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US Politics: Ready, Set, Announce! Bookering the Odds

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4 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

What I meant by that was, in particular with the progressive / left eating their own, that you don't call for people on your own side to resign over social indiscretions committed decades in the past.

Why not? Of course, most of the time each party tries not to hand power over to the other (e.g. Democrats pushing Joe Manchin to resign would probably result in Republicans picking up a Senate seat), but when the replacement is from the same side as the replaced, this amounts to an internal power struggle.

Of course, people who have studied history and noticed that practically everything we do today is now recorded in one way or another might argue that weaponizing the distant past is quite likely to eventually come around to bite the people who are currently profiting from it, but this ship has sailed.

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2 minutes ago, Altherion said:

 

Of course, people who have studied history and noticed that practically everything we do today is now recorded in one way or another might argue that weaponizing the distant past is quite likely to eventually come around to bite the people who are currently profiting from it, but this ship has sailed.

What’s going to happen is that very little will actually matter becuase in a decade or two we will be overloaded with the dumb Facebook posts of politicians from when they were 19.  

Social media, the prevalence of texting (ie a record of your private conversations) will make this so much worse as time goes on and there will be enough dirt on anybody and everybody that only the truly unscrupulous assholes would even dare to stick their neck out to run for dog catcher.  There will be untold numbers of moral, capable people who won’t want anything to do with it.  Already at this point now probably.  I think that as with many criminal matters there ought to be an agreed upon statute of limitations on non-criminal dumbassery.  

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3 hours ago, S John said:

It’s no surprise that the right are figuring out that they can turn the Democrats own standards against them. 

Pretty much what I said when the accusations against Kavanaugh first came out (and we had very little information about them).

OTOH

3 hours ago, S John said:

People can change drastically over time.  Even from age 20-30, or 24-35 you can see drastically different iterations of the same individual.  I really don’t approve of the notion that people can’t have done things that they regret in life and overcome them and move on.  It just feels like if you fuck up (or fucked up 10, 20, 30 years ago) you are expected to go find a hole to crawl into and die.  I don’t think that is how society should work.

There's a huge spectrum between "being a bit of a douche when young" and "committing rape and murder."

Therein lies the problem in my eyes. Like, I wouldn't care if a politician had experimented with various drugs in their youth. But being the school drug dealer? Hmmm, I'd probably have a problem with that. But how can you tell the difference, decades after the facts?
The same goes for a lot of things. A guy jokingly touching a girl inappropriately while drunk at a party (à-la-Franken)? That could've been me. Assault or rape? Not a fucking chance. But again, how do you tell the difference, decades later?

I guess one key difference is how the people themselves react. No one magically forgets who they were as a teenager. Not even with tons of booze involved. Admitting you were young and stupid, and that you did bad stuff goes a long way. Kavanaugh's holier-than-thou righteous-anger otoh was what ended up showing the world he wasn't the man for the job.

3 hours ago, S John said:

Social media, the prevalence of texting (ie a record of your private conversations) will make this so much worse as time goes on and there will be enough dirt on anybody and everybody that only the truly unscrupulous assholes would even dare to stick their neck out to run for dog catcher. There will be untold numbers of moral, capable people who won’t want anything to do with it.  Already at this point now probably.  I think that as with many criminal matters there ought to be an agreed upon statute of limitations on non-criminal dumbassery.  

This is 100% true imho.
Though I'll add that there are also untold number of younger people already who have been taught to be very careful about what they post online.
My generation was one of the first on the internet. We posted a lot of potentially incriminating things online. It took me and several of my friends years to learn.
Meanwhile, my cousins who are in their twenties have *nothing* dangerous online. One of them posts pictures of horses, and the other one advertises film festivals. One of them doesn't even have pictures of her showing up on google.

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The Washington Post had investigated the sexual assault allegation against Fairfax some time ago and could not find any evidence that it was true. They checked with people who had worked with him in the past and found no stories about him being a harasser or offensive to women. The sad fact is, for the most part, a guy who harasses women does it all the time. There were quite a few stories about Franken, about where he put his hands and stuff he said. And Trump has a ton of complaints about him, life-long. Look at the other guys in the Me Too stories. With no other evidence of misconduct, WAPO chose not to report the harassment allegation when it first came to their attention.

