Last week’s news headlines were historic. On Monday, Iowa held their quadrennial presidential caucuses. Both the Republicans and Democrats use the caucus system in Iowa. A caucus is an indirect election. Instead of registered voters going to their normal polling place and casting a secret vote in a voting booth, in a caucus system, registered voters meet and publicly vote and the results determine the number of delegates each party’s national convention will receive from their respective state. 

There are strengths and weaknesses in both the presidential primary and caucus systems. Some GOP activists in Oklahoma would like for the Sooner state to return to a caucus system. Tuesday morning’s headline was “No Results Available from Iowa.” Using an app to count votes that appeared to fail, the Iowa Democrat leadership could not provide final results until late in the week, which means Iowa may not be going first in the presidential process in four years.

After 72 hours, it appeared former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Peter Paul Buttigieg, 38, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT) tied in the Hawkeye state. Former Vice President Joe Biden finished a distant fourth. After Buttigieg and Sanders’ victory and Biden’s poor showing, James Carville, a well-known Democrat operative, said: “The turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been. This is very bad, and now it appears the party can’t even count votes. The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. All right? Without power, nothing matters. We are talking about the wrong things,” Carville concluded.

On Tuesday evening, President Trump delivered what could be his best speech ever at the State of the Union. Under indictment by the U.S. House, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sitting directly behind him, Trump stuck to the teleprompter and masterfully presented the case for his re-election. But Pelosi dominated Wednesday’s headline after she “ripped up” a copy of Trump’s speech.

Thursday’s headline was “Trump Acquitted,” after Wednesday afternoon’s vote by the U.S. Senate vindicated the president on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote was along party lines with only Sen. Mitt Romney, (R-Utah), voting with the Democrats on the abuse of power charge. Three lessons from this week’s news banners:

First, it is past time to rethink Iowa kicking off the presidential cycle. Rotate the starting state around. And if Democrats can’t count votes, how are they going to govern?

Second, Pelosi’s stunt was beneath the dignity of her office and will probably not appeal to the swing voters Democrats need to win close elections. So much for going high when your opponent goes low.

Third, the impeachment/trial process is political, not legal. The Democrat leadership knew they could not remove Trump from office when they started this boondoggle, but they plowed ahead anyway.

Will Rogers said, “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.” This week, news readers had historic headlines to keep them ignorant.

Steve Fair is chairman of the 4th District of the Oklahoma Republican Party. He can be reached by email at okgop@aol.com. His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com.

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