Dumbness, Wyoming style: Over the weekend, Wyoming's Democratic Party held its caucuses.
As is often the case with caucuses, it's hard to tell what happened. The official reporting looks like this, but as far as we know, these are not total votes:
Results of the Wyoming Democratic caucusesAs noted, those percentages don't seem to be percentages of total votes. The New York Times reports it like this:
"Vote totals for the Wyoming Democratic Party are state convention delegates won."
According to the Times, therefore, those percentages represent percentages of "state convention delegates" won by Sanders and Clinton, whatever that's supposed to mean. As of now, the Times and other newspapers don't seem to be reporting anything like "total votes."
What's it like when a small population state like Wyoming conducts statewide party caucuses? For one thing, almost no one comes!
The leading authority seems to report that 8,753 people took part in the 2008 Wyoming Democratic caucuses, although that may not be what its numbers actually mean. By way of comparison, Obama got 82,868 votes in Wyoming that fall.
Already, we've established a few key points. Within our "press corps," very few people seem to know how the various caucuses actually work in the various states. Beyond that, no one seems to care. In this case, we can tell you this:
Fourteen delegates to the Democratic convention were at stake in Wyoming this weekend. On whatever basis obtains in that state, Sanders and Clinton ended up with seven delegates each.
If delegates were awarded on a strict proportional basis, it looks like the split would have been 8-6 in favor of Sanders. That said, it all depends, in various states, on the way a candidate's total vote is spread throughout the various districts.
On whatever basis obtains in Wyoming, Clinton seems to have won one more delegate than she would have received from a straight proportional split. Sanders got one less.
Starting with the decision to hold caucuses instead of a primary, this is dumb, dull-witted stuff. But then, along come Mika and Joe to rant and yell of a morning.
Their screeching this morning went on for nine minutes. They made no attempt to explain any facts; this is good, since there's little reason to think that either cable star actually knew any facts.
To watch the nine-minute tape of their screeching and yelling, you can just click here, then scroll down and click again.
Joe and Mika did have a script, so they bellowed and yelled. Regular sidekicks Wallace, Halperin and Heilemann all agreed not to say how remarkably stupid their co-hosts were being, although you can see that they all understood.
(In cable news, the agreement not to mention the transcendent stupidity of the host is, of course, a basic part of the standard guest-star deal.)
The nine-minute clown car you see on that tape is our cable "press corps" in action. The pair of clowns you see screeching and yelling are each paid millions per year.
Just so you'll know: To enable their screeching and yelling, Mika and Joe added Wyoming's four "super-delegates" to the weekend's delegate count. In line with basic rules of cable screeching, they never explained that they'd done this.
This weekend's caucuses had nothing to so with the selection of those super-delegates. There's an extremely slim outside chance that Mika and Joe may have actually known that. If so, they knew something else:
For purposes of maximum ranting, they knew they mustn't tell.