Hillary's Deplorable Democrats

The Iowa caucus disaster shows Democrats' true colors.

For those who care about such things, the current slow-motion disaster of the Iowa caucuses is either the stuff of nightmares or the source of never-ending amusement depending on your perspective.

Briefly oversimplified, a caucus is when party members gather in groups and vote for the candidate of their choice.  The rules are generally set up such that the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped.  Then, everybody gets to vote again, the next lowest candidate is dropped, and so on until the winner is determined.

This is actually a better way to choose a party candidate than a straight-up vote, particularly when there are as many candidates as there with the current Democrats.  No candidate has a majority or close to it; but a compromise candidate whom everybody tolerates but nobody particularly loves (like Joe Biden) might well be a better eventual candidate in the general election than a candidate with a fair number of fiery, die-hard supporters but whom everybody else hates (like, possibly, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren).

The purpose of a caucus is not just to find the most likely candidate to win, but also the candidate that the greatest number of party members can support, even if he, she, or it wasn't anyone's first choice.  In order for this to work, it is essential that the process be seen to be fair.  If stalwarts for a losing candidate feel that they were as robbed and as cheated as the Bernie Boys concluded they were last time, they're hardly going to turn out to stump hard for the official winner, now are they?

Thus, keeping the vote both transparent and honest is of paramount importance.  It should come as no surprise that today's Democrat Party, descendants of two centuries of voter fraud, finds itself incapable of resisting the urge to cheat its own members.  This habit, combined with a healthy dollop of the usual bureaucratic incompetence that is characteristic of every organization populated by Democrats, has brought on this fiasco.

The Obamacare Website, Act II

Longtime readers of Scragged might recall the drama of the launch of Obamacare, when the federal government tried to set up a website - at vast expense - to allow people to buy insurance from a central exchange.

This is not in the least rocket science, as Amazon and countless other online merchants prove every day.  Yet getting this web site to work proved far, far beyond the capability of the chosen government contractor, which just happened to employ a classmate of Michelle Obama's in a cushy vice-presidency.

Many of Scragged's readers and writers move in the web services industry.  We are confident that we could have built the site for a tenth of the $678 million CGI Federal charged you.  Actually, we could have done it for a tenth of a tenth and pocketed the difference while still saving tens of millions for the taxpayers.

But they didn't ask us; instead, the nest of an Obama friend was feathered lavishly while the taxpayer got fleeced and would-be insurance buyers were left fuming.

To our amusement, these habits are apparently hard for Democrats to break, even when they're spending their own money.  To much fanfare, the Iowa Democratic Party rolled out a snazzy new app to make it easier for caucus moderators to tot up votes and report them to central HQ.

The app was created by technology firm Shadow Inc., which employs a number of former "Hillary for America" staffers who claim to know how to count votes to best advantage.  Just whose advantage, though, they didn't say... and, politely put, it is hard to imagine how this app could have failed more comprehensively.  As the New York Times, never eager to fault Democrats, bemoaned:

Unexplained “inconsistencies” in results, heated conference calls and firm denials of hacking left the contest in a strange state of almost suspended animation.

Put another way: the system produced complete garbage.  Nobody has any idea what the real votes actually were, who the real winner(s) should have been, or when (or if) we'll ever know.  For all practical purposes, the caucuses accomplished nothing more than giving Republicans the ultimate attack ad - these guys can't even run their own election, and they want to run the country?

It's All The Donald's Fault?!

RedState reports that the New York Times' White House correspondent Maggie Haberman blames President Trump for the fiasco:

Haberman tweeted that Trump is partially to blame for the situation in Iowa because he "has thrown accelerant on distrust of institutions."

"He has highlighted the Dem party ills around this caucus in tweets," Haberman wrote. ...

It’s Trump who’s putting accelerant on "distrust of institutions," not Hillary Clinton who refused to accept the 2016 results and actually undermined her political opponent in an unprecedented way, and the Democrats or media like Haberman who promoted the Russia collusion hoax for three years?

