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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Griper Blade: Iowa Caucuses Aren't Even Representative of Iowans, Let Alone the Nation

`What IS a Caucus-race?' said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

`Why,' said the Dodo, `the best way to explain it is to do it.' (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

-Lewis Carrol, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, "A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale"

Yesterday, a mini-tempest in a micro-teapot came up over something NBC's Andrea Mitchell said in regard to the Iowa caucuses. "The rap on Iowa: It doesn’t represent the rest of the country, too white, too evangelical, too rural," she said. It is, apparently, a terrible thing to make a demographic observation that is true and wingnut bloggers responded to it with their usual "Help, I'm being oppressed!" histrionics.

But the fact of the matter is that the caucuses are barely even representative of Iowans, let alone the rest of the nation.


The 2012 Republican presidential caucuses begin at 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 3. Iowa Republicans who wish to participate may locate their caucus site using the Iowa Secretary of State’s poll location tool. Republican caucuses for the state’s 1,774 precincts occur in public buildings, schools and homes, and some precincts share caucus space with other precincts. Every precinct in Adair County, for example, will caucus at Greenfield’s Nodaway Valley High School next Tuesday night.

So, if you can't blow an hour of your night precisely at 7:00, you're out of luck. If you want to vote absentee, you're out of luck. And then things get even dumber...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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