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Demetri

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Everything posted by Demetri

  1. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    I can't overstate what a great community it is. Minor League recaps every week. Great prospect guys. One of the best analytics/statistically minded guys that writes as baseball stuff as a hobby. Really active both on posts and comments. I'm GumpBrave over there. Feel free to say hello. It can be a bit daunting to join in, but it is a really friendly group and most people are incredibly welcoming. It is fairly analytics driven, but it can be a great way to spruce up on that viewpoint of baseball understanding.
  2. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    If you're a big Braves fan I highly recommend www.talkingchop.com . If you ask me, best single team sports blog around. We'd love to have ya.
  3. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    I think you might be overestimating Frazier's trade value. First, he has less team control than Florial. Second, he is a terrible defender. Like, breaking the metrics bad. Most FOs are savvy enough to realize this. Despite his wRC+ of 118 (18% better than league average), ALL defensive metrics agree that he bleeds value defensively (it is super rare for multiple defensive metrics to paint someone as aggressively bad at defense.) That certainly mitigates his value moving forward. He is a liability in the field and, as a result, his fWAR is on pace for about 1.5 for the season. And that's assuming his offensive production stays on par, with most projections seeing him as playing well above his skill level. Meanwhile, Florial still has some prospect hype. His value already has baked in his lefty status and defensive positive. At 21, he's just outside of top 100 prospect lists and is probably worth about $28 million in excess value as a 50 FV prospect. He's also trending towards increasing value, and moving from a 50 FV to 55 if his hit tool plays up nearly doubles that excess value. That is a fair amount of value, especially if traded for a MLer and especially if that MLer signed a FA contract. Frazier is also likely to be overpaid in arbitration as his offensive stats look fine, and defensive metrics are less thoroughly examined than counting stats. Frazier is a nice piece, but he is NOT an attractive OFer, instead he looks decidedly like a liability. He would be a fantastic occasional DH, PH for interleague games, guy off the bat who can at least play as well as a cardboard cutout in the field. That's a fair amount of utility for one roster spot with questionable value. He also represents a ceding of trade leverage to the other team who can easily ask "So....what is Frazier to you moving forward? Why ya trading the guy?" and changing the asking price.
  4. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    We have ample material such a trade. I think it is a mistake to trade too much for relief pitching, as it is such a crap shoot. Almost categorically, it has been a bad idea to sign relief pitchers. Minter looked great in his most recent appearance. Jackson...well he needs to get his head on straight if he's going to be the 9th inning guy. You're not wrong though, it is the obviously lacking bit of the Braves. But we have a lot of pitchers, hopefully Ynoa and other reinforcements can make only one closer necessary. We'll see over the next few weeks.
  5. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    The extent of their performance so far has surprised me and every projection system around. The addition of Kuechel and a little bit of clarity among the top 3 in the rotation should go a long way. A slight nudge in pitching could really move this team from playoff hunt to WS contender. If..we can get over our Dodger baggage..
  6. Demetri

    MLB 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Orioles

    How about those Braves?
  7. I really enjoyed the back and forth. This thread has some pretty heady commentary here and there and I was pretty impressed by your analysis/argument despite personally disagreeing about the legal meaning. The legal community has argued impotently about it in here and there for a while, with a particular spike in the mid to late 90s and then another round of scholarship directly post-Obama. I think that while legal analysis tends to rightfully gravitate around the illuminating sun of precedence, untried or undecided issues should not be considered unimportant. That's why I pushed arguments regarding why such a precedence could, maybe someday, kinda sorta happen. Not because I actually think it will happen (who knows? It would take a lot of things lining up so it does seem objectively unlikely) but to try to bypass issues of "But who cares because they're just words on a page and will never be relevant." I think that's a really reductive approach. A properly legitimate legal framework should be discussed and understood on several different levels. I'm a philosophy guy. That's what drives my love for this stuff, so I find it intrinsically valuable to discuss intent and meaning of a document even if that part hasn't been extrapolated by official legal force. I don't think it'll happen. I'd absolutely love for the practical reason to be that we've adopted a Parliamentary system. But that's basically the holy grail of solvency concerns. I don't think it will happen, and I perhaps erred in emphasizing factors suggesting that it conceivably could become an ISSUE. As a result, it sounded like I was saying that that issue will be resolved by it successfully being proven that my interpretation of permissibility, in essence, happened. Cheers though to you and @DMC . It was a fun mental detour.
