February 9, 2020 By Clarice Feldman
Eleven years ago, the writer Michael Walsh wrote (under his penname David Kahane) “Think of the Democratic Party as it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.”
After the Democrats’ Russia, Kavanaugh, Mueller, and Ukraine fiascos, the Iowa caucus debacle, and Friday’s bizarre Democratic debate, I think we need to update it: It’s a Criminal, Insane Posse masquerading as a political party.
The week began with an outstanding, uplifting, and inspiring State of the Union address by the President before a joint Congress. Among the House delegates were a gaggle of Democratic congresswomen dressed in white who insist they are strong, independent, capable, and worthy to lead. They stood, clapped, or sat in unison at signals from Speaker Pelosi who sat behind the President, mouthing words to some imaginary friend and moving her mouth reminiscent of someone on psychotropic drugs. (Message: I am woman — hear me meow chasing the laser red dot.) At the conclusion of the speech she stood and ripped up her copy of the SOTU address in small packets either because she lacked strength to rip it all in one batch or for dramatic effect. To say the Democrats’ behavior was disconsonant with any message of sober adult solons is to understate it.
The following day, the Senate voted down the House’s absurd impeachment effort, after which the President gave a heartfelt address to all those in the House and Senate who had helped him in exposing the fact-free, corrupt House effort to overturn the 2016 election by ousting him from office. If you missed it, here’s a video of it. He was gracious and thankful to all those who stood by him, something Republicans are not known to do as soon as Democrats hurl charges, no matter how patently flimsy and partisan those charges are. For once, Republicans didn’t flee the forum for fear of spotting their white togas when the jackals appeared. (I suppose when much of the media described the address the address as “dark,” they meant the pushover Republican days were over for them and their party of choice.)
The App that Failed
And then there was the Iowa Caucus, the results of which are unclear — did Sanders or Buttigieg win? Will the DNC chair who is about to leave that slot with a big bonus persuade Iowa to recanvas or will they give him the back of their hand? Only the Shadow apparently knows… Although it is clear that Warren and Biden lost.
Over at the Wall Street Journal, James Freeman explains the genesis of the App that failed. “Veterans of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign” who for some reason were considered “gurus at this sort of thing“ created the app. (Professor Kevin Gutzman reminds us: ”Robbie Mook, the Hillary staffer who laughed at Bill Clinton when he said Hillary needed to go to Michigan and Wisconsin in the 2016 campaign’s final days, is the fellow responsible for the app that didn’t work in Iowa.”)
Their outfit, Shadow, in turn was supported by a firm called Acronym, Acronym is a “non-profit” run by Tara McGowan, continues Freeman. Certainly not by coincidence, McGowan “oversaw the $42 million digital program in 2016 for Priorities USA, the primary super PAC for Hillary Clinton.” Among the hotshot coders Shadow engaged “was a prep cook for Starbucks.”
Why was Shadow hired to do this? Connections.
David Burge, Iowahawk, tweeted the contract chain:
Keep in mind whenever you donate to a political party or movement, this is where your money goes — to make sure Senator McDreamy’s nephew’s roommate gets his piece of the take
I know there are Bernians who see the app as a Machiavellian technoplot to fix the vote, but the truth is much more likely a bunch of Hillary campaign wunderkinds decided to cosplay as a Silicon Valley startup, and everybody was afraid to say they were in way over their heads
Where you come from, the software salesman isn’t your boss who says you better damn well buy it if you know what’s good for you.
Vice, like Iowahawk seems to think that the coders were working off an App Coding for Dummies book.
It’s not clear that this simple and likely explanation for the app that failed will persuade Sanders’ followers. After all, he was cheated in 2016 and the people whose app seem to have cheated him out of a clear victory in Iowa and momentum going on to New Hampshire were intimately connected to Hillary Clinton.
Of course, you can ignore the app’s factual genesis and look elsewhere for blame. Sheila Jackson Lee, B.A. Yale JD U Va, whose gerrymandered district looks like a gaping shark’s mouth, suggested that Russia was responsible for the crashing App in Iowa.
Rachel Maddow blamed the weird message board 4 Chan.
As for me — I’m sticking with graft and incompetence, the usual Democratic Party’s operational mode.
