When it comes to Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst or Steve King it’s clown shoes all day, every day. Recently, the conversation in Iowa has turned away from our homegrown whack-a-doos and focused on the nutcase circus that will be the Republican caucus.
Joni Ernst is keeping herself above the Republican presidential fray by refusing to endorse a candidate. This is actually smart politics given the fluid nature of the race and wanting to be on the good side of whoever comes out on top. A lot of people in Iowa had egg on their faces after supporting Newt Gingrich’s candidacy. Does anyone remember when that was still a thing?
And, in another rare sign of good politics, Bob Vander Plaats—he of hard right views on everything from gay marriage to well, gay marriage—is not going to compel people to sign his “marriage vow” in order to get the support of his tens of followers.
The Republican clown car is getting more packed by the day. Rick Santorum is in, which will provide fodder for the grist mill of political commentary as he tries to court as many hard right religious zealots as possible. Lindsey Graham is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination this morning. Rick Perry is threatening to bring his own brand of stale Texas leadership to the race. Donald Trump is lurking around the edges, threatening to run, in a last ditch effort to convince the world of his relevance.
Perhaps the biggest name not declared, in an official capacity due to campaign finance laws, is Jeb Bush. The former Florida governor, brother of the awful W, and presumptive next in line of the Bush political dynasty is expected to announce when the dark money coffers are full and the lunacy of these early announcements is done. He is wasting no time sticking his foot in his mouth.
Like most mainstream Republicans, ol’ Jeb does not believe in the science behind climate change because of Jesus or something similar in terms of logical reasoning. He recently said, regarding the near unanimity of scientific consensus, that “For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you. It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it, even.” Okay, let’s have a conversation. You get three minutes of talking time for every 97 minutes that I get to reflect the proportional nature of the consensus.
But, Jeb saved the best for his comments on ISIS. He said, “ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president. Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was President.”
Yep, he actually believed this picture:
The reason ISIS exists is because W’s failed war in Iraq destabilized the entire region. It’s the single legacy of his presidency.