The Iowa Democratic Party also issued a statement Tuesday confirming that the issue stemmed from a problem with the phone application.

Let's get her rant straight - it's Mr. Trump's fault that Democrats don't believe that their votes were accurately counted by their party leaders, when the vote was botched so badly they don't have numbers to count at all?  The logic of this charge escapes us, but that's fine - it makes Ms. Haberman look silly and biased, which is all to the good.

We've shown how Mr. Trump channels Wonder Woman's lasso of truth by forcing his opponents to make truthful statements we never expected to hear.  Maggie Haberman takes it a step further and claims that Mr. Trump's criticism has so reduced Democrat's faith in their own party that their phone app magically didn't work!  Has he also channeled Murphy, the ultimate cause of all things that go glitch in the night?

What's more, have New York Times reporters no notion of technological cause and effect?  Are they truly that disconnected from the real world the rest of us live in?  If so, why should anyone listen to anything said by such ignoramuses, completely regardless of their well-known egregious political bias?

It's one thing to argue that a journalist is biased; it's quite different, and far more powerful, to demonstrably prove that they cannot accurately distinguish their hind end from a hole in the ground.  Thanks, Maggie!  You've done America a good service - most likely, the first in many years.

With Dems, It's Not Just Incompetence

It's technically possible that the Democrats are in fact this monumentally incompetent, but, having encountered a fair amount of incompetence over the years, we think it unlikely.

You rarely see it mentioned in the Democrat-allied media, but there is a civil war going on in the Democrat party between Stalinist far-leftists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and more traditional big-government establishment rent-seeking liberals like Joe Biden.  For all that we disagree with Sleepy Joe's policies, not to mention his parenting skills, we don't view him as an evil tyrant.  He's demonstrated over the decades that he's generally well within the 80-year big-government nanny-state tradition of the Democrats dating back to FDR.  America would surely be harmed by a Biden presidency, but it would change only incrementally.

This is in contrast with the catastrophic intentions of many of the other candidates, who intend to outlaw large swaths of the American economy and entirely nationalize others.  These full-on socialists and their supporters consider Joe Biden to be irredeemably conservative and unworthy of a place in his own party.  To add to the conflict, his core supporters, union members, often feel the same about the far leftists.

As far as both sides are concerned, every primary voter on the Other Side - that is, not subhuman mouth-breathing Republicans, but other Democrats - is a Deplorable who can't be trusted to vote correctly.  Being on the side of Truth, Justice, and the (fundamentally changed) American Way, each faction simply must intervene to Save Democracy from those Deplorable voters much as Ms. Pelosi impeached Mr. Trump to save us all from his ignorant voters.

Both sides count on help from their heavy hitters in the party, from Nancy Pelosi (traditionalist) to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (communist).  Both sides, no doubt, have representatives and allies in the Iowa party structure and are determined to keep the Other Side from nominating the wrong candidate.

To name but one example, we're told that the owner of Shadow Inc. is married to Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s digital director.  How's that for a connection?  When Mayor Buttigieg announced himself to be the winner on Monday night, long before any official results were available, did he have inside information which wasn't available to the other campaigns?

Forbes gives us more information about Shadow Inc.'s connections and sheds yet more light on the surprising "outcome":

Pete for America, a committee for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, paid the most out of any candidate to Shadow - roughly $42,500 for "software rights and subscriptions." As of 5 p.m. in Pacific time, Buttigieg was leading the pack at 26.9% (Bernie Sanders is trailing behind with 25.1% of the votes).

A committee for Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic senator from New York who dropped out of the presidential race in November, paid Shadow $35,000 for fundraising consulting and software services. Joe Biden's presidential campaign committee paid Shadow just over $1,000 for its text messaging services.  [emphasis added - Shadow brings a whole new meaning to the venerable phrase "vote buying."  Cheapskate Joe just didn't pay enough...]

