Playing the Fantasy Politics Game

Edwards is still my guy in the fantasy presidential politics game we are all playing. He seems genuinely angry. I am angry. I think America is angry.
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My favorite Iowa Moment in the caucuses Thursday night, which enthralled the nation, occurred on MSNBC when the chairman of one meeting called for all those in favor of Obama to raise their hands. One enthusiast raised two hands. The tabulator then went around the room and counted hands, including both this fellow's hands.

But that didn't prevent me from being thrilled by the election results as they poured in from Iowa's caucus precincts.

I was off the couch in the screening room, as I call my TV den, which still has a small 24 inch Low Def TV model from the 1990's, parading in the aisles in a fantasy convention scene, waiting for the balloon drop, calculating who would be Obama's running mate. It couldn't be Kucinich because both were from the Midwest. Maybe Joe Biden, the smartest in the race.

I was as high as an elephant's eye as the reports drifted in. Even the scarecrows in the cornfields seemed to be singing " Happy Days Are Here Again." Or maybe they just looked happier than usual.

Chris Matthews, the MSNBC caucus night co-anchor, had whipped me into this pro-Obama frenzy. When teamed with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC has the kind of fair and balanced cable network news I like, with both anchors batting from the left side of the plate.

Matthews is a cool dude with years of experience as Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill's tub-thumper and a stint in the Carter White House who should be savvy about anything to do with politics and elections. He was making Obama's apparent victory seem like the start of a revolution, a shot heard around the world, and presumably the 1,000 miles to New Hampshire.

Wait a minute, Kitman, I finally said to myself deeper into the night. Contain yourself. This is only a caucus, for God's sake, not a primary election, as trustworthy as they are.

A caucus where they count two hands is to a primary what fantasy football is to the NFL playoffs on Saturday and Sunday nights.

This is especially true for someone like myself who had gone on record last week putting down the caucus as being a bellwether state for only how Iowa would go. Remember Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan!

Was Obama's victory a turning point in world history, as Matthews seemed to be indicating, the biggest thing since the invention of High Def TV? Part of me wondered how many of Obama's votes were second and third choices. A quirk in Iowa caucus rules is you could place win, place and show bets, and keep voting until the race was over and the horses were in the barn. None of the analysts on TV seemed to keep count.

But it didn't matter to me by the time Matthews finished waxing and buffing Obama's glistening victory.

It would be a great thing for the country and the world to have Obama in the national election. He is an African-American and has Muslim roots. The rest of the world would see America is truly a land of opportunity.

It was fascinating to see Obama electrifying the nation. He's smooth, articulate, passionate in his beliefs, a young JFK who appealed to the 18-24's who rarely even come out to vote. It must have been terrifying to the establishment to see all those young people leaving their Facebooks and MySpaces because they won't vote for the establishment.

When Oprah Winfrey came to Iowa to stump for Barack they had to move her Obama speech from a 4,000-seat auditorium to a 60,000-seat stadium. That tells the establishment something is going wrong here.

Only Ron Paul, who Fox wouldn't even let appear in its Republican debate on Sunday, generates such enthusiasm.

If I were Corporate America, I would dump Hillary and get behind Obama now. He's not a bomb thrower like John Edwards.

Personally, I am an Edwards man. He's a corporate killer. He sees insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, credit card companies as the real enemy. What he's saying is basically we're not getting anywhere in solving our problems until we take on those guys. He's a corporate terrorist. The corporations will never allow him to get the nomination.

But I like him anyway. He's a formidable character, as we saw in ABC News' Double Dose of Debates Saturday night, much more combative than Obama. I understand Obama has to do what he is doing in national debates. He doesn't want to come across as an angry black man.

Of course, it's idiotic to think any president will have the guts to sit down with the pharmaceutical big boys, insurance, medical, oil, and auto industries, and demand they reform. "Sure," they'll say, "you know, you're so right. It's all our fault. We're going to stop swindling folks. We've been wrong the last 150 years."

On the other hand, I like angry people. If you're not angry, as my son explained, where the hell have you been?

The problem with Edwards is I haven't heard too much in the debates about solutions. All I hear him say is he won't allow lobbyists in his administration.

If that's the case, he's going to have trouble recruiting a government. They are the only ones who seem to want to work in Washington these days. Edwards is going to have to put out want ads:

"Needed. Secretary of State..."

How's he going to find someone for the Department of Defense? Lobbyists are the only ones who know where it is, somewhere out in Virginia, I think.

Even though I like Edwards more, Obama would be okay. He would be a miraculous cure for the Bushitis that ails the country. And maybe once he gets the nomination and wins the election, he could get really angry.

Edwards is still my guy in the fantasy presidential politics game we are all playing. He seems genuinely angry. I am angry. I think America is angry. The political establishment doesn't understand this. All voters, Democrats and Republicans and Independents, are angry with the establishment. They have screwed everything up. They got us into a war that can't get us out of. They have screwed up the economy. Everybody is angry. There surely is going to be this "change" the candidates are talking about at the debates.

By the end of the game, the people are going to throw the rascals out.

And maybe the new rascals coming into power will be better than the old ones.

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