Fuck the Iowa caucus

So here’s the thing: a few hours from now, or maybe a couple of days depending on how complicated things get, results will be released from the Iowa caucuses and someone– probably either a white dude whose name starts with B or Elizabeth Warren– will have won them. And that person will have just a smidge more actual delegates than the three or four people behind him or her, and all the press in the world won’t make a damn bit of difference to the fact that the actual delegate edge gained by this contest– y’know, the thing that matters— isn’t gonna be much of anything.

But there will be yapping, oh so much yapping, about What It All Means, and Bernie’s people will find a way the process was rigged against him even if he wins, and it all doesn’t fucking matter because Black people are the base of the Democratic party and right now no one and I mean no one has done a God damn thing to cut into Joe Biden’s huge lead among Black voters and unless that changes this shit is already all over but the shouting. And am I happy about it? No, not at all; with Kamala Harris out of the race I am an Elizabeth Warren man through and through, and Biden may actually be my last choice among the serious candidates (every time I try to think hard about whether I’d vote for him or Bernie at gunpoint my small intestine jumps out of my body and chokes me until I’m unconscious) but right now hard demographic reality is gonna make him the nominee unless something changes. Is that impossible? No. Does fucking Iowa have much chance to make a difference? Also no.

Fuck caucuses, and fuck Iowa. Caucuses, particularly how they’re practiced in Iowa, are undemocratic as hell and as wildly, painfully ridiculous a way for grown folks to choose a presidential candidate as they could possibly be. They disenfranchise old people, poor people, people with night jobs, people with children, people who don’t want the assholes who they live around to know who they want to vote for, people who don’t like spending hours arguing about politics in public with strangers, and no doubt a host of other people as well. They introduce a lovely veneer of social pressure into an event– voting– that is supposed to be private and secret. They are unnecessarily complicated. And Iowa is damn near as lily-white as it gets and I am sick as fuck of losing good presidential candidates– particularly in this cycle– because a state full of cracker corn-fed white hicks didn’t decide to get excited about them.

(Yes, I am from Indiana. When I get so fucking arrogant about Indiana’s position in the primary that I insist I should be able to personally shake hands with every candidate you can call me whatever the fuck you want.)

There needs to never be another Democratic Iowa caucus again– I don’t give a fuck what the Republicans do with their primaries– and Iowa needs to never again be allowed to be the first state to vote. Fuck New Hampshire, too, while we’re at it, but they don’t get as much attention and they’re not voting caucusing tonight so they aren’t what this post is about.

I fucking demand that the Democratic party come up with a fairer and more representative way to select our presidential candidates in the future. Caucuses are bullshit and the stranglehold Iowa has on our country is bullshit and I am fucking done hearing about either of them. Fix this bullshit, and fix it now. There are 50 Goddamned states in this country and I’m pretty sure you can find another one with fucking county fairs that also has some damn Black people in it. I won’t even fight you on which one so long as it’s a better choice than fucking Iowa.

Which, really, shouldn’t be all that fucking hard.

In which I was up too late last night

So at 5:30 yesterday I tweeted this:

I was both right and wrong in this prediction; I was at the time under the impression that the big blizzard that is supposed to hit Iowa tonight was supposed to be there yesterday, so I thought weather would be a much bigger issue for the primaries than it turned out to be.  However, it turns out that Trump’s people still didn’t turn out the way people thought they would even without being able to use the weather as an excuse, so it’s a wash.

I figured Hillary and Bernie would be within a couple of points of each other; I’m going to call myself right here because as of last I saw Hillary did have more votes/delegates than Bernie did but it’s basically a tie.  Sanders still managed to massively outperform what everyone thought he was going to do a couple of months ago, and (again) from what I’ve been seeing his lead in New Hampshire is substantial, so we’re going to have to see what happens once the race moves to states where there are actual black people, and see if Hillary’s massive lead among people of color still holds up.

(Don’t count Sanders out here.  I’ll keep saying this until people listen: the early knock against Obama was that he wasn’t black enough, and that since the Clintons were always so popular with black voters, Hillary would hold on to them in the primaries.  Once black people started voting for Obama as much as the young white liberals were, the narrative immediately shifted to accuse them of only voting for him because he was black.  I see no reason why Bernie can’t manage the same flip, given Clinton’s historical precedent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.)

Now, that said: Trump’s lead in New Hampshire is also fairly substantial, but I will be very surprised if we don’t see that lead erode quite significantly if not disappear altogether by the time the voting actually happens.  People talk about Hillary as the candidate of inevitability but Trump’s entire thing is that he’s a winning winner who only wins and never loses.  Well, he just lost– hell, he almost came in third— in a place everybody expected him to win, and he lost to a guy whose biological humanity is in serious doubt and who everyone hates.(*)  His aura as the Big Winner, for all that it was a massive lie to begin with, is now officially deflated.  He may still win New Hampshire, but if he does he’ll be limping across the finish line and I don’t think he’ll last much longer after that.  If he loses New Hampshire, he’s done.

Expect the birther attacks against Slither to ramp up quite a bit next week.  That said, he’ll be picking up a huge chunk of Carson’s people, who have got to be done with him by now, and the folks who were voting Trump just because he was the big swinging dick in the room will probably swing his way too.  Rubio, for whatever reason, is perceived as having all the momentum right now, so he’ll probably scoop up a lot of the lesser-rans.  The polling is going to be really interesting to look at.

All right.  That’s enough for now; after a Sunday night where my sleep was most accurately measured in minutes and not getting to bed until past midnight last night, I am officially crashed out and don’t really have any ambitions beyond maybe getting some reading done today.  If I manage any fiction it’ll be a miracle and a bonus and I’m not gonna worry about it.

(*) How can Slither have won when “everybody hates him,” you ask?  He got about 52000 votes in a state with a voting population of roughly 2.25 million people.  That’s 2.3 percent of Iowa voters.  This is not the roaring endorsement he wants you to believe it is.  Trump, who was leading for the entire race, was also the most despised candidate in the race, managing to be the frontrunner and the guy with the highest negatives at the same time.   He crowed and crowed during his speech about having gotten more votes than any Republican candidate ever; I submit to you that there were 171000 Democratic caucusgoers, implying that both viable Dem candidates beat his vote total by a wide margin.

One more thing: did anyone else, watching Hillary’s speech, get distracted by the thought that Bill looks really seriously unhealthy right now?  CNN didn’t show his introductory speech, since Slither was talking at the time, but the open-mouthed, vacant gaze he had going behind Hillary during her entire speech was both alarming and creepy.  I’m hoping it was just an artifact of being on stage and, I dunno, lights in his eyes and not actually being the person everyone was supposed to be paying attention to, but god damn he did not look good last night.