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Let Iowa vote first so the adults can take over

Let Iowa vote first so the adults can take over Let Iowa vote first so the adults can take over

If there's one thing I like about Iowa, it's, well, never mind, there really isn't. Let's just say, as states go, it has all the appeal of California during brush fire season or maybe Oklahoma when tornadoes are ripping apart trailer parks faster than Home Depot can stock more 1/32-inch particle board to rebuild them back to FEMA standards.

Oh, shoot, that's right, I could've gone with Arkansas when the boll weevil larva are infecting the cotton plantations. Dang, I always forget that one when I'm disparaging other places.

Back to Iowa we should go -- which is something never, ever uttered by a Des Moines young adult whose ventured east of the Mighty Mississip -- because it's caucus week, that momentous time during every U.S. Presidential election when the rest of the country asks the question, 'Really, Iowa people get to vote?' The big day is Feb. 3 this year, a little later than usual, actually, but that may have something to do with the fact that the Super Bowl is kinda early. Or not. Remember, this is Iowa, one of only three states in the union whose name is a 4-letter word. Need I say more?

Oh, come on. It's Utah and Ohio. I'd hate to see you up all night trying to figger' that one out.

Now you might think that there is a bona fide good reason why the Iowa caucuses are always the first primary election event, but then, you might also believe that Genesis is the first book of the Bible just because Paul's cat ate his first draft and it took him a while for the rewrite. Really, Iowa is first only because it wants to be first, and its governor actually has legislative power to move the date forward on the calendar in case any rogue state like say, maybe Russia, would try to jump ahead. And, I mean, geez, what does it hurt anyway? Letting Iowa vote first is sorta like letting the children open their Christmas presents first. Get the kids out of the way so the adults can get at it.

I might be able to take the Iowa caucus results more seriously if the Hawkeye State could just be like the rest of us and put Xs in little boxes next to the name of the candidate they see as the least like Satan. Instead, they do this weird caucus thing, where they all go to their precinct houses and talk about stuff like how bad the corn yields were this year, how it is that they don't have any professional sports franchises and never will, and how Illinois would probably just annex them if it weren't for all the Atrazine-poisoned empty land where nobody wants to live. Eventually, they get around to talking about who might make the best next president, and since in 2016 they went for Ted Cruz, well, that just about flushes all their credibility down the political toilet.

Really? Ted Cruz? Wasn't Barney Fife on the ballot?

Because of its first-state status, candidates spend an inordinate amount of time and money on a place that has fewer Electoral College votes than it has cities that people outside the state can actually name. (Let's see, there's Dubuque, and Iowa City. And Cedar Rapids. Wait, no, Mayberry? No, that was the Andy Griffith Show. Darn.) For example, prior to the 2016 Iowa caucus, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders had spent more there than he had in 43 other states. And, it paid off in a way, as he tied Hillary Clinton in the caucus that year, which proved one of two things: 1.) Hillary was an unelectable hag, or 2.) Yeah, #1 was it.

This year's Iowa caucus is said to be shaping up as one of the most competitive ever, with as many as four candidates showing support from 10 percent or more of potential voters. Sanders is so far leading the pack at 25 percent, according to a New York Times poll, with Pete Buttigieg next at 18 percent, Joe Biden third at 17 percent, and Elizabeth Warren fourth at 15 percent. However, with more than 40 percent of survey respondents saying they still might change their mind, Vladimir Putin knows he still can influence the outcome if he can only buy enough deceptive advertising on Facebook. I'm betting he can.

It will be interesting to see what Iowans choose this year in the Democratic field. For one, there's Sanders, a 78-year-old man with known heart problems. The odds of him surviving a 4-year term in the White House aren't all that good even if he could knock off President Trump in November, so the main question with him might be: Who do you plan to pick as your running mate? Then, there's his position as a self-proclaimed socialist, not that anybody really knows what that means anyway. In Iowa, if you like corn-fed pork and Hawkeye football, you can lean anyway you want.

And then there's Pete Buttigieg, the 38-yearold former mayor of a small city in Indiana. Until three years ago, he wasn't old enough to even run for president, now he's contending in a field of Democratic candidates that could be described as 'less impressive than a flat diet soft drink.' I'm not sure if Buttigieg is doing anything that remarkable in coming out of nowhere, or if he's just done it in a year when the bar is so low that Joe Biden seems like a legitimate choice. Oh, and by the way, a bit of Iowa caucus historical trivia: No candidate with the word 'butt' in their name has ever finished higher than third. Thought you'd like to know. Hey, and speaking of Joe Biden (and we were, just in case you skipped over a few paragraphs), the former Vice President is polling a close third in Iowa even though President Trump once tried to get a foreign country to investigate him for corruption, which is sorta like Jack the Ripper asking police to look into somebody else getting careless with a knife. Biden may well be the Democratic Party's best hope in November, but if he doesn't show strong in the Iowa caucuses, he could end up being somebody else's running mate again. Great. Just what we need. Another old white establishment guy a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Oh, where have you gone, Dan Quayle?

Lastly, and leastly, we should talk about Elizabeth Warren, 'cuz how often do you get to say fun things about a broad who can find a way to holler and shake her fist during a speech about federal fiscal policy as it relates to establishment of guidelines for regulation of the fiduciary responsibility of accountants under IRS Code 311.21b (not really a thing). The point is, Warren is a wonk, but she's got this idea in her head that she needs to present herself as a progressive gung-ho crusader who will fight not only for America, but for the UCF welterweight title, if that's what it takes. My feeling is that she's too liberal for Iowa, whose idea of 'far left' relates more to where Amish traffic should stay on major highways.

Well, that's it, that's all the space I have for the week. By the time we talk again, the Iowa caucuses will be over, and we won't hear of the state again before 2024, unless a passenger jet crashes in a cornfield or something.