  8. I see what you're getting at, but all manner of data exists which shows that the American public does not hold a president and vice president to the same standards. Our understanding of the VP role is defined by contrast to the presiential role. The differences are both understood popularly and imminently provable by discussing the difference in roles. So why would the presumption be that VPs are popularly held to a specifically and exclusively Presidential standard. If opinions on the president's term limits has solidified then that is because the President represents a special and unique office in federal government. The VP nomination wouldn't even necessarily be in violation of that. When a VP wins and gains that role they were not elected to the office of the president. So what are they in violation of as a VP, precisely? A VP isn't a president-elect but a contingency plan for president. 22nd clearly states that the measuring stick is "times elected" 22nd does not apply to 12 here simply because a VP isn't going to be elected to the office of a president and that and that alone is the determining number: amount of elections (barring time as VP ascended to President). Being elected president a third time would be barred, sure. But that's all 22nd limits. No where does it say a candidate is ineligible to be elected a third time, but merely that a president cannot be elected a third time. The fact that the Constitution tells us what happens if the President is found to no "qualify" for their role shows that they understand the distinction. This and more wording opens a gaping hole. A President would only be ineligible for office AFTER being elected for a third time. A twice elected vice president never gets elected a third time and thus is not rendered ineligible. It should go without saying that we don't look at it as if the Vice President is really running for President and offering him/herself for election. That would be ineligible, but that isn't what would happen here. We need not worry about being elected to President invalidating the vice president because the vice president, even if they served 8 years, never was elected a third time and therefore would not be ineligible for Presidential office. We don't consider the offices held by VP and President to be similar, it makes no sense to assume that the VP's proximity on the ticket to the person being elected (president) computes on them a Presidential election. Otherwise, we might as well say that proximity to the Oval office while working means that the VP was really, kinda sorta, holding the office of president. Arguing semantics isn't a bad thing, it is an amazing thing. It is discussing what words mean in context. It sucks that people use it as a pejorative. I realize your mention of semantics was to moot. But this might sound like semantics to some. But to legislative drafters semantics and context mean everything. I have yet to find a knowledgeable legal scholar with published working saying that such a vice president would be found invalid. Not a single one. I've found lots of arguments that it is totally acceptable. I've found some saying that we don't have empirical basis to pull from and thus cannot extract and apply particular parts because we only have the words and their interplay to guide us, not a full court decision. Hopefully, the fact that requirements for election and requirements for office eligibility are easily understood as two distinct things. Two elections affects eligibility. 22 states only election eligibility requirements and NOTHING ELSE: "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once." 12 says: "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once." Those are two different types of eligibility. Legislative purpose explains why, but the chain of succession might help the skeptics. Can anyone reasonably assert that this means that a former two-term president cannot hold only office within the line of succession because a future event could occur leading to a person gaining the presidency again. Hell, does anything in the Constitution suggest that Congress cannot chose a former president for the Presidency if an emergency led to legislative appointment to the role? Of course not. That doesn't exist anywhere. What we do have are two different terms and conditions that set two standards. I'll try to revisit this tomorrow as I'm beat and frustrated that this isn't more apparent. Viability issues are fine to present. But legal framework for preventing such a vice presidential candidate is entirely non-existent, contradicted by legal intent and the Constitutional wording, and has minimal supporting evidence with possibly painful repercussions if interpreted wrongly. I feel very confident that a Court would settle this issue very quickly, finding that two standards exist: One for rightful election, one for eligibility to office. Nowhere is that gap bridged. We do not read laws in ways that give them the assumption of non-delegated/stated power. We certainly shouldn't start here.
  9. We know that tradition can be broken easily because the government is designed to have the power and means to do so. Any claim of tradition is outweighed by millions of Americans voting to act against it. It was the vote, not perceived tradition, that created the issue. I have never heard attempting a 3rd term as an American political tradition before, notable for its inclusion to the loser's table where everyone in this proud tradition beyond one single person sits.. But tradition arguments are further undermined by suggesting that Congress acted to change term mandate only once the long-standing tradition of trying to get a 3rd term as due course was broken (please show your work here because I'm at a bit of a loss). How exceptionally silly and indicting it would be to have a common tradition and let it be tried again and again (after all, it must be or it isn't tradition) and then only ever think that maybe codified limits are useful once it succeeds. Basic logic suggests that you don't have to legislate tradition. It also suggests that tradition can survive one outlier (as you characterize FDR). That isn't how tradition is handled and codified. And one shift in an allegedly lasting tradition doesn't cause panic and amending the Constitution because either there was never really a tradition or FDR somehow changed popular perception. It doesn't compute. If FDR did something that changed perception then we have to ask why it was successful when it was or even why at all. The results suggest that the American public alive at the time understood the tradition differently than you do. But furthermore, if such a tradition has any continuing value then it would either be so self-evident as to not need codification or so rarely violated that it would be equally silly. Based on your framing of it: millions of people, in voting for FDR, voted against tradition. That seems like fertile grounds to me! If FDR was not a crazy rare outlier, then it makes no sense to hurriedly codify something that is unlikely to ever be an issue again because no one else would dare defy phantom tradition. We must then presume that either no such tradition exists or that it is worthless moving forward. But your reply doesn't really refute my post. In fact, it agrees with it. I said that FDR was the cause for a Constitutional change. That change was limited expressly to presidents. Not VP, not some vague and unspecified concept of how they interact and whether they must both functionally the same. It was limited to an issue not relevant here. This has nothing at all to do with the issues I raised. Tradition does have usefulness here, though as it suggests that a shift in word choice indicates a shift in intent by the legislature. Courts have meaningfully expressed, defined and promoted this tradition by using this logic in countless court cases. You say presidential terms are simple obvious convention. But the much more important and defensible tradition is the court's desire to note shifts in terminology and to fit that into a greater, holistic understanding. Within that tradition, which is tangible in court decisions, is living and breathing in present and future decisions and guiding as a tool for judicial review and law interpretation, is actual solvency and actual discourse. Nothing you said really undermined anything I said, but tradition as a broad thing means absolutely nothing. The tradition you described is absolutely a lesser form of real, legal tradition than American jurisprudence and that collectively suggests not only that tradition is not permanent, but also that judicial tradition is infinitely more important to America's political history than whatever is being alleged here.
