Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, January 25, 2016


As we approach the Iowa Caucus, some ink is being spilled - as it is every four years - about why in the world we let this state have such an outsized influence on our selection of President.  Iowa is representative of...well, Iowa.  And caucuses are lunatic carnivals.

Hillary Clinton has to sweat out Iowa, because if Sanders wins there, he wins in New Hampshire.  And she will need not just wins, but dominant wins in South Carolina and Nevada to right the ship.  I hope that the Democratic process goes on for a while, because Clinton needs the work on her campaign tactics - her recent jabs at Sanders have been characteristically clumsy. But I worry about Sanders' viability as a general election candidate.  If it's Sanders vs Trump, then Bloomberg jumps in and suddenly a Trump presidency becomes thinkable.

On the GOP side, the caucus might actually start to winnow the field, which would be helpful.  But what if Ted Cruz wins?  A number of outlets have tried to create a database of articles and interviews that catalog just how big an asshole Ted Cruz is.  It's proved so overwhelming a task, it might require a full time team just to keep up.

But if Cruz doesn't win Iowa (or at least run a really strong second), I'm not sure how he remains viable as a candidate.

So, Iowa - irrelevant and incredibly relevant all at once.  Personally, I would love it if Iowa moved to a primary and held their contest on the same day as New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.  That way you represent the Northeast, Midwest, South and West all in one day, all in small states.  That would be infinitely more interesting, representative and fair.

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