It's Caucus Night in Iowa.
I, of course, am not presently in Iowa. I'm in frigid Ohio watching the festivities play out on the Internet.
I'm amazed at how much more politicized my brain has become in the last decade. Sure, I've voted in every election since I turned 18, but most of the time, I just didn't really care that much. I figured the politicians were smarter than I was, and the newly elected official would do the right stuff.
Now, however, after 7 years of being Bushwhacked, my opinion has changed enormously. Now, more than ever, I know that the politician who gets elected isn't necessarily the right one for the job. It's the one who can (usually) buy the best vote. And after he (or she, of course) is elected, his decisions are based upon the desire of whichever supporter can come up with the most green. And by that, I certainly don't mean anything environmental.
By the time Bill Clinton was elected to his second term in office, I decided he was just about the best damn president this country could ever hope to have, which is ironic because I didn't vote for him during the first election. Was he perfect? Hell no. He did, after all, create the "Federal Defense of Marriage Act" for which I can never forgive. And he was a horrible husband. But he wasn't elected as a National Husband. He was elected as the National Leader. In that capacity, he excelled. He balanced the budget for the first time in...well, for the first time, ever. Unemployment dropped, wages rose, the stock market went through the roof. I longed to repeal the presidential term limits, just so Big Bill could preside over us longer.
Then, all hell broke loose because Bush entered the Oval Office. He systematically destroyed everything that had been accomplished. To say that our country is worse off now than 8 years ago is like saying that I need singing lessons...it's the understatement of the year.
Just about the only thing that Bush has done right is to turn a bunch of hard-nosed Republicans into Democrats. People who have never veered from the Republican Party have decided that they just can't leave their blinders on any longer and they've decided to jump ship and swim to higher ground. Let's just hope they keep that feeling next year.
So, back to Iowa. For the Democrats, it's virtually a 3-way tie. I like all three candidates and yet, I'm going to be disappointed if Hillary doesn't win. Not because she's a chick (and let's face it, I do have a thing for chicks). It's because everyone teased about how she acted like President when her husband was in the White House. I have a feeling she did have quite a bit to do with the success of the 90s, and I think she can work that same magic all over again. And the way the United States is right now, magic is just about the only thing that can help.