- - Sunday, January 31, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Soon the voters in Iowa will get a little relief from the invasion of candidates, their handlers, and the tsunami of reporters, pundits and assorted wise men who have trudged through snow and ice to make sure that no burp of the body politic goes unheard or unremarked. Iowans will get their state back, and to relish once more the silence of the cornfields.

A veil of calm always descends on the battlefield on election day, or in the case of Iowa, a caucus. The minds of the voters have been made up and mercifully there’s not much left for the candidates to say. Attention can be turned to the really important stuff, like the severity of Megyn Kelly’s new hairdo that gives her the look of the conscientious small-town schoolmarm, ready to show no mercy to the tardy schoolboy who shows up with neither homework nor excuse.

It’s a pity that Donald Trump was busy elsewhere in Iowa on debate night, raising money for veterans mistreated by the government that sent them to war. If the Donald thought Miss Kelly was tough when she was America’s cable-TV sweetheart, before she got her new coiffure and killer eyelashes, he ain’t seen nothin’ yet. (Chris Wallace’s new tie is nice, too, and Brett Baier’s haircut made the ladies swoon in Dubuque.)

The only story line the Republican establishment seems capable of understanding is how to stop the Donald and Ted Cruz. By the media telling of it, everyone in both parties shares the hysteria, though the Democratic hysteria is more like a mixture of giggles and glee. Some Democrats seem to think the fighting among the Republicans puts it in the bag for Hillary, though the bag may be a body bag. Several companies that had signed up to “participate” in the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are said by excited lobbyists and various flacks to be reexamining their plans for the convention.

The Republicans in the U.S. Senate are so overwrought with fright that Politico, the political daily, reports they’re in the first of “the five stages of grief.” The prospect that either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be nominated in Cleveland will do that to a Republican senator. The senators up for re-election this year are not so much disturbed by the prospect of damage to the party as by the prospect of damage to themselves and their own interests.

Ted Cruz is Villain No. 1 and not a single Republican senator has endorsed him. That sounds to the Republican elites like bad news for Mr. Cruz, but given the reputation the Republican senators have earned for themselves, maybe it’s not. If he doesn’t have a single friend in the U.S. Senate maybe he can’t be all bad.

A new chapter in the Campaign of ‘16 opens Tuesday morning, and we can’t wait. The perils of Pauline — the lady tied up on the railroad tracks — had us on the edge of our seats every Saturday morning at the Bijou, and someone always rescued Pauline as the train roared around the bend. Will there be someone racing to show Hillary the love?

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