Living in Society

Winter Sets In

Polling place, Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Nov. 8, 2022.

After the shellacking Iowa Democrats took in the midterms, I haven’t had much to say about politics. When the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee excluded Iowa as an early presidential preference state, it was just one more layer. I’m ready for what’s next.

I’m over all the politics and don’t have a seat at the table where Iowa Democrats will determine their future. I have extensive political experience rendered moot by the changes. It seems unlikely I will ever again engage as deeply in politics as I have. As we say by the lake, there are bigger fish to fry.

I’m focused on conserving resources, avoiding having to go back to work, and writing. It’s time to plant onions indoors, and place the second order of garden seeds. I look forward to spring.

I met Arnie Alpert from American Friends Service Committee, New Hampshire at a conference in Washington, D.C. Friday he wrote about the possibility of New Hampshire losing its first in the nation primary status. Alpert raised an important part of my argument against first in the nation caucuses in Iowa.

Another under-noted impact is that when the Primary comes to town, it sucks the oxygen out of other political dynamics. Grassroots groups lose their members to the campaigns for months on end. The few local political reporters who are left turn their attention from Main Street and the State House to the excitement of the national horse race. Reporters, activists, and other spectators watch it like the Kentucky Derby. And the substantive issues discussed by the candidates receive scant attention compared to who’s ahead and who’s behind., by Arnie Alpert, Dec. 15, 2022.

Iowa Democrats could do better without the millstone of the caucuses chained around our necks. Whether that will be the state party’s focus is an open question.

The sky spit snow yesterday, not enough to stick. The refuse hauler changed the pickup schedule from Friday to Thursday, creating an extra weekend day, or so it seems. In the final autumn days we know winter will soon set in. With a crazy climate we don’t know whether or not we’ll need the snow blower, or whether we will have another record low temperature that shakes the house foundation. What I know is winter will seem longer than it is.

One reply on “Winter Sets In”

I agree with you, the first in the nation status sucked the life out of local politics and turned everything into a horse race for the Presidency and little else. When the focus was so screwed into that horse race, everything that really mattered in Iowa went straight out the window. The focus turned primarily on money to get the horse race won and little support for the races that mattered most to Iowa. Back in the ancient times of the 1970’s, when there were still people who would say “I don’t belong to an organized political party…. I’m a Democrat!” and say it with pride, politics was an art form, not a business endeavor filled with balance sheets and expectations that political action should simply be about helping depressed millionaires, car corporations, Wall Street investors in poorly hatched gambling operations and other fool hardy scams. When door knocking and hand shaking at the factory gate became passe, so did what was the Democratic party. I’m not seeing a resurgence back to what was important by what remains of the party, they still have their collective heads up their butts wiggling their ears in that quite silence simply to get a rise out of themselves. No longer involved in that age old love affair called “First in the Nation” they have been left on the cutting room floor right along with the boys at Darrel’s Truck Stop seated around what they dubbed “The Table of Knowledge” for the TV crews that checked in with them to see which way the political wind was blowing in Iowa! (Thank God that ended! you might as well got out a straw hat and a piece of straw to hang out of your mouth for the ge-haw these boys handed out!) I’m looking forward to going back into the shadow lands of invisibility removed from the babbling Trumpanzees and Democrats acting more like Republicans than Democrats.


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