Watching the results from tonight's Iowa vote, a few things became very clear:
First, the contrast between the Republicans and Democrats could not be more profound:
Huckabee's victory shows just how diminished the core of the Republican party has become: The base is now evangelical homeschoolers? How much farther can they sink? And people wonder why veteran GOP lawmakers are retiring at a rapid pace. The party looks like the Titanic heading toward an iceberg that they'll hit in November, but at least they'll have Old Huck-up to play the music this time, as he can strum his bass as the ship sinks.
Huckabee is the voice of the Republican party? A man as idiotic and clueless as any serious politician I have ever seen. He's laughably unprepared to run a laundromat, let alone a country!
A man "educated" where? Check his education record. I love to hear him speak, just to see what kind of "Huck-up" he'll make, whether it's not knowing where Pakistan is, Iran's nuclear plans, apologizing for the assassination of Bhutto. Talk about a lightweight: The man is two pounds lighter than a straw hat!
A man who held up aid for tornado victims because it was characterized as "an act of God" and seeks to impose his Christian views on a country that has a Constitution in which the word God is NEVER mentioned and was written by deists who wanted a secular government. The ignorant, uneducated historical revisionists would like to somehow claim that this is a Christian nation, but it is a country founded on religious freedom, not the establishment of religion. Thus, Huckabee, and Romney for that matter, are hopelessly out of touch not only with the moderate, rational majority in this country, but the historical reality of this nation, which many of us love. This country is about freedom, not freedom to be a white Christian or a second class citizen, which is the choice people like Romney conveyed in his hapless speech about his religion, saying "part of freedom is faith." Talk about someone who doesn't get it. He learned tonight just how closed-minded his religious Republican friends are, for he lost because of his Mormonism, obviously. The core voters were evangelicals, who nearly all voted for Huckabee, who gave perhaps the most boring victory speech I have ever heard. I was desperate to see even a token minority on the stage as he spoke, yet there was not a single one. Instead, I got Richard the Third up there: "See where his Grace stands, 'tween two clergymen! / And, see, a book of prayer in his hand / True ornaments to know a holy man."Once again, Shakespeare knew very well how cynical and corrupt leaders use religion to sway the ignorant masses.
The Republican field is pathetic: A bunch of middle-aged white men with their plastic white supporters. They are a group of characterized by pathos: The world has passed them by; it's not 1952 anymore...Ron Paul has fresh ideas? What a joke...His ideas are fresh to someone who has had his head in the sand for so long that the libertarian platform is some kind of revelation. Sure, many libertarian ideas are great, especially the anti-government role in personal behavior such as drug use etc., but Paul's foreign policy and knowledge of basic economics and sociology are ridiculously simplistic. Government programs were established for a REASON: Unchecked capitalism leads to the deplorable conditions that existed during the industrial revolutions in Britain and this country. Read Blake, Dickens, Sinclair and the hundreds of non-fiction accounts of the conditions in England and this country before government oversights. This view that we can abolish basically every government agency is the most childish and ignorant idea in a campaign that is full of non-issues. Humanity is defined by greed, and programs such as Social Security, labor unions, regulatory laws etc. were created because of the way employers abused employees; that is why all of you are not working for 50 cents an hour! Wake up! Paul is in fantasy land and that's why he will get his 10% and eventually fade away, as all the other Libertarians have, including the last time HE ran for President. He's got a bunch of internet geeks on his side because he's a Republican who is against the war. Well, you see where that position got him in his wonderfully intolerant party--banished from the Fox debate and relegated to the role of the crazy old man in the attic. It's great how rich old white guys can convince all these middle class fools how horrible the government is, the same government that provided public schools and universities that helped us become educated professionals, rather than peasants in third world countries. Your smaller governments are waiting for you, just head south of the border. I've been to all the Central American countries--go see how their small government works for the lower classes. In the meantime, Paul, the hypocrite, will continue being one of the leading earmark abusers in the Congress, spending the COUNTRY'S money for his pet projects in his backward little Texas district. It's time to wake up Paul supporters, for whatever issues lead you to support Paul will be much more important to the eventual DEMOCRATIC candidate than whomever wins on the Republican side. Your man has been dismissed by a party that, as your man says, simply wraps itself in the flag and carries its cross, talking about freedom...
