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U.S. Politics: Only Death Can Pay For Growth


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24 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

If you can't raise your own livestock to be ritually slaughtered storebought or children (yours or others) is fine

You've given me a lot to think about.

7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Titus Pullo at least had the dignity to offer six pigeons. 

Pigeons are not worthy of a Biden sacrifice.  

3 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

It’s as though they don’t believe the public is entitled to this information.  What a surprise.

Eh, CBO and OMB projections aren't something I'm gonna get worked up about.  Their only real use is laughing about how wrong they were.

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15 minutes ago, Fez said:

I was thinking more like if Raiden was wearing Scorpion's face as a trophy.

Excuses me? My Scorpion mask was what I was rocking before I found other options, and it looks nothing like that.

Still bogus though when I take it off I'm not a skull that breaths fire.

False advertisement!!!!!!!!!!! 

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6 minutes ago, DMC said:

Pigeons are not worthy of a Biden sacrifice.  

How dare you question the thoughts and actions of legionary Titus Pullo. The man made no mistakes.

It was a bit crazy to suggest you can drink blood when there's no water though. 

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I've been struggling lately over whether I will end up voting for Biden in November, and more agonizingly, whether I'll devote some of my time and money to help get him elected.

I was still on the fence as to the 2nd question until today, when I saw that Trump retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat". That made up my mind. We cannot allow Trump to win in November. If he wins, that means that his tactics will have been validated in his eyes. He will double down on that during his 2nd term. Also, if he wins, that means Republicans would continue to control the Senate. We've already seen that Republicans in office are too spineless to do anything other than tut-tut at some of his most egregious statements while voting in lockstep for his even more heinous policies, while simultaneously defending him from attack. They'll follow his lead. I believe that the 2020 election, regardless of the outcome, will be viewed by history as one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history, on par with the re-election of Lincoln and the election of FDR over Hoover.

That having been said, I also should point out that the progressive/left wing of the Democratic party is right to be concerned about how they'll be treated by the establishment wing of the party. I'm extremely concerned that the power brokers in the party will learn the wrong lessons from Biden's election, thinking that the answer to winning elections is tacking to the right, instead of the lesson that Biden's win was at least partially due to the specific circumstances on the ground, and the unique terrible nature of the Trump administration. I think the left should absolutely hold party leaders' feet to the fire and should not settle for less than somewhat painful concessions from moderates.

The main reason, other than Trump being so terrible, progressives/leftists should support Biden is for strategic purposes. This is a census year. We need as many Democratic state legislators/governors elected this year as possible. If Democrats have much more of a say in the upcoming redistricting process next year than they had in 2011, even a modest rollback of Republican gerrymandering will lead to more opportunities for progressive/left candidates to get elected going forward. Going further, even a modest Democratic-favoring gerrymander will create even more opportunities than returning things to parity. Leftists need Biden's coattails to be as long as possible this year, because that will be good for leftists, provided we make use of the opportunity the same way the Tea Party did.

I think the Reade accusations should still continue to be investigated, if for no other reason than to assure voters that there aren't any October surprises waiting in the wings.

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11 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

I've been struggling lately over whether I will end up voting for Biden in November, and more agonizingly, whether I'll devote some of my time and money to help get him elected.

I was still on the fence as to the 2nd question until today, when I saw that Trump retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat". That made up my mind. We cannot allow Trump to win in November. If he wins, that means that his tactics will have been validated in his eyes. He will double down on that during his 2nd term. Also, if he wins, that means Republicans would continue to control the Senate. We've already seen that Republicans in office are too spineless to do anything other than tut-tut at some of his most egregious statements while voting in lockstep for his even more heinous policies, while simultaneously defending him from attack. They'll follow his lead. I believe that the 2020 election, regardless of the outcome, will be viewed by history as one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history, on par with the re-election of Lincoln and the election of FDR over Hoover.

