Free Markets, Free People

Iowa

Iowa

Some impressions.

While Hillary declared herself the winner in Iowa, her “victory” came down to winning 6 out of 6 coin tosses (@WikiLeaks Hillary Wins ‪#‎Iowa‬ over Sanders by ‘winning’ six coin tosses in a row. Odds this can happen randomly is 1 in 64.)  And even doing that, her “win” was a statistical tie (49.8%, Mr. Sanders’s at 49.6%). Or said another way, had Sanders won a couple of the coin flips, he’d be the “winner”.  And don’t forget, Hillary enjoyed a 50 point lead in June.

Hillary’s campaign staff apparently did what they were supposed to do with their ground game.  So why the almost “miss” in Iowa?  Maybe it’s Hillary.

On the GOP side, what can you say?  Pandemonium and hilarity.  Polls out to lunch and missed the final finish by miles.  I loved John Bambeck’s dig: “So all @realDonaldTrump does is win, but runs for President of the US and loses first caucus to a Canadian. ‪#‎SeemsLegit‬

Heh.  But in reality, Iowa essentially sets up a 3 person GOP race – Cruz, Trump and Rubio.  If anything it was a test of candidate viability.  And the down ticket for the GOP has been shown to be about as viable as  … Martin O’Malley.

Trump’s second place finish (barely) leaves a lot of questions to be answered.  Why were the polls so wrong?  Was it smart for him to skip the last debate or did it end up hurting him?  And what about Sarah Palin?

First Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump at a time she had negative 11% favorables with the GOP. Then she missed the first event of the day following her endorsement. Then she blamed her son being involved in a domestic incident on Barack Obama’s treatment of veterans, turning off a lot of veterans in the process by suggesting those who came back from overseas were no longer able to control themselves and were not culpable for their actions.

Hmmm.  If Trump thought getting her endorsement was a coup, what does that tell you about his political acumen?

As for Cruz and Rubio, Cruz won with a record turnout.  That was supposed to be a Trump trump.  So now the chattering class is wondering, “is Trump over”?  Well, we’ll see, but my guess is not and I’d also guess we’ll see a Trump that is toned down a bit and a little more careful about what he does or says during the campaign season.  Not that it really matters.  He is what he is and he’ll likely revert to that at some point

As for Cruz, obviously it surprised the establishment GOP.  If Donald Trump weren’t the bête noire of the establishment GOP, Ted Cruz would be.  And Cruz set much lower expectations for himself (as did Marco Rubio) in Iowa.  For Cruz to win it again sends a loud and clear signal to the establishment GOP.  But it must be like a dog whistle to humans, because they never seem to hear it.

Oh, and Jeb Bush?  Pack it in buddy.  You’re done.  And yes, you too are a part of that loud and clear signal.

Finally, what does Iowa mean for the GOP in terms of any significance?  Well, other than narrowing the field to three, not much.  A reminder:

1976- Gerald Ford (lost election)
1980- Bush (lost nomination)
1984- Reagan (unopossed)
1988- Dole (lost nomination)
1992- Bush (unopossed)
1996- Dole (lost election)
2000- Bush
2004- Bush (unopossed)
2008- Huckabee (lost nomination)
2012- Santorum (lost nomination)

So the circus moves on to New Hampshire, where it is likely that Bernie Sanders will bury Hillary Clinton.  To bad it won’t be for good.  And, we’ll see if the GOP has the same outcome as in Iowa.  If so then you can really begin to question Trump’s viability and how deep his appeal reaches.

~McQ

 

Romney wins Iowa … or something

Ok, just being flip, but I’ve never really thought that much of the caucus process and still don’t.  All this excitement, work and rhetoric over approximately 225,000 votes.  Yes I understand the possibility of winnowing the field (think Newt will finally take the hint?).

So Romney won – by 8 votes out of about 225,000 total.  That’s not as surprising to me, frankly, than who came in second.  Very disappointing to the Paulbots, I’m sure.  But Rick Santorum?  Seriously?

And will Huntsman, Bachman, and Perry drop out or hang on through New Hampshire?  After all it’s not that long till NH and again, Iowa is a caucus state.   I don’t see any of the three doing significantly better there than Iowa, but still they may give it a shot.

Cain was beaten by “no preference”.  The only “candidate” missing, as far as I’m concerned, was “none of the above”.  My guess is NOTA had a shot at at least 2nd or 3rd, and who knows, with that field, might of pulled out a win.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Whining in Iowa–Obama complains about criticism

The first thing I have to wonder is where Obama was during the George W. Bush era if he thinks the criticism he’s getting now is bad.  In Iowa yesterday, Obama complained that he took more criticism than Abe Lincoln.  A presidential scholar says that is laughingly absurd.  Actually Alvin Felzenberg  said it “is hysterical … that is really laughable in many respects.”

Why?  Because what was said about Lincoln by the opposition is still unprintable today. 

But as mentioned, the tone and rhetoric deployed against Obama doesn’t begin to reach the vitriolic level that was leveled at Bush 43.  And certainly not Lincoln. 

The exchange in which the comment came out was during a little town hall pity party:

“The Congress doesn’t seem to be a good partner. You said so yourself, they’re more interested in seeing you lose than [seeing] the country win,” the questioner lamented.

