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U.S. Politics: One Wave, Two Waves, Red Waves, Blue Waves

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Meanwhile Trump has said repeatedly how certain foreign agents are attempting to aid the democrats, Russian operatives are priming the pump for Trump supporters to 'get ready for civil war' and other things, and Trump himself is promoting (along with people like Grassley) the idea that Democrats are attempting to buy the election by bribing illegal immigrants to vote illegally, and...well, it's not very far to go to the idea that a free and fair transfer of power is not in the cards.

Keep in mind that Russia would LOVE the US to have a massive struggle in transferring power. That would be a huge win for them, no matter what, especially if they can keep their hands clean. And if the voting issues in Texas are any indication, chances are pretty good they can do just that. 

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Also, ya know, the US somewhat famously had a kind of slight disagreement about the peaceful transfer of power when one side's candidate did not get elected. They kind of decided to leave the US. It was civil though. 

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46 minutes ago, Morpheus said:

Bolsonaro is Brazil’s next president. Things are bad all over.

O. No.  So many friends and long time colleagues. This is another catastrophe.  His objective is to burn down what remains of the amazon forest, the lungs of the whole goddamned planet.

 

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1 hour ago, Altherion said:

I think you're being pessimistic. The right and the left are allowed some latitude in how they behave, but the uneventful transition of power (i.e. without violence and without legal persecution of the losing side) is one of the defining features of the American system and anyone who tries to mess with that will get stomped. The media (including even right-oriented outlets such as Breitbart) have been pretty clear that the polling strongly favors Democrat control of at least the House so it won't come as a surprise to the vast majority on the right. They care about winning, or course, but not enough to do anything other than waiting for 2020 so there will be no serious global disturbances.

That said, one of the unfortunate aspects of extremely polarized political environments is that unstable individuals are sometimes driven to actions which nobody wants them to take (least of all their own side) which lead to, at best, farce and, at worst, tragedy. We've already seen this and it's not likely to stop anytime soon.

While we obviously haven't seen the election yet, this comes across as too naive for it to be possible for you to be entirely sincere.  Just because a Breitbart admits the Dems might lead in the polls tells us nothing about how Trump's hordes will respond depending on what he tells them.  

I hope you're right, but at this point you're being dismissive of how far away from usual norms we've moved.  

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2 hours ago, karaddin said:

I have this reaction a lot. I went through a solid 6-12month period of making cuck jokes because I couldn't deal with the fact that people were using it sincerely as an insult despite it saying more about them than the person they were attempting to insult.

I'm really quite terrified about the upcoming midterms. If the GOP win we'll continue on the current path solidifying the fascist awakening and entrenching discrimination against minorities, violence against asylum seekers/immigrants and more. If the Dems win we get to find out just how the far right are going to react when democracy tries to reassert itself which has the more scary worst case scenario in the short term.

I wonder, has democracy ever survived a concerted effort to destroy it? Has it only ever been restored / protected because of a shooting war?

Germany fell over, WW2 restored it. Iran the US killed it, it's nominally a democracy though not really. The USA, civil war, 'nuff said. Zimbabwe, another DINO (D standing for democracy of course). Fiji several coups, not entirely sure democracy is properly back. Has Russia ever been anything but a DINO?

Australia kind of got close, with (again) the USA bringing down the Whitlam govt, but the democracy itself came through with no extended period of compromise (I think?). But I wouldn't say the USA actually tried to destroy the democratic system and install an undemocratic system.

Was Chile a democracy before Pinochet? In any case, a lot of years of autocracy before Democracy came back, and its arguably not too healthy.

Turkey is about to fall over democratically, or it already has some might say and they are probably right.

When people see democracy being captured by the rich and powerful, even if its a rich and powerful autocrat who offers something different, it seems like the people think / hope a different approach might work better.

It's the worst form of govt, except for everything else that's been tried, so they say. But I guess that doesn't stop people from forgetting, for a while, and choosing to try one of those other types, until they realise, after a period of time, that the other type actually is worse, and so come back to democracy.

Is the USA already a DINO, and people are just in denial about it?

