Showing posts with label Iowa Caucuses 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iowa Caucuses 2012. Show all posts

Feb 19, 2012

The Frontrunner Ron Paul (Caution: Adult Content)

Now will you forgive us for imposing Rick Santorum on you? Even though his primary campaign theme is a strict "One Climax, One Kid" rule?

The competent Ann Selzer has just published a poll of Iowa voters, and our "unelectable" Ron Paul whips every other GOPer in a face-to-face against His Ineptness Barack Obama.

I wouldn't break out the champagne just yet. The results seem to reflect more revulsion with President Obama and the other Republicans than any great enchantment with our offbeat ol' Grandpa Paul.  But a guy can be heartened to see hints of a friendlier attitude toward Constitutional government.

Paul beats the president by 7 points. Santorum beats him by 4 and Romney wins by 2. Poor Newt loses; Mr. Obama sends him home to Callista by 14 points.

From Hawkeye lips to God's ears, eh?

(There is rain on our parade. Paul's unfavorables total 41 points against Santorum's 33.  The others' hate numbers are worse, 51 for Mitt and 65 for Newt.  


For a couple of reasons you probably want to read the whole thing, including links to the polling geekery. My brief report here is undoubtedly colored by a bias against hinging a presidential race on regulating the reproductive habits of every Joe and Sally Sixpack in the land. Likewise by disgust with the intense debate about how manly -- or bogus -- Mitt looks in his new starched and ironed jeans.  Too, my mind may still be fogged by the pleasant little fantasy  about going  rock climbing with Rachel.

Jan 19, 2012

Let's run 'em through the chute again, LeRoy

Re: Iowa Caucuses 2012

We grow hogs pretty good, but it sure shames us we can't count 'em.

Jan 4, 2012

But serously, folks...

If all of Paul's speeches had been delivered with the good-natured fire of his address last night -- as he acknowledged his close third-place finish -- he would have won more caucus votes.

As it happened, his 21per cent is impressive enough, earned in a region in love with massive farm subsidies and disproportionately full of retirees attached to their Social Security checks and subsidized health care.* A place of fervor in its belief that tossing money at schools advances education.  A place that argues the morality and effectiveness of laws requiring Americans to burn food in their in their vehicles.

And, yes, it does represent a step forward in the great argument that liberty is preferable in every way to legislative and bureaucratic compulsion. Well done, Dr. Paul, and an appreciative nod to your people who helped make it happen.

*Guilty, Your Honor, but begging the Court's leave to offer a brief explanation.

Morning after

We're within a few hours of "The WHERE caucuses?"

But right now the frat party continues with the cable networks crawling around on the carpet, scarfing up the pizza crusts with a little red sauce left on them, draining the Bud Lite cans abandoned by coeds who passed out early, and wondering who left her bra around the nerdy pledge's neck.

New Hampshire, it's your turn, and welcome to it. Meanwhile, if you'll pardon it,  I need to think about those lacy step-ins someone pinned to my toga.


While I'm doing that, feel free to gather your own group and rehearse a hymn of thanksgiving to Iowa for awarding you two big winners, a pair of small-government conservatives dedicated to civil liberties, the rule of rational law, restrained government spending, and federally mandated teaching of both creationism and the Lammanite theory in America's public schools. Oh, and plenty of earmarked pork for   the Pennsylvania Black-Lung zone.

Crazy old Grandpa Paul?  Well, about one out of five Republicans opined that he might have a point or two, a moral victory. It must be comforting to the statist wing of the GOP that moral victories correspond to peeing in your blue serge suit.  They can't end ethanol mandates. They can't phase out Uncle Sam bent over, grasping his ankles, inviting one and all, foreign and domestic, to work their will on our personal wallets.


Jan 3, 2012

FLASH ... Romney Captures SoL, Newt nabs second, Paul pales

Freedom did not shake her lovely tresses in my village of Smugleye-on-Lake. Our good Dr. Paul captured 11 votes of the 77 cast for 14.28 per cent.

The SoL tab:

Romney 22
Gingrich 20
Santorum 17
Paul 11
Perry 4
Bachmann 1

Further reports as they become available should your reporter remain awake. Being with that many people (about a thousand; it was a county-wide doin's) makes his butt tired, and the sensation often rapidly disseminates itself thoughout the other bodily parts.

Caucus morn on my electric teevee

They're all here. The cameras are on. I am siamesed to my new flat screen, listening to Them tell Me what I am like.

I am beginning to feel like one of Margaret Mead's Ta'u village girls.


