2012 Iowa Caucuses
First things first. It's already a foregone conclusion that the Democrats will nominate Barack Obama. So there will be no need for me to bother with their results since in most cases nobody is even on the ballots opposing him. So this year my focus will be only on the Republican contest.
As of tonight, the candidates are as follows: Former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum. Former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney. Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Texas Governor, Rick Perry. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.
Not joining them, due to relentless abuse from the leftist media here in the US, is Herman Cain. Cain was my early pick to nominate due to his sensible policies and unmatched business and leadership sense. Sadly, he's out. So my alternate steps up to the plate in Newt Gingrich. Yes, I expect that isn't going to be a popular choice
Unfortunately for Republicans, the field this year is just as bad as it was back in 2008 when we were trying to decide on someone to run against what we figured would be a Hilary Clinton campaign. The outcome of that we all know far too well. John McCain, who many of us held our noses and voted for over Barack Obama for reasons we saw coming as far back as 2006. Folks can say what they like about Republicans and about my views on liberalism in particular but I feel vindicated in the knowledge that an Obama presidency did exactly the damage we all said it would do - and continues to do to this day. The sooner we can get that man out of office the better.
So with that goal in mind, here are tonight's results from the Iowa Caucuses.
Rick Santorum - 25% (29,839 votes, 12 delegates)
Mitt Romney - 25% (29,805 votes, 12 delegates)
Ron Paul - 21% (26,036 votes)
Newt Gingrich - 13% (16,163 votes)
Rick Perry - 10% (12,557 votes)
Michele Bachmann - 5% (6,046 votes)
Jon Huntsman - < 1% (739 votes)
Herman Cain also took in 58 votes, for whatever that may be worth.
Being Iowa, the results here aren't really something to write home about. Every election cycle I can recall they've done something out of step with the rest of the country.
These results tell us one thing though. Nobody likes Jon Huntsman one bit, and I'd not shed a single tear if this China apologist were to drop out tomorrow and go back to Utah.
The real indicator comes next week with the New Hampshire primaries. Do not expect to see Ron Paul make a serious showing in a more serious contest.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil
Well. I guess that's that then.
So, word on the street is we're about to lose Bachmann and Perry, and good riddance. But man, has anybody in recent memory cratered as hard as Perry has cratered?
As to Santorum, well, he may overcome his Google problem some day. I'll wait for it. Until then, I'll laugh at every brown Santorum line on a chart, and laugh in amusement as you guys cast around for somebody, anybody, to stand up to Romney, who if he doesn't win it in the end, I'll be surprised.
As to Paul, I guess it wasn't enough that he's batshit about economics, and his foreign policy is insanity, so here we are with crazy as fuck racist newsletters and god knows what else. What's worse is watching the collected punditry lose their minds over him. Andrew Sullivan, for instance, who's usually smarter about these things and has been passive/aggressively fighting his readership for the better part of a month now over it. For myself, David Frum, or perhaps Ta-Nehisi Coates. That he is beloved of a certain segment of the anti-war left and the pro-legalization crowd troubles me to some end, his popularity among racists rather more so.
But we're agreed on his craziness, so enough of that.
I do not believe I can speak of Gingrich without overflowing my profanity limits, so let me just say I think you guys have dug yourselves a deep, deep hole and handed Obama the shovel, and leave it at that.
You can rail on Newt all you like, it will fall on deaf ears in the exact same way you guys wailed about how we should have left Clinton alone. That's all that really needs to be said about that. Newt has the best set of actual ideas among those who are left at this point.
Romney, well, good lord. Why in hell would I kick one national health care supporter out just to replace him with another? You're probably right though. I'll make a prediction now that Romney is going to end up taking the nomination. I won't like it, but it appears to be destiny.
If you think though that we've dug ourselves a hole we can't get out of, you are more oblivious to what's going on out there than I thought. Obama is toast against anyone but Ron Paul.
There's a potential wildcard in all this too. Donald Trump. If he pulls a Ross Perot, then that will hand victory to Obama. For everyone's sake, Trump better keep out of this.
Also, I've edited the OP to reflect updated stats and delegate counts.
