Apparently this phase of the Iowa Caucus lead-up is really boring. It might be time for more people to start dropping out hint hint. Then again, caucus night is still six months away. No one can pay attention this long! They don’t have anything new to say! And I’m so bored with checking my news apps every two hours to see what Donald’s up to! Let’s get this administration over with already.
A while back I did go to DesMoines for the candidate forum on gun violence and saw them all in action again. Kamala wore jeans, that was a nice sartorial choice. Elizabeth bounded onto the stage and literally bounced up and down in her chair like a little kid because she was so excited to respond to questions. Pete was brilliant. Joe blathered. It was all the same stuff even though it was worthwhile and an important topic.
Michael Bloomberg spoke. The whole thing was sponsored by Mothers Demand Action, Students Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety, all great organizations. Michael founded and funds Everytown and it really showed. There were ample chairs, A/C, great sound and lighting, smooth logisitics and FREE FOOD. There was a hot breakfast buffet set up when we arrived, sandwiches for lunch, and snacks and drinks all day. Thanks Michael!
Meanwhile yrmama has been attempting to turn her geneology obsession into a spiritual family history/memoir. You might say, “but yrmama! What happened to that novel you wrote twice, and your neglected political blog, and your Etsy shop? Are you someone who can’t finish anything or are you a creative genius?” To which I’d reply, “The proof is definitely not in the pudding.”
How about Liz and Pete? Or better yet, Liz and Amy? Joe and Stacy Abrams? That would make me like him more. Oh wait, she already turned him down, and declined to run for a senate seat, which means we may soon have 23 candidates…baited breath… Kamala and Pete could work, but we all hate to see Pete just cooling his heels for four years. Kamala and Amy? I think we are working with a top tier of Liz, Kamala, maybe Joe, maybe Pete…
But those maybes, that Joe is too old, Amy looks too much like yrmama and Pete is too adorable bring us to the issue of ELECTABILITY, a quality that doesn’t exist. Electability is when you start second-guessing yourself and stressing about what you think other people want and how much you’re willing to compromise to beat a tyrant toddler, and none of that is good, ever. Which leaves me with Liz and Kamala. And Pete. (My sweetie wants me to love Pete best and yrmama’s sweetie is very persuasive.)
In May or so of 2007 yrmama was at a wedding reception and a know-it-all, political writer academic guy asked what I thought of the upcoming Democratic prospects and I blurted out “Barack Obama.” He laughed at me. Until that glorious sweaty, fluorescently lit Iowa Caucus night in the jam-packed school gym Barack was not electable. Donald descending his golden escalator was a joke, unelectable. Electable doesn’t know it’s ass from a hat rack.
Listen to Sam Sanders on It’s Been a Minute, taped Thursday in DesMoines. They’ve really got our number, us stressed-out Democratic Iowa caucus people.
Eric looks a bit like Matt Damon and has very good eyesight. He is solid, calm and soft-spoken and he assured us that Donald will NOT be the president in 2020. He is a hardworking and effective Congressperson from California.
This event was a “house party” up the road from here, hosted by a group of local Democrats that calls itself the Potluck Insurgency. They seem quite organized and focussed. Maybe 60 folks milled about eating cookies and watching Eric talk to people as he gradually made his way to the dining room.
I chatted with the nice lady next to me about all the good Donald has done for our country. He has inspired a whole lot of people to pay more attention and get more involved in the democratic process. Huge swaths of American humanity are learning about the Constitution and the laws our government runs on. (I know, there was a class in high school, but I really didn’t care.) The most recent midterm elections had as many voters participating as usually do for a presidential race. Lots of people now are genuinely concerned about The Issues and sense the precariousness of our current political situation. Thanks, Donald.
Speaking of The Issues, the nice lady and I decided that is the real value of candidates like Eric. I wager he’s not going to be president, but the discussions we had with him in the dining room about gun control, climate change, the Middle East and health care as a human right were clarifying all our ideas about what exactly we should be looking for in a candidate’s policy platform. I should say, I think Elizabeth probably stands out as the one who has the most comprehensive proposals complete with arithmetic and to-do lists so far.
Go see Joe Biden tomorrow, May 1, at Big Grove in Iowa City! I saw him as a teeny tiny speck in the distance when we went to the Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver so I know first hand that he’s worth seeing.
Two podcast suggestions for you in your ongoing quest to get smarter and learn stuff: “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and one I just started, “Constitutional” from the Washington Post.
The last time yrmama was in Tipton it was to plead guilty to unlawful swimming with about 25 of her colleagues. It was a high school reunion on a hot afternoon and we decided to go for a swim. Someone said, “Hey, I remember a place we swam once!” So we caravanned to a beautiful old quarry full of cool cool water shaded by trees and started paddling around. Then the sheriff came and we all caravanned to the courthouse. We were in our early twenties with unfinished frontal lobes and we did unlawfully swim
On this trip to Tipton I picked up my friend Lola who told me that despite her advanced age and long tenure in Iowa had never attended a campaign event and wanted to go with me! We arrived at the Tipton Family Restaurant and got in line to Meet and Greet Elizabeth Warren 45 minutes early. The line got longer but never moved – because the building was already full. (Lola made the couple right behind us into our new friends because she grew up in Maine and they had gone there on vacation once so waiting was only cold, not unpleasant. I have to learn how to do that.)) The compromise was announced that Liz would speak to each group separately starting with the hundred or so of us outside because we were cold.
Suddenly she popped around the corner of the building and leapt gracefully up the steps in front of us. I took in the vibe and liked her immediately, more than I thought I would. My new friend Liz is warm and steely.
A woman in the back raised her hand and said that although she likes Senator Liz a lot, she was very disappointed by the way she and the other Democrats handled the Al Franken situation – basically, that Senator Al is one of us and despite his egregious behavior the country needs him. It wasn’t a question, just a statement of displeasure. Senator Warren listened and left a silence. Then regretfully said, “I know.” She could have been defensive or blame-laying or at least awkward, but she just left it there. A few people called out “Give him a job!” and she nodded. That exchange overlaying what I know of her solid specificity and ferocity made me love her. I bought a t-shirt.