How scary is Iowa?

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I know, I know: It doesn't deserve the hype. And Mitt Romney's going to be the Republican nominee anyway; the rest is all theater. And I was just joking about how it might help Obama if one of the true wingnuts won the Iowa Caucuses.

But in the cold light of a Jan. 4 morning, I have to say:

It's pretty fucking scary that the voters in Iowa not only took seriously but gave a fair amount of support to someone who has made much of his career out of being a homophobe and a racist. Oh, and really, really stupid:

“There are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t know if that’s the similar situation or that’s the case for anyone that’s black. It’s a behavioral issue as opposed to a color of the skin issue, and that’s the diff for serving in the military.”

Seriously: I know that he only got 30,000 votes, and there are a lot of evangelical Christians in Iowa, and I suppose not all of them hate queer people. Al Sharpton -- and whatever you say, Sharpton's no political fool -- says that Santorum helps the Democrats by forcing Romney to continue to pander to the right. And I don't believe that even 25 percent of the Republican voters in the nation as a whole would support someone with Santorum's views.

But still: It's 2012. And the most virulently antigay candidate in a right-wing field is right up near the top in the first real contest.

Isn't that a little bit alarming?

Comments

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

If the American people are homophobic and racist then they are wrong and Tim Redmond is right. Are you racist?> Are you a homophobe? You use Anonomous so we already know you're a coward.
JTF

Posted by Guest Jerry on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Santorum is disgusting. This is a guy who brought home

Posted by Greg on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

Santorum is disgusting. This is a guy who brought home

Posted by Greg on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

Santorum is disgusting. Just to give you a glimpse of what kind of world Rick Santorum lives in, consider this: Rick Santorum brought home his dead baby, wrapped it in a blanket, cuddled it, played with it, introduced the dead fetus to his other kids ("this is your brother Gabriel"), and then he and his wife slept with the corpse of the fetus in their bed between them.

Does it get any creepier than this?

Well, yes it does. 25% of Iowa Republicans voted for this guy. There will always be some people who are so extreme as to border on mental illness. But in a normal, sane society, these people would be encouraged to get help. Here in America, they are being elevated into positions of leadership. That says something about the American psyche that's not very flattering.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

Because they are as extreme to the right as you are to the left?

How are you going to set about disenfranchising those whose opinions you don't like?

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 4:54 am

First of all, I'm no extremist. I challenge you to produce one thing I've said that's as extreme as this example above.

But in answer to your question, I think at the very least we should democratize the political process, starting with enshrining the basic concept that everybody's vote needs to count equally no matter where you live.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 8:38 am

Constitutional Amendment ratified by 2/3 of the States. Since 2/3 of those States would be relatively disenfranchised by such a change, it can't happen and won't happen.

I'm sure you don't see yourself as an extremist but, based on your posts here, I can assure you that many would.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 9:01 am

There are other ways to do it. National popular vote is gaining momentum in many states. Once enough states pass local laws mandating that their electoral votes go the way of the national popular vote, you won't need an amendment. In any case, we're talking about what's right, right?

And I noticed that while you reiterated your assertion that you think I'm an extremist, you've yet to produce any evidence that anything I said or did is as extreme as Santorum. Making the assertion that "many" (who?) would consider me an extremist doesn't constitute evidence.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

agree to a popular vote system?

It would essentially mean that the 10 to 12 biggest States would run things, and the rest would have no say. That is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers devised.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

The dire predictions that no one would pay attention to the great flyover are demonstrably false. If it were true, then within a large state like California, where most people nonetheless live in two urban centers, you'd see the same effect. Candidates for senate and governor would only campaign in LA and the Bay Area, ignoring the central valley. Clearly that doesn't happen.

But even if it did, so what? Again, what is a representative democracy all about? Giving fair representation to people, or tracts of dirt? The founding fathers devised many things that we've moved on from in 2011. They were a pretty progressive bunch for the 18th century, and they gave us the most progressive 18th century constitution in the world. But I think it's time we started to move towards the 21st century. And in the 21st century, the notion of a democratic system means that everybody's vote counts the equally.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

hey can we focus on the guy's politics and not call him "crazy"? you can pretty much get down to the bottom of what's wrong with this guy without being ableist about it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

is the lack of even marginally competent writing in the SFBG since you fired all the reporters. Even Marke B could write something more original than your tired old ideological screeds. Assuming he could stop preening and prancing long enough to do so.