  10. Poor Obama needed to be airlifted to a spa ASAP after leaving the White House. He didn't like it and it was obvious. Many of the great leaders have been unwilling recipients of the yoke of power. I wouldn't necessarily cast him as the norm, was my larger point. The fact that Reagan and Clinton agree on Constitutional repeal/reform is definitely a hell of a statement regarding the place such issues have in the Overton Window of politics. Clinton's time has passed, but you can definitely tell he still loves it, relishes it. That is the more usual outlook of a politician than Obama (who I always imagined using a dull piece of metal to mark off each day served in some sad concrete wall beyond the White House kitchen.) The really interesting thing to me when assessing the political attractiveness of this is how potentially appealing it can be to so many different sorts of political affiliations or interests. A conservative might say that the Framers made it clear that the most important attribute of a President is being the best man for the job, not years served. A liberal might say that we need to modernize two areas of law created specifically because of long past issues with specific politicians or regimes. Someone might say "That is shit writing for the girding document of our country." A textualist might say that the careful, circumspect and considerate construction of the Constitution means that the words and lack thereof have tremendous value and inconsistent terminology is not a clerical issue but a purposefully created opening. A pure realist might say that democracy being limited by an arbitrary numerical figure rather than popular mandate is no democracy at all. Any multitude of arguments have validity. Will it happen? Who knows? Unlikely events =/= impossible events. Is there reason to think that public opinion of such limitations could/will change? Absolutely. It already has several times. First, upon creation. Second, with Washington's one term. Third, when VP were not elected discretely. Again with FDR. And Fifth and finally with two politically opposed two term presidents advocating for repeal or reform. Can I track this change and predict what it looks like after X years? Of course not. But I'm not even certain we need to limit assessments of likelihood to greater political acceptability/approval. Like many other issues that seem integral, and thus irremovable, to the political process, a specific set of facts and a specific scenario is what leads to a need for action or clarification. We've skirted awfully close to that with family presidential dynasties. I can totally buy that ain future unknown situation in a future where our election system continues to lose appeal and substantive 22nd analysis occurs rather than merely factual recording (Should it say this vs. What does it say) that this could occur in reality. We know it can occur in theory because the Constitution tells us what the general rule of law will be guiding how they legislate on the issue. I think it's a cool thought exercise because you get a ton of American history, consider longitudinal changes to political culture, get to analyze our central legal document and, always the best, get to speculate rampantly about things that only political nerds would ever even think about once.
  11. As a final point, the lack of specifying a particular house constitutionally means that both houses must contribute otherwise it is not legitimate legislative process. The court COULD come in here to confirm their decision as an analog of executive confirmation. I don't think it is necessary or would be the likely result in this hypo, but that's all I can really think of regarding SCOTUS. It would also probably be more rubber stamp than substantive statements or actual law being evinced and fleshed. Because this would be a high-leverage issue and thus highly scrutinized, and because proper legislative procedure is necessary here, I think Congress would aggregate in the process of law creation, then divide and vote separately to prevent superficial complaints. Hell, in this fantasy world we might get Congress doing some of its all time best work here. Because while this isn't precisely a minefield, it is certainly a garden path surrounded by minefields. But only Congress can do it. It'd be damn hilarious to watch them realize that they wouldn't be able to do business as usual on this one.
  12. Sure. I agree with all of that completely. Obama was simply a place holder name as he would never, in a million years, agree. But Clinton? Well, that is at last within the realm of belief to me. In previously discussing this issue and similar issues, he specifically cited changes in health care (and also in what careers look like) as legitimately causing some questions about how well the 22nd amendment has held up post FDR. He specifically mentioned that the idea of non-consecutive terms has a lot of pragmatically interesting things. But he and Reagan have both stated a desire to reform the 22nd. That's two of our last four two term presidents who very pointedly suggested that the 22nd amendment deserves some inspection. I'm with you on the difficulties. But when past presidents mention it prominently then it cannot be said that it is an unfathomable concept. In my defense on the semantics, moot, as a legal term, basically obligated me to pick nits on this. But that entire vein of conversation was a festival o'nit picking. I think the legal ability for something to exist, in and of itself, has value beyond simply showing how you get to that change. It gives it legitimacy in the court of public opinion and starts to bridge the mental gap which you rightly characterize as underlying most of the practical issues.
