)

    If Bill outlives her, he then inherits HER salary until HE dies. He is already getting his
    Presidential salary until he dies.
    If Hillary outlives Bill, she also gets HIS salary until she dies. Guess who pays for that?

    It’s common knowledge that in order for her to establish N.Y. residency, they purchased a million dollar-plus house in upscale Chappaqua , New York. Makes sense!
    They are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense.
    Here is where it becomes interesting. Their mortgage payments hover at around
    $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residence ‘had’ to be built within the acreage to house the Secret Service agents.


  • Heloise

    The Clintons charge the Federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of that extra residence, which is about equal to their mortgage payment. This means we, the taxpayers, are paying the Clinton ‘s salary, mortgage,
    transportation, safety and security, as well as the salaries for their 12-man staff — and this is all perfectly legal!

    As she runs for President, will YOU vote for her? continued….

  • Heloise

    Let’s take a closer look at who’s really qualified and or who’s really working for the good of all of us in the Senate. Obama or Clinton.
    Records of these two candidates should be scrutinized in order to make an informed decision.
    Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term – 6yrs. – and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law – 20 – twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
    These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress http://www.thomas.loc.gov, but to save you trouble, I’ll post them here for you.
    1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
    2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
    3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
    4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
    5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
    6. Name post office after Jonn A. O’Shea.
    7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
    8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
    9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
    10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
    11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
    12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
    13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
    14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
    15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton ‘s bills are, more substantive. 16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
    17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11 18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
    19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
    20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.

    There you have it, the facts straight from the Senate Record.

  • Propagandist

    Somehow I don’t see the people not electing Clinton because the country would have to pay two Presidential salaries or pay to maintain their houses.
    I doubt they’ll fault her for being a Presidential wife. One would think the Democrats would be glad to pay anything to the Clintons – after all they gave the Dems the only real Democrat presidency since Lydon Johnson (if we discount the weak and failed Carter).

    This is unbelieveable desperation by Obama supporters. Their cult leader isn’t so invincible anymore and they can’t take it! Its so funny!

    Oh and Clinton passed 20 bills – how many has Obama?
    In anycase, the infighting among democrats is going to be sweet to watch!

  • Heloise

    Obama’s legislation is too numerous to post:

    Now, I would post those of Obama’s, but the list is too substantive,\

    During the first – 8 – eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced
    233 regarding healthcare reform,
    125 on poverty and public assistance,
    112 crime fighting bills,
    97 economic bills,
    60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
    21 ethics reform bills,
    15 gun control,
    6 veterans affairs and many others…more

  • Heloise

    His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 4 27. These included **the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 – became law, **The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, – became law,

  • Heloise

    **The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate, **The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, – became law, **The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.

    In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.

  • Doug Hunter

    “It is clear that there is a double standard in America when it comes to race issues even for an ethnic candidate running for president.”

    So true. Blacks vote 85% or so for Obama while whites and hispanics are split at about 40-50-60%. Even with this sticking out like a sore thumb you won’t hear a peep from the media, they’ll be too busy lambasting the 5% of rednecks who might base their vote on skin color to notice the much larger percentage of blacks who do exactly the same thing.

  • Clavos

    The whole issue about how much the Clintons will earn in retirement if Hillary is elected is a total strawman and no reason NOT to vote for her.

    Talk about a non issue!!

  • Propagandist

    No Kidding! Desperation will do that to you.

    #10 And the list of Obama’s legislative accomplishments…I never knew he was a Guinness book record setting senator.
    So Clinton had 20 bills and Obama had hundreds? Is that what you’re saying? haha! Talk about false propaganda! You should use my name.

    Maybe someone should remind Obama about his achievements because I never heard him say anything about his hunderds of legislative victories during the 20 debates.
    I guess he isn’t as delusional as his followers and knows that he can’t take credit for most of those.

    Its funny and scary how the Obama cult has developed. Just hope they don’t pull a Waco,TX if Obama doesnt get the nomination!

    By the way how’s the food in the B. Hussein Obama church compound? 🙂

  • Heloise

    Clinton, Not Obama Assured Canada on N.A.F.T.A.

    I thought you would be interested in the following articles from
    globeandmail.com, Canada’s leading source for online news:

    “‘NAFTAgate’ began with remark from Harper’s chief of staff”
    Ian Brodie’s candid comment to journalists during budget lock-up
    provided initial spark

    “NAFTA’s legacy: the worst agreement we ever signed”
    The corporate benefits have been extremely bad for other aspects of
    Canada and for ordinary Canadians

  • Heloise

    Great Web site to track any member of Congress:
    Sen. Barack Obama’s record via Gov. Track site

    The earliers set of posts is an email sent to me, not my opinion nor research.

    I went on Le Figaro and they are really following this race. Their articles reflect what is going on. I did not find anything new or outstanding there. I will keep checking.