Which should Americans fear more, foreign interference in our elections, or candidates giving televised victory speeches before any of the vote results are announced – with the undisguised purpose of fooling TV viewers into thinking they won?
That’s what Americans were inflicted with Monday night as the Democratic presidential candidates refused to let the party’s inability to figure out the result of the Iowa caucuses interfere with their faux declarations of victory.
By contrast, President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night rattled off fact after fact after fact about the country’s unprecedented prosperity and .
“Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting … the years of economic decay are over,” Trump said. “From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy, slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements.”
He cited 7 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment in over half a century. Plus a lower average unemployment rate than any previous president. “The unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have reached the lowest levels in history,” the president said. “African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low. African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded. The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years. And last year, women filled 72% of all new jobs added.”
Veterans’ unemployment is at a record low, along with that of the disabled. “Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history,” Trump also noted. And “a record number of young Americans are now employed.”
Seven million off food stamps, and 10 million off welfare. “The net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47% – 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1%,” he noted. And wages “are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16% pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.” What’s more, real median household income is at a record high.
It was less a speech than a Bureau of Labor Statistics monograph.
We Don’t Know, But …
Back to Iowa. First, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar shrewdly appeared before her supporters when it was clear there would be no results reported, making it clear she was not about to miss her flight to New Hampshire. “We’re punching above our weight,” she declared, even though the bout’s judges hadn’t revealed their scores.
“Tonight, an improbable hope became an undeniable reality,” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg told cheering supporters. “We don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa you have shocked the nation.”
Buttigieg may indeed have won Iowa, but we still don’t know for sure because more than 24 hours after the polls closed, a large share of the results remain unknown to the public thanks to computer glitches.
“It’s going to be close,” Joe Biden assured his followers. “We don’t know exactly what it is yet, but we feel good about where we are.” “Where we are” looks like fourth place, it turns out.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren claimed Iowa was “too close to call,” but, like her rivals, she had no idea whether it was a photo finish or a lopsided landslide. No matter. “We are one step closer to defeating the most corrupt president in American history,” she declared.
For Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who apparently will finish in one of the top two slots when the final results are known, it wasn’t about ballots but about sensations. “I have a good feeling we’re going to be doing very, very well here in Iowa,” he said.
If Trump, and Republican candidates in general, can extend this fact vs. fake motif when it comes to Democrats’ policy proposals juxtaposed with the actual results of GOP prescriptions in action, this November may end up being a much shorter night than the nightmare that still isn’t over in the Hawkeye State.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
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To me, at least, it seems that the Democrat power brokers and decision makers, not necessarily the candidates and officeholders, have recognized the futility of the process and decided to use the Iowa caucus as an open beta for their new app.