Monday, January 07, 2008

After Iowa

By Carol Gee

The party caucus news has lacked perspective. One or two state outcomes does not a victory make. There are other crucial things happening that are getting crowded off the news pages too easily.

Wyoming held its "forbidden" Republican primary a few days later. Gov. Romney came out ahead because his son showed up, the campaign spent some money, and maybe because there are Mormons living in Wyoming.

Free and fair elections? This is the year of the elections - yes, this year - and the voting machine problems are not fixed. No matter who the two nominees are, if you cannot be sure of honest elections, none of this matters at all. TMCnet recommended a very good (10 page) fairly new article in the New York Times Magazine, from which I quote:

The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe — disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks — but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government. One by one, states are renouncing the use of touch-screen voting machines. California and Florida decided to get rid of their electronic voting machines last spring, and last month, Colorado decertified about half of its touch-screen devices. Also last month, Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state, released a report in the wake of the Cuyahoga crashes arguing that touch-screens “may jeopardize the integrity of the voting process.” She was so worried she is now forcing Cuyahoga to scrap its touch-screen machines and go back to paper-based voting — before the Ohio primary, scheduled for March 4. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat of Florida, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, have even sponsored a bill that would ban the use of touch-screen machines across the country by 2012.

Delegates and conventions are still to come. Steve Clemons' recent Washington Note post reminded me of what the "real deal" is all about. The presidential nominations rests on the delegate counts, according to his IHT link. To quote TWN:

A candidate in the Democratic race needs 2,025 delegates -- and because of the lead Hillary Clinton has in securing "superdelegates", she's still first in the overall delegate allotment so far. . . In overall delegates now, Hillary Clinton has 175; Obama has 75; and Edwards 46.

Dealing with Iraq is still to come - Speaking of numbers, thanks to Juan Cole for linking to McClatchy's regular report on recent Iraq violence. To quote numbers of two days ago that Cole included provides useful perspective:

7 civilians were wounded in an IED explosion inside a mini bus on al Salam bridge that links between Doura and New Baghdad neighborhoods around 3,00 pm.

Police found 12 anonymous bodies in Baghdad today . . .


Six civilians (3 men, 2women and a child) were killed and three others (2 men and a woman) were injured in an IED explosion that targeted a mini bus on Sa’adiyah- Khanaqeen Street northeast of Baquba today morning.

A civilian was killed and another was injured while a carriage was passing near the IED near the Silo in the center of Baquba city today morning. When the members of Sahwa (the awakening) council came to help, another IED exploded in the same place injuring three members of Sahwa.

18 civilians were injured when an IED exploded inside a local market in Jalawla city northeast Baquba city around 5,00 pm. Two of the injured people were moved to Sulaimaniyah hospital because of their critical conditions.

An American soldier was killed in an IED explosion that targeted his vehicle while conducting a military operation in Diyala province. US army confirmed the news in a press released issued today.


Police found a body of a young man near Sargaran area west of Kirkuk city. Police said that the body is of a young man from Arbil province and his name is Mohammed Ali.

After Iowa I am avoiding getting too caught up in the latest about who is ahead in what public opinion poll. Candidates' fortunes come and go, the pundits gossip about who was snarky to whom, and millions of us around the nation await our turns to make our own wishes known to our political parties. We must honor the process and not get ahead of ourselves. This election is just too important to turn into a mere horse race, with pundits and pollsters flogging the candidates towards an arbitrary finish line. And too many are unable to look past the ends of their turned up noses.

Cross-posted at South by Southwest

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  • I thought the Causasus were in southern Russia so I didn't pay attention. Who won?

    By Blogger Swampcracker, at 10:22 PM  

  • I once heard it said that terrible puns are a sign of intellect. Or did I actually spell it wrong? I didn't do a spell check. I guess I'm stuck with doing a post about Russia.
    Who won? Iowans, I guess. . . delegates. I agree with your comment about Michael's Hillary post above. I had wanted to say so much of that, but felt so frustrated that I never found the words.
    Thanks for your comment.

    By Blogger Carol Gee, at 2:17 AM  

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