The Iowa Caucuses: A Model Of Participatory Democracy?

At first glance, today’s Iowa caucuses look like a model of participatory democracy. In 1,774 precinct meetings all around this Midwestern state, the process of choosing a Republican Party candidate to do battle with Barack Obama on November 6 will commence.

IowaRepublicans are hoping for a turnout of around 100,000 people. Anything significantly less will be a disappointment, anything more a sign of enthusiasm and commitment to making Obama a one-term president.

Over the coming months, till June if no winner emerges earlier, caucuses and primary elections are scheduled to take place in each of the other 49 states. Voters need simply register as Republicans or Democrats in order to choose candidates for the presidency, both houses of Congress, state legislatures, and a host of other state and local positions.

It certainly looks like democracy flourishing. It looks like people power in action. [Read more…]


Wanna Bet? Mitt Romney’s $10,000 Offer To Rick Perry

Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney has offered Texas Governor Rick Perry a $10,000 bet, during a televised debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

The offer caused a storm online. Many observers believe Romney drew unwelcome attention to his personal wealth and fuelled suggestions he is out of touch with the everyday situation of Americans.


Clinton Impeachment: Statement By Senator Tom Harkin

The following is a statement from the Senate’s closed deliberations on the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton, excerpts of which senators were allowed to publish in the Congressional Record for Friday, February 12, 1999.

Senator Tom Darkin was a Democratic senator from Iowa. He served from 1985 until 2015.

Statement by Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat – Iowa)

A few weeks ago, I used a barnyard term that is quite known in Iowa to describe what I thought of this case. The longer this case has gone on, the more I am convinced this characterization is correct.

This case should never have been brought before the Senate. I think it is one of the most blatant partisan actions taken by the House of Representatives since Andrew Johnson’s case was pushed through by the radical Republicans of his time. [Read more…]


Clinton Impeachment: Statement By Senator Charles Grassley

The following is a statement from the Senate’s closed deliberations on the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton, excerpts of which senators were allowed to publish in the Congressional Record for Friday, February 12, 1999.

Senator Charles Grassley is a Republican senator from Iowa. He assumed office in 1981.

Statement by Senator Charles Grassley (Republican – Iowa)

Mr. Chief Justice, my fellow Senators, as this trial nears the end, we have to ask the question how we got here with a tragedy like this. There are many losers. There are no winners. There are surely no heroes. There are lots of lessons to be learned, and I think all of our prayers ought to go out to those who were ensnared in the web of controversy. [Read more…]