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A Handy Clusterfuck?

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, February 5th, 2020 - 46 comments
Categories: Bernie Sanders, democracy under attack, Politics - Tags: ,

What might an entire establishment that loathes and fears the prospect of a particular nominee being successful do if that nominee was about to confound their well publicised expectations?

As of the time of writing, the Democratic machinery in Iowa is not giving a reason as to why it can’t release election results in a timely fashion.

One thing is for sure. This bullshit steals the Bernie Sanders campaign’s fire.

As others have pointed out, the Iowa caucus isn’t really very important in terms of numbers, but it’s hugely important in terms of media coverage. Media coverage is the springboard campaigns seek as they head to subsequent primaries.

Let’s be clear. Sanders won. But media is focusing elsewhere. That’s ‘less than optimal’ for the Sanders campaign. Meanwhile, Pete ‘CIA’ Buttigeig claimed victory on the basis of nothing whatsoever.

Sanders’ campaign has released the numbers it has received from precinct captains from some 60% of precincts. (video link)

Post re-alignment, Sanders sat at 29.4%. Buttigeig 24.87%. Warren 20.65%. Biden 12.92%. Klobechar  11.18

That is consistent with the results the Sanders campaign previously released with reference to 40% of precincts. (See the update to yesterdays post)

So what’s going on?

Buttigeig gets the final pre-election poll buried because his name allegedly wasn’t offered to some interviewees. There was an app of dubious pedigree that fell over too, but a paper trail of the count…so why the delay? (Apparently, Uncle Joe’s insisting he reviews the results before they’re released!) – (video link)

The pre-election poll that was spiked was presumably recording non-aligned vote totals –

According to leaked results verified by FiveThirtyEight, the final Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers before Monday’s first-in-the-nation caucuses had Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading with 22%, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in second at 18%, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 16%, and the former vice president in fourth with 13%.

And Biden, who placed fourth in Iowa is apparently responsible for the delayed release of results.

If Biden had been contesting the results, then sure, people have a right to challenge a result. But this is something else. This is preventing a result from being made public.

So yeah. Trump will make hay off the back of this clusterfuck and the Democratic establishment gets to muddy the waters on Sanders’ popularity.

A sad day all round for democracy in the USA.

Thankfully, as I’ve said before, there is a very healthy on-line independent media presence in the USA. So this bullshit from bad actors may well bite them in the arse. Here’s hoping.

46 comments on “A Handy Clusterfuck? ”

  1. Billy 1

    Sanders is a nightmare for the military-industrial complex and the "intelligence community"; very difficult to control him with no footage of him raping kids.

  2. James 2

    “Let’s be clear. Sanders won.”

    @62% reported so far he’s not.

  3. Nic the NZer 3

    I think this might be taken as a positive actually. It shows the robustness built into the caucus process. With all the public scrutiny of the process the result appears credible despite the undermining effect of DNC, and Shadow incompetence.

    Who says Pete isn't just basing his results (a win) off a personal pre-release of the app.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Maybe all the candidates should just get a gold star for trying … devil

    • joe90 4.1

      Almost…

      https://www.marketwatch.com/story/coin-toss-broke-6-clinton-sanders-deadlocks-in-iowa-and-hillary-won-each-time-2016-02-02

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        /facepalm

        Good Op Ed on RT:

        So, did the Democrats deliberately trash the results of the Iowa poll? Presently it is impossible to say, but one thing is for certain, there are a lot more conspiracy theorists walking around in the United States today than there were yesterday, and the Democrats only have themselves to blame for that.

        https://www.rt.com/op-ed/480046-iowa-caucus-glitch-democrats/

        • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1

          Looks like Bernie's strategy of not explaining socialism is paying off: "both parties are watching with mounting concern as socialist rhetoric, backed up by surging membership in socialist groups, increases across the heartland." Folks love mystery.

          “No wonder that the state of Iowa’s ‘election malfunction’ has given rise to a number of conspiracy theories – no word on Russian meddling as of yet, but stay tuned! – that the Democrats had deliberately flushed the results down the memory hole”.

          So, a conundrum for conspiracy theorists. Whodunnit? DNC or Russia?? I still prefer incompetence.

          • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1

            While Hanlon's Razor is a reliable rule of thumb, there is also the idea that at some point gross incompetence becomes functionally indistinguishable from malice regardless.

          • joe90 4.1.1.1.2

            I'd go with repug rat fuckers.

            COLUMBIA — A group of prominent Upstate Republicans are preparing to launch a wide-scale effort this week to encourage GOP voters across South Carolina to vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Feb. 29 Democratic primary, The Post and Courier has learned.

