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US Politics: I Say a Little Prayer for You!

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Edit: Double post or something, I can't effectively write on my phone. :D

Edited by Simon Steele

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It's hysterical, isn't it, that in the US people are terrified of the label 'socialist' while perfectly ok with labels such as rapist, criminal, bigot, racist, fascist and nazi.

As the great poet, W.B. Yeats wrote, concerning the coming global storm called WWII, "the center does not hold."  And the Dems and voters are terrified because it's clear this is the case again.  What will they do now?  They don't know, so they clutch pearls, scream at the sky, "Socialist!"

 

Edited by Zorral

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Silly yes. But that's the way it is. Socialism is a four letter word. If it was a different year and a different opponent I'd say go  for Bernie and see if you can change people's minds. But with the Republic at stake,  I hope New Hampshire goes for someone different.

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The first question Bernie was asked in the first debate back for 2016 "Do you really think America will vote for a ... SOOOSHHHHahLIST???????"

But nobody asked the rapist is he thought America would vote for a rapist.

And the inquistors must have been right not to because America did vote for a rapist, a criminal, a thug, a gangster and someone who threatens and beseeches all the time to have people killed -- and proudly declared he could kill anybody and not go to jail.  (Though evidently he's not so sure that's possible to pull off in NYC, on 5th Ave., now, like he was then. But anywhere else, he's home free.)

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4 minutes ago, Zorral said:

The first question Bernie was asked in the first debate back for 2016 "Do you really think America will vote for a ... SOOOSHHHHahLIST???????"

But nobody asked the rapist is he thought America would vote for a rapist.

And the inquistors must have been right not to because America did vote for a rapist, a criminal, a thug, a gangster and someone who threatens and beseeches all the time to have people killed -- and proudly declared he could kill anybody and not go to jail.  (Though evidently he's not so sure that's possible to pull off in NYC, on 5th Ave., now, like he was then. But anywhere else, he's home free.)

Bernie is an admitted socialist. Trump is not an admitted rapist. 

No news organization running a debate is going to ask Trump if he thinks America will vote for an accused rapist. He'll destroy them through twitter and ginning up his base against them.

Besides, the answer is obviously a resounding yes.

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

It's hysterical, isn't it, that in the US people are terrified of the label 'socialist' while perfectly ok with labels such as rapist, criminal, bigot, racist, fascist and nazi.

As the great poet, W.B. Yeats wrote, concerning the coming global storm called WWII, "the center does not hold."  And the Dems and voters are terrified because it's clear this is the case again.  What will they do now?  They don't know, so they clutch pearls, scream at the sky, "Socialist!"

 

I thought “The Second Coming” was about WWI?

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11 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I thought “The Second Coming” was about WWI?

Bah, WWI, WWII, War of Independence, War of 1812, eh?

A quick look says it was written in 1919 and he was forecasting what was coming. The 20s and 30s certainly were years when it looked like democracy was a failed experiment.

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14 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I thought “The Second Coming” was about WWI?

It was. Auden was the pre-WWII poetic Cassandra.

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12 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Wasnt meant badly at all. I got super excited reading it. His rant read like an excellent Sorkin or Simon rant. It was great. Sorry I wasnt clearer.

ETA - aw, I fucked up the quote. "I'm getting a fucking welding torch". I could hear stringer bell say that shit. 

Appreciate the clarification.  It did come across differently.  

@Zorral - Yes, whoever the nominee is they'd better hammer home to no end that they're going after Medicare and SS.  Hell, I think that the Dems should always attack the GOP for this no matter what the GOP leader's official stance is given that so many of their big money patrons want this.  And if Bloomberg is serious about spending to defeat Trump even if he's not the nominee he should just flood the airwaves with ads about this plus ads about the lawsuit to kill the ACA.  

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9 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

It was. Auden was the pre-WWII poetic Cassandra.

The Second Coming was first published in 1920.  For those who paid attention fascist stirrings already.

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I saw Sanders supporters passing this story around Facebook. 

