Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Honesty...

...is our policy, right? At least I hope so. Sure, they just lie, but we don't have to, especially to ourselves. What am I talking about?

Citing the latest move by Pennsylvania to move its primary date forward in the nomination schedule, Kos declares that "Iowa's and New Hampshire's decisive role in nominating our candidate needs to end."

It's a popular meme these days, especially among the Deaners who are sure if one of the places they lost had just been scheduled ahead of some of the other places they lost, they would have won, but how true is it?

New Hampshire has been pledging delegates via their primary since 1952. Among the notable winners of the majority of those delegates were Estes Kefauver, Ed Muskie, Gary Hart and Paul Tsongas. None of them made it to November. In fact, there have been only four winners in New Hampshire who weren't sitting Democratic Presidents or Vice Presidents. How decisive is that, really?

Iowa's history is shorter, pledging delegates by caucus since 1980. There have been two winners who weren't sitting Presidents or Vice Presidents. One (Kerry) became the nominee. One (Gephardt) didn't.

There may be good reasons for changing the primary and caucus schedules. There are some reasonable arguments in favor of things as they are. It's a debate worth engaging.

But let's engage in it honestly, and honestly, there's just no real evidence that Iowa and New Hampshire are "decisive."

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