The Iowa Caucuses Were A Hot Mess Long Before Last Night

Welp, the Iowa Caucus…happened. And who is the winner?!?! This is fun: As of Monday afternoon, we’re still not sure! The Iowa Democratic Party has vowed to release results by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, with a day-long delay due to an apparent issue with the new app that was used to tally the votes.

Is this a hugely important democratic process or my mom trying to figure out how to log in to her email?

There are a few factors that could be to blame for the chaos that has spun from the Iowa Caucus, one being that this year they decided to report three different results: voters’ initial candidate preferences, their final candidate preferences, and the number of state delegates awarded. It’s possible this led to confusion in tallying the votes on the app, which also experienced “a major coding error” and was inadequately tested.

But even beyond that, the mess that has been made here may be a smaller symptom of larger issues within the caucus process. Alright, let’s roast the Iowa Caucus. Iowans, we adore you — don’t take it personally.

First, let’s begin with the diversity issue.

The state of Iowa is about 90% white, which is, in technical terms, really fucking white. It’s also disproportionate to both the country, which is 60% white, and the Democratic party, which has about a 40% base of people of color. 

The Iowa Caucus is thought to be a crucial race for candidates since it usually sets the tone for the rest of the races. Whoever wins Iowa has an advantage, as their win tends to show voters in the other states who probably has the best chance at winning. It’s a highly influential process, so having mostly white people participate is unfair, and doesn’t paint an accurate picture in terms of who everyone in the country would vote for.

It’s yet another case of white people getting their say broadcast, while minorities aren’t given much of a say at all.

Next up is the issue of accessibility.

For people with disabilities, the Iowa Caucus has been a nightmare in the past, effectively disenfranchising large groups of people.

There are long lines that last for hours in specified locations. Promises had been made that 2020 would be more accessible for people with disabilities, but according to a piece in the New York Times, people who had tried to inquire about how to receive help with access weren’t getting many helpful answers.

It’s also hard for some people to attend the caucus because of when it takes place.

The Iowa Caucus typically starts at 7pm, and takes some time to participate in (usually about an hour, not counting the time spent waiting in line). This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for people who work nights to participate. Technically people should be able to leave work to vote, but as someone who works in service, I can tell you right now, if I asked my boss to leave a shift for hours, they would be like, “Lol, no.” This means a lot of working-class people simply don’t have the time to participate. To say nothing of the fact that the caucuses force people to procure or pay for childcare in order to… exercise their fundamental right to participate in democracy. Yeah, that doesn’t seem right. (Children are definitely allowed to attend the caucuses — but as we said, they can run late, and a 6-year-old with even the world’s most tricked out iPad can’t be asked to sit quietly the entire time.)

And then there is the issue of the coin toss.

Yup, you read that right, literal coin tosses are implemented in the case of a tie during the caucus process, and that coin toss actually determines how many delegates a candidate will get. Again, I ask, is this an important democratic process or a bunch of 8-year-olds trying to see who gets to eat the last Oreo? Coin tossing seems a bit arbitrary, juvenile, and inaccurate when it comes to an election, does it not?

What happened last night is a whole ass mess, but perhaps we should take it as a sign that we need to re-evaluate this entire system and make some updates that can ensure a more fair, diverse, and accessible process. Idk sounds like that would p be chill.

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Everything You Need to Know About 2020 Candidate Bernie Sanders

Well, you know how the saying goes. If at first you don’t succeed, blame the woman you were running against and try again. Yes, you heard right, or more likely read right as your timeline once again became flooded with Bernie Bros retweeting the news: Senator Bernie Sanders is running again. This is kind of like when that band who had a super popular song that a bunch of people on your campus liked that you could never get into decides to release another single even after their weird genre of folk-pop passed. While we heard all about him leading up to the 2016 election, let’s have a little course refresher on where he stands on everything.

I’m running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country. Say you’re in:

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2019

Who Is He?

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because you heard it every day in 2015 and 2016. When he first announced his campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, where he was immediately classified as an ultra-progressive because of his radical democratic socialist opinions like that people shouldn’t go bankrupt over medical bills. He was the second front-runner behind Hillary Clinton, who he ultimately endorsed. Besides that — he is the long-term junior Senator for Vermont, a position he has held since 2007 and was re-elected for this past year.

Bernie has a looooong history in politics, dating all the way back to the civil rights movement when he was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. So yeah, he’s not f*cking around when it comes to progressive policies. 

What Are The Pros?

