Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sick of Iowa

Let me just get this off my chest - I hate Iowa's role in selecting presidents. They have the stupidest system (caucuses) with a population incapable of forming a thought deeper than "ethanol good", and yet we give them the first crack at deciding which candidates are serious and which aren't. I have never seen any justification for this idiocy other than tradition, and, let's face it, tradition has not served progressives all that well.

I say this before I know any results - if I were an Iowa resident, I would start off with Dodd, and, after the Dodd camp fails to get anywhere, I would shift over to Edwards. In case you're wondering, yes, I will happily campaign for whichever Democrat wins at the convention. For the first time since I have been watching politics, each candidate on the Democratic ticket is better and more electable than each candidate on the Republican ticket.

This isn't sour grapes speaking - I will be happy with whatever results come from our frigid sister to the North. I would rather draw names from a hat, though, that watch our Presidential candidates prostrate themselves before the Altar of Undeserving Iowa.

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Blogger Todd said...

However, my friend, you may think Iowa sucks, but why is Iowa a better state than Missouri (at least from a public policy perspective?).

I would suggest that the caucuses have had a great impact on the state and vice versa.

Of course I'm a Lamoni/Graceland caucus go-er from 1988 and I'd love to trade say the highway system from Iowa for Missouri's anyday.

I'll blog more later, but I think I'm going to try to see the process again in person today.


1/03/2008 11:00 AM  
Anonymous arewethereyet said...


1/03/2008 11:30 AM  
Blogger DLC said...

While it is somewhat of an oddball method I really enjoyed participating in the 2000 Iowa caucus. It's public, community-focused and gets people engaged in the process.

1/03/2008 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Dan's Right said...

It involves maybe 10% tops of the voters in an arcane procedure dominated by those who have the leisure time to spend hours and hours playing insider politics. I agree it can be fun, but it's not representative, it's not democracy, and it's not a smart way to start the selection process. Amusing a few pampered Iowans is not a high priority for the rest of the country.

1/03/2008 3:58 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Dan, where the heck did you learn that democracy has anything to do with politics in america?

I would argue that Iowa is more democratic than Missouri and probably most places in the country.

Lets look at the congressional races. there were more competitive congressional races in Iowa during the last cycle than all of Texas. Why? Because who makes the rules matters and Iowans know that.

It's not Heaven, but its Iowa (to turn a phrase from the great Field of Dreams movie).

1/03/2008 4:11 PM  
Anonymous whodathunkit said...

Do most people outside of Iowa even know what takes place during the caucuses?

I sure didn't know all of the rules.

Take a look at this info from CNN: Iowa caucuses 101: Arcane rules have huge impact on outcome

1/03/2008 4:45 PM  
Blogger emawkc said...

I actually agree with you on this on Dan (at least in regards to the caucus). I think Iowa is a symbol for what is wrong with the current electoral system: the corrupting influence of campaign money and the long election cycle.

1/03/2008 5:05 PM  
Blogger Darin said...

This is Branson Missouri corresponding from Iowa.

Without getting into all of the flaws - Iowa brings an important element to American Democracy.

Retail Politicking.

People in Iowa (the 200,000 Republican and Democrats who actually caucus) see all the candidates multiple times before they champion someone for president.

This is an old and important tradition. Thats why I'm here. I want to look in the presidents eyes when I ask him/her a question. I want to have a firsthand experience and an understanding of their character. It's an amazing process - especially the Democrats - and a chance to see how citizens respond without the multi-million dollar marketing machine.

1/03/2008 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darin said: "I want to look in the presidents eyes when I ask him/her a question. I want to have a firsthand experience and an understanding of their character."


1/03/2008 10:00 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

"each candidate on the Democratic ticket is better and more electable than each candidate on the Republican ticket"

Any interest if Bloomberg runs as an independent?

1/03/2008 10:08 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

That was a joke, right, Darin? You were trying to make us chuckle about how Iowans think they can recognize character in a handshake?

The Iowa mystique is for the gullible.

1/03/2008 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You captured what I meant by "ugh" but more eloquently!


1/03/2008 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan will happily campaing for any Democrat who get the nomination.

Apparently Dan has no deeper thought than "Democrat good".

And he thinks Iowans are stupid, but for YEARS they have had the system that sets the tone and makes the country come to them.

As for Dems, I will probably vote for one, but NEVER that MUSLIM Obama. He won't protect the country.

1/04/2008 2:42 AM  
Anonymous The Steinmaster said...

Dan is the one who thinks the KC BAR is made up of honorable men.

Dan is a moron.

1/04/2008 2:44 AM  
Blogger Darin said...


I'm saying its a game - a very important one.

It's not the only game. Just 1 of 50.

But its the oldest since the creation of the city-state.

Branson Missouri

1/04/2008 3:28 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Heidi -

No interest in Bloomberg whatsoever.

Darin -

It's a much bigger deal than one of 50 contests - we've already seen several resignations after the results of an undemocratic, unrepresentative process. I think it's an instance of tradition outweighing good sense.

1/04/2008 6:15 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Best quote I heard yesterday was "Iowa isn't first because it's important, it's important because it's first."

1/04/2008 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did Iowa start having its caucuses? When did its caucuses become first?

1/04/2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Sky Girl said...

I don't know anyone from Iowa so I can't comment on the personal qualities of Iowans, but I watched some of the caucus on C-SPAN to try to understand the process, and it looked like barely-controlled chaos. Weird way to start off an election. Also, I think having the candidates spend all that money in Iowa keeps the rest of the country from getting a chance to hear from them first-hand.

1/04/2008 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1/04/2008 9:33 PM  

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