Post-mortem Caffeinated Thoughts on the 2012 Iowa Caucuses

Here’s some random observations on the caucus season which has just concluded and we’ve either enjoyed or endured, depending upon your view:

Much has already been said about the Kent Sorenson switcharoo, but one thing I haven’t heard as yet is discussion on the implications of the flap upon the Christian faith. Sorenson, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul are all, as I understand it, professing Christians. It was a very messy situation politically to be sure, but I’m far more concerned about the likelihood that it brought shame upon the name of Christ. And Ron Paul does indeed have some culpability here. To whatever extent he was aware of how underhanded this was going to appear (if not actually be), he should have dissuaded Sorenson from taking the action that he ultimately did. Some people are, no doubt, relishing the opportunity to scoff at Christians publicly looking so devoid of loyalty, honesty, and common courtesy. And as Craig Robinson said, Bachmann deserved better.

Bob Vander Plaats, who along with Jamie Johnson was sporting a Cheshire Cat grin Tuesday evening at the Santorum party, is apparently being credited by some for Rick Santorum’s improbable near win. I don’t dispute that BVP’s endorsement was meaningful, but surely there were a lot more important factors at play than that. Shane Vander Hart’s piece analyzing Santorum’s incredible run at the end spells it out pretty well. One other observation on this subject: A few weeks ago, Steve Brown of FOX News made an interesting comment to me about the media. He said they only “scrub” candidates when they rise to the top of the polls. Santorum wasn’t on anyone’s radar screen until a couple of weeks ago. There simply wasn’t time for either the media or Santorum’s opponents to dig up dirt, or something alleged to be dirt, and hurt him with it.

Speaking of which, I hope people who are seeking a high level public office learned a lesson from watching Herman Cain. If you have skeletons in your closet, or a series of bone-piles which are going to look very much like skeletons, don’t waste everyone’s time and money by running for office. Yes, that means you. Whatever stupid, or embarrassing, or unethical, or illegal thing you’ve ever done will come out. Get a clue…

Rick Perry made a perfectly stupid remark about Iowa’s process and the people in his own party here. Newsflash, Rick: If you want “real Republicans” to support you, try brushing up on your public speaking skills.

Some people voted strategically or pragmatically in their caucus, some ideologically. I usually employ the latter for the caucuses and get more pragmatic after the nomination has been won. But whichever way you went, respect those who did it differently. The last few election cycles I’ve been pretty disappointed at how vitriolic we can be with one another over things like this. Let’s respect each other and try to unite as we move forward. Barack Obama would like nothing better than to see us hopelessly divided.

My precinct’s results were as follows (Thanks to Donna Bryan for sending me these):

Madrid Rural Precinct 1 caucus results:
Huntsman – 0
Bachmann – 8
Gingrich – 16
Perry – 16
Romney – 25
Paul – 33
Santorum – 36

If the Bachmann supporters in my little precinct alone could have been persuaded to throw their lot in with Santorum, Romney would have found himself in a real tie not merely a virtual one. That’s a remarkable thought.

Sometimes, every vote really does matter.

 

Photo courtesy of Dave Davidson, Prezography.com

 

 

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