Before we move on to the nightmare of democracy and secret, concealed "trust-me" vote-counting which will comprise the bulk of the "First-in-the-Nation" primary in New Hampshire, I'd like to offer a few final thoughts, for now, and for the record, on last Tuesday's "First-in-the-Nation" GOP Caucuses of Iowa. What happened there ought to remain firmly in all of our memories as we move into what is likely to be a nightmare of democracy and secret, concealed "trust-me" vote-counting across almost the entirety of the nation in this important Presidential Election year.
I had planned to post this article (or one like it) on Friday, when I was suddenly side-tracked by the report from Ron Paul supporter Edward True that he had noticed a mis-reported tally on the Iowa GOP's caucus results website. It was a small mis-report to be sure, but in a race that had previously been "called" for Mitt Romney by just 8 votes out of some 122,000 cast at 1,774 different caucus sites, the 20 vote error noticed by True and called to the attention of the media (and since confirmed by the Appanoose County GOP Chair) could prove to be decisive in the final certified total promised a week or so from now.
The discovery of the error --- a reporting error, apparently, as opposed to a counting error --- and the ability to quickly and independently verify the real tally of that particular precinct through a number of different, independent sources, is a tribute to the way the Republicans allowed their own voters to vote and those votes to be publicly counted.
As we spent some time detailing over the last week or two, the Iowa GOP, in a remarkable display of almost indescribable hypocrisy, allowed their voters to use processes they fight virulently against allowing for almost everybody else, particularly in elections where non-Republicans will be participating. In the Iowa Caucuses, however, where the party, not the state, sets all of their own rules for access, vote-casting and vote-counting, caucus-goers were allowed to register and vote on the same day, without disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions, on hand-marked paper ballots which were immediately and publicly hand-counted at the caucus site with results announced to all before they were called in to the central party headquarters and before the ballots were moved anywhere.
That is largely the essence of Democracy's Gold Standard for elections and it is because of that process that there are so few questions about the overall results today.
It's important to make this point, loudly and clearly, before we get lost in what is to come. It's one that even MSNBC's Rachel Maddow --- whose political analysis, whether you agree with her personal perspective or not, is usually spot-on --- missed by a country mile on Friday night while reporting on this issue. She was broadcasting from New Hampshire on the True incident back in Iowa, and on one other quickly-cleared-up question that came up about the results late night on Tuesday, when she offered an assertion that seemed more cheap-shot at Republicans than supportable assertion. It was far beneath her usually excellent standards of fact-based analysis...