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Look! Up in the sky! It's Mitt! It's Rick! No, it's Santoromney!

mitt and rick neck and neck

So Mitt Romney is pleased as punch after beating Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses by a mere eight votes, huh? Mitt's jubilation needs to be places in check. To end up in a virtual tie with a basket case like poor old Rick is an ominous portent of things to come I'm afraid.

With the South Carolina primaries just around the corner, Willard Mitt should be getting fat with worry. And who would blame him? The jackasses in that state who identify themselves as "Republicans" are so out-of-touch with fundamental reality, they perceive a conservative hack like Mitt as a radical left-winger. And you wonder why I get such a kick out of politics? Life is beautiful.

Flash! The Midwest is the new Deep South!

Another example of the spreading intellectual rot of the United States of America; a country which at one time (Hold onto your hats, generation Xers!) was the best place in the world in which to live. It's not anymore. It ain't even close. Still, we do have the best reality shows on the planet. Stand proud, America!

It boggles the senses that so many voters in the Hawkeye State would have bothered to venture out in the freezing weather to vote for any of these clowns. Their sense of civic responsibility truly astounds.

I fail to understand the importance that is being given to the Iowa Caucuses. Does anyone seriously believe that a relatively isolated state near the center of the country is a microcosm of American ideals and political opinion? Or that the people who live there - a lot of whom are just-a-tad reactionary, ill-formed and out of touch - are an indication of who the nominee will be? Iowa has a fairly reliable habit of getting it wrong. I strongly suspect that the "momentum" that Mitt 'n' Rick will be receiving out of their "victories" won't amount to a hill of garbanzo beans in the end.

"I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money." -- Rick Santorum, Sioux City, Iowa, January 1, 2012

Ah, Rick. What an knucklehead. That a halfwit like Rick Santorum can go as far as he's gone proves only that this really is a white man's world. It also shows a Herculean act of desperation on his part to play the race card in Iowa of all places - a state with fewer African Americans than any other in the union - about two percent. Take that moronically insensitive comment as a sneak preview of what's in store for us in the Hilarious Campaign of 2012. No doubt about it, kids, this is gonna get ugly. You don't want a front row seat for this fight; it's liable to get a bit messy. The mezzanine is your best bet.

The right wing wants to take back 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue so badly, nothing's going to stand in their way, not even common decency. They can't win on the basis of their ideas because those ideas are beyond reprehensible. The only chance they have is by appealing to the darkest dysfunction in white America's tormented soul: it's irrational fear of dark-skinned people. The Republican governors of thirty-four states are now in the process of "legally" denying them the vote by mandating that they purchase voter IDs. This is what is known as a "poll tax" - and it was ruled unconstitutional almost a half-century ago. Oh, yeah, this is gonna get very ugly indeed.

PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE: No race of people in the history of this country have suffered more - and with less good reason - than have our fellow citizens of African heritage. I would imagine that there is a special place in hell for any politician who would exploit white America's paranoia simply for political gain.

NOTE TO THE GOP: Knock it off.

If you had any doubt that the Roberts Court's obscene Citizens United ruling of two years ago might seriously harm our republic, those doubts should have been dispelled in Iowa. I never thought I would live to see the day when I would feel a tinge of sympathy for the likes of Newt Gingrich but - so help me Mitch Miller - that day has come.

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For the past week Romney's super-secret political action committee has bombarded the Iowan airwaves with anti-Newt propaganda. Gingrich's popularity, which had been rising in recent weeks, crumbled amid the onslaught. We don't know who paid for those ads. We may never know. The court of John Roberts has seen to that.

So it's off to New Hampshire and South Carolina. I must admit to you that I'm feelin' just a little blue at the moment. All of the candidates I was praying for (the bat-shit crazy ones) will not be getting the nomination. Herman Cain is gone and forgotten. Rick Perry has headed home to Texas to "think things over". Maybe he'll be back. Maybe not.

Just an hour ago as of this writing Michele Bachmann announced that she will be "suspending" her campaign. She has seen the writing on the wall I suppose. At some of her appearances over the weekend, the crowd numbers were in the single digits. And she was born in Iowa! This is a real let down. I was pinning my hopes on her candidacy more than anyone's. Can you imagine what a scream her campaign might have been? Alas, it was never meant to be. [SIGH]

I'm gonna Miss Michele like nobody's business. All of that sweet, accidental humor is now ashes to the wind. I wonder what the future holds in store for her. FOX Noise? Dancing with the Stars? Reality TV? I can see her hosting a game show: The Price is Reich.

michelle bachmann bows out

It's time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up, the piper must be paid
The party's over; it's all over, my friend....

My male friends have always been puzzled by my indifference to sports. This is true. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of articles in the sports page that I have read in my life. It is also a sad indicator that, as a political writer, I'll never be considered Hall of Fame material. The great ones - every single one of them - were all stone-cold sports fans. But what good is sports when compared to the incredible spectacle that comes only once every four years - the race to the White House??? No contest comes close to it in terms of a pure adrenaline rush. None.

So let the 2012 Republican Clown Car Race to the Bottom begin. Gentlemen: Start your rhetoric!

tom degan

Tom Degan
The Rant


Thompson and Crouse were both correspondents for Rolling Stone Magazine during the McGovern/Nixon race of 1972. Their respective memoirs of that campaign are essential reading for any self-respecting political junkie. I'm happy to say that both books are still in print.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Rick Perry has just announced that he will be entering the South Carolina primary. YES!!!