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Friday, January 04, 2008

The Iowa Caucuses

Or is it cauci?

Before I wrote this I tried calling my good friend from Iowa to see if he had any idea how the bizarre system the Democrats use for their election-year caucus came about. While the Republicans uses a paper secret-ballot system that sounds like it came from the Shriners, the Democrats have one that seems to involve standing in a corner of the room designated for supporters of your candidates, and someone counting the corners. If your candidate gets less than fifteen percent of the vote, you have to go to another corner. It sounds like either something someone from the eighteenth century in a cocked hat would think of, or a prom event (either Carrie or Porky's, pick one). At any rate, this year it gave us the new frontrunners for the Presidency: Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama.

And yeah, I gotta talk about politics. Some of you probably wrongly assume that because I think we are on the brink of the end of human civilization, it doesn't matter who's in the White House. Those of you belong to a subgenre of my readership called "idiots". When the Titanic is going down, what could be more important than what the crew does? It's true that you probably won't survive the impending end of civilization -- but hell, Jim Morrison was right, No One Here Gets Out Alive. But the way you go, and when, makes a difference, and whether the U.S. government happens to be sane at the time is going to determine that. The deterioration in civilization in the last eight years could have been played out over half a century if Gore had not rolled over like a bitch in the year 2000 to the rotweiller at his throat. So if you want the kids you squirted out against my advice to have a decent life, better vote Democrat.

Anyway. The Democrats, in a turnout that approximately doubled the previous peak, picked Barack. This says a lot. You should know by now that I want Hillary Clinton in the White House next year, badly. The reason for this is the curiously unadvertised but obvious fact that this would a Presidency led by the couple that gave us the best administration of the second half of the last century, at least. In its time the Clinton years were seen as a co-Presidency, and there is no reason it would not be the same again. I trust these people.

Not that I have anything against Barack Obama, especially if he and the Clinton people can come to terms before November, as I think they will. Trust me people, Bill Clinton is engaged is a fight to save humanity, and he will do what it takes. Personally I don't think any of the candidates other than Hillary (extended Hillary, so to speak) have the experience we'd want; as in 1988, a cursed election if there ever was one, the Democrats are all dwarves, as are the Republicans also this time, save for McCain. So Obama is almost as good as anyone.

In Iowa, Obama's campaign brought out a huge response; the major element of his victory was new voters who rallied to him. He got the youth vote, and remember that the first serious Black Presidential candidate in history just won the first caucus in a state that is 98% White! John Edwards came in second because he was the second choice of all the voters whose candidates got less than 15% on the first ballot (they were looking at about 16% combined in the polls, and all but Bill Richardson dropped out when the results came in). I had thought that he might win the state, looking at that factor in poll results.

By contrast, the Republican caucuses were a sad affair, even in their own right, especially since the state went Republican in 2004. Turnout was sad compared to the Democrats, and despite Mitt Romney having spent $17 million of his own money (before October!), they elected a dumbass Baptist minister from Arkansas. Despite the fun of comparing him to last Governor from Arkansas, I'll resist for now. It would make a better Saturday Night Live skit anyway. I doubt Huckabee is a bad guy; I'll bet he even believes the lame mumbo he spouts. The main problem with him is that he makes George W. look sophisticated, which I thought was impossible unless we got back to Andy of Mayberry. Which means..

Well, think of the entity that really controls this country now as a combination of the creature from The Deep with something from H.P. Lovecraft and Freud's description of the id. It looks for empty minds like George W.'s to entice with riches and power and to make its slave. Mike Huckabee is dumb, vulnerable and a perfect meal for it. We might as well elect Dick Cheney as President for his immortal, unnatural life.

So what goes on in Iowa, Joe? The Democratic party seems viable active, progressive and overpowering. The Republicans seem to consist of three farmers in HeeHaw jerseys with Aw Shucks Bibles clasped in their lizard hands. Now, I think at last I understand Slipknot!

