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The Big One’s Coming In.

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, February 4th, 2020 - 70 comments
Categories: Bernie Sanders, elections, social democracy - Tags: , ,

Remember how as a kid you’d build sand castles below the high water mark and then spend your time trying to shore it up against the incoming tide? Remember running at the back of a receding wave to throw hopeless handfuls or bucketfuls of sand on top of your newly worn and rounded creation? Remember gouging out a ditch on the seaward side of your sand castle knowing it wasn’t going to work, but doing it anyway? And remember how sometimes you gained a brief respite as that last wave didn’t wash up the beach with quite as far as you’d expected…meaning you got to bolster your heap with two buckets of sand and even a stone or three before the next surge.

Today, the kids, the defenders of things built on sand are liberals.

Now sure, like as when I was a kid, I’ve misjudged which wave would be the one to inflict irreparable damage on hopeless structures. So following the SNP’s decimation of Scottish Labour in 2011 and the Independence Referendum in 2014, I thought the tide was coming right up that beach when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of UK Labour in 2015.

I had also hoped David Cunliffe would mark the beginning of the end for liberalism in NZ. The same hope was vested in Jean Luc Melenchon and his La France Insoumise in the French Presidential elections of 2017.

Each and every time, while a social democratic alternative to liberalism has gained ground, it has failed to repeat what the SNP achieved in 2011 by running on erstwhile and wholesale abandoned Labour values of old. And the reasons for that aren’t very hard to fathom. In all cases bar Scotland, entrenched political establishments saw it coming, and so ran down the beach to, as it were, scrape out ditches and stack rocks against the incoming wave.

Specifically, concerted media black-outs and smears have assailed social democratic politicians, and in the case of NZ Labour and UK Labour, half of the parliamentary party fought against the party and its social democratic leader during election campaigns. In New Zealand, the Andrew Little’s and Grant Robertsons’ went one better and ousted David Cunliffe following NZ Labour’s electoral defeat. In the UK, and only thanks to the greater degree of democracy put in place by Miliband, the liberals within UK Labour, not for want of trying, couldn’t jettison Corbyn.

Last time around in the USA, the establishment fell before a charlatan and game show host who simply made all the right anti-establishment noises. This time around there’s Bernie Sanders. As at the time of writing, I don’t yet know the caucus results from Iowa. I won’t be surprised if Bernie Sanders wins it and the Iowa Caucus later comes to be seen as the event that marked the beginning of the end for liberalism in the US. And that’s a wave that washes around the world.

Here’s the other side of the coin.

If Sanders doesn’t win the Democratic Party nomination, then Trump will likely win a second Presidency and the US establishment will plunge itself into fascism. And understand. That won’t be Trump’s doing. Trump will merely be the impotent figurehead of a liberal establishment coming to its natural fascist destination.

I don’t want to end this post on a dark note. So grab your tissues…

They have tried a media black out on Bernie’s campaign. It hasn’t worked. They have tried smearing Bernie as sexist. It hasn’t worked. They have tried smearing his campaign as anti-semitic. It hasn’t worked. They have tried and failed to promote any number of alternatives to Sanders. No-one’s listening. 

And now (or so it seems) they are positioning a billionaire to take the reigns from Joe Bye and Done on Super Tuesday. Because, y’know, US democracy is still the best democracy money can buy. They haven’t been listening

update –  Lots of shananigans in Iowa and results not being released until tomorrow. Pete Buttigieg gave a hammy “victory” speech before a front row of carefully positioned African Americans while Joe Biden’s lawyers pinged a “stiff” letter off to the Iowa Democratic Party demanding “answers” and…Bernie Sanders’ campaign released their internal polling taken from 40% of representative Precincts that showed a second vote tally of –
Sanders – 29% Buttegeig –  24% Warren – 21% and Biden 12%

 

70 comments on “The Big One’s Coming In. ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    I firmly backed the Bern in 2016 and it's wonderful to see him breakthrough. Although this election I've found both Gabbard and Yang are the ones with interesting new things to say that seem highly relevant to the near future.

    Someone speculated that Bernie could select Gabbard as his running mate; that would tick all my boxes nicely. Together they would simply show up the Trump for the low-rent gambler he is.

