According to Politico, lots of Iowans don't want him to win, even though thousands do. Those who do are True Believers in Paul's idyllic libertarian gospel. Those who aren't Paul-struck worry like mad lest he does win--and their worries are well-founded. He may. Should the Texas senator pull off an upset, it would be another argument in the arsenal of those who are sick and tired of the Tall Corn state. Our first-in-the-nation caucuses may well go south fast. And the reason is simple, Ron Paul has zero chance of beating Obama. It's that simple. We Iowans, Republicans especially, are adept at picking losers.
Of course, the rest of the field isn't doing much better, if you believe yesterday's new polling data. Obama's on the rise, while anything Republican is not--this despite the fact that those who believe "it's the economy, stupid" see the nation's woes weighing heavily against this incumbent president.
In Iowa, a vote for Ron Paul is a vote to send the whole magical mystery tour somewhere else next election cycle. Tons of Republican and Democratic operatives would just as soon put Shenandoah and Keokuk in their rear view mirrors anyway. If you're going to stage the nation's first primary or caucus anywhere, why not in Florida, for instance, under the palms, or Arizona, where populations are vastly more multi-chromatic and you don't have to slow down for tractors.
Paul wins here on January 3, and the Hawkeye record is as bad as its basketball team. Huckabee last time--remember him? Pat Robertson?????????? Shoot, Dole even beat Reagan before Reagan was granted sainthood. Iowa Republicans are not winners; they're true believers.
We grow more social conservatives than we do corn. Here, the religious right has immense clout, vastly more than they have anywhere in the nation, it seems. Shoot, Bob Vander Plaats has been on all the news shows this year, got courted more lavishly than the Pork Queen, all because what he directs is the state's religious right in a johnny-come-lately assembly whose name focuses in on their cute little deliberate punctuation error--FAMiLY LEADER.
Politico claims Vander Plaats called one of the candidates, Michelle Bachmann, last week--get this!--got on the phone and asked her to pull out of the race and support Rick Santorum because, after all, wouldn't it be neat if all the good Christian Iowans could support just one good Christian candidate? The leader of the FAMiLY LEADER has become such a powerful broker that he thinks he can call a candidate and, piously I'm sure, direct her toward the back door.
Bachmann said no, thank goodness.
So Vander Plaats endorsed Santorum, even though his FAMiLY LEADER couldn't nail down a single candidate. Undoubtedly, some of the righteous brass wanted Gingrich, whose personal record as a family leader isn't particularly impressive.
I like Ron Paul, not only because he's the only really believable candidate in the pack, but because, if he wins, maybe the whole shooting match will go elsewhere--all the robocalls, all the ad men, all the rental busses and cars. They all go south, and we're left up here in earmuffs.
I'm not just being Scrooge this yuletide either. I think sharpened politics has been disastrous on church communities, especially with the bloated reputations of the religious right. People can't talk about politics anymore without reputations being smirched, without someone assuming that those who don't buy the company line are as sad as the sad cases who don't stand up and testify around the campfire.
I never, ever want another kindergarten grandchild of mine to climb into my lap and tell me that Obama is a baby-killer. I'm tired of the firewall politics builds between people who believe in the same God and the same savior, the same kid in the manger. I'm sick unto death of the divisiveness that arises in the blessed name of Jesus. And I don't understand how a mob of well-meaning, flag-draped Christians can actually believe that freedom is more biblical than justice.
Maybe if the caucuses leave, the uncivil wars will beget little but coffee table skirmishes. Maybe if someone else gets first-in-the-nation status, my phone will go silent.
I don't own a TV station or a rental car outfit or a restaurant or a bar, nor the Des Moines LaQuinta. But that doesn't mean I don't have a stake in this mess. I say, vote Ron Paul. When his name is called, walk across the gym floor. Make him a winner and leave our church alone.
Good riddance. Send Bob Vander Plaats back to Sioux City. He's not as important as he believes God almighty thinks he is. On January 4, they'll all be gone, the spinmeisters, the ad men, the pundits, the party operatives, and most of the phone bank--on to greener pastures. Vander Plaats and his righteous crew will have had their ten minutes of glory and the rest of us can get on with life.
Vote Ron Paul.