The Washington state Republican chairman did all he could to make a martyr of Mike Huckabee by shutting down voting in a close caucus Saturday with 13 percent of the votes not counted. Under intense pressure — including a phone call from Huckabee lawyer/paid staffer/daughter-in-law Lauren — the state party resumed counting ballots today. With about half of the uncounted votes done, it looks like John McCain will retain his lead.

UPDATE: The Huckster is riding this for all it’s worth, comparing Washington to the Soviet Union. He’s got a point, of course. But there’s a deeper point here, too. Caucuses are crazy. They are lightly attended — fewer than 20,000 will decide the state of Washington. I think about 400 decided the Democratic caucus in Alaska.. Caucuses take a long time, which discourages attendance by working people, particularly when they conflict with shifts. They are tailor-made for highly devoted groups of super-partisans, but not so great on democracy. I prefer primaries.

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