© 2008 Farrell Winter
How did Barack Obama come in first in the Iowa vote, and Hillary Clinton suffer a third-place win? I believe it was because Iowans are less racist than they are misogynist. There are black people in Iowa to be sure, and not all of them running from lynch mobs. There are also women in Iowa, as there are everywhere else in the world. Iowans, however, prefer their women dainty and feminine, not poor (make that rich) imitations of George W. Bush.
Regarding Hillary’s reported moist-eyed campaigning in New Hampshire prior to the vote there, in the spirit of her comments on Gandhi in St. Louis: “Hey Clinton, you still shedding crocodile tears up there in New Hampshire?” Obviously not, since she came in first in that state.
An interesting if minor side note: someone claiming to be part of Mike Gravel’s campaign phoned CNN following the Iowa prayer circle – I mean vote – to say falsely that the former Senator had dropped out of the race. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, who did drop out, each received more votes than Gravel, who got no delegates at all. Why didn’t someone likewise claim that Kucinich, who also got no delegates, dropped out as well?
Is it because Kucinich will endorse the eventual Democratic nominee, while Gravel has hinted that he may not? Is it because Kucinich has a future political career to consider, while Gravel at age 78 wants to leave a legacy behind? In this case, the legacy of a national referendum process, empowering American citizens to make laws along with the Congress.
Is it because Kucinich did not challenge Hillary’s vote for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, authorizing the U.S. to go to war with Iran, while Gravel did (and publicly at that)? At this juncture, let us not forget the winner in Iowa. Obama did not vote for this amendment. In fact, he couldn’t be bothered to show up and vote at all, as has been his pattern. However, he has previously expressed his support for using nuclear weapons against Iran – as has Edwards.
As excellent as Kucinich is, he doesn’t describe the Iraq fiasco as Bush’s oil war, as Gravel does. He does not speak of U.S. imperialism, as Gravel does. Kucinich is the best of the worst, a tolerable fly in the ointment of Democratic Party business-as-usual. Gravel represents a threat to this status quo.
Has the Clinton juggernaut been stopped? I don’t think so. One of the few admirable qualities both Clintons seem to have is resilience, the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. Balancing this is a host of Hillary’s not-so-admirable qualities: continued voting to fund the Iraq war while claiming to oppose it; support for nuclear power; support for subsidizing insurance companies rather than for single payer, universal health care; support for NAFTA; opposition to gay marriage.
One would hope that rhetoric is no longer believed as it becomes more outlandish. On the other hand, perhaps Goebbels was right: Tell a big enough lie, for long enough, and the people will believe you. Thus the result of Clinton’s New Hampshire “comeback.”