    • Bill 1.1

      The establishment smears of Gabbard have been downright disgusting and the media black out of her troublesome.

      CNN have disbarred her from their town hall with no reason given, but brought in some joker whose name I can't remember who polls at about 0%. They may have done the same to Yang – I can't remember.

      Anyway. Gabbard's foreign policy is streets ahead of most. So, would she be better as a VP (she'd certainly lock in a lot of former Trump voters in a Presidential Election Campaign)…or would she better served as Foreign Secretary (or whatever the position is called in the US)?

      I'm sticking to what I said a while back, that barring some absolute catastrophe, Sanders will be the next President of the USA and both Gabbard and Warren (in spite of her recent bullshit) will play major roles in a Sanders Administration.

      edit. I’m away to geek out on Iowa caucus results now 🙂

    • Andre 1.2

      The problem with Gabbard as veep nominee is that her popularity is waaaay underwater with Democrats and Dem-leaning independents. In that group, she's 40% unfavourable, 20% favourable, and 40% no opinion.

      https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-ups-and-downs-of-candidate-popularity-in-4-charts/

    • Phil 1.3

      Bernie could select Gabbard as his running mate; that would tick all my boxes nicely.

      No fucking way is Bernie going to nominate a closet-republican as veep.

      • RedLogix 1.3.1

        Sure, definitely not in the primaries. But in the election that matters it's the whole nation his ticket has to appeal to.

        • Phil 1.3.1.1

          You're completely deluded if you think the potential republican/independent gains made by having Gabbard on the ticket get anywhere near close to the losses you'd make on Democrat turnout in that scenario.

          • Bill 1.3.1.1.1

            You know how that's a kind of inverse echo of 2016 arguments from the centrists that goes, "if we tack to the centre, then for every potential Democratic voter we lose, we will pick up two soft Republicans in the suburbs…"

            As strategies go, that worked out really well, yes?

            • RedLogix 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Clinton was not so much centrist as just disliked.

              Besides how did tacking left work out for Corbyn? We can play this game all day 😄

              [Fixed typo in user handle]

              • Bill

                As mentioned in the post – social democrats get smeared across corporate media and even have to contend with bullshit coming from within their own party. (Cunliffe and Corbyn both being examples of that happening in spades).

                The main difference for Sanders is that he doesn't have to contend with arseholes in a parliamentary caucus in the way Cunliffe and Corbyn did.

                It's easy enough to argue that UK Labour's policy platform was fine.

                But when they exposed the Tories on the NHS, corporate media twisted it into a Russia thang. And besides there was Corbyn as a terrorist sympathiser. And as an ant-semite. And "not fit to be a leader" etc. – all coming from pop/corporate media day in and day out over years.

                And Brexit. I missed that one. But he should never have sought a consensus with the liberals within UK Labour (and should also have forged an alliance with the SNP the moment he became leader).

                But if you think being social democratic loses elections because social democratic policies don't draw support, then I can only assume you haven't been paying much attention Red.

              • Adrian Thornton

                "Clinton was not so much centrist as just disliked"…uumm no she was in large part disliked exactly because because she is a status quo centrist.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Don't let your partiality fog your vision. I hope Sanders wins, but I'm a centrist on the bipolar frame, so I ought to point out that your logic is flawed. Don't you know she was to the right of Nixon?? She was a Goldwater Girl.

                  No self-respecting centrist would support someone that flakey. Going for the Wall St crowd showed she was still a conservative. The fact that Democrats believed her crap just proved how thick they are.

      • Bill 1.3.2

        What?

        The woman who resigned her position as vice chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders in 2016 is a closet Republican? I thought she was a Putin plant (according to Hillary Clinton)…an Assad apologist…an Islamophobe…a cultist working for the guy whose name I can't remember…and allegedly much else besides, but…a closet Republican?

        So her support of medicare for all and free college and ending regime change wars to invest the saved expenditures in American society is indicative of her being a Republican?

        And her support of re-regulating Wall Street and he stance against private prison and in favour of legalising weed and ending the "war on drugs"…that's all dyed in the wool Republicanism?

        Anyway.

