Messages from Iowa

Updated
A week from today, actual Republicans, conservative Republicans, speak. I’m talking about next Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses. We need to pay attention because these voices will be the people competing in 2012 to control any Republican who is chosen to seek the White House. They will be the forces demanding he meet their concerns. They will be the stakeholders in any Republican administration should it take office. They will be the forces fighting over how to run it should that day come. So listen to the anti-government simplicity of Ron Paul. People who vote for him next Tuesday want no government at the federal level - no health programs, no action on the environment, no economic help to people in trouble. They are not just anti-war, anti-foreign adventurism, something I like about them; they are anti-public action period. Think about it. Listen to the religious vote that goes for Rick Santorum next week. Think about the country these people want to live in - a strict outlawing of abortion, perhaps with prison terms for those who seek them; don’t put it past them; a total end to rights for gays, a turn-back to the bad old days of repression. Don’t kid yourself; these people don’t like modernity period. They think America was a better place when abortion was illegal; and gays were neither seen nor heard, when they could pretend they didn’t exist. Listen to the hawkishness that’s being appealed to by these candidates in Iowa. Newt talks of moving the American embassy in Israel, stirring up all the trouble one can imagine. Mitt attacks the dead leader of North Korea, again, for no other reason than to stir up trouble up there in North Asia. The old days of “W” and “Bring it on” bravado want back in the saddle. The neo-cons are ready to move, to push, to incite, to gig up the man they put in the White House just as they did the last one. You get it all with this bunch. The right-wing attitude toward government, public action of any kind; the right-wing approach to social issues. They can’t wait to start re-packing the court to do who-knows-what? They can’t wait to wheel out the right-wing lingo of war, the spoiling, hair-trigger appetite for launching yet another incursion into the Muslim or north Asian world. What is it with these people? What is it? Pay close attention this week. They’re making their pleas now and the candidates are responding in kind. Look to Iowa. Watching the candidates feed the right-wing factions has all the keen busy-ness and strange merriment of … feeding time at Sea World. And those feeding off what’s being offered in Des Moines and Davenport and elsewhere will want a lot more if their side gets in.

Hardball Let Me Finish

Messages from Iowa

Updated