You also took your chances on that post since I was in the process of breaking a lot of stuff right as you submitted it
Like the Twitter feed, btw. When I edit a comment, is the top supposed to be "EDITING COMMENT:" with nothing after the colon?
Yeah, "EDIT COMMENT:" is supposed to be that way.
There might still be some leftover glitches. The changes were to the bbcode controls to finally put an end to it not sticking to where you were focused in the textbox.
Now if I could stop needing to force refresh each page for whatever damn reason.
Iowa GOP Chairman says final caucus count gives Romney 8-vote win over Santorum
But I see that you already got it covered.
Anyway, there's a girl I know who's doing an exchange in Texas for the first six months of this year. I'm expecting she'll have some interesting stories to tell when the primaries come around.
The irony in your statement about the Christian right is amusing btw. You do realize the guy is Mormon and that hardcore Mormons make most Christians look like the devil, right?
The irony here being that this is what most folks associate with mainstream Christianity and yet are the same people hoping to see Romney win over the more traditional folks like Gingrich and Perry.
Given Romney's personal record, I can't imagine that the Mormon thing is going to particularly matter much on the off chance he gets the job, but then, Romney's never met a position he wouldn't flip-flop on in his life. Not, as prettyfly notes, that the Christian Right gives a shit, and the various previous uproars from evangelical types about Mormon "cultists" should be a clue here.
Of course, when your other choices are an idiot and a guy who apparently missed Bible study, I can't imagine being all that happy if I was particularly invested in some Christianist litmus test, so.
Which brings me to look back at my original comment that brought up the Christian Right where I'd been thinking about the political views of Romney vs the Christian Right, rather than their religion beliefs. Maybe I shouldn't have forgotten the whole 'Romney Mormon' deal.
I also believe that Gingrich is the best of whats left, I actually had my eye on him when he first entered the race. I think he would be good as a President and, unlike so many others, be willing to sit down at the negotiating table and actually get things done the right way. I know that he has a lot of personal baggage, I don't much like him as a person, but it's no worse than "The Lion of the Senate" ever had.
So I'm just going to sit back and watch and pray that the 2012 ballot isn't Obama vs Paul.
I'm the only one up here that understands true racism in this country is in the judicial system. And it has to do with enforcing the drug laws.
What? No, really, what the fuck? I can't even begin to fathom how this guy is even still a serious contender with off the wall crap like that.
Gingrich got in the best one, and I agree totally with this:
I just want to raise a point about the news media bias, you don’t hear the opposite question asked. Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration? The bigotry question goes both ways, and there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.
It's about damn time someone said it, it's been in dire need of being said for 30 years now.
Personally, I tend to believe that there's a much better case to be made against the drug laws by virtue of the fact that they don't actually work, but that's another thing.
If I was going to be cynical about it, and I think I am, I'd note that this is Paul attempting to distance himself from those toxic newsletters and various and sundry other "that sounds kinda racist" stuff.
Gingrich, I should think, seems to have missed first amendment class, never mind the fact that I'm pretty sure I've heard about all of that stuff from the media well prior to this. I'm tempted to go further than that, but probably can't without starting a flamewar. Suffice it to say that I am not filled with sympathy and tears.
Though, yes, the drug laws are fundamentally flawed in that they do not actually work. The "war on drugs" is a propaganda front to hide the budget for overseas military and CIA operations that they don't want people finding out about. Which, if Paul made that argument instead, would at least have him come across slightly less crazy.
Those papers and newsletters they're talking about weren't written by him. If Clinton's word that he didn't have sex with Monica was good enough for him, Paul flat out denying he wrote those letters should suffice as well. Unless, as with Clinton, there emerges overwhelming proof otherwise.
None of which can distance Ron Paul from his insane foreign policy stance.
As far as Gingrich, he's the only one on the stage who actually paid attention in First Amendment class. Nowhere in it does it say that the government is not allowed to support something religious. Its ONLY prohibition is on the creation of a state run religion. The entire point was to prevent the Catholic Church and/or the Church of England situation from repeating itself here. This whole "separation of church and state" thing is a total fabrication that didn't exist until the 1960s SCOTUS said it did.