  13. The Constitution inherently addresses the remedy and designates a legislative course. " If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified." This raises an additional point of Constitutional interest because it is obviously light on details. Putting it under Congressional purview makes sense in many ways. First, Congress is the primary expression of popular opinion. In dealing with issues regarding who will occupy a prominent federal position, they would essentially be acting to recreate a similar popular mandate. Second, what alternatives remain? They could delegate the power, but to whom? The historical alternative would be the executive branch. That doesn't work for obvious reasons. Third, Congress is ideally situated to create a solution with such vague and unhelpful guidelines. Congress would be making a law (as stated explicitly in the excerpt but it also fits logically). The Court wouldn't get involved in this anyway. They COULD perhaps inspect if any power delegated by law properly observes separation of powers doctrine. But it wouldn't get there. Congress has to actually form a plan and make a decision before the Court can properly assess the validity of their law and, for this issue, the reasoning behind the law (which is extremely important in separation of powers land.) The court doesn't want any part of this anyway, I believe. Nor will they have to as this is clearly legitimate legislative power, occurring in ordinarily legislative manners (no limiting it to Senate, for instance), and intended to have an impact towards a legislative goal. Any court that tries to challenge that as sufficient basis for Congress acting autonomously here will be rewriting some of the most fundamental principles and seminal cases in Constitutional jurisprudence.
  14. I dunno if I like the latter half of that sentence. Having options in politics is almost always an advantage. Plus, laws are inherently written (even if just I infrastructural kind of documents) to address either the completely pedestrian procedural stuff or the very rare situation. I should also mention that something being possible is the obvious prerequisite to existence. So being legally available doesn't affect that quality of the idea as a political plan, sure. But being legally possible definitionally means it isn't moot because it means it remains viable but simply an unused option. I'm quibbling a bit over the definition of moot here, I grant you. But the definition of moot that reflects what I take you to mean suggests a lack of practical importance, akin to this dictionary entry "having little or no practical relevance, typically because the subject is too uncertain to allow a decision." So when a point is irrelevant and thus moot, that isn't because of the likelihood of it becoming an issue, it is because the issue itself is too attenuated to produce an answer. I think I made a pretty good argument that, 1) if it happened an answer absolutely would happen and thus cease being moot by being decided. Even Congress doing nothing would be an affirmation.2) There is a whole lot suggesting that the answer would be a simple one. The politicians do make it moot, but that doesn't affect the legal question anymore than murder is moot because you're not a murderer. Not to belabor the point, but this is the opposite of a moot point IMO. Likelihood of it happening is a fine critique, but this issue has been discussed for a long while and there is a lot of disagreement. In short: it isn't moot, it is simply unlikely to be tested under certain circumstances. But keep in mind that recent politics has brought this issue up twice in the last 15ish years with two of our last 4 presidents being mentioned: Clinton and Obama. We also live in a present political landscape where the name Bush and Clinton and Kennedy (I could go on) represent institutional products in a way even the Roosevelt cousins didn't. Interestingly, both the 12th and 22nd amendments have direct connections to history heavily involving political families (Adams and Roosevelt, respectively.) That is more a fun tidbit than a true causal relationship. But it is beyond refute that the same groups of folks are either spending time in or contending for the White House in a way unusual enough as to be meaningful. That's why I don't think it's moot. Changing political tides could bring forth a really great set of circumstances for this maneuver. Trying this requires a previous position of power as a necessary condition and modern politics means that that shouldn't be a problem. But totally agree that it is politically not palpable, at least not unless you want to think many moves further down the board.
  15. For sure. I didn't even intend to address that part of it but was speaking more philosophically. It is a lossing situation for everyone. But taking it into the real world....it could be a super clever strategy. Obama can be VP on the ticket and that ticket can win and then and only then does Congress assess his eligibility. If found ineligible then they'd pick someone as a replacement. Meaning that Obama could (this is the land of hypothetical nonsense, just musings) be a very powerful political force in the election, encourage Dems in Congress to find him ineligible and not fight it at all and essentially walk away from a result he helped manufacture. I also don't really think it would be a constitutional crisis but could inspire changes to our central legal document (constitution). It might not even have to lead to written changes as any discourse on it would be a matter of first impression and thus would be the first, and reigning, precedent. I didn't mean to make it sound possible or likely or a good idea, I was simply saying that I really do think it is possible and I really do think that if push came to shove they'd allow it. But it is totally defensible to either disagree or view it from a different angle. For instance, my old Constitutional Law professor said that it sounded like I knew more about it than he did simply because there is no doctrinal rosetta's stone for this, partly because the cited law was formed piecemeal and very much as an ad hoc remedy to very specific things (the craziness of turn of the 19th century politics and FDR) at very different times. Most scholars think it would hold up, but several very notable folks disagree with us. I just thought it was a really cool thing to delve into given how many Constitutional and historical elements it drags with it.
