Seattle. March 17, 2012.
Today was the day I saw a huge machine go down. It was designed to intimidate as much as destroy. There won’t be a lot of space junk over this one, because the machine is a metaphor: the King County GOP had its Death Star taken down, and Michele St. Pierre put the torpedoes down the exhaust port.
She used the force. Not force as government defines it, but the force that is composed of the human desire for liberty. Nothing can defeat that force when you use it. It’s easy to recognize: it’s the only force that does not destroy.
She was elected chair, because the force and those who hold value for what it means had the majority. But this was not the end of the battle, but just the beginning. For having that victory, suddenly the ballots, these “bubble ballots,” vanished. I recall seeing Glenn Avery give some instructions to Lisa Shin and someone with a sticker on his shirt that said “TELLER” and heard something about taking a plastic box away, contents unknown. Glenn was looking very pleased with himself.
There was a commotion and it was obvious that something was missing but what happened then is remarkable. From here it seemed like, once getting into the trench the Tie Fighters backed off but then the turrets in the station defenses kicked on. In this case, the Death Star had its defenses up: lies, intimidation, the usual. They made every attempt to make Michele look incompetent, as if she was not ready to run the caucus, and they attempted to unseat her. She gave them a chance to vote on it, and that did not work. The “Nay” on the vote to remove her brought down the house.
I got on some subspace comms (the cell phone) to call Ben Kenobi (aka: Doug Parris) and tell him what was going on because I thought he might be amused at all this. On my return, I saw Lisa Shin in a hot seat of sorts over these missing ballots.
Some Video of the battle – sorry for the lack of lasers and explosions and such, but this was indeed more exciting.
Now at this point, everything that the corrupt hacks of the GOP regularly accuse Ron Paul supporters of, which is mainly some claim of “disrupting the process,” they started doing themselves. Problem is, Ron Paul supporters use Roberts Rules and the caucus/convention rules as established by the GOP and, once the chair is seated, the body of delegates who can change the rules. To the GOP, anything outside of being told what to do by the chair (which is against the rules and not the intended role of the chair) is considered “disruption.”
So the corrupt hacks and their minions fired their disruptions at Michele in a relentless barrage of salvos that lasted at least an hour. They apparently knew how to disrupt the caucus, having had practice accusing Ron Paul supporters of this, but accusing people of an activity is not regular practice of it, and corrupt process-gaming hacks are not a very good pool to draw upon where intelligence is concerned. As we say in video games, where the goal is to knock out a another ship or tank (space ship, floating, rolling, whatever), “the tank held up” meaning that they could not break Michele’s tank. I never saw an individual stand up to so much venomous piss-covered reckless hate before (in this context anyway). She certainly had the force.
The best part was, without the bubble ballots, and no scanning machine, I witnessed what might have been the most honest ballot count in an age. They put together the counters – lots of them – all supporters of the major candidates, working TOGETHER and out in the open to make sure there was full accountability and that everything was counted and recorded properly. It took a long time, but it worked.
The battle might have seen some lulls but as Michele worked the X-Wing into position we had Y-Wings running support missions. Not everybody gets to be Luke Skywalker but let us not forget those “other ships” comprising her team (parliamentarian, sergeant-at-arms, teller, etc) and a few others, delegates and observers, putting enough information together to break down the enemy. Trying to make Michele look incompetent by misplacing or simply not providing ballots, and then making a lot of useless noise and complaints over it, failed. Trying to prevent the caucus in this manner only resulted in an honest vote count. It was a clean sweep for the candidate who had the majority, the candidate whose force is unstoppable, the candidate who leads the Republic against the Empire. Ron Paul won the day. This may have been an ugly affair taking down the Death Star, but winning it is far better than winning the beauty pageant that the media pretends is the delegate-selecting finale.
In their last ditch attempt, though lacking the effect of Lori Sotelo herself showing up hurling memes in a pimped Tie Fighter, they did the quorum thing. This was right before seating of alternates. This failed. Didn’t they learn in 2008? Of course not. They don’t learn. GOP hacks are a lot like Tie Fighters: they have no shields, can’t warp, and rely heavily on the command ship. Therefore they go down easily, don’t move very fast, and without instruction they are lost. This metaphor adopts a pattern. But I wonder how the Emperor feels? I got some clues from Glenn Avery because he feels we “did something to ‘them’” (the GOP) with our lawful process of democratic selection. I know for certain the Emperor is not pleased and Shin might have trouble docking her Tie Fighter for a while.
So we won the day and proved that the GOP is not what it makes itself out to be. They can be defeated, simply with a big enough fleet. This is not 2008. Their planet-killer is down, and we showed not only that we can beat them, but even the slightest resistance, something as simple as a torpedo down an exhaust port, is all it takes. In the real world, it’s simply exerting the rules and allowing the delegates to have the power as this process was designed for.
Of course we have scorched hulls. We need to keep in mind that when we don’t use “their” chair, they throw a tantrum and take the tools away. So be prepared to handle the ballots and vote counting yourself and have the people to handle it. You also need to be really skilled in Robert’s Rules of Order even if the minions they deploy to disrupt the process appear to lack intelligence. They might also try to get the venue shut down because it’s usually on a limited time, and with their tactics, it will go into overtime. Be ready for the “shoulder tap” that has people walking out to deny a quorum too.
We also need to know that, as the story goes, Empires might strike back. Frankly the ballot thing has me irked because I usually am paranoid enough to assume they would pull that kind of stunt, and yet I didn’t see it coming. We are dealing with people who are given over to the Emperor, and there could well be no limit to what they will try next. The destruction of their Death Star is not the end of their Empire, though inevitable as it is, there is still a lot of fighting left. We will prevail.