Dec 31, 2011

Iowa Poll Results

Our libertarian is No. 2, two points behind Mitt's hair. It's the famous statistical tie.

Santorum is 3rd at 15. Newt is No. 4 with 13.7. Another stat tie.

In Order:

Romney 24

Paul 22

Santorum 15

Gingrich 13.7

Perry 11

Bachmann 7

Hunstman NR

Bated Breath (2), Iowa Caucuses 2012

In an hour we'll get the important pollster's final guess on how well the libertarian idea is selling in Iowa. Ann Selzer runs the Iowa Poll, and her operation was the  best predictor four years ago. It's paid for by the predictably statist Des Moines Register, but the little green editors there seem to leave Ann alone. They follow the Mark Twain dicta of journalism: "Get your facts first, then you can twist them as much as you want."

Ron Paul has been holding his own despite being outed as an insane anti-semitic racist who wants to spread the American legs wide for penetration by all those nasty foreigners  -- Arabs,  Commies,  Zoroastrians and so forth. His plan to use the 82nd Airborne as school-crossing guards has hurt him  especially badly. But he perseveres as No.1 or 2 --  more or less tied with Mitt Romney in the other polls.

Rick Santorum has emerged as the sort-of concensus candidate for those who think we'll get to heaven by peeping in one another's windows and reporting abominations to the proper authorities.

I'll pass on the poll results here, even though they'll be all over the media within minutes.

N.B. -- Even though Ann is considered damn good at her job, polling a universe as tiny and flighty as 90,000 - 120,000 expected caucusoids  is a major challenge.

Forced to bet right now, my limited-confidence guess of the poll results is:

1. Romney

2. Paul (or in a statistical dead heat with Mitt)


4. Gingrich

...followed by those who no longer matter.

Hustling Newt Gingrich

On second thought, I'm glad the Des Moines Register doesn't fritter away money on copy editing. Curmudgeons wielding pencils deprive the world of laughter.


Newt was hustling Iowans. A homeless woman decided to tell him her sad story and began:

“This is difficult so bare with me.” 

At least she was speaking to the candidate most likely to respond, "Sure. Your place or mine?"

Dec 24, 2011

(Two) -- John D. MacDonald, Jesus,and the Iowa Caucuses 2012

Part One of this little essay was inspired by a serous squabble in the political-huckster subset of organized Iowa Christendom. It is a fuss about "pay-for-my-pulpit" questions.

Dissension rules the pews. Then high priests and ward heelers in the Temple of the Van Der Platas Peeps are torn among the GOP candidates. Who, among Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum, is sufficiently sanctified to qualify for a temp job administering the government of the United States?

The schism threatens the temporal ambitions of high deacons. If their sheep cannot be driven to unity, the movement's caucus endorsements become a swill too weak to propel the self-appointed deacons to the worldly status of a Pat Robertson, or Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggart before he was caught one-handed.

The ambitious Bob Van Der Plaats leads the umbrella political/evangelical organization, The Family Leader.  He has three times run for governor and lost --  once on a platform including outlawing gay marriage by administrative decree. His single success came in an off-year of defeat three Iowa Supreme Court justices  who were part of a unanimous decision that a state gay-marriage ban violated the state Constitution.

(His signature concern is a nation of well-policed orifices.)

Ousting the judges was enough to keep him on Page One and nourish his lust to be a presidential kingmaker. And to some day have a national teevee co-preacher  built along the lines of Salome, or perhaps Tammy Faye? To have his very own Heritage USA, speaking of Mrs. Bakker?


2011 has not been good to Mr. Van Der Plaats. There are simply too many  theocratic panderers on the caucus stage, each with unswayable ardents, making a Van Der Plaats blessing a case of "So what?" And that he can not abide, so he  took action, and here's where things get murky.

He personally endorsed Santorum. He may or may not have put a price tag on his anointment.  One million dollars is the usually reported number for the alleged heist attempt. Van Der Plaats says he didn't do it, but even if he did it was simply money necessary to "promote" his  decision.

About the same time, he rang up the Bachmann campaign. Again, what he asked or offered is foggy. He did, or did not demand she withdraw in favor of Santorum. He denies it. Others claim otherwise.

He said. She said. All in the name of a holy outcome on the night of January  3.


Political sausage is ugly enough in its secular form, and it is not improved by random ingredients from every denominational hustler who claims to be first on God's speed-dial list.

If we continue to confuse a government with a religion we can confidently predict a future federal law specifying the number of virgins we must sacrifice to make it rain.

