Send Jimmy Carter To Iowa, A Third World Country

By

Leonard Zwelling

By the time I post this on Wednesday, February 5, the partial results of the Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus should be known. As of this writing, Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are all saying they had good nights. (It looks like it’s Mayor Pete and Bernie who will come out on top.) The networks are in a lather because the story they counted on, the results of the horse race, have been delayed due to a computer coding glitch with a reporting app. If it all weren’t so sad, it would be comical. The very first step the Democrats have taken toward defeating Donald Trump (the very second if you count the botched impeachment) was a misstep.

It is clear to one and all that Iowa is a third world country and has no right to lead the election season. This is true for a host of reasons.

First, its demographics are not representative of the country. It’s too old, too white, and too small to count.

Second, who ever heard of casting a public ballot in the 21st century? That’s barbaric and harkens back to the tribal war council of a primitive population.

Third, Iowa is not ready for prime time and never has been. It has proven itself to be flyover country.

It is time for a national set of primaries. The states should be divided into four randomly selected pots of 12 or 13 each. Two of each group must come from each time zone thus guaranteeing a wide difference among the populations and demanding that candidates make themselves available to large segments of the population. I understand that South Dakota may or may not get any visits from presidential candidates, but does it get any now? No!

The first national primary would be on this year’s Super Tuesday in early March with one every month there after. Will that mean that in most years the June primary may not be important? It could, but in others it could be critical.

If you don’t like that idea, divide the country into four regions by time zone and shuffle which one goes first, second, third or fourth very four years.

As I heard on the radio today, if what had happened in Iowa happened in Africa the United Nations would be sending in Jimmy Carter to monitor the voting.

And the Democrats impeached the president because he might cheat in the election. Hell, who needs cheating when Iowa can screw this up like this? In fact, why blame the Russians? The Iowans seemed to make a mess of it without foreign intervention.

If the Democratic Party had sought to undermine confidence in the electoral process, they couldn’t have manufactured a more risible scenario than the one that transpired last night in Iowa.

Many readers of the blog accuse me of being both a Democrat and a liberal. First, let me remind all readers that I spent my year in DC in the office of the ranking member (minority, i.e., Republican in 2009) of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Not only was my boss, Mike Enzi, a Republican, he was also one of the most conservative members of the Senate then and now. If I am so biased toward the liberals, how did I survive in that office? The answer is that I am neither liberal nor conservative, Democrat nor Republican. What I love so much about the Texas primary is that I can choose which party’s primary I vote in on the spot. Love Texas!

Obviously, this year I will vote in the Democratic primary, but other years I have voted in the Republican primary. I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats for president and continue to never vote a straight ticket, ever.

The country is in enough turmoil. It didn’t need the very first test of the 2020 election season to be such a dismal failure, no matter who finally wins.

This is two big elections in a row in which the Democratic National Committee has made a mess of the primary process. Last time (2016) it tried to lock in Hillary and Bernie still gave her a run for her money. That should have been a signal to the national party that they had the wrong person on the top of the ticket. Instead, they lose and then make Tom Perez the Chair of the DNC, a man who has never met a platitude he won’t embrace rather than actually give a meaningful interview. I turn him off as soon as I see him on the TV screen, no matter which network he’s on.

With most of their candidates being over 70 and the rest either out of competition or pre-pubescent, the Democrats are on their way to another loss. And I thought Barack Obama was the luckiest politician around in that he always seemed to be running against someone who couldn’t win. Trump may have him beat because his opponents are making it easy for him to win.

And, oh yes. Trump won the Iowa Republican caucus yesterday. At least he can say—“that’s one!”

Leonard Zwelling