The Democrats don’t need ‘election interference’

I have previously commented on what we can now say is a botched count of the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses.[1] That count has now ground to a halt without the Associated Press reporting final results[2] and the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) is reviewing the results from 95 precincts that were flagged by campaigns. None of the campaigns have requested a ‘recanvass’[3] that might actually correct mathematical errors and inconsistencies such as those found by the New York Times. The campaigns would have to pay for it,[4] which is to say that the campaigns would have to pay to correct errors made by volunteers working for the Democratic Party.

“What our job is at the Iowa Democratic Party is to report out the official reports that we receive … so that is what we have done. But we have this process right now, and we will see what comes in through this process,” [Troy] Price said at a Friday press conference. “The math worksheet is actually a legal document, it is signed by the precinct chair and the precinct captains … so we are not allowed to change that. We have to report out what is reported to us.”[5]

I am not a lawyer, but I thought liability was about folks, in this case the IDP, paying for their own mistakes and making restitution. That’s clearly not what’s happening here. So naturally, folks on Twitter are screaming that the count is “rigged,” consistent with a definition offered by Michael Tracey:

But hey, this is a meritocracy, right?[6]

Whatever these results, they will be forever discredited. And if, indeed, we understand the Iowa caucuses as setting a tone for the remaining primaries, that tone will be forever tainted.

We complain about Donald Trump’s fairly naked corruption. The Democrats impeached him for demanding the Ukrainians investigate Joe Biden, then his most plausible opponent in the upcoming November presidential election. Election interference, they cried.

Well, what the fuck is this in Iowa?

  1. [1]David Benfell, “Neoliberal hubris and the Iowa fiasco,” Not Housebroken, February 5, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/05/neoliberal-hubris-and-the-iowa-fiasco/
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Iowa Elections Results,” February 7, 2020, https://elections.ap.org/dailykos/results/2020-02-03/state/IA/race/P/raceid/17275; Associated Press, “Iowa Elections Results,” February 7, 2020, https://elections.ap.org/dailykos/results/2020-02-03/state/IA/race/P/raceid/17278
  3. [3]Zach Montellaro, “Iowa Democratic Party reviewing results from 95 precincts,” Politico, February 8, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/08/iowa-democratic-party-reviewing-results-112532
  4. [4]Nate Cohn, “New Doubts From Iowa Caucuses: How ‘Satellite’ Votes Are Being Measured,” New York Times, February 6, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/upshot/iowa-caucus-satellite-votes.html; Nate Cohn et al., “Iowa Caucus Results Riddled With Errors and Inconsistencies,” New York Times, February 6, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/upshot/iowa-caucuses-errors-results.html; Isaac Stanley-Becker, “DNC chair calls for recanvass in Iowa,” Washington Post, February 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dnc-chair-calls-for-recanvas-in-iowa/2020/02/06/0ec4dc4c-4906-11ea-9164-d3154ad8a5cd_story.html
  5. [5]Zach Montellaro, “Iowa Democratic Party reviewing results from 95 precincts,” Politico, February 8, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/08/iowa-democratic-party-reviewing-results-112532
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Bipartisan ‘meritocracy’ and ‘vote Blue no matter who,’” Not Housebroken, February 6, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/02/06/bipartisan-meritocracy-and-vote-blue-no-matter-who/

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