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18 hours ago, Lollygag said:

snip

A few things here:
1. Even if somebody were moderate in the sense of preferred policy positions, I’d hope they wouldn't be so foolish to believe they should be moderate in the way they deal with the current Republican Party. As noted by people like Norm Ornstein the Republican Party has simply lost their mind.  There is no reason to think they will deal in good faith. And if you start out as a moderate on policy and try to negotiate with party that wants to go even further to the right, you’re likely to end up making policy that is well to the right.

Personally I might be more moderate than the Jacobin Mag crowd. But, when it comes to delivering a swift kick in the butt to the Republican Party, I’m right with them.

2. Somebody does though need to make the case for more left wing policies or ideas or at least push back when so called centrist make questionable assertions about policy. In short a lot of “centrist” just do:

[Current Left Wing Position + Current Right Wing Position] / 2 = Reasonable Centrist Position

If the current left wing position always lurches to the right just to please the “sensible” ears of many centrist, the actual policies that end up getting made, may end up being to the right of Attila the Hun.

When somebody like Bloomberg just randomly asserts that single payer will “bankrupt the country” or tries invoke the specter of Venezuela, Krugman and others that pay attention to healthcare policy are right to call him on it. Something like single payer might challenge some centrist notions of what is reasonable policy, but there are good to reasons to think that single payer (depending on implementation of course) could work much better than our current system, which is a mess. Of course there may be other ways, beside single payer, to make our healthcare system better and more equitable, but the point here is just saying single payer should be ruled out a priori as a nutball idea is pretty much garbage.

Also take something like the government negotiating drug prices. To the “reasonable centrist” like Bloomberg that might seem extremely radical, or heaven forbid even “socialist”. But there are strong reasons to think the government controlling drug prices could improve welfare. Basic economic theory, that you’d find in a first year microeconomics course, teaches that monopolist get returns higher than what is necessary for them to employ the factors of production. Such returns are often called rents and they are usually considered inefficient. And our system of giving patents to drug companies pretty much means that many drug companies act as monopolist. Now if you are the sort that believes that patents are necessary to get drug companies to innovate, I guess that is fine and all, but what you are essentially saying is that the idea of a purely competitive market for drugs really never existed or is not possible. And people like Rand Paul running around saying "what if the healthcare market were a free market" are pretty much living in a dream world.

Or take the “reasonable centrist” position on the national debt. All reasonable centrist know that being 21 trillion dollars in debt is really, really scary. Except but for continuing rising healthcare cost in the United States it really isn’t. If you do some basic debt math,  and If you take current nominal GDP growth at about 4% and current deficits at about 5% (which is about 1% higher than what it was 2018) per year, then the debt/GDP would eventually converge to about %125, which really isn’t all that scary of a number, particularly where interest rates are likely be low over the next several decades.

3. Now here is where I’ll change lanes a bit, and hopefully not cause @DMC to have to jam his breaks as this is more his area or lane, but I think what this poll largely shows is something that has been known for awhile, which is that Americans often like Republicans on big picture stuff or general rhetoric like “freedom” and “the free market”, but when it comes to specific policy ideas, they like Democrat's ideas better.

In that poll, that Todd cited, I’d note also:

http://www.people-press.org/2019/01/24/publics-2019-priorities-economy-health-care-education-and-security-all-near-top-of-list/

Quote

“As economic and security concerns have become less prominent, the domestic issues of reducing health care costs (69% top priority) and improving the educational system (68%) now rank among the top tier of public priorities. About two-thirds also say that taking steps to make the Social Security (67%) and Medicare (67%) systems financially sound are top priorities for the country.”

These are seemingly traditional Democratic issues.

Also,

Quote

Just 48% say reducing the deficit should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year. Concern over the budget deficit is much less widespread than it was during Barack Obama’s administration. In 2013, 72% of the public – including 81% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats – said reducing the deficit should be a top priority.

Which makes questionable the whole idea that “fiscal conservatism” is gonna be the hottest new trend and that if you’re not board with it, you’re probably just some square old fogey that still uses an eight track and just can’t with the “Pepsi Generation.”

