Features Jan 4, 2012 at 4:00 am

At the Iowa Caucuses, the Corpse of the Republican Party Was Wandering Around Des Moines, Hungry for Brains


Love your analysis. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, can you pretty please explain to me what the FUCK a "“breaded + deep fried macaroni + cheese bun" is?! For serious! I cannot wrap my head around what that means. Nobody has ever presented me with a food item that even comes close to that.
Great work, thanks for going and reporting on this. The part about Newt was pretty funny.
This was so good, Paul.
The Iowa caucuses, distilled into sardonic free verse. Politics, meet Art!

This should be an off-Broadway musical.
That's some Matt Taibbi-level political writing you got there, son. And while you played it mostly straight, we see what you did there:

"Santorum would have bottomed out"

@1 Iowa and Wisconsin both have deeply disturbing town-food. Butter painted thickly everywhere, large whipped poufs of butter atop grilled hamburgers patties, butter and sugar (well, in the past) even spread on grapefruit halves. If you live outside of Iowa/Wisconsin, the odds are you eat more viable food than those folks. That your body odor isn't scented with butter.
The Republican powers-that-be aren't dumb, but I can't for the life of me figure out how they're going to activate the crucial national turnout they so desperately need from the far-right religious base, who I just can't see making the effort for a Mormon. Its gotta be continued good news for Democrats in all close races, and I suppose that Ohio will determine the Presidency.
Paul I am not sure the problem is he is too wealthy it that he acts like he is not.
You had me at "schlubby."
Man, this is good. Christopher Hitchens would be proud.
good stuff
Interesting article in Bloomberg News this morning, questioning Santorum's ethics.
This was the best thing I've ever read by Paul, or perhaps even in the Stranger. Great job!
You could have written this from Seattle, after doing a little Wikipedia to describe what Des Moines looks like.
Nice try in "creative writing," but a B-minus effort.
@1, the schtick with Zombie Burger (I haven't been, but most of my family has, once and never again) is that the owner will deep fry damn near anything. That particular sandwich is something like this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton…

served on a bun that has cheese baked into the top.

There's plenty of salad, vegan stuff, and non-fried food in Iowa to be had. I tire of the "all Midwesterners are fat slobs" mentality, nearly always followed up with "I ate the deep fried ____ anyway." Especially from people in other cities that have chicken fried bacon on the menu of their restaurants.
Great job Paul! Insightful, and entertaining.
More great stuff from Mr Constant....thanks for the article Paul.
I read this article, then I read it again, then I forwarded to my friends. Hysterical. Thanks!
"...Rick Santorum—a racist, homophobic, Bible-thumping warmonger who thinks government doesn’t belong anywhere but in brown people’s backyards and in everyone’s pants."

Perfection, Paul, just like the rest of the piece. I'm going to memorize the above to recite to the uninformed, just as I have memorized "Santorum: the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex" (always a crowd pleaser!).

Seriously, Paul, you are always such pleasure for me. I often muse it is a good thing I am not young and beautiful, because I would fly to Seattle and offer myself as your slave for life, just to be around you. Sigh.
This is really well-done, Paul.
Fuck Matt Taibi, this nearly at a Hunter S. Thompson level, only with cannibalism-themed hamburger consumption in place of drugs: Fear and Loathing in Des Moines. The portraits of the candidates are harrowing both for what they reveal about them as people and for what their campaigns say about America itself. Bravo Paul Constant!
Great piece, Paul. I'm not the biggest fan of your aggregate body of work, but when you're "on", you sure do know how to knock it out of the fucking park.
Greetings from Des Moines! I won't reply to Paul's comments about the town or state -- stopped giving a shit about what other people say about Iowa a long time ago. As for Santorum, he's exactly as Paul described him and I have to believe, after visiting nearly 400 towns, he couldn't have squeezed one more vote out of the batshit crazy fundamentalist crowd he appeals to.
This is so amazing. The description of Michelle Bachman is pitch-perfect.
"All of these repulsive, grotesque candidates are a condemnation of the American electoral system in general and of the American people in particular."

