By Caitlin Johnstone
After a 2016 presidential primary race riddled with scandals, all of which worked against Bernie Sanders to the advantage of anointed establishment favorite Hillary Clinton, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary elections officially began with a massive scandal working against Bernie Sanders to the advantage of an establishment favorite.
The 2020 Iowa caucuses turned out to have been designed to depend on the use of a new, untested app with extensive ties to establishment insiders and to the Pete Buttigeig campaign, and because of problems using this app as of this writing we are still waiting on the full results of the election. The Iowa Democratic Party has bizarrely released a partial result with 62 percent of 99 counties reporting, which just so happens to have favored the campaign of a Mr Peter Buttigeig, who in the sample came out on top in delegates despite coming in second in votes.
A popular “gold standard” poll by the Des Moines Register that is normally released shortly before the Iowa caucuses had Sanders comfortably in first place. The results of the poll were instead left unpublished this time until after elections were underway due to a complaint by the campaign of, you guessed it, Pete Buttigeig. This would be the same Pete Buttigeig who attended the infamous “Stop Sanders” meetings with Democratic Party insiders last year, by the way.
According to an Iowa precinct chair, the problems using the app (developed by the aptly named Shadow, Inc) included literally switching the numbers entered into it on the final step of reporting results.
“A precinct chair in Iowa said the app got stuck on the last step when reporting results,” CNN reports. “It was uploading a picture of the precinct’s results. The chair said they were finally able to upload, so they took a screenshot. The app then showed different numbers than what they had submitted as captured in their screenshot.”
It doesn’t actually matter anymore who really won Iowa at this point; the damage is already done. Iowa is a sparsely populated state with an insignificant number of delegates; nobody campaigns there for the delegates, they campaign to make headlines and generate excitement and favorable press for themselves in the first electoral contest of the presidential primary race. This has already happened, and with Buttigeig first declaring victory before any results were in, followed by his delegate count lead announced hours later, the favorable press has predominantly gone his way.
Even if Sanders turns out to have won the delegate count as well, this will already have happened. He will have already lost the opportunity to start off the primary contest with a win and a rousing victory speech. In every way that matters, he has already been robbed, by extremely shady establishment dealings, in the very first electoral contest of the race.
The very first. Berners are already as outraged as they were at the height of the 2016 DNC scandal, which was still months out from this point in the race. They’re already getting screwed over, and it’s just getting started.
I see many people blaming this on incompetence, some in bad faith and some in good, but in either case there is no legitimate reason to do that anymore. It has been my experience that if someone seems to be totally incompetent but every “oopsie” they make just happens to end up benefiting them, it’s manipulation you’re dealing with, not incompetence. Some people are happy to look dumb if they can get what they want. If you watch their actions and ignore their words, a very revealing pattern shows up immediately.
This is all extremely blatant, and the feelings it brings up in people are completely legitimate. Yet narrative managers like Neera Tanden and Shannon Watts are telling everyone they’re just like Trump if they suspect the Democratic establishment is again doing the thing it did just four years ago.
If such extremely shady shenanigans had occurred in Russia or Venezuela, within minutes Mike Pompeo would have been holding a press conference demanding a new election under UN supervision and an international coalition of sanctions. It’s hilarious how America is constantly staging coups, implementing sanctions and arming violent militias on the basis that their government has an illegitimate democratic process, yet its own most important electoral proceedings would make any third world tin pot dictator blush.
And don’t give me that crap about how Democratic Party primaries are separate from the US electoral system and therefore don’t undermine American democracy; of course they do. If your country has a rigidly enforced two-party system and one of those parties has bogus internal elections, then you do not have any degree of democracy in your country. Saying “Well if you don’t like our rigged primary process you can vote for the other corrupt warmongering pro-establishment party” is not democracy.
The difference between a true totalitarian dictatorship and America is that the totalitarian dictatorship enforces one political belief system which supports the status quo, whereas in America you get the freedom of choice between two political belief systems which support the status quo. The entire system is stacked to ensure the continued rule of the oligarchs, spooks and warmongers who really run things behind the two-handed sock puppet show of the official elected government. The US doesn’t attack and undermine nations when they lack “freedom” or “democracy”, they attack and undermine them when they refuse to bow to the demands of the power establishment which controls the US government and its allies.
The sooner people wake up to this, the better. In Iowa, things couldn’t have gone worse for those responsible for keeping people asleep.