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Thursday, January 03, 2008

IOWA; LET'S TRY DEMOCRACY INSTEAD

I hate it when the press treats me like an idiot. Only my wife is allowed to do that. And for the past two months I have heard nothing but insults to my intelligence pouring out of the mouths of media pundits hyping their own profitable political advertising rates. Less than 3 million people live in Iowa, barely 52 occupy the average square mile. Animals in zoos don’t have that much space to move around. If Iowans were truly savvy they would have long ago moved to Colorado. And they are not even choosing candidates for president. They are choosing delegates for their party conventions, who may or may not vote for the candidates in August they are pledged to at the caucuses in January. These little gatherings are to democracy what water is to a cake mix. You need it but it is certainly not indicative of whether the cake will be chocolate or lemon meringue.
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On the Republican side the pundits are predicting a “turnout” of 85,000, and the “winner” is expected to draw, maybe, 40% of that; or about 19,000 people. And, honestly, you can probably find 20,000 Iowa Republicans willing to vote for the Tooth Fairy, if the Fairy promised to eliminate the Federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare. And on the Democratic side, Barak Obama is urging college students to get involved in the election. I not even sure college students should be allowed to drive, let alone vote. Until you are forty you haven’t screwed up enough or been screwed over nearly enough to be qualified to pick between two politicians. It’s like being asked to choose between two muggers. Until you’ve been mugged a few times you have no bases for making a comparison. When I was a college student I voted for Michael Dukakis; case closed.
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Remember, also, that the geniuses in the Iowa Republican Caucasus picked the Anti-reverend Pat Robinson as their number one choice in 1988. If we had listened to these rubes back then every science class in America today would be exploring the technology of buttons and being taught by an Amish elder. And now, if you believe the polls, the Iowa loonies are leaning toward the Reverend Mike Huckabee. This guy is a joke that stopped being funny when you reached the age of consent. He is the political equivalent of the “chattering teeth”. He doesn’t believe in evolution, which is like not believing in electricity. You have a constitutional right not to believe in it, but grab a live wire and you will still be eliminated from the gene pool.
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And let’s just look at what the geniuses on the Democratic side have done to earn all of this respect every four years since they started this insanity in 1972; that year and again in 1976 the vote for “uncommitted” won the Iowa caucuses. But that period of sensible politics was followed by a win for Jimmy Carter in 1980 (he was then defeated), Walter Mondale in 1884 (he was then defeated), Richard Gephardt in 1988 (everybody defeated him) and Tom Harkin in 1992 (and who the hell even remembers who he was?) Bill Clinton won the Iowa caucus in 1996 but he was running unopposed as the popular incumbent President. In 2000 the Democratic winner was Al Gore, followed in 2004 by John Kerry. Why are we paying any attention to who the hayseeds in Iowa vote for? They actually picked the winner once in the last 28 years, and only because HE ran unopposed!
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The very word “caucus” seems to have been stolen from the Algonquin Indians by the Democratic political machine that was organized by Aaron Burr (there’s a powerful symbol of democracy!) and which ran New York City from 1854 until the 1940’s, out of the Tammany Hall on East 14th street. And to be honest, a caucus has as little to do with democracy today as Tammany Hall did back then.
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It’s too late to save this year, but maybe four years from now we could suggest all those farmers in Iowa might try democracy, instead. And then they will truly deserve our respect.
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