Rudy is not even worth talking about: Perhaps the most dishonest, corrupt person to ever be a serious candidate, he has nothing to talk about except 9-11, which he made much worse because it was his idea to place the command center in the WTC buildings. What did he do to be a hero? He didn't hide in his office? OK, he was on the scene, being a MAYOR, which I thought was his job, but I guess when the President reads to some children with a deer-in-the headlights look on his face when the country is under the worst attack since Pearl Harbor, that made Rudy look like a real hero. Such is the pathetic reality of low expectations we associate with our leaders that if a marginal mayor shows a basic level of leadership in a crisis he is somehow worthy of being the leader of the free world. Is that what this country's come to? Really, what are Rudy's qualities? What does he have to offer? What tangible policies has he outlined? I know, "Fear is our only God" Rudy. I remember the Rage Against the Machine song, but that was so early 90s. Talk about a one-trick pony...
The only viable GOP candidate is McCain, who is over 70 years-old and is a genuine war hero who somehow lost to a draft-dodging AWOL drug abuser--our President--in 2000. Moreover, he has cast his lot with the "Surge" supporters, who are going to have a hard time defining an endgame and getting our 160,000 troops out of Iraq. Yes, violence is down and that is a great thing, but we can't leave National Guard troops there forever. Let's see what happens when the Surge is over and we need to get down to the business of stealing their oil for the next 30 years, which is the agreement we made with the new Iraqi "government" and is the unspoken reason why we didn't just claim victory and leave after we captured Hussein: We can't just leave because we need troops there to protect our companies(e.g Cheney's crew) who are there to take their oil, which was what this was all about in the first place. I would have much more respect for these politicians if they would simply state the obvious: We need oil to support our economy and we will have to fight wars to procure an oil supply until we wake up and develop real alternatives, as if the oil companies that made $40 billion profits last year will allow those profits to dwindle...
If we cared about democracy we would have troops in the plethora of wars going on in Africa, where our fellow human beings are continual victims of genocide, but poor black people with no oil somehow do not need or deserve democracy as much as those wonderful Islamic fanatics who want to kills us, not have our political system, so we give the Africans some bags of rice and a few rock concerts and focus on the great desire for freedom in countries such as Pakistan. Indeed, when they have democracy, they vote for anti-American extremists. Look at the Taliban, a group that we trained and supported, along with bin Laden, who we armed and trained when he was fighting those evil empire Soviets. Call me when this country is going to invade Saudi Arabia because they educate their children to hate us and attack us and indeed they sent the guys who hijacked the planes, as we all know, so let's go attack them and take THEIR oil, for there's much more of it, and at least there would be a sense that they had it coming, since their backward society and education system led to the attack on this country, but wait, I forgot that the entire Bush family has been in bed with these wonderful people for decades. When the Bush family has made millions off the wonderful Saudis, why would we expect them to actually hold them accountable for killing our citizens in our own country; it's so much easier to find a different Muslim country to attack. And so it goes...Corruption is by no means only a problem of the Republican party. Politics is a dirty business and honesty doesn't get one very far, but both Bush presidencies have been horrific failures and it's simply time to turn the page, but where do we go in a country that has lost any sense of political unity
On to the Democrats and the future:
"There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear..."
When Franklin Roosevelt died, a man was standing by the road crying as the motorcade passed, and a reporter asked the man if he knew FDR, to which the man replied, "No, but he knew me."
For what it's worth, Obama's speech was markedly different than the others because he spoke with passion and conveyed the sense that he cares about people, not simply his own ambition. It was interesting to compare the crowds at the speeches. Hillary's group on the stage looked like a reunion of Bill's supporters(the median age must have been 60), and her speech was flat as day-old beer. In Obama's speech there was actually hope and diversity, with young people, old people, men and women, all ethnicities on that stage, people who believe that a Harvard educated black man may actually be a better President than some backwoods preacher from Arkansas or some plastic Ken doll whose views change with each new opinion poll.
