I overcame the temptation this morning to breech copyright and swipe my buddy Deb Nicklay’s photograph, syndicated by The Associated Press, of the Tea Party billboard in Mason City (now covered up) that attracted national attention by featuring a likeness of Barack Obama flanked by Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin.
Could this be a sign that Iowa politics are heating up? Probably not. Republican gubernatorial contender Terry Branstad still is operating his campaign entirely on the theme “I am not Chet Culver” and the campaign of Culver, the Democratic contender, on the theme, “I am not Terry Branstad.” Neither contender, I figure, is especially bright or really has a clue as to what to do to get us out of the fix we’re in --- so what else can they do?
As it turns out the Tea Party sign was commissioned by five or six of the couple hundred official Tea Party members in north Iowa. Having had some experience with those on that region’s loon list, I’d be willing to guess who some of the unnamed others were. These are not bad or violent people, keep in mind, just loons, lacking for the most part any sense of proportion and in some cases just plain nuts.
That’s always the problem for any group like the Tea Party --- subduing the loons. But it’s interesting that our north Iowa friends managed to do more damage to the Tea Party’s reputation in a couple of days than those whose goal is to discredit it have managed in several months. You’ve gotta love those loons --- if you don’t like the Tea Party.
So we’re back to where we were before all the excitement. Obama continues to struggle with the messianic factor (as it turns out, he wasn’t) and we’re still stuck with an aging has-been (who drops to his knees every morning and prays that Bob Vander Plaats doesn't make an independent run) and a rather dull plodder in the race for Terrace Hill.
I see Branstad now wants our law to check everyone stopped along the highways and byways to make sure they’re citizens --- and imprison those who can’t prove they are. Sounds like a plan until you consider “everyone” is a code for “everyone who looks even vaguely Hispanic” and that Iowa has neither the law enforcement personnel nor cash to carry it out.
The only answer I think is to go chase butterflies now that the humidity’s dropped a little. And I propose to do just that.