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!