January 4, 2008

Iowa and 2008

Coming home last night from guitar (actually mandolin this time) I heard an interview with Merle Haggard--the same one who wrote "Okie from Muskogee" in the 60s as a response to the Hippie generation, so is hardly a liberal, yet he is completely shocked at where we are as a country. He said if we had another 8 years like this last 8, we wouldn't have a country left.
"Financially, we're broke," Haggard says. "Nobody has any confidence in the man in charge. We're torturing people; we're not known to be that kind of people. People all over the world look up to us, and we're not setting a very good example."
So, that really does make this next election interesting, and that begins in Iowa. And a very interesting Iowa caucus it was. Both Obama and Huckabee won

Josh Marshall says that the caucus reflects the non-establishment candidates from both parties doing well. Sure seems like it.

Sully is unimpressed with Huckabee's win and calls it a win for the Christianists

That's the obvious conclusion of tonight's amazing result. The two Republican leaders are both Christianists to their finger-tips, and the one who actually believes that the country should be run on Biblical lines won. I think he's under-estimated still. This is the party Bush and Rove built. And it isn't done yet.

Amanda from Pandagon is more blunt:
"I’m guessing the Republican party elite is currently experiencing pangs of regret about all the Bible-thumping politicking right now. Turns out the plebes that were supposed to show up and vote for the guy who screamed “Jesus” the loudest are just a little too good at their assigned role."
Huckabee has already proven to be a liar, but he does shout "Jesus" the loudest and the faithful turn out. That scares me just as much now as it did in 2004. Evangelicals haven't learned a damn thing from Bush. Not one damn thing.

But on the Obama side, many are noting the historical nature of his victory. One of Sullivan's readers wrote
My mother, born in Jim Crow Mississippi in 1930, just shook her head - she couldn't believe it.
Sully also quotes Rick Brookhiser from the National Review Online:
"Yes, it's early, yes, a lot could happen. But a man who could not have used certain restrooms forty years ago is in the center ring, not as a freak in the manner of Alberto Fujimori or Sonia Gandhi, nor even as a faction fighter in the style of Jesse Jackson, but as a real player. One of our great national sins is being obliterated, as the years pass, by the virtues of our national system. I don't agree with Obama and I don't particularly like him, but I am proud of this moment,"
I am hesitant to say that our "historical sin is being obliterated," but it is hard to not see this as a positive step.

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