Politically Speaking – February 1, 2016

February 2, 2016

Editor’s Note: This column was written before the Iowa Caucus results.

These are the kind of weeks I don’t look forward to writing this column. On the eve of major events like the Iowa Caucuses, we go to press on Monday at noon with our Mt. Vernon area paper and the Salem / Centralia area goes to press at 2:00 p.m. So that leaves me looking at Sunday after church. This last Sunday afternoon I shared with our Production Manager at our corporate office that it would be a tough week and explained why, but he already knew that. Scott and I have been pushing 20 years working together with ink in the blood and lengthy political conversations today.
So when I finished a 30 minute stump speech with him patiently listening to my frustration at the condition of our government today, the distrust of the current administration and the slate of candidates. Smiling, he said that he should have taped the conversation and put it immediately on our website. We both laughed and said that would have been a lot easier for this week.
So on the eve of the Iowa Caucuses the race to the White House was in high gear. On Sunday the last day of January, the candidates left held 34 events. Wow, what a day! It was crunch time!
With all this talk about the caucus, let’s go to the dictionary for the meaning of the word. Caucus:
1) A meeting of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates or decide policy.
2) A group of people with shared concerns within a political party or larger organization.
Most people think the Iowa Caucuses are just the first Presidential Primary in the nation — a chance for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the rest to see how they’re really doing with voters.
The Iowa Caucuses do involve voting. It is a long and much involved process, especially for the Democrats.
They gather together at libraries, schools gyms and even private homes to speak their minds and support their candidates.
So by a show of hands, the Democrats pick their choice after listening to stump speakers selling their candidate!
The bottom line is the candidate must get 15% to be considered a viable candidate, and whoever gets the most is deemed the winner.
For the Republicans the Iowa Caucus is a much simpler affair. GOP voters use secret ballots; the key word is secret. Then the votes are tallied to see who will attend the Party’s county, state and national conventions.
In Iowa you can register to vote right up to the caucus day and, amazingly, can even switch party and affiliation on that day.
Finally, after all that, the state’s results are used to determine how the Parties’ convention delegates are divvied up among the candidates. Wow!
My prediction last week was Trump and Sanders; probably Sanders over Hillary is because of wishful thinking.
I take it real personal that someone who is under investigation by the FBI and the Obama Justice Department would have the gall to run for President. Someone who is blaming the Republican Party for her close numbers in the polls with Bernie Sanders, who isn’t even a registered Democrat.
It couldn’t be her illegal email activities and her Benghazi mistakes! And only God knows what else. Hillary has to have someone to blame. It certainly couldn’t be her. It’s the typical Clintonian attitude.
By the way, check out a federal law, Title 18, Section 2071 that would put in doubt whether she is even eligible to run or hold any public office, let alone the office of President of the United States. In my opinion, Hillary Clinton broke a federal law in the manner emails were handled.
On to Donald Trump. He needs the evangelical community to walk away with Iowa. As I look ahead, at this time he is slightly the favorite to win as I predicted. I would say on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m., the odds say he has a 48% chance to take it, but I’ll take those odds.
So as the candidates sprinted through the beautiful state of Iowa, I’m still calling it for Trump / Sanders.

On to the next issue. Did Donald Trump get hurt by not showing up for the Fox News debate? In my opinion, absolutely not!
I personally have very little respect for the liberal networks, but lost a lot of respect for Fox News over the tweets sent out about Donald Trump before the debate. Frankly, I would have told them to shove it as well. Trump is not always right. But on this one he was right. And there are more debates to come.

Upcoming Debates
For Both Parties

Sat., Feb. 6 — ABC
Sat., Feb. 13 — CBS
Thurs., Feb. 25 — CNN
Thurs., Mar. 10 — CNN
March ?? — Fox

Thurs., Feb. 4 — MSNBC
Sat., Feb. 11 — PBS
Sat., Mar. 9 — Univision

Let me leave you with these words of Thomas Jefferson: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Until next week.