Dec 23, 2011

John D. MacDonald, Jesus, and the Iowa Caucuses 2012

In the 1980s our creator of Travis McGee was getting old, confronting the fact he was nearing his own deep blue good-bye. He turned his attention to the Eternal and wrote  "One More Sunday." It is a tale of two preachers

One leads a giant organization of teevee priest craft. He is the exploiter of advanced technology to generate millions from the book-free living rooms of the sick, the lonely, the hopeless. My God how the money rolls in. And those naive virginal girls all in white, Oh My.

The other is a a bona fide backwoods fundamentalist, and MacDonald makes him a hero. Primitive though his theology may be by allegedly sophisticated standards,  he rejects the offer of fame, big money, and all the alluring young ladies of the choir. He prefers to continue his personal quest, exploring with his small flock a way of finding meaning in a brief human life, a single strobe flash between the eternal Before and the everlasting After.


It's a rather long book and, I believe, not one of MacDonald's best. But if John's narrative powers were beginning to fade, his unmatched reporting skill was intact. "One More Sunday"  justifies your reading time with a wholly believable set of observations on the difference between God as the temple money changer, leading in all the polls, always heading the Top 40 Chart...

...and God as the ultimate mystery; God as sublime mathematics, or as the purest poetry, or as a Creator anxious for us to understand His nature and desires. Or Hers. John also leaves the reader perfectly free to reflect on a God identical to the image presented by Jews, later joined by Christians, over the past few thousand years of human history as recorded in the the Middle-East and the "West."

I doubt he would have endorsed The Almighty as fund-raising tool for defeated Iowa politicians. Further, my personal conceit this morning is that John may have given me a pleasant nod for calling  "One More Sunday" a useful tool for understanding the snake ball of American -- and especially Iowa -- presidential politics.



Dec 20, 2011

Let's be careful out there; an informant has reported the Hubris Gang is on the streets

Another morning note to my buddy, dealing with a more practical aspect of the final two weeks in the corn fields and hog lots:


Hi Dick,

At this moment Paul may be the clear favorite here. This exposes him to dat ol'debbil game of expectations.

1. In the two weeks remaining he will suffer unremitting negative attacks. They will center on general goofiness and advanced age with a strong undertone of alleged racism and anti-semitism.

2. These will have some effect, perhaps enough to deny him victory or even a strong second-place finish.

3. If that happens he will enter New Hampshire weaker, and his small but increasing support in South Carolina and Florida will deteriorate. Super Tuesday will be a Newt Romney walkaway.

The other danger here is really energized preachers pounding their KJVs. There's still time for them to coalesce around one of their own.  Bachmann, in particular, is running a near-perfect end-game race.


The Great Debate -- Iowa Caucuses 20112

My pal Dick is my old high school debate partner, and I immodestly report we tucked a bronze or two in the trophy case. This post is a little obscure for anyone not familiar with formal debate, but, what the Hell. Some readers are. Others are free to move on until I get back to my favorite hobby, posting retro cheesecake and gun porn. :)


Dick emailed me a positive Christian Science Monitor  piece on Ron Paul. The reply:


Scene: The National Forensic League national final in traditional debate. PBS teevee cameras are rolling:

Paul is the first-negative speaker who spends his first three minutes admitting "need" but criticizing the  affirmative's analysis of the nature of the need. In his seven remaining minutes he presents an alternative solution, a counter-plan. Even if somewhat faulty, it boasts internal consistency, unheard of in either academic or political disputation.

Discombobulated, the second affirmative stumbles through disjointed short takes about the unfairness of trick cases. Second negative reestablishes the logic and real-world pertinence of its program. First affirmative has had time to recover a semblance of coherence as that term is understood by, say, Kingman Brewster and Teddy Kennedy. 

This is enough for the judges who, by training and experience,  have never in their  lives faced a problem to which the solution was not government-inspired. The  remaining rebuttals are largely  ignored. Decision for the affirmative. 

But the nature of debate is forever changed.  


Fair warning. Intense political content to follow.

The two upcoming posts are purely political, my end of a small dialog with a university professor. (As Mayor Daly the would have characterized it, "We've been boyhood friends all our lives.")  So if you're not much interested in poltics, I recommend skipping them.

Me? I try to remember that politics is how we decide, for instance, if I may keep alittle of what I earn. Or own a LeMat without a permission slip from Eric Holder.  I think that makes it kind of important.

Dec 17, 2011

Yep, Romney

That didn't take long. Romney is The One.  Smart, experienced, moderate, and all that.