  16. No offense but this is not accurate. Definitely not in the definitive tone you use to state the answer with simplicity. But I also think it is probably not the right answer either way (in my opinion, and it is very much a split opinion in legal scholarship, you're totally entitled to yours of course). I also think it misses the big picture a bit in its reasoning. I find it likely that Obama would be upheld as vice president if it happened with the decision reasoning focusing on legislative intent, a shift in terminology and issues of practicality. After all, the wording I'll outline is crucial. The 12th says no one "ineligible" to the office of president can be vice president. The specific bit of the 22nd you reference is but one of the requirements for an eligible president. But the 22nd changes terms and when that happens a strong presumption is made that the legislature did so purposefully to distinguish it from issues such as these where it would be easy to erroneously lump two different doctrines into one. That presumption is a fundamental cornerstone for Constitutional Law, and thus the wording here becomes of even more importance than it would for any other legal document. Instead of "ineligible", the 22nd states, and note the difference, "" No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice...". But the broader and more famous stipulations regarding age, residency extend beyond the 22nd and appear in Article II, Section 1: 5: "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." It is extremely noteworthy that "eligible" was used in 12 but not in 22 and both were preceded by explicitly named requirements to be "eligible." This constructively states a different standard and also provides a strong argument that legislative intent was to link 12 to Article II, not to theFD 22nd amendment. It might sound silly, but huge cases are decided on that very same logic (inconsistent terms purposefully indicating how certain things connect legally). Furthermore, the legislature has exercised tremendous discretion regarding elections and those elected. To suggest that reading the 12th and the 22nd together makes the issue absolutely sorted is absolutely incorrect. But your conclusion might well not be. I think a holistic view of intent and consideration of historical factors (1796, 1800 elections and others prompted a complete change in how VP is elected and FDR's existence led to the 22nd amendment, which basically codified what was already the norm.) In trying to connect those two (which is already too limited) there would need to be a good explanation as to why Congress worded 1 amendment to directly link to pre-existing Constitutional material and yet would not extend that same word to another, as that word acts to unify and shed light on intent. But beyond all that, it is clear that being elected isn't a requirement to serve as president. It certainly limits the ability to run for president, but does not affect eligibility of that office. The 12th points directly to the Article II requirements for "eligibility" to help highlight this. The intent was very clearly to avoid a situation where an 8 year old is serving as VP. It simply says that the general standards for eligibility apply to the vice president because that person is basically the back-up president and it makes no sense to not consider their age or citizenship if we codify rules for the president. It is still undecided in legal circles. I think that it would be fine (consider the remedy the government would have here if Obama was put on the ballot and they somehow decided it was unconstitutional. )That adds a nice policy consideration flourish to this because it would necessarily have to involve Congress overriding popular opinion on an issue that, is itself, a manifestation of popular opinion. Here is how it would work (note that it only is available after election): (From Amendment 20): "... 3: If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified." That will simply never happen in the real world. So ambiguity here is not as evenly distributed as you'd think because saying "Nah, it's barred" means that Congress would actually try to do the above remedy. It is also a fun connection back to the elections that led to reforming VP election. It would be a complete fool's errand. I don't think someone can make a great argument as to why 12 connects to Article II via same wording but not to 22nd outside of legislative intent. As a result, I think it would be permissible. But the answer is absolutely not an unqualified no. It is a fun little issue though.
  17. It has absolutely 0 predictive power and I don't mean to say that antifa=bad humans. Because of my proximity I learned a bit about it and what I heard was straight up fascism. But it was really an aside. They were just crappy people in general and I don't think it was causally connected to antifa. But I didn't like them, and I didn't like the message they were presenting (loudly and often). I maybe shouldn't have mentioned antifa because we can talk about that whole thing but it was really more an aside. I hate the politics. But one of the guys tried to steal from me and the other tried to convince a girl I was seeing that I was cheating on her with like a ton of women. Very much a personal observation because as much as they provided a human face to a larger, generally masked, organization, I was more talking about my background than saying anything meaningful. With that said, I read the handbook, I heard them speak of it and why and what. They were pleased to show me their sticker laden t-ball bats. The whole thing was highly distasteful. The relevance is that they exposed me to the radical left literally within my home.
  18. My home town is literally famous for racial issues and the civil rights movement. I was surprised by someone trying to make interested parties leave, but our damn city seal has two phrases on it: "Cradle of the Confederacy" and "Birthplace of Civil Rights". Both. Same seal. I'm super fortunate to have gotten to meet Bryan Stevenson, I would routinely drive by MLK's church, the former slave market, BB King's house, the Rosa Parks bench stop. Amazing history. But that history only exists because of exceptional discord. But let me assure you that this was not something purely imagined. My then girlfriend (mixed race, adopted, from Montgomery, very political and relatively well connected at SPLC, very active and passionate) basically said that the guy who spoke the loudest is basically a racist and to not take it too personally. This isn't a "woe is me, so unfairly judged" as much as it is something that I can speak on from direct experience. That isn't to say anything of what you said was wrong, just wanted to clarify that this wasn't because I felt "awkward" or "sensed their glares" or anything like that. I'm sure if I'd have kept coming he'd have been talked down by others or come around himself. But it wasn't in that moment. I get that it is a political statement, but damn... Regarding incumbent and Trump as focal point. Obviously for this election Trump is a huge focal point. Dems will paint it as the 2nd major battle in a cultural war in American politics, with Trump holding the first victory. Targets will be: His personality (self-explanatory), failed promises, convincing America that Trump was bad for the economy (job approval and short scale economic trends have a tight causal relationship depending on how it's weighed). This is especially huge for Trump as it was a major selling point and essentially the only thing that even approached making him qualified (or should I say, were asserted as qualifications). He's going right back to the economy because they're keeping his numbers viable. Preempting that both offensively (question the record) and defensively (policy formation) . Hit the Green Deal but not too hard, only so as to pique youth interest and mobilize a younger demographic but without presenting it in the form of a solvent plan but more as an overarching ideal that stabilizes the Dem party. Casting doubt on FIRST (must be first) the efficacy of "America first" foreign policy and then questioning the sincerity of such promises. Then, with tangible complaints, circle back to character issues and questions of how he comports himself as president (is he "presidential") I think a major mistake would be to go too personal when it is 1 v 1 and before the more substantive issues above have been well-handled. The personal critique is already playing but the fodder is nearly endless and should be well used. Perhaps a sacrificial lamb who is willing to be a dick about it without compromising the more viable candidates. And please, for the love of god, pick a damn candidate with Trump directly in mind. My research has suggested that Elizabeth Warren doesn't do well against generic candidates. I worry that she is still where the left-moderate are flocking, some of the folks I consider to be highly intelligent and often are partners in pretty in depth conversations. I have considerable concerns about her viability outside of primaries. But I dunno who that person is right now, tbh. I've had a lot going on so I can't say that I'm super caught up. But Warren seems to be the horse with the best name but I really worry about her on this track. For all of these reasons the party platform will be par for the course against a sitting President (as you astutely point out.) But I meant beyond that and moving forward. United disapproval is great for a coalition in an election. I am less optimistic about the staying power of it, the ability to keep that tent above heads. It could easily be detrimental. But speculation abounds. I've enjoyed chatting with you @DMC . BTW, I'm a huge dead head, love the avatar.