Besides, all this government sponsorship of Atheism is starting to grate on MY nerves as far as state sponsorship of religion. Their actions in the last 30 years have made it clear that the State wishes to impose Atheism as the official religion. I know of only one system of government where this is expected and it's been responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the 20th century.
IMHO, the racism (and there is racism) is, as I think you suggest, a follow on effect from the economic disadvantages of a lot of minorities. It's a much bigger question than that, and racism as a whole definitely hasn't been eradicated by a long shot. Calling the drag laws racist in and of themselves seems a bit reductionist to me, but.
Which is not to say that I agree that framing the war on drugs as a front for the CIA would make anybody sound less crazy, but milage varies. Good intentioned, ridiculously expensive, and dramatically failed works for me.
I don't really feel like spending a lot of time on the newsletters, but there's an argument which I endorse that goes something like this, which is that there are a couple of choices:
A) Ron Paul wrote the newsletters. He's a huge racist.
B) Somebody else who is a huge racist wrote them and Paul just lent his name. Paul is willing to stealth court the racist vote, which makes him unethical and sleezy.
C) Somebody else who is a huge racist wrote them and Paul just lent his name, but had no idea of the content. Paul is an idiot who shouldn't be trusted to run the PTA, let alone the US.
D) Squirrel aliens. Oh shit.
Not that any of those choices absolve Paul from his even more problematic views re: foriegn policy, the gold standard, the Fed, and what have you.
Clinton, I think, is an entirely different matter I'm not interested in re-fighting right now.
As to the other:
1. There is a very clear distinction between "government not taking a religious stance", ie, what we're getting, and actual government support of athiesm, which I suspect would need to involve actual athiests at the helm of state, which isn't happening, and which I suspect would also involve a lot more church closures than are actually happening, a number I'm fairly certain is close to zero.
2. I don't know how Christianists think they look to the rest of us, but you start throwing down monuments to the Ten Commandments in courthouses and start trying to legislate your brand of Biblical interpretation, and the rest of us start getting twitchy and starting thinking about theocracies and comparisons to sharia.
3. The number of Christians persecuted in this modern age for the seditious act of going to church and following their code in their own spaces remains approximately zero, even in extremely blue states. Seen it with my own eyes, even.
E) Ron Paul is a lunatic isolationist with delusions that appeasement policy works and therefore has no business leading the most powerful military on Earth. So whether or not he wrote some silly newsletters 25 years ago doesn't matter.
Your 3 points on Christianity conveniently ignore that both of this country's founding documents are based entirely around it. They also conveniently ignore the fact that we didn't just one day decide to erect those monuments in our courthouses. Many of the ones that Atheist activists have had removed had been there for decades, in a couple of cases as long as 200 years. Nobody cared then. It's only been since the bullshit rulings of the 1960s that anyone cared enough to try and challenge it, and it's getting worse and worse as the years go by. Your points also conveniently ignore the fact that this country has been in a steady state of moral decline since those rulings took effect.
I realize that it will be next to impossible to convince you of this. Primarily because you were born into a society that had already been ravaged by the after effects and in which the liberal indoctrination had already taken root. I can assure you that the Founders would not be the least bit happy with the radical shift this country has taken in the last 50 years.
But I never did really address Gingrich's actual quote, so let us quickly dispense with that.
1. As far as I understand, all of the cases he mentions involves government funds, and in the case of MA, actual government services. Leaving aside the fairly obvious First Amendment considerations, the Fourteenth Amendment, specifically the equal protection clause, would like a word about using the tax dollars of gay citizens to discriminate against gay citizens among other possible issues. The government has no business giving money to churches (especially churches with tons of cash like the Cathlics) to discriminate against people.
That the actual discrimination is based on completely spurious grounds is somewhat besides the legal point.
2. This should, of course, be contrasted to organizations like the Boy Scouts, who as a non-government funded organization are perfectly free to discriminate against gays all they like. Morally reprehensible, of course, but perfectly legal, and they're free to carry on doing it. Notice, too, that the Catholic Church is free to go on discriminating against gay people all they like, they just can't do it with taxpayer money. They're free to make their own choices on their own time.
Which is as it ought to be.