            The Republican plan to meddle in the Democratic race, emerging just weeks before the “First in the South” primary, has two goals: Boost the candidate who the Republicans believe presents the weakest general election threat to President Donald Trump and pressure Democrats to support closing state primaries in the future.

            South Carolina has open primaries, meaning voters do not have to register by party and can participate in either party’s contest. But some conservative activists have long pushed to change that, arguing it would ensure a more pure party process, and they are hoping this effort will win over Democrats to that cause.

            https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/upstate-gop-leaders-plotting-to-meddle-in-sc-democratic-primary/article_f1e7abd2-4788-11ea-aa9f-33a1d262994c.html

      • pat 4.1.2

        democracy Joe….but not as we know it.

  5. AB 5

    If Biden is 4th (as is being reported) then he's toast – or at least the toaster is on and the Biden slice has been placed in the slot. It will be harder for him to raise new money, he's not competitive in New Hampshire, and he's relying on South Carolina to revive his campaign despite his poll lead eroding there. Good riddance if it happens – though establishment money will just migrate to Bloomberg or Buttigieg so in a way it just shifts the problem around.

    Warren should do well in New Hampshire, but after that she won't due to poor support among African Americans. It will then be time for her to withdraw and endorse Sanders. She won't – nor will there be calls for her to do so. Though when she enjoyed a narrow poll lead over Sanders there were calls for Sanders to withdraw. Consistency is not a feature of the affluent liberal commentariat.

    Looks like Mayo Pete might come in a plausible-looking smidgeon ahead of Sanders in Iowa. It might even be true – how can we know? I'm not sure it matters – close 2nd will do. In any case, if Sanders wins Iowa the media narrative will be "Iowa doesn't matter". If he doesn't win Iowa the narrative will be "a body-blow for Sanders in the crucial Iowa campaign".

    Fun and games.

  6. florabunda 6

    Biden and Saunders, yesterday's men who never were impressive, and with as much chance of becoming President as me – both, if they had any integrity, would stand down and support 2 of the women who would discomfort Trump, he cannot deal with strong articulate and intelligent women – his increasingly enraged attacks on them would show him for the corrupt fool he is.

    It's called strategic planning, which the US Dems seem to lack.

    • mike 6.1

      'Biden and Saunders, yesterday's men who never were impressive, and with as much chance of becoming President as me…'

      Couldn't agree more.

      With a mad extremist president to defeat the democrat party needs to choose a recognisable politician, to steady the state after these disruptive radical tantrums. Not another radical who wants to whip the whole thing round into yet another divisive environment. Extremist tribes from either direction somehow finish up sounding exactly the same. i.e. shouty and narrow-minded.

    • Siobhan 6.2

      I think the average American is more concerned about voting for someone who has the credentials and history to actually help deal with the dire state of the Nation, their personal debt levels, lack of secure housing, college fees, Health care, wages, employment rights etc etc ..than the thrill of having 'a woman' beat Trump…but if it means that much to you I guess you can enjoy Nancy Pelosi 'humiliating' Trump with the impeachment..or not, as the case may be..personally, as a woman, I've always found it highly insulting for anyone to suggest that someone should be voted for on the basis of gender.

    • adam 6.3

      So where were you florabunda to support Tulsi Gabbard when people have been slagged her off?

      Just asking.

  7. McFlock 7

    The caucus results will be made public. Each caucus knows what they voted, it's built into the process. So the outcome will be robust.

    As for "shadow", three campaigns paid for services and software, and two of them got nowhere. So bit of a conspiracy fail all around.

    • Phil 7.1

      So bit of a conspiracy fail all around.

      Twitter has been painful today. All the Brosephs are seeing conspiracy *everywhere* when cock-up is both more plausible and factually defendable. I get that they don't like that the Dem establishment don't like their guy, but they gotta pick their battles smarter than this.

    • adam 7.2

      The problem of which there are many;

      Firstly Clinton advisers are behind the app. And they don't exactly have a decent record in relation to progressive/social democrat democrats.

      Second the Des Moines Register ran this last week, and the lack of transparency from the DNC and Iowa Democrats leadership – is way beyond Frightening, and into the realm of stupidity. Which of course in this environment helped this shit start. They only have themselves to blame.

      https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2020/01/29/iowa-caucus-cybersecurity-measures-ramping-up/4612169002/

      Third, this is a gift for trump.

      Fourth – and possibly worst of all, the DNC and state leaderships have a track record of being quite shitty to progressives. And this did nothing to change that image of the DNC nor the state democratic leadership. If anything it just helped confirmed/reenforce an image of them being corrupt. When they should have done their utmost to dispel that image.

      • Climaction 7.2.1

        Sup broberns

        good to see the dark hand of the clintons at it again. Imagine if she was president?

