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Killjoybear

US Politics: Ruthless ambition

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11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

No, I'm grouping them by their behavior, not any kind of ideology. 

I don't understand then.  A majority of eligible voters do vote during presidential cycles, and have for two hundred years.

12 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

There shouldn't even be a need to register, it should be automatic once one turns 18.

Agreed, but same-day and vote-by-mail are actually already enacted in certain states.  Automatic registration is not, however, 18 states have automatic registration through certain agencies, mostly the DMV (and Alaska does through their PDF) - although, obviously, you still have to go to the DMV.

17 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Anyways, a better comparison would be the average American verse the average person in Western Europe

Why?  I guess you could say the US electorate should be compared to other developed democracies, but that's entirely blatant selection bias already.

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16 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't understand then.  A majority of eligible voters do vote during presidential cycles, and have for two hundred years.

But again, based on behavior, none of the above vastly outpaces any party. That's not ideal for a healthy, functioning democracy.

 

Quote

Why?  I guess you could say the US electorate should be compared to other developed democracies, but that's entirely blatant selection bias already.

Yeah, but it's still better than comparing completely different systems. 

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

But again, based on behavior, none of the above vastly outpaces any party. That's not ideal for a healthy, functioning democracy.

So, then you are splitting it up by comparing nonvoters to each party, which is what I said to begin with - and is a decidedly strange way to split things up bereft of any valid basis.

4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Yeah, but it's still better than comparing completely different systems. 

If your assertion is that the US is descending into authoritarianism because of the stupidity of the American electorate, your unit of analysis should include governments that are authoritarian.  Limiting your sample to the most democratic countries is just circular logic.  Regardless, even if you were just to compare the US to western European companies, the US is still far from unique in the rise of authoritarian sentiment among electorates over the past quarter century.

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It's a done deal.  The Trump trio (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett) will dominate the Supreme Court for many years to come.  

The Senate Dems will not have the numbers for Court packing.  And it's also a bad idea substantively. 

If there is a silver lining, it is the utter bad faith of the Republican caucus will galvanize the usually pusillanimous Democrats. 

We can hope for is a package of political and judicial reforms that includes a mandatory retirement age for federal judges and mandatory ethics obligations.  Automatic voter registration, election day a federal holiday, abolish gerrymandering.  Then Biden and Congress should do gun reform, immigration reform, climate change.  Just get shit done.  Fuck bipartisanship, fuck deliberation and especially fuck Lindsay Graham. 

Congress should also pass a law legalizing abortion. This will not stop the Court from overturning Roe or even overturning laws passed by Congress on federalism/commerce clause/ 2nd amendment grounds.  But it will make clear to the whole country that we now have an ideologically committed judiciary.  The Trump trio will rush in where O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Stevens and even Roberts feared to tread. 

Reversing the damage of the Trump era will take decades.  

Finally, even as I loathe the Republicans, I think Obama and RBG both deserve a fair share of blame for her not retiring to between 2012-4.  This was a live risk both ignored and the country will suffer for it.

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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27 minutes ago, DMC said:

So, then you are splitting it up by comparing nonvoters to each party, which is what I said to begin with - and is a decidedly strange way to split things up bereft of any valid basis.

Yes it does. A lot can be learned from studying the differences between people who don't vote and those that do for a specific party. 

Quote

If your assertion is that the US is descending into authoritarianism because of the stupidity of the American electorate, your unit of analysis should include governments that are authoritarian.  Limiting your sample to the most democratic countries is just circular logic.  Regardless, even if you were just to compare the US to western European companies, the US is still far from unique in the rise of authoritarian sentiment among electorates over the past quarter century.

Authoritarianism is the worst outcome, but complete dysfunction is well within sight. And why would comparing governments of countries with vastly different cultures and histories be more helpful than tracking ones that are more similar and are precisely experiencing said slide at the same time? 

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

Yes it does. A lot can be learned from studying the differences between people who don't vote and those that do for a specific party. 

