Let's Talk Sense...
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Volume XXIX, No. 1
Roswell, New Mexico
Readership this date:
In this issue...
Howard Dean - Clayton Delaney Parallel
News From Other Publications
Your Questions about the New Mexico Media
Who is fair and who is not?
Who is competent? Who is incompetent?
Who is a Democrat/Leftist Organ?
Iowa Democrat Caucus Results: Racism?
Scoop Jackson, Jesse Jackson and Alan Keyes
A Howard Dean - Clayton Delaney Parallel:
By Rod Adair
"They said he got religion at the end and I'm glad that he did."
-----The Year that Clayton Delaney Died, Tom T. Hall
Howard Dean's dramatic and sudden conversion to some (as yet not fully identified) form of Evangelical Christianity is only the latest turn for this remarkably mercurial man as he continues to weave his way through the maze of the Democrat nominating process.
For whatever reason, Tom T. Hall's lyrics popped into my mind---I think it was because some commentator had characterized Dean's new-found faith as "getting religion" and implied it was because of his upcoming swing through the South.
I thought of The Year that Clayton Delaney Died, and also of the late writer Erskine Caldwell, author of many novels set in the South including God's Little Acre, and his biggest success, Tobacco Road. Growing up in New Mexico, and never having visited the South before I became an adult, it was those books, along with two lesser-known volumes, The Sure Hand of God and Deep South that gave me my first impression of the region.
By the time I finished high school---and had quizzed my mother about everything from "What is an oil cloth?" to "Can people really subsist on turnips?" (And some other stuff---though tame by today's standards, Caldwell was considered somehow "racy" for his day)---I was laboring under the same misimpressions about a region that many Easterners share regarding New Mexico: shall we say, a generalized ignorance of the here and now.
The difference is, to be fair to myself, it was 1971 and I was only 17. It is now 2004, and there is about as much media/information comparison between 33 years ago and now as there was between 1971 and 1871. Yet still, to this day, an astonishing number of East Coast people---people much older than 17---consistently believe you need a passport to travel to Albuquerque.
But that is another story for another day.
Today, Howard Dean, physician, former governor of Vermont, and of late the apple of the Democrats' eye, still believes the South is the South of Erskine Caldwell's characters and settings. In fact, in what he apparently believes is his formula for how wins the South, he could team up with Cher:
"Preach a little Gospel, sell a couple bottles of Doctor Good."
Dean, today, is probably hoping he gets to still be a factor in the South. His fairly significant slippage in polls, both in New Hampshire and Iowa, brings to mind another line from those same lyrics:
"They said for the last two weeks that he suffered and cried"
Dean is indeed in something of a painful period right now, and will have entered "the last two weeks" before New Hampshire having "suffered and cried.".
The hits on Howard Dean are best seen as inter-continental re-entry
vehicles (strategic missles). They were launched by Dean himself
weeks or months ago to no particular effect and forgotten about.
Now, suddenly, they are returning to the atmosphere having hit no
other target. They are armed, laser-guided and headed straight for
His Democrat opponents are finally seeing Dean's most outrageous comments, promises, and policy positions take a toll. We shall see if he survives.
We have warned over and over to no avail that the coronation process has been unwarranted, that we have never seen any campaign like this before----where all the media-and seemingly all leading politicians have simply announced a winner BEFORE a single vote has been cast. Dean may yet prevail, but recent events show the folly of the talking heads night after night telling us that it is all over.
One last observation about Dean. He is a medical doctor. Many observers, including social scientists and political demographers have noted and written about the difficulty some doctors have in politics. Medical doctors have an average IQ of 125---well above the average voter's 100 (though well below theoretical physicists and many others, especially those working in the natural sciences). This puts them in the top 5% in raw intelligence Added to that, they have had to achieve. They have had to survive a remarkably difficult winnowing process to get where they are. In other words, they have more than intelligence going for them.
In politics, they find themselves in a world where their peers, their colleagues are, generally speaking, nowhere near as bright. Think about that problem: it is one thing to deal with patients (average IQ 100, and who know nothing about medicine) it would be quite another if your attending physicians were only as smart as the patients. You would have to make every single decision. The only opinion in the room that would be any good is yours.
In politics, the bulk of a physician's colleagues, consultants, advisers and entourage can be viewed as being just as "unqualified" to understand the world as your his or her own patients. For some doctors in politics, this is the trap they fall into.
Others, of course bright enough---about life, the ways of the world, etc, they can overcome this tendency. This of is what makes them "smart," not just merely intelligent. Senator Bill Frist (M.D.), R-Tennessee, the US Senate Majority Leader, who probably has an IQ well in excess of 140, comes to mind.
