A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa? What About It?

Today, eligible voters in this midwestern province of the United States attend caucuses to determine who amongst the candidates from both parties get to go on to the remaining primaries and which get to go home. Of course, this won’t be totally decided today; there will be caucuses and primaries in other states in the coming months. However, the media treat these events in Iowa as if they are a harbinger of things to come, as if the rest of us will automatically just fall into line behind this largely rural state and agree that the people they choose will lead us for the next four years.

Nothing could be further from the truth. While I will admit Iowa is an important part of the union – although for the life of me now I can’t think of any other contribution they make besides corn - we must be honest about our attitudes towards Iowa. Today we are treating this state as some holy ground, a la The Garden of Eden. After today – and for the other three years and 364 days to come - we will more or less ignore them. Oh sure, the Mississippi River will overflow its banks once in awhile bringing death and destruction to the state, and then the rest of the country will take notice. Otherwise, it’s “Iowa? What about it?”

So today, the rest of the country will pretend that the good citizens of Iowa know exactly what we are looking for in a leader. I say pretend because America is a big country with a widely divergent population. For example, will a resident of Des Moines share the same concerns about universal health care as a poor family living in Harlem? Will a God-fearing farmer from Clear Lake think like a California liberal who believes that George W. Bush’s vision of America is all wrong? Will a young family living in Davenport look at the war on terror as, say, a retired couple living in Florida? Probably not, but for argument's sake we are allowing the Iowans to make these decisions for us, but for one day only!

Of course, the caucus results today are not set in stone. History has given us examples where the big winner in Iowa crashes and burns in the sudden death round, otherwise known as the New Hampshire primary. I can’t emphasize the lesson of Howard Dean enough. One flash of exuberance to his supporters and the media (okay, actually just the Fox News Network) crucified him.

So how will it play out? Well, on the Democratic side, Clinton and Obama run the risk of peaking too early. They may cancel each other out, leaving Edwards out front, perhaps not today but most likely in the wake of New Hampshire. On the Republican side, it could boil down to a photo finish between Giuliani and Romney. McCain will probably show the strength to carry him into New Hampshire, and he may surprise everyone yet. As for the others - Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee – both are too radical for mainstream voters. Either one of them may end up running as independents. Oh, has anyone heard from Fred Thompson lately?

So today, everyone will carry on as if the election were today and the inauguration will happen tomorrow. Hmm...that’s not such a bad idea, considering who’s in the White House now. Mr. Bush, you’ve been doing a lot of hard, hard work during these last seven years...and you have nothing to show for it! Get out now, while you still have a legacy that you can boast about to your fellow Texans down on the ranch in Crawford. Go ahead, we won’t mind if you leave office 11 months and 16 days early.

Final predictions for today:

Who will win – the people of Iowa who will get their peace and quiet back after today.

Who should win – “Little Miss Sunshine”.


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