Posted by Chromefields on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

Move along. Troll warning.

Posted by Edward on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 5:18 pm
No

Pat Robertson got that same 25% in 1988.

Sharpton and Santorum should be running mates, they both are screaming idiots.

That anyone gives that idiot Sharpton the time of day after the Twana Brawley episode is as pathetic as any Santorum voter.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 5:44 pm
Har

I'm Meatlick the Troll, and I can turn anything into a anti-progressive diatribe. Santorum won in Iowa? It's all the progressives' fault of course! Taxes too high? It's all the fault of progressives! Not enough revenue? Progressives! Homophobia? Progressives! Your car won't start? You got it... progressives.

Why can't anyone else see that everything wrong with the world is the fault of progressives?

Posted by Meatlick the Troll on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

What has happened? Were these sick people always there and I didn't know it? I had relatives and friends there. They gotta get rid of the Reeps. They are bad for their reputation. What a bunch of sick effs!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

The correct adjective is "gay". Santorum is a gay homophobe. They all are.

Posted by DanC on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

We allow gay marriage here. Tom Harkin is one ef the most progressive Senators in Washington. Our metro areas our ethnically diverse amd usually vote Democrat, for what that's worth. Most Iowans East of I35 vote Democratic. Don't paint us all with that broad brush. I'm thinking rural California can be just as screwey as Western Iowa.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 12:01 am

A member of the Democratic Party is called a "Democrat." When you vote for members of that party, you "vote Democratic."

Or have Iowa Democrats internalized Republican talking points now?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

The Democrat Party is not democratic, it is a machine designed and deployed to neutralize threats to the financial elite.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

there is no such thing as "The Democrat Party." You can argue that neither the Democratic nor Republican parties are aptly named, but that doesn't change the fact that there is no such entity as the "Democrat Party." It's called the Democratic Party.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

Cooties, four legs good, two legs bad, guilt by association and the like are great ways to avoid discussing the substantive issues.

Members of the party are Democrats, the Democrats' party is not democratic and the Democrats should be bugged for that, that should be rubbed in the Democrats' noses at every opportunity.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

of a party calling itself the 'Democratic' party (especially one that is such a bought and paid for tool of corporations).

So we refuse to go along with that archaic subliminal branding which no longer applies to the party in any way, shape, or form (if it ever did).

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

I'm a registered Dem, who nonetheless often votes Green or for other parties. I'm exactly the kind of voter progressive candidates should be courting if they want any hope of breaking through. I don't care much for arguments about spoilers and such. But it does really grate when I hear Greens parrot Republican talking points and use their nomenclature for a party that I'm still registered with. It makes me less likely to vote for Greens, and gives credibility to arguments that mainstream Democrats make that Greens do nothing but help Republicans win. It may make you feel good, but it does nothing to advance a progressive agenda. Needlessly irritating progressive Democrats like myself, making us less likely to vote for third party candidates, and more likely to dismiss them as fringe, is completely counterproductive.

And again, I know you don't want to hear that. But I'm just giving you the perspective of a progressive Democrat about how using these talking points makes voters like myself feel about you and your party.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

If the Democrab Party quit parroting Repubican policies, then you might have a point. Why does my terminology, mere words, irritate you more than concrete actions where progressive energies are mobilized and grounded by Democrabs every time?

You should feel irritated, that is the proper response, you should not feel irritated by me, rather by the 1% that has hijacked your Democrab Party.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

Both irritate me, and yes the Republicans and the 1% irritate me more. But Greens should be trying to reach out to progressive Dems rather than *needlessly* irritating them. To their credit, the smart ones do. You'll never hear the likes of Ross Mirkarimi, John Rizzo, Jane Kim, Gayle McLaughlin, or Kriss Worthington utter the words "Democrat Party." It's usually only the fringe. But when members of that fringe start to do that, they turn turn people like myself away.