        Joe Biden would choose a Republican as VP (He is on record as saying he would). Warren was a Republican until in her late 40s and is now (it seems) wholly owned by the Corporate Democrats. And then there's Pete "CIA" Buttigieg and a billionaire or two in the running….and the cry is NOT TULSI! ?

  2. mosa 2

    Bernie and his grassroots supporters aren't owned by anyone.

    Wow what a fantastic campaign message.

    I wish we could be inspired like that here.

    I would love to have a feeling of hope that we can change too.

    Now that the evil empire is stirring realising the threat could be real after ignoring it for four years they will be coming for him with all their firepower.

    Bernie and more and more Americans are ready for the fight.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Hope is an act of defiance; it is always our best bet.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Fear is lower in the amygdala than hope.

        So fear wins in the search engine algorithms.

        Repubs do fear far better than Dems and social dems do hope.

        Hope is just a pain in the ass.

      • gsays 2.1.2

        Hope is what you have when you have no agency, no influence, no power.

        Fuck hope.

  3. Ad 3

    He seems to have a better campaign ground game than last time.

    • mosa 3.1

      " He seems to have a better campaign ground game than last time"

      That is a considerable understatement.

  4. Kevin 4

    That second advert was probably the best I have seen. Anywhere.

    • Cinny 4.1

      Absolutely outstanding, unifying, emotive and a call to action, superb. Gave me goosebumps.

      Bernie is their only hope. May he take out the Iowa Caucus today.

  5. Macro 5

    Iowa Caucus Results 2020: Live

    Initial results are being reported for caucus alignment popular vote totals. 3m ago

    Candidate Final vote
    Pete Buttigieg 1,000
    Bernie Sanders 842
    Elizabeth Warren 605
    Joseph R. Biden Jr. 592
    Amy Klobuchar 579

    These are not the final votes as such (although it says so above) these are preliminary votes as they come in.

    see here:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/02/03/us/elections/results-iowa-caucus-democrats.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Go Bernie! am a supporter since 2016.

    Bernie’s campaign is doing well using the “Bern” app https://theintercept.com/2019/04/29/bern-bernie-sanders-organizing-kickoff-bern-app/
    to assist door to door and friend to friend organising as long form articles like this one illustrate…https://theintercept.com/2020/01/26/bernie-sanders-iowa-super-tuesday/

    The thing is these, and articles from other sources, inevitably quietly point out that Trump uses similar methods, house to house in the bible belt etc. Bernie is on “last chance power drive” sacrificing his remaining years on this mission. He can only do it with a movement, which has steadily arisen in its modern form since the Dubya years, and Bernie is the only 2020 mainstream candidate such a united movement could support. If against hope he gets past the DNC and Trump and the Electoral College and voter suppression–whew!–and is President, he will need massive popular support to get anything at all on the agenda done.

    Dare to hope after so many electoral set backs lately? Well the Americans are going to end up with a totally stacked Supreme Court and Trump for life if they don’t get their arses in gear!

  7. Phil 7

    It's 4.20pm NZT and the first caucus results are dribbling in. At this stage, Mayor Pete is on for a very good night and may take win over Bernie. Joe Biden looking very vulnerable (please let this continue!) and in a fight with Klobuchar for 4th place (!!!) with Warren clear in 3rd.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    ""We are on paper in many cases," not the app, as was planned, said one Iowa Democrat. "The whole system largely broke."" https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/iowa-caucus-2020-election-live/

    “Des Moines County Chair Tom Courtney tells @ajjaffe that technology issues appear to be contributing to the delay. Courtney says in his county, an app created for reporting results was “a mess.””

    "Polk County precinct chairs are being advised to take pictures of the results and text them over to the Polk County executive director, who is driving them to the HQ, according to a Democratic operative familiar with the situation".

