Democrats continue their self-immolation in Texas in the run-up to the critical caucuses that will determine whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can claim the win in the Lone Star State. The state party had to counteract e-mails and robocalls that tried to mislead caucusers into thinking the events had been canceled or rescheduled (via Instapundit):

“We have received reports from delegates who have received e-mails saying that conventions have been canceled,” Richie said. “We have also received unconfirmed reports that someone is placing robo-calls claiming to be from the Texas Democratic Party suggesting that county or district conventions have been cancelled.”

The e-mails, at least, appear to be a self-inflicted wound by Clinton’s campaign. Convention delegates who had signed up for Clinton event notices on her Web site late Thursday received notices that their local convention had been canceled. The error occurred when the campaign deleted entries for conventions that had changed times or locations, said Texas field director Mike Trujillo. ….

Clinton state Chairman Garry Mauro said he did not know who was placing the robotic calls, but said he received one that purported to be from the Clinton campaign telling him to attend his convention at 1 p.m. He said that would cause him to miss the convention sign-in that gives him the ability to vote at the convention.

Texas has 67 delegates up for grabs in the caucuses, about a third of their overall total. Clinton won the pledged delegates from the primary in Texas’ strange dual-platform contest, and Obama needs a win in the caucuses to counter Hillary’s momentum from March. If she can out-organize Obama, she can steal a victory from him and continue building an argument that Obama has lost steam — and that the superdelegates should go with the hot hand.

Who made the robocalls? No one knows for sure. It could have been either campaign or a lone nut, although it seems unlikely that someone would spend the money and the time doing that on their own. It has to be someone with the phone numbers of the delegates, which tends to implicate either a campaign or the state party itself.

Either way, it demonstrates how ugly this contest can get. And if the Democrats have no problem with dirty tricks in their intramural fight, just imagine what they’ll contemplate for the general election campaign.