Tag Archives: Iowa

The Romance of Iowa – NYTimes.com

The Romance of Iowa – NYTimes.com.

December 20, 2011, 2:19 pm

The Romance of Iowa

Why should the Iowa caucuses, two weeks from tonight, be the first political event of 2012?

I covered these singular events from 1972 to 2004 and once thought of them as the height of democracy, with especially virtuous Midwesterners making clearly reasoned decisions and setting a standard the later campaigning rarely lived up to.

I was not impressed by the most common argument against Iowa’s prominence, its demographic — that its population is very white and very rural and has a unusually large percentage of evangelical Christians. That doesn’t trouble me. Any state that goes first will be different. No state’s population mirrors the nation.

I now have my doubts about the system, not the people, who are fine.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

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Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses? – Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com

Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses? – Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com.

Will Ron Paul kill the caucuses?

SIOUX CITY, IOWA –The alarms are sounding in Iowa.

Conservatives and Republican elites in the state are divided over who to support for the GOP nomination, but they almost uniformly express concern over the prospect that Ron Paul and his army of activist supporters may capture the state’s 2012 nominating contest — an outcome many fear would do irreparable harm to the future role of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Paul poses an existential threat to the state’s cherished kick-off status, say these Republicans, because he has little chance to win the GOP nomination and would offer the best evidence yet that the caucuses reward candidates who are unrepresentative of the broader party.

“It would make the caucuses mostly irrelevant if not entirely irrelevant,” said Becky Beach, a longtime Iowa Republican who helped Presidents Bush 41 and Bush 43 here. “It would have a very damaging effect because I don’t think he could be elected president and both Iowa and national Republicans wouldn’t think he represents the will of voters.”

What especially worries Iowa Republican regulars is the possibility that Paul could win here on January 3rd with the help of Democrats and independents who change their registration to support the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman but then don’t support the GOP nominee next November.

[…]

Read the full story here: Politico

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A Republican Primary Campaign Waged on Fox News – NYTimes.com

A Republican Primary Campaign Waged on Fox News – NYTimes.com.

The TV Watch

The Republican Primary Campaign in Iowa Is Right at Home on Fox News

There’s a reason Fox News is beginning to look like a meet-the-candidate pancake breakfast in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“You don’t win Iowa in Iowa, you win it on this couch,” is how the Republican commentator Dick Morris put it on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. Mr. Morris said that the Republican debates and Fox News had forged a national primary that “imposes itself on Iowa.”

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

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FAMiLY LEADER’s “Declaration of Dependence” and the longstanding tradition of evangelical pledges. – By Molly Worthen – Slate Magazine

FAMiLY LEADER’s “Declaration of Dependence” and the longstanding tradition of evangelical pledges. – By Molly Worthen – Slate Magazine.

Sign Here, and Here, and Here

FAMiLY LEADER’s “Declaration of Dependence” is just one in a long line of evangelical manifestos.

When Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed the FAMiLY LEADER’s “Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family” last week, many observers wondered the same thing: Who is this mysterious FAMiLY LEADER, and what gives him the authority to demand that candidates for public office affirm his list of proclamations against the “redefinition of the Institution of Marriage” and other 21st-century sins that he condemns not only on behalf of “Christian Scripture,” but also “Classical Philosophers,” “Natural Law,” and the “American Founders” themselves? Just who does he think he is—and what is going on with that sinister lower-case I?

Although the name sounds like an epithet that Kim Jong-il might select on one of his off days, it turns out that the FAMiLY LEADER is an Iowa nonprofit affiliated with Focus on the Family. Its mission is to provide “a consistent, courageous voice in the churches, in the legislature, in the media, in the classroom, in the public square … always standing for God’s truth.” (The lower case I is meant to signify the individual’s submission to family and God.) Despite their obscurity outside Iowa, the authors of the “Declaration” claim the right to call out politicians on behalf of all conservative Christians. And, oddly, there is nothing unusual in this chutzpah: They are following a long-standing tradition of evangelical Christian manifestos, pledges, and declarations.

[…]

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

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Michele Bachmann zeroes in Iowa – Kasie Hunt and Maggie Haberman – POLITICO.com

Michele Bachmann zeroes in Iowa – Kasie Hunt and Maggie Haberman – POLITICO.com.

The Des Moines Register poll released Saturday confirmed what the other GOP presidential campaigns already knew: In Iowa, Rep. Michele Bachmann is for real.

[…]

The congresswoman’s cool, dismissive response to an unmistakeably provocative question may have provided a clue that explains her rapid ascent from cable television culture warrior to contender: Far from being a one-dimensional character who can play only at the extremes and at high volume, Bachmann is a polished politician with more adaptability than she is given credit for.

Read the full story here: Politico

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Unabhängigkeit der Justiz (2): Nachtrag

Zu den Geschehnissen in Iowa, wo bei den vergangenen Wahlen drei Richter des staatlichen obersten Gerichtshofs abgewählt bzw. nicht wieder gewählt worden sind, weil sie in einem Urteil gleichgeschlechtliche Ehen für verfassungskonform erklärt hatten und wo den übrigen vier Richtern, die diesmal nicht zur Wahl standen, aus dem gleichen Grund ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren droht [siehe auch hier: Unabhängigkeit der Justiz (2) – oder: Man kann die Demokratie auch übertreiben], hier noch ein Nachtrag:

Der Gouverneur des Staates Iowa hat sich gegen ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren [impeachment] ausgesprochen, was die Befürworter aber nicht im geringsten anficht.

Die Kampagne gegen die Wiederwahl der drei zur Wahl stehenden Richter wurde mit fast einer Million Dollar an Spendengeldern von Organisationen außerhalb des Staates Iowa finanziert.

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Unabhängigkeit der Justiz (2) – oder: man kann die Demokratie auch übertreiben

Mehr als bedenklich stimmt mich auch, dass hier Richter gewählt werden. Nicht nur, dass, wie jetzt in Iowa geschehen, Richter nicht mehr gewählt werden, weil den Bürgern deren Urteile [die drei in Iowa nicht wiedergewählten Richter hatten gleichgeschlechtliche Ehen für rechtens gehalten] nicht passen, sondern auch weil jetzt der Führer der republikanischen Mehrheit im dortigen Abgeordnetenhaus ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren [impeachment] angeregt hat. Dafür genügt im Abgeordnetenhaus in Iowa übrigens die einfache Mehrheit.  Künftig werden sich Richter also überlegen müssen, ob sie wegen ihrer Urteile mit beruflichen Konsequenzen rechnen müssen.

Und dann gibt es auch noch einige Bundesstaaten hier, in denen Richter auch per Volksabstimmung [ballot] abgewählt werden können. Bedenkt man dabei, dass bei der (großen) Menge der zur Abstimmung stehenden Fragen viele Wähler den Stimmzettel gar nicht bis zu Ende lesen, so darf man davon ausgehen, dass dann keinesfalls eine Mehrheit des Volkes entscheidet, sondern dass es eine Mehrheit von an der Abwahl interessierten Aktivisten ist, letztlich also die Entscheidung durch eine relative kleine Minderheit.

Weiteres zu Iowa hier.

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