Manhole Eunuchsbane

U.S. Politics 2017: Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

401 posts in this topic

1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

All other factors being equal, caucuses are worse. I'm sure you can design a primary such that the turnout was worse than a caucus, but realistically that isn't going to happen. This seems like an argument in search of a problem. 

Tell ya what - when you can point me to a caucus that has a higher turnout than a primary with roughly the same number of people who could participate, let's talk. Otherwise get rid of caucuses.

OMG..Yes, I conceded the point that, all else being equal, caucus' will take more time than primaries from the beginning.  Therefore the cost of voting, again - ceteris paribus, is going to be greater.  The nuance you seem incapable of allowing for is it does not mean caucuses are inherently unfair.  There are ways to mitigate this cost as much as possible and try to make a caucus as fair as possible.  

7 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I'm perfectly interested in other arguments, but that doesn't make my opinion invalid.

Dude, I've tried to validate your opinion throughout this.  The problem is you're clearly not interested in engaging in any other arguments.  As indicated by:

9 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I understand there are other opinions, and I get that there are good reasons to go another way - but that doesn't change my opinion right now.

So, yeah, no point.

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6 minutes ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

Just a simple tool to emphasize a sarcastic response. Great! That's just fucking great...

 It's meant to replicate muttering under one's breath, more or less.

You should change your title or whatever to Captain Obvious.  

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Just now, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

You think you're going to meet the end by yelling the guy off his victory stage? Do I really have to explain why that's great?

yes? please do explain 

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Just now, dmc515 said:

OMG..Yes, I conceded the point that, all else being equal, caucus' will take more time than primaries from the beginning.  Therefore the cost of voting, again - ceteris paribus, is going to be greater.  The nuance you seem incapable of allowing for is it does not mean caucuses are inherently unfair.  There are ways to mitigate this cost as much as possible and try to make a caucus as fair as possible.  

Making a caucus as fair as possible will still make it by default less fair than a primary using the same tactics. Whether they are inherently unfair is meaningless to me, since my goal is to make it the most fair as I can. 

And a caucus is simply more unfair than a primary. Put more resources into the caucus to make it more fair, and it'll still be less fair than a primary with the same resources.

Just now, dmc515 said:

Dude, I've tried to validate your opinion throughout this.  The problem is you're clearly not interested in engaging in any other arguments.  As indicated by:

So, yeah, no point.

What other arguments? So far you've made none; you've hinted that there are reasons you might want caucuses, but not made an argument as to why that way is better than primaries. I'd be happy to engage if you gave anything of substance, but so far it seems to be simply pointing out that caucuses could be made more fair than they are (which is true but irrelevant to me, as they'd still be less fair than primaries) and that caucuses are liked by people because they are really partisan (which in my mind is a bug, not a feature). 

If you'd like to indicate why making something more partisan is a good thing, please feel free. I get some people want that, and I don't. As @Paladin of Ice pointed out, primaries of any sort are already getting to be too partisan, so making them even worse in that way is automatically bad to me. But if you've got a good indicator of why a very partisan system of choosing candidates is a good thing and better than the alternative, feel free to suggest it. 

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4 minutes ago, r'hllor's redrum lobster said:

yes? please do explain 

That's how you're going to win this guy over to your way of thinking? By shouting him down during his victory speech? Good luck with that.

And "you borrowed our vote"? Really? You'd have cast a ballot for Gillespie?  

Edited by Manhole Eunuchsbane

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Just now, Kalbear said:

Whether they are inherently unfair is meaningless to me, since my goal is to make it the most fair as I can. 

Ok, but that was the point of contention I made.  So, glad we kind of agree.

1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

Put more resources into the caucus to make it more fair, and it'll still be less fair than a primary with the same resources.

Not even sure if it's true, but when did this become a resource argument?

3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

So far you've made none; you've hinted that there are reasons you might want caucuses, but not made an argument as to why that way is better than primaries. I'd be happy to engage if you gave anything of substance, but so far it seems to be simply pointing out that caucuses could be made more fair

Oye man....From the, like, the third fucking post I made on the subject:

Quote

I generally agree with you, but there are pros to caucuses as well - namely supporting and generating activism that often goes a long way in the grassroots portion of inspiring an electorate.

And then, less than an hour ago:

Quote

Another point of view is those that are most involved and active within the party should have a larger say in which candidate represents them in the general election.  Like I said, I tend to agree with your position, but it's not as clear cut - and certainly much more open for debate - than what you're portraying.

