The Iowa caucus is…to use a military term, FUBAR. The optics are terrible. The company that made the software that failed is called Shadow. The Pete Buttigieg campaign has some ties to it. However, there are more links to centrist political action committees. It is part of the effort to build infrastructure. However, the optics are bad.
From filings with the Federal Elections Commission, Democratic presidential candidates using Shadow include Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (who dropped out last fall). The Texas Democratic Party is also a customer, as is Super PAC For Our Future, which plans to spend $90 million targeting swing states for Democratic candidates.
In the hours and days to come, we will certainly see forensic efforts to understand just what went wrong, and what role Shadow played. But in the initial aftermath, the Democratic Party’s efforts to demonstrate its digital house is in order seem the first big casualty of Monday’s voting misfire
Nevada is also using the same app. The campaigns are also using this app. And the app is showing some issues. In fact, it was developed to help political teams build on what they have, including secure peer to peer communications.
Of course, at this point, the app may go in life support, since it’s at the heart of the mess. Given that Nevada already said they will not use it, the process of ditching it has begun.
Should we just blame the app? Not just no, but’ this is a resounding no. It is Iowa, and it is the caucus system. The state has proven once again that they distort races, and that they can’t handle it. Moreover, a mostly white, older, the non-diverse state has too much influence in the process. It is time for the country to move away from this system. If the state insists in holding antiquated caucuses, they should not have the outsized influence they do in the nominating process. Any state that still holds them should not have a major role.
More diverse populous states, with electoral systems that have at least joined the 19th century should be first. Or plain out, move to a national single Election Day for primaries. This would allow us to shorten the process as well. This is a serious discussion that needs to happen. However, I suspect that like every four years, we will promptly forget. Why? We have a short memory.
There are also a lot of interests in both party elites that benefit from the current system. They also rely on the country forgetting.
The Conspiracies Rise
Today is a good day to buy tinfoil. It’s not that Bernie Sanders supporters are paranoid. Those of us who followed the 2016 fun and games know precisely what happened. I also understand the distrust of the party. The other side of the equation is the party elite, still run by neoliberals who fear the left flank surge.
First, this is a debacle for the Democratic Party. There is no other way to describe this. A day after, with the app failing, conspiracies are flying. I have no problem with taking the time to make sure the numbers are correct. But at this point, it’s beyond that. Buttigieg has claimed victory. This is the classic od getting momentum. What the actual results are will not matter in a day or two. While that may be good tactics, it adds to the conspiracy theories.
Joe Biden is already officially asking questions. Why? Well, he likely did not do well.
Bernie Sanders releases some numbers. He also declared victory and moved on.
While the candidates and the campaigns are pissed, the tinfoil is getting deep. This is why social media is full of anger, piss, and vinegar. It matters little what campaign you are talking about, though in my circle the Sanders supporters are the worst. Ironically they are closely followed by the Biden team, who is questioning the process. What is happening is that people do not trust the process. It is that simple.
Some resignations could help to restore some legitimacy. However, this is deeper. In fact, this could be a problem in the general election. The Trump team is the clear winner here. Why? They have now the beginnings of the argument as to why the general election will be a problem. This is especially the case if the general election is close in the usual places. This I suspect is not something the people on multiple camps spreading the tinfoil understand. The Trump team is the winner.
And as usual…Democrats managed to shoot themselves in the foot.