Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Reality Will Trump Corn-Fed Illusions

(Sioux City, IA) Post harvest time is when many farmers inject manure into the soil. This fall practice serves a dual purpose; it disposes of accumulated manure from confinement operations in an eco-friendly manner while providing fertilizing nutrients to the soil which had been depleted by the recently harvested crop.

Perhaps it is time to inject a little realism into the political landscape out here. We can dispose of a good deal of the excess bullshit expeditiously while restoring some sense of balance to the skewed and wacky formulations touted by various candidates’ campaign staffs, blowhard pundits and other self proclaimed political experts. The hyperbolic exhorting regarding the upcoming Iowa Caucuses, more outrageous each presidential cycle, have reached an unheralded level of absurdity. If one lesson has consistently been taught by the Caucus-goers of Iowa it is that the Iowa Caucuses are but a grain of sand on the presidential primary beach. Much to the chagrin of these poor, deluded souls, Iowa and all its alleged national political influence, is nothing more than a fallacy, a charade, a silly game. At best, Iowa serves as a winnowing factory, perhaps plucking out the darkest of the dark horses. The relatively small number of Iowans who venture out on a cold January night quadrennially serve as the bluntest, dullest blade with which the field is narrowed.

Reality. Now that is a far sharper cutting edge. Facts can quickly send the bravest of the long shots scurrying back to their cozy house or senate seat or whatever boardroom, state house or whorehouse from whence they emerged. If this statement causes you to pause, to doubt its accuracy, you may want to research the post-Iowa Caucus political careers of such statesmen and luminaries as former Iowa Caucus winners like Edmund Muskie, Tom Harkin or Dick Gephardt. Better still are the dimwits who managed to spin an “above expectations” showing into some hybrid form of victory like Pat Robertson, or Gary Bauer. This list is actually longer but why waste the time; the point should be obvious.

The Iowa Caucuses are the Paris Hilton of presidential primaries; they are important simply because the media and political professionals say they are. It can seem that way especially since every four years any half-assed, tenured academic who happens to teach political science at one of the many universities or colleges in Iowa, who has a microphone shoved in front of them by some network reporter, is only too happy to tell America just how important Iowa is.

Then, of course, there are the locals who salivate in anticipation of the media hoards streaming into this land that time forgot every four years. (The months preceding the caucuses are a real boon to local economies across the state.) Take a flack like David Yepsen, the semi-obese, disheveled political editor of the Des Moines Register. Mr. Yepsen finds himself the center of attention in a year like this; wined, dined and courted by candidates, pollsters and others seeking knowledge from the great oracle of Hawkeye politics. Let’s be real. The Des Moines Register is a rag, it is an embarrassment as a statewide newspaper. Anyone working for the Register is not there by choice. If they had any talent at all as journalists they would be working for a paper in Bismarck or Omaha or, if they were truly gifted, Peoria. So the well-fed, self-important, befuddled Yepsen (who spends the other 3 years every cycle writing insightful pieces on the machinations of feedlot odor legislation as it slinks its way through the state house) is provided the platform to analyze the race, and all its infinite nuances, for everyone else. Yes, indeed, Iowa is important. Iowa says so.

Inevitably, candidates, usually second tier wannabes actually positioning for a cabinet appointment or a cushy ambassadorship, buy into all this crapola. They begin to quietly craft there “Iowa Strategy” and tell any goon with a press pass how a victory or “better than expected showing” in this bogus contest will catapult them through the real primaries and into the White House. (Somebody probably promises bloated old pathetic Yepsen the White House Press Secretary job every four years.)

Now, we are hearing from the desperate, the candidates who are watching their presidential aspirations evaporate like tendrils of night fog over a cornfield at sunrise. As a public service, some stiff doses of reality are in order.

Mike Huckabee. A former Arkansas governor? Mike, despite your homespun, Southern Baptist preacher cadence and portable sincerity, you must have lost quite a few brain cells when you dropped all that body weight. Obviously, you have forgotten your own record as governor. Wait until the national media begins to put a little more scrutiny on that shady history. All the local party hacks have got you believing you really have a shot? Your faith in your chance of success is admirable no matter how delusional it may be. Bottom line, Mike, America may have elected imbeciles and maniacs to the highest office but there will never be a leader of the free world named Huck-A-Bee...it sound too much like a game you’d find on the midway at the state fair. President Whack-A-Mole?? Get the drift?

What does Mitt, the name stand for? What does Mitt, the candidate stand for? Tough questions. Mitt, all these Iowa farmers and their wives certainly appreciated you paying for all of them to be bused into the Ames Straw Poll last August. It was mighty generous of you to pay them to get on your buses, to feed them, to feed them some more and then to put them back on your buses with doggie bags after they cast their votes for you. No doubt you can afford to buy every republican caucus vote in January but, that will most likely be the end of the line for you. It is not because you are a Mormon but because you are the emptiest of empty suits, a true to the core politician who will say anything to anybody about anything to get a vote. Perhaps you can write the Ames expenses off on your taxes. Enjoy the rest of your time here, Mitt. Super Tuesday will bury you.

Former Senator Edwards, you’ve spent more time in Iowa since you and Kerry blew the 2004 election than Tom Vilsack. Your roadside signs and direct mailing brochures are real pretty. You are very photogenic and you have “labor” behind you. “Labor”, as it is called, is a miniscule portion of the workforce. They, John, are the spoiled, coddled, over paid, greedy, benefit hogs that have contributed to the demise of American manufacturing and industry. They might trust some backwoods ambulance chasing Carolina trial attorney but, John, Iowa may be your one brief shinning moment. Oh, and, John...third place behind Shrillary and Obama will NOT be a victory of any kind.

Take heed Bill Richardson, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson and all the others who may be entertaining sweet dreams of caucus night celebrations, of raucous affairs in the swanky bars of Des Moines before venturing out of this state the day after destined for the ultimate prize. Iowa is not a field of dreams. That was a movie, a work of fiction. Wake up and smell the manure. That is the hallmark scent of this bland, barren place but a good west wind sweeps it towards Illinois quickly just as the Iowa winds and reality will sweep you all off the campaign trail.

(By the way, New Hampshire is just Iowa with pine trees.)

Cletus E. Yoder for TBC

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