On to New Hampshire!


pk said...

You should know by now that I want Hillary Clinton in the White House next year, badly.

Had no idea! You are voting for a Democrat?! I’m shocked. I thought you’d be a Ron Paul follower. I find him quite refreshing even though I disagree with his solutions. I like his underground presence.

The reason for this is the curiously unadvertised but obvious fact that this would a Presidency led by the couple that gave us the best administration of the second half of the last century, at least. In its time the Clinton years were seen as a co-Presidency, and there is no reason it would not be the same again.

What I don’t like about Hillary is that she’s all shrewd politician. Sure I’ll vote for her – if I have to.

Not that I have anything against Barack Obama, especially if he and the Clinton people can come to terms before November, as I think they will. So Obama is almost as good as anyone.

What I like about Barack is that, so far, he has not been corrupted. I’m sure he will be soon. He connects with the average American. I’ve heard his health care plan sucks, but nearly anything would be an improvement. The system is not gonna change overnight. If Obama surrounds himself with competent people, then he should be all right.

In Iowa, Obama's campaign brought out a huge response; the major element of his victory was new voters who rallied to him. He got the youth vote

Cool! I know religion is irrelevant (except in the Republican party, whose biggest mistake has been aligning itself with the Christian Right), but this is the THIRD presidential candidate who identifies himself as UCC :) I don’t think Obama is that much into change, mainly he wants to undo the W damage. Any non-incumbent candidate is gonna run on the promise of “change.”

I am sick of pseudo debates with TV networks that block any candidates with “alternative” thought. I think as soon as this election is over, we should work on dismantling the two-party system, which doesn’t serve most Americans.

Kozan Bob said...

Who on earth would any sane person vote for, but a Democrat? There has been a real effort made for at least the last eight years to put an end to the two-party system -- by the Bush Cabal, who want a one-party system. Under our Constitution, really nothing except the two-party system will work for our country. And in these dangerous Fascistic times, the last thing we need is any monkeying with the Constitution, which the Nazi's, er Republicans,have been trying to abrogate in every conceivable way.

Ron Paul is the other target for the Youth vote; despite his Libertarian pretences, he is a fake and another nutball Republican. A pro-Life Libertarian? Gimme a break. Even if he were real, Libertarianism is a college Philosophy major's wet dream for an unreal World. There are too many rats in our current cage for it. Ron Paul would only appeal to the naive. Don't fall for it.

And yes, Hillary gives the impression that she would say whatever it takes to get elected. She is a true politician. She has worked with and been half of the best. Let's Pray to the Almight Lord Jesus it works this time!

pk said...

I forgot to mention my main Obama concern. His strength is in uniting various groups of people, which is a necessity when it comes to accomplishing anything in politics. But at the same time, if you're pleasing everyone (think Bill Clinton), then you're ultimately not doing anything. I fear Obama would end up being a weak and ineffective President [like Bill Clinton]. As long as he's a nice guy...

Kozan Bob said...

Huh? Clinton a weak and ineffective President? Where the fuck were you? He was the most successful and effective President in my lifetime. Jesus H. Christ! Even if you didn't like his policies, he knew how to get them carried out better than anyone; he was the consummate politician. The "Slick Willie" term wasn't necessarily derogatory you know!

TH said...

While the demo caucus in Iowa looked like chaos, and it was, it was interesting to watch (thank God for c-span). If one candidate does not get 15% (above which the candidate is "viable"), the individual doesn't have to go to another corner, but has no impact if he or she doesn't. So, representatives of the other candidates try to pursuade the undecided to join their ranks. Fortunately, some knew enough to have a back-up candidate already in mind and didn't have to be recruited on the spot. What happened then was that delegates were awarded to candidates based on the percentage of individuals representing each. The result: Iowa dems have 3 dlegates representing Obama, 2 for Edwards, and 1 for Clinton. It seems primitive for the 21st century, but it was intereting to observe. TH

ClintonFan said...