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1 hour ago, Altherion said:

I think you're being pessimistic. The right and the left are allowed some latitude in how they behave, but the uneventful transition of power (i.e. without violence and without legal persecution of the losing side) is one of the defining features of the American system and anyone who tries to mess with that will get stomped. The media (including even right-oriented outlets such as Breitbart) have been pretty clear that the polling strongly favors Democrat control of at least the House so it won't come as a surprise to the vast majority on the right. They care about winning, or course, but not enough to do anything other than waiting for 2020 so there will be no serious global disturbances.

That said, one of the unfortunate aspects of extremely polarized political environments is that unstable individuals are sometimes driven to actions which nobody wants them to take (least of all their own side) which lead to, at best, farce and, at worst, tragedy. We've already seen this and it's not likely to stop anytime soon.

When asked, Trump was pretty vague and obfuscated about whether he would accept the 2016 election result if it went Hillary's way. It's good we didn't need to find out if he was full of shit or not. But his most ardent followers were possibly willing to heed his call to arms.

I imagine as long as Trump feels safe as remaining in the Whitehouse he might not go full crazy if the Dems take the House. But if he feels his presidency is seriously under threat, might he do something to try to undermine or de-legitimise the result? I don't think one can clearly, immediately and unequivocally answer 'no, he wouldn't'. Probably would be my hopeful answer. But perhaps the more correct answer is possibly yes. And arguably he's already doing things to undermine or de-legitimise a Democratic Party win.

 

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25 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Australia kind of got close, with (again) the USA bringing down the Whitlam govt, but the democracy itself came through with no extended period of compromise (I think?). But I wouldn't say the USA actually tried to destroy the democratic system and install an undemocratic system.

It survived because the deposed leader valued the democracy above his own government and walked away. There were those around him that were willing/urged him to ignore/challenge it, but he refused and complied with the Governor-General. The social reformer was kicked out of office, and some things were wound back but Fraser ultimately served the country as he saw it and democracy itself continued OK with a very strong precedent against anyone trying a repeat of the same. I get a little overly positive in my assessment of him, since he didn't head politically right after office while his former party did which left him going "WTF?" in his old age. He also provided asylum to those who arrived needing it, it was the following Labor government that started the policy of mandatory detention.

9 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I imagine as long as Trump feels safe as remaining in the Whitehouse he might not go full crazy if the Dems take the House. But if he feels his presidency is seriously under threat, might he do something to try to undermine or de-legitimise the result? I don't think one can clearly, immediately and unequivocally answer 'no, he wouldn't'. Probably would be my hopeful answer. But perhaps the more correct answer is possibly yes. And arguably he's already doing things to undermine or de-legitimise a Democratic Party win.

 

Yeah this is precisely where that worst case fear of mine is at. He'll continue the current pace unless he feels under threat, so it depends on how much he fears the result of a Dem win.

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31 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

 

Is the USA already a DINO, and people are just in denial about it?

I think so, but I would love to be proven wrong by the midterms.

And karaddin is absolutely right to call Altherion a gaslighter. Fucking disgusting.

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17 minutes ago, karaddin said:

It survived because the deposed leader valued the democracy above his own government and walked away. There were those around him that were willing/urged him to ignore/challenge it, but he refused and complied with the Governor-General. The social reformer was kicked out of office, and some things were wound back but Fraser ultimately served the country as he saw it and democracy itself continued OK with a very strong precedent against anyone trying a repeat of the same. I get a little overly positive in my assessment of him, since he didn't head politically right after office while his former party did which left him going "WTF?" in his old age. He also provided asylum to those who arrived needing it, it was the following Labor government that started the policy of mandatory detention.

 

Funny you should mention that. From a headline in our media today

Quote

Overwhelming support from Australians for Nauru refugees to be moved to New Zealand poll.

Kind of gave me a chuckle about the backbone of the Aussie progressive mainstream. We don't like what's being done, but we still don't want that lot to come to Aus. No votes to be won by doing that.

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3 hours ago, karaddin said:

I have this reaction a lot. I went through a solid 6-12month period of making cuck jokes because I couldn't deal with the fact that people were using it sincerely as an insult despite it saying more about them than the person they were attempting to insult.

