Tag Archives: Iowa caucus

Democrats have been pummeled over Iowa debacle

The Iowa Democratic Party has become the laughingstock of the U.S. political community.

Except the folks at the Democratic National Committee aren’t laughing. Neither are the rest of us out here who want the party to nominate someone who can defeat the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

An “app” malfunction at the Iowa caucus might have doomed the state’s goofy selection process, which to my mind isn’t a bad thing.

Except that it has taken most of a whole week to get the results. Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders finished virtually tied at the top of the Democratic heap. Can either of these fellows defeat Trump? Hmm. I have serious doubts.

The party’s electability mantra has hit a number of sour notes as a result of the caucus malfunction in Iowa.

Meanwhile, Trump is basking in that Senate acquittal at his impeachment trial; he is exacting revenge within the White House against those who testified before Congress; the POTUS gave that idiotic, but weirdly popular among his base, speech to the National Prayer Breakfast and then followed that up with an hour-long riff at the White House.

Democrats have some rebuilding to do. They need to establish a frontrunner. The back-of-the-pack candidates need to give up on their longshot effort. They damn sure need to scrap the caucus idea in Iowa and in other states and return to a nominating process that allows voters to cast their ballots in secret, just as they do when the general election rolls around.

I want someone to emerge soon from this mess as a probable nominee. I would prefer the candidate to be from the more “centrist” or “moderate” portion of the party. The Big Mo, though, appears to be generating on the far left wing of the Democratic Party, to which I offer a word of warning.

Think of 1972, when Democrats nominated a lefty to be president. Sen. George McGovern drew huge crowds. They cheered loudly. He filled himself with some sort of deluded hope that, by golly, he might have something significant to offer.

Then he lost 49 of 50 states.

Take great care, Democrats. Fix the political infrastructure and come to your senses.

Hoping the Iowa SNAFU deals caucus a mortal blow

I am old-fashioned guy when it comes to elections.

My strong preference is to allow people to walk into a voting booth, look at a ballot, then select the individual they want to win the contest, or the issue they want to see enacted.

Thus, it is my equally strong hope that the Iowa Democratic Party caucus system has been dealt a fatal blow with the SNAFU that has thrown the entire process into an uproar.

The caucus was supposed to send one of the Democrats off on a clearer path toward their party’s nomination. Then came that goofy “app” that malfunctioned. Iowa Democratic officials were unable to tabulate the results in anything close to a timely fashion.

As it turned out, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have ended up in a dead heat. They’ve gone on to New Hampshire, where Democratic voters will actually cast ballots in secret.

That’s how we ought to do this presidential nominating duty. We need to declare the winner to be the candidate who gets more votes than the others. In Iowa, they have this multi-faceted system that separates tabulations that determine delegate apportionment and actual votes. It makes me cross-eyed trying to sort it all out.

I don’t have any problem with Iowa being the state that kicks off the presidential campaign season. Hey, one of the 50 states needs to be the first to go. Isn’t that right? If not Iowa, then which state gets the nod? You see, that issue doesn’t matter to me.

What does matter is the way the first state should commence this important process. I get, too, that an actual primary election could result in a tie vote, that there are instances in which no candidates could emerge as clear winner.

If so, then all we have to worry about is how we ensure that the votes are counted accurately. The “app” mess isn’t in the picture.

I am hoping we can say “goodbye” to the caucus system that has shown itself in this election cycle in Iowa to be a monumental failure.

Keep it simple: Get rid of these caucuses!

I just have to say something without any equivocation.

This Iowa caucus kerfuffle, this SNAFU, the chaos and confusion, has my head spinning. I feel like the Linda Blair character in “The Exorcist.”

We need to return to a simpler, more straightforward way of selecting our presidential candidates. Let’s just rely on actual voters casting votes on actual ballots. Let’s also just do away with “apps” that have the potential of blowing this process to smithereens, which is what has happened in Iowa.

Iowa Democratic Party officials blame the blowup on a technical mistake. They have said throughout this mess that no one hacked into our system; no one sabotaged it; there has been apparently no “foreign interference.”

But get this: The Department of Homeland Security offered to run this app through its paces prior to the actual caucus, but the party bosses in Iowa declined! Bad call, Iowa Democrats.

Here’s yet another point to ponder. The Russians who interfered in our 2016 presidential election, then interfered in our 2018 midterm election and are ramping up their attack strategy for the 2020 election can take a measure of “credit” for sowing the seeds of mistrust, distrust and angst at our electoral system.