Professor Charles Lipson explains why the Sanders supporters have reason to doubt the fairness of their opposition in the Democratic establishment:
The Democrats’ nominating process increases the likelihood of a contested convention — and a nasty fight with Bernie and his supporters. The party discarded the traditional, Anglo-American system, where each state’s winner receives all its delegates. Instead, they chose a European-style system in which each candidate wins a fraction of the delegates proportional to his share of the vote. The Anglo-American system produces clear winners and losers. The European system doesn’t. It includes all factions in Parliament, where the leading party tries to assemble a governing coalition.
Democrats’ problem is that they are not trying to form an inclusive, coalition government. They are trying to pick a nominee, but they are doing it with a system that was never designed to produce a single, decisive winner. Oops.
If the convention is contested, elected delegates will be joined by “super delegates,” starting on the first or second ballot, depending on the convention rules. Who are these super delegates? They are quintessential insiders, mostly state and local elected officials. There is absolutely no way they will jeopardize their own fiefdoms by choosing Bernie or any other socialist.
Their refusal will produce a bitter clash if Bernie arrives in Milwaukee with millions of votes and millions of donors. If he actually holds a plurality of elected delegates and is passed over anyway, the fight will degenerate into trench warfare. Remember, Bernie knows this is his last rodeo, and he has zero loyalty to the party. Remember, too, that his default speaking style is “really angry,” interspersed with “damned mad.” If that’s how Bernie and his supporters leave the convention, it’s hard to see a Democratic path to victory.
The party’s best outcome would be for Bernie to lose decisively in both the primary vote and delegate count — so decisively that his followers believe the process was fair and the nominee legitimate. A bad outcome would be an inconclusive primary contest, where Bernie did well but lost at the convention.
Worst of all would be one where Bernie arrived with the most votes and delegates but fell short of a majority and came away empty-handed. He would blame party leaders and their back-room deals to benefit billionaires, corporations, and corrupt politicians. If that happens, the party will be in real trouble. Bernie will scream, Trump will exploit the divisions, and left-wing voters will spend November 3 in a purple haze, eating Ben and Jerry’s. What they won’t do is trudge to the polls and vote Democratic.
The Democratic “Debate”
I confess, by week’s end I lacked enough patience to watch the Democrats’ debate on Friday night, and contented myself with reading about it from trusted observers. The actor James Woods is back from a year-long jailing by Twitter, and bounced back having lost none of his acid wit:
“The #Democrats have cheated elections for so long, they can’t even elect themselves… #IowaCaucusDisaster
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) February 7, 2020”
Pete Buttigieg seems to have mastered the art of glibly speaking meaningless word salads (an Obama mode). So much that Sundance cleverly satirized him:
Sample Mayor Pete quote:
“The consequential moments that we face are moments of great consequence we must face; and when facing those moments we must think of the great consequence behind these faces or we will fail to be great…”
sarcastically: Yup. The consequential moments that we face are moments of great consequence we must face; and when facing those moments we must think of the great consequence behind these faces or we will fail to be great…
Stage crew looks around: “Huh, what the?..”
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) February 8, 2020
“If you take a step back and really think about what they’re saying in this debate it’s fricking bonkers stuff. Like really beyond crazy.’
“It used to be over-the-top parody to say that Democrats want free healthcare for illegal immigrants and felons to be voting from their cells it’s now a consensus position among their leading Presidential candidates.”
“Elizabeth Warren says we need “race-conscious laws.” Think about that. Isn’t that what we spent so long trying to make sure we didn’t have? #DemDebate”
Tom Maguire tweets:
“Physicists have theorized on the manner in which some stars collapse inward and then go super-nova. The Dem party may give us a lab experiment in 2020.”
Maybe so. Some viewing the weak field of Democratic contenders are placing their bets on another old White Male Hope — the latecomer, billionaire Michael Bloomberg. He spent $20 million in Iowa to garner 20 votes. If he seriously campaigns from now to the election, and maintains that spending pattern, I think he’d still lose but it would be a bigger boon for the economy, especially Democrat coders, consultants, pilots of private planes, and ad agencies, than any other stimulus package I can imagine. The press will love that, as well. Trump has proven that clever use of social media makes it unnecessary for a candidate with a saleable message to keep them alive by paying them a fortune for ads no one watches. But if Bloomberg thinks $1 million per vote is a great campaign plan, who would complain?