Saturday, August 22, 2015

Catching Up On The Weekend

Most of my writing time this week has been spent contemplating a long, big picture piece that is going to have to be written very carefully, and by that I mean choose every word with tweezers carefully.

But a few other things have been happening through the week. Bernie Sanders wins points for a Godfather reference, saying of The Billionaire Class (drink) "Stand up and give these guys an offer they can't refuse." Despite that, Johnny Fontane will never get that movie.

So Jim Mowrer is in for the 3rd CD, and immediately picks up a whole slew of party establisment endorsements, sending a Train Leaving the Station message to Desmund Adams and Supporters.

Big Question Number 1: Can Mowrer match his fundraising prowess from 2014? Sure, he's built a good list, and he's a good candidate. But how much of that nationwide $ is going to come in without the magic line "I'm running against Steve King?"

Big Question Number 2: The Number 2 spot in the Iowa Democratic Party leadership opens up...

The Number 1 spot in the Democratic National Committee leadership is held by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was roundly heckled this morning at the State Fair for the relatively few debates the DNC is sponsoring this cycle.

I'm long on record as loathing heckling as a rhetorical strategy. (This explains EXACTLY why Hillary Clinton skipped the state fair soapbox.) And I also think debates are over-rated, watched mostly by the press and by the already committed. Critics point to the high ratings of the first Republican debate, but many of the viewers were tuned in only to see who Donald Trump was going to fire. I'm only half kidding, and the answer is Rick Perry.

That said, I'm not a Wasserman Schultz fan. She played way too big a role in the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign to be seen as a neutral and fair national chair at this stage of the nomination process. She also in 2008 was way too hostile to caucus states, to Iowa as First In The Nation, and way too defensive of her own state's violation of the nomination calendar rules agreed to by both parties.

(I'm STILL hoping to hear Hillary Clinton say something direct and positive about caucuses as a process, about Iowa's first in the nation role, and about us keeping that role. Then again, I'm also still hoping to hear Bernie Sanders say "I am a Democrat" or at least SOMETHING positive about the Democratic Party as an institution.)
I'm also deeply troubled by Wasserman Schultz's Israel First approach to foreign policy, which is increasingly out of step with many Democrats. Which is one of the problems with having a sitting elected official as chair: she's clearly choosing her district over the party.

I also understand, through experience on both sides (as a 2000 Bill Bradley person and as a 2012 Obama person dealing with Uncommitteds) that backers of outsider campaigns feel like the system is rigged to screw them. Which is exactly why I'm staying neutral.

And Debbie, dealing with hecklers by just plowing ahead with the planned remarks is not really the way to go. Look at Scott Walker: faced with cheesehead protesters (the BEST kind) he doubled down: “I am not intimidated by you, sir, or anyone else out there.” Pro tip to John Kasich: Sorry, nice try with the Close The Teacher's Lounge proposal, but Walker already has the Teacher Hater Vote locked down.
Iowa City is named the 3rd Best City To Live In; obviously that Number Two Party School ranking has seriously damaged our reputation. Good thing we have 21 Bar to keep us safe.

And Straight Outta The D.O.C. (Department Of Corrections, which is actually what rapper name The D.O.C. stands for): According to Dr. Dre, the correct spelling is Deeez Nuuuts. Fo shizzle.

No comments: