Newt Gingrich came from behind for a smashing victory in South Carolina’s primary last Saturday. And yet a more interesting story may be emerging in Iowa: Rick Santorum, not Romney, is apparently the Republican caucus winner. Though that’s not counting the eight precincts whose official results forms went missing.
This could be just another typical screw-up. Democracy means “rule by the people,” and “the people” aren’t perfect.
On the other hand, the whole thing smacks of back-room manipulation. The fact that the official tabulations were moved away from the traditional site, GOP state party headquarters, to an undisclosed location — allegedly to “protect” the vote-counting from Occupy protest influence — makes the uncertain results all the more suspect.
And Republicans can’t blame this on Occupiers.
The winner may have been the biggest loser. Santorum got the proverbial bump from the initial Iowa results — losing by a mere handful, it was reported — but Romney received a bump from it too, simply by being declared a winner in the closest caucus race in American history. By “losing control” of the actual count, the Republican Party of Iowa skewed the national election.
Leading into the caucuses, Ron Paul’s supporters sniffed something conspiratorial in the vote count location switch, complaining that such a move could help “disenfranchise” Paul’s supporters, knowing that GOP caucus officials were not at all friendly toward his candidacy.
You’re probably familiar with Stalin’s most famous quote about democracy: “It’s not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes.”
In Iowa, Stalin’s shade sports a mischievous grin.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.