Iowa caucus reaction: I'm happy with Obama's victory. I hope people start taking him very seriously. Here's Too Sense via Sullivan:
All the Obama volunteers told me how hard it was, even in Harlem, to convince folks that an Obama presidency was possible. Not just because Harlem now lies in the shadow of the Clinton building, but because people in Harlem's barbershops, restaurants and schools didn't think a black man could win. The very circumstances of our own lives pushes the possibility past the realm of belief.Iowa is about as white a state as there is. For Obama to win there (and by a respectable margin against strong opponents) really blows open some doors of possibility within the mind. I just want to see that he can deal with the national Republican party.
But Harlem believed last night. We all believed last night.
I think Huckabee's victory is a great poke in the eye to the Republican establishment: for years they have taken grass-roots Evangelicals for granted, but not really let their issues and concerns take center stage. (Yes, George W. Bush is a born-again Christian, but he was born into the Republican power structure and generally goes along with its dictates.) Now with Huckabee, the foot soldiers have decided they're not taking orders from Republican machine. This is a good thing.
On the other hand, Huckabee's Christianism really scares me, and his advocacy of replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax seems potentially very regressive. On a third hand (politics is a multi-limbed creature), I think Huckabee would have a very hard time winning a general election, so maybe I should be happy about his rise. But then I thought he'd have a hard time winning Iowa, so maybe I should be careful what I wish for.
I was wondering when the Republican religious right would find their guy. All the former front-runners (Giuliani, McCain, Romney) seemed to be fatally flawed when it came to appealing to this kind voter. Thompson never seemed to have the drive, money, or organization to do well. It took them until the last minute, but it seems like they settled on Huckabee. Maybe that wacky stuff with Chuck Norris actually worked. Yes, that's an actual Huckabee ad. Watching that ad again, I can't believe Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses. And what's that about putting the IRS out of business? If we switched over to a national sales tax, we'd have to employ massive numbers of IRS agents to implement the change.