So the straw poll is over, and my belief in a just world has been restored.

Well, almost.

You may remember that three days ago, after the debate, I attacked Pawlenty for his 5 % growth goal. Well, I’m not going to apologize. I think justice has been served. The candidate who tried to be someone he’s not and who set a ridiculous growth goal based on faulty economic models which cannot be applied in today’s world lost, and the candidate who took a stand won.

The first candidate, of course, is Pawlenty. The second one is Santorum. I doubt that Santorum would have gotten more than 5-6 % of the votes had he not taken a fight with Paul in the last debate. He knew that by doing so, he would be the most hated man on virtually every political messageboard on the internet (Paulbots dominate those nowadays). He’ll never win an online poll. The Paulbots will make sure everyone knows that his name is also a sexual neologism. Paulbots, admirable as they are in their enthusiasm, are far from gentlemen, never afraid of mercilessly trashing opponents.

He didn’t care. Maybe he didn’t have anything to lose, or maybe he figured he didn’t get that much time to talk, so he better not waste it with self-censorship. It’s about time someone called out Paul on his dangerous position on Iran. Paulbots seem angry that someone asked Paul about that issue, and actually, it may have cost him the victory in today’s straw poll. They always brag about how open they are, that they never conceal any of their positions and that they’re so proud over being the GOP’s rebels. Yet, now they seem angry because Paul revealed that he doesn’t think of Iran as a threat.

Did it actually cost Paul the victory? I don’t know. We’ll never know. It wasn’t beneficial, that’s for sure.

Santorum definitely gained votes by challenging Paul and standing up for marriage. The other candidates mostly ignore Paul, maybe hoping he’ll go away. Some may say that finishing out of top 3 is a disappointment, but in Santorum’s case I don’t think anyone expected him to do as well as he did. And it’s all about beating expectations, remember. That doesn’t mean Santorum is suddenly a frontrunner – he’s not. It doesn’t even mean he’ll last until the caucus – we don’t know yet, it depends on his fundraising and how much his poll numbers improve. Yet, he is a winner, and he can walk out of this presidential race with his head held high, knowing he did the right thing.

That’s not to say Paul can’t do that. I got a lot of respect for him, and he deserves credits for being open about what he thinks about Iran and about all the other issues.

Pawlenty on the other hand. In a fair world, Pawlenty should have finished a distant third for his unrealistic, daydreaming economic policies. However, while that is tempting for me to believe, it’s more likely that Pawlenty’s organization was overrated from day 1 and people just assumed that because he had some really good consultants, everything would be alright. I’m afraid he’s just too boring for voters. And that’s the wrong reason not to vote for him.

Still, I want to think of this as Pawlenty paying a price for what he did and Santorum being rewarded. Maybe just because it makes for a better headline. But I believe there’s at least some truth to it.

In other news:

* No Sarah Palin? I sort of expected Sarah Palin to get at least a few hundred votes. Yeah, so I know she hasn’t declared yet, but I figured with all the thousands of diehard Palin fans I see on C4P and Hot Air, at least some of them would live in Iowa and would want to vote for her out of principle and to show her their support. I know there was 1 % of “scattered” votes, and she may very well have received some of those. Any Palin fans out there who could explain the strategy?

* Rick Perry? Well, if Iowans are upset because he stole the show (or attempted to do so), they sure didn’t show it yesterday. Over 700 votes, and he beat Newt Gingrich and Romney (who wasn’t really competing, but still). Looks like we got our Anti-Romney after all. Hopefully this one can stay away from migraine and post-war boom growth.

* Newt Gingrich. Turns out you need a campaign team to do well in the straw poll. Who would have thought?

* Herman Cain has positioned himself well for 2016 and 2020. This hurts to say since he’s one of my favourite candidates (being a FairTax supporter and everything), but maybe he should call it a day. He’s a good guy, and he has clearly done some reading the past months. But a 5th place at Ames is hard to spin, and it’s not like his fundraising was great before that. If he ran for another office in 2012 or maybe just remained a vocal spokesman for the FairTax, he’d have a good basis for support for a later run.

* Michelle Bachmann – why haven’t I mentioned her yet? Anyway, she won, and she should thank her lucky star the straw poll wasn’t next week as she was declining in the polls and clearly losing momentum that she may now be able to regain. Now I’m 99 % sure she’ll at least make it to the caucus.

I could go on and on, but that summarizes my thoughts on the straw poll.

You May Also Like

Friday Friends 3/6/09

It is hard to believe it is Friday once again.  This open…

Lessons learned after another year of mad chaos, a.k.a. college.

When I look back on the past year of my life, I…

How To Prevent Bullying: The Politically Incorrect Way

I’d like to begin this post by stating that this will not…

Barack Obama Launches 2012 Re-election Bid: “It begins with us”

Monday morning president Obama officially launched his re-election bid with a video…