There had been people, especially the Occupy Iowa Caucus group, suggesting the idea that Iowan Democrats could go to vote "Uncommitted," as reported by John Nichols and Cenk Uygur. Well, apparently Occupy Iowa Caucus needed to do better research, because that's not what happened. We didn't get a choice. Probably because there is only the one candidate: Barack Obama. In years where there is more than one candidate, then, yes, caucus goers can be "Uncommitted." It has been 16 years since there was a Democratic President seeking re-election, and apparently Ralph Nader was a candidate then. Yet...
Yet, it is claimed in Wikipedia that there was a 2% for "Uncommitted/Other." If you look for Linn county in this table, you will see that all the delegates went to Obama whereas some other counties have "Other County Delegates". OK, I'm feeling a bit jipped. Did I have to explicitly state, "I'm not here to support Obama!!!"? If so, I wish I would have had better warning! (I'm looking at you, Occupy Iowa Caucus!)
Oh...well. One thing I did decide to do is GET INVOLVED and volunteer to be a county delegate. I tell people who are frustrated with politics that they really need to do this someway some how. Sitting around bitching doesn't necessarily do anything unless you have a large audience of politically involved people that will hear you out. I don't have that. I do understand, though, why people do bitch instead of getting involved. First of all, I am only one person out of 200 for my county and I become less and less significant at higher levels (district, state, national). Any impact I can make is pretty miniscule, if I can make any impact at all. Second, this means being involved requires a bit of work for possibly no gain. Bitching, on the other hand, requires virtually no work for the same no gain.
The one biggest complain I have about this whole process has to be the pressure to fall in line. Last night was an occasion where I could have some sympathy for people who call themselves "independent." I've made the argument before (see the side note) that if you agree with much of what a group stands for, then get involved and work to change those things for which you disagree! But, boy, the pressure to conform is certainly there, and I can see how not only people with less informed minds can crack under such pressure, but how people with better informed minds, such as mine, can get frustrated with it—it felt almost like being in a robot factory with people doing things (most notably cheering) on command. I must admit, though, my dislike for the President could likely be skewing those feelings and it is actually my disappointment with people who cheer the guy on that I am truly feeling.
Other thoughts are that I am fed up with this idea that Iowa has to be "first in the nation." This created some confusion last night as this is a redistricting year, and redistricting takes effect January 8, five days after the caucuses. I'm not sure anything had to be done other than delegates just had to know what precinct they would be representing come the county convention. There didn't seem to be any major concern about, say, no delegates representing a precinct because no one from the old precincts selected as delegates live in the new one. (For example, I live in precinct CR-27 for about three more days. Most of the precinct will become CR-08, but CR-08 will also have parts from what I think is CR-28 and some parts of CR-27 will not be in CR-08. If all the delegates from CR-27 lived in the part that is not going to be CR-08 and no delegates from CR-28 live in the part that will be CR-08, then CR-08 would have no delegates. (Hope that example didn't just make things more confusing!)) In short, holding caucuses before redistricting takes effect does not seem wise.
Still, I would much rather have everyone hold a primary on the same day. I realize that spreading the primaries out provides a process of elimination, but I think this can be easily solved with instant runoff voting.
Lastly, there were some comments on YouTube political videos bitching about how "The election is rigged," or something to that effect. It may not have been all that many people saying that, but they were getting a lot of upvotes. My suspicion is that they were Ron Paul supporters, because they've been known to bring up conspiracy theories before, especially ones about how the establishment and the media hate Ron Paul and want to see him lose because—get this—they know how great of a president he will be. Otherwise, I just love how people have to grab for conspiracy theories when their candidates don't do as well as they had hoped. You lost; deal with it.