And,

Quote

When it comes to the environment, Democrats are 43 percentage points more likely than Republicans to say protecting the environment should be a top priority (74% vs. 31%) and 46 points more likely to call global climate change a top priority (67% vs. 21%).

 

And Matt Ygesias notes,

https://www.vox.com/2019/2/4/18210370/warren-wealth-tax-poll

Quote

Americans are open to the idea of hiking the top marginal income tax rate back up to 70 percent, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has suggested, and are positively enthusiastic about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to institute a wealth tax on large fortunes, according to a new poll from Morning Consult.

Their survey finds that higher marginal tax rates are favored by 45 percent of the public over 32 percent who say it’s a bad idea, while the wealth tax scores a crushing 60-21 victory that includes majority support from Republicans.

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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5 hours ago, S John said:

It’s no surprise that the right are figuring out that they can turn the Democrats own standards against them.  I would like to see a high moral standard in my politicians.  I also want to fucking win.  To be honest I do not give a shit what someone did 35 years ago as long as that thing wasn’t rape or murder if they’ve managed to be a stand up member of society since then and are standing up for the things I want to see stood up for.   People can change drastically over time.  Even from age 20-30, or 24-35 you can see drastically different iterations of the same individual.  I really don’t approve of the notion that people can’t have done things that they regret in life and overcome them and move on.  It just feels like if you fuck up (or fucked up 10, 20, 30 years ago) you are expected to go find a hole to crawl into and die.  I don’t think that is how society should work.

If Northam was honest I could understand defending him. I would have still thought he should have reasighned even if he didn’t come out and try to say he didn’t really wear black face or Klan robes. But at least I could see why he might be worth some redemption in the future. But he wasn’t honest and he decided to not own up to his mistake. Him staying on is quite frankly selfish on his part. Any possible sympathy I could have harbored for the man dissipated once I heard his defense, Is he as racist as he was decades ago? I’m guessing probably not. But at this point he is nothing but a liability for democrats. So yes, Zthe party is right to turn on him. And I think you’re giving the current Democratic Party a little too much credit in terms of holding true to their ideals.  

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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6 hours ago, S John said:

It’s no surprise that the right are figuring out that they can turn the Democrats own standards against them.  

The idea that this is something the are just figuring out is, well, daft. They've been doing it as a standard part of their playbooks for decades. It's nothing new: it's the furthest thing I can imagine from being new. 

In the case of Northam, there's an unpleasant undertone of implying that wearing blackface just isn't a big deal, or that it wasn't in 1984 and so should be excused now. To believe or concede that would be not only a moral mistake but a strategic mistake. The Democratic party is a coalition of interests. Minorities are too often being taken for granted as part of that coalition. To treat the Northam situation as yet another exciting opportunity for black Democrats to 'take one for the team', when it really isn't necessary, is crass and insensitive. 

ETA - on another note, is anyone else won over by Schultz's noble stand for the rights of billionaires 'people of means'? He's really striking a chord here. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/howard-schultz-billionaire-alternative_us_5c58fd3fe4b087104756dafb

Edited by mormont

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25 minutes ago, mormont said:

To treat the Northam situation as yet another exciting opportunity for black Democrats to 'take one for the team', when it really isn't necessary, is crass and insensitive. 

Absolutely true. Democrats can’t act though the  groups that make up their base are always going to be beholden to them no matter. There are limits. Wearing Black face is certainly something that goes well past those limits.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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Today’s Threats to Global Democracy Are Coming From Democracies Themselves

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/freedom-house-democracy.html

Quote

The report contains a particularly scathing section about the United States, which did not see a change in score this year but has been on a downward trend for about eight years. In other words, Donald Trump may be more the symptom than the cause of America’s democratic decline, although the report faults him for “straining our core values and testing the stability of our constitutional system” with his “attacks on essential institutions and traditions including the separation of powers, a free press, an independent judiciary, the impartial delivery of justice, safeguards against corruption, and most disturbingly, the legitimacy of elections.” The U.S. score on the report is now significantly below that of democratic peers like Canada, Britain, Germany, and Japan and is more in line with countries like Belize, Croatia, Greece, and Mongolia.

