Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 3, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

HOORAY FOR IOWA!....On CNN, Bill Bennett just celebrated the Iowa caucuses because there's been "no violence, no killing." That's way better than Kenya! Anderson Cooper agreed, telling us that Iowans have invited strangers into their very own homes and.....haven't killed them, I guess.

CNN sure sets a low bar for extolling our fabulous electoral system, don't they?

Kevin Drum 8:36 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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Iowans have invited strangers into their very own homes and.....haven't killed them

Ahhh, but would the media tell us if they had? Plus there aren't any returns in yet, so how do we really know?

Posted by: tomeck on January 3, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Of course we don't kill them. Didn't you hear that inviting people into your home is an American custom? Not like old Europe, where your guests force themselves in at gunpoint.

Posted by: demisod on January 3, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Better luck this being noticed here:

The troubles with having a primary, worst of all the first one, in Iowa:
1. Heavily white population disenfranchises ethnic minorities.
2. Cold/snowy weather disenfranchises older and less-abled people.
3. The bastards grow corn for all that damn fattening HFCS, and inappropriate but thereby politically mandated ethanol program.
Maybe more, but that's bad enough.
If you care about picking good candidates, try to stop this for next time.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

The killing didn't start in Kenya till after results. We're both corrupted ex-British colonies with tightly contested elections that have polarized the nation, so it's only a matter of time.

Posted by: Boronx on January 3, 2008 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

I have relatives caucusing in Decatur County Iowa - and trust me, no body there is a stranger to anyone else. They know way more about one another than makes anyone comfortable.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 3, 2008 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

OFF TOPIC: Kevin, are you planning to post on David Cay Johnston's new book, Free Lunch? I heard him on Terri Gross's show today... all I can say is,

Whew.

Posted by: mattski on January 3, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sheeeeit, I didn't kill anyone tonight. What am I, chopped liver? I am so unlucky.

Posted by: dennisS on January 3, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

mattski, I heard that too - and when it was over my husband just looked at me and said "as mind-blowing as that book sounds, I can't read it. It'll push me over the edge."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 3, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's absolutely astounding that someone hasn't killed Bill Bennett and Anderson Cooper long since, and it will be an amazing act of forbearance if the people of Iowa do not rise up and do so in the course of the evening.

Posted by: rea on January 3, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, when the election comes where there finally IS violence and killing during the caucauses the cable people will chalk up to the supporters of whichever candidate the press doesn't like and use it to argue for electing their preferred 'tough' candidate.

max
['Democracy in action.']

Posted by: max on January 3, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

No suicide bombers riding tractors?

Posted by: Speed on January 3, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hot off Drudge's live feed:

RESULTS:
Obama 34.52; Edwards 31.61; Clinton 31.13
Huckabee 35; Romney 24; Thompson 14; McCain 12

"Heavy Turnout in Iowa May Delay Process... "

Very interesting! I did trash Iowa, but hey, the joint matters!

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

PS: Funny how the Dems show 4-digit precision, not the Repubs.
BTW not final yet of course, and Obama is creeping up. Aside from big mo, his winning there would be of historical significance. Yeah, all those white voters I griped about upthread are rather progressive folks, it was just the principle of the thing.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

BLACK MAN IS BEATING WHITE WOMAN!
(in a good way)

Posted by: lampwick on January 3, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ha-Ha-Ha!!! Huckabee's leading and Giuliani's a big loser at 4%. HA-HA-HAAA!

And Obama, Edwards, and Clinton are all basically tied. What does that mean? They're just going to have to keep killing each other until the final Democratic nomination? Throwing away their resources so they can lose to a Republican??

Posted by: Anon on January 3, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

RESULTS:
Obama 34.99; Edwards 31.26; Clinton 30.96
Huckabee 35; Romney 23; Thompson 14; McCain 12

Almost half point for Obama in less than 10 minutes of counting, if I am appreciating this correctly.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

BLACK MAN IS BEATING WHITE WOMAN!
(in a good way)
Posted by: lampwick on January 3, 2008 at 9:19 PM

And really cool if they run in Nov. as a team and win: black man and white woman together in the White House! The red-state rednecklicans would never live it down...

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

RESULTS:
Obama 35.21; Edwards 31.08; Clinton 30.78
Huckabee 35; Romney 23; Thompson 14; McCain 12

Obie-won is pulling away.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Obama! Obama!

Posted by: Xanthippas on January 3, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, wonder boy is on a roll:

RESULTS:
Obama 36.30; Edwards 30.50; Clinton 30.21
Huckabee 31; Romney 23; Thompson 13; McCain 12

Oprah must be twirling like a baton, hee.
I basically like him, but everyone is going to be studying him closer now. He has got to stand up under the search for substance. I wish him luck with that, and I don't know how it will turn out. But better him than any on the other side as best I can see.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

OTOH Kenya has secret ballots and one person one vote.

Posted by: Tentakles on January 3, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kansas is up 17/7 at half time.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 3, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

I hadn't realized the extent of my beneficence in not physically harming my guests, or not killing someone who invites me into their home.

Jimm The Beneficent

Posted by: Jimm on January 3, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

RESULTS:
Obama 37.12; Edwards 30.02; Clinton 29.61
Huckabee 34; Romney 25; Thompson 14

On top by seven points matters.
Clinton in third and in the symbolic twenties (even though tiny gap from Edwards): not good for the originally inevitable front runner but she has plenty of chance (they point out that Reagan lost Iowa.) But not at all the fall suffered by the increasingly ghoulish and grave-bound other former FR, and now the other side has Kook-I-Be and Ken doll in the lead, or maybe McCain will take it away in the end (which is cool since their establishment hates him, supposedly.)

Posted by: Neil B. on January 3, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

The results are in - my interpretation:

I think Obama/Huckabee wins in Iowa signify people are ready for significant change. Incrementalism be damned, both sides want the norms of political behavior to move several standard deviations. It really is incredible that it has taken 142 years since the abolition of slavery, for a black man to be in position to ascend to the highest office in this country.

So, you better start swimming, or you'll sink like a stone, cause the times they are a'changin...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 3, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama wins it. I posted it here before.

Posted by: Boorring on January 3, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

In Kenya, they accuse the incumbent of stealing the election, and they go out in streets to get it back.

In America, we accused Bush of stealing the election, and we wimpishly let him have it. How Sam Tildenish of us.

Who are the better democrats, the ones who fight a dishonest election, or those who let the thugs steal one?

Posted by: anandine on January 3, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

On MSNBC Chris Matthews was visibly disgusted with the prospect of Mike Huck as the Repub nominee, saying that after 8 years of GWB Americans would want a president who knew where countries were located on a map.

One commentator tried to draw a parallel between black males getting to vote in the USA 50 years before white women, and (maybe) Obama getting to the White House instead of Hillary. I dont see it that way, because I feel that the voter preference is based more on a desire for change than for ethno-gender category. Consider if the tables were turned, and Obama were Bill Clinton's Afro-American marriage partner and Hillary was the young upstart female senator from Illinois. Would you be surprised if Hillary had won instead?

Posted by: troglodyte on January 3, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Tonights big news isn't Obama or Huck--it is the overwhelming turnout by Dems (and Indeps going Dem). It is a good sign that Dems can win marginal states they lost last time like Iowa, NM, and Ohio. So tonights big winner: The DNC!

Posted by: Bush Lover on January 3, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's been the working hypothesis on the right since 'Leviathan' that people are bad. ( And even before that with all the religious wars of the Dark ages)
And because they are bad ( and sinners) we need authoritarian statism.
Now of course the Military-entertainment complex have to keep selling us this malign meme even though its caused the deaths of millions and is redundant in our modern highly networked society. The future then, looks bright for 'Libertarian democrats' imho. Bleak for those throwbacks and reactionaries appealing to the worse angels of our natures. Those political Neanderthals.

Posted by: professor rat on January 3, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Just got back from the Iowa caucus, where our precinct went 80% for Obama, 12% for Edwards, and 8% for Clinton.

It was a great, great night to be a Dem. All in all, we were gathered together with our friends and neighbors for almost 3 hours. It was a festive, raucous, and joyous occasion.

I know you people like to dump on Iowa as a place dominated by a bunch of yokels, but--damn it--I'm proud of what we did here tonight. We turned out in huge, huge numbers, and we took our responsibilities seriously.

Now, it's time for all of you who look down your noses at us, to have your turn in your own primary or caucus. It may be a pipe dream but--just for once--I wish the rest of the nation would give us the respect for serious, hard work that I think we deserve. We did NOT blow this off, but did our best to really size up these candidates.

Posted by: Stensvaag on January 3, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm proud of you, too, Stensvaag, and a little jealous that I'll never see what that's like firsthand.

Posted by: shortstop on January 3, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stensvaag: you and your fellow caucus-goers were American heroes tonite. My hat is off to you; stand proud.

Posted by: lampwick on January 3, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's a great story that Sen. Obama won tonight, for which he and his supporters deserve a heartfelt congratulations for their hard work.

However, the greatest and potentially longest-lasting political impact in Iowa this evening was the overwhelming statewide turnout for all the Democratic candidates collectively, which at approximately 218,000 participants represents a stunning 74.4% increase over the 125,000 who showed up only four years ago.

If that trend continues throughout the primaries across the country, the Republicans will soon find themselves perched at the edge of a political abyss while simultaneously staring back into the face of a populist tsunami, the likes of which hasn't been seen in America since 1932, when an angry electorate completely repudiated President Herbert Hoover and the GOP in favor of New York Gov. Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats.

And speaking for myself, it couldn't happen to a nicer group of bigoted and selfish fucks.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 3, 2008 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Iowans have invited strangers into their very own homes and.....haven't killed them

Jesus. Now you have me worried. 33 districts have yet to report in.

Huckabee and Obama certainly have the funnest names. They also sound like preachers.

Posted by: B on January 3, 2008 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks to Stensvaag, and Henry P. Wallace, and all of my relatives, and my all-time favorite professor, who still teaches American Government at a small liberal arts school in Iowa, and everyone else who went out in the cold and practiced Democracy tonight. Being a sucker for real patriotism, I'm practically misty-eyed right now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 3, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Iowans wouldn't kill their neighbors: They would just feed them Lutefisk.

Kenyans, like most people except Americans, protest stolen elections, though to be honest, there were protests during the Bush inauguration, only our media elite gasbags wouldn't show it.

Poor Chris Matthews was spinning himself into a pretzel thrashing Clinton. 2/3rds of Iowans voted against her, he shouted. Rachel Maddow pointed out that 2/3rds of Iowans voted against each of the first three (well, almost 2/3rds), and that 87% voted against McCain. Tweety did not like that, no he didn't. He's making a shitlist and she's at the top just below the Clintons.

Posted by: Mike on January 3, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still trying to figure out where you would find a 'And speaking for myself, it couldn't happen to a nicer group of bigoted and selfish fucks.'

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2008 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

Gah, proofreading is my friend. Lets try again.

"I'm still trying to figure out where you would find a 'a nicer group of bigoted and selfish fucks."

Posted by: Aaron on January 4, 2008 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

You can steal an election in the US and there is no fighting in the streets. This is not entirely a good thing.

Posted by: Laney on January 4, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Obama is waking people up. Clearing their heads. There will be many formerly racist people all over the world, including the American South, who snap out of it because of him. They'll come around to, "You know what? This guy is making sense." Even to, "I like this guy." Obama could change the world massively for the better, let's make sure his Secret Service protection is top of the line, then double it.

Posted by: ferd on January 4, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

But Obama's dad was a Kenyan! Suppose members of the other tribes come to America to burn his supporters? Wolf is right on to subliminally warn us, as usual! Get Tweety on board and maybe we can stop this horror.

Posted by: Best Alien on January 4, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'm from Iowa (now in Minnesota). Of course Iowans invited people into their homes and didn't kill them. Yet. We prefer to bore people to death.

Posted by: Angela on January 4, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

God bless you, Stensvaag. And God bless the fine Iowans like you - you certainly did a wonderful thing last night. I lived in Iowa for a while years ago and my favorite (and most liberal) brother-in-law lives there now. Iowans, by and large, are wonderful, honest, hard-working people. I had my doubts about Obama before, but after watching his victory speech last night, I can see he is a very, very special candidate. The speech made the hairs on my neck tingle. Obama has the mojo - he is for real.

Now, if we can stop the right-wing loonies from using violence to get their way, as they so often do, Obama will easily be the next President of the United States. Hands down.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 4, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK
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