At least on the Democatic side, last night’s Iowa caucus was an amazing clusterfuck.
For reasons that still aren’t clear but which are being blamed on failure of the new, heavily hyped app that was supposed to make voting easier and more transparent, a total of zero votes have been officially counted in Iowa. That’s as of this morning. Zero votes have been released. Zero delegates have been awarded. Buttigieg gave a strange speech last night in which he said that anecdotal evidence led him to believe that his campaign had won Iowa. The campaigns have little choice but to move on to New Hampshire while the Iowa results are still up in the air.
- This is the latest example of people automatically assuming that the answer to every issue is new technology. People of a certain age put too much trust in the idea that there’s an app for everything. Sometimes, the old ways — like writing down a name on a piece of paper and then letting someone else count the results and announce the vote totals — are still the best way.
- The rest of the country is having a good laugh at Iowa’s expense right now but I feel sorry for the volunteers who sacrificed the last few months of their life to work in Iowa and I feel bad for everyone who went to the not-inconsiderable trouble to attend a Democratic caucus last night. This morning, they’re essentially being told that all of their efforts were pointless.
It’s time to reconsider not only the caucus system but why we allow two states to have such an outsized role in our presidential selection process. Reform needs to happen but it probably won’t.
For now, everyone’s just waiting to see who supposedly won last night. I say supposedly because, after all this, no one but the declared winner is going to accept the totals as being accurate.