From the Groundhog to the Caucus

the Iowa Caucus

It has been hectic.  So much going on!

First Groundhog Day, then the Iowa Caucus.  Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and yet it’s Tuesday and we don’t know who won the Caucus.

Like many Americans, I’ll vote in November for any Democrat who wins the nomination.  But I’m curious to see who won in  Iowa, because it provides a basis for comparison in the months to come–at least in the midwest.

Politics has been stressful for the last three years, but I have been touched by the Democratic candidates’ talk of the need for empathy (a word rarely used by politicians), social justice (another forgotten concept),  environmental justice (God, we need it!), equal pay for women (after all these years),  protecting the right to choose (I am shocked by the erosion of Roe v Wade), and raising the minimum wage to $15 (a necessity).

If politicians don’t strive for high ideals, things go downhill fast. We’ve seen it many, many times.  And so it is a pity about the malfunction of the Caucus app,  which was supposed to ensure accuracy and prevent the cheating, or perhaps the errors,  if one is being kind, that occurred during the 2016 caucuses, when Hillary was neck-and-neck with Bernie and declared the winner. 

Today the app was fixed, they say, and they have slowly, painstakingly been computing the numbers. It has been frustrating and depressing for politicians and political junkies. But for the first time there is paper backup, photos of cards filled out by caucus-goers, in addition to the  head count by precinct captains.  Ironically, this slow vote-count may be more accurate than past caucuses.  They’re probably counting on paper!

At least Punxsutawney Phil says it’s almost spring.  

Light Reading: Future Politics on the Planet Earth

Ah, Sunday! My favorite day of the week. Slouching around in L. L. Bean sweatpants, repotting a plant or two. 

And then I sat down to read the newspaper. I am  horrified by reports of the wild fires in California and the power outages for millions of people.  The Democratic race for president is still light reading at this point, because it is so far away, so I focused on that. 

But several bad news items caught my eye.  

For instance, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke allegedly said that he “was open to allowing people to use assault weapons at gun ranges and hunting clubs.”  In the past he has declared he would ban assault weapons, so my guess is this quote was out of context.  

Then in The New York Times (Oct. 22), I read a depressing article about elite members of the Democratic party turning on their own.   Apparently they are concerned  about whether Joe Biden can beat Trump and are thinking about finding someone new to enter the race.  And they think Elizabeth Warren is too liberal, and that Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, would not get the black vote.  

So whom do they like?

Several high-profile politicians say they’ve been approached and would stomp out of their dusty stables and run for president if they thought they could win, but they doubt there will be an opening.  Among them are Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.  That’s all we need:  a rerun of politicians past.  I voted for them both, but they have had their turn. 

Then there are the obscure guys who campaigned last spring and dropped out because they didn’t have the support.   If you recognize the names Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor, and  Sherrod Brown, a senator from Ohio, you are ahead of me.  Who?  Why?

Let us pray that no more Democrats enter the race.  The field is too crowded.

But if they can get Oprah, she could beat anyone.  Celebrity vs. celebrity.