I'm mostly still over at Plum Line still today, but I seem to be running across stuff that gets me annoyed...so I think it's time for some Cranky Blogging. Which I should have used for my earlier item about Ron Paul, but it's definitely appropriate for this one, about a bogus attempt by NRO's Jim Geraghty to place Iowa and New Hampshire in "perspective" by looking at the delegates up for grabs and how they are allocated.
Which misses the point entirely. Iowa and New Hampshire aren't important because of the delegates, because nomination politics is in many cases not about the delegates at all. Oh, sure: you wind up winning most of the delegates when you win. But Tim Pawlenty didn't drop out because he hadn't won any delegates. He dropped about because he believed he didn't have the resources needed to win the nomination. And doing well in the first contests remains an important factor in allocating resources. Not the only factor (the invisible primary is more crucial), but important nonetheless.
It's certainly possible to overstate the importance of Iowa and New Hampshire. But it's not because they don't send a lot of delegates to the national convention, or because they're not winner-take-all. Geraghty isn't placing them in perspective; he's yanking them out of context.