Friday, January 04, 2008

So Iowans have learned nothing from 2004.

It's sad, really. Rather than vote for a progressive candidate, someone who represents the increasingly progressive majority of this country, Iowans chose to go for a Democrat who is all style and no substance, and a wacko fundie Republican who by comparison makes Pat Robertson on his most batshit insane days look normal. For the Democratic caucus, here's how the final numbers broke down.

Senator Barack Obama : 37.58%
Senator John Edwards : 29.75%
Senator Hillary Clinton : 29.47%
Governor Bill Richardson : 2.11%
Senator Joe Biden : 0.93%
Uncommitted : 0.14%
Senator Chris Dodd : 0.02%

Precincts Reporting: 1781 of 1781
(Percentages are State Delegate Equivalents.)

John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were a virtual tie for second place, with Edwards maintaining the slightest edge. Everyone else got just over two percent of the vote or less. A lot less. But what does this say about the sorry state of the Democratic Party, that a guy who ran -- if such a thing could have been considered possible until now -- to the right of Hillary Clinton won an early state caucus? Hillary Clinton, the de facto leader of the conservative DLC wing of the party.

It seems that Iowa Democrats learned nothing from 2004. Four years ago Howard Dean ran a grassroots campaign that rivaled that of Ohio's U.S. Representative, Dennis Kucinich. He was even handed unearned front-runner status going into the Iowa caucus. But the state Democratic Party decided it wanted a candidate -- John Kerry of Massachusetts -- whose record was at best weak and whose entire campaign ended up being a pitiful exercise in weakness against a Republican incumbent who, by any reasonable account, should have been eminently beatable. Last night, Iowan Democrats did it again.

What was really sad was that Dennis Kucinich instructed his supporters in Iowa to go with Obama as their choice if he failed to get 15% of the vote. Four years ago, he threw his Iowa supporters to Edwards. I really wish he'd done likewise this year, because Edwards is far more qualified for the presidency than Obama. On the flip side, Republican Mike Huckabee handily won his party's caucus in Iowa. The Washington Post breaks down the percentage points thusly:

Mike Huckabee: 34%
Mitt Romney: 24%
Fred Thompson: 13%
John McCain: 13% (Just a few hundred votes behind Thompson, another virtual tie.)
Ron Paul: 10%
Rudy Giuliani: 3%
Duncan Hunter: 0% (At 515 votes.)
Tom Tancredo: 0% (At a laughable five votes.)

So Iowa Republicans, then, want a bugfuck insane wacko religious fundamentalist in the nation's highest executive office. Wonderful. Giuliani apparently wrote off Iowa -- and New Hampshire, too -- hoping to win Florida, South Carolina, and other must-win states. It's a losing strategy, of course, by a doomed candidate who found himself exposed for the monster he truly is too early in the campaign. That's what you get, Giuliani, for thinking you could run for dictator without anyone finding out what was in your political closet. So say goodbye to the former mayor of New York's campaign.

If Iowa is an early indicator of which candidates we'll end up with running for president, then this country is fucked. Let's just hope New Hampshire gives the win to Edwards.

EDIT @ 10:36 AM EST: Michael Moore had these things to say going into the Iowa Caucus, and after the state had been called for Obama and Huckabee.

January 2, 2008

Barack Obama is a good and inspiring man. What a breath of fresh air! There's no doubting his sincerity or his commitment to trying to straighten things out in this country. But who is he? I mean, other than a guy who gives a great speech? How much do any of us really know about him? I know he was against the war. How do I know that? He gave a speech before the war started. But since he joined the senate, he has voted for the funds for the war, while at the same time saying we should get out. He says he's for the little guy, but then he votes for a corporate-backed bill to make it harder for the little guy to file a class action suit when his kid swallows lead paint from a Chinese-made toy. In fact, Obama doesn't think Wall Street is a bad place. He wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan -- the same companies who have created the mess in the first place. He's such a feel-good kinda guy, I get the sense that, if elected, the Republicans will eat him for breakfast. He won't even have time to make a good speech about it.

January 3, 2008 (After Iowa was called for Obama.)

The Republicans won't go down without a fight. Look what happened when Kerry tried to play nice. So Barack, you can talk all you want about "let's put the partisanship aside, let's all get along," but the other side has no intention of being anything but the bullies they are. Get your game face on now. And, if you can, tell me why you are now the second largest recipient of health industry payola after Hillary. You now take more money from the people committed to stopping universal health care than any of the Republican candidates.

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