Now, as to the whole founding documents thing, my reading of the Constitution has never revealed any inherent Christian bias to the thing, unless one can call the Roman Senate a Christian body. Fun fact: if you search for "God", "Christ", "Christian", or "religion" you come up blank. If you search for "religious", you get the prohibition against religious tests for office. Sole mention in Bill of Rights is that fun bit of the First Amendment.
Much the same test can be applied to the Articles of Confederation, should you be of a mind.
Now, obviously the Declaration of Independence refers to "Nature's God", which is more of a deistic reference than anything, but that's about it. Life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness isn't so much Christ as Locke, and while I'm sure the Bible has a riveting discussion of the utilities of legislatures (somewhere in Kings, no doubt), I must have missed it.
Of course, then we have the whole "moral decline" thing, of which several things must be noted:
- Actually, I was raised more or less Christian of no specific denomination, and had my share of church and Bible study not to mention historical study, which is irrelevent to this discussion except to say that I found the whole thing unconvincing on its own merits or lack therof, and anyway I'm nobody's tool and fuck you anyway for labeling me one.
- As far as the Founders go, I'm not going to presume the mind of Zombie Jefferson, but I am going to perform a little thought experiment re: 1790, pre-1960s, and 2012, which goes like this:
- Fan of slavery? You're in luck. It's in the founding document of the country. Churches all over the place are preaching the great duties of Christian slaveholders.
- Fan of killing Indians and taking their stuff? Boy have we got a country for you, and that one's #7 on the canonical List of Reasons We Fought The British. Proclomation of 1763 went over pretty well around here.
- Hey women, how's that not having any rights thing going for you? Pretty great? And that not getting to make any decisions or vote thing? You're down with that? Cool.
- Hey Catholics, we're skipping ahead here a bit, but those riots against you are pretty great, aren't they?
- Well, too bad about the end of the Constitutional slavery thing, but hey, at least we've got these cool Jim Crow laws! And this really great Ku Klux Klan! And hey, public lynchings are fun for the whole family!
- Oh. Uh. Sorry about that, Indians. How's reservation life going?
- Speaking of the Jim Crow thing, black people, how's that whole not voting thing working out for you? Segregation going good? Glad to hear it.
- Hey women, how's that glass ceiling working out for you? Oh, you had a hard time getting jobs after World War II? Guess that's a bummer, huh?
- Hey, Japanese people. How'd that internment thing work out? That was pretty great? Glad to hear it.
- Oh, and Chinese people, you liked that whole exclusion laws thing? That was pretty cool? Glad to hear it.
- And Catholics, I bet that whole "you're part of the Papist conspiracy against America" thing was pretty great, too, wasn't it? But hey, on the bright side, JFK is right around the corner, and hardly anybody's going to grumble about Catholics then! Well, except the KKK.
- Yeah, sorry about that, Indians. But the casino thing seems to be working sorta ok, right? So there's that, anyway?
- Hey, black people. Voting's going ok? Finally getting past those centuries of repression? Awesome. Still need to fix some stuff, but hey, got some actual representation going, you're doing pretty good? Great, glad to hear it.
- Hey, women. Voting's going great, and that glass ceiling's gone? Doing good on that representation? Great, glad to hear it.
- Hey, gay people. Still some work to do, but getting there on the ending descrimination? Cool.
Which is all to say that the founding ethos of the United States is, and I quote:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
2012 is the most free and most equal this country has ever been. Moral decline my ass, and this medium doesn't have a way for me to adequately express my contempt at the very idea.
Re: Founding documents and Christianity etc.
The Constitution itself does not need to invoke God, Christ, or a religion by name to have been crafted with those values and ideals in mind. The very nature of the entire document is only possible under a Christian oriented setup. Atheistic moral relativism couldn't have crafted a system like that and expected it to survive for very long.
As far as calling you a tool, I did no such thing. I simply said you've grown up in the post-indoctrination system. The version of history you've been taught has been sanitized by your professors. That makes you a victim of the system, nothing more. I know I won't be able to convince you though because I don't have a degree of my own to wave around. That's fine. A degree doesn't mean you have all the facts or were told the actual truth.