    Dunno about driving the results in. To be genuinely retro, they ought to do it on horseback. 🙄

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Darn, just as Bernie had his nose in front in very early voting on NY Times coverage, the land of the free manages to mangle vote counting again…

  10. Macro 10
    • A refresher on how caucusing in Iowa works : Iowa Democrats gather at 1,678 precinct locations around the state (gyms, churches, homes, etc.), and sort themselves into groups based on which candidates they support. Officials at the caucus sites tally up the people in these initial formations, and groups that comprise at least 15 percent of all participants at those sites become “locked in” to support their candidates, who are then deemed “viable.”
    • If voters’ first-choice candidates aren’t viable, they can either choose new candidates to support, try to lure other voters from non-viable groups into their camps, or trudge home listening to sad Charlie Brown music. Officials then count everyone again, use the final vote total to assign each viable candidate a certain number of county delegates, and then plug those numbers into a mathematical formula to estimate their “state delegate equivalents”—how many delegates each candidate will get at the Iowa state convention. The simplest process imaginable.
    • This simplest-imaginable process is slightly different than it has been at previous caucuses . Iowans will only be counted in two “rounds” this year, and supporters of viable candidates can no longer change their minds, which should cut down on chaos during the process. Another major change is that instead of just announcing the final delegate results, the party will also be reporting the results of both alignment rounds. This should significantly increase chaos afterthe process, as campaigns scramble to spin whatever victories they can from three sets of results.
  11. Dennis Frank 11

    It's starting to look like the Iowa Dems are on a crash & burn mission: "Biden general counsel writes to Iowa Democratic Party about “considerable flaws” in caucus reporting system." https://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/iowa-caucus-2020-election-live/

    Not just the app crashing. "The party's back-up telephone reporting system likewise has failed." I copied that from a screen shot of the Biden gc letter. You can imagine voters stateside thinking "Jeez, if they can't even run their own caucuses properly, why would anyone trust them to run the country??" No wonder Biden is spooked. He must be hopping mad!!

  12. mike 12

    when burn looses everyone here will decide that the breakdown in counting was engineered to let the 'liberals' figure out a way of gerrymandering it.

    those freaked out on a belief that their own ideas are never to blame for their losses have populated the political landscape since time immemorial. they cling to their 'holier-than-thou’ blinkers tenaciously even when they lose lose lose. everyone’s to blame but them. Of course they can ride some violent wave that carries them in. in which case mothers and fathers need to coral their babies because horrifying dictatorship is sure to follow.

  13. Chris T 13

    I have serious doubts the US are going to vote a guy in who will be nearly 84 when his term finishes.

    None of my biz' though.

    Be pushing it to not need a walker, given the standing up the Prez needs to do.

    • McFlock 13.1

      Walkers? Done before.

      Between FDR's polio and whatever dolt45's malfunction is, I go with FDR.

      Yesterday, December 7th, a day we remember bigly, Emperor Hightoe, tremendous guy, very nice, made Trump Pearl Harbour the biggest in Hawaii by bombing the plane holders, ugly buildings, what sort of plane can't handle rain, very deadly things, the generals came to me and said, they said to me "this means war", so sad, they don't get it, I phoned Hightoe and said to him "you're a smart guy, I'm a smart guy, let's do a deal", so he's promised to investigate the wrongdoings of Hunter Biden over there, very bad things, I don't know what's going on but there must be something trmendous if they're looking into it, right, …

    • Muttonbird 13.2

      How horribly ageist of you. Do you think your dear old parents are good for nothing also?

    • Cinny 13.3

      If it were a problem, then why are the youth overwhelmingly supporting him?

  14. Sanctuary 14

    America, the world’s greatest democracy that cannot even organise a local election.

    • Andre 14.1

      That's at least partly because organising the elections is specifically devolved to the locals, rather than coordinated at a national level.

  15. adam 15

    I see the usual players from the liberal left are being the best arseholes they can be on this tread. Concern trolling and getting their blame on.

    Must be hard for the hard core supporters of liberalism to realise they are actually wrong, and their woke blame game shitfuckery and the russians stick is just not working. But at least you have the war criminal h.r.c – to worship.

    Just look at the exit polls Bill put up, I've seen a few more. All have Bernie winning and Buttegeig second. Any other result will be a lie.

    • Bill 15.1

      I watched a fair bit of Status Coup reporting live from the Sanders' campaign hall.

      He interviewed a wide range of Sanders people "passing by" and it's pretty clear from his straw polling that Sanders did really well. There was some really odd shit reportedly going on with assigning delegates though – like, people didn't know the "rules" (or were "at it"?)

      • adam 15.1.1

        I flicked over to him too.

