Iowa and the GOP: Looking Back and Forward

With the results coming in in Iowa, Huckabee has not just won, but he won decisively. But what does this mean for the national race? After all, neither Reagan, Clinton, nor the younger Bush won in Iowa. On the other hand, Kerry definitely came into Iowa as the underdog against the powerful frontrunner Dean, but he also came out as the winner not only of Iowa but eventually the Democratic nomination. The number of interpretations of the Iowa outnumbers the number of the candidates, so here are some thoughts to make sense of this.

Although Huckabee has captured the race in Iowa, he still has a long way to go to capture the nomination. He largely rode the back of evangelicals to win Iowa–to the point where one unaffiliated GOP analyst compared it disparagingly to a Robertson victory in Iowa–but he walks into a strange new land in New Hampshire, a land where evangelicals hold considerably less influence.

CNN's Inaccurate Fact-Check on Romney

When journalists perform a fact check, the reader expects it will be, well…factual, or at least more accurate than the ad in question. Unfortunately, CNN’s recent analysis by Howard Kurtz, which checks Mitt Romney’s two negative ads against McCain and Huckabee, fulfills neither criteria. By their own standards, CNN not only failed to do enough research for this analysis, but they also made statements with questionable validity.

To start off, the CNN analysis questions Romney’s accusation that McCain voted to let illegal immigrants stay in America permanently. It instead asserts that the legislation actually “would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries and pay a fine for breaking the law before applying for legal status.”

Perfect the Jews?

So Ann Coulter ’84 apparently made some controversial comments; what else is new? During her most recent spat, Coulter proclaimed that all Jews need to be perfected into Christians on CNBC’s Big Idea. The host of Big Idea, Donny Deutsch—who is a Jew—found himself justifiably taken aback by her comments, but in response demonstrated a much higher level of character, in spite of his need for “perfection.” While Coulter may righteously profess the tenets of her own faith, her insensitive and cruel remarks showed her own imperfect flaws in her words, theology, and political ideology.

Not Your Stereotypical Black

In an era where speaking out against the excesses of affirmative action can generate accusations of racism and one too many things can be blamed on whites, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s only African-American, provides a fresh perspective on racial issues. Although he certainly has faced the evils of racism growing up, Thomas took a different path, questioning the value of affirmative action and refusing to think like your stereotypical black. In return, his nomination to the Supreme Court was almost derailed by allegations of sexual harassment in what Thomas refers to as a “high-tech lynching,” and over his career, many blacks (and whites) who have clamored for diversity have at the same time lambasted Thomas for setting diversity back and disgracing his own race.