Well Done, Iowa: All Three Top Dems Trounce Huckabee
No matter whom you supported in last night's Iowa caucuses, I think all Democrats and more than a few Independents will be saying "thank you, Iowans" this morning, not for the specific choices they made -- many may disagree -- but for the process they used. Iowa did a great job helping the whole country sort out the choices for President.
And Iowans did it with impressive numbers. Over 236,000 Iowan's turned out in bitter cold to participate in the Democratic caucuses, nearly 90 percent more than 2004, and as Howard Dean noted on CNN, about twice as many as participated in the Republican caucus. There were record numbers of first time participants, and large increases in women and young voters. As Marcy Wheeler and Hubris Sonic noted, all three Democratic front runners trounced Huckabee last night.
Iowans put up with a lot from the media, ignoring Beltway insults from those like the Washington Post's David Broder who declared yesterday that Iowans don't matter. After all, the imperious Broder declared, they're either left wing radicals or right wing religious nut cases who don't have enough sense to select the Serious candidates the Beltway pundits had already annointed for President.
I'm impressed by what the Iowa process did to educate the country. Iowans forced all the candidates to come there and answer their questions, in person, in hundreds of large and small gatherings all over the state. In the process we learned that some of the Republican candidates are not honest men; some are just phonies.
We learned that one Republican front runner is a political chameleon who changes his views to fit his surroundings; another can't stop padding his resume while obscuring his questionable past and association with thugs. Several are so mean spirited you'd never want to meet them, let alone allow them near the Oval Office, while most are either stunningly uninformed about the world or dangerously misguided in how they interpret it. The nation is forewarned.