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Slow news day, I guess

Good god, media, I DON’T CARE ABOUT IOWA ANY MORE. It’s a freakish little local contest dominated by hardcore fanatics, and the only reason the results will mean anything is that the media will do its best to pump up the outcome into a portent of things to come. So when I saw this headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune at the coffee shop today, I just set it aside, disgusted, disinterested, and disenchanted.

Bachmann isn’t going to win. Even if she did, she’s one lunatic among a field of demented dwarfs.

What headline next, Strib? “SARAH PALIN: STILL IRRELEVANT”? How about “JOHN MCCAIN AIN’T DEAD YET” or “SASQUATCH PROBABLY WON’T WIN REPUBLICAN NOMINATION”?

I’m ready to call for a return of party bosses in smoke-filled rooms; this obsession with turning politics into a horse race, with every news source fussing over percentage points, is making a joke of democracy.

The only “points” we should be discussing are the substance of their policies.

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Actually, the way it’s going, Sasquatch would probably stand a decent chance.

    No, Sasquatch is too hard to pin down on specifics.

  2. says

    Well obviously it’s Minnesota news, considering the district that she represents. Dull “news” for sure, but there’d be people in Minnesota wondering why Strib wasn’t reporting on Bachmann, for better or worse.

    I don’t care, but I care about as little about politics as its participants do about me. I really can’t fault a newspaper covering news of local interest, however, especially as that increasingly becomes the newspapers’ remaining niche.

    Glen Davidson

  3. llewelly says

    SASQUATCH IS A MUSLIM HE VOTED FOR OBAMACARE HE VOTED FOR THE DEATH PANELS AND HE VOTED FOR GLOBAL WARMING!!

  4. says

    But I want her covered in order to hopefully expose her for the crazed person she is. Maybe her district will come to its senses

  5. says

    I really can’t fault a newspaper covering news of local interest, however, especially as that increasingly becomes the newspapers’ remaining niche.

    Hard to see the justification for the Pearl Harbor-sized headline, however.

  6. Stardrake says

    I was amused to see her book on the 50% off table at the B&N near Southdale (that’s a mall in the southern Minneapolis suburbs, for our non-Minnesota friends). I also noted a similar markdown on Amazon.

    It’s been out for just over a month! In political season!

    That’s an even better indicator that she is the proverbial toast.

    (I mentioned the Amazon markdown to my lady while writing this post–we then broke out in a chorus of “Schadenfreude” from AVENUE Q!)

  7. thewhollynone says

    When I see a front page spread like that in my local newspaper, I immediately know that for the next week or so there will be a full page ad paid for by that person or some political committee. Newspapers these days, particularly local or regional papers, must sell advertizing to stay barely alive and to do that they have to throw in front page fluff pieces about the advertizer, whether it’s a politician or a car salesman or the president of the local bank. Nobody takes their journalism seriously anymore. Your Minneapolis Star Tribune is just kowtowing to the local congressperson who is buying ad space with campaign money. It’s capitalism in action! Use the newspaper to line your birdcage.

    And yes, your congresswoman really is a dingbat and an embarassment to feminists everywhere. I share your pain.

  8. shouldbeworking says

    Sasquatch would have the same problems as Obama. Given the number and locations of sightings, there is evidence that Sasquatch was born in Canada and freely crosses the border without a passport. He is most lkely an animist, not muslim. Homeland Security and Fakes News should be informed at once.

  9. shouldbeworking says

    Bachmann is probably doing a better job as PZ’s representative when she running for president than if she was actually occupying her seat in congress. She’s less likely to do some real harm to your country.

  10. janine says

    Kamaka, I was assuming that everyone here is geeky enough to know the Professor Farnsworth way of introducing bad news. Just imagine that I am an one hundred and seventy year old mad scientist.

  11. frankb says

    As an Iowan, I enjoy seeing crazed Minnesotan. Take that you gophers. Is she standing on a chair in that photo? I can’t picture any of the other candidates doing that. Maybe she lost all her staff so there is no one to get her something to stand on.