Again, you may not like it. You may question why it is so irritating. You may lecture me on how I "should" feel... whether you're "right" or "wrong" to hold that opinion doesn't really matter. I'm just telling you how I *do* feel when Greens start to use Republican talking points, and many other voters feel the same way. Best to take it as friendly strategy advice.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

I am not speaking for the Greenocratic Party, don't worry.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

I'm for calling things for what they are. And I have faith that people, including many registered Dems, are beginning to wake up and see that this is a party that does not represent them or their interests.

Posted by Lisa on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

Calling it the Party of Wall Street does nothing to distinguish it from the other major party.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

They are both the Party of Wall Street. But if you like, and as Jeffrey Sachs put it, "Big Oil owns the Republicans while Wall Street owns the Democrats.”
(note: I'm not a fan of Sachs, but he got that right.)

Look, I have no problem with referring to it as the "Democratic Party". But I think it's important to point out the truth about both parties. The Occupiers get this, and the average Joe is beginning on to catch on, too~ neither party represents the people (that is, the 99%). It's not like it's some big secret. Anyway, I trust that people can handle the truth, including thoughtful Democrats who are concerned about the direction their party is going in.

Posted by Lisa on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

I think you have the right idea, Lisa. I think legitimate debate is great, and I criticize the Democratic Party myself -and how! But for those who aren't Dems themselves, I'm just saying that certain buzzwords are just a big turnoff. The use of the term "Democrat Party" originated with right-wing Republican political consultants, and it implies a critique of the party from the right, no matter whose mouth it comes out of. It has become code, and not the kind of code you want to convey if you're trying to win over progressive Democrats.

It's as if you were making a generally progressive argument, but were in the habit of peppering your conversation with words like "Soros" and "drive-by media." Or, for example, you're arguing for LGBT rights but refer to the program you support as the "homosexual agenda." Or argue for support of the Dream Act for "illegals." Anyway, I think you get the picture... certain code words just grate people the wrong way, and as such are counterproductive to winning those folks over to whatever position you're supporting.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

Like you, I have a deep concern about coded language. So, I agree. It's smarter and more respectful to use the term Democratic Party, which is the official term (and grammatically correct). We shouldn't fall into the habit of adopting right-wing code or memes. As long as we (non-Dems) can still criticize the Democratic party, I have no problem with that.

Posted by Lisa on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

Perhaps we could just call it what it is, the Democrab Party?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

And see how far you get winning over those voters.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

You mean the voters who stayed home in 2010 after Obama's TARP for the sickness providers and gave the House to the Republicans?

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 2:54 pm
Yes

Exactly those voters. Irritating them with juvenile appropriations of Republican talking points instead of reaching out to them in any meaningful way doesn't get the Green party very far.

It's one thing to make a legitimate case of where the Democratic Party has failed, but when I hear parroted Republican talking points, I just tune out.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

A public notice regarding Santorum.

Not completely sure how it works, but evidently if you link Santorum with the web site http://spreadingsantorum.com/ then that tends to keep Santorum name properly associated with the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.

Something about Google bots picking up Santorum's name each time Santorum is mentioned and linked online like that.

So to review, when you link Santorum with the web site http://spreadingsantorum.com/ then that tends to keep Santorum's name properly associated with the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.

Evidently this happens every time Santorum's name is mentioned and linked online, so please be careful when you do mention Santorum's name, and especially when you may associate Santorum with the web site http://spreadingsantorum.com/ and then further reference Santorum with the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this notice about Santorum.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

So Iowa, a state with legalized gay marriage, is scary because 30,000 people caucused for Santorum in a state with a population of over 3,000,000? That of course makes everyone who DIDN'T vote for Slick Rick...the 99%. Not to mention, this was a surprising outcome why? Mike Huckabee pulled the same exact trick in 2008, you think he's less homophobic because he smiles when he talks about sinful lifestyle choices?

What's really scary is that with as far down the toilet as the Guardian has gone in the last couple years, SF is left with 0 decent papers.

Posted by TheHumanH on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

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Posted by marcos on Jan. 22, 2012 @ 10:41 pm