The Register (correctly, I think)  dismisses Gingrich as a flake. It rejects Ron Paul because:

"Ron Paul’s libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos and isolationism, neither of which this nation can afford."

That would be as opposed to the current economic chaos accompanied by shooting all the Arabaic speakers who piss us off?  Bearing in mind, of course, that this  sometimes motivates the Arabs shoot back. 

Bated breath - Iowa Caucuses 2012

The Des Moines Register is about to announce its endorsement of a GOP caucus candidate.  It will be good for one news cycle of excess verbiage among the political classes, then fade iinto the murk.

The Register has a history of endorsing the left-most candidate who has never been convicted of a serious felony. This year that would seem to be Romney, but everything else is so screwy any guess is dangerous.

The paper is trying to create suspense -- and traffic -- with a poll asking whom you think it will endorse. Ron Paul is the runaway winner. Good enough, although it is apparently a result of Paulistas' intensity rather than an answer to the actual question. The paper didn't ask, and doesn't care,  whom it should endorse.
An Iowa blogger joins the TMR blog roll. He's ColdHardCashner, a Constitutionalist and  big-L  Libertarian who's spending this season working hard for Ron Paul in the Iowa caucus. Welcome aboard, Sir.

The hot, the tepid, and the frozen; Iowa Caucuses 2012

The complete TMR caucus list just published named 25 hopefuls.

Of those, 12  remain alive for the caucuses, although some only in the purely techincal sense. As a practical matter, six are  cyrogenic. None actively campaigned.  Among them, only Huntsman is accorded a chance of scoring as much as 5 per cent. Johnson might eke out 1 per cent.  The aggregate vote for these men should not materially affect the chances of any of the viable candidates.

John Davis

Jon Huntsman

Gary Johnson

Fred Karger

Roy Moore

Buddy Roemer


The tepid. Any one of them might  break out into the hot class over the remaining 17 days. Short of Venus melting right into Mars, however, none of them will head for New Hampshire with a braggable Iowa record.

Michele Bachman

Rick Perry

Rick Santorum


Leaving the hotties

Newt Gingrich

Ron Paul

Mitt Romney


These lists are alphabetical. I'm not ready to handicap horses (whole or partial)  yet, just as I would be scared witless to  bet on the number of hours the next Kardashian marriage will endure.

Dec 16, 2011

Gingrich Gun Grabber

I actually don't know whether he is or not, for sure. The Hell of it is, neither does he.

Newt claims to be pro-2A, but,  as nicely illustrated by Dirt Crashr  Speaker Tweaker, his actions make his nose grow. His center of gravity is a wetted finger in the political winds.

I have a hazy memory that it was Tallulah Bankhead who went looking for the city part of Los Angeles and couldn't find it. She said, "There is no there there."

That's Newt.


EDIT: Fact Check. Mostly wrong. It was Gertrude Stein referring to Oakland.  But I don't think it alters the point, maybe even strengthens it. I have no trouble thinking of Newt as an Oakland kind of guy. Noisy, confused,  and on the ugly side of the bay.

Ron Paul bats .500; Iowa Caucuses 2012

The debate question was about  electability. Who can beat His Ineptness?

Ron Paul responds:

"Any one of us on this stage  can beat President Obama...".  It's a fine applause line, and he gets it,  a cheerleader effect. (Match a junior high eleven against the Chicago Bears and the school gym pep rally will  echo with promises of an upset. Republicans are  becoming persuaded Obama will beat himself, just like unpopular Harry Truman did in 1948.)   No score.

When things quiet down, he becomes his sensible self again: "... the question is, what do we have to offer?"  Then he trots out the logic which defines him, sound money, and end to warlike nation building in the Sandbox and beyond,  government as a necessary evil rather than dispenser of free ice cream. Bingo. Out of the park, Sir. Everyone who hates free ice cream will vote for you.


Embarrassment of the night: Rick Perry: "I'm the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses."

Surprise of the night: Michele appears quite sane in one or two exchanges and seems to have won the point that Newt is an ass for patting her girly little head.

Winner of the Georgia two-step competition: Newt for his creative explanation that  sucking a million-six from the taxpayers via Freddie and Fannie is neither lobbying nor influence peddling.

Most disciplined hair and best-tailored suit: Mitt, for the umpteenth time, retiring the trophy.

As usual, Santorum displays the most concerned visage, just this side of tears. As a matter of simple human compassion, we need to cheer this guy up.  Next time, somebody should ask him about muffins.

Also present: Huntsman.