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US Politics: Catch the big crook under the “Big Cone”


Ser Scot A Ellison
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Politico article about the Arizona Republican Party.

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Arizona was a “perfect political science experiment” for the GOP nationally, Stan Barnes, a former state lawmaker and Republican consultant in Arizona, told me.

“We had the best candidate in anyone’s lifetime in Kari Lake, and she had the Republican wind at her back,” he said. “Yet, Kari lost. And I think the post-mortem is, you can’t stand on, ‘The whole system’s corrupt’ and ‘Elections are stolen’ as a platform for why people should vote for you.”

He said, “No matter what you or I think of the reality of it, if you want to win the election and you want to change things, it’s not the way to win.”

Yet denialism and its attendant conspiracies animate a large swath of the Republican Party — still. And if Arizona is any example, it suggests that a not insignificant percentage of the national electorate is determined to run the same doomed experiment again in 2024.

Nationally, election denialism has actually declined amongst Republicans after it spiked in 2020 and its aftermath.  But not in  Arizona, where the lesson from 2020 and 2022 is not that they are running on the wrong message or targeting the wrong voters.  Instead, most of the Arizona GOP is convinced that they did win and what they need to do is stop Democrats from stealing the election.  The fact that they can find no evidence for this is not convincing them.  Anyone with half a brain can see that a state with a Republican Governor, Legislature and Courts would not steal the election and hand it to Democrats for no discernible reason. 

This election denial in the face of all evidence creates a problem for both parties.  Republicans are having trouble winning statewide elections when they nominate far-right candidates who put election denial front and center (2022 is compelling evidence of this).  But Democrats are rightfully worried that if they win even one election, that they would not allow a Democrat to win ever again (which is what Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem explicitly said he would do in the runup to 2022).  Fortunately for American democracy, he lost.  But if candidates like him run every time in Arizona, then it will only take one bad election for Democrats to have a huge problem. 

Edited by Maithanet
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47 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Politico article about the Arizona Republican Party.

Nationally, election denialism has actually declined amongst Republicans after it spiked in 2020 and its aftermath.  But not in  Arizona, where the lesson from 2020 and 2022 is not that they are running on the wrong message or targeting the wrong voters.  Instead, most of the Arizona GOP is convinced that they did win and what they need to do is stop Democrats from stealing the election.  The fact that they can find no evidence for this is not convincing them.  Anyone with half a brain can see that a state with a Republican Governor, Legislature and Courts would not steal the election and hand it to Democrats for no discernible reason. 

This election denial in the face of all evidence creates a problem for both parties.  Republicans are having trouble winning statewide elections when they nominate far-right candidates who put election denial front and center (2022 is compelling evidence of this).  But Democrats are rightfully worried that if they win even one election, that they would not allow a Democrat to win ever again (which is what Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem explicitly said he would do in the runup to 2022).  Fortunately for American democracy, he lost.  But if candidates like him run every time in Arizona, then it will only take one bad election for Democrats to have a huge problem. 

This is correct.  Our local, newly-formed precinct (LD4) Republican Party recently elected the leadership slate, and it is packed with these fools.  This includes several ideologues from local municipal bodies who got elected in the last couple of cycles whose ability to govern is limited by their worldview.

One example is from the town council of Fountain Hills, Allen Skillicorn.  He believes that all government spending is waste and taxation is sin, but he has also committed to spending $6 million on roads in the town.  So he has pushed several different changes to tax policy in Fountain Hills, eliminating sources of income, and he has ensured that Fountain Hills doesn't participate with other nearby towns to receive state and federal road money.  So Fountain Hills funding sources are running dry.

At the same time, he has made important spending cuts in Fountain Hills, a town full of older midwestern retirees whose businesses rely on visitors to the famous Fountain Park.  What cuts, you ask?  He has successfully eliminated a $30,000 per annum program that provides wheelchairs for residents and visitor to use in town.  And he fired a lobbyist who works for Fountain Hills and other similar-sized towns to keep them informed about state regulations and legislation that affects their municipalities, thereby saving another $40,000.  So that is $70,000 towards the $6 million needed.

So in summary, this guy's political worldview is so strictured that he cannot function to govern on a town council, doing the simple task of saying, "Yes, thank you!" to free money for roads or providing basic governance or services to residents.  Yet our LD4 Republicans have given him a leadership position, because so many of them ALSO have no idea how to operate a government function.  Lots of talk about "bold leadership" and "showing the Democrats how to do it" - do what, bankrupt a town?  Morons.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Republicans are having trouble winning statewide elections when they nominate far-right candidates who put election denial front and center (2022 is compelling evidence of this).  But Democrats are rightfully worried that if they win even one election, that they would not allow a Democrat to win ever again (which is what Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem explicitly said he would do in the runup to 2022).  Fortunately for American democracy, he lost.  But if candidates like him run every time in Arizona, then it will only take one bad election for Democrats to have a huge problem. 

As we've discussed before, the worry here is certainly a legitimate one and a good impetus for Democrats (and even non-crazy Independents and Republicans) to be vigilant on this front.  And it is of course true that these candidates want to try to ensure Democrats would never be allowed to win an election again. 

