Category Archives: rudy guiliani

>OBSERVATION: Iowa and New Hampshire (yawn)

>Well … finally we are in the home stretch of the Iowa caucuses, to be quickly followed by the New Hampshire primary. Like Paris Hilton, they seem to enjoy an enormous amount of publicity solely because they exist.

The “first in the nation” status gives them unique advantage. First, the start off position provides them with disproportionate publicity for many weeks leading up to the votes. Succeeding primaries have to wait to receive press attention until the results of earlier votes. In some cases, the national media spotlight does not hit a state until a week or two before the vote.

Secondly, they have an appearance of importance that is belied but hindsight. Rarely do the outcomes of these states provide any real insight or advantage to the future candidacy. In fact, they are venues in which the most obvious front runners do well or where the future losers seem to look like winners for a very short time. In either case, the impact of Iowa and New Hampshire on the race is dubious at best.

This may be due to the fact that, despite chest beating to the contrary, the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire are not representative of the American fabric. For one thing, they don’t have any big city, urban citizens. Their “opinion” of the candidates does not carry much weight in the rest of the country. These two small states produce warm homilies and pretty imagery – classic Americana – but little political capital.

After all, what is the importance of a win in Iowa and New Hampshire if a candidate is going to take a drubbing in states like California, New York and Illinois? Conversely, what is the importance of a win in Iowa and New Hampshire if a candidate already is poised to carry states like California, New York and Illinois? We tend to give a lot of importance to Iowa and New Hampshire prior to the vote, and then completely ignore the results as the contest heads to the big delegate states.

Iowa and New Hampshire are like the coming attractions at the movies. No matter how interesting they try to make them, you’re glad when they are over and you can move on to the main feature.

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>OBSERVATION: Be a zealot for Halloween?

>As I look forward to the coming of Halloween, and selecting my hidden personality dress-up option, I suddenly realized that zealotry seems to be reflected through permanent fashion. I mean you can actually dress up for Halloween like some real people do every day.

Examples.

Today’s left wing radicals are often seen wearing their best 1960s radical hippie attire. While once a modern subculture style, the Jesus look-alike hair styles and rumpled poverty-esque Raggedy Ann and Andy attire can now only be viewed as some sort of neolib costume. Less radical liberals have sustained the pre-WWII tweedy cum academic look of the early Communist sympathizers.

Then my mind drifted to more extreme examples of zeal-driven dress codes. Until recently, Catholic nuns and priests were going around in clothing designed during the Renaissance – the remnants (no pun intended) of which can still be seen among the more zealous religious orders. What did God have in mind to decide that devotion depended on the resistance of modern style from that point in time? Why the Renaissance?

Then I wondered. What did the God of the Amish liked so damn much about that late 1800s? And not only haute couture but every other modern development from the electric light to the automobile.

Of course, up popped the Muslims. Apparently Allah decided that the fashion of devotion stopped about the time of the Christ, in whom they do not even believe. Did you ever notice that a lot of the Middle East war photographs depict scenes that look like sets for a Cecil B. DeMille biblical movie? What is with these theological fashion time warps?

Then I realized that as a conservative, I have no symbolic attire – no historic look that instantly tells the world what I am. (Okay. Okay. I heard that. Neanderthal? Very funny, but not truly relevant.) I cannot think of any right wing sect that has maintained a fashion for more than a season as an expression of philosophy. There was a moment that the Gatsby look of the Roaring 20s might have had a chance, but no.

I am eternally appreciative that the 1970s were not the time of conservative zealotry. I shudder at the thought of being permanently attired in hip hugger bell-bottoms (Yeah, men had hip huggers, too.), Nehru jackets (which were a throwback themselves) and ruffled tuxedo shirts

Looking back was no help in selecting this year’s costume. In the past, I have been a pope, a rock singer, a Chinese emperor, Dracula (not my most creative year) and a bumble bee (that may have been). Some say that customs reveal a portion of the inner psyche. If that is true, I don’t even have a theory as to the meaning of the bumble bee.

Still undecided is this year’s costume. Hmmmm. I could go in drag, but then everyone would mistake me for Rudy Giuliani. I could dress up like a liberal. Now, that’s a scary idea. If I can come up with enough global warming one-liners, I could go as Al Gore. Like: “A newly discovered major cause of global warming is hot air emanating for Al Gore’s mouth.” Hey! Cut me some slack. This is still a developing thought.

Maybe I will just stay home, put on a grotesque mask and scare the crap out of little kids who come to my door. Teach them a valuable conservative lesson. There is no such thing as free candy.