The screw-up in Iowa only feeds that uncertainty. Indeed, the anxiety is stuffing itself on the incompetence demonstrated by the Iowa Democratic Party.

I want to say it again, with passion: No more of these idiotic caucuses. Let us pick our presidential nominees with votes cast on ballots

OK, let’s say so long to the also-rans

Andrew Yang, it’s time to call it quits. Same for you, Michael Bennet. Oh, and Tom Steyer … you, too.

That’s three Democrats who need to step aside. It’s time for them to “suspend” their campaigns, which is a nice way of saying they should throw in the towel.

The Iowa caucus ended in a state of Donald Trump-like chaos and confusion. Virtually all of the still-large Democratic field had staked a claim in this madness. One of the Democrats stayed out of the caucus battle: Michael Bloomberg is taking aim at Super Tuesday, which includes Texas, on March 3.

But the field has got to narrow itself to a more manageable gaggle of contenders.

It’s now down to five individuals. That’s all right with me. They all bring certain levels of competence and creativity to this fight.

But as one pundit noted today, the Iowa caucus mess, coupled with Donald John Trump’s assured acquittal by the U.S. Senate, has resulted in the Democrats’ worst week so far of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Dust yourselves off, Democrats. You’ve got some work to do.

Democrats belong to the ‘inclusive’ political party, right? Well …

The Iowa caucus SNAFU is enough of a nightmare for the Democratic Party, given the app malfunction that has delayed final results from the caucuses across the state.

Then comes this tidbit that seems to shoot a hole in the notion that the Democratic Party is more a, um, inclusive major political organization.

It seems that a caucus-goer wanted to take back her vote for former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg when she learned that Mayor Pete is gay.

I guess she was unhappy hearing the news, allegedly for the first time. Now, I say “allegedly” because Buttigieg is openly gay. He is married to a fellow who’s shown up on campaign stages with the Democratic Party candidate from time to time.

Buttigieg doesn’t use his sexual orientation as a major campaign theme. He discusses other issues, such as, you know … climate change, ethics in government, war and peace, taxation, infrastructure improvement. These are issues that matter to all Americans.

The Iowa caucus-goer, though, sought to take her vote back because, I am going to presume, that she no longer thinks Mayor Pete is qualified to be president of the United States. Why? Because he is gay! That’s it.

My late mother had a saying that seems to fit this individual to the letter. Mom would say that someone is “so narrow-minded he could look through a keyhole … with both eyes.”

Democrats have just messed up an electoral process at the worst time

I guess you can say this about the Democratic Party: When they mess up an election, they do it in a big way, embarrassing themselves and dousing many millions of Americans watching from afar with a huge splash of ice water.

They had that long-awaited Iowa caucus Monday. Except that the system broke down. Democrats are blaming it on a computer “app” that went haywire. They’re unable to tabulate how the caucus-goers decided to support. As I write this blog at almost noon the next day, they still don’t know who finished where in the caucus donnybrook.

Yep, they blew this one!

It could not have possibly come at a worse time for Democrats,

They have fielded a lineup of competent challengers to Donald John Trump, the current U.S. president. Four of them serve in the U.S. Senate, which on Wednesday will vote on whether to acquit or convict the POTUS of high crimes and misdemeanors. They’re scrambling now to make sense of the mess that has been spilled all over them in the Hawkeye State.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is going to gloat. He’ll make that State of the Union speech tonight and something tells me he might use that high-profile platform to toss a dig or three at the feckless-appearing opposition that tried to conduct a time-honored process to begin the search for a presidential nominee.

Some of us — such as yours truly — prefer an even more venerable tradition in making this determination. How about voting in secret? How about just allowing voters to look at their ballot and place a mark next to the candidate of their choice?

But, no-o-o-o! We have this caucus nonsense that has been swallowed whole by technology that a political machine apparently doesn’t know how to operate.

This is not how you’re supposed to launch an election cycle.

Would rather see a direct vote than these goofy caucuses

As the nation watches with varying degrees of interest/anticipation/anxiety over the Iowa Democratic Party primary caucus, I want to express a view that dismisses the whole process.

I believe a better, more equitable way to choose a political party presidential nominee is to just let citizens vote for them in the privacy of a voting booth.

The media are trying to cover this Iowa caucus, just as they have so many times before, while tripping over their tongues trying to explain how the process works. To be candid, I still don’t quite get it … and I studied this stuff in college and covered caucuses when I first arrived in Texas in 1984.