So please don't tell me I've made no arguments.  You just haven't responded to them.

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ok mr alinsky, say the issue of immigration and sanctuary cities is your primary political concern. what action do you take? vote for the even shittier gillespe? not vote when the polls show a potentially very tight race? sit quietly aside and let northam assume his basically "not a trumpist shitbag" mandate implies acceptance of his shitty stances regarding  your political raison d'être? 

god forbid you disrupt the victory party oh no :bawl:

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1 minute ago, r'hllor's redrum lobster said:

god forbid you disrupt the victory party oh no :bawl:

Perhaps, maybe, god forbid you act like an adult and not undermine your own side in such a public fashion the instant they (and, btw, YOU) have won.  Or is a two party system too untenable for the whining wing?

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16 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Perhaps, maybe, god forbid you act like an adult and not undermine your own side in such a public fashion the instant they (and, btw, YOU) have won.  Or is a two party system too untenable for the whining wing?

 lol, considering this whole thing started with a foot stamping, someone-crashed-my-sweet-16 tantrum, you're gonna have to specify who you mean by "whining wing"

but sure, who gives a shit about so-called liberals taking concrete and public anti- sanctuary area stances in this political climate, not like that is a pressing issue at all. 

but again, to all you perfectly frictionless sphere activists, the please explain the proper way to go about demonstrating 

y'all are this, but "woke"

Edited by r'hllor's redrum lobster

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Caucuses are elitist bullshit that benefit the well off at the expense of everyone else.

the "grassroots" bullshit explanation dmc put up is just a fancy way of him saying that caucuses are networking events for people with careers in politics. The only people who like or benefit from caucuses are machine creatures who want to keep Red Lines around their Party country club.

It's a nice event if you're inside already, but "the help" (general election voters) should not be seen nor heard and definitely shouldn't participate.

all caucuses should be destroyed they are the antithesis of democracy.

Edited by lokisnow

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5 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Caucuses are elitist bullshit that benefit the well off at the expense of everyone else.

buddy, have i got news about the entire american electoral structure

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8 minutes ago, r'hllor's redrum lobster said:

but again, to all you perfectly frictionless sphere activists, the please explain the proper way to go about demonstrating 

So, again, the proper time is embarrassing the guy your side just elected that might actually help you out?  Sage understanding of politics, there.

9 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Caucuses are elitist bullshit that benefit the well off at the expense of everyone else.

Ha!

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Should go to bed but...

24 minutes ago, r'hllor's redrum lobster said:

but sure, who gives a shit about so-called liberals taking concrete and public anti- sanctuary area stances in this political climate, not like that is a pressing issue at all. 

Of course it's a pressing issue.  And you press the issue by demonstrating you have public and legislative support.  Not by "lobbying" in a fashion that makes it seem like you just read Politics While Being a Dick by Donald Trump.  Virginia Governors are limited to one term.  Way to ensure which constituency Northam will expediently abandon first when he needs to.

25 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

the "grassroots" bullshit explanation dmc put up is just a fancy way of him saying that caucuses are networking events for people with careers in politics. The only people who like or benefit from caucuses are machine creatures who want to keep Red Lines around their Party country club.

This is so ludicrous I shouldn't respond, but party activists are now all elitists?  Let alone all country club elites?  Right, because all those kids I've literally seen in Iowa and Nevada were gonna catch the next flight to the Skull & Bones initiation.  What a joke.

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The Virginia gerrymander broken! :cheers:

Maybe there's hope for 2018 if Democrats actually bother fielding candidates, and their supporters can actually be bothered voting.

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Or in age and education cohorts

 

 

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1 hour ago, dmc515 said:

party activists are now all elitists?  Let alone all country club elites?  Right, because all those kids I've literally seen in Iowa and Nevada were gonna catch the next flight to the Skull & Bones initiation.  What a joke.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/democrats-caucuses-arent-very-democratic/

The writer cites this piece from some researchers at BYU, and while I think his reference is slightly slippery, it's not wrong: primaries attract a whiter, older, wealthier, more educated voter than general elections... and caucuses are even whiter, older, wealthier, more educated than primaries. 

http://jeremypope.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/karpowitz-pope-bjps-2013.pdf

In particular, they cite the anecdotal evidence of the caucus in Rainier Valley in 2012. According to the cited article, the turnout for that caucus was predominantly white, yet (per Wikipedia) these are the demographics of Rainier Valley: "Rainier Valley's racial breakdown is 20.9% Caucasian, 32% African American, 34.1% Asian, 1% Native American, 1.6% Pacific Islander, 6.5% Mixed Race, and 3.4% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.2% of the population. "

One can certainly find disparity slanting toward white participation in primaries all over the country. But caucuses exacerbate this and are simply even less representative of the general populace, or the general body of Democratic voters.

