Thursday, January 03, 2008

Waiting, But Not Exactly With Baited Breath (UPDATE; UPDATE II)

It's caucus day in the neighboring state of Iowa. Had I the gumption, or time, I could have made a trip to Dubuque, or Cedar Falls, or even Davenport and seen one or two in action. Yet, I didn't. I shall refuse the temptation to make any prediction other than we will know no more about the status of the various races tomorrow than we do now. All we will have are the considered opinions of Iowans who brave the very chilly Midwestern winter temperatures to attend their various caucuses.

I will say this. Every four years we go through this ritual, and part of the ritual is an argument over the pros and cons of having Iowa and New Hampshire vote first. We hear the same arguments - the lack of racial and religious and other heterogeneity that mark the rest of the country; the lack of any urban presence (Des Moines isn't New York; Manchester is no Chicago); the small populations; the availability of candidates at what is termed the "retail" level, i.e., "just plain folks" get to sit and have coffee with Mitt Romney or chat up Hillary Clinton at the Dollar General; the states are small so expenditures are low (although that isn't actually true, considering the way ads blanket the states, and have done so since last summer) - and yet we seem stuck with them. The parties, I suppose could effect some modicum of discipline and insist on a sea-change in the Presidential nominating process, but we hear the same arguments about those, too, and here we are, not two weeks out from Christmas and the run for the nomination begins in real earnest, to be over most likely in six weeks or so.

So, expect the same rigmarole, the same articles, the same complaints, and the same circus, starting some time in the summer of 2010.

UPDATE: This bit from Think Progress contains a quote from Mike Huckabee claiming he doesn't know something. I think one thing we can be sure about after tonight is that whole libraries could be filled with what Huckabee doesn't know.

UPDATE II: The best summary of the Republican nomination race comes from Pastor Dan:
This race isn't about values; it's about who can show themselves to be the biggest sociopath.

Virtual Tin Cup

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