      • McFlock 7.2.2

        1: yawn. That doesn't affect the tally. Let her go…

        2: The paper trail and methodology of caucuses means that even a compromised app can't change the outcome. The app is fucked, but it cannot change the election. All it can do is screw up the early announcements for a day or two.

        3: yeah, but I'm more interested in it being a gift for obsessive conspiracists. Nobody is saying that deploying a broken app is a good thing. But it doesn't advantage anyone.

        4: "progressives" who see corruption everywhere might be able to persuade others of thge existence of that corruption if they can point to who benefitted from that alleged corruption. For example, the dolt45 QpQ with the Ukraine would give him political dirt against Biden. What does an obviously broken app that can't even change the election outcome give any of the candidates, or the she-devil herself? Que bono?

        • adam 7.2.2.1

          1. can't your read – "advisors". You saw clinton and think I was talking about that muppet – irony much.

          2. About transparency and you go all strawman.

          3. Blame the left – sheesh that old chestnut.

          4 That Voucher, what That Voucher? And what with all the strawman arguments about the app? The point was simple, appearance mean somthing in politics and the DNC and local party leadership have the appearance of being craven fools. They doubled down on that. Good luck trying to convince people they are otherwise.

          • McFlock 7.2.2.1.1

            1: if the clinton bit was unimportant, why include it? Could it be that without the name of dooooom your implication of bias (bias for no benefit and guaranteed to be detected) would not exist?

            2: the process and results are still transparent, moreso than NZ elections in fact because it's as if everyone in the polling station sees the results for that station as they are recorded. The app does not create the votes or make the final confirmed count – it was merely supposed to be the courier for the immediate feedback. The final results were always going to be audited.

            3: not blaming "the left", just obsessive conspiracists.

            4: Voucher? What the hell are you on about now? If you think this is another way for the dems to appear to be "shitty to progressives", how does the shitty app hurt Bernie?

            Seriously, what is the professionally-victimised "progressive" thought process here: votes all collected and publicly documented, app goes down, something something, Buttigieg steals victory. How does that middle bit work in your brain?

            • adam 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Clinton advisors – I probably should have put "the people who lost to trump". But then again you would have come up with some other form of shitfuckery on that.

              Why is transparency somthing you despise? And why do you keep talking about the app, and not the process, which is what I was talking about – process. Is it a deliberate misdirection or somthing else?

              Conspiracies are real and they do happen. But you'd blame this mess (however it happened) on the people who are upset by it – than the appearance and ability it gives trump and co to attack the left. MMMM OK.

              I've never mentioned vote stealing or any of the bullshit straw men you keep throwing up. The app is just part of what happened – how it looks is the important part.

              Honest, fair play, and a fair go. But no it's 'playing the victim' when raising the point of honesty and transparency.

              Let's end this, I can't be bothered having another discussion with you, when you spend the whole time making up straw men to knock down.

              So have a nice day.

              • McFlock

                Complains about straw men, and says I despise transparency.

                You can't even explain how the process is opaque or could even be regarded as dishonest. A fuckup, for sure, but how can it be regarded as dishonest when all the caucus results will be open to the public and everyone at the caucuses knew what their results were at the time? It just doesn't make sense.

                • RedLogix

                  I think you are right in terms of the technical result in this specific primary. I am not aware of any reasonable grounds to quibble the actual outcome at this point in time, although I'm sure there are some who are making that case.

                  But stepping back one layer you really have to question the credibility of any vote counting system that is so closely linked to one or more of the candidates. It would be like having the National Party as the sole funder of the NZ Electoral Commission; no-one would be comfortable with that even if they ran it impeccably. Even less so in the aftermath of a fuckup of this magnitude. Adam is right, appearances matter.

                  In the same week the Dems have handed Trump two powerful wins, first an inevitable acquittal in the Senate and now this humiliating debacle. The Dems really are off to a roaring start to re-electing him.

                  • McFlock

                    The electoral commission administers all points of the voting process, from vote collection to result verification.

                    This app was a goddamned messenging service.

                    If the Google gazillionaire was running, it's the same as if caucuses were texting in the early results over android phones,

                    Sure, the dems need to look at themselves about how human networking got them to shell out cash for a bullshit product, but to argue that it implies the results are somehow untrustworthy is plain nuts.

                    • mauī

                      No, no, no… It's more like the election using this new product called, lets say "Google Docs" to compile the results and Google squillionaire just happens to be running in said election. The only people keeping the faith… would be naive dems.

                    • McFlock

                      OK, let's go with that. Google doc would probably have been better, anyway.

                      How would the google doc make the election untrustworthy? We're not talking about voting machines that have no paper receipt or audit trail. Everyone at a particular caucus knows what the result was. What is the penalty for failure of this google doc system?