The problem with caucuses is that they seem to essentially slant either towards the party machine or towards extremely partisan elements. There's no real sense of middle ground. They encourage polarization within a party. If the end result is not primarily recriminations about who won and who was cheated, then the positive result could be that the eventual winner of the nomination probably ends up shifting some of their positions in the direction of the strong second-place (as Hillary Clinton did on a number of issues) and thus being more inclusive towards the general population of voters.

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47 minutes ago, Ran said:

The writer cites this piece from some researchers at BYU, and while I think his reference is slightly slippery, it's not wrong: primaries attract a whiter, older, wealthier, more educated voter than general elections... and caucuses are even whiter, older, wealthier, more educated than primaries. 

The writer is referring to a recent Karpowitz & Pope (2015) article that served as your second link.  It concludes as such:

Quote

Our analysis thus raises the concern that caucuses do not meet even the minimal standard of fairness in representation: they systematically deter the moderate, less consistent voters, and people appear to have misgivings about the procedure. We cannot say with any certainty that these two patterns are related and that the misgivings of non-participants are caused by the nature of caucus participants, but this is a fertile question for further study. Perhaps we should all take voter concerns about fairness and process a bit more seriously.

The consequences of these patterns for electoral strategy are obvious: relatively more extreme political actors should probably prefer caucuses (or similar procedures) for candidate selection (ceteris paribus).

I don't deny this - nor the demographic tendencies of caucuses.  However, the demographic trends are akin to observing the differences between the general, midterm, and local electorates.  As cost of voting is elevated, the electorate becomes whiter, older, wealthier, and more educated.  Does that mean local elections are elitist?

1 hour ago, Ran said:

They encourage polarization within a party.

I entirely agree with this, and what's noted above.  Thought I made most of that clear with my conversation with @Kalbear.  The ridiculousness is in casting caucuses, and by implication the states and people that engage in such, as conducting some type of intentional elitist enterprise.  That's just wrong.  How caucuses are conducted are the type of elections we should be aspiring to, not casting aspersions upon. 

People come and many if not most are intensely supportive of their candidate.  There is then communication among such supporters of candidates and some people may even switch sides.  Isn't that what democracy should look like?  Doesn't that imbue a more lasting impression of civic responsibility upon the participants?  That's my counter-argument.

Anyway, on the point about partisanship of caucus-goers, there is conflicting evidence to this narrative.  From Hersh 2012 (think that might be pay-walled, apologies.  Here's the abstract.):

Quote

On measures of political engagement ranging from partisanship to political donating, from petition signing to bumper-sticker displaying, caucus participants and primary participants are very much alike. This is not what one might expect from a model that closely ties participatory costs to political resources.

Also, here's another article published in the PSQ that concludes:

Quote

Overall, I conclude that caucuses are not especially undemocratic, although I echo concerns about participation inequalities. Thus, I do not believe that caucuses are especially “bad” for democracy; that said, I do not believe that caucuses are any better for democracy than primary elections. While the evidence suggests that alarmist claims about the nature of caucuses, compared to primaries, are generally exaggerated, my view is that caucuses can be abolished without much damage to the electoral process. In fact, replacing caucuses with primaries may result in some marginal improvements in terms of demographic and attitudinal representation.

That about sums up my position.

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3 hours ago, dmc515 said:

So, again, the proper time is embarrassing the guy your side just elected that might actually help you out?  Sage understanding of politics, there.

Let's take off the Trump-tinted glasses for a moment and remember that it's the responsibility of constituents to inform their elected representatives of their interests and the conditions of their support, not to avoid embarrassing them.

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2 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Let's take off the Trump-tinted glasses for a moment and remember that it's the responsibility of constituents to inform their elected representatives of their interests and the conditions of their support, not to avoid embarrassing them.

Let's take off the Trump-tinted glasses for a moment and remember doing so at a victory rally is only going to be perceived as that constituency  being obstinate asshats by the victor.

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