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Do they caucus in the Caucasus?


It’s New Year’s Day!

The Year of Our Lord 2011 was a mixed bag—several personal setbacks, a few accomplishments, nothing to write home about. My friend Howard is probably tweeking the final draft of Monday’s column—not his usual “figs from thistles” piece but something about the Iowa caucuses. Is it just my imagination, or has all this political foreplay left us too exhausted for an orgasm?


Howard is more of a centrist than I am, which is to say he’s only a little left of center. But I surely don’t envy the past several weeks in Agincourt: every Republican candidate is likely to have made a pass through town, some more than once, stopping at many of Howard’s favorite haunts—the Koffee Kup, Bon-Ton and Adams Restaurant. But the thought of being in the same hemisphere with Bachman, Perry or Cain turns my stomach, so the onslaught of personal politicking, PAC-mail, and phone canvassing must have been grueling. The only good thing about an early-evening cold call would have been its diversion from the TV hate-spots. What’s a body to do?

Short stops by the candidates are tolerable. It’s the local politicos you see 24/7 that are really unnerving. Howard told me about the head of Fennimore county’s Libertarians, for example, who parrots Ron Paul’s talking points that government’s value is the inverse of its size. Strange talk for someone who’s got a software company developing at the “Home Grown” business incubator. Apparently the contradiction is lost on him.

The next twenty-four hours can’t pass too swiftly for me. Then we can look forward to endless parsing of the caucus results by talking heads at both extremes of the political spectrum. Then it’s on to New Hampshire and round two—speaks well for the parliamentary system, doesn’t it?

Jeez, I want this election to be toast.

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