“Democracy is always a messy business in a big country like this,” Obama responded. “When you listen to what the federalists said about the anti-federalists … those guys were tough. Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”

Obama’s always been sensitive to criticism.  To the point of assuming the Presidency, he’d heard little of it, having essentially spent his life teaching, doing community organization and running for office.  Suddenly, he’s in charge and under fire.   And, given his record – something until this point he’s never had – the criticism is both warranted and mostly on-target. 

Obama’s sensitivity to criticism is bound up with his progressive ideology, which sees political disputes as best resolved by experts, said Michael Franc, vice president for government studies at the Heritage Foundation. Obama believes “he has discovered the truth and if you disagree with him, it’s not only against the country, its unpatriotic and anti-Obama,” Franc suggested.

Eric Dezenhall, a former communications aide to President Ronald Reagan, went ever further in an interview with The Daily Caller: Obama’s complaint, he said, “is more grandiose than narcissistic … It’s equating any form of push-back with some sort of giant historical crime.”

Thus the comparison with Lincoln who was president during an incredibly tough era, even compared to this one.  And while he won’t say it, it seems clear that Obama and his supporters do indeed think that criticizing him is “against the country…unpatriotic and anti-Obama.  This is a guy who walked into office having done nothing and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.   As was clear, he felt it was his due.  Now after almost 3 years and an obviously failing presidency, he’s beginning to whine about criticism and acting as if it is unwarranted.

One thing is for sure, given the economic, fiscal and unemployment situation in this country, the criticism isn’t going to lessen.  He signed up for the big-boy job and now he has it.  Let’s see if he can actually manage to act like a big-boy and quit whining about criticism.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 14 Aug 11

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss The Ames Straw Poll and the 2012 election.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

Lord save us from the nannies

Jacob Sullum at Reason brings us the following.  It just never ceases to amaze me (although given the proliferation of such legislation I suppose it should) what some people think the purpose of a legislature is:

The Food and Drug Administration can ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, but it cannot stop bartenders from mixing Red Bull with vodka, coffee with Irish whiskey, or cola with rum. Fortunately, Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington) has proposed a bill that would close this dangerous gap by making it a misdemeanor for any business with a liquor license to "manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage." The bill defines "caffeinated alcoholic beverage" as "any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer, to which caffeine is added." Hence it apparently applies not only to drinks with a noticeable caffeine kick but also to coffee-flavored liqueurs with detectable amounts of the stimulant, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria, and any cocktails made with them, such as a Black Russian or a Mudslide. In addition to jail time and fines, violators would face revocation (not just suspension) of their liquor licenses, and therefore loss of their livelihoods—a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.

Another in a long line of those who would tell you what to eat, who you can love, what is “best” for you and remove all choices they find incompatible with their vision of how your life should be lived.  And they’re willing to put you in jail if you don’t agree.

Remember, freedom equals choice.

~McQ

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Buyer’s Remorse In Iowa

This is the day, one year ago today, that the world was supposed to change with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States.  Yet, as the New York Times tells us, in Iowa – a heartland state that went for Obama – the reviews of his presidency to this point get decidely mixed reviews.

Take the time to read the article, but what stood out for me were the following:

1. The “blame Bush” response to the problems he’s facing is wearing very thin. If you were wondering what it’s shelf life was, I’d safely guess it expired a couple of months ago.

2. Democrats there are still trying to keep the faith. But it is difficult even though they still think he’s doing a good job. Unfortunately the NYT didn’t bother to ask “with what”. Some do seem to believe he’s changed our image in the world for the better. I’m not sure that’s actually true given some of the situations developing (see Clinton’s latest fiasco in the Middle East, Russia nuking Poland in a simulation after our withdrawal of a defensive missile shield and Iran continuing to manipulate the process while NoKo announces “we have more nukes” – we may be “better liked”, but there isn’t much respect being shown).

3. Those independents and moderate Republicans that supported him seem to have jumped ship. His approval rating in Iowa has dropped from 63% to 54%. And there’s no telling how soft that number is.  There’s also a very big question of whether or not they can be wooed back.

4.  Obama is suffering from the economic woes as would any president.  However, there’s a nagging feeling developing among a number of supporters that he may not be up to the job.   The NYT noted that in several interviews he was described as being “cautious, tentative and prone to blame his troubles on others.” Or as one interviewee noted, he seemed more presidential when he was running than he does now.

I think Iowa reflects what many of his supporters feel – at least those who went “all in” on the “transitional political figure” myth. Instead they’re seeing a product of Chicago politics and a continuation of “politics as usual”. As mentioned there’s an underlying current of deep disappointment, manifested in the remarks about the depth of government’s intrusion, his seeming timidity and his penchant to blame others. And the unsaid criticism that is lurking behind every remark is he doesn’t seem to know how to lead and he may be in over his head.

Ironically, Afghanistan may end up being the make or break moment for his political future. Many Democrats said, in the article, that they don’t want to see an escalation in the war there. With moderate Republicans and independents walking away from him now, he might lose further support – this time among Democrats – with a decision that boosts the number of troops committed there.

It is kind of interesting to those who saw through this fellow and had the temerity to point out that his resume was paper thin and his leadership resume was non-existent that those who willingly blinded themselves to that are ruefully discovering that reality has consequences.  You can ignore it, but it won’t change it.  Unfortunately there’s another reality that isn’t going to change – we’re going to have to live with the consequences of buying into a myth for at least another 3 years.

~McQ

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