More Than Corndog Fellatio Pics: The Iowa State Fair, Wonksplained
Every few years, we are #blessed with photos of politicians deep-throating a corndog at Iowa’s state fair. But did you know that there is more to the Iowa State Fair than hot politician-on-food pics? There's enough meat-on-sticks to make Rick Santorum yearn for a return to the Senate’s weekly butt-fuck night (Tuesdays at 7 pm in Russell 290). There’s a cow made out of enough butter to make Paula Deen momentarily forget the good ol’ days of plantation living. But what makes politicians line up to shake the hands of babies and kiss farmers? What's this fair all about? Let’s wonksplain.
It started in 1854, but it has grown to a behemoth annual festival that dominates the state every year. To let you know exactly how exciting Iowa is, this fair "is the single largest event in the state of Iowa." In fact, Midwest Living magazine named the fair one of the "Top 30 Things Every Midwesterner Should Experience." It ranks just above "Cow-tipping," and one slot below "Sexual Intercourse (not with sheep)."
What goes on at the Iowa State Fair? Imagine the love child of #StuffWhitePeopleLike and a Jeff Foxworthy standup set, only slightly more white. There are cow chip-throwing contests, an arm-wrestling contest, hog-calling contests, fair rides, country music, livestock competitions, and more than 900 classes of food that are judged annually (this year’s New Food winner: The Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bomb).
Butter sculptures have been a staple of the fair since 1911. Before the famous butter cow (it IS TOO famous!), there used to be a butter sheep, but too many lonely Iowans were caught in illicit acts, so they moved to a less desirable farm animal. FUN FACT: They freeze the butter cow so the same one can be used for three to four years. Between 2007 and 2011, Mitt Romney was actually frozen with the cow, before being re-booted for his ill-fated march to failure.
The fair has a history in politics, with butter sculptures of presidential contenders Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson in 1952. But politics and the fair became much more intimately involved starting in 1979, with the GOP Iowa Straw Poll. George H.W. Bush won the first straw poll by pledging the soul of his eldest son to Satan (that explains a lot, huh), which was the only way he was able to beat St. Ronald Reagan (PBUH).
Traditionally taking place on the first Saturday of the Iowa State Fair, this event eventually turned into a media clusterfuck of epic proportions.
Slovenly devotion to profits above all else soon doomed the event to ruin. Per NPR:
The 36-year old event, which was once an important barometer of support for any presidential hopeful ahead of the first-in-the-nation caucuses, has seen its credibility and influence diminish after disastrous results in 2011 and grumbling long before that about the money campaigns have had to spend on it. Though it was supposed to be an indicator of grass-roots support, it was hardly that. Candidates paid tens of thousands of dollars for the best placement and spent thousands more on giveaways.
Beyond the grumbling about money, the event also pointed out that Republicans in Iowa were bat-shit crazier than many wanted to admit. In 2011, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Galt’s Gulch) came in second to FUCKING MICHELE BACHMANN! Realizing that the straw poll had become a giant joke, many of the Iowa GOP establishment were so depressed that they didn’t make love to a sheep for years. (That’s three sheep-fucking jokes, for those who are counting. Are there even sheep in Iowa? Who cares?)
Despite the loss of the Straw Poll, the fair is still a time for politicians to prostrate themselves before the yokels of Iowa who hold disproportionate sway over presidential elections, given their status as the first state to hold a caucus. This has led to some embarrassingly awesome moments:
Mittens reminded us that “Corporations are people, my friend.”
Michele Bachmann got tips from her hubby:
This year, the major draw was TRUMP entering in a helicopter fueled by a mixture of self-aggrandizement and Megyn Kelly’s menstrual blood. He succeeded in Making Iowa Great Again, whatever the hell that might mean. Many politicians spoke before crowds, including approximately 3.52 billion people who showed up to #FeelTheBern, Sanders’ smallest crowd in a month.
The fair officially ends on Aug. 23, but there will be another fair next year. If there isn’t a fap-worthy pic of your favorite politician making sweet oral love to meat-on-a-stick, just hope and pray they run for president one day. Because the Iowa State Fair will be there waiting, like a creepy uncle you can’t avoid at Thanksgiving.
DDM is back on the Twitters (@Wonksplainer). If my exes are correct, you're in for 15 seconds of pleasure followed by a lifetime of regret.