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DMC

US Politics: Reaching the Tipping Point

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12 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

@Demetri

Huh, didn't know that.   Not sure it really matters though if we have the House and Senate run by different parties, but definitely wasn't even aware of that.

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.

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1 minute ago, DMC said:

Oh sure, I think Clinton definitely would have considered it - especially when he was quite popular post-presidency from about 15 to 3 years ago.  Now though?  Can't see anybody in the Democratic Party offering it to him, he's pretty toxic since the metoo movement.  Curious to see how much he's asked to even campaign for the nominee - wouldn't be surprised if he's not at all.

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.

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23 minutes ago, Demetri said:

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.

I don't know how much those statements qualify as moving the Overton window closer to repeal or reform.  From what I'm aware of both were more just musings and neither made any type of actual advocacy on the issue.  I'd be surprised if even a full 1% of Americans are even aware either made such comments.

23 minutes ago, Demetri said:

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.

I think since FDR and the passage of the 22nd, public opinion has long since hardened that the president only gets two terms, and would therefore view any such VP nomination as a violation of that.  That would be very, very difficult to overcome, and I just don't see any self-interested nominee thinking it's worth the effort.  Why bother?  Unless it's some type of Putin/Medvedev arrangement, in which case we have a lot more problems than the legal debate.

14 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Taft was Chief Justice after serving as President, so, it’s not unheard of for a President to move to the SCOTUS.

Just to add to this because I'm bored, there is a long history of politicians being nominated (and serving) to SCOTUS.  Earl Warren was Governor of California and the 1948 GOP VP nominee.  Salmon Chase was Governor, Senator, then Secretary of Treasury immediately before being nominated CJ by Lincoln.  There are plenty of other examples of justices having primarily political careers (either as an elected official or an appointed bureaucrat) before being nominated, even recently.  Rehnquist worked in Nixon's Justice Department before being nominated by him.  Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman to serve as a state's majority leader (in Arizona) before serving as a state judge (an elected position).  It's only since the last 30 years or so that most of the the nominees - and even candidates to be nominated - are generally identified through their circuit court experience.

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42 minutes ago, Demetri said:

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.

Of course, anything political can change, but this particular term limit has been there as a tradition since the very beginning and it has seen very little challenge. Washington would almost certainly have won a third term, but he decided to step aside and since then, it had very nearly the force of law. A few Presidents tried to argue that it meant non-consecutive terms, but all of them lost and when F.D.R. finally broke the tradition, it was promptly made into a full-fledged amendment to prevent anybody from doing so again even though F.D.R.'s circumstances were completely unique. It's a pretty well established convention.

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4 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

OMG, Norway is gonna call with dirt on his opponents, folks, Norway.

Time to bomb Norway, guys!

Hey, we have our very important local elections coming up this fall! No time to call Trump until ... October, I think.

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4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Just wanted to reiterate that I 100% do not agree with you, or Kal, on this. 

:sob:

4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Also it doesn't help that we have nothing specific to go on re: what are we actually talking about.  Someone called you a racist or a sexist (and I am genuinely not interested in the actual scenario, or making a judgment on it) and it bothered you, and now you are concerned that the "far left" (whoever that is) is driving people to vote for Trump because.... of unfairly calling people out?  Or maybe even fairly calling people out?  

Sure, yes, all of that. And a whole lot of other things. It doesn't really matter what the trigger is, only that you now have this negative association with 'people like that'. And when random strangers yell at you, your monkeysphere brain doesn't view them as a person, it views them as a stereotype. (This is also why it's more effective for people who you care about to yell at you, because your brain can't just dismiss them as 'angry stereotype du jour'. )

4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I mean, why would you vote AGAINST what you actually believe in just to spite some random asshole?  My thesis is that anyone who would do that doesn't actually give a fuck to begin with.  

Here's the thing - people rarely have things they 'actually believe in' which are immutable and sacrosanct. More often than not, in fact, people's beliefs entirely change with their group's views, with leader's views, etc, and there is little self-evaluation on hypocriticalness or other things. There have been quite a few sociological studies on this, but they all end with basically the same idea - that if you are tricked into thinking your group believes something, you'll start believing in it and rationalizing it even if they didn't believe that at all. Or you didn't in the first place. Hell, you've read Bakker, right? 
 