        Was good to see the range of people he was interviewing. Was hooked on Laura Flanders -the link to her has gone down but it was a really good watch.

        Again diverse with some cool stuff – she covered the first sign language caucus. Loads of disabled participating, oh and a caucus in a mosque – another first.

        The other good thing is the Bernie camp was happy to talk to her.

        In a couple of instance is was interesting to see the Bernie camp and the Biden camp working together to make sure votes were being counted correctly. Some Biden supporters were suggesting the counts were off in relation to exit polls and pre caucus polling.

  16. Bill 16

    Jesus wept.

    In addition to the update I added to the post…

    So people had been asking who developed the app used in Iowa and the Democratic Party wouldn't say, citing "security" as a reason for secrecy.

    Well, Lee Fang who's a reporter for the Intercept is reporting that three different sources are saying the app that was used was developed by a company called Shadow who have obvious ties to the DNC and that part of their funding for the app came from Pete Buttigieg's campaign.

    • Bill 16.1

      I hate trying to embed twitter feeds, so I'll cut and paste and link below.

      Three different sources say a firm called "Shadow" developed the Iowa Dem caucus app. They haven't responded to comment, neither has Iowa Dem Party. The firm was paid by both Nevada & Iowa Democratic Party, disclosures show. Also by Mayor Pete's campaign

      &

      Replying to

      @lhfang

      So, Pete was in the #StopSanders mtg with DNC heads, Pete's complaint stopped the Des Moines Register poll from coming out the day before the caucus and Pete funded the app that prevented the caucus results from being reported? #MayorPete looking pretty shady.

      Sooo. Bernie Sanders peeps denied victory celebrations and msm get to discount the Iowa result as dodgy and so not really a boost for Sanders. Of course, on the other side of the coin is the very healthy social media in the USA that enjoys a lot of penetration. 😉

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    "David Yepsen, the host of “Iowa Press” on Iowa Public Television, offered a short obituary to the the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses after tonight’s results debacle." https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2020/feb/03/iowa-caucuses-latest-live-news-democrats-bernie-sanders-joe-biden-elizabeth-warren-buttigieg-updates?page=with:block-5e38feca8f086a28115a5197#block-5e38feca8f086a28115a5197

    The guy must be pretty sharp: he predicted the shambles last year! "Sorry I was right. RIP caucuses." Tweeter Dave Wasserman testifies: "My hat’s off to the dean of IA political journalists, @DavidYepsen, who presciently predicted when we were teaching at @UChiPolitics last spring that Dems’ new bells and whistles would create a results reporting mess."

  18. Ad 18

    Maybe the next one.

    (Actual quote from every hard left US activist since … FDR)

    • adam 18.1

      So you're no longer a social democrate Ad?

      Now you going to admit you are a left liberal, devoted to liberalism over social democracy?

      Because that is all I can take from your snide comment.

      Oh and Bernie has won – so what is the issue with you then?

  19. Cinny 19

    Have I got this correct please?

    It's a new system as all candidates results were to be released instead of just the front runners, which hasn't happened before.

    As well the counts are determined by paper, app and photos. Currently those three set's of data aren't matching up, so they are double checking.

    • McFlock 19.1

      Sort of, from what I gather.

      Basically, the counts are fine at each caucus meeting (e.g. the local school hall).

      There was an app to collate all the results centrally. That shat itself.

      There was a backup telephone reporting system. That got overloaded.

      Some caucus chairs resorted to hand-delivering the results, with at least one deliverer beginning the drive before the results were in and receiving a pxt of the result form en route.

      So now they have three different modes of result delivery, and they have to collate the results so there are no double counts and all results are verified.

      That's the problem as I understand it: the collection of votes at a local level is fine and robust, it was the centralised collation that spat the dummy. So it's a case of letting the dust settle and then sorting it all out properly.

  20. Sanctuary 20

    Worth remembering the United States supported a coup on Bolivia because of "irregularities" in the election there.

  21. Sanctuary 21

    What an utter disaster for the Democrats, and in particular the DNC – who, like the anti-Corbyn UK PLP, make their main claim to centrist legitimacy on the basis of administrative competence and "electability."