  19. C'mon, what's politics without some chicken little fun? I don't think Obama was realignment. I think the shift from neoconservatives to today's breed is notable. But one could fairly point to Reagan as being a minor realignment. It's entirely a pet theory of mine, beyond timeframe trends and somewhat circumstantial evidence (primarily involving voting trends but also as single issue voters become a bit more pronounced and even maybe a bit more varied in appearance) there isn't much evidence behind it. I will say that there seems to be a feeling that BOTH parties are backed into a corner, politically and neither feels comfortable. Dems have an ensemble cast doing their rendition of "Trump is the Devil" and Trump is doing lord knows what but probably also a Greek tragedy about himself. You spoke of insecure majorities and I think that speaks to larger issues of structural insecurity on behalf of the parties. There is a fundamental problem, on both sides of the aisle, in identifying, mobilizing and unifying their voting blocs. To me, this stands in stark contrast to the status quo about 20 years ago. Generally, we've seen the gray population grow and the extremes further separate and define themselves. Of notable interest is international political movements. For perhaps the 3rd time we're seeing political insecurity writ large on Western democracy not as a threat to a particular party, but as a threat to the establishment as a whole. You seem very knowledgeable on the PoliSci side so I thought I'd run it up the flagpole (Did I properly infer that you're a professor of the subject?) This might be an issue of desire vs. reading the political tea leaves, but we are certainly at an interesting crossroads in American political history. I'm glad that you acknowledge what I expressed above with "the left does seem particularly intent on trying to push out anyone 'moderate' these days" which I got a bit of very polite and civil backlash for. For the GOP, if they could somehow court the hispanic vote (no need to raise objections, I get it) then they could become nearly monolithic. But they lack the foresight to sacrifice individual policy decisions for such a cause nor is it certain that such an effort could happen within 1 or even 2 generations. The Cuban population and their anomalous voting behavior obviously provides no meaningful parallel. But if such a coalition could form... I think the Dems are failing as a big tent party. I'm not sure what central force is holding up said tent. I know they want it to be the case, I simply think they lack the cohesion and political will/unity required to drop issues in compromise. I think a sense of moral righteousness is a major cause of the problem and the relative unfriendliness you see among certain proponents. I mean, I'm a white male and, when trying to discuss an issue, was expressly told "they" (guy speaking generally) don't want "me." Well, that kind of sucks because I'm fairly knowledgeable, extremely loyal and, when stoked, extremely passionate. An ex of mine later told me "Oh, ignore him, he won't be happy until there is a race war" as if explaining that the person has tourettes or some irreversible condition that can only be managed, never stopped. Talk about deflating. I also lived with a couple of antifa guys and they are two of the worst human beings I've ever met. I understand that that means little and less, but these sort of experiences happen without any concept of politics as a larger institution. And that scattered, shotgun approach to coalition building is how we end up with Trump. If the Democrats could learn to pick their battles or, more precisely, learn how to reign in groups that want to fight every battle, then they're halfway there. Being fervently anti-Trump, IMO, is not a lasting enough stance to pitch a tent on. I see the desire and potential for a D big tent party, but I also see major failures in execution. If they find out I'm from Montgomery, Alabama then I might as well be wearing a swastika. Gotta get away from the "feels good morally" and into the "let's figure out how to accomplish morally good things." Just the opinion of a very tired Southerner.