I'm really quite terrified about the upcoming midterms. If the GOP win we'll continue on the current path solidifying the fascist awakening and entrenching discrimination against minorities, violence against asylum seekers/immigrants and more. If the Dems win we get to find out just how the far right are going to react when democracy tries to reassert itself which has the more scary worst case scenario in the short term.

In the sort term - this election and the next one - yes, things look grim for those on the left.  Past that, though, it's worse, much worse, for those on the right.

 

First, regardless of voter suppression, the right wing radicals still need people to vote for them.  Their biggest block of voters - old white people is imploding (dying off) at a frightening rate, something to which I have an unwanted front row seat.

 

Second, about that voter suppression: moving polling places, dropping folks from the rolls, even gerrymandering - these are all short term desperation measures.  They might work this election, and maybe even next election, but they're being challenged every step of the way.  Odds are pretty fair conservatives will lose even with these measures in some places, subjecting tactics like this to the sort of scrutiny that results in prison time. 

 

Third, for all but the most insane conservatives - still a tiny minority - the peaceful transfer of power is a built in strength of the US system.  Should they lose, conservatives will complain and attempt to preserve this or that abhorrent element via the courts, but a literal undemocratic coup isn't going to happen. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Funny you should mention that. From a headline in our media today

Kind of gave me a chuckle about the backbone of the Aussie progressive mainstream. We don't like what's being done, but we still don't want that lot to come to Aus. No votes to be won by doing that.

There is a solid block of us that have always been opposed to it and do want to bring them here and close the torture camps down, but good luck getting the media or politicians to pay any heed to us when its much easier to stoke racism and resentment. And yeah, making the whole thing your problem appeals to a much larger slice than our view :( Probably the same group that would continue with arrogant feelings of superiority to NZ no less.

@ThinkerX the reason I don't take comfort in those longer term projections is that's too late. It's too late to salvage the system, even under the best case the damage Trump etc has done has opened up massive cracks that can't be undone and I just can't see the literal nazis giving up and going home just because their boy lost the election - they want violent upheaval as their optimal outcome after all. And by 2022/2024 its definitely too late for a last ditch surge in international cooperation spearheaded by a suddenly responsible USA to save us from climate change on a level that will cause massive political turmoil. Especially not with a fascist in Brazil that's probably going to wreck the Amazon burning the candle at both ends.

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

While we obviously haven't seen the election yet, this comes across as too naive for it to be possible for you to be entirely sincere.  Just because a Breitbart admits the Dems might lead in the polls tells us nothing about how Trump's hordes will respond depending on what he tells them.  

I hope you're right, but at this point you're being dismissive of how far away from usual norms we've moved.  

Trump has no reason to tell them anything except to accept the results of the election. As I've said before, he's a product and beneficiary of the current system and attempts to change it are not in his interest because the upside from winning is small while the downside from losing is colossal. Losing the House poses no threat to him as long as he doesn't also lose the support of the Republican party.

Furthermore, I don't think the vast majority of Trump's supporters will react positively to unconstitutional power grabs -- there are a few who would welcome such a thing, but the rest are proud of being Americans and I don't see how this can be sold as anything but flagrantly un-American.

1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Is the USA already a DINO, and people are just in denial about it?

The USA is a constitutional republic and it has never claimed to be a pure democracy. It's about as democratic as it has been over the course of its history (arguably more so since we started off with suffrage restricted to white men who owned property), but, just as with every other state on the planet, one can always make arguments that it is not truly democratic because, among other reasons, inequality renders certain individuals much more influential than others.

1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I imagine as long as Trump feels safe as remaining in the Whitehouse he might not go full crazy if the Dems take the House. But if he feels his presidency is seriously under threat, might he do something to try to undermine or de-legitimise the result? I don't think one can clearly, immediately and unequivocally answer 'no, he wouldn't'. Probably would be my hopeful answer. But perhaps the more correct answer is possibly yes. And arguably he's already doing things to undermine or de-legitimise a Democratic Party win.

He's certainly trying to de-legitimitize a Democratic victory, but there is nothing new in this: it's standard political maneuvering and Democrats have been doing the same exact thing to him personally since he won as well as to several of his appointees and allies (most notably Justice Kavanaugh). And again, why would he feel his Presidency is under threat? The House can order investigations and the like, but he's already being investigated by Mueller so this changes little. It can also impeach him, but a conviction in the Senate requires 67 votes which means more than a dozen Republican Senators would need to switch sides to remove him. In fact, having a House controlled by the opposition is not entirely bad for a President who is up for reelection in two years: it provides somebody in power to blame.