I went to law school with Obama -- one of my classmates said that you could judge how pretentious someone's remarks in class were by how high they ranked on the Obamanometer. This guy didn't share in class, he pontificated. You think Hillary is all about Hillary? Obama has her beaten for self-interest by a mile. And Michelle Obama wants the White House so badly she can taste it. At least with Hillary you know what you are getting: maybe not the nicest of the leading candidates (that would probably be Edwards) or the most cutting edge, but the one with the most experience and the one most likely to be able to work both sides of the aisle effectively. Plus she is endorsed by Wes Clark, the sanest candidate we've put forth for president in years and someone who would make a darn excellent Secretary of State. Wes Clark and Bill Clinton -- two more good reasons to vote for Hillary. Michelle Obama says she'll be the country's next first lady. I hope she's right -- 9 years from now. In the meantime, I'd love to see Bill as the first First Gentleman.

Anonymous said...

I belive, for the most part, as you do. However, as far as the Clintons and Obama coming to terms before November ... they may do so personally, but I don't see a ticket with two of them.

I am thrilled that a mostly white community brought the first serious black candidate to the top result; however, I don't know that the country is ready for a Woman and a Black Man ... sadly. But, I still keep hope up that this really could happen!

Hillary is smart, for sure, but she carries so much baggage, whether that's fair or not, from her husband. People either love him or hate him ... I'm, as always, hoping that love wins out.

Glad to see you finally wrote a political blog, and I'm happy to see that several have posted to this blog with comments.

The two party system has indeed seen its day, and I agree that it should be dismantled. Folks like Cucinich should be allowed to debate. I happen to like Cucinich, and I believe he was sandbagged by Tim Russert (who I usually enjoy) in the first debate with his UFO question.

Watched Cucinich on Ch. 8 the other night, and he is well spoken, thoughtful, and very smart.

In the last election, an attorney I used to work with in Houston, David Cobb, and who is one of my best friends in the world, ran for President on the Green Party ticket. I loved it when he and the other non-mainstream candidate tried to storm the last debates (in Boston, I think) because they, too, were excluded from participating.

Who says who can and cannot participate?

Oh well - I digress!

Wonderful blog! More, please!

Anonymous said...

One more - sorry! Just read the other comments again. Clintonfan is correct! Wes Clark is wonderful, and I do remember seeing him on Bill Maher and his speaking very intelligently about a Hillary Clinton presidency. I'm for change, and though I don't know anything personally about Obama as Clintonfan seems to, ... I agree with everything else!

Sue said...

Personally , I have nothing against the Clintons. But, they are NOT being specific enough to suit me. As a former employee of a radio station, though decades ago and a lapsed (by choice) member of NOW, I find her answers evasive and based on "remember the Good Old Days." As Mama Rose said in Gypsy- "Speak Up, Louise" .
I DON'T want to remember the "Good Old Days"- I want the 400 lb gorilla(the devalued dollar , overwhelming National debt, and job insecurity-) in the corner to be addressed as an issue. Want a popularist tv quote? Jack Webb "The Facts , m'am,just the facts..." I believe in trusting in one's own efforts- but right now , the Crips and the Bloods stand between Dorothy and the Emerald City. The Scarecrow has been dismantled and considered as a possible ingredient for ethanol. The Tin man has been kidnapped and sent to New Delhi. The Lion has not yet found his courage. Toto almost got poisoned by Chinese produced pet food last year. So even he is not up to snuff.Bet she longs for the Good Old Days when all she had to contend with was Miss Gulch and later the Wicked Witches of OZ. Waiting for Glinda to rescue her ISN't a solution.Glinda tends to come in at the last minute and tells her that all is well. Swell, its great in retrospect - but its not a solution.Dorothy HAD to do it herself. Dorothy had to take the risks. Waiting for Washington especially established Washington to do anything to sift through the devastation of the Bush years- think of economic scorched earth policy -is ,I think , like waiting for Glinda.

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