Race: This country has always been defined by it, as most of our history as a country was as a slave state. The economy we all enjoy was built upon the backs of Africans who were forcibly relocated here to create the wealth that we all enjoy. You don't live in a hut in a third world country largely because of the efforts of Africans in this country, as they built the great wealth that enabled the US to develop an industrial economy that allowed us to flourish.
Black men and women helped this country defeat Hitler in World War II, only to come home to a country that would not let them eat at a lunch counter, use a bathroom, or play professional baseball, and now, half a century later, a black man is now a serious candidate for President of the United States. It's a wonderful day in this divided country, as it's obvious that Obama is a solid candidate, although Edwards is also qualified, and Biden had perhaps the most solid credentials.
The intellectual qualities of the Democrats are so far beyond people like Huckabee that it's like comparing a professor to a child. Imagine Obama in a debate with Huckabee. I guess old Huck can just make up some funny one-liners. This was the problem with Bush: Idiots used to say he's the guy they would like to have a beer with, so that's why they voted for him, and therein lies the problem: The last thing we need is someone who is NOT educated about economics, history, world affairs etc. I want a president who is so much smarter than I am that I am amazed. I want to say, wow, that guy really has a handle on things. He knows what is going on! You know, a Harvard guy, perhaps, not someone who got into Yale because of his family connections. I don't want an average Joe operating on me, flying my plane, fixing my car etc., and I sure as hell do not want to put the future of my family and country in the hands of someone as clueless as our current President. Too much is at stake in this world, as we face threats from countries all over the world. We need someone who understands the nature of these threats and has a plan, not someone who doesn't even believe in Evolution. I know, it's THEORY. Yes, just as gravity is a theory and there's something called the germ theory of disease. I also believe in those two "theories". Anyone who doesn't "believe" in Evolution really needs to be living in a cave, not running for President. Read "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" if you need a little refresher course on why your fetus has a tail while it is in the womb... Guys like Romney and Huckabee are guided by superstitions more suited to the Middle Ages than the nuclear world we live in. They actually have much in common with the fanatics that we are trying to defend our country against. Facts are stubborn things.
The next few weeks should be interesting. I have no predictions to offer, as I already was wrong about Edwards winning Iowa, although I found it hilarious to listen to Huck and McCain crying about the dirty ads Romney was running in Iowa. What kind of things do you think the GOP will say about Obama or Hillary if they run in November? All the Republicans have left are their core group of white racists(the religious ones, of course), and a few sincere small government folks, who remember the party when it actually stood for something before it began being the tax and spend party of Reagan, the one who created the largest deficit in the history of the country when he cut taxes and increased defense spending(you can look that up). Anyway, the only hope the Republicans have is to go back to their racist rhetoric that they used so well in 2000 and 2004. You know, the "Southern Strategy" as Rove called it: Unify the redneck racists and the capitalize on the inequity of the Electoral College to win the Presidency. It's all very insidious but effective. Indeed, they surely fear Edwards much more than Obama and Hillary, knowing that the last non-Southerner Democrat to win was Kennedy in 1960!
But with the hapless group the GOP has nominated this year, even they must be a little worried tonight that truth, justice, liberty, and hope may actually be more than hollow words used to win an election. Perhaps that black man who speaks of unifying this country IS someone to be reckoned with, even if his name is Barack Hussein Obama. I'm sure their homeschoolers' textbooks can say his name is Osama Hussein. You know, a little typo...
On to New Hampshire(1-8-08), where things will get rough on both sides...
There's an old saying, "In Iowa they pick corn, but in New Hampshire we pick Presidents," and make no mistake about it, New Hampshire is essentially a must-win situation for Clinton, Romney, and even Obama, who needs to show that Iowa was not a fluke. We shall see...