The day after the Iowa caucuses The New York Times lead their editorial page with yet another condemnation of the way we choose our presidential candidates, and in particular of the fact that those hicks in Iowa and New Hampshire seem to have so much more sway over the process than the more erudite and sophisticated urbanites of places like — well, like New York.
I am no longer suprised by the fact that they seem eager to tilt the process even more in favor of the high-profile and well-bankrolled candidates by taking away early opportunities for those less-so to distinguish themselves one-on-one with the voters intead of being mediated by the media. They, after all, are the media. They choose by their actions who is and isn’t to be high-profile; and they believe themselves, as well, to be the quintessential erudite and sophisticated urbanites — so such sugguestions accrue to their own self interest. That they can dress them up in the language of fairness and justice allows them to feel self-righteous to boot.
But I must admit I was shocked to hear, the day after Iowa chose Obama to be their standard-bearer, the same tired language about how unrepresentative and insular those rubes must be, and of how their early votes deprive their betters of a proper voice in selecting appropriate candidates.
I submitted this in response, but all the letters they chose to publish on the subject supported their point of view.
4 January 2008
Set aside the question of whether abandoning the kickoff of the presidential race in small rural states in favor of “regional” primaries would all but eliminate the ability of underfunded but promising candidates (does Bill Clinton come to mind?) to make headway against their favored and wealthier rivals by engaging in retail rather than wholesale politics.
Has anyone noticed that those “unrepresentative” and “92 percent white, more rural and older than the rest of the nation” Iowans just favored the intellectual black man (and, by the way, a genuine “African American” given that he had an African father and an American mother) over the white populist by a rather large margin?
(C) Copyright 2008, Augustus P. Lowell