Lisa and I voted in Saturday’s Democratic Caucus here in Washington—like many of the other attendees, it was our first time doing this. On the way to the church where the caucus was being held, we saw a seaplane towing a Ron Paul banner, which made me laugh.

At the door to the church we were met by a trio of Clinton campaigners who asked if we’d “like some information about Hillary”; inside, the walls were plastered with Clinton posters, and most of the Democratic party officials were wearing Clinton buttons. All of this had Lisa and I wondering if the fix was in.

Apparently not. It’s just that most of the Obama supporters, not being part of the Democratic machine, hadn’t bothered to bring buttons. But they did bring numbers. The place was standing room only by the time the first tally was announced. My precinct voted 59-35 in favor of Obama, and that was relatively close—in the precinct voting at the table next to us, the count was 60 for Obama, 15 for Clinton, 3 undecided, and 1 for Edwards.

I’d like to say the experience left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling about democracy, and it did, but the chaos and inefficiency with which the caucus was conducted also reminded me how corrupt party politics can be—and the Washington Democrats are pussycats compared to the folks back East.