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What's Wrong With Iowa?

There's fly-over country, and then there's Iowa. Basically a patch of corn somewhere in mid-western America which no one could point to on a map without the little dotted lines marking state borders, Iowa assumes untoward influence during each presidential election cycle for no other reason than someone has to go first in the primaries. And Iowa makes the most of its privileged position - yesterday they had a pre-primary test primary, just to get warmed up. And in the absence of any other electoral news 15 months out from the actual election, this is just the sort of breaking news which is irresistible to Washington-centric journalists.

The fact that Ron Paul consistently ranks among the forerunners in these straw polls (he ranked second this time) ought to indicate their absurdity. Mitt Romney, the obvious GOP frontrunner, didn't make the top three. So Bachmann's first-place result should neither console her followers nor distress her adversaries. Quite simply, the Iowa straw poll "is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Categories > Elections

Discussions - 5 Comments

Sounds like someone has a case of the Pawlenties . . .

I'm sorrry Justin, but Iowa cannot both have "untoward influence during each presidential election cycle" and at the same time be "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Certainly it means something. But a review of its history demonstrates that it doesn't mean everything.

I'm guessing that's what you meant.

Just so, SoMA. I should have said that Iowa enjoys untoward attention, and occassionally untoward influence, during election cycles.

The straw polls is useless insofar as its stated principle: determining presidential election potential. Of course, it may be infused with undeserved importance if pundits and political players (i.e., donors) treat it with such importance.

I don't think the latter will be the case here, so I believe the only importance it will enjoy is media coverage and chattering amongst the blogs - ultimately coming to nothing. If someone drops out or donors react meaningfully, I'll be proved wrong. But I expect the poll will only generate talk.

I would just like to object to the Iowa hate. You have to realize that brain drain among young people is a huge problem for Iowa.

On the other hand this is a state with about 6% unemployment. Sure everyone wants to go east to Chicago, or south to Texas. I am not 100% sure on why you would want to live in Iowa, except that in some ways it is the anti-D.C. (being the safest state in the union by per capita murder rate.)

Relatively quiet and crime free, with lots of corn, corn syrup and ethanol (basically what powers america).

If you are going to be a malthusian, tin foil hat armageddon guy, you want to position yourself in Iowa. This is a state with a surplus of water, and a net exporter of calories and energy(both via corn), it has some newer natural gas deposits, and decent wind energy potential.

When the deficit hawks have their way and money is drained from the economy, the folks in New York and Chicago will be jumping out of windows as the Dow plummets to 1500, but the folks in Iowa will be singing Hank Williams Jr. a "Country Boy will survive" at least until the starving rogue bands from Chicago sweep west.

Sure Chicago has "culture", but so does London. Iowa is the place you go to live if you think the modern world is heading for a disaster, you convert those dollars to crop land, and sit back waiting for corn to become currency.

Bachmann and Ron Paul play differently in Iowa, perhaps because folks that choose to live in Iowa have different expectations about how the world is going to go down.

Living in Iowa makes more sense if you like Stephen King's "The Stand". Iowa is more or less the land of mother Abagail(actually Nebraska), while Chicago is more or less the land of Randall Flagg(actually Las Vegas).

Essentially all the land outside of Iowa lacks the sustainance of corn/corn syrup and the power of ethanol, being both energy and calorie dependent vs. sufficient.

The "Dark One" i.e. Obama is from Chicago, and eventually according to the Ioawan/corn supremicists...these evil Illini who have abandoned the virtues of St. Malthus will experience calaminity and rioting when the dollar is abandoned and only "corn" is king. The Mayan's who believed man came from "corn" might even have been unto something when the calender they created ends in 2012.

Oh yes. keep mocking flyover country and Iowa. Iowans annointed in the light take the long view on St. Malthus's energy, calorie and water independence.

I am only slightly joking, I bet I could find Iowan Ron Paul supporters who grow corn, have read Malthus and Stephen King and like the idea of setting up a "free zone" government based off a modified "Real" constitution and decleration of independence. Also given how deep the contempt for Obama and Chicago is, I think some of these consider him to be Randall Flagg.

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