Monday, July 03, 2006

The dog that did not bark in the night

In one of his adventures Sherlock Holmes tells Watson that the most curious aspect of the case they are investigating is what the dog did during the night. “But,” objects Watson,“the dog did nothing during the night.” “That was what I found so curious,” Holmes replies. (From the story “Silver Blaze” by Arthur Conan Doyle.)

Like Holmes I notice a lot of things curiously not happening. Where is the outrage by the supporters of the invasion of Iraq about the recently revealed cases in which our troops are accused of murdering and raping innocent Iraqi civilians? The invasion was only justified if the Iraqis are better off now than when Saddam was in power. If a murderous Saddam has been replaced by a murdering, raping and pillaging foreign occupation then all the deaths and other costs have been in vain. If electricity and water still have not been yet restored to pre-invasion levels then it is not clear that the Iraqis are better off. Surely those who supported the invasion for idealistic reasons are upset by this. Where is the outrage?

In the Illinois 17th Congressional District race where is all the national money and attention that some predicted? The election is less than 4 months away. President Bush, Laura Bush, John McCain and other prominent Washington figures are appearing for various Republican candidates around the country. When is one of them going to stop by in support of Andrea Zinga?


vox populi said...

The national GOP is waiting until they see Zinga's quarterly filing in early July. If she can't make a strong showing with cash on hand topping $200k, they're not going to touch her. Having three months of campaigning, if she can't outraise Phil Hare who is now entering his fourth week of campaigining, then the national GOP will write her off as a loss and focus on keeping red districts, like Iowa 1, from electing Dems.

Dave Barrett said...

WHAT?!? The national GOP is only going to fund her if she first comes up with $200k raised locally? Is that really the way the national GOP makes funding decisions -- the way foundations give grants to public radio and tv? First prove you have local support before we give you a dime.

If that really was what they told her it sounds to me like an excuse to keep from having to actually tell her "no", knowing there is no way she can raise that kind of money on her own. Doesn't surprise me in the least. I have said all along that anyone who claims to believe there was a chance that either national party was going to waste any resources in a gerrymandered safe district was either being dishonest or engaged in wishfull thinking.

vox populi said...

That tends to be how both parties are approaching this race; the Democrats think Hare should be able to hold the district without much national support based on relative safety of the district and the GOP won't sink good money into a candidate who can't generate her own support. So the trick of the game is to make a really good looking quarterly report in mid-July to convince the national party that their investment would win the seat. For as much as Republicans would love to make this a red district, they'd just as soon put their national money elsewhere this time and field a strong candidate to challange an incumbent Hare in 2008. If they can't unseat him then, this district will drop off their radar until the next jerrymander.

Dave Barrett said...

vox populi,
Well, it sounds to me as if everyone is just trying to avoid coming right out and saying that no Republican candidate has a chance in this district because it was drawn specifically to be a Democratic district. So everyone pretends that a strong Republican candidate could win and would be supported but it is just that since the district was jerrymandered somehow only weak Republican candidates get nominated who have only themselves to blame for their lack of support from the national GOP.

The only explanation for this curious state of affairs is the cognitive dissonance I was talking about in a previous blog entry. People would rather claim that all the Republican nominees are poor candidates than admit that the district was drawn so that the Republican always loses (just like the Democrat always loses in the neighboring districts.)

vox populi said...

I think you may be on to something. It'll be interesting to see whether Zinga gets any national support or money at all. That Mike Whalen has already received so much attention tells me that Iowa 1 is the nationally targeted race, not Illinois 17.

Dave Barrett said...

Well, yes. The 1st Congressional District in Iowa is competitive and receiving a lot of national attention and the 17th Congressional District in Illinois is not and will not. By stating these rather obvious facts, vox populi, you have made yourself a more savy and correct observer of the local political scene than any of the so-called experts quoted in the paper.

Andrew Binstock said...

If you're going to quote Conan Doyle and even put the quotation in quote marks, you should, IMO, make sure the wording is correct.

Firstly, Holmes is speaking to Inspector Gregory not Dr. Watson. And the actual words are rather different from yours. Correct text is at: