Ho-fucking-hum. Iowa caucuses...can't....stay...awake...
I'm wondering why it is that we should expend so much time and energy wondering what Iowan republicans think. I'm not suggesting that the good people of Iowa are not worth listening to -- if only because even blind hogs still find the occasional acorn, after all -- but because of the sort of republicans they generally tend to be.
Personally, I'm of the mind that there are really only two Iowans one should ever take seriously:
James Tiberius Kirk and Iowahawk.
And while one may be a fictional character (seriously, has anyone ever seen Iowahawk and his mild-mannered, beer-guzzling alter-ego in the same place, at the same time, ever?)they still make more sense to me than any of the morons on display in those Man-in-the-Street interviews from Ames or Des Moines which have dominated the news for the last month.
(Author's Note: If you're still not reading Iowahawk regularly, you are a flaming retard. Iowahawk should be considered one of the basic food groups like caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG and saturated trans fats. Get your daily requirements!).
I know, I know...you can't tar the inhabitants of an entire state based on the drooling responses to a dopey trick question asked by an openly libtarded journalist with the epithet "moron"; that's totally unfair in that way that your liberal friends will often ask you to consider the self-esteem-sapping, psychobable-y consequences of a risque joke by inserting "black" in place of "homosexual" or 'jew". But one would be hard-pressed to find any signs of intelligence in the process of the Iowa Caucuses.While we expect the majority of candidates to be stupid (sorry, Rick Perry), it's quite frightening when you realize just how stupid the mass of the electorate seems to be.
Then again, the stupidity of the common man was evident long before this latest go-round. After all, Bill Clinton got elected twice and some 52% of the electorate -- particularly Iowans --pinned their fortunes to a clearly unprepared and unqualified Barack Obama. It's just that the exquisite, honey-sweet and specific brand of republican stupidity that has been on display this last month leads one to start to question the validity and direction of the Modern GOP.
To begin with, let's start by examining just what calls itself 'conservative' (small 'c' intentional) in Iowa. They seem to come in two varieties:
The first species seems totally concerned with telling other people how they should live. They believe the proper role of the government is to impose a strict Christian morality. These are the voters who call themselves Social Conservatives, and their pet peeves often revolve around three, fundamental issues:
God, Guns, and Gay Rights.
These are the greater mass of Born-again and Evangelical Christian doofuses who believe that American Culture (such as it is) is in rapid decline, and that this decline is emblematic of a moral failing for which God herself will punish us. America must repent of it's sins (Abortion, Gay Marriage, Internet Porn, and MSNBC) and take to the righteous path of obeying the Word of God, or it shall be laid waste with great suffering, destruction, economic ruin, and military defeat. Those who survive will then need their shootin' irons to defend themselves against the Government Leviathan which possesses aircraft carriers, tanks, artillery and Stealth Bombers, if and when it should ever decide to go all Czech Summer on us in the resulting chaos. Good luck!
Except for the lucky people who managed to kiss Jesus' backside...they'll all be Raptured, of course. So they're not really as interested in my soul as they say, are they?
Because saving souls is what concerns them; however, they are impatient about it. The traditional roles and activities of religion in the process -- saving one soul at a time, building trust and personal relationships between institution, soul, and The Lord -- takes too much time, and requires great effort. Not to mention scads of cash. The Social Conservative wishes to turn the apparatus of government to the task of Saving Souls under the false belief that this will achieve God's work all that much faster.
The Social Conservative wants the government to use it's powers (particularly those of legislation, taxation and appropriation) in much the same way the Libtard wants to use them -- to support those causes they consider the most just, which is to say, those that support their own highly-suspect beliefs and mindset. That doing so, in the Christians sense, might literally mean that the earthly effects of those spiritually-directed policies might be less than stellar, doesn't even enter into their thinking (after all, what does God care if we're all gainfully employed, or that our levees are in good repair, or that the Marines have bullets when there's abortionists to hang, and Gay Boys to put in Concentration Camps...ooops...re-education camps... where they learn to Pray the Gay Away, and accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior?).
That which is directed to the ends of a Higher Power leaves those concerned with the Here-and-Now-Rather-Than-The-Hereafter with the short end of the stick.
Now, I'm often accused of being Anti-Christianity on this page, which is patently false. Christianity, the philosophy, has much to offer. My problem is with Christians, and in particular, a certain brand of Christians who can't see the trees for the forest. Using the power of the government to first establish (even unofficially) a State Religion, and then turning it to the purposes of that religion, is hardly conservative at all. Conservatives, by and large, care about individual freedoms and personal rights, while organized religion is typically concerned with keeping people ignorant, dependant, obedient, and frightened.
