I have no idea who’s going to “win” tonight’s Iowa caucuses — scare quotes necessary, since the “real winner” is often the guy who finishes second — but one thing I do know: This is going to be the ugliest election since the Adams–Jefferson tussles in the early days of the Republic, but with even more at stake.
What else to make of this report yesterday about the charming mischief our friends from across the aisle have been making in Iowa:
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is fending off attacks from national Democrats who are traveling across the state today to blast him outside his own events on the eve of tomorrow’s GOP caucuses…
National Democratic Party officials dive-bombed Romney, who is in Davenport for a grassroots rally, setting up a press conference outside the event with an Indiana worker who was laid off in the 1990s after his company was purchased by Bain.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz also planned a press conference in Florida focusing solely on Romney and his “attempts to rewrite history, distract voters from his out of touch positions and support for failed policies that won’t help the middle class.”
If there’s a more repellent personality on the American Left, with the possible exception of Chuck Schumer and Alan Colmes, it’s got to be Ms. Wasserman Schultz. And yet, of all the progressives, she may be my favorite, since her raw-id, scatterbrained, motor-mouthed approach to articulating whatever pops into her head reveals the true spiritual ugliness of those on her side. (Cameo appearances in the clip by BHO II, Joe Biden and Maerose Prizzi, for extra laughs.)
Still, moving the big guns in to attack a caucus, for crying out loud, may be a new low, even for the Tammany Party. One immediately senses the hand of the master, Jake Lingle, behind the tactic. David Axelrod’s strategy for the Punahou Kid is never to let him into a fair fight if he can’t fix it (just ask Jack Ryan), so what’s happening in Iowa is all part of a softening-up strategy whose end game will be the neutralizing of the Republican candidate long before the actual election. (McCain, of course, conveniently neutralized himself, thus sparing Axelrod the trouble.)
The Romney camp naturally misinterprets the assault on the GOP’s caucus by assuming the Democrats are “afraid” of Willard:
Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom said the criticism proves Obama is running scared.
“Obama and the DNC are terrified of Mitt Romney. … That’s why they spend so much time attacking Mitt,” said Fehrnstrom. “Republican primary voters are looking for two things in their nominee. One who can fix this economy and secondly because they sense that this president’s vulnerable, they want someone who can beat him.”
In fact, the Dems would welcome Romney as their opponent, because the attack ads write themselves. Having themselves nearly destroyed the American economy, they’ve cleverly fitted chumps like Mitt for the fall-guy jacket — that’s one of the things the various coordinated “Occupy” movements have been prepping the battlespace for — and, with consummate chutzpah, they’ll try to convince the electorate that Obama needs four more years to complete his work, without ever quite specifying what “finish” actually means.
No, Mr. Fehrnstrom, the Democrats have much bigger fish to fry. Their thug tactics, which they’ve been honing for hundreds of years, are meant to intimidate and demoralize the opposition before the battle is even joined, and you can bet their street armies will be back in force by the time the election rolls around.
Meanwhile, Romney, like most of the GOP candidates, continues to campaign as if this were simply politics as usual, that his opponents are honorable people who wish the nation well, and that, golly gee willikers, Obama’s just not up to the job.
“I haven’t seen such a big gap between promises and performance in a long, long time,” said Romney to a crowd of roughly 100 at his first early morning grassroots rally.
Spoken like a true technocrat. Yeah, that’ll do it. And in front of roughly a hundred people, too!
Romney doesn’t grok the nature of his prospective opponent and never will — that’s the real gap. It completely eludes him that fixing the economy — his claim to “electability” — is only a small part of the job. What the country needs is a champion with a clear-eyed realization of the danger Obama and his leftist enablers and backers pose to the nation.
In other words, this election isn’t FDR vs. Alf Landon in 1936, but Thomas E. Dewey vs. Gangland. You cannot defeat a criminal organization masquerading as a political party by playing nice. The goal of those useless “Republican strategists” — who are really just tacticians — must not simply be victory, but unconditional surrender.
One of the factors behind the Newt boomlet was the hope that he’d take the fight to Obama, bare-knuckles style, instead of playing patty-cake. If Santorum does well tonight, look for him to pick up the Newtonian cudgel and start swinging it.
In fact, combine a righteous — fearless — pugnacity with Ron Paul’s understanding of how dangerously dysfunctional and corrupt Washington is, and we might have a real candidate.
If not, we’ll have four more years of Obama.