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2016
Five Takeaways From the Iowa Caucuses
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  • FriendlyGoat

    Last night on PBS coverage after the count, Gwen Ifill seemed surprised that Marco Rubio spoke to his crowd sounding as though he had won, when he had actually finished third.

    The reason for Rubio’s tone was that he actually did win by not far behind the over-hyped circus between Trump and Cruz. I have a feeling Marco is going to soon be absolutely flooded with GOP money.

    • Nevis07

      Rubio had the best night IMO. He nearly topped Trump. I’m certain there were a lot of folks in DC that breathed a sigh of relief when they woke up this morning. The real question is how long the other candidates will hang around and continue to pull from him numbers. But he’s clearly the establishment pick.

      • FriendlyGoat

        We have to remember that Trump is unlikely to back down an inch unless he bombs on Super Tuesday.

        • Nevis07

          Probably true. And Trump is no dummy. he figured out how to appear more serious after initial jump in the polls and learned to moderate is positions more. I wouldn’t be surprised if he figures out a way to moderate his opinions more but still remain a populist. Still, one thing that Iowa exposed was that Trump’s campaign doesn’t have the same campaign infrastructure on the ground in the way other seasoned candidates have. It could hurt him, just like I suspect boycotting the last debate hurt him. But we shall see…

          • FriendlyGoat

            Odd as it seems after Iowa count, I think Cruz is the most irrelevant of the three. Of course, as a Dem, I would love for the GOP to run him.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Shockingly, we agree (at least in part) again. Rubio is likely to be the beneficiary of a huge push by the GOP donor class to force Bush, Christie, and Kaisich out of the race (good riddance to them all!). I would suspect that the ‘establishment GOP’ will (at least) try to coalesce behind Rubio, while Trump and Cruz move towards a reckoning in South Carolina. For Rubio, this is a good reason to feel encouraged, if not necessarily optimistic (third place is still third place, after all)….

      • FriendlyGoat

        Well, of course, you know I’m on the Dem side. But I do know how the GOP can easily win and it’s not a secret in GOP circles. You nominate Rubio to capture Florida, pair him with Kasich as VP to capture Ohio. Game pretty much over.
        This tends to cheat most everyone else in the country who might like their votes to count as much as the votes in those two states—–but, that never bothered politicians apparently.

  • qet

    I continue to not get the support for Hillary. It feels to me like a lot of people sort of committed themselves (to themselves and/or to their friends) over 10 years ago to a Hillary presidency and must believe that they have to keep that commitment now or lose face. Hillary Clinton is a cipher. She has accomplished nothing. All of the pictures of her as Sec. of State show just one thing: boredom. She had no interest in actually doing the Secretary of State job. Her lack of interest explains why she has absolutely no idea what is going on anywhere or even with her e-mail issues. She just waited for others to figure out what she needed to say/do, and then mechanically said/did them. This was also true of her Senate tenure. That was just a place for her to go each day while she awaited 2008. When 2008 went sideways for her, she needed another temp gig. So the power of Clinton Incorporated secured the Sec of State job serving a POTUS who had every intention of conducting his own foreign policy himself. So it was a reasonably safe place to park her for a few years. All Hillary has done is occupy the offices–Senator, SoS She has not actually performed them. She not only had no interest in being *only* a Senator or *only* a Sos, she just is not up to the tasks. So many people spent so many years praising her intelligence and judgment to the high heavens, and now they must feel they have keep up that appearance or look foolish. This is the only plausible explanation.

    There have to be other Democratic women who could answer the call from Democrats for a woman POTUS. It isn’t necessary to prop up Hillary any longer. She is obviously old, tired and brain-addled. She had her shot (2008) and lost. Say what you will about Sanders–he is a man with a plan, a mission, with ideas. Hillary has none of these. She is simply trying to prove the truth of Woody Allen’s famous dictum even as to the highest political office in the land: that 80% of the vote will be hers just for showing up.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Hillary has a boatload of money, 8 years to prepare, near universal name recognition, absolutely support from the Dem establishment, a carefully crafted resume, and is running against a 74 year old socialist with absolutely no people skills whatsoever. And still she only wins by four delegates? Her base of post-menopausal women is rock solid, but just about everyone else wants nothing to do with her. Only Democratic tribalism and the lack of an alternative is keeping her campaign on life-support. It many in fact be enough in the long run, but don’t bet heavily upon it.