After all, God doesn't grant Rights: She gives Commandments. If you disagree with that statement, then I would challenge you to count up all the "Thou Shalls..." and "Thou Shall Nots..." in the Bible, and compare them to the number of instances of "Thou Hast the Right...." you find. Get back to me on that one when you're done.
A movement, social or political, which believes that it does not have to answer to any earthly authority and does the work of an authority which is unknowable, unseen, and ultimately doesn't exist, is a dangerous movement that will instill a tyranny as great as that which it fears from it's opponents on the Left. Once you begin to justify any action by the quaint-and-unanswerable formulation of "God Wills It", it's only a short hop, skip and a jump to a Soviet-Style police state run by a the Christian version of the Taliban.
These people are not "conservative" in the sense that we would recognize the word; they're fucking nuts.
The second species of Iowan conservative is just as dangerous, and nakedly hypocritical. They bear many names -- economic conservative, small-government conservative, Free-market conservative -- but they all have one thing in common; keeping the gravy train of federal subsidies rolling, and filling their pockets. With a tax cut on top.
Iowa is awash in federal subsidy money. What this means is that Iowa's farmers are paid the the hard-earned money of New Yorkers to not grow food in order to 'stablize' crop prices. Which really means that Iowa's farmers get paid money to artificially skew the market price of their produce in their favor, and then get to rape us at the checkout counter. Iowa's farmers also, perversely, get paid the hard-earned money of Arkansas' taxpayers to grow crops specifically for use in biofuels which largely suck, don't work, and artificially inflate the price of gasoline and just about every other product you can think of.
In other words, Iowans are getting paid (twice) to fuck every one else in the backside. And the beauty of the entire scam is that the rape victim gets to pay for the privelege!
If anything, far from being free-market, small-government, economic conservatives, Iowa's republicans are probably amongst the biggest recipients of welfare in the entire country!
One cannot consider oneself 'conservative' while simultaneously arguing that the entire structure of agricultural and industrial welfare system administered by the oversized-overstuffed-and-overbearing federal government, operating specifically to undermine competition and free markets, should be preserved and extended at the expense of everyone else. Either Iowa's farmers can survive in a true free market, or they can't. People either wish to buy ethanol or they don't. Why should anyone be paid to not produce products that are needed, and conversely, also paid to make a products that no one seems to want?
Didn't the Obama Administration just get into huge trouble over Solyndra for just such a thing? Or have we forgotten already?
And of course, both species want lower taxes. Because let's face it; it's hard enough having to live amongst heathens, or spending your days not farming, manipulating markets for your benefit with the connivance of the federal government, standing at the mailbox waiting for the subsidy checks to roll in, without having to pay taxes, too.
Above all, what I truly hate about what I've seen this past month overflowing out of Iowa like a toilet at the Port Authority is the smugness. The arrogance that comes with the knowledge that one can say one thing, but mean another, that you won't get called out on it, and that some schmuck who's willing to spend a billion bucks of someone elsr's money for a job that pays $400k a year will kiss your ass for it, too. Couple this with the extraordinary belief that some Mid-Westerners seem to have that they are a race apart, a special breed, and you can begin to see why I have a problem with the Iowa caucuses that goes beyond their already-proven ability to get it all consistently wrong,destroying the promise of many a GOP candidate through their special brand of insanity in the process.
I can predict this much: by the time it's all over tomorrow night, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum will be the big 'winners' of the Iowa Caucuses. None of them matches up well against Obama in 2012; Paul is crazy. Santorum is soooo 1950's and uncharismatic. Romney is too vulnerable to the charges of inconstancy and hypocrisy. The candidates which can defeat Obama handily -- Gingrich in particular -- will be wounded (perhaps fatally) by an Iowa loss that will have largely been engineered by people who didn't like the fact that they didn't promise to toss the moneychangers out of the temple and pledge to protect the current system of farm welfare with their very lives.
In other words, the GOP voters of Iowa are no better than the Food-stamp-and-Crack- Whore voters of Watts, Detroit, or Harlem on the opposite end of the Political Spectrum.
In effect, the GOP voters of Iowa, by artificially skewing the results of the Caucuses according to issues that largely do not concern the greater mass of Americans -- may begin the process by which Barack Obama squeaks out a second term, and coincidentally bringing about the reality of that national decline they all fear so fucking much.
Let me just say it now, just in case I need to later:
Nice job, Assholes.