There is a lot of good commentary going on right now about the Iowa caucuses and the tenor to date of the Republican race for the party’s nomination. Here’s some quotes that I found interesting and enlightening from around the “Intertubes”.
From George Packer in The New Yorker, two quotes, one about how the MSM has been covering, or not really covering, politics in recent years and what kind of President Mittens would make:
…in today’s Republican politics, one reliable way to reach beyond the Christian base is by whipping up nationalistic hysteria with language lifted straight from the McCarthy era….this kind of gutter rhetoric is so routine in the Republican campaign that it’s not worth a political journalist’s time to point it out…once demagogy and falsehoods become routine, there isn’t much for the political journalist to do except handicap the race and report on the candidate’s mood…..
…..It would be a mistake, though, to believe that, long after Iowa, once the horse race is over, and if he’s elected, Romney could suddenly flip a switch, clear the air of the toxicity left behind by the Republican field, and return to being a cautious centrist whose most reassuring quality is his lack of principles. His party wouldn’t let him; and, after all, how a candidate runs shapes how a President governs. In politics, once a sellout, always a sellout; once a thug, always a thug.
From Phillip Klein of The Washington Examiner:
Those following the Iowa caucuses from home, hearing a steady stream of reports such as this about “packed rooms” that are “standing room only”….But don’t be fooled. The truth is that the venues candidates are holding events at this year are much smaller than in 2008, back when some candidates were filling large ballrooms or even small arenas.
From Stephen C. Webster at The Raw Story (my note: brace yourself for the odious racism in this following quote):
After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”….One thing he likely overlooked: white Americans account for the largest percentage of welfare payments each month….Despite the factually flawed nature of Santorum’s pitch on Monday, the underlying logic of his pitch is abundantly clear: census data shows that over 91 percent of Iowans are white….
From Charles Pierce at Esquire:
“There’s a trick in the horse industry that we learned before we had sedatives that, if you grab a horse by the lip, and squeeze it, he forgets about anything else. It’s called ‘twitching.’ That’s what they do to us. They twitch us with all that other stuff and pass over the important issues. Not gonna talk about jobs, either, because they’re not here, and they know where they went, but they’re not gonna do anything to bring them back.”
From David Sirota at Salone, more meta about MSM coverage of Iowas:
…that for all the faux conflict and chest thumping of the cable shows, and all the references to “Boys on the Bus” nostalgia among print reporters, political journalism today is now the mirror opposite of adversarial. It’s about people who preen around calling themselves “reporters,” but who are in reality just glorified royal courtiers simply transmitting press releases and spoon fed stories from the candidates and their staffs.
Read my friends, arm yourself with knowledge…the good, the bad, the ugly and for heaven’s sake, don’t forget the thugs.