Quote

 

Was Iowa just a massive screw-up, or is there something more nefarious at foot?
At best, Acronym’s behavior around Shadow could be described as odd. That and the Iowa Democratic Party’s initial secrecy around its relationship with Shadow has led to a number of conspiracy theories around the app malfunction and results delay — none of which have much evidence but continue to persist. Some Bernie Sanders supporters have suggested this is an effort to undermine the Vermont senator, who before the caucuses was leading the polls, and boost a more establishment-friendly candidate, namely, Pete Buttigieg. Some on Trump’s side have claimed this amounts to rigging the election as well. And after the Des Moines Register’s Iowa poll was pulled from being released over the weekend, suspicions and conspiracy theories had already been afoot.

Shadow is raising even more suspicion now that its work with Democratic candidates has also been revealed. Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and plenty of others have paid Shadow for services, and in the past, McGowan has expressed her support for Buttigieg. (McGowan’s husband is also a senior strategist for Buttigieg.) Some Acronym employees have previously worked for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and are well-connected among Democratic insiders.

Many on the left — especially Sanders supporters who believe the cards were stacked in favor of Clinton in the 2016 election — are highly skeptical of the legitimacy of the Democratic primary.

 

Acronym, the dark money group behind the Iowa caucuses app meltdown, explained
“People have been waiting for this to blow up.”

https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/2/5/21123009/acronym-tara-mcgowan-shadow-app-iowa-caucus-results

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4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

It also amuses me that two of the three most vocal Sanders supporters in these threads aren't from the US. It's fine, mind you, but it is amusing. It reminds me of the person on twitter who hates the ACA and supports sanders and said how the ACA kills people...and turns out that they are from France or some shit.

Guilty as charged :D  I do have family in America including a brother with a wife and kids in Los Angeles, so I do have legitimate reasons to be emotionally invested, but aside from that It's hard to avoid US politics when it has so much impact on the rest of the world.

Of course even that probably doesn't justify the level of zealous support some American candidates seem to get from outsiders. Not just Sanders, Trump gets the same kind of treatment (I have South African friends who basically worship him). Even Jeremy Corbyn seemed to get a devoted following outside UK.

It's a weird kind of phenomenon that's emerged as a result of mass media, social media and disproportionate influence that Anglo-American culture has on the global stage. Basically people like Bernie and Trump end up representing universal ideals with global movements behind them, rather than just candidates for their particular national election.

And you have the entire world exploding with anti-elitist sentiment, with both populist left and right leaders looking to exploit it, further adding to the "global" feel of what's going on, so that people who are angry about what Trump is doing in America are just as likely to be following Brazillian politics so they can bitch about what Jair Bolsanaro is up to there, or French politics when La Pen was on the verge of causing another electoral upset.

 

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3 hours ago, DMC said:

The point is voting records are a type of position taking, which Mayhew treats the same as advertising and credit claiming.  They're all "messaging," one way or another.  And I don't think there's any credible empirical argument to assert one denotes a politician's sincerity any more than the other.  If it's just based on your own personal perceptions, well, ok, can't really argue with that.

I'd view this almost entirely based on the distinction between governing and campaigning.  At least for Obama, don't know enough about Macron to have a strong opinion.

Well sure.  Isn't that the point of politics?  I haven't commented on the Carville piece yet, but that's his key thesis which is just basic Gov 101.  The entire objective of political parties and campaigns is to gain power.  Nothing else ultimately matters.  And, ironically, right now overall it's very clear Sanders is doing a better job of that than Warren - within the Dem primary.  The question is how it will translate to the general.

 

Re: bolded. Um, no, it isn't. If Democrats and Republicans are merely two groups chasing power for the sake of power itself, there's no point in voting for either of them, or in getting involved in the election process at all (unless you're one of the power players like Carville). If Democrats will gain power and do nothing with it, why should I care?

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That kind of global admiration was going on for Hitler and Mussolini and Franco too, which helped inspire the era's bellicose racist ambitions of other nations such as Japan. 