  20. 1) That is fair as long as we properly operationalize it. It seems like we could simply be misunderstanding one another due to terminology (or more likely my hamfisted wording.) Job approval is certainly not MEANINGLESS but, once two candidates are identified and known, that job approval is perhaps a secondary consideration to opinions of Specific Person X v. Specific Person Y. 2) That is precisely what I was referring to as it links to what I've made point 3. I did not at all mean to suggest that approval of Congress as a whole directly reflects approval of your representative. That goes against political theory on a very basic level. But there is a correlation. I'd say that "don't view their representatives fondly" is accurate. It might lack specificity, but I meant to highlight the correlation you helpfully mention. Congress is generally viewed negatively and there is a causal connection to individual representatives that means the former impacts the latter. "Not very fondly" is broad. But beyond the previous connection, approval rates for an individual can only ever get so high. No one is out their nominating their rep for "Best politican Eva" 2019. There is certainly a local feeling and a local impact, but there is also certainly an impact of being part of a governmental body that isn't very well thought of. Many (I won't argue most though I think it might be right, simply too broad) congressional candidates have differentiating themselves from Congress as an institution as objective #1. And wisely so. My pardons on the lack of precision, I can see how my appraisal of Congress and individual reps can be conflated as being one assessment but that was poor word wielding on my part. 3) It is a convoluted point, frankly. I have not read that particular piece (a bit after my PoliSci time) but I think the general distrust of Congress stems from a concept that something weird happens in D.C. and representatives immediately become primarily interested in entrenching and furthering their political power. A lot of people think there isn't a meaningful distinction between party platforms because the overwhelming interest of each individual is preservation of power. I think there is some legitimacy to it, but I wouldn't personally go that far. But I do think voter apathy and voter fatigue have at least a portion of their roots in this issue. Despite an advanced degree in PoliSci, my love is really just in two areas: 1) political philosophy, 2) statistics. I think those things are fascinating in and of themselves and elections, for me, are just a joyous psychological/number game. And from a philosophical/historical perspective, surely you admit that we're overdue for realignment (dealignment eventually, IMHO). So I really do approach these things from those two areas and with that proposed hypothesis. I'd love any thoughts you have on it. I first felt it was inevitable in the 2nd Bush campaign and so far...well...America might as well have had a script for the part. Reasonable minds can and will differ, but I wouldn't cry over the loss of the Ds or Rs. The first one to effectively go "big tent" will probably be the basis for the template of the new parties. We'll see how it pans out. But I truly believe that Trump could be a great thing for American democracy either by forcing realization or inciting actual party reform.
  21. I'm totally with you on changing the system. I was staunchy against introducing a Parliamentary system, but the lack of nuanced policy and coalition building has led to an incredible degree of otherization in politics which is both counterproductive and dangerous on a political, societal and cultural level. I'm just speaking from personal experience. My moderate voice is very rarely welcomed and often time mocked or misattributed (see how tetchy I was when I thought you thought I was a Trump supporter, that is conditioned. I've never supported anything beyond the idea that he might help us realize our system is broken). I don't think we're disagreeing as much as it appears. We simply have different viewers on (and I hate this term) "Swing-voters". My vote is very much available but when someone is advocating a political platform and the comments devolve almost immediately into ad hominem nonsense then I'm out. Before Trump, fervent ideology wasn't sufficient for office/political platform. I want it to stay that way. Perhaps I should have elaborated that it truly is the manner, not the substance, that drives me away. I wouldn't say I'm "turned off by incivility" so much as surprised by the method of argumentation and issues of dispute chosen by the far left. It has, in the past, boggled my mind. But the real issue is a bit deeper: many of the folks I speak of are VERY vocal. Not unlike some Trump supporters, they have a palpable sense of moral superiority that gives them a terrifying confidence in their views. This is equally applicable to the far wings of each camp, but the difference is that I don't see Nazi posts on social media. I do see some pretty bad stuff from the other pole. I don't want to be anywhere near those kind of thinkers. I try to engage, but engagement isn't the goal. Sometimes (and again, this is a subsect, this isn't democrats at large or liberals in general) the goal is sheer propaganda and information dispersal. But eventually those far left folks have to find a non-Trump candidate. The selection mechanism and how discourse happens at that point will continue. But here's the grand finale of things. So much of the far left involves setting social ground rules (PC is a good example but not unique) and they tend to drag that into the discussion. I think a great many people might be turned off by someone accepting discussion/discourse only on their terms, at their home field. I won't vote Trump, but there is one friend in particular who, if he declares a favorite, will inherently make me doubt the viability of the person he sides with. That's based on nothing but the way he handles discussion and tries to exhibit moral superiority. I never meant to state that it would define the election, but I think it is something to watch. I, again, think the two party system we now have is crumbling before our eyes and that the preventative measures regarding discourse (For both far ends) is a huge symptom.
  22. Not unfair. I don't curate my FB. Nor do I really even use it regularly. But when I do scroll through.....it is a human trainwreck from almost all sides.
  23. It certainly doesn't exist in polls that pit Warren vs. generic candidate X. Those are really ugly and really scary. That's just based on what I've seen which I'll concede isn't up-to-the-minute data.
