Unless I Change My Mind

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 10: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announces her presidential bid in front of a crowd gathered at Boom Island Park on February 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Klobuchar joins a crowded field of Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

During this long period of silence I have been very annoyed by the campaign in general, sad about the impeachment and yet allowing the nattering political media constantly in my ears.

Of course Donald should have been impeached and should be removed from office. Bill should have been removed too. Listen to Season 2 of the Slate podcast Slow Burn while you walk the dog if you need convincing.

In the meantime the flipping Iowa Caucus is in a few days and you need to know what to do. Of the remaining candidates I like Andrew, and Amy. I’m left only kind of liking Pete.* This has not led to actual discord in my family but lots of discussion. Our Pete yard signs are sagging out there in the snow and JM canvasses for him every weekend and goes to team meetings and wears the regalia. I think that’s great and helps move things forward even if I won’t do it. The youth of America affiliated with yrmama are all over the place. Some are downright socialist and some are confused and tempted to bail on the caucus altogether.

What to Do: You should obviously choose Andrew or Amy for the first alignment, and then get behind the other one or Pete if you need to realign. (I’m not going to rehash the rules of play for the caucus. There will be plenty of people at your precinct site telling you how to do it if you don’t already know.) Iowans take the caucus incredibly seriously and many Hawkeyes are exacerbating their IBS just from the long sleepless nights of worrying over getting this right. Monday it’s finally time to vote with our feet and hearts in the gymnasium corner where the banner of our true love flies. We’ve thought enough and we now need to follow our hearts. That’s how we get it right.

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ours were red

But really, Amy is the one. I’ve kind of liked her all along but recently I feel a surge of warmth and sureness in my heart whenever I think about her. If yrmama were a politician she would be Amy. She is rock solid, incredibly tough and pragmatic and can sway Republican voters her way. Because she is a lawyer and a very successful and powerful senator she already knows how to get things done. I believe she really would get things done too. Amy has been flying under the radar all this time because she is tater-tot casserole. She is that ideal German Shepherd mix that will quietly kill raccoons. She is a sensible haircut. She is weatherproof. She will not flinch when Donald gets in her face because she probably had to wear a horrible gym suit in junior high. When she plays dodge ball with him she’ll aim for his face at close range. He’ll go down hard and see stars. He’ll have to sit out the rest of the class period holding a towel up to his bloody nose, muttering about revenge and conspiracy theories.

*Bernie, Joe and Elizabeth are too old. There is no reason for the baby boomers to keep running things. They’ve always insisted on running things. That said, any of these would make an ok president.https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/times-up-baby-boomers-its-gen-xs-turn-now/2019/04/25/4e6593e4-6768-11e9-a1b6-b29b90efa879_story.html

How to motivate Iowans and what yrmama really wants

After the Liberty and Justice Celebration we stayed on in DesMoines for a couple of days to attend the Pete Summit. It was “leadership training” for core campaign volunteers from across the state and if yrmama is a “core campaign volunteer” … they should look for people who are less cynical than yrmama.

The Battle of #LJ19 Hill
Plus, yrmama would like to be awarded all the style points for her patriotic outfit. The JCrew clearance jeans are spangled with little blue stars, while the TJMaxx clearance red cotton sweater and moisture-wicking gray hooded sweatshirt underneath take the adorable ensemble all the way from cute and festive to dressed-for-the-weather. Photography credit – JM And thanks to Amy for all the green signs to pose with.

I like Pete, but despite my signed Commit to Caucus (a “CTC” to the real insiders) and the t shirts and yard signs I’m still my old deeply skeptical non-joiner self. If it weren’t for this doggone blog (thanks Sharon) I would probably not be doing any of this, but there I was, in a junior high school gym with 175 fellow core campaign volunteers from all over Iowa and a lot of extremely bouncy, youthful campaign staffers. The first morning we were treated to a bonus visit from Pete himself and we even sat next to the nice sixteen year old girl who has become Chasten’s new best friend. I’m not even kidding – when she was sick he called her. JM said, with a healthy mix of jealousy and awe, “She’s going to get invited to the inauguration.”

Despite now being well-trained in interpersonal persuasion tactics meant to be used on the Pete-curious (they actually call you that), what I really want out of this is a little different. I really want people to caucus and vote for whoever they want. I want them to be able to talk about their “values” (wth. Talk about a mushy concept.) and political ideas, which in itself is kind of revolutionary. I want them to feel like their ideas matter and that their vote will ultimately make a difference.*

This training skipped over the fact that Iowans, for the most part, consider talking about politics bad manners. I was explicitly taught to not talk about politics, religion or money except in special circumstances. I think there should have been a session on how to create “safe spaces” where Iowans would feel like talking about their “values.”

I know that the way to motivate Iowans is not to talk them into things, or jump up and down and yell zestfully, or set expectations for them, but to tell them that their work and ideas are valuable and appreciated. I was at a volunteer appreciation dinner the other night for a different organization whose army of volunteers brought in $100,000 of revenue in September, one price tag on a used pair of socks at a time. That’s what they tell us all the time there – your work and ideas are valuable and appreciated.

In the comments – were you taught that there was a set of topics unsuited to common civil discourse? Have you ever been persuaded to take a position?

*Hey! Let’s do a thing where the presidential candidate with the most votes wins!