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January 03, 2008


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The 2008 Michigan primary is indeed a political mess. And a thoroughly bipartisan one, at that. It was at least refreshing to get through one of Mr. Lessenberry's columns without his blaming the whole fiasco on the four-judge conservative majority in the Michigan Supreme Court, who didn't write the law setting up an early primary date in any event.

But it is worthwhile to take a look at what has just happened in Iowa. By every account I am aware of, if Jimmy Carter's Carter-Center election monitors had been observing exactly the same kind of caucus procedures in Iraq as existed in Iowa, they'd have declared it an illegitimate nullity. No secret balloting, no real polling hours, no provisions for absentee voting, etc., etc.

But worst of all is this fact from Iowa -- virtually every candidate who campaigned in Iowa had accepted the "Iowa pledge": that they will support large-scale federal spending to support corn-based ethanol production.

Now if Iowans want to hold silly stupid caucuses, and turn elections into beauty pageants, that's fine by me and none of my business. But if corn-fed Iowa pork occupies a big part of the federal budget, that's quite another thing.

I now have more respect for John McCain than ever before for saying no to Iowa. And he still comes out looking like a winner.

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