Iowa Republicans punt on practical, send up the “sizzle”.

August 14, 2011

Iowa straw poll voters yesterday revealed once again that in modern American politics, sizzle still beats practical.

Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul garnered over half the total votes cast to finish first and second respectively leaving the rest of the field in the dust with Tim Pawlenty being the only other candidate to break the two-thousand vote mark. A mark that unfortunately was not enough as Pawlenty announced this morning his withdrawal from the race.

By boosting Bachmann and puffing up Paul less than 10,000 Republican activists in Ames, Iowa just denied millions of Americans the chance to vote for practical, pragmatic, proven problem solver, Tim Pawlenty.

While Pawlenty has a record of proven results and sorely needed executive experience Iowa Republican’s (and dare I say, much of the country) are in no mood for a mild, mannered, practical former governor who thinks it more important to offer up plans and solutions than deliver slogans and soundbites.

Granted, the argument can be made that the straw poll is about organizational skills and on that scale Pawlenty obviously just didn’t have what it took so how can he still be defended? TheCorner can still defend Pawlenty with pride because it will take much more than a slogan and a soundbite to defeat the Obama machine and no matter the passion and anger against him in Ames, that’s not enough to win the national battle coming in 2012.

I’m sure those Bachmann supporters left the event, chests puffed proud and stomach’s full of “there, that’ll show ’em, we’re taking our country back” and that is certainly they’re right. I’m sure the Paul voters felt just as proud securing second place for their perpetual candidate.

But I’m also sure those voters did not do the country as a whole any favors. Puffing up Bachmann and Paul only plays into the DNC and media narrative that the Republican party has gone as far to the right as Obama has taken the Democrats to the left.

Given Obama’s massive campaign cash war chest, his rhetorical ability to blame everyone but himself for his policy failures, and the national media’s continued love affair with this administration Dear Leader at present has a better than 50/50 chance of getting the chance to screw this country over for another four years.

Handing up two of the most extreme the Republican party has to offer may have ’em feeling good in Iowa about now, but it’s leaving those of us looking ahead to the nationals with nothing but a severe case of nausea.

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