Ah, a three day weekend off at last. Great day to watch a football game and go for a bike ride.
But it's cold, rainy, and the Packers' bye week. So instead I'm number crunching and reading political articles. Politico has a good one-stop of results.
We Democrats had a good year but we can always do better, and we lost a tough one locally with Dick Schwab's loss to Bobby Kaufmann. Schwab's campaign manager, Paul Deaton, has written an excellent self-critique and analysis of the race, rare in both its insight and its immediacy. A must-read for anyone on either team, here it is in parts one, two and three.
One of the criticisms of conservatives this cycle is they believed their own hype and didn't gather information outside their comfort zone of Fox News and the rightosphere. I'm always careful NOT to do that, and TheIowaRepublican is one of my daily reads. Kevin Hall has an excellent Winners and Losers post up today. Righty spin but good analysis. Will we see another coup d'etat for Iowa Senate Republican leader, the Spinal Tap Drummer job of Iowa politics? Five leaders in last seven sessions...
2012 also goes in the books as Ted Kennedy's final victory. Elizabeth Warren claims back his Senate seat, Joe Kennedy III replaces Barney Frank to return the family to Capitol Hill after a two year hiatus, and Ted himself came up with the strategic advice to defeat Romney.
The GOP navel gazing is beginning, and one of the common themes is a need for immigration reform. Can it be only eight years since W was making a serious effort to win Hispanic votes? Smart Republicans see the demographic disaster, and I hope they succeed because it's the humane thing to do.
But my fear is that the tea partyish base, which is essentially Know-Nothing nativist, will balk. They don't want a multicultural, multi-lingual America; they want mass deportation. And one of the few prominent Republicans speaking AGAINST immigration reform was none other than Our Own Steve King.
I think the only possible way to beat King is what I'll call the Todd Akin-Richard Murdoch strategy, after the two dudes that Haley Barbour, a very conservative but very smart fellow said were "shitty candidates" who "pissed away two seats." (Those are verbatim quotes.)
The Republican primary base is skewed far to the right, so it's impossible to knock King off with a moderate Republican. But maybe someone could beat King in a primary by running to his right? We fund that with some top secret money. There's a term for that but I've already used two of George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words in this post.
Then we have a candidate ready to pick up the pieces... Sure, the plan has flaws. 1) It requires finding someone crazier than Steve King. 2) The someone crazier than Steve King might win.