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David Hines [userpic]

Iowa caucuses

January 2nd, 2012 (11:37 pm)

So I may be eyeing my Republican primary absentee ballot in despair (DRAFT MITCH DANIELS), but lemme just give you guys a tip: C-SPAN usually sticks cameras inside the Iowa caucuses, and if it's going to be anything like previous election years, it'll be the goofiest people-watching you've done in ages. I'm curious to see how the Reps shake out versus the Dems; my favorite caucus moment to date was watching a lonely young Dennis Kucinich supporter wander forlornly from one bunch of caucusing Iowans to the next, looking for some way, any way, to get even one delegate for his man. This year I am guessing that the Ron Paul nutjobs are the ones to watch. They are basically the equivalent of the McGovernites, in that they are *kind of obsessed with their guy,* and Paul's organization has had a hell of a lot of practice in running things. Paul's guys have the fervor, and Romney's have the money, so they're the ones to watch.

One thing the Ron Paul newsletter thing has cleared up for me was a minor mystery. The magnificently batshit gun-nut ideological novel UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, by John Ross, spends a lot of time on the erosion of various liberties in America. One way it does this is by having one major character go out of the country in the early sixties and return in the nineties to have the hero obligingly infodump him on how Everything Is Different Now, from gun laws to police seizures of cash to pharmaceutical restrictions. It's an effective bit of culture shock, and Ross does a good job playing up civil liberty concerns. Except part of that scene has the hero ranting about magnetic code strips implanted in US bills to track the flow of cash. It's just way-out-there nutbar stuff, and I always wondered where the hell it came from. Well, the current election cycle cleared my question up, because *just such a nutbar conspiracy theory was mentioned in Ron Paul's political newsletter.* My guess is John Ross was a subscriber.

It's a footnote of a footnote of a footnote, but when I read that solicitation letter it was like a lightbulb went off over my head. "Ohhhhhhhh, so *that's* why."

Originally posted on my DW. | comment count unavailable people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.


Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 02:35 pm (UTC)
Atheist penguin

I'm so so so sorry that your party has been taken over by people who are ABSOLUTELY FUCKING CRAZY.

I yearn for the days when I simply *disagreed* with the Republican candidates as opposed to wanting to hide under the bed so I don't have to hear/see them.

The thing is that I *like* having a party that's arguing for fiscal conservatism. I may not agree much of the time, but I think it makes things healthier if we have to justify why we're spending money.


Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)

I'm actually not that stressed about it! The thing you have to remember is that since the sixties every single prominent Republican to come down the pike has been labeled The Worst Crazy Fascist Evar. Strangely, pretty much every single one of these crazy fascists have gotten nice write-ups in their careers or after their deaths, because they were much better than the *current* object of hate, who is REALLY The Worst Crazy Fascist Evar.

We actually have a term for this; we call it Strange New Respect. Republicans get Strange New Respect when they 1) move leftward 2) retire 3) die. Goldwater was a fucking loon! -- but late in life, he was admired for being much saner than Newt Gingrich. Reagan was the antichrist -- and Newsweek puts a photoshop of him and Obama embracing on their cover. Gingrich had it for a while, until he started running for President and looking like he might get somewhere, at which point he was regarded as a crazy loon again.

My favorite recent example is Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, who wrote something to the effect that at least Bush *had* limits on what he would do; Perry, though, doesn't have any. This from a guy who was basically swearing up and down that Bush was Hitler when the dude was still in office.

FWIW, I think our strongest candidates are Romney and Perry, but Romney's an empty suit and Perry is a panderer who thought 1) he should play for the anti-gay evangelical vote for no damn reason and 2) it would be a great idea to press ahead with campaigning while heavily medicated following back surgery. I could kick Mitch Daniels in the shin for not running. Ah well. Jindal 2012!

Edited at 2012-01-03 08:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)

Perry? Really? I mean, Romney's not a total nut, but Perry is dumber than a bag of rocks. (And I thought that *before* he was in any of the debates.) And don't even get me started on the way he just "retired" so that he could draw a salary and get his retirement pay from Texas at the same time...

Um, I don't hate Romney, but I really hate Perry. A lot. A whole lot. Did I mention that I really can't stand the man? I think he's a hypocrite and a liar.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
lobo sam

I didn't say likeable, I said strongest. The one thing the guy has is presiding over a state with a strong employment record. I have massive issues with Perry, even leaving off the fact that he is (as Buzzfeed put it) a Baryshnikov of stepping on his dick, but as a guy who wants his party to win back the White House I do kind of like the idea of running JOBS JOBS JOBS ads all summer and fall. In a down economy, those are great talking points: "Your candidate is a drooling imbecile!" "Who creates jobs." "He may in fact be a zombie!" "Who creates jobs." "His head is half open! I can see his decomposing brain!" "Which is working hard to create jobs."

ETA: This is the best pragmatic case for Perry that I've seen. If you're a Republican, anyway.

Edited at 2012-01-03 10:43 pm (UTC)

Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)

That letter is claimed to date from 1993. I wonder how much further back the idea can be traced.

Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)

1985 sighting. Dave Kirby writes:

The July 29, 1985 issue of Barron's has an article about former
Congressman Ron Paul, who left Congress to form his own doom-sayer
newsletter. From the article, Ron Paul appears to be just another
doom-sayer crackpot, but since he is a former Congressman and has
presumably had access to more reliable information than my other
doomsayer sources, I read his comments with interest. Here's what
he says:

"Dear friend, will you survive the 'new money?' You must be prepared,
because within one year, the U.S. Treasury will impose a radically
different currency on the American people. Government officials won't
tell you the truth about this ominous development, and most of your
neighbors will be caught napping."

I'm shaking in my boots already. Paul goes on to say that in his last
term in Congress he got a glimpse of the "ugly new bills," which had,
along with pink and blue tinting, holograms, diffraction gratings, and
other unmentionable horrors such as metal threads and chemical alarms.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)

Brilliant find. I'll link to this on twitter and credit you.

Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
rockin' zeusaphone

Twitter credit! Just what my C.V. needs!

(I was interviewed via phone on a radio station in Dublin, Ireland last week. My brother-in-law said I should add this to my curriculum vitae. I don't really have a curriculum vitae, nor have I kept careful track of all the talks and panels I've given. Maybe I should rethink this.)

Posted by: Sara LaKali (sara_lakali)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)

Yeah, it seems like a pretty dismal year for the Republicans. I've been known to occasionally cross the aisle, but not this year. I am afraid of what they might do if they get elected.

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