In spite of there being more important things to talk about than the glitzy beauty pageant that is our nominating process, in spite of my candidate, John Edwards, finishing second, and in spite of the crimes of the Bush administration being, as yet, under-exposed and festering, today I want to talk about what happened last night in Iowa.
Last night I was a bit disappointed that John Edwards had not won. I still believe he is the best candidate for the United States, and is tough enough to fight back when the Republicans begin their filthy smear campaigns.
But, this morning, I find myself dewy-eyed and emotional as I consider Barack Obama's victory last night in Iowa.
Check out his victory speech:
Can anyone deny that the man has charisma? Eloquent, handsome, intelligent, and, as far as I can tell, sincere. And it is just possible that his victory is an indication that something is afoot in this country...something that I had given up on after the cruel and horrific travesty that occurred in November 2004, when the forces of ignorance and bigotry were triumphant.
First, consider the turnout. For the Democrats, the turnout was a record 220,000! That is roughly twice the number of Republicans that turned out (114,000) and far more than was projected (150,000). One reasonable interpretation of the significance of the huge turnout is that this is a repudiation of the Republicans generally, and of Junior specifically. People want change!
Now, consider the disappointing showing for Hillary Clinton, who was considered the inevitable Democratic nominee as recently as 3 months ago. This is delectable for so many reasons.
- The Republicans, who seem to have bought into the "inevitable" meme far more than Democrats ever did, will be ever more adrift and rudderless without their favorite bogey-woman to point at and shriek. Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan is probably, at this moment, hung-over and vomiting as his world spins around him. No Hillary? But how can I sell this load of s**t without her?
- The losers and defeatists in the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, Paul Begala, et cetera) have been handed a defeat. These are the "triangulators" that, for the past 2 presidential elections, have conceded some 227 electoral votes to the Republicans because they believed that Democrats couldn't compete in so-called red states. These are the people who fought tooth-and-nail against Democratic National Committe Chairman Howard Dean and his "50 state strategy" (which, oh by the way, won the Democrats a majority in both houses in spite of DLCC whining). These are the people who sucked up to corporate lobbyists like the half-assed Republicans they are. Obama's victory repudiates them. (I'd like to think it would shut them up, but I'm no dreamer.)
- Corporate lobbyists and beltway prognosticators are, yet again, shown to be the fools that they are. Although they hate Hillary (and I can't understand why, given that she serves them so well), they know she won't stray too far out-of-bounds. Obama is a wildcard, and because of that, he scares the hell out of them.
- Congressional Democrats, and most especially cowards like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, had better wake up and smell the coffee. Grass-roots Democrats are tired of compromise and surrender. It is time to stand up and fight. Time to expose Republican lies, corruption and hypocrisy. No more conciliation, no more holding hands with fake patriots.
For me, personally, John Edwards is still the best choice, and I will support him for as long as he remains in the race. But, I can get behind Obama. (Besides, Barack does not have Edwards' baggage of a miscast vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq). If Obama gets the nomination, I'll be behind him all the way. And, if his support is an indication that my countrymen have moved toward virtue and hope, and away from fear, hatred, and bigotry...well, maybe the world isn't quite as ugly as I'd feared.
Congratulations, Senator Obama.