Were there elections yesterday?

Here’s a current screenshot of MSNBC.com:


Highlighted in green is the link to the story on Afghan elections: Afghan ballots brought to counting centers. Well down the page and with a title apparently designed to put readers to sleep. The story spends a fair amount of time on the fact that barely over 50% of voters turned out.

Quick! What was the turnout in the 2000 US Presidential election?

See? They’re much farther on the way to American-style democracy than we give them credit for. It rains in the US and we expect a 10% drop in turnout. What would the American turnout be if terrorists were running around threatening to blow up polling stations and target the families of those with purple fingers?

All they need is a recount of a recount of a recount and a few hanging chads and they’ll be there.

By the way, 51.3% of voting-eligible Americans voted in 2000. That number sky-rocketed to over 55% last year.

When the story is buried and focuses on voter turnout that matches typical US turnout, I think it’s safe to say that things are going okay. Good thing we’re staying the course, huh?

UPDATE: Well, as of the 9:46 am update to MSNBC.com’s main page, the Afghan elections are G-O-N-E. The link has been replaced by one to a story on a train wreck in Chicago. No links to any stories about the Afghan elections. Apparently they either didn’t happen or they aren’t newsworthy.

The link to the story about the Taliban getting help and inspriation from Iraq (pink highlight) remains, though.

A commenter tells me that Afghanistan doesn’t matter because it’s GNP is so low and that it doesn’t send very many people to the Olympics.

I can’t wait until opponents of our invasion of Iraq start to tell us that the good news there doesn’t matter, either, because Iraq doesn’t have “anything to do with anything”.

UPDATE 2: Okay, as of 1:10 PM the Afghan election story is back on the MSNBC.com main page, though much farther down than earlier this morning before it was pulled altogether.

Hilariously, the link now reads After low turnout, Afghan ballots head for counting. You can’t make this stuff up.


  1. Afghanistan pulled this off, Shelby. Agree Afghanistan is in a good way – disagree that it has anything to do with anything. Afghanistan sends, what, 5 people to the Olympics? GNP of less than the city of Atlanta? Primary cash crop is heroin?

  2. That’s the supidest thing I’ve heard in weeks. Well, besides the ‘occupied New Orleans’ thing, anyway. Elections go okay and all of a sudden Afghanistan doesn’t have anything to do with anything? Smells like victory to me.

  3. I’ve always thought that some of the ridiculous shit we whine about is evidence of how well our system works. We have, over the last couple hundred years, removed huge areas of contention from politics. Within our borders, we don’t have to worry about things that in other countries are matters of politics – like life and death. We don’t have to be politically connected to have a happy, productive life. So we argue about trivial things. The more big issues are removed from politics, the better off we are. Afghanistan is moving in the right direction.

  4. What’s turnerBroadcasting’s GNP? How many people did turnerBroadcasting send to the last Olympics? What’s that you say? None? Well, I guess he doesn’t matter much then, does he… (by the way, now that Afghanistan is on its way to being less-than-totally-messed-up, perhaps their productivity and relevance will increase….)

  5. The MSM/DNC hates America. This election was another great example to the world of the good being done by America. Of course the MSM/DNC tries to hide the story, and then tries to put a negative spin on it. This has been the MSM/DNC M.O. since 1952. Rathergate changed nothing. Just got them to be a bit more refined for a few months. They are back in the attack America mode, and have been for months. Have you forgot Spring’s Gitmo = Gulag attack, or America hates blacks that’s why 10,000 will die from kartina?

  6. I’ve heard the argument that the left, and the media (who are mostly controlled by the left it seems) hate America and their behaviour seem to confirm that. My question is: why do they hate themselves and their compatriots so much? My main suspicion is that their thought process is something like this: 1) We don’t want to be responsible for anything ‘bad’ happening. We’re meek and mild and couldn’t stand to be made to look bad. 2) a) People dieing is bad. b) Wars make people die. c) We’re ‘responsible’ for many wars. d) Therefore we’re ‘responsible’ for many deaths. e) We hate ourselves. f) Therefore we should wail on the government for letting us be so bad. 3) a) Animals dieing is bad. b) Damaging the environment makes animals die. c) Burning fuel damages the environment. d) We burn fuel. e) We hate ourselves. f) Therefore we should wail on the government for letting us be so bad. I could go on, but I can think of many twisted logic paths to ‘justify’ this behaviour. Needless to say, there are some over-simplified, and therefore wrong, pieces of logic here, but I believe this is how simplistic their thought processes actually are. There may be some vindictiveness involved too. i.e. they’re actually not so stupid to believe all of this but they conveniently ignore it so that they can treat Republicans like the scum of the earth (because they hate themselves but they can’t face it). For what it’s worth, I feel bad about the way we treat the environment, and therefore I try my best to avoid trashing it (cut down on garbage output and fuel consumption for example) but those are personal decisions and while I think many people are wasteful I’m not going to treat them too shittily about it. They have to realize it for themselves I guess. End of rambling…

  7. Hmm, upon further reflection, I guess a large part of the problem is that it’s so hard to convince people that not all wars are necessarily bad when they turn their brain off at the mention of the word…

  8. Look, for all we know, the bomb that blew up that AMTRAC would have destroyed an Abrams too. I don’t have a lot of information about the size of the blast and I doubt I ever will. If it caused that much devastation there’s a good chance. I don’t think M1s are all that armored from below. AMTRACs would barely rate above an unarmored HMMWV in terms of protection I think, and just below an M113. Its armor will protect against small arms at medium-to-long ranges and shrapnel. Even a 7.62mm machine gun will probably penetrate it at short range. Therefore you would not find me riding in one unless the biggest threat in the area would be aome AKs and even then it would be a bit sketchy, you’d want to have some alert gunners ready to return fire if under attack. The military should be well aware of that. If they thought otherwise, that concerns me. More likely they were involved in taking calculated risks. In a way, that’s the military’s job. Every now and then you’ll be unlucky with one of those risks. It’s a fact of war. I’m still betting that, as another blog I read suggested, someone screwed up in sending the Marines off to patrol in that thing. They’re so big, if you can hit a barn door you can hit one of them. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket…