Friday, January 04, 2008

Winds of Change

The Iowa Caucuses last night showed that the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign will break the mold of establishment politics. It is after all the fortieth anniversary of the winds of change that blew the establishment apart in 1968. And this Presidential campaign has all the makings of the grass roots rebellion that saw demonstrators take to the streets and activists support Bobby Kennedy in a Power to the People campaign.

Barack Obama has the Kennedy charisma and has captured the new Power to the People campaign. This showed in Iowa, with a massive increase in registered Democratic voters and their showing up at the caucuses, many for the first time. The Democratic Establishment is shaken to its core, for they back Hillary and she came in third. Even her feminist base could not be counted on, for the vast majority of those new voters were older women who supported Obama.

John Edwards whom I predicted would take Iowa, came in second, far ahead of Clinton. His populist message of bashing Wall Street, corporations and the party establishment echoed grass roots sentiments not only in the Democratic Party but in the Republican grass roots. That is why Huckabee won so overwhelmingly. Which I did predict several months ago.

Huckabee gives Kudlow and Co. on CNBC heartburn, they decry his anti-Wall Street message, ironically so does the Conservative establishment Rush Limbaugh was on Fox denouncing Huckabee, as did members of the Christian Coalition leadership. The reason is they are out of touch with their base. The days of the Moral Majority are gone, the vocal power brokers are either discredited like Ralph Reed who was caught up in scandal, or dead like Moral Majority boss Jerry Falwell.

What both Edwards and Huckabee appeal too is blue collar America, main-street. What the establishment appeals to is Wall Street. Sure the investors and bankers and movers and shakers in the marketplace are making money, but to the average American they are facing rising inflation, loss of their homes, increasing debt, lost jobs, frozen wages, lack of medicare, Huckabee and Edwards appealed to these real issues.

Obama does to, in a very personal way, and his message last night was a variation on the old Rastafarian slogan One Love, his statement was about running to unify One People, One America, this goes beyond the two America's Edwards denounces, in providing a more hopeful message. And Huckabee also uses that same language, talking about an inclusive Presidency, one that will not be bi-partisan perse, but anti-partisan. His is a message of hope as well.

The pundits and hacks are scratching their heads this morning, and the powers that be are cringing in their corners wondering how they can rally support behind the establishment candidates; Clinton and Romney. They are out of touch with their base. They are aloof from blue collar/white collar workers in America. This is a working class revolt in both parties.

Sure Republicans are concerned about abortion and gay marriage, but they are also concerned, as Huckabee tells the party bosses, loss of jobs due to globalization, rising interest rates, lack of health care, eduction. Just like their Democratic counterparts do. One listens to Johnny Cash the other listens to Steve Earle, what happened in Ohio last election, where the working class vote, the union vote was mobilized around values issues, abortion and gay marriage, has given way to mobilization around economic bread and butter issues. Fair Trade instead of Free Trade. This is what scares the bejesuzz out of the establishment. It is Pat Buchanan's message eight years later, but delivered by both Democrat and Republican contenders without the jingoistic nativism and isolationist rhetoric.

The pundits were claiming last night that McCain would rise from the dead but in Iowa he ended up tied with a movie star for third place. Sure McCain is a challenger in New Hampshire, but in this he is the establishments fall back candidate. By far the real challenger is Ron Paul. Yes Ron Paul.

His is the under reported story from last night. Until the caucuses his campaign appeared to be internet driven. For instance in a Myspace poll he won overwhelmingly. His messaging and fund raising has all be done on the net. And he showed, as Howard Dean did last round, that the internet is an authentic alternative to corporate fund raising. Paul did what no other Presidential candidate ever did, raise record funds off the internet in one day. Not just once but three times. This is not a mere footnote folks, this is an authentic challenge to the traditional fund raising that has relied on lobbyists and tit for tat promises that Edwards has complained about and McCain tried to change through legislation.

Ron Paul has not been given the credit he is due by the pundit and media establishment. But by coming in fourth with 10% in Iowa he has translated his internet base to a real political force. Now watch him gain even more support as a viable alternative in New Hampshire. Paul appeals directly to the libertarian base that is the New Hampshire voter. Despite the state going Democrat, there is a strong independent base that Paul can and will appeal to. Expect him to come in third there. His libertarian message is appealing to the left and the right, just as a New Left Alliance arose between anarchists of the left and Republican libertarians
forty years ago

Winds of change. Expect the unexpected. And look forward to an amazing set of Presidential conventions where the grass-roots will be out in force as delegates, and they will be challenging the party establishments. Democracy never had it so good in the good old U.S.A.

This is after all the Year of the Rat.


Huckabee: Paul is Dead.

Lieberman Endorses McCain

Huckabee A Red Tory

Republican Presidential Paul-itics

Gravel and Paul on PBS

Republican Presidential Paul-itics

Ron Paul

Ron Paul and Barry Goldwater

Liberal Republicans

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