But of course, you have to ask the question whether the pivotal election was 2016, and it's already too late.  I feel like it's quite possible that Biden could win the Presidency, Dems fail to take the Senate, and the Democrats accomplish virtually nothing while the national debt explodes, the economy never gets going, and the Democrats get wiped out in 2022.  In that scenario, I could easily see either Trump or Trump Jr. winning in 2024, and America is not just in decline, but already in the death throes, and we just haven't noticed yet. 

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6 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

That having been said, I also should point out that the progressive/left wing of the Democratic party is right to be concerned about how they'll be treated by the establishment wing of the party. I'm extremely concerned that the power brokers in the party will learn the wrong lessons from Biden's election, thinking that the answer to winning elections is tacking to the right, instead of the lesson that Biden's win was at least partially due to the specific circumstances on the ground, and the unique terrible nature of the Trump administration. I think the left should absolutely hold party leaders' feet to the fire and should not settle for less than somewhat painful concessions from moderates.

 

Are you sure that's the wrong lesson? 

I mean, Sanders had a crazy amount of money, had great name recognition, 4 years to work on establishing ties with other communities and wings, and managed to do worse than he did against Clinton. The idea that the progressive wing got all these white working class voters to vote for them appears to be entirely wrong at this point. In addition, none of the progressive candidates won in any tossup election in 2018; the only progressive wins  were against other dem candidates in primaries followed by heavily blue districts winning. 

Why do you think that the wrong lesson is that progressives are not as electable as more centrist to the party people? 

Also, I'm not sure what concessions are going to matter. The House may still be under dem control, but the senate will likely not be, and will definitely not have anything like a 60-person majority for anything. The progressives can maybe hold things up in the House, but practically that's going to be meaningless. Reconciliation might be able to get through something, but chances are good that the most important person isn't going to be what the House decides - it's going to be getting that 50th senate vote, which is not going to be a progressive - it's going to be Manchin or Jones or Bullock or something like that.

And that's the absolute BEST case. 

Chances are good that if Biden wins (big if) and IF the dems still hold the house (less big if) and IF they can get something like a senate vague majority, the best thing progressives can do is start building stronger coalitions to get some of their more popular policies through and attempt to influence things by building organizations like the CFPB. Being reactionary and holding hostage any policy won't do a whole lot. 

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19 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

I'm extremely concerned that the power brokers in the party will learn the wrong lessons from Biden's election, thinking that the answer to winning elections is tacking to the right, instead of the lesson that Biden's win was at least partially due to the specific circumstances on the ground, and the unique terrible nature of the Trump administration. I think the left should absolutely hold party leaders' feet to the fire and should not settle for less than somewhat painful concessions from moderates.

I don't think that will be the case.  Bernie's consistent strength with young voters - in spite of his myriad deficiencies - should be more of a lesson than Biden winning.  The latter's victory is plainly a particularized result based on the Dem electorate's fear of finding the most "electable" candidate after the 2016 whiplash.  Simply put, Biden won because of recency bias.  The left should indeed absolutely hold the leaders' feet to the fire as that's their role, but that doesn't change how people should approach elections, broadly. 

With a presidential nominee, not sure variance of ideology within the party matters much anymore, if it ever really did.  But, when it comes to acquiring or holding majorities in either chamber?  Yeah, like Kal said, you to find and recruit the best person for that constituency.  That's how you win.  Ridiculously safe Dem seats can go to the Squad, sure.  But we still need our Connor Lambs too.

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32 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Are you sure that's the wrong lesson? 

I mean, Sanders had a crazy amount of money, had great name recognition, 4 years to work on establishing ties with other communities and wings, and managed to do worse than he did against Clinton. The idea that the progressive wing got all these white working class voters to vote for them appears to be entirely wrong at this point. In addition, none of the progressive candidates won in any tossup election in 2018; the only progressive wins  were against other dem candidates in primaries followed by heavily blue districts winning. 

Why do you think that the wrong lesson is that progressives are not as electable as more centrist to the party people? 

