Living in Society

Blue Dot in Iowa

Earth from Voyager at 6 billion kilometers, Feb. 14, 1990. Photo Credit – NASA

The recount in Iowa’s Second Congressional District was completed Saturday afternoon resulting in a win for Mariannette Miller-Meeks over Rita Hart with a margin of six votes. According to this morning’s data on the Secretary of State website, 394,430 votes were cast in the race.

Miller-Meeks won our precinct hands down, so I’m not surprised at the result.

The state is expected to certify the election results tomorrow. Unless there is substantial evidence of foul play, that will be that. Because the race was so close, I expect the 2022 campaign for the seat to begin immediately. In a politics imbued with money, that was a given for the congresswoman. If Hart runs again, she should start now.

The Des Moines Register reported the Iowa Democratic Party is expected to release the results of an investigation into the 2020 Iowa Precinct Caucuses. I’m not sure what there is to investigate. The problem was they developed a computer application on the cheap and the results reported through it were all balled up. The brouhaha about the reporting application masked something else at the time.

There were only 70 percent of the caucus attendees in our precinct compared to 2008. What happened to the missing 80 voters? I gave an answer only passing thought after the caucus. After the general election it’s pretty clear what happened. The missing voters died or moved, and new people moving into the precinct lean Republican. We are a more Republican precinct this year than when we moved here in 1993. I’m not sure if Dave Loebsack were on the ballot he would have won. It was that kind of year in local politics.

Nationally, there is a ray of hope. We elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the top of the ticket, and retained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate race is complicated by the two Georgia Republican Senators who failed to get a majority of votes in the general election. Both are facing a Jan. 5, 2021 runoff election. If Democrats win those elections, the senate will be split 50-50 with Harris breaking any ties. There are no guarantees Democrats will win the Georgia runoff races.

There is a ray of hope, yet like the bands of sunlight reflected by the camera in the photo it is not real. Our politics has lost its way. What is the benefit of the tens of millions of dollars being spent on politics? To common folk like me, not much. It is a crime against people who are less fortunate.

For the time being we Democrats are a pale blue dot in a vast, dark universe. It’s always been that way, although the epiphany came late to me. We have to seek the light, avoiding the camera’s refraction, and find a better way. None of us can do that alone.

Next is a jump ball and I haven’t played basketball since being a grader.