Though I was born in Iowa and my ancestors are from there (after leaving Ireland and Germany under apparent duress...) I have studiously ignored the Iowa Caucuses on this blog for the simple reason that they don't matter, politically, at all.
Matt Taibbi, one of the more insightful American news reporters (and media personalities) explains why:
It takes an awful lot to rob the presidential race of this elemental appeal. But this year’s race has lost that buzz. In fact, this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we’ve ever had. If the presidential race normally captivates the public as a dramatic and angry ideological battle pitting one impassioned half of society against the other, this year’s race feels like something else entirely.
In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event – the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.
Many of the politics mavens of all persuasions and parties are almost desperately trying to make us believe that the "contest" under way (solely between Republicans, you may note) is somehow important or valid or meaningful. The media obsession with the Iowa Caucuses has been embarrassing, or it would be if more of the media were able to utilize even a hint of critical thinking.
None of the candidates have anything to offer outside the rigid barricades that the Ruling Class has erected around their government.
Cocktailhag makes a similar point:
Last week the New York Times bothered to run a two-page foldout on the preposterous “policy positions” of the candidates, which are, except for Ron Paul, exactly the same. None believe in Climate Change, and all fall over each other endorsing policies that will radically exacerbate it. All would further cut the absurdly low taxes on the rich while cutting programs for everyone else. None would produce anything that approximates a balanced federal budget, though they all risibly claim to be fanatically opposed to runaway “spending.” All are opposed to Obama’s mild and incremental health care reform and see socialism lurking in the pathetically weak Dodd-Frank banking law. All are opposed to environmental protection of any kind, and on social issues, all are somewhere to the right of the Taliban. All, except Paul, are in favor of war with Iran and increasing our destructive support of an increasingly belligerent Israel. All, except Paul again, think torture is the greatest thing since high-fructose corn syrup, of which they naturally are all in favor, too.
And I'd go farther to point out that Ron Paul is simply a con man who's been running his con for decades, and what he has to say is politically meaningless. That's why he is allowed to say it. But not, you may note, ever act on it. Ever.
Yet for days now, a good deal of the leftish blogosphere has been consumed with the quadrennial Ron Paul Wars, apparently inspired by something Matt Stoller wrote about liberal hypocrisy and/or hysteria about Ron Paul -- I don't know, I haven't followed Stoller for years. But the whole idea that somehow Paul should be taken seriously by liberals and progressives because some of his "positions" are "right" is absurd on its face. If liberals/progressives aren't making the "right" arguments about the issues, Paul and his ilk are not germane to fixing it. Shifting political allegiance to Paul because of some "position" or other he holds is somehow "left" of the progressive/liberal establishment is even more absurd.
Ron Paul is a con man, like pretty much ever other politician. His "positions" are as meaningless as any other politician's. And the quadrennial Ron Paul Wars are meant only to fragment the oppositional base.
I heard last night that attendance at some of the Iowa caucuses was orders of magnitude greater this year than in 2008, though why that should be so is anybody's guess, because there is nothing, really, for the caucus-goers to decide. They don't get to vote on policy, only personality.
Let's ignore the farce and get on with the Revolution.