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1 hour ago, DanteGabriel said:

I think so, but I would love to be proven wrong by the midterms.

And karaddin is absolutely right to call Altherion a gaslighter. Fucking disgusting.

I'd call Altherion something worse, but that would be a big no no on here lol.

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I mean, its not like I was trying to say that's all he is. Just because he's doing propaganda for them doesn't mean he's not a believer. I don't understand why anyone in here would treat him as anything other than a propaganda mouth piece though, look at this horse shit he just trotted out

Quote

He's certainly trying to de-legitimitize a Democratic victory, but there is nothing new in this: it's standard political maneuvering and Democrats have been doing the same exact thing to him personally since he won as well as to several of his appointees and allies (most notably Justice Kavanaugh).

Insisting on a confirmation hearing which discusses the character of someone essentially in a job interview, and asking for the FBI to investigate accusations of criminal behaviour in someone put forward to be a judge, is not in any way comparable to claiming that the vote was different to what it was, that the vote doesn't matter or that half the country is a mob that can't be trusted to govern. I know its bullshit, everyone reading this thread knows its bullshit, and most importantly of all he knows its bullshit but he trots out this steaming turd with a grin on his face and then either him or someone else will probably decry how uncivil it is to point out his cart is full of shit.

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34 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

A Nazi?

Well he is a sympathizer given some of his posts, or an apologist. Seems to switch between the two.

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11 hours ago, Ormond said:

It is not necessarily because your "nerves are too raw."

There is research showing that human beings are dismal at detecting sarcasm in emails or internet posts even when they do know the poster personally. This is a general human characteristic, not a sign that of any intellectual or emotional disability or even of having a "bad day."  And this works in both ways -- people are as likely to think a post that was meant to be serious is sarcastic as vice versa.

Really what we should be teaching people is to NEVER post anything in an email or on a discussion board that they mean to be sarcastic unless they explicitly point out that it is sarcastic through a written statement or at least an emoticon. "Signals" don't work unless they are that explicit.

It goes to show you just how much of our communication is tonal or conveyed through body language.

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I'm expecting/hoping that the Democrats take back the House.  Think the Senate is a long shot, but haven't looked closely at where the polls are at.  At this point, I really don't care about the polls.  I'm ready to drop my ballot in the mail and hope enough Democrats show up this election.  For 99% of the eligible voters, there's really no excuse for not voting that is acceptable this election, especially if you are unhappy with Trump and the Republicans.  

If the Democrats take back the House, I think it's really unlikely that Republicans will do anything systematic to try and overturn the elections to retain control of the House.  I just don't see any way Republicans could realistically prevent the newly elected Representatives from being seated. 

Lawsuits?  They would be quickly dismissed unless they could actually provide evidence of some sort of wrong doing, and I doubt that a bunch of people would be willing to fabricate evidence on something so heavily scrutinized, when getting caught would likely lead to jail time.  If there are some close races that Republicans lose and they ask for a recount, I expect that they'll have the same success that Jill Stein had.  

Force?  That seems even less likely than lawsuits.  Yes, there are some crazy people that might do something on their own, but I don't think we are near any sort of civil war or revolution that will result in the breakdown of our democracy.  I don't think the Republicans can just coop the police and/or military to force a takeover.

If the Democrats take back the House, I expect that the transition of power will go smoothly like normal.  I'd be completely shocked if it didn't proceed normally because of some sort of obstruction from Republicans.  That just seems so far-fetched to me, so personally, I'm not worried about that happening.  I can see Republicans complaining that the elections were rigged, but again, there won't be any evidence, so nothing will come of it.  

What worries me is that not enough Democrats will go out and vote.   That's a real problem that has repeatedly happened in the past and most recently has resulted in Trump being elected and Republicans in control of Congress.  If Democrats can't come out in force after two years of the Trump presidency, then the Democratic party is hopeless.  Have to show up this time.  No excuses.

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