  12. shouldbeworking says

    When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said “run out of Iowa”. No such luch, I guess.

  13. StevoR says

    @22. sprocket : 30th December 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Voted.

    ***

    Do you think Muslim prayers should be allowed in school?
    Yes (61%) No (39%) Back to Poll

    ***

    As usual they didn’t have enough good options available, eg.

    There should be NO prayers of any sort in school. Sigh.

  14. StevoR says

    @shouldbeworking : 30th December 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Bachmann is probably doing a better job as PZ’s representative when she running for president than if she was actually occupying her seat in congress. She’s less likely to do some real harm to your country.

    Yup. Sad but true.

    @shouldbeworking : 30 December 2011 at 10:51 pm

    When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said “run out of Iowa”. No such luck, I guess.

    If only. Sigh.

  15. chigau (難しい) says

    anuran
    One of the comments contained “…if Santorum really does slip from the rear…”
    I’m not american and I had never heard of Santorum before the new definition, so he is not the first thing I think of.
    Very few of the commenters seem aware of it.

  16. jentokulano says

    It truly is bizarre that the media are obsessing about a prelim caucus as never before; there is REAL shit happening in the world! Historically, candidates that do well at the caucus in Iowa are forgotten a few months down the road. And hey the media IGNORES the Alaska and Hawaii caucuses (caucii?)…Cockeye? Average Joe sure doesn’t give a shit this early. Like Will Rogers said, they wait until election day , check their pocketbook, and decide.

  17. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    They’re not demented lunatics.
    They’re just speaking in code. :P
    Video: BoingBoing – Penn Jillette’s Guide to the Election

  18. StevoR says

    The Republicans have had so many debates already – but have they had one yet that touches on anything remotely science~y like about the reality (& classroom teaching) of evolution, HIRGO* or space exploration policy?

    Will they actually have such a debate at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)

    In some ways, like watching a train wreck, it has its own morbid fascination to this Aussie.

    Given the choice – which I’m not – I’d vote for Bigfoot over all of them. The one I’d like to win is Jon Huntsman but I think Mitt Romney is looking most likely and is about the second least bad of a very bad bunch.

    Problem with politics is that whoever gets in you’ve elected a politician.

    I have to say your US system of politics and governance makes very little sense to me. But then it seems to work for you in the States so what can I do or say? Not much & I’ve probably said too much as it is..

    Just one thing : Please don’t elect someone utterly crazy in 2012 like Bachmann. Please!

    (Not that I think you will but .. a slight concern given the US’s global powerand influence esp. over us here in Oz. Also I do like y’all in the States and want things to go well for y’all too.)

    ———————–

    * Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating – a better, more honest and straightforward descriptive term than just “global warming” I think.

  19. Seabisquick says

    Republican Iowa caucus winners:
    2008: Mike Huckabee
    2004*: George W. Bush
    2000: George W. Bush
    1996: Bob Dole
    1992*: George H.W. Bush
    1988: Bob Dole
    1984*: Ronald Reagan
    1980: George H.W. Bush

    *2004, 1992, and 1984 were years of an incumbent nominee, so the winner ran unopposed. So out of the five times that there was an actual contest (1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2008):

    The Iowa caucus picked the eventual nominee: 2/5
    The winner of the Iowa caucus was elected president: 1/5
    Iowa picked the winner in years when a republican won the presidency: 1/3

    Unimpressive. Certainly not worthy of the hype.

  20. shouldbeworking says

    We Canucks have sort of a selfish interest in the outcome of your election too. Your republican candidates seem too far to the right or outright loonie for even most of our right wing politicians. Every four years I learn something about your election system. It works (most of the time), but the details make quantum physics seem comprehensible.

    Bigfoot may not be eligible as a republican, he might be too well educated and isn’t a lawyer.