 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

The idea that this is something the are just figuring out is, well, daft. They've been doing it as a standard part of their playbooks for decades. It's nothing new: it's the furthest thing I can imagine from being new.

You're correct, but forget that the Democrats' standards have evolved. Republicans smear-tactics are all the more effective today, and will intensify.

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Again, people should be allowed chances to atone for mistakes, and should be granted forgiveness, or the possibility of such, if they change and repent or whatever. 

 

That being said, politicians need to be treated differently than most, since they represent massive amounts of people. So, we can forgive him if we feel he's worthy of forgiveness, but he needs to step down immediately and allow someone with less baggage to represent the people of his state. 

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Conservatives leave Clown State, for getting too clownish.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/5/18205876/conservative-media-trump-red-state-salem-media

Quote

On Thursday, two writers for the conservative website RedState, Kimberly Ross and Andrea Ruth, announced on the website the Bulwark that they were leaving RedState.

“For more than a decade,” they wrote, “RedState was a solid voice in the world of online conservative commentary. Unfortunately, the allure of Trumpism has left the once great site a shell of its former self.”


 

Quote

Vaughn also expressed confusion with the goals of Trump-skeptical conservatives. “I don’t understand why Never Trumpers are so unhappy with his presidency,” she wrote. “Are they upset with record low Hispanic, Black and female unemployment? Are they upset with the rising labor participation rate?

Oh dear lord. I'll say it again, conservatives are like that knucklehead you played ball with - the one that is the last to jump in on the pile, and then runs around the field, like a clown, as if he just stuffed Earl Campbell for a 3 yard loss.

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1 hour ago, Martell Spy said:

Today’s Threats to Global Democracy Are Coming From Democracies Themselves

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/freedom-house-democracy.html

 

Over the past decade or so (since the US' score has started to decrease), Freedom House has had a tendency to play up the erosion of democracy in the United States even when there aren't any substantive changes to the aggregate score.  While this is understandably important to emphasize both commercially and substantively for the state of global democracy, it does add a tinge of inaccuracy to the summary of their own scores. 

The US' aggregate was 89 in 2017, then dropped to 86 in 2018 (FH releases their annual updates early in the year, so the 2018 score covered Trump's first year in office).  That is a substantial and alarming drop.  What happened this year?  The score remained at 86.  To be clear, however, this was due to dueling forces at hand - as WaPo points out in their writeup on the report (with their own misleading headline):

Quote

Although this year’s overall score is unchanged from last year’s, that is only because widespread protests for social change and against government policies bumped up the points for freedom of assembly. That, in turn, offset a drop in ratings for equal treatment before the law, due to the administration’s policies on asylum seekers and refugees.

 

So reading this article made me learn/realize some interesting things about the Virginia governorship.  Virginia is the only state with one four-year term limit on its governors.  What I didn't know is it appears this rule has existed since Reconstruction.  And, every governor since Reconstruction has served his full term. 

This means that, if Fairfax survives the abuse charge, Northam leaves office with Fairfax taking over, and then Fairfax goes on to win election in 2021 (which he'd still be eligible to do) and serves out that term, he would be the longest serving governor in the history of Virginia.  Also fun trivia - who was the first governor of Virginia?  Patrick Henry.  Who was the second?  Thomas Jefferson.

Edited by DMC
Spacing

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1 hour ago, Relic said:

Again, people should be allowed chances to atone for mistakes, and should be granted forgiveness, or the possibility of such, if they change and repent or whatever. 

That being said, politicians need to be treated differently than most, since they represent massive amounts of people. So, we can forgive him if we feel he's worthy of forgiveness, but he needs to step down immediately and allow someone with less baggage to represent the people of his state. 

How differently though? You don’t need a historian to tell you that many of the great civic leaders over the ages were deeply flawed people in their personal lives. DMC referenced Jefferson. He’s likely one of the ten most important Americans to ever live…………and he raped his slaves. Flash forward two centuries to the 1960’s, and you can see that the three marauders of the age were horrible people to their wives. We can play this game in any age or area. People are flawed and they shouldn’t be condemned for all of their transgressions. Or take this for an example:

5 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Therein lies the problem in my eyes. Like, I wouldn't care if a politician had experimented with various drugs in their youth. But being the school drug dealer? Hmmm, I'd probably have a problem with that. But how can you tell the difference, decades after the facts?