If you wanna compare nonvoters to Democratic voters, or nonvoters to Republican voters, sure that's interesting.  But by claiming "a plurality" doesn't vote because you're splitting up voters into two parties that split the voting population basically in half is simply disingenuous.  Consider the implications.  Let's say, a country has 75% turnout - good but not great.  But also has a multiparty system of five evenly matched parties.  Then, you could say that nonvoters outnumber the voters of any one party, but that says absolutely nothing about the health of that country's democracy.

7 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

And why would comparing governments of countries with vastly different cultures and histories be more helpful than tracking ones that are more similar and are precisely experiencing said slide at the same time? 

Because of what I said.  If your assertion is the American electorate's stupidity is causing its descent into authoritarianism or dysfunction (which is quite obviously generated from the institutional makeup of the US system, not the electorate), then solely comparing the US to the most democratic countries in the world is circular logic due to blatant selection bias.  And why is your standard that you can't compare countries with vastly different cultures and histories?  Members of the OECD include Chile, Israel, Turkey, and South Korea - obviously all with vastly different cultures and histories.  Should they be disqualified?  Moreover, the United States has significant differences in culture and history than even all western European countries depending on what "differences" you're looking at.

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Talking about how dumb and shitty the electorate is part of the problem. People are so convinced that there is nothing that can be done to get those voters that there is barely any outreach being done these days to those communities, and the outreach that is being done is halfhearted and not particularly effective.

Something like 45% of voting age people did not vote in 2016. even if you could take 1% of that 45% did not vote in 2016 that is over a million votes, and I honestly think that if you actually speak to the needs of those people, it will get them invested ibe way or another.

People don't not vote for the fun of it, there are systemic barriers, but also they feel alienated from the political process for a myriad of reason including feeling like their views are not being represented. Obviously not all of those votes would go to Democrats, but I'd guess that a significant portion of them would of you actually speak about the shit that actually matters to them. Populism and mass mobilization works, and we can't just give up on it. 

 

As an aside, if the Democrats do decide to pack the court, is that something that could be challenged in court? There is no way that that would make it through a hearing due to the will to maintain power.

Edited by GrimTuesday

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9 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

My mom started voting Dem in her 50s.  My grandma started in her 80s.  I know plenty of college educated people who don't vote.  It's not about being dumb, it's about being skeptical of the value of voting, voting on one or two issues, or the idea that special interests and the MIC actually run things.  

Who can blame them when one or two states decide the election, Wyoming gets the same senatorial representation as NY, and corporations are people?  Telling people they are dumb and misinformed is a shitty and way to get them to do what you want, and condescending as hell.

If they are so dumb it should be easy to get them to do what you want.

If you have as large of a nonvoting population as we do you'd think that some candidate out there could figure out a way to get them to vote.  Maybe actually talk about what you're going to do to make their lives better instead of berating them about their lack of participation in a super-flawed system with lame platitudes.

It's a definite elite bias in liberal groups where they degrade people and kind of act like, "you were once a Republican? Fuck you forever!" I know a lot of really good people that came around late in life, and they became really good allies. 

I mean, these people who run for office and write off so many people as unengaged and unintelligent are the same people that would tell me, if I were still teaching in public school, that no matter how unengaged your students are, no matter how far behind they are--no child is left behind. They all have to race to the top. They should practice what they preach. 

(The Senate needs to die and never be resurrected, btw!)

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9 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Oh, great - more prophets of doom - just what we need at this time. Seriously, all these doomsday scenarios about USA turning into Orban's Hungary or worse, Hitler's Germany are laughable to anyone who knows anything about the latter two.

Hungary, for example, is not a two-party system like the US - yet Orban's party alone holds two thirds of the parliament. It's a also country with virtually no left-wing opposition - most popular lefty party got miserable 12% of votes in the last elections (seriously, Orban's most popular opposition is another far-right party). It's a country with pretty young and not fully developed democratic institutions - not unexpected given how it's been de facto independent for only last 30 years or so. It's a country where president managed to establish effective mechanism to control the courts (no, not just Supreme Court, but all the judges and courts). It's a country which suffered for almost half a century under what is basically communist dictatorship, causing pendulum to violently swing back in opposite direction (i.e. Orban's far right). Take all of this into account, and more - and ask yourself if any of this is applicable to US today. Fortunately, the answer is no - and the comparisons to Nazi Germany are even less applicable.

