Michael Totten

Upset in Iowa

I am very surprised.
Six months ago, I wouldn’t have been. But today I really am.
John Kerry took Iowa. And John Edwards took second place.
Dean trailed a distant third. He earned that.
I’m not a fan of John Kerry’s. I wouldn’t say he’s Dean-lite, but on the most important question of our time, he’s a fish. He flip-flops all over foreign policy. He’s incoherent, indecisive, and I flat-out don’t trust him. Would he stand down a ruthless dictator? I doubt it. And I don’t like that. At all.
John Edwards, though. He came in second. And he isn’t a foreign policy goof. If all the energy spent in the last year on anti-war fervor were spent instead on promoting John Edwards, my entire blog output would have been radically different than it is.
I am not going to try to predict who will ultimately win the Democratic primary. I figured all along it would be Dean, and recently thought it might be Clark.
If it turns out to be Edwards, I will significantly revise my recently revised opinion of the Democratic Party. And if it turns out to be Kerry, I’ll revise it by half.
(My view of radical leftists, however, won’t budge an iota.)
The only thing (at this point) that worries me about an Edwards victory was spelled out last week by Mickey Kaus:

As a non-Bush-hating centrist, I’m suddenly worried that a candidate I like, John Edwards, will win Iowa and the nomination. Why worry? Because Edwards will probably still lose the election, which will enable the hating left-wingers to say “See, you ran another Clinton and he lost.” If the Democrats are going to lose anyway, they might as well run a paleolib hater and let that wing of the party have nobody to blame.

(But you didn’t say if you would vote for John Edwards – ed.) Well, lately I’ve assumed I would have no choice but to split my ticket and vote for Bush and a Democratic Congress. But if it turns out to be Edwards, let’s just say I’ll have to rethink that.
UPDATE: James at Outside the Beltway says, in response to my considering a vote for Edwards:

I wouldn’t go quite that far

Well, I am a registered Democrat. I didn’t vote for Bush last time, and I haven’t exactly been jazzed about voting for him this time either. I’ve defended him against asinine charges, but I’m not his cheerleader.
UPDATE: Nathan Hamm feels more or less the same way I do about this.
UPDATE: Anne Cunningham says me too.