With the Iowa caucuses imminent, there is much anti-Iowa sentiment among political junkies at the moment, particularly on the right. Jonah Goldberg makes a reasonable case that the state should not enjoy perpetual first position. My experience with Iowa is consistent with his complaints about the entitlement mentality some — but by no means all — have there. Nor is this the first cycle in which these sorts of complaints have been aired.
However, it is probably fair to say that much of the frustration about Iowa on the right is exacerbated by an underlying frustration with the projected outcome. The underlying complaint is: How could these dopey corn and pig farmers be responsible for winnowing the GOP field to the likely troika of flip-flopping RINO Mitt Romney, unorganized compassionate religious conservative Rick Santorum, and conspiracy crank Ron Paul (the unacceptable to most Republicans libertarian who is unserious about the public debt)? Surely, there must be more than three tickets out of Iowa this year (unless Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich makes an unlikely strong showing, in which case, awesome)!
But is Iowa really to blame for the late-starting, stumbling campaign of the seemingly inarticulate (and occasionally insulting) Rick Perry? Is Iowa really to blame for the idiosyncratic, frequently unconservative, fundamentally pompous Newt Gingrich? Or for the quality of any of tonight’s also-rans? When compared to the national poll averages, only Newt is doing much better than he likely will tonight in Iowa — and the national trend is not his friend, either. Is Iowa to blame for the never-rans? As Allahpundit tweeted last night, “There’s no reason to take Daniels, Ryan, Christie or any of them seriously anymore when they talk about America’s ‘grave challenges.’ ” It is hard to imagine the Hamlets who could not be motivated to run in the current climate would have been any better than the candidates we have.
These problems are not the fault of Iowans or their caucuses. These problems are the fault of the Republican establishment. These problems are the fault of any Republican who is not actively involved in trying to reform the party. These problems are the fault of libertarians who do not demand a better standard-bearer inside or outside the GOP.
This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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