Iowa Needs to Get Over Itself

Well, it seems that Michele Bachmann has added another flub to her long list of flubs.  What did she do, you ask, that so irked Iowa voters?  Did she say that gay persons were dropped on their heads as babies?  Did she admit that President Obama is a Christian?  Did she cast aspersions on Jonnie Marbles’s aim?

No, she did something far more egregious: Michele Bachmann ate breakfast at the wrong diner!

Joe Kimball reports at MinnPost that Bachmann spurned a long-standing tradition tradition when, instead of breaking her fast at the Hamburg Inn, she chose to eat at the Bluebird Diner in Iowa City.

Shocking, I know!

You see, every presidential candidate eats at the Hamburg — that’s just how it goes. Reagan did, Clinton did, and dozens of others have as well.

The Bluebird Diner in Iowa City (MinnPost photo by Joe Kmball)

To add to Iowans’ horror, the Hamburg Inn is an old-school, wood-paneled greasy spoon that serves up good ol’ eggs and hasbrowns — I presume it gets its foodstuffs from the back of a Sysco truck.  Whereas the Bluebird Diner is, wait for it, a hipster joint that advertises it’s locally-sourced food.

Kimball reports,

Some of the Saturday morning regulars who did manage to get inside weren’t happy with all the fuss. It is, after all, a fairly liberal university town, and the Bluebird’s normal flock seems to skew, well, blue.

“As Michele was leaving, she walked around shaking hands with everyone, and one of my regular customers said, ‘Why did she try to shake my hand? Why did you have her here?'” [waitress Susanna] Rodriguez said.

[Henceforth in this post, drop sarcastic tone.]

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of Iowa right now.  The fact that they’ve turned presidential politics into a cottage industry is fine — and it’s smart, since feeding all of those journalists and staffers pumps non-Iowa money into their state.

But, as has been pointed out repeatedly by pundits in the past (politicians wouldn’t dare say this out loud for fear of reprisals), Iowa is not representative of the United States.  Iowa is really white — whiter, in fact, than the Episcopal Church:


And, as pundits repeatedly remind us, Iowa’s Republicans are primarily conservative Christians — presumably why Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are skipping the Iowa straw poll and caucus, and why Bachmann and T-Paw are trying so hard there.

There are a lot of things broken about our politics and our government, and this is one of them: politicians pandering to religious conservatives in order to raise money and get their party’s nomination leads, inexorably, to the ideological demagoguery that we have witnessed this month both in my state (shutdown by intractability) and in Washington.

Iowa, you’re part of the problem.  Get over yourself.

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