  21. DLC says

    I am also sick of the dog-and-pony show. The race is all about : who can be further to the right, who can be more Jesus-soaked and hate-filled, and who can pander to the Lowest Common Denominator the most. None of the current contestants has any decency. Not that Obama is exactly Mr Perfect, but compared to those guys he’s wondrous.

  22. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Good god, media, I DON’T CARE ABOUT IOWA ANY MORE.

    Huh. I’m kind of surprised that you ever cared about Iowa, PZ. Spoiler alert: Romney’s gonna get the nom, so who the fuck cares about the petty power struggles amongst the rest of the candidates? It’s not even particularly good political theater.

  23. Aquaria says

    The Republicans have had so many debates already – but have they had one yet that touches on anything remotely science~y like about the reality (& classroom teaching) of evolution, HIRGO* or space exploration policy?

    Will they actually have such a debate at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)

    Why have a whole debate for 7 douchebag cabbages with legs to bob in sync and chant, “Science is wrong, there is no evolution and no climate change!”?

  24. says

    she’s one lunatic among a field of demented dwarfs.

    I totally agree except for Jon Huntsman who warned the other candidates that their denial of basic scientific facts makes it impossible for intelligent people to vote for them.

    Huntsman is a Republican so he has different ideas than Obama, but he was the only Republican candidate who agreed with Obama’s decision to get out of Iraq now. Of course virtually no Republicans will be voting for Huntsman because he isn’t stupid enough.

  25. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    Bachmann is Minnesota’s hardcore fanatic, otherwise the StarTrib would have stopped talking about her weeks ago, like everyone else.

    I live in Iowa. I can’t even watch a YouTube video without getting a Mitt Romney pre-view ad now. So trust me, I’m as sick of Iowa as you are.

  26. nmscorpions says

    The Republican primaries should come with a warning label.

    CAUTION: use for entertainment purposes ONLY.

    As for Bachmann, she was pretty much irrelevant from the moment she announced her candidacy. Her meaningless “win” of the Iowa straw poll just got her enough attention from TV comedians to make her the butt joke of the year.

  27. charlesthornton says

    Pleas remember that this is the contest that has produced the memorable headline “Santorum Surges” (Sacramento Bee)

    I didn’t say it was a good memory …

  28. mekathleen says

    It’s not a slow news day, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, codifying into law the civil rights abuses that the Executive Branch has been engaging in since the Bush era and paving the way for war with Iran.

    And on the bright side, the Howard County Council in Maryland just passed a gender identity protection ordinance. Some political officers believe in civil rights – for EVERYONE. Yay!

  29. mekathleen says

    I think Bachman’s main function is to help the press distract people from more serious, but less kooky, news.

  30. richardgadsden says

    I’m ready to call for a return of party bosses in smoke-filled rooms; this obsession with turning politics into a horse race, with every news source fussing over percentage points, is making a joke of democracy.

    Doesn’t help. Just results in party polls rather than candidate polls, and every twitch of the Dem-vs-Rep president number getting obsessed over instead.

    Believe me, we have the party bosses (the smoke-filled rooms are now smoke-free, but nothing else has changed) and that’s what happens here in the UK.

  31. StevoR says

    Aquaria : 31 December 2011 at 8:24 am

    “Will they actually have such a debate [about things science related] at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)”
    Why have a whole debate for 7 douchebag cabbages with legs to bob in sync and chant, “Science is wrong, there is no evolution and no climate change!”?

    Because I’d like to hope – really hope – there may be something a bit *more* than just that happen.

    Also, I guess, so we know just *how* bad they all are and whose worst and least worst out of them.

    But, yeah, you’re probably right.

  32. mekathleen says

    In Illinois we have the smoke filled rooms. By agreement, everyone but the crazies drops out before the election. It looks a lot like the current Republican field and Obama. Everyone who could challenge the party choice has “quiet talks” with Rahm Emanuel and decides to focus on other things.

  33. chippanfire says

    If I were to use an insult based on racist or sexist language I would be flamed to death here. And rightly so. So please stop using disabilities as a term of abuse. It is equally unnecessary and equally disgusting.

    Thank you.