Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chaos In Iowa?

The Idiot Punditocracy is experiencing pre-orgasmic political convulsions as it tries to stay abreast of the final sprint to the Iowa caucuses, predicting winners and losers. In horse racing terms, the field has bunched up at the top of the stretch, and it's "anyone's race." Perhaps.

The post-Herman Cain joke favorite, Newt Gingrich, is fading fast, victim of repeated challenges from Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, with devastating negative ads that have gone unanswered by the low funds/no organization Newt. And the Beltway Republican establishment, with an assist from honorary members like Chris Matthews, has lashed out en masse at Gingrich with a ferocity that would make the 11th Commandment non-Christian Mormon revisionism, and Ronald Reagan blush.
Meh ... NOPE.
 Will there be a pro-Newt backlash? Not likely. He really does look like a car bomber and the earthly manifestation of Mephistopheles whenever he cracks that cold cheshire cat grin. Will Romney's heavy late spending in Iowa propel him to the top? Not likely. Even with his nod to racist KKK voters (Iowa is first in the nation per capita in KKK groups) recanted, sort of, when he was caught working an old KKK slogan into his campaign speeches. Once MSNBC caved disgracefully from its report, it only showed that Romney can pull strings with the Beltway Media, not that he really means what he says. Typical Romney flip-flop and none too convincing to the racist vote.

No, the real racist candidate, at least with the most unambiguous bona fides is Ron Paul. After the GOP establishment-driven Paulie racist past exposé was dusted off for another presidential go-round by the conservative establishment publication Weekly Standard, the Beltway Media seized upon it with a vengeance. The anticipated result (is Steve Capus happy, or what?) of course, is to help the establishment candidate Mitt Romney by depressing Paul's numbers.

But will it work? It's not a good idea to spread your piñatas around. The more you have, the more diffuse the whack-the-piñata energy becomes. Newt has become the piñata of this GOP field, a testament to how universally reviled he is, not only by the establishment but by those in the know and who have experienced Newt close up. Chris Matthews reacts to Newt as if he's responsible for stealing Chris's childhood. Everyone in these circles, it seems, wants to see Newt's final humiliation at the polls, as voters run the other way. I don't. Mixed feelings. He'd be excellent for Democrats up and down the ballot nationally, and the most entertaining major party candidate since Richard Nixon. Of course, Nixon won, which may explain Chris's panic. But Newt? He's the second coming of Barry Goldwater without the intellect and integrity. His loss to President Obama would be a landslide of Goldwater proportions. Ah, well.

If anything, the media attacks on Paul's racism have only energized the racist vote — white supremacists have come out in his defense — and not budged Paul's followers one inch. By the way, calling them "Paulistas" is an affront to the residents of Brazil's most populous state, São Paulo, the "major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy." With a population plus 41 million "Paulistas", São Paulo easily has more people than have, or will ever vote for Ron Paul. On the other hand, São Paulo is also home to the "Confederados", the last confederate southern outpost to flee this country and take up roots in São Paulo rather than surrender to the Yankees. But you'd have to know your history, and Paul supporters are historically illiterate, among other things.

And so my prediction that Paul wins the Iowa caucuses with a 31 percent share of the vote, stands. Little has been said about his organization and ground game, but it's the best, even his opponents will concede. The question then becomes, who finishes 2, 3 and 4? There's something about Romney that doesn't sit well with voters, including Iowa voters. We all know what it is. In a word, the man is a phony. He has no political core — familial, sure, a Mormon Ozzie and Harriet? — and voters have smoked him out.

Romney doesn't expect to win Iowa. If he does, it'll be the surprise lump in his gravy. Second place is well within reach, and a "win" for Romney heading into New Hampshire and beyond. Finishing third or below is problematic and a boost for Gingrich, provided he survives in the top four. Iowa has been a general campaign strategy laboratory for the Romney campaign, testing the effectiveness of his three-pronged attack: retail politics staying positive with official campaign ads, while blanketing the state with (wink-wink) unlinked Romney SuperPAC negative ads targeting his main perceived rival, Newt Gingrich. They've left Paul alone; they need that racist vote, as well as Paul's libertinos, which won't happen in numbers. Ron Paul is Mitt Romney's stalking horse to destroy Newt Gingrich in Iowa, and they're OK with that, even if Paul comes out the winner. Notice that the Beltway Media's preemptive narrative is that if Paul wins Iowa, Iowa doesn't matter. Not true. Can you feel the tug of strings Idiot Punditocrat puppets?

My predicted order of finish in Iowa is: (1) Ron Paul; (2) Rick Santorum; (3) Mitt Romney; (4) Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum is heavily courting the evangelical vote, and has an important endorsement to show for it. Iowa voters like to be wooed, and the fact Santorum has visited every Iowa county will earn him a strong finish reward from the voters. As Paul heads south, literally not figuratively, his racist props strengthened and validated by the Yankee media, he may well emerge as a strong STOP-Mitt candidate.

But I may be wrong. We shall see.


Tom Degan said...

It isn't very often that one happens upon a politician as delightfully sleazy as Newt Gingrich. The man is a walking, talking caricature. Thomas Nast - the legendary nineteenth-century political cartoonist most famous for his drawings of New York's corrupt Boss Tweed - would have loved the Newtster! This is the same guy who had eighty-four ethics charges filed against him during the four years he served as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Tom Degan

Carlos said...

Absolutely, and the modern Nasts, Stewart and Colbert, must be mourning Newt's anticipated loss. It's tragic that GOP voters won't go entirely insane and nominate the Newtster. Who knows, maybe Iowa voters can give us progressives a lift by making Newt the 'comback kid'?