On Feb. 6, President Trump was acquitted of his impeachment charges by the United States Senate. This was after the House of Representatives impeached him over a whistleblower’s complaint, claiming he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Biden, a candidate in the Democratic primary, and his son, Hunter Biden. The two articles brought against him were accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
WSN’s Editorial Board wrote on this topic when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) first launched the impeachment inquiry through the House. We wrote on the possibility of manipulated elections and the hypocrisy of the United States, considering the government’s role in tampering with elections abroad and its history of domestic voter suppression.
The reality of impeachment is simple. While pushing for Trump’s removal, Pelosi and the Democratic Party have helped the president increase the defense budget by $21 billion and pass the environmentally catastrophic United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, just to name two examples of consequential bipartisan legislation from the impeachment period. Both of these instances show the underlying ineffectiveness of Democratic opposition while showing that the party only projects an intent to impeach — it doesn’t seriously tackle the most pressing effects of it. In a way, this collaboration shows the party’s inability to unify in the most pressing political moments and decisions, and thus showing a serious incompetency in performing their most important role in government. They also showcase a serious contradiction: how can one be fundamentally opposed to a president while promoting his most crucial policies?
An obvious, recent example was the meltdown of the Iowa Democratic caucuses. Results were significantly delayed because of an app purchased by the Iowa Democratic Party for vote recording, which failed. It was also found that former Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign paid the creators of the app, Shadow Inc., $42,500 for software services in late July 2019. The overarching umbrella corporation’s CEO, Tara McGowan, has further connections to Buttigieg — her husband works as the senior strategist for his campaign. The controversial financial dealings, at its best, shows the Iowa Democratic Party’s inability to administer an election. At its worst, it shows the party turned a blind eye to corruption in its caucuses.
The failed app was also reported to have been untested and full of errors prior to the caucuses. The final version was only sent to campaign officials 10 days before the start of the election. ProPublica reports that the technology was insecure and that “vote totals, passwords and other sensitive information could have been intercepted or even changed.” Additionally, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s, Christopher Krebs, cybersecurity said that the app had not been properly checked by the agency. It’s appalling how a private company was allowed to create an app that had such a significant impact on one of the most important state elections for the Democratic candidacy without being vetted by the proper authorities.
Though what occurred in Iowa may seem suspicious and conspiratorial, what’s more likely and even more dangerous is that the party is seriously incompetent. This incompetence is a constant reoccurrence, as shown both in the Iowa caucuses and in the Democrats’ inability to confront Trump. This poses an important question: if the party can’t even conduct a successful election, how would it be possible to convict a sitting president?
These two events may seem like separate issues, but they both expose holes in the party on both the state and national level. While criticism and action against President Trump is an obvious necessity, the flaws of the Democratic Party must be completely exposed as well. Clearly, in the midst of electoral chaos and the failure of removal of the president, the Democratic Party’s political strategy and administrative procedures aren’t working.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 print edition. Email the Editorial Board at [email protected]