Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Caucus Chaos Confounds and Confuses

Caucus Chaos Confounds and Confuses
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 4, 2020

One day following a marvelous Super Bowl LIV won by the Kansas City Chiefs, the State of Iowa Democrat Party fumbled the ball in their own endzone.

To paraphrase Dorothy, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas City anymore!” While the Chiefs played an almost flawless fourth quarter to overcome a 10 point deficit and handily defeat the San Francisco 49ers, the fourth quarter in Iowa resembled a clown convention. And let’s face it, the Democrats have more than their fair share of clowns to offer the United States in this election cycle.

After almost two years of literally dozens of presidential hopefuls, also-rans, and general wanna-bes barnstorming the Hawkeye State, the Iowa Caucuses held on Monday, February 3 ended with a giant thud, a veritable stink bomb reeking of incompetence and failure as nary a result could be discerned as of 5 PM on Tuesday, February 4. This just hours before President Donald Trump takes to the lectern in the House of Representatives to deliver what will undoubtedly be a State of the Union address complete with bravado and highlights of the myriad successes enjoyed by both his administration, and more importantly, the country - a complete juxtaposition of the Iowa dismal debacle.

While the losers are many, the winners are few - even before the results are announced. President Trump, to be sure, is a big winner, both in Iowa as well as nationally. He not only won his caucuses - yes, the GOP in Iowa held their own caucuses as per what is right, after all, quiet as it’s kept, he does have a couple of primary challengers. Joe Walsh - no not the singer - is a former Illinois Congressman, and Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor and 2016 Libertarian vice presidential candidate are taking on Trump in an almost impossible task - convincing fellow Republicans that Trump is doing a poor job. The Democrats can’t even do that. Trump won nationally as his campaign rallies continue to reach overflowing arenas from Wildwood, New Jersey, to Des Moines, Iowa on the eve of the Iowa caucus.

There is another winner, and that is someone who may not have set one foot in Iowa - Michael Bloomberg. The former mayor of New York City, who is self-funding his campaign, entered the race late, all but ignored Iowa and New Hampshire, and is banking on Super Tuesday. (How did that strategy work out for President Rudy Giuliani?) Bloomberg may also win in a way other former candidates could not. Seems the DNC is seriously considering changing their own rules to accommodate Bloomberg for the upcoming debate in Nevada. Because he is self-funding, Bloomberg is not able to comply with the number of contributors rule to reach the debate stage. Yet, the DNC, who snubbed former candidates Julian Castro, former HUD Secretary under Barack Obama, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, is likely to change rules mid-race because there is a strong and growing fear that Socialist candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (NH) could very conceivably win the Democrat nomination without actually being a registered Democrat, although he caucuses with the Senate Democrats. Once again, as in 2016, the DNC is playing fast and loose with their own rules to screw over Sanders, knowing such an extremist would be beaten like a drum by Trump come November.

Aside from Booker and Castro, the other Iowa losers are, first and foremost, the voters themselves. They waited all day, hell, four years to cast their caucus votes, stayed in locked down church basements, school cafeterias, fire houses, etc. to do their civic duty, only to be told “We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by,” as we used to hear on television in the dark ages prior to cable. And stand by they have - through the dead of night, into the wee hours of the morning, through lunch, and still no results. Adding insult to injury, the Iowa Democrats announced that by 5 PM EST, they would announce partial results, dragging this facade on for what seems interminably. Twenty-four hours after the doors closed in 1,678 precincts, and 38 percent of the vote is still outstanding.

The Democrat Party is a huge loser, with not just egg on its collective faces, but a giant omelet. If they can’t run a simple caucus, one in which they had four years to prepare, how in the world can the American people expect the representatives of this beleaguered party to run the nation’s healthcare? The nation’s public school system, already a dismal failure? The nation’s border security and the illegal immigration crisis?

Another loser in the dumpster fire that is Iowa - the actual winner of the caucus. He or she will not have the caucus bounce achieved when giving the live, more or less, spontaneous victory speech. It will be akin to a team winning a championship in the dead of night when the audience consists of shut-ins and the families of the candidates. It completely loses its allure and level of excitement that it would achieve in prime time.

Last and least, to the Democrat candidates: to Senator Michael Bennet (CO), Vice President Joe Biden (DE), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (IN), US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI), Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Tom Steyer (CA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Andrew Yang (NY). To them go the useless Participation Trophies - which seems fitting as theirs is the party of such beliefs. On to New Hampshire for more of the same?

Here is a February 6 update: The results still are not complete - about 90 percent. Now it seems DNC Chair Tom Perez wants a virtual do-over - he's hearing Bernie's footsteps! When you get in bed with Socialists...

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He has been politically active for 40 years.

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