Also, I'm not sure what concessions are going to matter. The House may still be under dem control, but the senate will likely not be, and will definitely not have anything like a 60-person majority for anything. The progressives can maybe hold things up in the House, but practically that's going to be meaningless. Reconciliation might be able to get through something, but chances are good that the most important person isn't going to be what the House decides - it's going to be getting that 50th senate vote, which is not going to be a progressive - it's going to be Manchin or Jones or Bullock or something like that.

And that's the absolute BEST case. 

Chances are good that if Biden wins (big if) and IF the dems still hold the house (less big if) and IF they can get something like a senate vague majority, the best thing progressives can do is start building stronger coalitions to get some of their more popular policies through and attempt to influence things by building organizations like the CFPB. Being reactionary and holding hostage any policy won't do a whole lot. 

There is no rational argument out there that could convince me that the actions of the moderate candidates in the immediate aftermath of Biden's South Carolina win were anything other than an orchestrated effort by moderates to coalesce behind a single candidate solely for the purpose of blocking Sanders from winning. No other explanation makes sense, because even the candidates who knew they wouldn't win, under normal circumstances, would have still have stayed in the race to increase their bargaining position by winning delegates. 

Take Klobuchar in Minnesota for instance. In late February 2020 Biden was polling in single digits, 4th place in Minnesota, far behind Sanders in 2nd place and Klobuchar in 1st. But Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed Biden less than 24 hours before Super Tuesday voting and her support collapsed, allowing Biden to win the state outright. 

I also don't think it's particularly controversial to acknowledge that, while Biden wasn't necessarily everyone's first pick, he was nearly everyone's 2nd pick.

I agree that the most likely scenario is Biden winning and Democrats failing to get a majority in the Senate, or taking a bare majority. That's why I'm saying that Democrats need to win as many state legislature seats and governorships as possible, using the extra leverage to create as big a Democratic gerrymander as possible.

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8 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't think that will be the case.  Bernie's consistent strength with young voters - in spite of his myriad deficiencies - should be more of a lesson than Biden winning.  The latter's victory is plainly a particularized result based on the Dem electorate's fear of finding the most "electable" candidate after the 2016 whiplash.  Simply put, Biden won because of recency bias.  The left should indeed absolutely hold the leaders' feet to the fire as that's their role, but that doesn't change how people should approach elections, broadly. 

With a presidential nominee, not sure variance of ideology within the party matters much anymore, if it ever really did.  But, when it comes to acquiring or holding majorities in either chamber?  Yeah, like Kal said, you to find and recruit the best person for that constituency.  That's how you win.  Ridiculously safe Dem seats can go to the Squad, sure.  But we still need our Connor Lambs too.

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with any of that. Just that I feel that the left should take advantage of (hopeful) advances of Democrats in state governments to take advantage of redistricting to allow more opportunities for leftists to be elected.

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1 minute ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with any of that. Just that I feel that the left should take advantage of (hopeful) advances of Democrats in state governments to take advantage of redistricting to allow more opportunities for leftists to be elected.

I'm...not sure this makes much sense.  What's the relationship between Dems or leftists getting reelected and redistricting?  At the federal level, this seems to suggest concentrating Democrats within districts.  That's pretty much the philosophy behind gerrymandering.  You want to fill as many leftist as possible in the same districts.

Also, and this isn't directed at anybody but since we're talking about it, the effect of gerrymandering on the composition of the House is grossly overrated by most political junkies.  I was one of those guys in November 2010 crowing about Obama's "historic" losses and their impact.  Then I looked at the data.  Reforming redistricting processes is important and an effort I'm still committed to, but sometimes I get the impression people think "if only..." as if it's an elixir to the problems with the American electorate.  It's most certainly not.

Just now, A Horse Named Stranger said:

And you said, you were short of livestock to sacrifice.

Well done.

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38 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

But of course, you have to ask the question whether the pivotal election was 2016, and it's already too late.  I feel like it's quite possible that Biden could win the Presidency, Dems fail to take the Senate, and the Democrats accomplish virtually nothing while the national debt explodes, the economy never gets going, and the Democrats get wiped out in 2022.  In that scenario, I could easily see either Trump or Trump Jr. winning in 2024, and America is not just in decline, but already in the death throes, and we just haven't noticed yet. 