Bernie is obviously no stranger to the campaign trail. He’ll definitely have the upper-hand in terms of debates and how to handle the stresses that come with running for the most important job in the world (besides being Beyoncé). Additionally, he’s notably been liberal since the beginning of his career in politics; unlike other Democratic candidates who have been accused of flip-flopping on social issues as they get more clout. With that, he has been noted to help the left get a little bit more left. Major issues like labor rights, human rights, and climate change are on the top of his campaign, which puts him against many of our current President’s ideals. Sanders not only stood against Trump during the 2016 election, but continues to do so in his Senate seat — it’s always refreshing to hear a politician refer to climate change as one of the greatest threats to national security. If you’re reading this while drinking out of a plastic straw, please recycle it into a bracelet and buy a metal one ASAP.

Also, do you guys remember that time a bird landed on his podium in 2016? That was awesome.

What are the Cons?

At 77, he is one of the oldest candidates in the race. Additionally, his supporters may be some of the… more outspoken ones in recent history. It’s impossible to forget the vocal Bernie Bros from 2016 (one of the many reasons Twitter is now a hellhole), and there’s no doubt that they’ll be in full swing for this campaign — mainly because they have been since he endorsed Hillary. One of his major assets were that he was one of the more liberal voices running in the 2016 election, using Hillary Clinton’s previous political work as a way to push her more central. The issue now? He’s no longer the only kid on campus carrying a Nalgene with COEXIST stickers on it. Kamala Harris is a breath of fresh air to the campaign and Elizabeth Warren probably uses the same granola recipe as him.

Where Do I Find Out More?

If you’re curious to learn more about the Sanders campaign, they just renewed their Wix account and relaunched his campaign site here. Feel the bern!

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Everything You Need To Know Abut 2020 Candidate Cory Booker

Surprising to no one who has been watching his career, Cory Booker announced last week his official campaign for the 2020 Presidency, along with two of his friends in politics: Kamala Harris and Kristen Gillibrand. As someone from New Jersey who has seen him speak on multiple occasions, he’s like the kid in your high school that got voted for every superlative: he’s funny, personable, and handsome. But, unlike The Bachelor, you can’t just pick your President based on their great smile — so let’s get to know him a little bit better together. And besides, no one’s smile is better than Obama’s.

So, Who Is He?

The first African-American U.S. Senator for New Jersey, Booker has been a long advocate for important civil issues that are being stripped away as we speak in politics. Women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and affirmative action are high-up on his ‘socially liberal’ platform. Additionally, he knows that being dramatic can prove a point: back in 1998, when running for mayor, he staged a hunger strike that lasted over a week long and lived in a tent to highlight issues in Newark, New Jersey. Additionally, he’s vegan and an eligible bachelor (for any gays in Brooklyn reading this, I’m also both of those). His first lady may be spoken for already, because he’s rumored to be dating Rosario Dawson — so if he wins, I’m guessing “Out Tonight” will be the new National Anthem? If you’re also a forty-eight year old woman at heart, watch his appearance on The View to get a sense of him.

What Are the Pros?

Cory Booker is a great guy. He’s very much the cool dad of one of your friend’s who, when you’d go back to your house after a sleepover, you’d shout at your dad at saying “WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE LIKE CORY?!” He feels that the country has lost faith in the government (no duh) and wants to take America back to the way it was before the Shit Storm of 2016. Plus, his money is where his mouth is: last year, after Michael Cohen’s (yup, him) office was raided, Booker was one of the Senators who introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to limit a President’s executive power.

Because who would ever abuse that?

What Are the Cons?

He’s a very charming, liberal, and progressive guy. But (because there’s always a but), some of his political ties could hurt him from a Democratic standpoint: mainly with Big Pharma. Back in 2017, he actually voted to kill a bill that would lower prescription drug prices — a weird move for someone with his values. It starts to make sense, though, when you see that he actually has received funding from “pharmaceutical and health product” industries in the past.

On the flip side, some may feel he’s too progressive: notably, in regards to marijuana. He wants to encourage states with the incentive of federal funds to make marijuana legal — a move that makes sense, but may hurt him with some older voters or 2016 Republican voters who are looking to jump ship. He also has dabbled in Instagram poetry, which would be a red flag for me on a dating app.


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Where Can I Find Out More?

You’ll definitely want to keep your eyes and ears open for all moves by Booker (either on date night’s with Dawson or during upcoming appearances) because I feel he will be involved in this race til the end. Check out his website here and duh, listen to the Betches Sup podcast for all things about him and more.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!