      • qet

        Some of these qualities are exactly what puzzle me: “absolute support from the Dem establishment” (why?); “a carefully crafted resume” (yes, and I explained its worthlessness; a carefully crafted birdhouse is still just a birdhouse). Other qualities–boatload of money and 8 years to prepare–were possessed by, say, Ross Perot.

        “Democratic tribalism” and “lack of alternative” is another way of restating my point but without answering it. These qualities are precisely what I just cannot comprehend.

        In fact, Hillary has had 16 years to prepare, since 2000. I think we are seeing the result of too much preparation–boredom, listlessness, irritability at all the little sh*t which comprises 99% of campaigning just as it does life generally. But why there is even one person still advocating for her is just beyond me.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Support from the Dem establishment because the Clintons have spend decades buying them off and demonstrating their famously vindictive approach to those that don’t stay bought.
          Resumes are ALWAYS nonsense, but they make for wonderful campaign fodder, and do a fine job of fooling those that aren’t paying much attention (many/most voters)
          Perot never spent even a tiny fraction of what Hillary has available (and more on the way), and if she has wasted it (she has), that still doesn’t make a dent in the minds of those who believe that money buys political power (the campaign finance fanatics treat this as an article of religious faith). As for time to prepare, Perot was never terribly good at running for office, and if Hillary is worse at it (I think she is, in fact I believe she is one of the worst candidates in the last century), she has enough money and enough bitterness to make up for it.
          Democratic tribalism is fairly simple. Hillary depends upon a few key constituencies (women, the gentry left, some of the identity groups) and has become an icon among them. The number of lefty women who are committed to Hillary whether or not she is a good candidate (even a good candidate for THEM) is astonishing. Of course the postmenopausal woman demographic isn’t all that large, so perhaps this may not work for her.
          As for the ‘no other choice’, Hillary has twice attempted to clear the field before entering the race, driving away with bribes or threats any serious opposition. Twice her manifest incompetence has encouraged second-tier candidates (Obama and Sanders) to rise up (this reminds me of what happens when you overuse insecticide, but that is another discussion), and that is proving to be her undoing. With no other serious candidates (I doubt even FG is silly enough to believe that Sanders has any real chance), Hillary is banking that she is their only choice, unless you want to vote for those horrible….gasp!…..Republicans.
          None of this is difficult to understand, or even confusing.

    • FriendlyGoat

      So, the right answer, if the Dems are to have an answer in the 2016 circumstances, may be for Bernie and Hillary to team up—–with him on the top of the ticket. Women who don’t want to lose everything for themselves and their daughters might want to ask Mrs. Clinton whether she would be willing—–and if not, why not.

      Sanders supporters might want to be asking themselves (ourselves) whether he can possibly win without the Clinton supporters.
      Bernie, of course, if nominated, could always put some other woman on the ticket with him. The sooner that person was identified, the better it would be.

      • qet

        I expect that most Clinton supporters will vote for Bernie in the general if he is the nominee. I have my doubts as to how sincere Democrats are who claim that the quality of being a woman is important in the next President (or VP). So long as the ticket has the “right” kind of liberals, the Dems will be happy.

        The Sanders challenge and its success (so far) were unexpected I think, both by Clinton Incorporated and by the Dem machine generally. And also by most Dem voters, I think. So going in, as of a year ago, say, Hillary was Plan A and also Plans B, C and D. The Dems were betting the entire farm on Hillary. And I just can’t get my head around why that is. She has absolutely no qualifications. First Lady? That’s a qualification? Senate? That seat was purchased for her by Clinton Incorporated; she had no ties to NY. Sec of State? She was so obviously bored and uninterested with that job, so obviously thinking about being somewhere else all of the time, that she doesn’t even know how to give BS responses to all of the allegations about the crappy job she did! She merely relied on other people to tell where to be, what time to be there, what to say. And yet she was going to be handed the Dem nomination? All of the other Dem politicians (politicians, Dem or GOP, are not usually known for being shrinking violets or put-others-first sorts of people) were just going to sit on their brains and say nothing, do nothing, just let it happen? For her? I just cannot understand it.