Oh yeah, I'm convinced McConnell is slow-walking new stimulus legislation in part so he can poll what response will be both most popular while allowing Republicans to pack as much evil into the policy as possible. He'll then do precisely that much and no more, and then will spend the two years leading up to the 2022 elections obstructing further stimulus as much as possible, much like after 2008.

That's why I hope Democrats gain as much leverage as possible to gerrymander things in their favor during redistricting to help mitigate the 2022 wipeout.

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15 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

There is no rational argument out there that could convince me that the actions of the moderate candidates in the immediate aftermath of Biden's South Carolina win were anything other than an orchestrated effort by moderates to coalesce behind a single candidate solely for the purpose of blocking Sanders from winning. No other explanation makes sense, because even the candidates who knew they wouldn't win, under normal circumstances, would have still have stayed in the race to increase their bargaining position by winning delegates. 

Take Klobuchar in Minnesota for instance. In late February 2020 Biden was polling in single digits, 4th place in Minnesota, far behind Sanders in 2nd place and Klobuchar in 1st. But Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed Biden less than 24 hours before Super Tuesday voting and her support collapsed, allowing Biden to win the state outright. 

I don't understand any of this argument. The problem here is that even if Klobuchar and Buttigieg stay in, this doesn't affect how many people voted for Sanders. It might mean Biden doesn't start winning until later, but the actual people that voted for Sanders is still in the 20-30% range, and less than it was 4 years ago. That doesn't make Sanders or the progressive wing more powerful; it means that the only time the progressive wing has even a remote chance is if the field is absurdly divided, and even then you're betting on a contested convention.

This really sounds to me like you don't understand proportionate delegate value here. Sanders 'winning' states doesn't matter that much, as long as other people are staying in. 

What rational basis do you have to conclude that tacking to the center and less progressive issues is the wrong thing to do?

As to staying in the race to get bargaining power - that's really not how it's worked for anyone other than, well, Sanders. Most of the time you get far more bargaining power if you play ball and work with the party. The only other candidate that stayed in longer than, say, Super  Tuesday was Clinton - and she did it because she thought she might be able to win, and even that was stupid. 

 

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3 minutes ago, DMC said:

I'm...not sure this makes much sense.  What's the relationship between Dems or leftists getting reelected and redistricting?  At the federal level, this seems to suggest concentrating Democrats within districts.  That's pretty much the philosophy behind gerrymandering.  You want to fill as many leftist as possible in the same districts.

Also, and this isn't directed at anybody but since we're talking about it, the effect of gerrymandering on the composition of the House is grossly overrated by most political junkies.  I was one of those guys in November 2010 crowing about Obama's "historic" losses and their impact.  Then I looked at the data.  Reforming redistricting processes is important and an effort I'm still committed to, but sometimes I get the impression people think "if only..." as if it's an elixir to the problems with the American electorate.  It's most certainly not.

Well done.

Asking honestly, but isn't it pretty well established that gerrymanders, while not being the primary cause of polarization, at least helps contribute to it? And that's an honest question; most of the reading I've done on it says it's not the contributing factor, but it does exacerbate it.

If Democrats have more safe districts, that'll at least give some cover to allow more progressive politicians to be elected, much like how the Tea Party operates. I'm not saying that Democrats will be able to push as far to the left as Republicans were able to push to the right, but it doesn't seem illogical to conclude that a heavy hand in redistricting will allow Democrats to push further to the left than they are now.

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4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I don't understand any of this argument. The problem here is that even if Klobuchar and Buttigieg stay in, this doesn't affect how many people voted for Sanders. It might mean Biden doesn't start winning until later, but the actual people that voted for Sanders is still in the 20-30% range, and less than it was 4 years ago. That doesn't make Sanders or the progressive wing more powerful; it means that the only time the progressive wing has even a remote chance is if the field is absurdly divided, and even then you're betting on a contested convention.

