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04 January 2008

January 3, 2008 – Iowa (Republicans & Democrats)

January 3, 2008 – Iowa (Republicans & Democrats)

Democratic Top Three:

Barak Obama: 38%
John Edwards: 30%
Hillary Clinton: 29%

Republican Top Three:

Mike Huckabee: 34%
Mitt Romney: 25%
Fred Thompson & John McCain: 13%

[Source: http://www.tv20detroit.com/news/13043362.html ]

Analysis:

The big news here was the Huckabee win among Republican voters. Appealing to the evangelical Christian base of the GOP – 60% of GOP Caucus-goers identified themselves as evangelical Christians – Huckabee has become a viable candidate for the Republican nomination. Specifically, the evangelical Christians are “values voters” for whom the social issues (state control of women’s bodies [a/k/a “Pro-Life”]; rabid homophobia; militant Islamophobia; anti-constitutionalism [a/k/a integrating Church & State]; and so on) are much more important than fiscal, defense/imperial, or immigration policy. Further, the evangelicals represent the only core Republican constituency with enormous numbers of actual voters (as opposed to money or vested interests) and Huckabee has tapped this constituency.

If one reads the Republican press today (January 4) it is readily apparent that the GOP leadership – the plutocrats and Neo-Conservatives - were hoping that Huckabee would be excluded thereby forcing the evangelicals to compromise on their social issues as a “lesser evil” than the Democrats. However, this has not turned out to be the case, and now Huckabee – especially if he is able to keep the evangelicals interested – is a very viable candidate for the nomination. By almost all accounts, most Republicans aren’t very enthusiastic about their field, meaning that many will stay home and this means as long as the evangelicals stay galvanized behind Huckabee he can easily win the nomination without compromising his hard line Christian views to placate the other elements of the Republican party. However, when it comes to the general election, Huckabee stands no chance whatsoever of winning.

So, our prediction is that either they will try to bribe Huckabee into dropping out and endorsing so-and-so in exchange for massive new concessions to the evangelicals; OR one is likely to see a very aggressive “Swift Boat” campaign to vilify him. The problem with the bribe idea is that the evangelicals feel that Bush has betrayed them, so they’re much less likely to trust a bribery arrangement, especially since it is entirely possible that they can take over the GOP this year and they have deluded themselves into believing that the vast majority – or silent majority – of Americans support their insane theological platform. As for the “Swift Boat” idea, the problem is that the evangelicals already believe many of the other elements of the GOP are out “to get them” and they have their own alternative media infrastructure that most of their supporters use as their primary sources of information, and thus they have the means of limiting the impact of such a campaign among their faithful.

Among the Democrats, though Hillary’s third place showing came as a surprise to some, those following the polls knew that all three leading candidates were in a statistical tie all along, so the outcome wasn’t that surprising. Nevertheless, Hillary is far from out of the race because her strong point – namely the money and corporate support she has received – won’t really be tested until February 5, when 22 states have their nominating events. It is here where the money will make all the difference since it is completely impossible for the candidates to be in all these states at the same time. However, if Hillary fails to sweep Feb. 5 (give or take a couple states), we believe that would be the end of her run. As a total whore to the corporate powers that be and a staunch Neo-Liberal imperialist Hillary cannot be discounted until the February 5, and then only if she fails to utterly dominate the day.

Although I’m wary of Obama & Edwards for various reasons (e.g. their views about the wars and US imperialist policy) I do believe I could give either of them the benefit of the doubt; especially a major economic downturn is virtually inevitable for most of the next President’s term. This economic downturn, coupled with the subsequent domestic pressures, will largely curtail any President’s ability to expand Bush’s War and is quite likely to result in a dramatic de-emphasis military and imperialist adventurism in favor of domestic issues. Therefore I suspect that whoever the next President is, he or she will be limited in how much imperialist aggression they’ll be able to inflict on the rest of the world, thus Obama & Edwards can be afforded more tolerance than would otherwise be acceptable had Bush not already run the country into the ground. Keep in mind most of the actual impact of Bush’s policies – his borrowing, his tax cuts for the uber-rich, his cuts to the social safety nets - will not take effect until the start of the next President’s term.

Next event: January 5 – the Republican Caucuses in Wyoming. Our prediction is a win for Mitt Romney.

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