That is a silly question. Of course, Iowa is ready for democracy . . . it is just not ready to actually use it in real time. Once again, the nation is held hostage to a system that makes one long for a good speedy election from the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly. Putting aside the question as to whether Iowa should be the first critical measure of the national election, the caucus system makes as much sense as selecting candidates by counting spontaneous flash mobs. It is clearly time to end the Iowa caucuses in favor of a system this side of the seventh century. I stayed up to around 11 and then threw in the towel. Many have call justice delayed justice denied. I just call it Iowa.
The blame is being put on a serious coding error in the App developed by a company called Shadow, which started out as Groundbase, co-founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, who worked for the tech team on Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination. This politically connected firm also secured a contract with Nevada which was planning to use the same App in two weeks.
For the Sanders people, the problems seemed all too suspicious from 2016 when they accused Clinton allies who dominated the process irregularities and delays. The delay robbed non-establishment candidates like Sanders from holding valuable prime time events claiming momentum. Worse yet, Sanders campaign officials insist that the figures showed them winning, but that suddenly reports surfaced of Biden doing better than most polling. Even CNN, which has been widely criticized for its anti-Sanders coverage, reported that one polling site had to be moved to a larger space to accommodate the huge surge of Sanders supporters. This follows the spiking of the leading traditional poll on the night before the elections, a poll that some claimed showed a surge of the non-establishment candidates challenging Biden. With an electorate reportedly focused on electability, the loss of the poll was viewed as a blow to challengers like Sanders and Warren. Moreover, Sanders was counting on a fundraising boost with the victory on Monday night. The Iowa Democratic Party gutted that key money pull with this bizarre failure. It clearly benefited Biden and hurt Sanders — a failure and suspicious situation for Sanders supporters.
The candidates were forced to go to New Hampshire without results. Zero results. Pete Buttigieg declared victory, sort of, while Sanders’ campaign continued to maintain that their data shows a victory. The Biden campaign is already complaining of “acute failures” in the system — an attack that could be used to question the results. Biden advisers like Symone Sanders were on the air this morning questioning any results, so the failure of the Iowa Democratic Party may allow Biden to question whether he actually lost in the state (the very suspicion raised by the Sanders campaign). Symone Sanders is already calling the result “compromised.” The only ones not talking are Democratic Party officials.
The Iowa Democratic Party announced that it would have to release results on Tuesday — leaving the candidates, campaigns, and media in a “dressed up and no where to go” predicament. Panels of the experts eventually filled in their time by discussing the lunacy of the Iowa caucuses and the continued incompetence of election officials. In the meantime, the usual stories of chaos and coin flips filtered out of the state. What should also worry the DNC is the decline in first time participants. It was hoped that the race would generate more excitement and a sharp rise in participation.
The Democratic Party said that there were “inconsistencies,” an ironic explanation since the caucus system itself is one giant inconsistency with the logical approach of virtually every other state. Some blamed the App. Some blamed Des Moines. Some blamed the Democratic establishment. I blame the caucuses.
The Framers rejected pure democracies found in the ancient Greek city-states as inherently chaotic and unstable. Iowa makes ancient Greece look like the model of efficiency.