Where in the Constitution or the New Testament does it say that two of the smallest, least representative states in the Union get to decide our presidential candidates? Iowa's caucus system is absurdly complicated and effectively excludes anyone who doesn't have several hours to spare on a Thursday evening. New Hampshire ranks 41st in population and has one-half of one percent of the U.S.'s citizenry. Why on earth do the people of these two states (against whom I have nothing) have this much influence?
First and foremost, our ridiculous political press members have given it to them, against all logic or sanity. It is these "insiders" who have magnified the significance of these two minor and unimportant events to world-shaking proportions. Second, the two major parties don't want to antagonize these states by ignoring them or disciplining them (to avoid bad publicity from the press vultures, you see). Third, these two states insist on being first and in doing so have stretched out the whole campaign year to a preposterous length. (NH's primary used to be in March.) To gain influence other states moved their primaries forward, so NH and IA just kept moving their contests as well. I am convinced that if Florida moved its primary to 2 January that the Iowa caucus would be held on Thanksgiving.
Our political process has been crippled and distorted by this nonsense, as a tiny minority of voters in two small states get more influence than voters in California, Texas, and New York. Unless the parties decide to put the brakes on this nonsense, we'll have to go through this same insufferable kabuki dance again in 2012.
Starting, of course, on 21 January 2009.