Dave Paxton

Having had a Hindu Rotary Exchange student in our home for a year and remembering the conversations we had about his religion and specifically “karma,” if I actually had been convinced, I’d say the Iowa Democrat Party is suffering from some serious bad karma.

Having a voting app crash without backup is inexplicable except for bad karma. Let’s start with the unfairness with which Tulsi Gabbord was treated by the Democrat machine led by Hillary Clinton. Gabbord is suing Clinton for saying she is a Russian asset. FYI, Tulsi is Hindu.

Or perhaps the bad karma comes from Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler foisting this completely fabricated impeachment on the nation. Or could it be the never ending “fake” news against President Trump and his legion of deplorables in fly-over country that has created bad karma?

Like I say, I don’t believe in karma, except to suggest that you reap what you sow in life.

The one thing that seems to have united Iowans, Democrat and Republican, is how the nation’s news media is framing this unmitigated technology disaster. “Duh Moines,” screamed a New York Post headline. Every major TV network is suggesting Iowans are too stupid and the Iowa Democrat caucus rules too complicated to follow. As an Iowan who really likes our first in the nation status (as well as having the right to the Electoral College) I’m not going to wag a finger at my Democrat brethren or belittle them in any way. At this point, regardless of our political bent, we need to stand shoulder to shoulder to defend the local process, that by all accounts went smooth as silk.

It was a stupid app, not developed in Iowa or by Iowans, that seems to have completely screwed the pooch.

And it’s not our fault that the Democrat candidates for President went completely, stark raving mad, each claiming victory with zeroes lining the tally sheet. Joe Biden was fairly reserved, but standing next to him was the lovely Jill Biden who was shooting daggers out of her eyes. Amy Klobuchar was saying she was “fighting above her weight.” It was hard to say how Bernie Sanders was feeling because he was angry as ever. Pete Buttegieg had some sort of orgasmic moment claiming victory on stage.

It was very, very weird, yet on the other hand, there is no campaign strategy to follow when a caucus turns out to give everybody a participation ribbon.

Former Des Moines Register great David Yepsen presented a eulogy for the Iowa caucuses. So did retired KCCI news giant Kevin Cooney, except that he prophesized the outcome in an opinion piece the day before the caucuses.

If we have anything going for us, it’s the fact that Americans have notoriously short memories. Maybe in four years, this moment in political time will have been forgotten.

Or not.

Here’s a conspiracy theory I heard from Mark Styn, filling in for Rush Limbaugh as he begins lung cancer treatment. It starts on Sunday when the Des Moines Register announces a flaw in their final Iowa Poll, supposedly not asking people about Mayor Pete. The real reason. Joe Biden is tanking in the polls. Then the voting phone app goes down just as the count is to begin. Then the telephone lines get jammed. All because the Democrat’s guy (Biden) is being blown up at the caucus meetings.

Normally I don’t give conspiracy theories any weight at all, except I’m pretty sure Hillary Clinton and her wing of the party torpedoed Tulsi Gabbord (for supporting Bernie Sanders in 2016 against Hillary).

But Joe Biden is truly the guy they’re propping up in the corner and praying he can remember what state he’s in. Trump calls him “Crazy Uncle Joe,” but in listening to some of his speeches, when he gets off prompter he sounds more like a man suffering the early stages of Altzheimers. So that conspiracy doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I don’t know. My gut tells me to say this was an unintentional screw up by a technology company that doesn’t know its whatzis from a hole in the ground. And that maybe Iowans should band together and say, “This was an aberration. Almost always we’re not this inept.”

A real conversation following the announcement of my retirement as newspaper publisher in six months.

Concerned friend: “What are you going to do after you retire?”

Me: “What do you mean? For one I’m not going to go to work at 6 a.m. every morning, get home in the evening at 5 p.m. and go back to work at 6:30 or 7 three nights a week.”

Concerned friend: “No, I mean what are you going to do with your time?”

Me: “Oh, you mean what am I going to do with all my spare time. Well, first I’m going to measure how much time I have after continuing my volunteer work with the library, the King Opera House, my church and the school district, the special projects the newspaper might still want me to do, write my second book while trying to sell my first, building my new cabin in the woods, spending time I never got to spend with my wife, training my new yellow lab, shooting my M1 Garand rifle, increasing my racquetball play, walking in the woods, fishing in my pond, finishing every David Baldocci novel ever written, doing a wilderness backpacking trip, tinkering with my 1951 Chevy pick-up, 1971 K-10 and 1973 Jeep CJ5, arguing theology with my pastor son-in-law, spoiling my grandchildren and wasting time with my slightly older retired buddies at the local coffee emporium. Whatever time I have left over, I’m not going to do anything.”

Concerned friend: “You’ll never be able to sit still.”

Me: “I’ve heard that. I can only try.”

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