And these people want to run the country?

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Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price walks off stage after speaking about the delay in Iowa caucus results, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

These are the people who want to run our lives. That’s the first thing that popped into my head Monday night when it became obvious that the Democrats in Iowa had flubbed the Iowa Caucuses.

A bit about the Iowa Caucuses. It’s a single evening of what has been described as “gatherings of neighbors” in each of the nearly 1,700 voting precincts in Iowa. The meetings take place in gymnasiums, school libraries, church social halls and private living rooms. As the Iowa Caucuses has for decades marked the first event of a presidential election year at which convention delegates will be chosen, the evening draws media attention greatly out of proportion to Iowa’s electoral stature.

It’s hard to overstate how badly the Democrats wanted and needed to get this right. Iowa marks the kickoff to primary season. Many times, the candidate who starts strong in Iowa capitalizes on the intense media coverage and goes into New Hampshire and the subsequent state primaries with momentum.

That won’t be happening this time.

Whether it winds up being Pete Buttigieg or Bernie Sanders on top in Iowa – at this writing it’s still not entirely clear which – all of the media coverage centered on the fact that the Iowa Democratic Party couldn’t count votes. A “coding error,” they said. A new app that failed. “What coding error?,” you have to ask. “What app?”

The quadrennial Iowa “gatherings of neighbors” are about as low-tech as you can get. Quaint actually. The average caucus site in Iowa’s 1,681 precincts draws about a hundred caucus-goers. The tally for each precinct should take about 15 minutes. Calling those results into party headquarters in Des Moines should take about ten minutes more.

Yet the Democrats couldn’t manage it.

The entirety of the fiasco Monday night in Iowa is an allegory on the Democratic Party’s impulse toward top-down command and control for the benefit of party insiders. The app that failed so spectacularly was created and sold by a company named Shadow, Inc. Its founder is a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer. Shadow, Inc. is part of a complex web of companies and non-profits all linked to an organization called Acronym. Acronym, on its website, says its mission is to, “…build political power for the progressive movement by developing affordable and easy-to-use tools.”

Easy to use tools? Who needs a tool to count a hundred votes? Does Shadow offer a tool for screwing in light bulbs?

These are the people who maintain that they are uniquely qualified to take the reins of an ever-expanding national government in order to control every aspect of our lives down to when and under what circumstances we see our doctors. They want to run an $18 trillion economy of 330 million people spanning an entire continent but they can’t count the same number of votes as would be cast in a primary in Travis County, Texas.

Democrats know that Iowa was a disaster. But as to the irony it revealed, they are utterly blind.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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11 Responses

  1. Jim B says:

    C’mon Paul, you’re being a little tough on Shadow, Inc. Let’s give them another chance. They should develop an app for Democratic Party fundraising, tracking Democratic Party supporters, organizing Democratic Party campaign events….there’s any number of opportunities here!

  2. Robert J. Martin, says:

    Look how far they have come from counting the chads in Florida to can’t count in Iowa.

  3. C M Solomon says:

    Paul: When have Democrats ever cared about solid, rational, results or achievements for which they can tout their competency? It’s their good INTENTIONS that matter in the irrational world that they expect us to accept. Remember, never criticize their good intentions – they tried, didn’t they?

  4. Typicality, it’s The Right accusing The Left of “fly-over state” put-downs; but your critique of the Iowa process is warranted. And I agree with your characterization of this Norman Rockwell scene as “quaint.”

    But because Electoral rather than Popular votes choise our president, Iowa is no-less-America than Texas. The Caucus has simply been hyped beyond its consequence. If you don’t believe me, ask President Huckabee or President Santorum or any Dem’ who “won” Iowa then fizzled.

    It’s clear that overdone Caucus cable news coverage is for-the-purpose-of creating commercial inventory for corporate media. By Election Day the cacophony has tuned-out many voters, who “stay home.” It’s enough to make ya Howard-Dean-scream.

    Before 1976, the Iowa Caucus got a chuckle from Walter Cronkite. New Hampshire was the opening gun. But in ‘76 “Jimmy Who?” accomplished what Mayor Pete just did: leveraging a world-class ground game into out-of-nowhere momentum. Pole Position for Granite Staters.

    Lesson-learned from the Iowa app debacle — modern-day hanging chads — which you ascribe to Democrats, but could’ve equally-embarrassed a crowded Republican field: PAPER BALLOTS, a phrase I’ve seen on bumper stickers long before this week’s Iowa misfire.

  5. Ron Eagleman says:

    The inept Iowa Democratic caucus chaos is simply another example of why these arrogant self-appointed experts should never be allowed to manage anything beyond community organizing. Does anyone remember the much anticipated introduction of the Affordable Health Care Act enrollment? It was a very expensive and time consuming misrepresentation of what BHO and his administration promised the eager ears of Americans. Additionally, it is impossible to accept the sad state of living conditions in Democrat controlled cities as coincidence; these atrocious and dangerous conditions are the result of incompetence sprinkled with a generous amount of corruption. The current Democrats bear no resemblance to the Democratic party that existed only 50 years ago; this once-great party has now devolved into the Socialist model that has devastated every country where it has been instituted. I would be willing to bet that those Venezuelans who are chasing garbage trucks for the next meal are wondering what happened to the beautiful country that their grandparents enjoyed. Socialism is very easy to sell; who doesn’t like Santa Claus? However, most of us became adults, and now realize that all those free toys that are being promised do not come down the chimney.

    • As Gene Hackman’s character whispered in “Birdcage:”

      “That’s JUST what Rush Limbaugh said.”

    • C M Solomon says:

      Ron, you could not be more correct! Everywhere else in life, adults are judged by results: both accomplishments, and failures. Those wanting to gain a good reputation for their skills in any other field except politics, depend on this. Until the Democrats (Marxists among us) take responsibility for their major part of the destruction of American societies (communities, cities, states, etc.), this ideological war in favor of a Liberty (Constitutional) based country will never cease (until there is a clear winner). God forbid if the battle is lost to the international Marxists and their utopian justification for what we call “Tyranny”.

  6. Ron Eagleman says:

    I do not know if Rush said that, but if he did, I would feel that it was on target. However, the response is exactly what you would “typicality” expect from a Liberal; but wouldn’t it be great if the American voters would “choice” another Jimmy Carter? Jimmy “Who” has to be the most grateful person in the U.S., as he is no longer the most inept president in history. That honor is duly earned and belongs to our previous president.

  7. Michael Reagan says:

    One only has to look as far as what is happening in the states of California, Illinois, and New York. For fun lets toss in the major cities across the nation with a history of being run by democrats. All are failures, under water financially, suffocating gun laws that have resulted in insufferable murder rates and violent crime, and literally no hope. How’s that “Hope and Change” working for you all?

    Bad aspect of these disasters is the number of people fleeing those states and coming to Texas. Not real sure how that is going to work out for us in the future. My experience with many of these people in my past jobs has left me suspicious of their intensions to support the Texas way of life. Right now I am not confident of this exodus and unintended consequences on our wonderful State!

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