Howard Dean may in fact be a victim of this very problem: the belief that he is the most intelligent, and the smartest, mind in the room and that his breadth of knowledge is not the result of aptitude---a key distinction that many of his peers have not understood---but of a superior raw intellect that vastly outstrips that of anyone who dares to counsel him. This leads to the conclusion: "Never mind medicine---I also know more about domestic policy, foreign policy, world affairs, and politics in general than anybody else. I'm just plain smarter than everyone."
Frist, and many other successful physicians in politics have learned that their success in the medical profession has come through their own hard work and an aptitude for the natural sciences, as opposed to a general intellectual superiority over the rest of the world. I have my doubts that Dean has yet learned this.
News from other Publications
Thanks to feedback from our loyal readers as far away as Pennsylvania, Georgia and-------Washington, DC, New Mexico Demographic Research has begun publishing a new on-line newsletter. New Mexico Political Journal debuted on January 1, 2004 with just over 3,100 readers. Today, we have just short of 4,000 signed up.. The new publication analyzes politics in New Mexico, with "political" being understood in the sense of political parties, political organizations, campaigns and elections.
Senator Rod Adair continues to publish Legislative Update which deals with legislative, governmental and public policy issues. It currently has more than 13,800 readers.
While many of our subscribers back east and out of state, do in fact enjoy New Mexico stories, others have expressed a desire to see Let's Talk Sense... concentrate on national campaign and election issues, dealing with the issues that affect campaign dynamics. Thus the change. Let's Talks Sense... continues, with some 26,000 readers.
We want to hear from you. If you want to receive New Mexico Political Journal, let us know. If you want any one, but only one of the three, tell us. If you want all three we will keep you on the list.
Let's Talk Sense...
New Mexico Political Journal
If you want any of these publications, just hit "create mail" and on the subject line, type LTS, or LU, or NMPJ, or any combination. Or just type "All."
Your Questions about New Mexico Media
Since the inaugural issue of New Mexico Political Journal, we have received a heavy volume of requests along the lines of this letter:
Dear Senator Adair,
I enjoyed receiving and reading your first volume of the New Mexico
Political Journal. Good information is indeed very hard to come
by. You mention that you can provide a guide concerning those you
pose as independent journalist but who, in actuality, serve another
purpose or may have a hidden agenda. I would appreciate this guide
in order to better discern the truth. Thank you for your efforts
on behalf of the State of New Mexico and the Republican Party.
Thank you Mr. Thurow for the letter and for your permission to use it. To you and the many others who have asked for the same thing I will say that this is a very controversial matter.
We have put together Issue 2 of the New Mexico Political Journal which deals in a very straightforward manner with political reporting, and begins the process of rating the media in New Mexico. If you would like to receive a copy of Issue 2 it will be sent only by request. Please hit "create mail" and in the subject line, type "NMPJ, Issue 2."
2004 marks the Sesquicentennial of the Republican Party, founded
150 years ago in such places as Ripon, Wisconsin and Jackson, Michigan.
Senator Rod Adair is speaking around the state on the history of
the Republican Party and its unique role in shaping America: on
Civil Rights, which the party invented, its internal development
program---building roads, ports, the transcontinental railroad,
land grant colleges and homesteading---conservation and the environmental
movement (also invented by the Republican Party), the setting aside
of national parks, the building of American industry, allowing its
development at a critical time in our history, the construct of
anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws to ensure a functioning economy
based on private enterprise, up to its role in the 20th Century
in winning the Cold War and leading America and the world in the
fight against global terrorism. If you would Senator Adair to speak
to your organization, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa Democrat Caucus Results:
Another History of Secret Democrat Racism?
Tom Harkin 76.4%
Comment: Scoop Jackson, Jesse Jackson and Alan Keyes
Just a couple. Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson's remarkably consistent showing in 1972 and 1976 makes me wonder if he had the same crack staff on both campaigns. He could have nicknamed them "one point one" club.
On a more serious note. Iowa is not known for a heavy black population. In fact blacks represent only 2.1% of the state's total population. The Democrat Party is the home of approximately 90% of the nation's black population, and presumably that of Iowa as well. That being the case, the black percentage of the Republican Party in Iowa must be miniscule, infinitesimal to be more precise. Something on the order of two-tenths of one percent.
It is interesting to note that in Jesse Jackson's two races in Iowa, he garnered only 1.5% and 8.8%. Shirley Chisholm in 1972 got 1.3%. So black Democrats have averaged only about 3.9% of the vote, in other words just slightly below the 4% or so of their share of the Iowa Democrat population.
Contrast that with the showing of Republican Alan Keyes in 2000. Keys took 14.2% of the Republican Caucus vote, or something on the order of 70 times the black population of the Iowa Republican Party.
Is this just yet another example of the phoniness of the Democrats on race? Which party demonstrates greater tolerance? Which has the better record of open-mindedness in elections?