Both sides of the Democrat civil war have their hands in the same pot.

Has the FBI been given access to the Shadow server to find out what really happened?  We may never know - but what we think happened in the Iowa caucus was that both warring clans drew on whatever connections they had to Hillary's comrades who controlled the software which was going to "count" the votes.

All concerned blithely allowed untested software to be used, content with the knowledge that they knew how to hack it to make sure their guy won.  There was every reason not to test the software in advance - testing and bug fixes might eliminate their back doors into the system!

Then, overwhelmed by at least two opposing sets of well-connected hackers, the software gave up the ghost entirely, to everyon'e shocked surprise and silent horror.

Fifty years of experience tells us that being a Democrat means never having to say you're sorry, even if you're defrauding other Democrats.  Both sides are staunchly refusing to point fingers in public, keeping the lid on while, no doubt, the wallpaper is peeling off their conference rooms from the scorching invective being used.

Which leaves... that's right... the ultimate compromise candidate who has carefully avoided endorsing anyone, and whom every single Deplorable Democrat knows they had better love with their whole hearts - or else.

Stand by for The Return of Hillary!

Read other Scragged.com articles by Hobbes or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

You guys may have hit the nail on the head. Twitchy reports that the app was changing the vote totals as they were uploaded.


They said, "The idea that either Deval Patrick of Tom Steyer got any votes at all is pretty much proof there’s an error."

If the Bernie Boys suspect that some of his votes went elsewhere, their wrath will know no bounds.

Twitchy links various tweets which says the app was changing votes as they were uploaded.

There's a debate about incomptence versus conspiracy, and it's somewhat heated.

Given that they claim that they have the ballot papers, why haven't they counted them 2 or 3 times the old-fashioned way and reported? Or would that be too embarassing?

February 6, 2020 12:11 AM

Found another one. The ARITHEMTIC was wrong!! An independent checker who saw only a few of the worksheets believes that Buttegieg may have been given as manh as 500 more votes than he should have gotten. He leads Sanders by 18 votes. Reminds me of how Al Franken got in - the count was way late, and he kept getting just a FEW votes more...


This is just one of many math issues:

Look at this precinct. They start w/ 70 voters. But only 61 finish voting. The instructions still say to divide by 70. So the math comes out wrong & you wind up with a LOT of extra delegates that get "assigned" to the candidate w/ the highest decimal below .5. That's not voting.

I guess the people who wrote the program went to union-dominated governmetn schools.....

February 6, 2020 12:41 AM

Vice says the app was written by someone following a tutorial. The TOTALLY SAD part of this is that just reporting results did not need an app at all. It would haved been TRIVIAL to set it up as a data entry web page which was sized for mobile screens. A couple of full-stack developers could have done it in 2 weeks max, and not even achieved rounding errors.

The only hard part would be following the caucus rules for awarding delegates which, like time zones, are created for political purposes and not for practical reasons, but Vice says the app wasn't doing that. Just data entry would be 2 developers and a week.

The developers claim that the app was sound and that it entered the correct data. Why, then, were the results delayed?


The app used to report early results in Iowa's Democratic Presidential primary caucus was rudimentary in many ways, according to analyses by multiple Android app development experts and cybersecurity professionals who decompiled and studied the app after it was obtained by Motherboard.


The app was designed to rapidly report early results, not tabulate final vote counts. That means its failure will not result in the election result being altered.

Motherboard asked six cybersecurity and app development experts we trust to analyze the app. The app was built on top of React Native, an open-source app development package released by Facebook that can be used for both Android and iOS apps, according to Kasra Rahjerdi, who has been an Android developer since the original Android project was launched, and Robert Baptiste, a white-hat hacker who has exposed security flaws in many popular apps and reviewed the code. Rahjerdi said that the app contains default React Native metadata and that it comes off as a "very very off the shelf skeleton project plus add your own code kind of thing."