I remain an old-fashioned good government progressive, someone who just prefers to cast my vote in private.

Texas used to have a caucus system to select party nominees. I covered a caucus while working for the Beaumont Enterprise in 1984. I attended a caucus in Beaumont and watched as the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s supporters helped him carry the day in Jefferson County.

The state has since then joined the vast bulk of states rely on secret-ballot voting in primary elections.

I suppose the Iowa caucus produces good political theater. It also lends an air of confusion to the rest of us interested in how this drama plays out.

Stay in the debate game, Megyn Kelly


I am not one generally to speak well of the Fox News Channel.

The cable news network that keeps boasting about its “fair and balanced” approach to news reporting is neither fair or balanced, in my view. Then again, that’s likely my own bias revealing itself . . . for which I will not apologize.

I do applaud Fox, though, for standing behind its superstar news anchor/debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

Fox announced that Kelly will be co-moderator — along with fellow news anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier — in a Republican presidential debate scheduled for March.

Big deal? Sure. Donald J. Trump is angry with Kelly because she had the utter gall to ask him a pointed question in the network’s first debate about Trump’s comments regarding women.

He said Kelly disrespected him. I guess he wasn’t paying attention to the heavy lumber she was tossing at the other candidates as well.

Trump was so angry that he didn’t participate in the final GOP debate, also sponsored by Fox, before the Iowa caucuses. His absence from that debate might have played a role in his losing the caucus fight to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Kelly’s  role as moderator should not rest on the pique of a particular candidate who demonstrates a remarkably thin skin as he seeks to become the head of state of the world’s most powerful nation.

This Kelly-Trump feud has become the No. 1 sideshow of this Republican presidential primary campaign.

I happen to be glad that Fox is treating it that way by refusing to knuckle under to a political candidate’s demands.


The ‘real’ Trump emerges quickly after defeat


So much for the gracious Donald J. Trump.

It was a disguise that presented itself when Trump made a brief, but gracious concession speech after losing the Iowa Republican presidential caucus to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Here comes the other Trump. He now accuses Cruz of political theft. Cruz “stole” the caucus, Trump said. He’s demanding a re-vote.

Good luck with that one, Mr. Real Estate Mogul/Reality TV Personality.

As is usually the case, Trump offered zero details to accompany his allegation that Cruz pilfered the election.

Ah, but his supporters still love him. They’re willing to look past the outrageousness of his claim that Cruz didn’t win the GOP caucus fairly and squarely.

This is the kind of reaction we can expect from Trump whenever he gets thumped by his competitors.

If that is the way it’s going to be, what on Earth can we expect from this guy when he gets dissed by, say, world leaders. Oh, I forgot. That means he would have to get elected president of the United States.

Displays such as his poor sportsmanship over losing an election tell me he won’t ever set foot in the Oval Office as commander in chief.


Ethanol subsidy argument runs into principle


Oh, this might sting a little, but I’m going to speak well of the Cruz Missile, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

The freshman Republican senator from Texas stunned the political world Monday by defeating 10 other candidates in the GOP caucus in Iowa.

What is most fascinating — to me, at least — was that he did so while standing behind a principle that runs counter to the corn growers of Iowa.

There happens to be a lot of them in the Hawkeye State.

Cruz opposes federal subsidies to produce ethanol, a bio-fuel made with corn. He argued the case fervently as he traipsed through Iowa’s 99 counties. Cruz’s opposition to ethanol subsidies drew the wrath — and it’s not too strong a word — of Gov. Terry Branstad, the Republican who urged Iowans to vote for anyone but Cruz.

I have to give huge props to Cruz for standing firm.

The primaries occur in individual states that have specific issues, needs and interests. The common tactic for presidential candidates is to waltz into a state and talk positively about those issues. Cruz didn’t do that as it regards ethanol. He opposes them and told Iowans that very thing, to their face.

I have no clue about how many votes his opposition to the subsidies might have cost him. It might be that had he waffled on his stance against the subsidies that he would have finished farther ahead of the field than he did.

But he didn’t.

Has this guy changed my mind about him? Would I vote for him if hell freezes over and the Republican Party nominates him for president? What do you think.

Still, when someone stands on a principle when it threatened to torpedo his political ambition, well, that’s cause for a salute.

I am glad Sen. Cruz stood firm.