Iowa Caucuses a Week Away, and Both Parties Spilling Blood

John Kass
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Posted: Jan 25, 2016 12:15 PM
Iowa Caucuses a Week Away, and Both Parties Spilling Blood

It's a good thing America is concentrating on the truly big news stories:

Like #OscarsSoWhite from #HollywoodSoLiberal. And the head-smacking drama of the National Concussion League.

But before our presidential candidates do any more harm to what a few of us still consider the republic, what of the Iowa caucuses just days away?

Republican intellectuals are tearing the skin off each other's backs in their search for a true conservative, as if they'd know one after spending years defending the neocon-driven Bush administration.

Republicans actually had a conservative in the race, but they smothered his candidacy because it threatened their hold on power, and cast his young voters to the winds.

Sen. Rand Paul, the stubborn Kentucky Republican, is still in the race for reasons of his own. Barely registering since being kept out of the debates, he wanders like some lonely libertarian warrior monk. Yet even in his exile, denied media water, fire and shelter, he made a point by invoking the "Lord of the Rings."

He aptly compared Donald Trump to the covetous Gollum who is compelled to seek the ring of power.

"This race should not be about who can grasp the ring. Electing Gollum should not be our objective," Paul wrote on Facebook. "This race should be about which candidate will best protect you from an overbearing government.

"I am the only one on this national stage who really doesn't want power or dominion over you. I want to set you free, I want to leave you alone, and I want a government so small you can barely see it."

The trouble is, of course, that the acerbic Paul's campaign can barely be seen.

Now the Republicans are left with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-The Shire, and

Jeb!, whose mother likes him. Oh, and a few others who don't stand a chance.

Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who looks exactly like Count Chocula, is a conservative, yes, but the entire Washington GOP hates the man.

The insiders would rather have Jeb!

What was amazing last week was that the National Review, perhaps rediscovering its conservative roots, finally tried to take out fake conservative Trump with an anti-Trump issue.

The irony, though, is that for years the magazine defended former President George W. Bush's so-called big government conservatism, his melding of religion and federal authority through "faith-based" initiatives, his use of military power to force democracy on people who didn't want one.

The attempted takedown of Trump leaves Bush's brother and establishment heir Jeb! to sit back with all that cash, play the moderate conservative and pick up the pieces.

Slap me again. And again. Thank you, sir, may I please have another?

I understand why people gravitate to Trump, especially working people who've been beaten up by the economy and see a nation run by knaves. My argument's not with them.

Trump's tough, he's not politically correct, he mocks journalists and makes funny faces. That's attractive in a candidate, particularly for Republican and Democratic grass-roots voters who can smell the weasel on establishment pols with their eyes closed. But such a personality may be disastrous in a president.

As I've written before, Trump is about wielding the federal hammer. And now he's armed with a personality cult. Neither is remotely conservative.

The use of the federal hammer is actually the statist Democratic position. It's something a Chicago political boss would do, or a socialist, or a Republican neocon. It has everything to do with big government power and force. It has nothing to do with liberty or conservatism.

But if Trump gets past Cruz in Iowa, he'll spread his wings on the winds of that crazy Sarah Palin, and begin breathing fire.

The Democrats.

Front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the congenital liar, keeps telling supporters not to panic.

But they're panicking. Why? Because if they weren't panicking, they'd be mentally ill. She feels the Bern. She must feel it in her sleep.

Sanders, the unreconstructed socialist, is surging in New Hampshire and closing in Iowa. And Mrs. Clinton has another serious problem:

The FBI is investigating how top-secret government emails ended up on her private server. Her partisan meat puppets brush it off as nothing, but there's a sweet stench about this one now. If a midlevel foreign service officer did what she's done, they'd be fired by now, or indicted.

So the Clintonistas might cheer her every word, clapping frantically. But other Democrats wonder who the Democratic establishment might draft, if Hillary's email issue becomes truly septic and the FBI does more than investigate.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, keeps his integrity and his ideals, promising voters free stuff, from free health care to free college educations. Of course, it's not free, but doesn't the left always dream it that way?

Bernie put out a stirring TV spot called "America" with that old Simon and Garfunkel track that evokes a mythic, romanticized '60s, in the way Republicans reach to the Reagan '80s.

And a worried Hillary looks to stop the bleeding in South Carolina. So in typical Clinton fashion, her attack dogs play the race card on Sanders, saying the "America" ad isn't black enough. Bernie doesn't deserve that. Such politics are disgusting.

A week to go before Iowa.