Last Saturday was the local GOP caucus for Missouri. There was at least one caucus in each county; more than one caucus in some of the more heavily populated counties. Cass County has one of the larger delegations to the District Caucus later this month and to the state convention next month.
The lessons of this last weekend is: Do your homework and be prepared. In the end it was apparent across the state that the Cruziers did their homework and were prepared. The Followers of the Narcissist and others didn’t and weren’t.
I attended the last local caucus and was a delegate to the District Caucus and to the GOP State Convention in 2012. I reported on these experiences. This year, the caucuses (or is it caucii?) were more well behaved than in 2012.
The 2016 caucus was different than the one in 2012 due to a few but important rule changes. This year the slates presented to the caucii for the District Caucii and State Convention had to submitted in writing and must have been previously vetted, i.e., the people named on the slate must be known as “good Republicans” and have agreed to be a delegate.
One complication was that this year the MO State Central Committee allowed people to pre-register on the state website and people could click a check-box when registering. People wondered if that information had been relayed to the county central committees. It had, said Cass County Caucus Chairman Bill Kartsonis.
The Caucus began with the Pledge of Alliance and a Prayer. The Caucus Chairman and Secretary were elected. When it came time to present slates, one was submitted according to the rules. No other slates were ready for submission.
That’s when the caucus became raucous.
A vocal minority, and it was a distinct minority, raised questions and objections. They had NOT done their homework. Apparently they had assumed the rules for the 2016 caucus were the same as those in 2012. They complained the rules had not been made public! The disrupters continued with objections. It was apparent they weren’t interested in having their questions answered.
The rules had been made publics, at least a couple of months previously. I first read the rules from the MO GOP website as far back as February, if I remember the date correctly. The call to caucus had been made public for at least a month and more, weeks prior to the MO presidential primary in March, and links to the rules were disseminated via social networks and on a number of state GOP websites. The protesters’ lack of internet Google-fu was not the fault of, nor an issue for the GOP leadership.
In short, there were unprepared. They had no slate. Could not create a slate that did not includes names stolen from the first slate. The Rules stated that a name could only be submitted once. Names from one slate could not be included in an opposing slate.
Instead, the disrupters attempted to have the caucus modify the other state—not theirs since they didn’t have one but the slate created by local GOP activists called the Unity Slate. The disrupters wanted to remove some vetted names and to replace them with others, some of whom were not present nor vetted.
It reminded me of the Soros funded, Bernie Sanders followers who have disrupted rallies by Trump and Cruz. I call it attempted sabotage.
In the end, their attempts didn’t work. The sole slate that was submitted (full disclosure, my name and that of my wife were on both the Unity District and State slates) was voted upon and approved.
One strange thing I noted and I wondered if the reporter who was present observed the same, the names Cruz, Kasich, and Trump were never uttered by anyone during the entire caucus. In fact I only saw one of the three names appear. One woman wore a Trump t-shirt.
Compared to 2012, the Cass County 2016 caucus was a cake-walk. It happened because those who prepared the sole submitted slate read the rules, made preparations and were ready for the caucus. The others, who was led by a reportedly Ron Paul, libertarian activist, did not. Strangely, she did have some changes to be submitted to the state GOP platform. A few were approved. Why hadn’t she taken the same care to create and present a slate to the caucus? Perhaps that wasn’t her intent? Perhaps her intent was solely to be disruptive and attempt to have no slate submitted at all? Regardless of her intentions, she failed.
Planning and preparedness versus no planning and ignorance. That scenario is being played out across the country. In Colorado, the Cruz organization did their homework, were prepared, and walked off with all, or at least the large majority, of the Colorado delegates. That happened in Kansas, Maine, Wyoming, North Dakota and Wisconsin, plus some others, too. The Cruz organization is prepared. The Trump…whatever he calls his unorganized mob, isn’t.
The Followers of the Narcissist call those state wins made through planning and preparedness, corruption. They claim the delegates were stolen. The Follwers, like Trump, assume the country will blindly lead a bombastic, egotistical con man, and no planning nor preparation should be necessary.
It is significant that Trump has lost the last seven primaries/state caucus. Poor or no planning will never win over a well organized campaign. That is true in Missouri as well when the Followers of the Narcissist lost in a St Louis area caucus against a prepared and planned campaign by the Cruz organization.
Contrary to popular belief, these county caucus meetings select no delegates to the national GOP convention. They only select delegates to the District caucus and to the state convention. Three GOP national delegates will be selected in each congressional district. The remainder will be selected during the GOP state convention next month.
The Missouri Caucus process isn’t over. Just the first of three steps have been taken.
One interesting bit of information was announced early in the caucus. The Missouri Primary conducted last month still hasn’t been verified by the Missouri Secretary of State. At the last count, only 1200 votes separated Cruz from Trump. The delay is due to the arrival of overseas votes who have yet to be counted. If either Cruz or Trump had acquired 50% + 1 vote, the caucus would have been moot. All the delegates would have gone to the winner. However since neither acquired that 50% + 1 votes across the state, the delegates will be assigned proportionally via the three-tier caucus process—and there the preparedness and the Cruz organization will be significant.
To quote Yogi Berra, “It aint’t over ’til it’s over!”