Today we hear Bolsanaro and the guy from Hungary and  others speak to whomever asks how 2016 US election allowed them the liberty to follow in 2016's path.  It's like the lynchings and other tragic racist actions here in the US, about which FDR, for political reasons, refused to make federal crimes, told Hitler he was at liberty to do as he liked with the Jews and the other Others in his realm. He said so with great relish, that no one could condemn him due to the US's protection of eugenics and other racialist policies.

This is why so many of us immediately were concerned what 2016 would do to the rest of the world -- among many other reasons.

 

Edited by Zorral

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24 minutes ago, Gorn said:

Re: bolded. Um, no, it isn't. If Democrats and Republicans are merely two groups chasing power for the sake of power itself, there's no point in voting for either of them, or in getting involved in the election process at all (unless you're one of the power players like Carville). If Democrats will gain power and do nothing with it, why should I care?

Because, presumably, you share at least one part of the coalition of interests the party is trying to construct in order to gain power.

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1 hour ago, Gorn said:

Re: bolded. Um, no, it isn't. If Democrats and Republicans are merely two groups chasing power for the sake of power itself, there's no point in voting for either of them, or in getting involved in the election process at all (unless you're one of the power players like Carville). If Democrats will gain power and do nothing with it, why should I care?

Huh?  That's the entire purpose of a democracy or a republic - so we don't have oligarchs going to war to maintain power.  Sure, there are still plenty of kinks to work out, but that is the entire point of collectivising people with similar ideas so that you have the best chance to put power behind your agenda.  

Everything about the US system is designed to delegate power to whomever wins elections, it's that's how we allocate the ability to affect change.  I don't like it, but it's better than feudalism or a total autocracy.  

To the last question - if that was the case, of course you shouldn't, but in our system* there is necessarily a compromise between idealism and pragmatism - you make a lot of noise and try to get one of the big parties to incorporate your ideas into their platform, and then vote for the one that's going to give you the outcomes closest to what you want.  It's remarkable inefficient.  It's infuriating.  And it's susceptible to being too slow to respond to urgent issues that require immediate action.  But it's what we've got, and it's definitely about power's sake at some point.

Eta: * assuming you want to work within that system.  Either game the rules the best you can or tear the whole thing down from the outside.

Edited by larrytheimp

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Because, presumably, you share at least one part of the coalition of interests the party is trying to construct in order to gain power.

 

32 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Huh?  That's the entire purpose of a democracy or a republic - so we don't have oligarchs going to war to maintain power.  Sure, there are still plenty of kinks to work out, but that is the entire point of collectivising people with similar ideas so that you have the best chance to put power behind your agenda.  

Everything about the US system is designed to delegate power to whomever wins elections, it's that's how we allocate the ability to affect change.  I don't like it, but it's better than feudalism or a total autocracy.  

To the last question - if that was the case, of course you shouldn't, but in our system* there is necessarily a compromise between idealism and pragmatism - you make a lot of noise and try to get one of the big parties to incorporate your ideas into their platform, and then vote for the one that's going to give you the outcomes closest to what you want.  It's remarkable inefficient.  It's infuriating.  And it's susceptible to being too slow to respond to urgent issues that require immediate action.  But it's what we've got, and it's definitely about power's sake at some point.

Eta: * assuming you want to work within that system.  Either game the rules the best you can or tear the whole thing down from the outside.

My point is that winning elections for the sake of winning elections is not enough. It's not an end, it's means to an end. If "my" party is too terrified of losing elections to meaningfully advance my interests once in power, then why should I invest my time and money in supporting it? For Carville and the Democratic half of the political class, victory means getting paid, but the base wants something else. Hence the "ideologues" he dismisses in his interview.

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Just now, Gorn said:

If "my" party is too terrified of losing elections to meaningfully advance my interests once in power, then why should I invest my time and money in supporting it?

As far as "do[ing] nothing with" power upon obtaining it, what you're talking about is responsible party government.  But considering polarization, the obstruction of the GOP, and the inherent electoral disadvantages for Dems in the Senate, I'm not gonna sit here with a straight face and tell you that's likely to be very fruitful anytime soon at the legislative level. 

