Irony Is Taking a Beating in the Dispute Over Iowa's Second Congressional District

Charles P. Pierce
·2-min read
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla - Getty Images

Those of us old enough to remember the Great Florida Heist of 2000 can recall vividly the fundamental strategy brought by the Republicans behind the candidacy of C-Plus Augustus: get a lead, no matter how thin, then loudly proclaim that the other side is trying to steal the election in court, even though it was the Republicans who took that election into court in the first place. That strategy, alas, prevailed, all the way up to the inexcusable intrusion of the United States Supreme Court.

Well, the same kind of thing is now happening with the shadow-thin result of the congressional election in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. According to the Republican Secretary of State of Iowa, the formidably monikered Mariannette Miller-Meeks defeated the Democratic candidate, Rita Hart, by six votes. This is the second-closest congressional election in the past 90 years. As is her right, Hart has challenged the result in the House Administration Committee. (Hart’s contention is that 22 legitimate votes were disallowed. She wants a hand recount of the ballots that would include these 22.) This procedure has been followed 100 times in nearly 100 years. Bear in mind that nothing that has happened in this matter has occurred outside the legitimate proceedings of the House.

Which has not prevented the usual escadrilles of flying monkeys from hurling themselves aloft, accusing the Democrats of doing the same thing that they tried in their attempt to overthrow the lawful results of the 2020 election. Karl Rove—Karl Freaking Rove!—wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal accusing Nancy Pelosi of using tactics once used by Southern segregationists. Irony continued to take a beating when Rep. Kevin McCarthy chimed in. They have been joined by the usual chorus of nervous Democratic congresscritters. From Politico:

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, added in a statement to POLITICO: "I have deep reservations.”

(I have added a codicil to my will obligating my descendants to keep alert for that moment when the Problem Solvers Caucus actually solves a problem.)

The biggest mistake the Democrats made in Florida in 2000 was recognizing too late that they were in a knife-fight. They fell behind early and never quite caught up. All indications are that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has learned that lesson, and that she knows quite well that, if the situation were reversed, the Republicans would be howling at the gates of Hell. Our politics are going to be tough for a while, largely because one of our two major political parties is dangerously insane. We should get used to that.

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