Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Iowa Circus

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

In less than twenty-four  hours the hog farmers, coffee shop malingerers, and retired school teachers of Iowa will go to their caucus sites and attempt to tell the rest of the country who should be our next President.  As of the moment the pundits are predicting a really tight three-race between the economically privileged Mitt Romney, Ron Paul the libertarian, and Little Ricky Santorum - God's man on Earth - or as the Huffington Post described it - a three-way between the business class, the libertarians, and the evangelicals.

First of all, I am forever offended by the crazy quilt of caucuses and state primaries that determine, usually quite early, who the candidates of the two major parties will be.  Iowa is representative of Iowa.  Period.  It has squat to do with how people view things in New York, Colorado, or Louisiana.  Yet out of Iowa will come some yahoo with barely a third of the vote claiming a victory and inevitability - most likely one of the three yahoos mentioned above.  Next week the folks in New Hampshire will go to the polls in a slightly more democratic process, and somebody (perhaps somebody other than the yahoo who won Iowa) will claim that he is Mister Inevitability.

Yes, I said Mister.  Michele Bachmann has the only bonnet in the ring, and her tea leaves don't look promising.  Praise Allah for small mercies!

So, as of today, it looks like the Republican field may have winnowed its way down to three - old white men. Gotta love those Republicans, they are so effing predictable!

(I support the idea of three regional primaries, with the voting order shifting every four years.  One time the eastern states would vote first, the next time the central states, and after that the western states.  Everybody gets to have their say before the nomination is sewn up.)

There are only two types of Republicans that I can't abide.  The first is those with no principles who change positions more often than they change their underwear.  I am of course giving a nod to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.  (Okay, Mitt's underwear is "magic" and probably doesn't need changing, and Newt likely doesn't wear underwear - but you get the idea.)  The unprincipled are totally poll-driven and drift with the vagaries of public opinion - and may change their minds more than once in a single speech!

The other group is too principled.  These are the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Mexican-hating, homophobic, racist, gun-toting, Bible-thumping, Jesus-owning evangelicals.  They are insanely rigid and not tolerant of anything that does not fit into their tighty-whitey worldview.  Michele Bachman, Rick Perry, and Ricky Santorum share a revival tent with these baboons.

Ron Paul and his merry band of libertarians have a foot in both of these camps, but Paul also harbors a few progressive tendencies which makes him a pariah to party regulars everywhere.

Tomorrow some old white man will win thirty-five or even  forty percent of the votes cast in the Iowa caucuses, and his wife will begin looking at fabric samples for the new White House drapes.   And a few hours later the circus will roll out of town and head for New Hampshire.  When it goes, Iowa will once again slip back into irrelevance and the guys at the coffee shops will be able to get back to the serious business of not farming.

And the candidate who will get the best sleep on Tuesday night will be Barack Obama!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Kansas had a caucus in 2008, and that was my first first firsthand experience with this phenomena.

I think it is a valid exercise that strengthens political parties. It takes some effort for candidates to mobilize people to go to the caucus, sign in, and split into groups.

Of course being from Missouri I have to say that I much prefer the primary. Primaries are the true trial run for the general election.

The least favored, and all too often employed, technique is the state nominating convention. There is where you find king makers, deal breakers, and the smoke filled rooms.

Regional primaries have a sense of efficiency , and for that reason I am opposed to the concept. Vetting candidates is often a long and tedious process which may be cut short by efficiency.

If you love Citizens United and want to see dark money have a greater impact on Presidential politics, then you'll love regional primaries.

Besides, can you imagine how much better things have been in Pennsylvania with Ricky Santorum in Iowa; cold, cold, cold Iowa.