During the lastest Iran War Scare, a number of bloggers have indirectly alluded to the 1979 “novelty” song, “Bomb Iran,” by Vince Vance and the Valiants. For those of you too young to remember this jingo-pop classic (much beloved of “wacky” drive-time disc jockeys during the Iranian Hostage Crisis), here are the full lyrics.Bomb Iran (to the tune of “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys)Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, BOMB IRAN! Let’s take a stand, bomb Iran. Our country’s got a feelin’ Really hit the ceilin’, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Went to a mosque, gonna throw some rocks. Tell the Ayatollah…”Gonna put you in a box!” Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Our country’s got a feelin’ Really hit the ceilin’, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Ol’ Uncle Sam’s gettin’ pretty hot. Time to turn Iran into a parking lot. Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Call the volunteers; call the bombadiers; Call the financiers, better get their ass in gear. Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Our country’s got a feelin’ Really hit the ceilin’, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Call on our allies to cut off their supplies, Get our hands untied, and bring em’ back alive. Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Our country’s got a feelin’ Really hit the ceilin’, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, BOMB IRAN!Let’s take a stand, bomb Iran. Our people you been stealin’ Now it’s time for keelin’, bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. In terms of compelling political lyrics, it sure ain’t Dylan, eh? Predictably, ol’ Vince and the boys did a 2002 retake of this song, redubbed “Bomb Iraq,” which I never heard but that probably made a few Clear Channel playlists. And to show that this band’s strange connection to the right-wing zeitgeist wasn’t limited to foreign affairs, Vince Vance and the Valiants penned a song in the 90s entitled “I Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans.” Well, no, you didn’t really know what that means, did you, Vince?I used to have a theory, back before the WWF turned rasslin’ into a slick entertainment empire, that you could get a good insight into American fears by checking out the latest villains of the pro wrestling circuit. When I was a child growing up in the Jim Crow Deep South, the reigning bad guy was a Yankee named Freddie Blassie (later the protaganist of Andy Kaufmann’s peculiar takeoff on My Dinner With Andre, entitled My Breakfast With Blassie), who would stand on the ropes at Southern wrestling venues and call the howling crowds “a bunch of grit-eaters.” Later came the pseudo-Commie wrestler Sputnik Monroe. During the 70s there were “Arab” rasslers, and in the 80s, various Asians.But jingo-pop has always produced a more efficient glimpse into American hostilities. The early 1980s-era tensions with Libya generated one of the best, or worst examples: a “song” called “Pluck Khadaffy Duck”, by someone named Roger Hallmark. I can’t find the lyrics, but I do recall from its high popularity on Atlanta stations at the time that after several verses of chortling about what “Uncle Sam” was going to do to kill Libyans, Hallmark, in his best redneck voice, concluded: “I ain’t afraid ‘a no Chicken Shi-ite,” exhibiting a bit of confusion about the religious orientation of Libya.All in all, this is a bit of Americana I would be happy to leave behind, if it didn’t keep coming back.
TDS Strategy Memos
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By Ed Kilgore
One of my favorite wonky topics is the presidential nominating process, and as it happens, the way it’s shaping up for Democratic in 2024 is unusual, as I explained at New York:
Donald Trump’s 2024 announcement signaled that we are now officially in the run-up to the next presidential election. But there’s a big missing piece of basic election infrastructure, at least for Democrats: The order of states holding presidential primaries is very much up in the air.
Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which sets guidelines for the nomination process and administers sticks and carrots to get states to comply, announced it would authorize five “early states” allowed to have nominating contests prior to March 1, 2024. The four states that were allowed across this golden rope line from 2008 through 2020 — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — would have to reapply for privileged status along with everyone else. As many as 20 state Democratic parties expressed interest in vying for these five spots. But because some of the changed calendar positions would require action by the state government, which typically control and finance primaries, the DNC delayed a final selection until after the midterms sorted out who ruled where.
Now Michigan Democrats, who flipped both legislative chambers and hung on to the governorship this month, are galvanizing the 2024 calendar discussion with a clear bid for an early spot, as NBC News reports:
“Michigan Democrats — led by Rep. Debbie Dingell — feel well positioned to join the coveted ranks of the early states, after they made huge gains in the Nov. 8 election. With Iowa facing possible eviction from the early states, many expect Democrats to elevate a Midwest state.
“Democrats now have full control of the Statehouse in Lansing, which would allow them to easily change state laws to support a new date for the 2024 primary.”
The DNC’s previously announced criteria for early states, as reported by CBS News, were diversity (racial, ethnic, geographic, and economic diversity as well as union representation), general-election competitiveness, and feasibility (whether states can move their contest into the early window, if they can run a “fair, transparent and inclusive nominating process,” and the logistical requirements and cost of campaigning in that state). It was an unstated but understood criterion as well that the five early states would represent different regions. So Michigan may be competing for an early-state slot with Minnesota, where Democrats also nailed down a trifecta in the midterms.
Iowa’s traditional first-in-the-nation caucus has looked doomed all along. The state is famously nondiverse and is now solidly Republican in general elections. The “feasibility” of an Iowa event was also called into question by the 2020 fiasco, in which no Iowa caucus results were announced until the next day.
New Hampshire will be harder to dislodge, despite its nondiverse population, because of a state law that authorizes the secretary of state to move the primary date around in order to maintain the position of first primary. But Nevada Democrats are making a sustained effort to leap ahead of New Hampshire by switching to a primary and aggressively advertising their superior diversity and obvious competitiveness. It’s unclear, however, whether Republican Joe Lombardo’s gubernatorial win in Nevada will disrupt efforts to authorize a new state primary.
That points to one of two variables complicating the early-state selection process: By and large, Republicans are happy with the existing order of states. There is no pressure within the GOP to dump Iowa or displace New Hampshire or do anything else unusual. So in states where Republican cooperation is necessary to move things around or make the requisite resources available, Democrats have to convince their partisan enemies to care about it as well. And if the proposed new primary date in any given state violates the RNC’s existing calendar rules, that state’s Republicans could be penalized and lose delegates to their own convention. The prospect of a serious battle for the GOP presidential nomination adds another series of calculations.
It’s a Rubik’s Cube, and that’s largely why the existing calendar for both parties has stayed in place for so long aside from the fact that, in Iowa and New Hampshire, both parties have long cooperated to defend their calendar privileges like crazed badgers.
The other big variable facing Democrats is the broader context: What sort of decisions will Democrats be facing in 2024? At this point, we don’t know for sure whether President Biden is running for a second term, and we don’t know if he’ll face major competition if he does. If Biden has to fight for renomination, how he performed in particular states in 2020 may have some influence on a loyal DNC deciding where he has to run in 2024. That might really doom Iowa, if it’s not already doomed, given Biden’s fourth-place finish there in 2020. And Biden finished fifth in New Hampshire. The DNC likely wouldn’t want to give calendar privileges to the home state of a potential rival.
But decisions have to be made, and the Rules and Bylaws Committee is set to make them when it meets from December 1 through 3 in Washington, D.C.