Thursday, January 09, 2014

Nothing New

Despite all the developments in Iowa Republican politics this morning, I don't see anything new.

Matt Schultz? Nothing new. First thing he wants to do in Congress is repeal Obamacare... which is different than the first 40 votes by the House Republicans to repeal Obamacare how? The other bullet points are all GOP boilerplate, not much better than just answering everything with "Voter ID": "Protect against government overreach," balanced budgets, guns, and term limits.

Term limits? Speaking of things from the 90s:

Paul Pate? Nothing new the second time. Secretary of State has been a stepping stone job for politicians of both parties for decades. Elaine Baxter ran for Congress twice, Chet Culver spent eight years talking to high school classes and generally making himself visible before running for governor, and now Schultz. The only Secretary of State who actually wanted to be Secretary of State was Mike Mauro, and not coincidentally he was the best we ever had. I still count his 2010 loss as a tragedy equal to the defeat of the three Supreme Court justices.

Pate has office hopped for close to three decades - House, Senate, secretary of state, a run for governor, and Cedar Rapids mayor (though he represented Marion in his legislative terms). Still, at least he's won some elections, which is more than Jim Gibbons can say.

And at least Pate indicated that he wants to make the office less partisan, though he could hardly make it more partisan. His term was relatively low key, but that was two decades ago, long before the voter ID issue became dogma in both parties.

Does low key fly in the modern Republican Party? The simultaneous timing of Pate and Schultz's announcements would same to indicate that this deal is done, though nothing's ever really a done deal in the current version of the Iowa Republican Party.

(And I almost feel sorry for both men, with the announcements landing right in the middle of Chris Christie's marathon press conference.)

Mariannette Miller-Meeks? Nothing new the third time. Don't draw a connection to Mountain Dew With Food Stamps forcing her resignation that isn't there. This is about the 2nd Congressional District. She took a pass on running during the Obama re-elect to avoid the informal three strikes you're out rule. And as desmoinesdem rightly notes, Mountain Dew With Food Stamps probably doesn't even hurt in a Republican primary.

Anecdote: In October I was at a Republican BBQ in Tiffin. By design only the Senate candidates spoke. Mark Lofgren was on hand.

Just as the last speaker concluded, MMM arrived. She was quickly surrounded two deep by people wanting to talk. Lofgren was standing off to the side by himself.

The week before that event someone did a Lofgren lit drop in Tiffin. The lit all specified the primary date, not the general election date, even though Lofgren was the only announced Republican. He won't be much longer...

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