On to your thought experiment:
1790 Slavery: http://youtu.be/jUVONzyPRhU I know you don't like Beck, but it's his guest I'm referring to here. The guy with the actual information that debunks the notion that the 3/5 clause was a pro-slavery clause. Beck took a lot of flack for airing that, but Barton is the one actually pushing the position with the facts to back it up.
None of which ever touched on Article 1, Section 9, which has an even greater impact on the eventual end of slavery:
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
Which is basically to say that the Founders acknowledged there was some heinous shit going on here (which the British approved of and forced us into btw) and they were seeking ways to resolve the problem while at the same time avoiding the catastrophic failure of the country as a whole.
Also, there seems to be an awful lot of references to God, Christianity, and the Bible in the referenced writings of each of the Founders they list on that Wall Builders page.
Barton's group has also utterly debunked the notion that blacks had no right to vote and had no representation. He's not the only one though. Joseph Hayne Rainey held the position of Speaker of the House in 1874. Of significant note, he was a Republican. Which I'm sure must burn the butts of liberals everywhere for the US government to have to acknowledge this on its own website. Plus, blacks have held office in Congress since 1789. Not just token placeholder offices either.
I can't find the links to it right now, but there were also documented cases of states who allowed women to vote as early as 1789, though yes, that didn't go nationwide until 1920. However, we are hardly alone in that.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763? That proclamation? Even the leftist Wikipedia mentions the Indians were only pissed off about switching from French to British rule and started attacking British outposts because of it. I think perhaps you've latched on to some distorted history here if you think that was all about us dancing in the streets reveling in the killing of Indians. In fact, that hostility THEY initiated could be grounds to declare Jackson's actions an act of national defense.
The glass ceiling was then and is now a proven myth. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Chinese Exclusion Act: Gee, California was a den of moral depravity? Say it wasn't so! Er, wait, that isn't helping your point. California is an even more morally depraved hole TODAY than it was back then. That a racist group of Democrats got that law passed surprises nobody. The same kinds of people are still in charge here today. I love how the Wikipedia entry tosses in mentions of how Chinese got beaten even though the law itself was nothing more than an immigration Act.
Projecting the biases of the deep South onto the country as a whole when the actual on the books laws of 3/4 of the country were not in line with that seems like a pretty bad distortion to me. Even in the South, Jim Crow laws were routinely ignored.
I'm obligated to remind you that the only reason Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was because the Republican Congress was going to override the veto anyway and make him look like the morally depraved asshat he was.
Concede point on the Japanese internment. Not cool.
Papist conspiracy: What is this, I don't even...
As much as I'd love to validate your straw man with the Indian thing, don't you think perhaps it's time to just let that go? Yes, it was a huge blot on our history but that's been 150+ years and more and the ones alive today are not being exterminated en masse by the British or by us. The reality of it is, they're not getting that land back and they're not going to return to being independent nations. No matter how much noise those Lakotah guys make out of it.
The whole blacks being oppressed thing was old in 1950. It's a dead issue now. It's morally reprehensible to turn around and instead inflict revenge laws on white people who had nothing to do with the events of 200 years ago. If you want to end racism in the US, you (not you specifically btw) need to stop promoting racist legislation like Affirmative Action. Everyone should be judged on their individual merits, not the color of their skin. I find it telling that most right leaning people conform to that ideal while most left leaning people insist that you can only equalize by bringing non-blacks down.
Again, glass ceiling was a myth.
The only people discriminating against gay people are the gays. Want to get those of us who don't want to hear about it off your backs? Stop shoving it in our faces at every possible turn and getting morally bankrupt legislation passed to ram it down our children's throats in school.
With all the pontificating your thought experiment did, I wonder why the rights of the unborn were never once mentioned. Abortion is not a birth control method and any moral issues you've raised thus far are immediately erased by this and this alone.
Now if only Obama would go back and read that Declaration of Independence again. He might be reminded that institutional Marxism is not even close to a morally defensible position.
There's a pretty good chance we ought to both let this issue rest btw. Unless you'd prefer I descend to the level you're at and start flinging a few profanities of my own around. You of all people here know I'd have no qualms about responding in kind.