Can't remember who wrote it--probably a dang furriner--but truer words, etc.
Very good article. The Bachmann stuff was perfect. Cut another 300 words and it would have been a great article.
That Perry paragraph (Perrygraph?) rocked my world. He was trying so hard! dawwww
Excellent article! I'm with @22--this is a grand salami.
A bit too much bile and venom, but an interesting read, nevertheless. The description of the covered walkways, one level removed from the cold and homeless folks down below, is a prophesy worthy of Joseph Smith, himself.
Thanks for the photo of Iowa's beautiful capital building. I made out with my girlfriend in that very parking lot in 1982. :-) Thank you for the memories! Iowa's state motto: "Our liberties we prize, our rights we will maintain." Always makes me sick seeing those fascist TeaPupublican candidates spewing fascist hate, while standing in front of my home state's flag.
Get a job losers.
I was thinking more of Hunter S Thompson, but yes, Christopher Hitchens would also have been proud. Good writing Mr Constant.
Yeah, Mitt Romney's daddy had a serious role in the shellacking of Barry Goldwater in the 1960s. So, is Santorum the new Goldwater? No, he is something far worse.
Dammit has two "Ms"
Excellent piece, Paul! My fave sentence (of many): "..Her hollow eyes sang an epic ballad as she listened to her husband’s private pettiness launch itself, naked and heaving, into the glare of the klieg lights." Ooooh, so good.

And, I don't know if you're responsible for the title of the piece, but that rocks, too!

5 Stars!!
Wow. Great piece.
@1 teamcanada: Paul is basically satirizing how parts of the Midwest and particularly the Southeastern United States promote foods with highly saturated fat contents. Apparently, the more artery-clogging, the better.
Great piece, best I've read in The Stranger in quite a while - or anywhere else, come to that.

Not to slight the rest, but nothing else in it was ever going to live up to the one line:
John McCain is a man whose entire legacy now consists of John McCain making terrible decisions in the name of John McCain’s legacy.
It's a good thing the country is still center-right, so that the GOP nominee can throw the self-proclaimed and trained Marxist-Leninist, who, by the way, is anti-American, a Muslim, ineligible and completely unqualified to be Commander In Chief, back to Chicago. God Bless America
predictably boring insight...
Good thing the country is still center-right, so we can take back the entire White House next November.
Great piece, excellent writing. My only quibble is your characterization of Romney and Santorum as the ultimate Bush doppelgangers. That honor would have to go to Perry, who was doomed from the get-go by his eerie similarity to George W. Bush. Bush has the dubious distinction of being the most potent political poison of his generation; he didn't campaign in 2008, and I doubt we'll see much of him in 2012. Nobody wants him around. Nobody. Which was bad luck for Perry.
Brilliant article. Interestingly, the 1973 novel "The Last Fair Deal Going Down" by David Rhodes is built around Des Moines as a city with a zombie-populated fogbank, called The City, at its center:

Survival has been the Sledge way since Reuben Sledge’s father first moved to Des Moines. Yet the family seems cursed, and one by one the Sledges are slipping away. Reuben’s oldest brother is hanged for the murder of his wife. Then another brother is committed to an asylum for spying on the woman he loves. But it’s the rape and disgrace of his beloved sister Nellie that drives Reuben into a deep despair. Into the depths of this depression wanders Tabor, lovely and vulnerable, who sets Reuben alive with the promise of her love. When Reuben learns that Tabor has descended into the City, he determines, in a moment of panic, to enter and bring her out. Thus begins the novel's second act, a harrowing journey through the horrors of the City and among a ghastly assemblage of dwellers who've crafted new lives for themselves in the underworld.


I am delighted by your article and will forward it to everyone I know!
Great piece, I love Paul Constant's way with words. Bravo!
... the self-proclaimed and trained Marxist-Leninist, who, by the way, is anti-American, a Muslim, ineligible and completely unqualified to be Commander In Chief ...

"Citation needed." Do any of you mean soulless morons actually believe these transparent lies you're so happy to spew?

Your country is so screwed. We just hope you don't take us all down with you.

Great article BTW.

The rest of the world.
Iowan conservatives are tremendously easy targets, though the last people here in DSM you'd find at Zombie Burger (and if you'd come when it's not winter here in Iowa, you'd find the East Village as well as Court Ave hopping night and day). Spot on with your insights into the candidates, though I'd have loved to see what you had to say about Ron Paul!
Too funny, Paul! Too many quotable lines in here to count.
@41: I disagree! Your theory would end our country, if not the world.

What a horseshit article. Where do you get that stuff - in the septic tank with the rest of your family?
Funny stuffs- I liked the article.
Poor ol' fat Newt.
Fantastic insight and my favorite form of humor, the naked TRUTH!
I'm now an official fan. I think you are BETTER than Hunter S. Thompson!

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