    Well, they've utterly flubbed the first and most simple of tests of their competence with a piece of scandalous incompetence that undermines the authority of DNC.

    Apparently the software designed for uploading results – a phone app – was developed in haste, in secret, not tested properly, and by a company that was founded by ex-Clinton aides who are actively hostile to the likes of Bernie Sanders and known supportes of Pete Buttigieg. I have seen rumours that in at least one case a caucus chair refused to use the app after the app flicked 200 votes to Pete Buttigieg when the chair knew no one had voted for him. Just a rumour, but a flavour of what sort of atmosphere of distrust this disaster is feeding.

    https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/04/a-voting-app-by-shadow-inc-takes-center-stage-at-chaotic-iowa-caucuses/

    What a fucking shit show of bumbling incompetence, a needless "solution" looking for a problem and jaw dropping stupidity.

    Worse, the same app is apparently going to be used in Nevada (update – Nevada has ditched it) – and in California, the entire voting process is being done via an app – an app that has candidates on multiple pages where it is not clear how to navigate to those pages. And you guessed it, "B" for Buttigieg is on page one, "S" for Sanders is on page three.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why the US as a whole insists on relying of software for voting when their election officials have a track record of utter incompetence in the area.

  22. Andre 22

    Some commenters here appear to be blaming the DNC for the Iowa debacle. This is inappropriate. Everything to do with the Iowa caucuses is handled at the state level, not the national level.

    It's a good illustration of a downside of devolving responsibility down to a local level. Multiple local systems each coming up with their own different systems increases the likelihood of one or more of the multiple different systems screwing up badly.

    • Sanctuary 22.1

      However, the app was created by a company engaged by the DNC specifically due to rule changes made by the DNC.

      The company is literally called Shadow. I mean, WTF were they thinking?

      The CEO and other founders of Shadow are ex-Clinton aides with an extensive online record of heavily attacking Sanders.

      The husband of the CEO is a senior member of Pete Buttigieg's team

      Buttigieg's campaign has paid money to Shadow.

      None of these things have anything to do with the devolution of responsibility.

      • Anne 22.1.1

        Gotta side with Sanctuary here. Utter effing incompetency with a dash of covert prejudice thrown in. That's the way it looks to me.

        God Almighty what can you say about America these days? An incompetent president, incompetent administration, incompetent officials at the highest and lowest levels, incompetent software merchants, incompetence everywhere.

        Set aside the trade talks with the Yanks until the country has learnt how to be big boys and girls again.

      • Tiger Mountain 22.1.2

        There may be no DNC fix whatsoever, maybe as anne says “covert prejudice” on behalf of Mr Buttgieg and supporters, but make no mistake, the DNC wants to sink the Sanders campaign. Mayor Pete maybe put money into the software because he is wealthy and wanted to do the local Democrats a favour.

        It looked off though that the scheduled weekend Des Moines Register poll was pulled from publication due to Buttgieg one way or another. And his early declaration of victory in Iowa when the tabulation had basically been placed in crisis check mode. The early screenshots I took from NY Times showed Sanders clearly in front and Buttgieg in third.

        But whatever, chill time perhaps “instant news gratification” and 24hr max attention spans are the plague of our time.

        • Sanctuary 22.1.2.1

          I agree, I mean at some point incompetence and corruption can become indistinguishable.

  23. Macro 23

    The Borowitz Report is in:

    Florida Offers to Help Iowa Count Votes

    TALLAHASSEE, Florida (The Borowitz Report)—Calling the delay in the release of the Iowa caucus results “a threat to democracy,” the state of Florida has offered to help Iowa with the vote-counting process.

    Harland Dorrinson, a spokesman for Florida’s official electoral commission, said on Tuesday morning that “Florida stands ready and willing to restore credibility to Iowa’s vote-tabulation procedures.”

    Dorrinson added that Katherine Harris, Florida’s former secretary of state, was eager to “roll up her sleeves and clean up Iowa’s mess.”

    “Just say the word, Iowa, and Katherine Harris will be on the next plane out,” he said.

    For their part, Iowa Democratic Party officials said that they were already making great progress in counting the caucus results, and that early returns indicated that a white person had won.

  24. Billy 24

    love it. yes

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