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.



IowaSign.jpgI got out of bed this morning– note that I do not say “woke up”– convinced that I had not gotten even a single second of sleep the previous night, then upon dragging myself into the shower realized that I could not have had no sleep since I remembered at some point having either a really vivid hallucination or a nightmare involving losing track of both my cat and my son at a convention at the same time.

It was a bad night, is what I’m saying, and why I’m sitting in front of my computer with a huge mug of coffee in front of me instead of going directly back to bed like a sensible person is beyond me.

The insomnia lately is starting to really get to me.  I suspect it’s a combination of a whole goddamn lot of different things, some I can do something about and some I can’t, but I really don’t want to get to the point where I have to start taking a sleep aid before bed.  I experimented with melatonin for a little while but it appears to have stopped working.

The Iowa caucuses are tonight, meaning that I need to figure out a way with my current TV setup to keep CNN on in the background all night.  I look forward to the trauma this will cause to my son, who is used to thinking of the TV as a thing that belongs to him; my wife and I never watch any of “our” shows until he’s in bed.  I talked about this a bit last week; I find Iowa and New Hampshire’s stranglehold on our electoral process profoundly undemocratic and deeply offensive on a number of levels, and the faster we yank away control of our presidential nomination process from two of the smallest, whitest, most rural states in the country, the better.  The Iowa caucuses are particularly odious because they are so complicated and take so fucking long; at least in New Hampshire all you do is show up and vote.  The caucuses are designed to keep people away.

I’m making no predictions on either side; the Democratic race is too close to call anyway, and as I’ve said before I don’t particularly care who of the three wins.  I don’t have a dog in this fight just yet.  The polls seem to indicate that Trump will run away with the Republican side; I am going to require proof that his base understands how voting works before I believe it.  I remain convinced that the majority of his fans are people who never vote and that further everyone is better off for them having made that decision.

I mean, consider for a moment that because he lives in Iowa, this ignorant bumblefuck’s vote matters more than yours does:


“He does the national debt on purpose.”

For fuck’s sake.

I blocked his name out on purpose; needless to say, other than that this isn’t an altered image.  The article it came from is here, and a more frightening block of ignorance, superstition and assholery you will be hard-pressed to find today.

Their votes matter more than yours do.

Fuck every last bit of the primary process.

Also, just because I feel like mentioning it: if you are among the population of people (loosely known as “nearly everyone who has ever met or seen him”) who thinks that Ted Cruz has one of the most punchable faces you have ever seen in  your life and can’t believe that he ever got anyone to vote for him, be aware of this.  I did a little bit of research on his (sole) Senate election yesterday.  He came in second in the Republican primary, getting 34% of the vote and 479K votes– in, again, Texas, which tells you how tiny the turnout was. There was no candidate with 50%, so there was a runoff between him and the guy who came in first.  In the runoff he got 631K votes with Sarah Palin’s endorsement, back when that mattered– but at that point he was the Republican nominee and beating the Democrat statewide in Texas isn’t actually that hard. So, 27 million people in Texas and he got elected because of the votes of literally 2% of them.

So if you’re wondering how an obvious lizard-person like him managed to sneak into the Senate when, again, everyone he knows visibly and openly hates his guts, that’s how: he held an appointed post as Texas solicitor general that got him some visibility, managed to Jesus-nut his way past two percent of the population of Texas, and then people uncritically pulling the R lever got him the rest of the way.  qc8raqzj8nyxef9ehybr.gif