Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There's Something in the Air in Iowa

The Air of Inevitability: or just the Whiff of Manure on the Fields
If only Political Bullshit was an effective fertilizer.

Cedar Rapids, IA (TBC) The polls and pundits are ready for the Hillary Clinton Inaugural Ball. Before a Caucus or Primary vote has been cast, if one is likely to believe the media coverage, Mrs. Bill Clinton is a shoe-in for her husband’s old job. The rest of the wannabes can just shuffle off to the speaking tour, write books or find a new, lucrative life as lobbyists.

Hillary is traveling across Iowa in a colorful tour bus with the slogan “Rebuilding the bridge to the middle class” painted on its sides. What does that mean? While the most obnoxious of her shrill, shouting style of oration we have all come to know and cringe, it has been replaced by the donkey-like guffaw that spontaneously erupts whenever confronted with a difficult question. Perhaps before anyone gets too high breathing the alleged air of inevitability, they should first consider where they are.

It is harvest season here in Iowa. After the combines reap the government subsidized corn and soybeans, manure from hog and dairy cow confinement buildings is spread across the fields as fertilizer. (There is big money in manure here.) That over powering stench can not only cloud one’s judgment, it can induce delusional thinking.

Oddly, given how much has transpired since October 1999, October 2007 is eerily reminiscent. The big difference, of course, is that the shoe is on the other party’s foot this time around. In 1999 the sleazy machinations, money, power and influence of the GOP Masters of the Universe, Vulcans and the rest, anointed the dimwitted Governor of Texas to be their candidate in 2000. No underhanded tactics were beyond them in their quest to have an amiable, albeit barely literate, product of a wealthy birthright and name as their front man. Yes, Uncurious George would become the the public face behind which the neo-cons would change the world. We have seen how that has worked out. We can only wonder how they will ever wash the blood from their hands.

Now, the power brokers on the left (some in the middle, some convicted felons) are tossing money at the Clinton campaign in their struggle to have Hillary as the face of the “New” democratic party. Yes, the stench of manure can confuse folks. They may think they are sensing hope, change and a "new direction” for our torn up, partisan country but, what emerges after the manure clouds dissipate will inevitably be much of the same. This is as much a result of people as it is process. The entire process has become futile, corrupt, shamefully manipulated by a few while the rest of the populace are played for fools.

Following the various candidates around the state, one can detect other wisps and odors emanating from the campaigns of both parties.

Here in Cedar Rapids it is easy to mistake the sickly sweet odor belching out of the ADM processing plant for the hairspray keeping John Edwards locks in place despite the winds that roar across the Plains. There is a dusty, moldy somewhat greasy scent that hits you in the face when the door on Bill Richardson’s tour bus swings open. He looks increasingly confused and appears to have put on 40 or 50 pounds since eating at every hog roast and beef fry in the state.

Joe Biden. Articulate, friendly and intelligent. One can barely detect a hint of that Bob Dole aura surrounding him mingled with a touch of tooth whitening breath rinse. The essence and substance clinging to Barak Obama is akin to the closing of the cotton candy stand on the last night of the county fair. There once was hope but now it’s over. Time flies when you shouldn’t have been there in the first place Mr. 4 years in the Senate. Up close and personal, Mike Gravel reeks of thorazine, Fiber-all and rotten eggs. Actually, he’d fit in quite well here in Iowa.

If one attends multiple candidate appearances in a short period of time it is easy to mistake the eye-watering reek of old money and new money. One does not know if Chris Dodd or Mitt Romney is present. One sure fire give away that it is Mitt not Chris hovering about backslapping is the openness with which Mitt seems comfortable literally buying votes. He handed out more to buy the Ames Straw Poll then is spend in Ames when ISU plays the U of I in football for a trophy shaped like some farm animal. He does, however, have to spend a good deal of money on dental floss after each pulled pork BBQ. Dodd doesn’t appear to like pulled pork. Dodd doesn’t appear to like anything about Iowa. He is certainly not alone yet, perhaps he could disguise his disdain more artfully.

When the Denis Kucinich bus pulls up in front of a farmers co-op or Moose Lodge the first thing to blast the crowd as the bus door swings open is the cloying, over powering, sickly smell of Wal Mart perfume pouring off his barely legal bride. Besides towering over him, she garners most attention. The rodent-like Kucinich exudes the distinct scent of insanity that only a self-righteous, no-chance-of-winning loser can. Kucinich smells like Sandusky, Aqua Velva and schlag. Denis is along for the ride no doubt campaigning for some sub-level, sub-Cabinet post if his party pulls it off. Is there a Mayoral election in Cleveland anytime soon?

The diplomatic way to describe the McCain Campaign of 2007 is to say it bears no semblance of his fiery, media friendly 2000 campaign. The luster has long come off the famously “Maverick Senator”. John carries the wicked combination of scents of Ben Gay, Geritol, Metamucil and George W. Bush’s rectum. He may have once had the genuine ability to be a “straight talker” until he sold his soul to make nice with the GOP pandering to every right wing fringe group. He claims he has taken his stand on principal - that may be so. It just seems he has not aged well in the last 7 years. One must respect his time spent as a POW in Viet Nam. His Senate tenure, overall, will not provide a very positive legacy. He should have known better than to get involved in this mud wrestling sideshow at his age.

Speaking of Geritol, there is Fred Thompson. Who put him up to this? At every appearance in Iowa Fred appears more ready and willing to play a few hands of Texas hold-em with the locals rather than actually have to speak to a crowd; especially a crowd that might possibly toss out a substantive question or two. Fred smells like Centrum Silver, Ginseng, Viagra, Beano and oatmeal. Someone ought to take him home soon. It would be the right thing to do.

Then there are those candidates who have no obviously discernible aura, odor, scent or, for that matter, purpose for even being here. Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo? What a line up. These guys possess a subtle hint of delusional grandeur and some variant of lunacy acquired while in Congress.

No one has detected a fix on Rudy Guiliani. He makes no bones about the fact that he simply does not like Iowa, doesn’t want to waste his time with obese, greedy farmers who have never even SEEN an Eye-Tal-Yan and would be terrified to vote for one, especially one from...gulp...New York City. Nope Rudy has avoided the pungent hog manure on the newly harvested fields. He probably just smells like a fighter, a contender hoping to get the big match although he is reportedly surrounding himself with refried neo-cons. Perhaps Rudy enjoys the vino a bit too much for this fight.

New Hampshire probably smells better than Iowa even on the worst paper pulp making day. Probably even tree sap in ample quantity smells sickly. Hopefully, these stinkers will leave us alone shortly. We are tired of them and their bullshit. We have more than enough shit here already without increasing the supply by the metric tonnage that lands here every four years.

Copyright © 2007 TBC All Rights Reserved

Cletus E. Yoder ,our Iowa Campaign Correspondent, writing for TBC.

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