Aug
25
2013

I… do not care if the Iowa GOP is unhappy that it may lose influence in the 2016 election.

You should have seen what I wrote originally.  Swear words were involved.  Anyway, Iowa’s worried that it may not have the influence that it once had over the Republican primaries:

On the surface, Iowa’s Republican presidential caucuses seem healthier than ever: would-be candidates are flocking here mere months after the last White House race ended, drawing sizable crowds and ample news coverage. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania were in this central Iowa college town for a Christian conservative conference this month, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has come to the state twice since May.

But Iowa’s political leaders, always looking ahead to the next campaign, worry that looks can be deceiving and that the prized role of the Republican caucuses is in jeopardy.

Of course, the NYT gets it precisely backward: they think that Iowa’s travails are, wait for it, wait for it… due to the conservatives taking over the nomination process!  In reality, what propels a lot of national Republican disgust towards the Iowa caucuses is the way that they require Republican candidates to pretend that propping up fuel ethanol production is not a poor-person-killing abomination before the Lord, if said candidates want to compete in that state.  That would be bad enough, except that Iowa has also turned out for the Democrat in the last two elections, and the last three out of four. It’s bad enough that we have to betray good, conservative free-market principles; it’s kind of infuriating that we don’t even get good value for our souls.

Look, I understand that agricultural issues – particularly corn – are big in Iowa; and that ethanol thus looms large there. But it’s a filthy business, encouraging food insecurity for the sake of pandering to liberal environmentalists who openly and proudly hate us.  We’re wasting money and wasting lives.  It was not enough to kill the tax credits – although that was certainly welcome – in 2011; we need to burn out the artificially-imposed demand for ethanol*, root and branch.

And if Iowa doesn’t want to hear that, well. The Iowa Republican party has a problem, then.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: I will concede that killing the Ames Straw Poll would be a good idea; it has devolved from a net positive to the GOP (party atmosphere, free PR) to a net negative (money sink for candidates, absolutely zero predictive power, easy to scam). I suspect that we will still be stuck with it for some yet, though.

*Ignore the nonsense about a gas tax, there. Personally, I’m kind of fond of being rich, and living in a rich society. Not every person is, though.

15 Comments

  • Finrod says:

    Agreed, completely. Artifically requiring food to be turned into fuel is a concept that needs to be burned to the ground and the fields salted. If that destroys Iowa’s position in electoral politics, then that’s their problem, not mine.

  • acat says:

    The Ames straw poll must end. Goodhart’s Law applies.
    .
    No, not Godwin, Goodhart.
    .
    Short form: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”.
    .
    Once Ames became a “do or die” for GOP candidates, it ceased to matter *as a political measurement*.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law
    .
    As for ethanol, I’m (for now) in Illinois, and .. I don’t have as large a problem with ethanol as I do with MTBE and other additives that tend to seriously eff up ground water.
    .
    That said, ethanol shouldn’t be subsidized. Either corn farmers find ways to compete in the market or some of the land that’s now corn goes back to being other crops, eh?
    .
    Mew

  • Herp McDerp says:

    Screw ’em! Why the hell should any party have to pay attention to so absurd and un-American an institution as a @#%& caucus, in which ordinary people are not represented and which doesn’t allow privacy in casting a ballot?
     
    We did better back in the days when candidates were picked by small groups of fat men in smoke-filled back rooms.

    • midwestconservative says:

      I think we should go back to that, as long as I’m one of the fat men in the smoke filled back room.

      • Moe_Lane says:

        …Dear God: *I* could end up being one of those people.

        :pause:

        God save the Republic.

        • acat says:

          I think, Moe, that I would favor your judgement in candidates over that of Iowa.
          .
          Perhaps not in art, though I have to admit, I liked Dogs Playing D&D.
          .
          Mew

          • Finrod says:

            I agree with acat.

          • qixlqatl says:

            Heh, I disagree with Moe plenty, and I’d trust his judgement and (more importantly) his integrity over that of a process dominated by a very narrow set of vested interests.

          • midwestconservative says:

            Everyone on this comment thread can be in the room, how bout that. The GOP can thank us later 😉

    • Leptopus says:

      We do have privacy in casting ballots at the caucus. You’re thinking of the democrats, who make people stand in different corners of the room. We use pieces of paper and put them in envelopes.

      • midwestconservative says:

        Wow! So advanced of you guys.

      • Herp McDerp says:

        Aha! Thank you for the correction.
         
        You know, we should make a point of telling the public how profoundly anti-democratic the Democrat method is. Why are Democrat politicians against the secret ballot? Do they hate privacy and freeedom of conscience? Is this why they’re tapping innocent Iowans’ phone calls, too?

        • acat says:

          Don’t forget, their primary isn’t decided by the votes, but by a collective of has-beens and never-weres called “super-delegates”.
          .
          Mew

  • midwestconservative says:

    We should have ditched Iowa after they were dumb enough to go for Mike Dukkakis in 88′

  • Luke says:

    .
    Of course, I’m in the camp that believes every state should have it’s turn as “first in the nation”. Seriously. #$^* Iowa. And New Hampshire.

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