So why would they go jumping into the arms of the other guy? Because humans are social creatures, and getting yelled at and being told you're an asshole kind of sucks. Now, mind you, I'm a firm believer that some people need to be told that they are, in fact, assholes, but random strangers doing it is usually not very effective at eliciting change. It's less that they're doing it to spite some random asshole and more that they're doing it in order to please their friends. And pleasing their friends is a very big motivator.

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3 hours ago, Altherion said:

Of course, anything political can change, but this particular term limit has been there as a tradition since the very beginning and it has seen very little challenge. Washington would almost certainly have won a third term, but he decided to step aside and since then, it had very nearly the force of law. A few Presidents tried to argue that it meant non-consecutive terms, but all of them lost and when F.D.R. finally broke the tradition, it was promptly made into a full-fledged amendment to prevent anybody from doing so again even though F.D.R.'s circumstances were completely unique. It's a pretty well established convention.

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.

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I know that as much as Obama would never, not in a million years, choose to be any part of the succession line for POTUS, Trump would do so in a heartbeat. 

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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.

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2 hours ago, Demetri said:

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.

Have you done any reading on Vice-President Richard Cheney’s time in the Vice-Presidency?

Again, I appreciate your through take on this issue.  However, I maintain my position, despite your arguments, that (other than Trumpanista’s who (by definition) care only about the person occupying the White House and not a whit about tradition, custom, or law) most Americans would see nominating a former two term President to the Vice-Presidency as an attempt to end run the term limits of the 22nd Amendment and therefore, on that basis, reject the Candidate who makes such a nomination.

Politicly, it is like tossing a live nuclear weapon to a crowd just because they might like the “sense of power” it gives them.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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The Dow is weird. Oil tankers get attacked, which leads to a jump in oil prices, which leads to a strong opening. Wasn’t there a Bond movie with this exact plot? And don’t @ me with Casino Royale.

(DMC, I haven’t ignored your comment, but I feel like I need to read the links before I respond. Also, the last one in the first paragraph is broken)

 

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8 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Hey, we have our very important local elections coming up this fall! No time to call Trump until ... October, I think.

This appears to be an obvious threat. Does Norway have any oil? If so, we’ll have to advance freedom in your country.

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

The Dow is weird. Oil tankers get attacked, which leads to a jump in oil prices, which leads to a strong opening. Wasn’t there a Bond movie with this exact plot? And don’t @ me with Casino Royale.

(DMC, I haven’t ignored your comment, but I feel like I need to read the links before I respond. Also, the last one in the first paragraph is broken)

 

This screams “Gulf of Tonkin” to me.

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12 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

This appears to be an obvious threat. Does Norway have any oil? If so, we’ll have to advance freedom in your country.

Yes.  And also a massive sovereign wealth fund, which is currently divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewables.... For instance

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On 6/10/2019 at 11:55 PM, Fragile Bird said:

Nobody believes there are 23 ‘legitimate’ candidates for the Democrats. 

Think of that scene of Trump at the G20 meeting, pushing people aside to get to the front of the photo opp. That’s what’s happening.

20 of them have met the criteria for the debates (also coincidentally the max number the Dems will allow for those). Bullock/Gravel/Moulton did not make the cut, although Bullock is close. They've met the DNC's threshold for legitimacy, in other words.

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1 minute ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

20 of them have met the criteria for the debates (also coincidentally the max number the Dems will allow for those). Bullock/Gravel/Moulton did not make the cut, although Bullock is close. They've met the DNC's threshold for legitimacy, in other words.

There is a reason "legitimate' is in quotes....  :p 

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5 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Yes.  And also a massive sovereign wealth fund, which is currently divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewables.... For instance

Let freedumb ring!

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Yes, I know she won't be fired. Yes, I know the laws don't apply to pro-Trump people. Still, worth knowing.

 

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

(DMC, I haven’t ignored your comment, but I feel like I need to read the links before I respond. Also, the last one in the first paragraph is broken)

Indeed it is, it's just a really long link and I don't think I got all of it.  Let's see if this works.

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