"Honestly, the biggest thing is—I don’t want to throw it under the bus—but the app was clearly done by someone following a tutorial. It’s similar to projects I do with my mentees who are learning how to code," Rahjerdi said. "They started with a starter package and they just added things on top of it. I get deja vu from my classes because the code looks like someone Googled things like 'how to add authentication to React Native App' and followed the instructions," Rahjerdi said.

"The mobile app looks hastily thrown together," Dan Guido, CEO of cybersecurity consulting firm Trail of Bits, told Motherboard.

IowaReporterApp had a few basic functions, according to the experts who analyzed it:

Once a precinct chair logged in using a precinct identifier number, PIN code, and two-factor authentication, they were run through some basic information about how to run a caucus.
Precinct chairs were asked to enter the total number of attendees at a caucus.
Precinct chairs were then asked to enter vote totals for the first round of the caucus and the second round of the caucus. The app was then supposed to calculate how many delegates each candidate was supposed to be awarded.
The app was supposed to then send these results to a Google Cloud Functions backend. That backend was controlled by Shadow.

In an interview with Motherboard, Shadow CEO Gerard Niemira said that the app was simple by design.

"For something like this, you don’t want to introduce complexity where there doesn’t need to be any," he said. "The point of this app was to help temporary precinct chairs do the math and get good results in the room and speed up the process, help them basically. That is a relatively simple function, it’s basically a calculator, so that’s the approach we took to it."

"The app was sound, the data that came out of the app was sound, the math that was done on the app was sound," he added. "All the the results we collected on the app were sound and have been verified as such."

February 6, 2020 12:13 PM

"Stand by for The Return of Hillary! "

That's been the plan all along. She will ride in on her white hearse, er, horse, and Save The Democrats And The World From The Horrors Of A Trump Second Term.

And if she gets off her high horse and lets Bill run her campaign this time, watch out. Horrible thought, but she could win.

However, I'm pretty sure her ego won't allow that to happen.

February 6, 2020 4:55 PM

The beat goes on. It turns out that the app was developed by a well-known Democrat apparatchik who's not known for tact. She has also mixed for-profit activities with nonprofit activites, which, as the New York Attorney General said is a neau neaux when going after Mr. Trump.

Will there be charges forthcoming?


Democratic operatives have found a target for their anger and frustration over Iowa’s botched caucus results — Tara McGowan, the political strategist whose company is directly tied to the troublesome vote-reporting app at the center of the chaos.

Even before the Iowa mess, McGowan, a former journalist and Barack Obama campaign aide, was both one of the Democratic Party’s most in-demand leaders this cycle — and also one of its most divisive.

But her role in boosting the suddenly infamous Shadow, the developer of the app that played a central role in Iowa’s technical meltdown, has surfaced a new level of angst over the digital empire she has built.

While McGowan has received praise for founding and serving as CEO of the digital-first Democratic outfit ACRONYM, a nonprofit organization that aims to spend a massive $75 million on digital ads combating President Donald Trump during the 2020 election, she’s also received blowback.

In particular, her group’s sprawling and opaque structure has frustrated fellow Democrats, with some arguing that ACRONYM’s “company-within-a-company” collection of progressive news sites, consulting services and experimental merchandise vendors lacks transparency regarding its payments to consultants and staff, obscuring potential conflicts of interest or governance issues.

They point to the mix of for-profit entities under the nonprofit parent company as especially problematic.

“People are really frustrated and skeptical about the structure that Tara has created,” said one Democratic operative, who did not want to be quoted for risk of alienation. “There’s a nonprofit and then there are for-profits below it, like a nesting doll. It’s moving money around in a way that’s unclear to people.”

Other critics acknowledge that McGowan is a talented messenger — but argue she revved up her donors on the idea that her fellow Democrats were not doing enough while getting clobbered by Trump online in order to launch ACRONYM’s $75 million anti-Trump digital program, and then has been slow to spend the money she pledged to bring to the fight.

And the beat goes on......

February 6, 2020 5:46 PM
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