Well, the first votes have finally been cast and the world hasn’t ended.
The old model for winning Iowa in recent years may have, however.
Congress put the fix in when it mandated that ethanol be mixed into gasoline for no reason other than to play along with the Climate Change Hysteria Church. Farmers in Iowa have been the disproportionate benefactors of this, which has turned many Republican candidates into unabashed champions of federal mandates while courting the votes of Iowans.
Ted Cruz was having none of that, and many thought that would be a liability.
Iowa’s taxpayer-gouging Republican governor sounded the alarm, warning the state’s citizens of the pending apocalypse should Cruz prevail in the 2016 caucuses.
Donald Trump, who never met an issue he couldn’t immediately pander over, made hitting Cruz on the ethanol mandate the centerpiece of his closing pitch to Iowans.
Naturally, the water-carriers in the MSM did the same.
Trump and his supporters like to portray him as tapping into the zeitgeist over business as usual on Capitol Hill. Trump, however, is an opportunist and many who aren’t caught up in the cult-like fever surrounding him know that many of those opportunities have had more than a hint of Washington cronyism to them.
Conservatives in the Republican electorate aren’t just angry about the party’s awful performance on immigration, we’re sick of the abuse of the American taxpayer in the pursuit of bloating the federal bureaucracy. It’s painful to be the adult and begin actually saying no.
Ted Cruz said “no” and it didn’t hurt him. Yes, Marco Rubio’s third place performance was a big story tonight, but not as big as the ethanol lobby coming up woefully short on its home turf.
Media hacks are already dismissing Cruz, trying to lump him in with Huckabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012. The difference is, all of Cruz’s eggs (read: money) aren’t in the Iowa basket. He still has plenty of money, as well as highly functional organizations, especially in the “SEC Primary” states.
Maybe the Cruz victory can start a trend of letting the Democrats deal exclusively with path-of-least-resistance pandering and Republicans listening to their constituents who want a fiscal grown-up in the White House.
Fundamental differences between Republicans and Democrats?
That might just be a way to run a republic.