So, what will happen if Trump wins another 4 years? Not much. Nobody here will emigrate in panic. Gates to Hell will not open.  Four Riders of Apocalpyse will stay put. True, America will suffer four more years of deranged and ridiculously incompetent president, but it will hardly be the first country to do so. There will still be strong opposition in form of media, citizens' organizations and House of Representatives, occasionally managing to block some of his most dangerous ideas. And after 4 years, his mandate will be over, whether he likes it or not. In few more decades he won't be remembered at all, except as one of biggest blunders in a history of democratic world. Ffs, America has survived two world wars, several horrific economic depressions, Cold war and nuclear crisis - have some faith it will survive one charlatanic demagague.

This is literally life and death for some people--people in this thread have expressed as much. For you the world isn't ending, but for lots of people it might. 

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

It's a done deal.  The Trump trio (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett) will dominate the Supreme Court for many years to come.  

The Senate Dems will not have the numbers for Court packing.  And it's also a bad idea substantively. 

If there is a silver lining, it is the utter bad faith of the Republican caucus will galvanize the usually pusillanimous Democrats. 

We can hope for is a package of political and judicial reforms that includes a mandatory retirement age for federal judges and mandatory ethics obligations.  Automatic voter registration, election day a federal holiday, abolish gerrymandering.  Then Biden and Congress should do gun reform, immigration reform, climate change.  Just get shit done.  Fuck bipartisanship, fuck deliberation and especially fuck Lindsay Graham. 

Congress should also pass a law legalizing abortion. This will not stop the Court from overturning Roe or even overturning laws passed by Congress on federalism/commerce clause/ 2nd amendment grounds.  But it will make clear to the whole country that we now have an ideologically committed judiciary.  The Trump trio will rush in where O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Stevens and even Roberts feared to tread. 

Reversing the damage of the Trump era will take decades.  

Finally, even as I loathe the Republicans, I think Obama and RBG both deserve a fair share of blame for her not retiring to between 2012-4.  This was a live risk both ignored and the country will suffer for it.

And when the Lochner Court strikes all these laws down for reasons?

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I think Obama and RBG both deserve a fair share of blame for her not retiring to between 2012-4. 

What was Obama supposed to do?  Launch a drone strike at her house?

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"Cans of tuna fish. They go out and buy tuna fish and soup. You know that, right?...Because they throw it. It's the perfect weight, tuna fish, they can really rip it, right? And that hits you. No, it's true. Bumble Bee brand tuna."

-- philsopher

Edited by Week

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Voting only matters in aggregate.  Anyone who decides that on a individual level voting matters is the dumb one.  People that vote do so because society spends a lot of time brainwashing them to do so.

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1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

Talking about how dumb and shitty the electorate is part of the problem. People are so convinced that there is nothing that can be done to get those voters that there is barely any outreach being done these days to those communities, and the outreach that is being done is halfhearted and not particularly effective.

Conversely, those are people who are not particularly inclined to vote for a variety of reasons, and outreach won't matter. 

The notion that people are not spending crazy amounts of resources, time, and advertising to get people to vote is not in line with factual reality and appears to be wishful thinking. 

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

Something like 45% of voting age people did not vote in 2016. even if you could take 1% of that 45% did not vote in 2016 that is over a million votes, and I honestly think that if you actually speak to the needs of those people, it will get them invested ibe way or another.

Do you know what their needs are? Sanders thought their needs were things like M4A, and as a result he got fewer people who generally don't vote to vote for him than he did previously. Whatever their needs are, it doesn't appear to be the case that it's addressed by super progressive viewpoints. 

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

People don't not vote for the fun of it,

As someone who didn't vote for a few years, I can tell you that the main reason is that it didn't seem to matter all that much and I forgot because there were more important priorities in my life and I wasn't that engaged. That's really it. A lot of people don't vote because they just don't care that much. 

