'Faster Iraq' Watch 2: Quick elections seem to be working in some Shia regions of Southern Iraq:
Although the American government insisted that national elections could not be held in Iraq before the transfer of sovereignty on June 30, in Dhi Qar they went ahead using the ration card system - a method which could have been used nationally, according to many Iraqis.
Using ration cards means it's "one family, two votes" rather than "one man, one vote." Do you really want to try to make it to January while holding out for Baker v. Carr-level fairness? The results so far using ration cards seem to be crudely representative and legitimate (and non-fundamentalist). ... Would a transtitional government selected this way be any less legitimate than a powerless, unelected June 30 "caretaker" government that waits until January to let Iraqis vote? A quickly-elected regime could always have another election next year and asymptotically approach perfection. ... P.S.: And couldn't an early election--say, in July--provide the occasion for inviting the rest of the world, including the U.N., to share (or take over) our peacekeeping duties? a) With an elected Iraqi government, other nations would have a harder time refusing to send troops; b) The new Iraqi government might ask them in, and ask us to diminish our presence. Good news for us, maybe, because c) there's a limit to the amount of mischief France could make with an elected Iraqi government (acutely conscious of France's role bolstering Saddam) in place. In effect, the new government would be a brain looking around for some muscles. The UN wouldn't be telling it what to do, simply providing start-up security. ... .Just thinking out loud here! I will now go read Fareed Zakaria's book to find out why this is of course a terrible idea. ...
[Won't there be security problems?-ed. There will always be security problems. There were security problems in Spain! But if Islamic fanatics set off bombs before the vote, you'd think that would hurt their cause in the balloting. Don't they know that? ... P.S.: It might even be better to hold elections right now, while we have a lot of the bad guys bottled up in Fallujah. (Fallujah, like other places with special security problems, could always be allowed to hold its elections later.) ... P.P.S.: If there's too much violence on election day, international observers can always declare the elections failed and schedule them again. Why would that be such a setback? You'd think it would be bad PR for the terrorists whose intentions--to stop democracy--would now be obvious to Iraqis and the world. ...
In Iraq, let's not let the good become the enemy of non-disastrous.] ...1:59 A.M.
Sunday, May 2, 2004
Dem Panic Watch 3: Brazile ... Edwards ... Rendell ... "one senior Democratic official" ... maybe Carter Eskew too! ... P.S.: Is it a horrible disadvantage--as the NYT's Nagourney, following the WashTimes' Lambro, suggests--that Kerry doesn't yet have an Ohio campaign director or a "full-fledged campaign 'war room'" six months before the election? Not even anti-Kerry RealClearPolitics thinks this is a big deal. ... Vain, pompous, dissembling candidate--important! Delay in fully-staffing 'war room'--not important! .... P.P.S.: Nagourney argues that a robust war room would have improved the Kerry response in the "medals" controversy--apparently by marshaling "surrogates" to rebut Good Morning America'scharge instead of having Kerry go on the show and fight with Charlie Gibson. Hmmm. Wasn't that the sort of charge a candidate would normally be expected to answer himself? If a surrogate (or friendly foe like McCain) can handle that question, maybe surrogates can handle the candidate's other tasks too, like developing a "message"! ... Maybe the candidate can stay out of the public eye entirely for six months while the surrogates do the actual campaigning for him!... Maybe the Kerry campaign could streamline its problematic organizational structure by eliminating the candidate and running a group of these more appealing surrogates instead! Nagourney may be on to something here. ... Update: Reader J. emails: "[D]on't you think having a 'Dem Panic Watch' (or other '--- Watch') installment is a bit teleological? Like, instead of accurately analyzing what's going on in the news, you simply make a prediction and then tend to look out for that evidence which supports it?" You have a problem with that? It works for me. 1:38 A.M.
Friday, April 30, 2004
Faster Iraq Watch: George Will joins the are-we-really-going-to-try-to-wait-until-January-to-have-elections-in-Iraq camp. Count me in. It would be great if months could be spent lovingly building the supportive intermediary institutions of civil society, but this is a luxury we don't seem to have. ... 5:13 P.M.
Dem Panic Watch 2: Coelho (who may have an ax to grind from 2000) and Brazile! ... 2:31 P.M.