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A Look Ahead

ARGH! The Iowa Caucuses Are Here! ARGH!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, January 26, 2000.

The Iowa caucuses are over. What a weight off our shoulders. Rarely has an event of such overpowering unimportance been given such coverage for no reason whatever beyond newsroom budgets. We are to be congratulated for enduring it.

However, this piffle has cost us Orrin Hatch, a Mormon from the Holy Land of Utah, who couldn't even beat a candidate - John McClain - not even competing in Iowa. Less than one percent of the Republican caucus vote supported Hatch, which probably means not all his staff voted for him. Hatch received less than Alan Keyes - a talented speaker who shows periodic signs of religious insanity and constant signs of historical ignorance - and Steve Forbes - a man most closely resembling a suppository rolled on the rug until it has collected enough cat hair to be combed and whose sole interest in life is to reduce his tax burden. He also lost to Gary Bauer, another right wing religious glad-hand whose own numbers could not be loved. Forbes keeps saying, apropos of nothing, that he is the genuine conservative candidate, although his business acumen and intellectual heft were achieved when his father's executor announced to him: "Here's a truckload of cash. Have fun." Forbes looks like an alien, sounds like a man who learned English from a computer compiler, and moves as if he doesn't recognize the species of which he is a part.

This leaves us with McCain, a decent enough guy with good instincts, bad emotional muscles, and no intellectual depth. He is a war hero for endurance, not for accomplishment. Like George Bush, he was shot down. Unlike Bush, he wasn't rescued. And at the top, Bush's son Dubya. A cheerful nonentity chosen to be the face of a Republican Party so desperate for government control that the conservatives who sniffed at Dad have slipped on kneepads and offered anything to get this pleasant person made their mouthpiece. The grotesque hypocrisy here is that the Republicans think that Bush is so weak he'll be run by the Republican Congress of Tom DeLay and Trent Lott. He would be, but his election is not sure and neither is a Republican Congress.

The worst of all worlds for the Republicans is a President Bush with a Democratic House and/or Senate. But with the same hopper of intellectual dust bunnies that gave us a pointless and bollixed Impeachment, the same group from which rose the House Managers, and who gave us Dennis Hastert while considering Newt Gingrich an intellect equal to Pitt the Younger or Disraeli, the plans of the GOP are transparent, idiotic, and an attempt to hide a vicious right wing Christian grab for power under the delicate, moony gaze of George W. Bush.

On the Democratic side, Wooden Al Gore, the Tennessee Splinter and neutron star of charisma, may decide to keep former Senator Bill Bradley around to make him look like Mr. Excitement. Thin skinned, Bradley throws temper tantrums, sulks, and shows all the personality traits of someone who ought not to be a head of state.

So it will be Gore and Bush, as originally predicted. Whichever grotesque the Reform Party floats to the surface will hurt Bush, who cannot debate with Gore and who doesn't seem to want the job too much. Certainly less than his mother wants it for him. Bush will lose because, among other things, he cannot maintain his newly discovered religious robes, and because when he talks about parental love and family it seems so forced and in words not his own. This, at least, was clear from Iowa. The other state primaries will do nothing to upset this by August.

As ever, my views are my own and not KGNU's or, hopefully, yours. Response to darkcloud @ darkendeavors.com. See you next week.