This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 04, 2012.
Mitt Romney won the Iowa Republican caucus last night, with about 25% of the vote, essentially the same percentage he obtained four years previous and only eight votes over the second place finisher. But it's much worse. In 2008, he beat John McCain, who got the eventual nomination, and he beat others notionally qualified for the Presidency, but lost to Mike Huckabee, a man with executive experience and some charisma. Not great, but not bad.
Last night he barely beat Rick Santorum, a demented nun who was voted out of the Senate years back. Both Romney and Santorum barely beat Ron Paul, a gold bug reactionary fully embraceable by William Allan White, the Republican power broker of a century past. That the young fawn over Paul speaks to their historical ignorance, for he combines the xenophobic retreat from world power that Charles Lindbergh and America First had, and for the same carefully crafted bigotries and hypocrisies. Just as Lucky Lindy received the loving embrace of family value loudmouths through his years, he was a hypocritical philanderer of the first rank and racist along with undeniable aviation skills, bravery, and brains.
Michelle Bachman, an image abortion of American feminist standards and a bag of misinformation, misunderstood concepts, and outright lies, finished last of all candidates who actually campaigned. It's hard to say how this Iowa born beauty went off the rails since she won the straw poll months earlier, but I think it was the introduction of her husband, an effeminate lard bucket whom she cheerfully announced she would consult if elected. Iowa Republicans are split as to whether they hate abortion, strong women, or gays more, and the Bachman candidacy - a weak woman with an apparently gay husband that she did not recognize as such - didn't fly high with familiarity. Her idiotic mistakes and lies didn't bother them, though. Today, she recognizes, and I quote, "...no viable way forward."
Newt Gingrich collapsed, long predicted. He has nearly as many gaffes and changes of opinion at convenient opportunity in his past as Romney and he is much less liked. Also, that third marriage to his second known mistress and presentation as a family values conservative Catholic didn't fly whatever in Family Values Iowa. In any case, Santorum had that covered, although he didn't score well in heavily Catholic Dubuque, primarily because the American Catholic Church is more liberal than most Protestant groups.
Governor Rick Perry, apparently an actual idiot, has retreated to Texas where the Lt. Governor office has more power and the Legislature only meets every two years, and this to ruminate over what went wrong. It's simple: Texas is a state composed of right wing blowhards that tout a myth of virile independence they don't live by and could not, given they are high on the federal money tit. Perry, as Bush 43, got elected by pandering to the myth followers, and he tweeted today he will campaign in South Carolina. Well, by GOP standard, Perry is sane, at least.
Romney's an effective and harsh manager and has achieved high end success, albeit he started with a father who was Michigan governor and who ran for President himself, and with more consistency than his son. But when on the spot in public, Romney lies and distorts and denigrates as much as any demagogue, only it doesn't seem so bad because Romney has no seeming personality to either consolidate emotional support or generate emotional opposition. I used to think it was because he had small regard for press and public, which I still think, but I cannot also escape the fact that anyone who lies so chronically is mentally ill and has veracity issues that can be hailed or bailed at need.
Ron Paul is talking about a third party run, but it is difficult to say which candidate he'd hurt more if either.
Santorum didn't even file papers in Virginia to be on the primary ballot, and Gingrich failed to get the needed signatures. It's hard to see people who supported Bachman, Perry, or Paul voting for Romney, but, except for Bachman's few, it's also difficult to see them voting for Santorum, either. Santorum called Paul "disgusting" recently, which sets a tone. At some point, a Catholic fanatic and Chickenhawk who wants to bomb Iran attracts attention, even within the GOP. My needy eyes look north to Alaska. Or, south to Arizona. Where is Palin, now?
Must be good to be Obama, today.