  24. I'll never vote for Trump, full stop. I thought I made that super-clear. The issue is that these folks discourage me from buying into their preferred candidate because I don't think much of their logic/thought process. And I'm just the weird guy who tries to spark conversation, not the normal person who is content receiving information or reading but not replying. Lesser of two evils voting is a great summation of why Trump was elected in the first place and emblematic of problems within the present Democratic party. You're forcing me into a dichotomy where either Trump or the far left are the big baddie and I better pick. I reject that false dichotomy and think it hastens the dealignment of our present party system. Think of it this way. If a bunch of bigoted people or people of questionable morality all said they were voting Trump would you not look at those folks and connect their behavior with the candidate/policy/general politics they're espousing? Would it not be a complete turnoff or at least affect your thinking? That's obviously extreme, but if folks systematically show a deficit in some logical capacity and support a certain point of view, why wouldn't at least some of that distaste by association rub off on you? It is a huge rallying cry for anti-Trump folks. But that further underscores the problem of such a directly adversarial system. I can think Trump and his followers are absolute garbage and also see the supporters of some hypothetical candidate as similarly lacking. Thus, one might not vote (turn-out hurt too) or might vote beyond D and R (as I have recently.) I also tend to think that the parties are effectively two branches of one establishment party with consolidating power being the biggest uniting force in politics. But that's a slight aside. I don't want to support a racist and I don't want to support an idiot. Racism is worse, sure, but the issue further becomes muddied by suggestions that moral outrage over one compels me to vote against those interests. A vote isn't meant to be cast for disaster avoidance and I refuse to vote accordingly. If we want sweeping and meaningful change then we have to stop thinking so dualistically.
  25. I should have said that I'm speaking primarily from personal experience and discussion with other reasonable folks. I'm from Alabama but highly educated and the majority of my friends are "bright blue dots in a solid red state" folks. But I also have some old friends from childhood who are pretty damn conservative. It is my great joy to get to fight against both super conservatives and super liberals. The issue is a lack of dialogue process. The amount of times I've had to explain how American free speech works is astounding. Assertions that X demographic shouldn't be entitled to have an opinion on Y issue because that is merely the province of Z is not conducive to discourse nor does it remotely resemble democracy. But the greater issue is that there isn't a dialogue process. Many far left folks I try to engage with don't want a dialogue. They want to post normative things and have it be objective truth and supported by righteous morality. That, by itself, doesn't lend itself well to discourse. That dovetails directly into what I was speaking to, that we don't get rid of Trump by saying "Hey, idiot, this is a true thing. How can you not believe this thing I posted when it is is so true and so moral?" We get folks to buy into the policy and see it as moral themselves. Even here, there is an exclusion to input from well-meaning people which is considered less important than a moral platform. Moral platforms don't succeed by repetition or fervor, but by engagement. This is the lack of process because it discourages engagement and instead draws a "with me or against me" line in the sand with all sorts of moral condemnation ready as rebuke. More specifically. I was explaining why Georgia rape law is absolutely barbaric. The issue kept coming around to preferential white male treatment. I said, "Hey, we need to overhaul common law conceptions of rape that exist as criminal statutes in the U.S." and I was told that they'd rather "cut the head off of the giant." WTF does that even mean? I propose very specific legislative reform and I was responded to with abstractions about the woes of the criminal justice system. I grant those issues exist and need remedying. But the philosophical point of "Fuck this system, let's kill it ded" trumps practical considerations like "Hey, GA has a fucked up rape law, let's change it!" (Men can't be raped, legally, which seems to not be a source of worry... though it merely reflects how antiquated the law is and reflects its 18th century origins). The post above the article (discussing a family agreed upon plea agreement due to really crazy case facts and a really bad rape law) read "Are you 'afraid' men?" Do you really think that's winning political points? The poster had no idea that the same law that made consent sticky in that issue also says men cannot legally be the victims of rape. But that fact (and proposed reform) was a secondary concern. The identity politics issue came first. Another instance in when I discussed with someone how consent can be violated and Cardi B, specifically that force and violation of consent is inherent in drugging someone and the social harm (rape, robbery, to whatever degree) of such a forceful consent violation remains the same whether by physical exertion or by drugs. A far left friend of mine (friend of years, maybe 9 years) blocked me straight away. These weren't political points (I don't vote by party and lean left on social issues such as being a loud advocate of gay rights for around 15 years or since I had a cogent opinion. I wasn't saying anything inflammatory. But they didn't want to hear anything beyond what they thought they knew. Right wingers are just as bad, but try less to persuade. The far left forces a pseudo dialogue when what they really want is an echo chamber. It helped elect Trump, frankly. My personal experience is very much personal, but I believe in good faith discourse and try to engage in it. They, however, did not. And without engaging in discourse then we really don't have a discourse process. I could discuss other examples (being called a racist for absolutely no reason, being called a sexist when my then gf taught women's studies at a local college and told me not to take it so personally because it wasn't who I am) or being fearful in discussing my field of study because identity politics- or my demographic- seems to make my opinion null regardless of citations. These things aren't discourse. They are a failure of discourse. Let me state here that I hate Trump. I support gay marriage, I support abortion as legal as policy (but have given a son up for adoption as my girlfriend and myself were both 18 at the time), I support marijuana legalization. I support a higher federal minimum. And yet, somehow, the vocal far left folks paint me as a cancer. And that, in my experience, is entirely because of my unwillingness to swallow whole their terrible memes.
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