Tuesday, January 3, 2012


They're caucusing in Iowa today, and I'm trying to figure out why any of the rest of us should care. It's never made much sense to me -- you have a state that is utterly unrepresentative of most of the country and a process that's guaranteed to bring out the fringe elements in both parties, and it's supposed to shape presidential politics? Iowa is the classic case of the media driving the message: the Iowa caucuses just happen to come first in the parade, so the media hovers all over the state trying to find meaning in what some person on the street from Harlan or Ottumwa says, treating each vacuous pronouncement as though it's newsworthy.

Usually, of course, what you hear when those persons on the street speak their minds is an astounding combination of blind ignorance and personal projection. The folks from Iowa always strike me as being astoundingly gullible: the candidates say they're conservative god-fearing upstanding citizens and, regardless of the candidates' track records, the fine folk in Iowa suck it all right up. I was listening to NPR yesterday, and it became real clear real fast that the people being interviewed had an image of Newt Gingrich based solely on the lies he's been telling about himself -- don't these people ever bother to look beyond the latest press releases from candidates? Apparently not. . .  The Iowa caucuses give a whole new meaning to "born again." Pro-choice politicians morph into pro-life, serial adulterers become family values candidates, and characters whose political careers appeared to be dead on arrival are suddenly contenders. Who could have predicted even a few weeks ago that a loser like Rick Santorum would now be considered likely to be in the final 3?


  1. I can barely watch any of it. I just keep thinking that the wackier the GOP candidate are, the more likely that Obama will be re-elected and maybe we can get something done the next time around.

  2. I'm breaking one of my New Years resolutions. I'm paying attention. I guess it's habit. Anyway, the only sane thing coming out of this coverage is that the talking heads are actually discussing the need for campaign finance reform. Good. Now let's move on to action!

  3. My reply is on your old mans blog.

  4. Right wing/hate talk radio is probably a big deal in Iowa ... it seems Iowans are picking a Repug candidate based on the anti-Obama factor* ...

    * the stupid noise about Obama's "socialist" agenda is most likely all about skin color.


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