But the huge logical problem here is the apparent assumption that if candidates like Lake and Finchem won the governorship and SoS JUST ONCE, they would be able to affect such a dominance of governing elections across the executive, legislature and judiciary - as well as at both the state and local levels - to actually pull off this effort at permanently staying in power.  That is a decidedly silly assumption - at least in a state with the partisan makeup of Arizona - particularly considering it assumes an impressive amount of competence on behalf of these candidates that is antithetical to everything about them.

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What are the chances this Chinese spy balloon is 100% inactive and the Chinese just wanted to float it over the States, let it be seen, and then sit back to watch the Republicans in Congress lose their collective minds yet again...? 

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43 minutes ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

What are the chances this Chinese spy balloon is 100% inactive and the Chinese just wanted to float it over the States, let it be seen, and then sit back to watch the Republicans in Congress lose their collective minds yet again...? 

Who knows?  I don't think this is a Republican or Democrat issue and I think framing it as such is not particularly constructive given that China isn't exactly a friendly counterparty vis a vis the United States.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

particularly considering it assumes an impressive amount of competence on behalf of these candidates that is antithetical to everything about them.

Well, there are Right Wing think tanks, that are able and more than willing to provide the necessary know-how to do it. So the stupidity of Lake and Finchem is not nearly as assuring you make it out to be.

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Of course it isn't an issue for either one party of another...but look collectively at the responses between the two parties.  If ever there was an opportunity for another, hostile country to make the elected leaders of the States look even dumber than they already do, this is the time. 

 

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6 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Well, there are Right Wing think tanks, that are able and more than willing to provide the necessary know-how to do it. So the stupidity of Lake and Finchem is not nearly as assuring you make it out to be.

First of all, I'd strongly question the competency of right wing think tanks in general -- let alone the ability to put their ideas into practice when it comes to governing.  This may work for the Federalist society with the courts because there is little to no coalition building necessary when it comes to the latter, but not when it comes to something like ensuring the elections process is rigged for your party across all the different branches and levels of government.

Second, the record of think tanks applying their ideas to "successful" or intended policy outcomes is dubious at best.  And that ranges across the ideological spectrum.

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3 minutes ago, DMC said:

First of all, I'd strongly question the competency of right wing think tanks in general -- let alone the ability to put their ideas into practice when it comes to governing.  This may work for the Federalist society with the courts because there is little to no coalition building necessary when it comes to the latter, but not when it comes to something like ensuring the elections process is rigged for your party across all the different branches and levels of government.

Second, the record of think tanks applying their ideas to "successful" or intended policy outcomes is dubious at best.  And that ranges across the ideological spectrum.

Probably the exception that proves the rule is the red state program, which was and is one of the most successful policy and plans ever rolled out in US politics.

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3 minutes ago, Kalnestk Oblast said:

Probably the exception that proves the rule is the red state program, which was and is one of the most successful policy and plans ever rolled out in US politics.

You mean REDMAP?  Yeah sure.  But a lot of that success is derived simply from carrying out a statistical program.

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16 minutes ago, DMC said:

You mean REDMAP?  Yeah sure.  But a lot of that success is derived simply from carrying out a statistical program.

Wasn't a lot of the new voter supression laws already drafted lying in some desk drawer?

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12 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Wasn't a lot of the new voter supression laws already drafted lying in some desk drawer?

And how successful were those laws in curbing Democratic turnout in 2022?

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31 minutes ago, DMC said:

You mean REDMAP?  Yeah sure.  But a lot of that success is derived simply from carrying out a statistical program.

It was, true, though I think implementing this in 30 states in one election cycle and getting all of those to do it was a pretty big lift. Dems - think tanks or otherwise - have nothing like this in at least 50 yesrs.

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2 minutes ago, Kalnestk Oblast said:

It was, true, though I think implementing this in 30 states in one election cycle and getting all of those to do it was a pretty big lift. Dems - think tanks or otherwise - have nothing like this in at least 50 yesrs.

I think the most impressive part of that was targeting and subsequently winning the elections/securing the majorities necessary to be able to implement REDMAP the way they did during the 2010 cycle.  It should be noted that all parties/major political orgs have the ability to employ the Maptitude software the way the Republicans did/have.

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54 minutes ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

 

 

I don't think that is quite true.  I believe (per WSJ) there are installations in Montana that are of military interest (ICBM installation), and also the balloon is drifting SE, so not just confined to Montana.  That said, there isn't really anything that the balloon will see that couldn't also be seen from satellite, so the conclusion is probably correct. 

ETA:  Exec. branch taking this seriously enough that Blinken (indefinitely) postponed his China trip. 

Edited by Mlle. Zabzie
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5 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I believe there are installations in Montana that are of military interest.

Yeah the federal government owns nearly 30% of all land in Montana.  Which, ya know, is a lot of land.  Gotta figure there's something of interest somewhere in there.

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7 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I don't think that is quite true.  I believe there are installations in Montana that are of military interest.  That said, there isn't really anything that the balloon will see that couldn't also be seen from satellite, so the conclusion is probably correct.  

So does Empress MZ hide the aliens in the middle of nowhere underground or in plain sight in a major city? The people demand answers!

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