        • FriendlyGoat

          As a man, it’s not at all important to me that the “right” kind of liberal be female. But in a time when people like Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, and Joni Ernst are “out there” on the other side making political waves, the liberals had better have one that can keep up with them in any debate on substance of issues. Hillary Clinton actually can do that, unfortunately with lackluster style.

          • Venkat Rao Dasari

            Here is a question for the democratic establishment: how come no other obvious female candidates to contest? Do they really value diversity among their ranks, other than as a wedge issue.

          • FriendlyGoat

            How come all you got this time was Carly Fiorina? I don’t know the answer to your question and you don’t know the answer to mine.

          • Boritz

            The answer on the Republican side is transparent as glass. The GOP is the party of angry White men (and when I say White I include White Hispanics like Cruz and Rubio but when I say men I don’t include women on whom war is both declared and on-going).
            But why the donks, the party of inclusion, don’t have more females in the game is a complete mystery and you are easily forgiven your lack of data.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Not very many people are as smart as Elizabeth Warren, or willing to be targets of perpetual derision in order to fight the fight, it seems.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Well, not many people are as smart as Lieawatha, but not quite in the way you mean….

          • FriendlyGoat

            The issue with Warren is regulation of financial manipulation. It is not dismissed on the circus about her 1/32 Native American claim or whatever.

          • Angel Martin

            Fauxcahontas is a fake financial reform populist. She just voted again against the audit the Fed Bill.

            http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/265401-paul-targets-warren-sanders-on-audit-the-fed-bill

          • FriendlyGoat

            The 24 co-sponsors of the bill are Republicans, Angel. That’s how you know it’s stupid. Then there is the fact that voters are not giving Rand Paul the time of day. The Fed is not the enemy.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Somehow I rather doubt you would be saying that if she had an (R) after her name….is EVERYTHING excuseable?

            Don’t bother, I know the answer already

          • FriendlyGoat

            R’s don’t do “regulation of financial manipulation” at all, as you know.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Rep Oxley is on the phone for you….

      • f1b0nacc1

        If Bernie agreed to such Hillary as a VP, he would have to hire a full-time food taster…
        Seriously though, there is simply no chance whatsoever that Hillary would agree to take second place. She would forever destroy her mythic role among elderly women (something she seems to deeply relish), and thwart her own ambitions forever. She is running in her last race, and anything less than the presidency will be seen as exactly what it is, a personal failure due to her own glaring inadequacies. It might not be fair (actually I think it is, but anon…), but she is not ever going to accept that…

        • FriendlyGoat

          No, she probably isn’t. But she should.

  • dawnsblood

    And yet current President Obama will tell you Iowa is sometimes right on.

  • dawnsblood

    The only thing that really surprised me about the primaries was that the winner on the Repub side (Cruz) was able to dis ethanol and still win. I honestly thought that was akin to sacred ground out there.

    • f1b0nacc1

      I wonder if we are reading the tea leaves properly. The assumption has been that Cruz won exclusively because of his strong evangelical support, and while there is no doubt much truth to that, there is also evidence that strong support from the Libertarian wing may have helped him as well…

      • dawnsblood

        I suppose that is a possibility. I had assumed the libertarian types would flock to Rand but I guess they could have done the ‘lesser of two evils’ thing and voted against Trump by going Cruz. I’m not sure there is a way to know though. . .

        • f1b0nacc1

          Calling Rand an empty suit would be an insult to what is left of the American garment industry. Libertarians are often not the most practical people in the world, but I suspect that Cruz is close enough to acceptable, while Trump is not.

  • Anthony

    The idea long live the American presidential process and the Iowa caucuses brings to mind that there are numerous elective offices in U.S. And considering the fact that there are willing aspirants (and willing apparatuses), the mere running for offices and filling them amounts to quite an “industry” in an economic sense – gives employment to many people (WRM’s entertainment description aside momentarily). Secondarily, caucuses and national attention unveils how the American system is a most ingenious system of control – in a country “so powerful, so big, so pleasing to so many of its citizens, it can afford to give sense of freedom of dissent to the number who are not pleased.” Pericles, Cato, Hamilton…

  • adk

    Read this before discussing Hillary’s chances. She really does belong in jail.

    http://observer.com/2016/02/breaking-hillary-clinton-put-spies-lives-at-risk/

    Hillary Clinton Put Spies’ Lives at Risk

    It’s not the ‘nothing-burger’ Clinton allies have tried to portray — lives are literally at stake

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