Also, there's a historical interaction between responsible party government and polarization that is very depressing.  In 1950, APSA issued a report calling for more responsible parties in Congress.  Eventually, the Dems in Congress an instituted a bunch of reforms during the 1970s to abolish what was known as "the Committee System" (or Era to avoid confusion) - which had been the dominant paradigm of intra-congressional power since the progressive era.  Most of these reforms sounded great on their face, but almost to a one they horribly backfired and were one of the most important contributors to the rise of polarization at the elite level.  Most importantly, in the House, it gave majority leadership basically unfettered power - which in turn gave rise to the "Hastert rule" - in which the median voter of the majority party is the key pivot rather than the median voter of the entire chamber.  Thus, under a presidential system (or at least ours), there's a vicious cycle starting with efforts towards responsible party government engendering polarization which makes realizing responsible party government virtually impossible.

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9 minutes ago, Gorn said:

 

My point is that winning elections for the sake of winning elections is not enough. It's not an end, it's means to an end. If "my" party is too terrified of losing elections to meaningfully advance my interests once in power, then why should I invest my time and money in supporting it? For Carville and the Democratic half of the political class, victory means getting paid, but the base wants something else. Hence the "ideologues" he dismisses in his interview.

Fair enough, i thought the Carville rant was 100% bullshit (yeah dude, take shots at a generation of people saddled with massive student loan debts for something that he likely got for a tenth of the cost).  Sanders and Warren are the only candidates looking out for more than 25% of the population.  Everyone else is just jerking off the upperclass and wannabe upperclass 

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5 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

You can actually hear the goalposts moving in real time when Ripp gets shown inconvenient facts about Warren's candidacy.

Fair enough. But the big idea was to demonstrate that there is a significant difference between the two candidates that goes beyond mere words.

One candidate says they want to "end redlining practices and other forms of housing discrimination," the other offers more details with a bill for first-time homebuyers that would "prohibit housing discrimination."

Generally speaking, the Warren website is slightly better written and tends to offer more details.

For instance, from Sanders's website:

Quote

End cash bail.

And Warren's:

Quote

End cash bail. Around 60% of the nearly 750,000 people in jail have not been convicted of a crime — and too often, those jails are overcrowdedand inhumane. Our justice system forces its citizens to choose either to submit to the charges brought against them or be penalized for wanting to fight those charges. We should allow people to return to their jobs and families while they wait for trial, reserving preventive detention only for those cases that pose a true flight or safety risk.

It's not necessarily the best example, but it's representative of the difference between the two websites.

But is there a substantive difference in policy proposals? Sorry, no. Sanders has quite a few concrete proposals of his own, albeit with generally fewer details. He also includes figures too, though many seem rather fanciful (lots of billions and even a trillion or two).
And on race, nope, it's really not clear-cut. Yes Warren has a few very concrete measures (not laws though, sorry), but altogether Sanders covers just as much ground.
If it's about passing "race-conscious laws" then Sanders and Warren are almost interchangeable.

I guess it all boils down to how much credit one is willing to give Warren for being one small step ahead as far as formulating policy goes. Given that this is February it's definitely a bit early to start shouting that she's "better at dealing with minority issues." And saying Sanders "doesn't appear to care one way or another" is objectively false, and even -imho- ridiculous. That's still a major part of his messaging as well.

5 hours ago, Kalbear said:

It also amuses me that two of the three most vocal Sanders supporters in these threads aren't from the US.

Am I supposed to be included? Because from the start of this "exchange" I underlined the fact that Warren was the better candidate and stressed Sanders's poor record as a lawmaker. In my book that makes me a rather odd "supporter."

Methinks some of you guys are a bit quick to associate caution with support for Bernie. Yes, I admire Bernie's lifelong activism, but I'm keenly aware of his weaknesses as a politician/candidate, some of which he just can't escape. And since you pointed it out, I really don't have any skin in the game. I can be skeptical of Warren and critical of Sanders at the same time, or vice-versa.

Ah, yes, and as for the "messaging" part... You guys still have faith in representative democracy. Eurocommies lost that a long time ago.

 

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