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    The Dems in Iowa even stiffed one of their own: "Blank space has to be filled with something. Cable news, in particular, abhors a vacuum. As the night wore out, the lack of results forced it to feed off scraps. At one point, CNN interviewed Shawn Sebastian, a precinct official who had been waiting for more than an hour to report results by phone. While he was talking live to Wolf Blitzer, Sebastian finally got through; he told Blitzer he needed to go, but by the time he’d said that, his call had been dropped. “They hung up on me,” Sebastian said, and laughed." https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/iowa_democratic_caucuses_results.php

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    More fustercluck: "As New York Times opinion writer at large Charlie Warzel wrote on Tuesday, “in place of definitive results, an information war has broken out, unleashing reckless speculation, conspiracy theories and deep anxiety.” https://www.mediaite.com/politics/what-is-shadow-inc-explaining-the-iowa-conspiracy-theories-embraced-by-democrats-and-some-cynical-republicans/

    “The Democrats’ technology failure created an information vacuum that was quickly seized upon by trolls and political operatives alike to cast doubt on the electoral process and sow division,” he detailed. “By failing to deliver as an anxious nation watched, the Iowa Democratic Party helped transform the caucus into a petri dish for conspiracies. Democrats floated suspicions of their own party; Republicans amplified them and tried out theories of their own; unsubstantiated claims of meddling or hacking rattled around picking up shares, likes and retweets.”

    According to Warzel, the problems stem from “a potentially deadly combination of techno-utopianism and laziness.” “Reports suggest that the app was engineered in just the past two months,” he explained, noting that “the app was not tested at statewide scale or vetted by the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency.”

  10. Cinny 10

    Had a chat with a lady from the USA today. She told me that they used to only have to take in their vote card to vote, but it's changed, and now a person needs two forms of ID instead. She said that this change makes it very hard for people on low incomes and the poor, as often they don't have passports or drivers licences etc and often only have one form of 'approved' ID. She believes as a result it excludes them from voting.

    Also asked her about their caucus meeting procedure (thanks McFlock for the info last night). She said it's a truly bizarre system that doesn't make sense, because results are determined by who can make it to the meeting place on time. Too bad if you don't make it there in time, or have to work etc etc, so it's not a true representation of how people feel.

    She liked the idea of our advance voting. Election day over there is a holiday.

    I also discovered that many people voted for trump because they shared a common view, for example, pro lifers. Turns out that now, they are looking elsewhere, because sharing one common view is not enough motivation to vote for an arsehole.

    Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi is all shades of awesome for tearing up trumps state of the union speech, how cool was that?

    • Anne 10.1

      I guess she tore it up because it was all lies. 😎

    • James 10.2

      Even if you don’t like the man, or his political views, or even his personal ones – you should still respect the office.

      It was a disgusting thing to do. I hope to see her face when trump gets re-elected.

      • WeTheBleeple 10.2.1

        'You should still respect the office' Only a sycophant would respect that office right now. It's a corrupt cesspit of shit.

        • James 10.2.1.1

          That’s your view. There are still millions of people in the US that will vote for him.

          • WeTheBleeple 10.2.1.1.1

            Vested interests and useful idiots. A piece of shit is a piece of shit, even if it has a fan base.

      • Incognito 10.2.2

        Oops, he ‘forgot’ to shake the Speaker’s extended hand. He didn’t mean to be disrespectful.

      • Cinny 10.2.3

        Apparently the whole 'respect the office' is a big thing over there, it's almost like a cultural thing and it is part of the problem. It's like…'they are the president now and you don't talk ill of the president'.

        Talk about living in the dark ages with that kind of mindset. It's not like a person is going to get marched off to the town square and placed in the stocks anymore for calling out bad leadership.

        Why did the fabulous Nancy rip up the script… we saw trump reject her handshake and later Nancy released a statement…

        The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people. The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.”

        And she is bang on, fact checkers back her up, SOTU was full of propaganda.

  11. James 11

    Update:

    “Let’s be clear. Sanders won.”

    @71% reported so far – he’s not.

  12. mosa 12

    How Did Iowa Get So Thoroughly Caucus Blocked?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQgohRj5tOs

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Stephen provided your answer: the elderly volunteers encountered difficulties trying to download the app onto their garage-door opener… 🤣

  13. aj 13

    I find it very hard to disagree with the thrust of this article. Bernie should have been more ruthless.

    " For Bernie Sanders supporters, the true debacle of the Iowa caucus meltdown was not the failure of the Shadow app, but rather their candidate’s failure to claim victory when he had the chance. Instead he unwisely ceded that role to the corporate candidate extraordinaire, Pete Buttigieg. It stands in stark contrast to Donald Trump, who for all his faults would not have hesitated to declare victory, and who would have energized his supporters with the statement and cowed the party establishment."

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