By Dave Nagle, Iowa Capital Dispatch

Iowa Democratic Party leaders returned last week from St. Louis where the fate of the Iowa Caucuses' first-in-the-nation status was determined. Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart and others proclaimed a great victory in that Iowa will no longer host a competitive presidential contest to lead off the nominating season.

Instead, they traded this honored spot for permission to hold a meeting. Having lost their pants, we Democrats should be grateful they were allowed to come home in their underwear.

But we are reassured that having the caucus reduced to a simple party organizing function, which we do every year anyway, will enable us to focus on a new objective. We are going to devote our efforts to "electing Democrats."

We need to be honest: The party lost, rural America lost, and the nation lost to a new nominating process that will place more and more emphasis on money and less on presidential candidates being measured by personal, one-on-one, interaction with voters. Saying that we are going to start anew and focus on electing Democrats implies that the party hasn't been doing this for the last 40 years, when we had the caucuses and won our fair share.

I guess we best call up former Sen. Tom Harkin, the author of the American with Disabilities Act, and tell him he never was elected. Alert Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that he was not governor for two terms, and Leonard Boswell's heirs will be surprised that he never served multiple terms in Congress. Mike Gronstal was never Iowa Senate majority leader, Don Avenson didn't rule the Iowa House for six years as speaker and change the name of all the federally funded projects that Neil Smith brought home to Iowa, including the money that helped rebuild the state after the flood of '93.

So here is the first of the items the party lost: the strengthening of the Iowa Democratic Party by the presence of presidential candidates, and their money and staff brought to Iowa over the years. For example, I can remember watching how state Sen. Eric Giddens benefited by having every presidential candidate contribute resources, staff, and presence to enable him to win a special election in March of 2019.

Instead of working to be more competitive, we are going to be left with a party and our candidates to compete against a GOP with a massive financial advantage that will be extremely difficult to overcome.

But there may be an even greater diminishment when one considers the fact that Iowa was the only representative of a rural state in the early nominating process to select the party nominee to be the president of the United States. We sit in a state, like the others that border us, and watch our rural hospitals close or see a new lower standard of medical care for citizens of small towns. We regret, but are now powerless to stop, our small-town schools struggling to find adequate funding to fully fulfill their mission because the money is diverted to private educational institutions.

We are told we should worry more about which bathroom a person chooses to use and what sports they should be allowed to participate in based on their perceived gender. We pride ourselves on banning books. We will have to instruct the female voter to call her state senator or representative "doctor," since the Legislature will make her most intimate health care decisions for her.

By reforming child labor laws, our kids will skip school to work in our hog slaughtering and chicken plucking factories. Now, no would-be presidential contender will grace our land to argue against these conditions. This is the existing order of life in farmland.

Of course, there are reasons why the governor of New Hampshire held a celebratory press conference when he learned that his state would hold the first contest in the Democratic Party. Iowa has been eliminated. But there is also reason to hope, because at least the early date was saved for party organization.

While a mistake of major proportions has been made, nothing, except our will, precludes us from returning to the top of the heap in 2028. The party has good leadership and is for the most part working to restore Iowa to a two-party state.

On this issue, however, calling St. Louis a victory is simply an attempt to hide what we lost. But we can get back with some backbone.

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PK October 20, 2023, 6:10 pm Iowa is doing just fine...Thanks very much!! Where is that "Good Leadership" for the Democrats??? Washington??? Thank you for today's
GB October 21, 2023, 8:17 pm The Democratic Party is no longer for the average hard working Americans. They have evolved into a pack of clowns and freaks! It's shameful what they have become. We currently have a President who at one time called the biggest racist in congress his friend and yet solicits the black vote! People who voted for this clown deserve everything they get. For the rest of us, we do not! We deserve better! The Democrats have destroyed our economy and shut down oil production in the name of green energy and at the same time depleted our petroleum reserve putting only part of it on our market (to lower fuel prices) while selling 70% of it to China!!! Excuse me, but WTH??? Then this idiot gives 20 billion plus to Ukraine with no questions asked and no system of checks or balance AND NO clear plan.. Just keep giving them money! Now he couldn't help himself but to tie aid to Israel with another load of our money to Ukraine!
For all you Democrats out there, your leader and our current Commander In Chief is viewed by the rest of the world as a clown an we would be better served if he were in a nursing home being being driven to adult day care everyday to play with toys! It's flat out embarrassing to watch that idiot on a world stage!
PK October 22, 2023, 7:24 pm GB...Couldn't have said it better!! Biden wants $106 billion dollars for Israel and the Ukraine. I thought the US didn't have any money.
[Could Biden be looking for votes?] I think this could backfire since Americans are tired of shelling out money which will eventually cost the taxpayers big time.

Has anyone noticed that the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border in the month of September was over 200,000. Biden said that was ruining his "strategy." WHAT STRATEGY???

Biden can only focus on one thing at a time. Maybe each Sunday night he should let the citizens in on his FOCUS for the upcoming week. [He should make it sitting in the oval office, so he doesn't have to put on his Nikes. No chance of a stumble.]

What I want to know is Are our senior citizens...our poor...and our vets going to get three meals a day and a roof over their heads and warm clothing this winter? Or is this something reserved only for illegal immigrants and foreigners in a war???
GB October 22, 2023, 10:42 pm PK, Bidens biggest strategy is to keep from soiling himself.
Yes he wants billions more for Ukraine and he has tied it to the money to Israel. It came out a few weeks ago that we were funding the pensions for Ukraines first responders. I swear they have got to have Biden over a barrel! I will call the money Biden gives to Ukraine "hush money" to not rat him and his crooked son out.
We have a President who is compromised by several countries due to his own greed and enabling his crackhead son.
Does anyone really doubt as to who's dope was found in the Whitehouse? We have a family of scumbags living in the Whitehouse on our dime and blowing billions and billions of tax dollars on stupid and ignorant agendas like it is their money. That guy screws up every single thing he touches! I'm shocked he doesn't forget how to breathe!!!