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

 including feeling like their views are not being represented.

Citation needed.

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

Obviously not all of those votes would go to Democrats, but I'd guess that a significant portion of them would of you actually speak about the shit that actually matters to them. Populism and mass mobilization works, and we can't just give up on it. 

Citation REALLY needed. Populism was tried in the most recent election and it failed pretty spectacularly. Mass mobilization was tried as well, to similar failures.

1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

As an aside, if the Democrats do decide to pack the court, is that something that could be challenged in court? There is no way that that would make it through a hearing due to the will to maintain power.

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that indicates how many justices there should be, only how long they serve and how they're appointed. As long as the POTUS nominates and the senate advises and consents, they can put in literally 1 billion justices.

This will, of course, not stop there being lawsuits, and it's likely that the conservatives could find some stupid basis for denying it. But chances are good that there's enough precedent of this happening in our history that there will not be enough to say no.

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4 minutes ago, Kalibear said:

 

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that indicates how many justices there should be, only how long they serve and how they're appointed. As long as the POTUS nominates and the senate advises and consents, they can put in literally 1 billion justices.

The number of justices is set by US law which would have to be overturned by Congress, but that should be easy enough to do. 

The biggest problem as far as I see it is Joe Manchin... assuming a 50/50 split the democrats would need his vote to expand the size of the court and I doubt he would give it cheaply. 

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35 minutes ago, Lord of Rhinos said:

Voting only matters in aggregate.  Anyone who decides that on a individual level voting matters is the dumb one.  People that vote do so because society spends a lot of time brainwashing them to do so.

Is this serious or as dumb as it sounds? 

Might be new info for you - there are positions on the ballot other than the President that are very consequential and often have slim margins.

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1 minute ago, Week said:

Is this serious or as dumb as it sounds? 

Might be new info for you - there are positions on the ballot other than the President that are very consequential and often have slim margins.

And yet those positions are also not determined by one vote.

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13 minutes ago, Kalibear said:

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that indicates how many justices there should be, only how long they serve and how they're appointed. As long as the POTUS nominates and the senate advises and consents, they can put in literally 1 billion justices.

This will, of course, not stop there being lawsuits, and it's likely that the conservatives could find some stupid basis for denying it. But chances are good that there's enough precedent of this happening in our history that there will not be enough to say no.

Like @tzanth said, it takes an act of Congress to set and change the composition of the SC.  And it has 6 times since the Judiciary Act of 1789.  That's ample precedent that I have a hard time seeing even a Gorsuch swing-vote court overturning.

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15 minutes ago, Kalibear said:

Conversely, those are people who are not particularly inclined to vote for a variety of reasons, and outreach won't matter

The notion that people are not spending crazy amounts of resources, time, and advertising to get people to vote is not in line with factual reality and appears to be wishful thinking. 

Do you know what their needs are? Sanders thought their needs were things like M4A, and as a result he got fewer people who generally don't vote to vote for him than he did previously. Whatever their needs are, it doesn't appear to be the case that it's addressed by super progressive viewpoints. 

As someone who didn't vote for a few years, I can tell you that the main reason is that it didn't seem to matter all that much and I forgot because there were more important priorities in my life and I wasn't that engaged. That's really it. A lot of people don't vote because they just don't care that much. 

Citation needed.

Citation REALLY needed. Populism was tried in the most recent election and it failed pretty spectacularly. Mass mobilization was tried as well, to similar failures.

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that indicates how many justices there should be, only how long they serve and how they're appointed. As long as the POTUS nominates and the senate advises and consents, they can put in literally 1 billion justices.

This will, of course, not stop there being lawsuits, and it's likely that the conservatives could find some stupid basis for denying it. But chances are good that there's enough precedent of this happening in our history that there will not be enough to say no.

Re: bolded, citation needed.  This is circular reasoning, they didn't vote, so they are unlikely to vote, so we shouldn't try to get them to vote.

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2 minutes ago, Lord of Rhinos said:

And yet those positions are also not determined by one vote.

I see. The latter it is then.

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