30 Comments

" If Trump is good at anything it’s revealing how flimsy our institutions and respectability rituals are. He’s the naked emperor revealing everyone else's bare asses." <---- Truly incredible writing this. *chef's kiss*

Expand full comment

You’re on point. Iowa is no longer relevant, if it ever actually was, and then when caucuses functioned mostly as an injection of dollars every four years into our normally weak hospitality sector (when else is Iowa a “destination state?”). Adding to the R-factor, IA Republicans aren’t really evangelical anymore. They’ve exposed themselves at core as Reactionaries more even than Texas, where school vouchers won’t win, while our teachers are foundering and our hospitals hemorrhaging Ob-Gyn doctors. Now IA is deeply dumbly Red under Reynolds, the most unpopular governor in the country, We are Redundantly not Relevant.

Expand full comment

“If Trump is good at anything it’s revealing how flimsy our institutions and respectability rituals are. He’s the naked emperor revealing everyone else's bare asses.”

I mean, if we have to give him credit for anything, it’s that all of the bigotry that was politely or surreptitiously displayed before is now absolutely and unequivocally laid out for everyone to see and salute. IQ45 is excellent at fomenting hatred and division. I’d say he’s a modern Loki, but that’s a diss to Loki.

Expand full comment

Thank God Iowa is no longer politically relevant.

Expand full comment

Hey, let’s not overlook the fact that in Mike pence’s favorite school district, Linn Mar, all of the M4L candidates were soundly defeated and sensible, rational, and qualified people were elected.

Expand full comment

I also looked into when Iowa picked the eventual nominee for either party, and it's not better. Iowa seems to have a higher success rate with picking the Democratic nominee than the Republican nominee. Out of the 12 presidential elections from 1976 to 2020:

+Republicans nominated their incumbent 5 times. Of the other 7 times, only twice (1996 and 2000) did Iowa Republicans pick the candidate who was the eventual nominee, and only ONCE did Iowa Republicans pick the eventual president. Once. And it was 2000 which wasn't a normal election and although the Iowa Republican pick became president I wouldn't say he won the election.*

+Democrats nominated their incumbent 3 times. Of the other 9 times, Iowa Democrats picked the eventual Democratic nominee 6 times. They have also picked the Democratic nominee in every contested cycle since 2000 except for 2020. Out of those 6 times that Iowa Democrats picked the party's eventual nominee, only twice has that nominee gone on to be president, thought it really should have been three because they picked Al Gore in 2000.

And these are some of the data points that are used to spin the story that Iowa picks presidents. I think you could also use some of this same data (especially on the Republican side) to create a narrative that an Iowa caucus win is a harbinger of campaign death actually. And if that's true, I really hope that Kim Reynolds' endorsement turns things around for DeSantis in Iowa.

*Can you guess when I was radicalized?

Expand full comment

Iowa is not currently relevant, healthy, well educated, or well paid. Lyz always tells the truth and so does Art Cullen. But, they both live in a state so petty that the Republican Party tried to silence journalist Lyz (hence Men Yell at Me and other successes) and the R Legislature refused to recognize Cullen’s Pulitzer Prize. That snub will always stick in my craw. We have no business being a political bellwether. Art’s recent column is here -- full of truths. But, most Iowans are blissfully unaware just how bad it is. IDK, maybe other states suffer the same aversion to truth.

https://www.stormlake.com/articles/something-is-amiss-in-iowa/

Expand full comment

Very well written, as usual, Lyz.

I have long used the Analogy of the "Emperor with no clothes" regarding this POS. However, I've never felt that my backside has been bare, as no one wants to see that.

As for Kim, she has had excellent luck of the draw. She's relatively shallow and naive, which is fortunate for her because we presently live in a world that values those traits.

As for who Iowa picks at caucuses, you are entirely correct. Red Iowa doesn't want a candidate who pulls to the right. They want a candidate that pulls to the right, hops the curb, and takes out as many pedestrians as possible.

Frankly, I'm surprised no candidate has sought the endorsement of the guy who drove over pedestrians in CR.

Expand full comment
founding

The Code of Iowa requires party caucuses be held prior to those of any other state. However, the only business required is to select delegates to county convention and county committees. Remove the presidential preference shuffle and caucus for Dems will be a dry as unbuttered toast. And, I’m assuming, lightly attended in an uncontested presidential cycle.

Expand full comment

The real question in my mind is if Reynolds is really relevant in Iowa? I also feel her endorsement is unlikely to make a difference, as noted here and in the NYT article that Trump voters keep being Trump voters.

I wonder if a Reynolds endorsement carries much weight and is a suitable indicator of Iowa's relevance. I see the KCRG article indicates state republicans approve of her, but do they just like the policies she puts forward because they adhere to the hard right track and she has paid fealty to Trump in the past or would they actually show loyalty to Reynolds the Leader should she buck trend? Her wikipedia page is pretty short prior to the election of Trump suggesting her prominence might be significantly linked to him. Genuinely asking as I am only somewhat tuned into to state politics and have lived in Iowa for 10 years only.

Expand full comment

From afar, Reynolds's choice of announcement seems--happily--not only tone-deaf to the news cycle, but also to the potential for center stage. How often has a woman governor endorsed a woman for president? A multicultural Thanksgiving dinner at the state house? In Iowa? And, I have to ask-- Didn't Reynolds go to high school? DeSantis is not a prom option.

Expand full comment

Um, Jimmy Carter didn’t win the Presidency in 1980. Or am I not understanding what you mean there?

Expand full comment
founding

I'm a day behind with MYAM because my grandma turned 100 yesterday and I was busy eating cake with my family. Just had to drop that fun fact in here because I can't believe I know someone who is 100! Anywho, I will never caucus again. 3+ hours in an auditorium with my (and others) whiny, hungry kids was too much last time. Yes, my kids are older. Yes, they're changing the process for Iowa Dems going forward. Yes, it's my civic responsibility to participate. But OhEmGee...that was just so long and painful and boring. My husband and I were very soured by the whole thing in 2020.

Expand full comment

On the other hand, thank you Pella Iowa for this slim, but little ray of sunshine!

(Even made the NYT)

Expand full comment

Bernie and Buttigieg tied in 2020. Neither stood to gain enough support nationally to win the eventual nomination. So we Iowa Dems outdid ourselves by picking TWO losers.

Expand full comment

anyone have a couple great, or eccentric, cedar rapids IA recs? in town with friends for the weekend!

Expand full comment