This really sounds to me like you don't understand proportionate delegate value here. Sanders 'winning' states doesn't matter that much, as long as other people are staying in. 

What rational basis do you have to conclude that tacking to the center and less progressive issues is the wrong thing to do?

As to staying in the race to get bargaining power - that's really not how it's worked for anyone other than, well, Sanders. Most of the time you get far more bargaining power if you play ball and work with the party. The only other candidate that stayed in longer than, say, Super  Tuesday was Clinton - and she did it because she thought she might be able to win, and even that was stupid. 

 

How in the world does it not make sense that Biden having a much weaker position after Super Tuesday than he actually ended up having, due to candidates staying in instead of dropping out and endorsing him, would lead to a much smaller post-Super Tuesday bounce, and would affect the perception of both his inevitability and Sanders' supposed inability to win? 

It amazes me that's even a controversial argument to make.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

But of course, you have to ask the question whether the pivotal election was 2016, and it's already too late.  I feel like it's quite possible that Biden could win the Presidency, Dems fail to take the Senate, and the Democrats accomplish virtually nothing while the national debt explodes, the economy never gets going, and the Democrats get wiped out in 2022.  In that scenario, I could easily see either Trump or Trump Jr. winning in 2024, and America is not just in decline, but already in the death throes, and we just haven't noticed yet. 

I agree that Democrats could get pretty well shellacked in 2022 and 2024*, that's often how these things go. But I'm finding it increasingly unlikely that Biden wins but Democrats don't pick up the senate. Certainly possible of course. But if Biden wins, I think it's near certain that Democrats have picked up AZ, CO, and ME. And there's just so many opportunities for a fourth pickup that the odds are very good that Democrats would win one, even if they aren't favored anywhere. 

*Although, I don't think it would be Trump or Don Jr. leading the Republican comeback. 

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1 minute ago, The Great Unwashed said:

How in the world does it not make sense that Biden having a much weaker position after Super Tuesday than he actually ended up having, due to candidates staying in instead of dropping out and endorsing him, would lead to a much smaller post-Super Tuesday bounce, and would affect the perception of both his inevitability and Sanders' supposed inability to win? 

It amazes me that's even a controversial argument to make.

It might affect Biden, but the problem is that no one actually switched to Sanders all that much when given the opportunity to do so. So even if the others stayed in the race, we still don't have Sanders winning with particularly large margins. I agree that it might have affected Biden's ability to win - and may have ended up with him not winning - but that doesn't make the progressive wing stronger. It makes them weaker, and unable to build a majority, and relying heavily on a very divided field along with a fear of breaking the party if they didn't choose the person with the plurality (not majority) of delegates. 

Remember that while Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out, they did so literally one day before voting - when a LOT of votes had already been cast - and Bloomberg was still in at that point. You're right that it did help Biden, but let's not overstate by how much - Buttigieg and Klobuchar both got a fairly large amount of votes on Super Tuesday (and even beyond). 

Another way to say all of this is that your argument makes sense when talking about Sanders. If this was a normal field with normal results, Biden would have cleared out the field much earlier, most candidates would have bowed out much much earlier, and it would have been Biden in a landslide earlier. The only reason that Sanders was able to stay competitive for as long as he did was because the field was hugely divided and Biden wasn't super popular - and that was his strategy, per reports - to enforce his base, get 20-30% everywhere, and hope for a contested convention. That could have worked, mind you, but that doesn't really say a whole lot about the power of the progressive wing. 

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8 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

How in the world does it not make sense that Biden having a much weaker position after Super Tuesday than he actually ended up having, due to candidates staying in instead of dropping out and endorsing him, would lead to a much smaller post-Super Tuesday bounce, and would affect the perception of both his inevitability and Sanders' supposed inability to win? 

It amazes me that's even a controversial argument to make.

It just goes to show you that Buttigeig, Klobachar and Warren were all better politicians. They know how to play ball, the long game and accrue power and influence.

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