I pushed weight in high school and college, and not only does that not make me a bad person, but right historically. I view my actions as being no different than the bootleggers during the prohibition era. Stupid laws should be broken. I’m not here to abide the golden rule, and if anyone tried to use that against me in a political setting, I’d simply ask them why they lacked the foresight to see what was obvious.

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11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I pushed weight in high school and college, and not only does that not make me a bad person, but right historically.

Yeah I'll respond to this because I also kinda took that personally.  I don't think being "historically right" matters, but I too sold, like, a quap a week at most in my teenage years.  While you'd almost literally have to put a gun to my head to get me to run for public office, I don't think that should really be disqualifying to a political candidate.  Or even much of a problem.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

This means that, if Fairfax survives the abuse charge, Northam leaves office with Fairfax taking over, and then Fairfax goes on to win election in 2021 (which he'd still be eligible to do) and serves out that term, he would be the longest serving governor in the history of Virginia.  Also fun trivia - who was the first governor of Virginia?  Patrick Henry.  Who was the second?  Thomas Jefferson.

Fairfax might become the longest serving governor in a single stretch, but he would not be the longest serving governor in total time served because people can be re-elected as governor of Virginia after sitting out a term, which happened with Mills Godwin, who was the 60th governor of Virginia between 1966 and 1970 and the 62nd governor between 1974 and 1978 and so served a total of eight full years as governor.

https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Godwin_Mills_E_1914-1999

Edited by Ormond
adding confirmatory link

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I wonder how black people feel when they hear people defend racist things that white people have done in their "past", as "oh well, it was 30 years a go, give it a rest all ready" when that same racism is gaining track every day. 

In chile we have a saying, sin perdon ni olvido, we'll never forgive or forget. 

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Selling drugs isn't that same as being potentially racist/discriminatory against part of your constituents. I don't see anything wrong with pushing some herb, hawking mollie, or even some harder substances, to be quite honest. 

However, when you represent a wide array of people you HAVE to be seen at someone who doesn't hold racial or gender biases, at least as a Democrat, if the Dems want to hold any sort of "moral authority" over the GOP. 

Obviously, the GOP and the devil itself (FoxNews) is filled with hypocrisy and liars and thieves, people who support Steve King and think that some Nazis are actually OK folk, but fuck the GOP. WE need to be better. 

And by we I mean all of us who aren't registered Republicans, be that Democrat, indie, agnostic, or otherwise. 

Edited by Relic

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3 minutes ago, Relic said:

Selling drugs isn't that same as being potentially racist/discriminatory against part of your constituents. I don't see anything wrong with pushing some herb, hawking mollie, or even some harder substances, to be quite honest. 

However, when you represent a wide array of people you HAVE to be seen at someone who doesn't hold racial or gender biases, at least as a Democrat, if the Dems want to hold any sort of "moral authority" over the GOP. 

Sure, to be clear, I pretty much agree with this.  Standards are plainly changing and becoming more rigid in the Democratic party.  I don't think that's a bad thing at all - depending on the circumstance.

9 minutes ago, Ormond said:

Fairfax might become the longest serving governor in a single stretch, but he would not be the longest serving governor in total time served

Yeah, I know.  You really are like a damn reviewer/editor sometimes (not an insult).

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22 minutes ago, DMC said:

Yeah I'll respond to this because I also kinda took that personally.  I don't think being "historically right" matters, but I too sold, like, a quap a week at most in my teenage years.  While you'd almost literally have to put a gun to my head to get me to run for public office, I don't think that should really be disqualifying to a political candidate.  Or even much of a problem.

I do. Take same sex marriage for example. I’ve supported that since the early 2000’s because that’s when friends of mine started coming out and I could see no valid argument against the issue. Or how about the Iraq war. I remember watching the initial bombing run and thinking to myself that we had just taken the first step in what would be an epic catastrophe. I think it says a lot about a person if they’re ahead of the curve rather than late to the party.

Also, a “quap” a week? Do you mean a quad or a QP? If you mean the former, I wouldn’t even call that slinging.

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