Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Binding Caucuses: MNGOP's Loss is Minnesota's Gain

A few months ago I wrote that the MNGOP should give up it's silly quest to get waivers from RNC rules that would require it to bind its delegates to the 2016 RNC convention.

I predicted back then that the RNC would ultimately deny the request, and MNGOP would have to get with the program anyway.  Instead of embracing the new way of doing things as almost every other state (including Iowa!) had done, MNGOP and their useless executive committee chose to carry on the useless fight, ultimately accomplishing little except wasting time.

Today, news came down that the RNC denied MNGOP's request for waivers.  The only person shocked by this news is de facto MNGOP spokeswoman Cyndy Brucato's anonymous "party leader"- you know, the one who was so certain waivers would be granted that they wouldn't speak on the record.

MNGOP's loss on this issue is Minnesota's gain.

As I've written before the caucus system is outdated, archaic, and guarantees that Minnesota is flyover country during the presidential nominating process.  While our neighbors to the south long ago figured out a way to oversize their relevance, Minnesota always seemed content to be a non-factor.  I thank the RNC for fixing that for us.

I'm not predicting that Minnesota will immediately become North Iowa.  I wouldn't expect to see the top contenders here too often, save for the occasional trip to the ATM known as the Freedom Club. But binding delegates to the results of the straw poll will make the straw poll less useless, and make the prize of Minnesota delegates worth at least nominally fighting for.

The really good news is that it should only take a bound caucus or two before people finally give it up and embrace a true presidential primary.

By adopting a presidential primary, Minnesota would be instituting a modern and equitable process that doesn't disenfranchise the elderly, working parents, people who travel for work, and active duty military members, like caucuses do.  This would take bipartisan action by the legislature, and hasn't scored high on anyone's priority list lately, but here's hoping that the gentle nudge in the right direction the RNC delivered today gets some people thinking.