Iowa Thoughts

First off, I need to say it seems insane to me the amount of attention and weight given to the votes of 116,00 people on the Republican side (and I’m assuming a similar number for the Democrats) in a nation of 300 million. It’s just ludicrous that this has the effect it does…but in this era of 24 hour hyper-hyping news porn that we live in, sadly it does.
So what have we learned?
On the Democratic side, people just don’t like Hillary. Given the choice between 2 inexperienced Senators and a slick lawyer they prefer the warm and cuddly inexperienced Senator Obama over the nasty Hillary and the too-slick Edwards. In general I agree with that, mainly because I really dislike the dynastic turn that our Presidential politics has taken over the past 20 years; it’s a horrible development for our republic. However, there is a part of me that whispers that in a major crisis we could count on Hillary to use the military in a forceful way and I just don’t have that confidence about Obama.
On the Republican side, again it seems that cuddly prevailed in the form of Huckabee. And he’s a guy that I agree with on a number of issues: school vouchers (against), abortion (against but it’s an issue for the states, not the federal government). But on the issues that are to me the most important: national security, illegal immigration, 2nd Amendment, limiting federal government; the only candidate that I agree with is Fred Thompson. Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani, McCain were all in favor of that horrible Immigration Bill, and are squishy on securing the borders. Romney and Giuliani are in favor of tighter gun restrictions. Huckabee greatly increased government size and spending, Romney taxed the bejeebus out of everyone, and I can never forget McCain’s role as a Keating 5 member.
So I am officially declaring myself for Fred. In fact, I even contributed to his campaign this morning (a first for me). I agree with Bryan; Fred needs to now step up the pace.
Did I forget to mention Ron Paul?
Well, that’s because he’s a Nucking Fut.
Update: you know, it’s amazing. You just put the words “Ron Paul” on your blog and within minutes someone has visited your site via Technorati. These Ronulans are a devoted bunch, ain’t they?

16 Responses to “Iowa Thoughts”

  1. Fred!
    It’s the only way to be sure.

  2. John says:

    Mr. B, I’m curious about your opposition to vouchers. I’m for them, and also for the State getting out of education altogether, with the exception of some minimal safety net schools in really impoverished areas. I think the system is broken beyond repair.

  3. nightfly says:

    Don’t worry. Fred is also tracking the Ronulans. When he sweeps to power, he’ll put up a dummy website to bring them all from hiding – and then vaporize them with his rage.
    (Why yes, I have been reading a lot of IMAO, why do you ask?)

  4. Skyler says:

    The problem with school vouchers is that it essentially gets the government’s grubby hands on private schools. It might be nice in the short term, but in the long term private schools would be equally denuded of educational value because private schools would have to comply with government standards in order to get vouched students.

  5. Oooo, Diptera!! I LIKE your thinking!!!
    (Is he really?!?!?!)

  6. Mr. Bingley says:

    John, briefly I am against them because frankly the only way the schools work is when the parents are intimately involved in them. Vouchers take away any incentive whatsoever for parents to get involved in their neighborhoods and schools. They will lead to a further balkanization of america. Especially at this time we need to send out a unifying message of common core values, we need places to frankly instill those values into youth. or the game is lost.

  7. John says:

    Skyler- not of the voucher comes in the form of a tax rebate. My local taxes are about 80% due to the school budget.
    Mr. B – so you’re telling me that the schools in a place like Berlekly, CA aren’t Balkanized already?
    The current system allows the Berkleyites to penetrate my little corner of the woods via state and national regulation and teacher training that does not recognize merit. It’s homogenization of the wrong sort that I fear.
    I don’t think we’ll Balkanize with private schooling any more than we did in the 19th century when schooling was minimal for most kids.

  8. Skyler says:

    John, but if to be eligible for a tax rebate your private school has to comply with NEA policies, you have no real choices.

  9. Eric T Duckman says:

    Why do you think states should be able to compel women to bear children against their will?

  10. Mr. Bingley says:

    John, I think there are lots of schools that are balkanized, especially in the south, sadly enough, where anyone who can afford it sends their kids to private schools. But at least they still have to pony up their property taxes for the public schools. I just don’t think it’s something that the state should be encouraging. I think it is in the State’s interest to encourage people to invest both their money and energy into their local communities, and the easiest and most efficient place to start is the schools. And I don’t like the idea of another government bureaucracy developing to hand out taxpayer funds to private companies. I want less government.

  11. Mr. Bingley says:

    The State compels us to do things against our will all the time, Eric. It’s one of the trade-offs one makes when one agrees to live in Society. Abortion has become such a divisive issue that it seems to me to make sense to take it off the table nationally as I’m not convinced that it falls under any of the powers specifically granted to the Federal government.

  12. John says:

    Skyler – I’m envisioning a box on the tax form. You check that you have a kid and the spawn is not in public school, you keep the 5 grand a year I pay in local school tax. Since the government never gets its paws on the money, there’s no bureaucracy to hand the money out, and no government interference. I know, good luck with getting the politicos to do something logical like that.
    Mr. B – I guess we disagree on how much being involved in the local school affects the interest of the marginal case. The people like me who take an interest (and the PTA Nazis who take too much interest) in the schools are the same people who attend the town hall meetings for other matters. We will give a crap, local schools or no, and the people who don’t show up for either the BOE meetings or the town halls, don’t now, so their participation can hardly decrease.
    That’s in a town-based school sytem like is prevalent in the NE. Down where I come from, the county BOEs control every school in the county, so there’s even less of a draw from the schools to the local gov’t. I attended town halls and councils as a kid (my town had 400 people in it), but you had to drive 30 minutes up to the county seat for BOE meetings, which we only did once when they threatened to cut Elementary Music county-wide. That system has no draw into civics from having the county control education.

  13. Mr. Bingley says:

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow people to opt-out of public programs they don’t like, John. What’s to stop people from demanding a box so they can defund the military or highway funding? Where do you draw the line?
    Maybe I’m too idealistic in my hopes for civic virtue, but I can’t help but think (aw hell, hope) that there will be more people who care about their schools/towns/neighborhoods if their kids attend them.

  14. Gunslinger says:

    Why do you think states should be able to compel women to bear children against their will?
    Uh Ducktard, are you accusing the states of creating secret breeding programs using captive concubines or are you going off on some Planned Parenthood agitprop spewing spree?

  15. Skyler says:

    Bingley says,
    “I don’t think it’s a good idea to allow people to opt-out of public programs they don’t like, John.”
    Yeah, but some programs are in the Constitution, and others aren’t.

  16. NJ Sue says:

    School vouchers will just become another gigantic middle-class government entitlement program. The government has no business subsidizing people’s private school bills or paying for busing so that Kid A can travel to School B in another town 10 miles away. Vouchers will merely allow all public schools to become equally mediocre. Anyway, vouchers in NJ were a political dead end because suburban homeowners who busted their behinds to afford a house in a “good” district didn’t want their property values to plummet as a result of seeing their schools open to all. That’s a big reason McGreevey won over Schundler; McGreevey opposed vouchers.

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