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Biden Administration Inaguration Thread

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53 minutes ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

Are you talking about the national vote compact?  Or am I missing something else?

Seems 7th grade civics should be taught more.

Yep. It's stupid that they would tie electors to national popular vote, IMO, but my point was that the compact doesn't go into effect unless so many states adopt it. (Can't remember the number off hand.) I would advise any state that changes the way it awards electors to do it this way.

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7 minutes ago, NVGiant said:

I promise you that I will stay consistent no matter who wins elections. I wrote a college paper on changing the EC way back in 1995 (+++++, I'm getting old). My view hasn't changed.

What if you land a job with Veritas? 

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Just now, BSUTOP25 said:

Was the birther thing made up of notable political figures criticizing a large number of American people? 

Yes. I would say people of color make up a large section of the populace and Trump ran for president before that.

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Just now, BSUTOP25 said:

What if you land a job with Veritas? 

Oh, a dream come true. Video-based journalism and right-wing propaganda. My two favorite things!

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Just now, toonkee said:

Yes. I would say people of color make up a large section of the populace and Trump ran for president before that.

So you think the birther conspiracy was directed at a large number of Americans as opposed to just Obama? If so, we can agree to disagree on how we remember it.

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1 minute ago, NVGiant said:

Yep. It's stupid that they would tie electors to national popular vote, IMO, but my point was that the compact doesn't go into effect unless so many states adopt it. (Can't remember the number off hand.) I would advise any state that changes the way it awards electors to do it this way.

The compact would go into effect if the states could pledge 270+.  Even then it would not be law or anything it would be a gentlemen's agreement.  It's problematic because of that.  Short good read (2 pages) here I wanted to link in my prior post but decided to get clarification from you first.

https://userpages.umbc.edu/~nmiller/NPVP.pdf

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10 minutes ago, toonkee said:

I've heard good arguments from this discussion and learned more than I did in any grade school class unfortunately.

I wish they taught us civics.

If I ever become a teacher, I will assign extra credit for mwcboarding.

I've learned so much here on such a wide variety of topics.

 

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5 minutes ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

The compact would go into effect if the states could pledge 270+.  Even then it would not be law or anything it would be a gentlemen's agreement.  It's problematic because of that.  Short good read (2 pages) here I wanted to link in my prior post but decided to get clarification from you first.

https://userpages.umbc.edu/~nmiller/NPVP.pdf

I'm not arguing for tying EC to national popular vote. I don't think that is a good idea. I was just talking about the pact structure of not going into effect until enough states meet the threshold.

 

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1 minute ago, NVGiant said:

I'm not arguing for tying EC to national popular vote. I don't think that is a good idea. I was just talking about the pact structure of not going into effect until enough states meet the threshold.

 

Oh that is all the article is about.  It's only about the compact and the way it is structured, nothing else.

 

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Just now, halfmanhalfbronco said:

Oh that is all the article is about.  It's only about the compact and the way it is structured, nothing else.

 

Well, I didn't want to break MW custom by reading the article. Easier to argue that way.

At any rate, it's not like it can be structured better. Just saying the underlying idea that states adopt changes together makes sense if there were any major changes made to the EC.

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1 minute ago, NVGiant said:

Well, I didn't want to break MW custom by reading the article. Easier to argue that way.

At any rate, it's not like it can be structured better. Just saying the underlying idea that states adopt changes together makes sense if there were any major changes made to the EC.

It does in theory.  Theory gets messy though.  As it would be a social contract only, it could blow up really fast if say the state legislature in Georgia got pissed off at the way California was holding elections.  Then the entire thing crumbles and a candidate who built his campaign around winning the states in the compact is screwed.  

This is fun intellectual masterbation though.  Thanks for humoring me.  And apologizing for arousing @AndroidAggie

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4 minutes ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

This is fun intellectual masterbation though.  Thanks for humoring me.  And apologizing for arousing @AndroidAggie

I took a photo of an @AndroidAggiecloud formation this morning...

j-photo-u1?fit=crop&fm=pjpg&q=60&w=375&d

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1 hour ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

You can do a whole lot with executive action while pursuing and helping shape legislation.

Yes, I am pointing with a broad brush.  Most rural communities hold similar thoughts on policy.  Most urban communities do as well.  

I disagree with this. There's some truth to it if we limit that statement to presidential politics, but rural communities often contrast greatly from county to county let alone state to state. 

But, even assuming what you're saying is more true than what I am saying... There's a strong argument that the EC obscures the clear economic issues in rural communities where you have just as wide divisions between the haves and have-nots by pitting those voters against urban voters. To what extent does the EC push things in that direction and exacerbate the problem by incentivizing presidential candidates to consolidate all rural or urban voters under a handful of central culture war issues? If you're only worried about the rural populations of a handful of states, then those states get to set the standard for what count as rural concerns.

The fact of the matter is that the interests of the "rural" voter from someone who's lived and worked in rural communities all my adult life looks looks like the interests of a particular kind of rural voter who cares about a handful of particular issues. That's gotten worse under the EC. Maybe you think it's gotten worse despite the EC, but the fact of the matter is that Trump won in 2016 with the EC by using culture war rhetoric to galvanize a rural voting base largely in the Southeast and Midwest whose governing priorities (trade restrictions and immigration restrictions) are in direct conflict with the interests of a whole heap of rural communities in the West. Those communities are largely made up of immigrants or families of immigrants whose jobs depend heavily on of the free flow of agricultural goods between the US and other countries. To the extent that he tried to govern for our rural communities, it was for a certain segment of our rural communities - the people who owned the farms. Again, the actual role of the EC in that dynamic is complicated, but I don't believe it's as clear cut as you're making it out to be.

A number of concerning trends in American politics have gotten worse in recent decades under the EC. Power has shifted disproportionately to the executive. Our politics have nationalized, to the point where the term "All politics is local" has gone from being a truism to being an anachronism. Rural/urban electoral concerns have consolidated under left/right cultural issues like guns and abortions. And European style populism has ingratiated itself on both the left and the right. All of this has happened under the EC, and seemingly during the same timeframe that the EC has become a central issues to both the left and right. At what point do we start looking at the role the EC has played getting us to where we are now, instead of looking at what might happen if the EC wasn't there?

I'm personally pretty torn about the EC. I actually agree with some of what you've been saying here, especially the concerns about populism but more importantly about the fact that a lot of these concerns are just not that big a deal if the Legislative branch actually acted like it is supposed to act - as the branch that matters the most for passing laws and thus setting the parameters for the chief executive. At the same time, I find it harder and harder to defend the EC as an important safeguard against oppression for rural folks when 1) the Senate already does that and 2) the Executive branch increasingly is the branch vested with the most power for governing. If Senate + President is all that really matters for governing, (as opposed to Senate+House+President) then it increasingly looks more like minority rule under the EC than protecting rural interests. It looks like mostly white rural people are given inordinate power over what happens in America's cities.

 

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12 minutes ago, BSUTOP25 said:

So you think the birther conspiracy was directed at a large number of Americans as opposed to just Obama? If so, we can agree to disagree on how we remember it.

If we're looking for major national political figures saying outlandish shit about the other side before Obama, may I offer you Newt Gingrich.

1984:

Gingrich touts a study being compiled by conservative House Republicans, noting it “will argue that it is time to stop challenging or seeming to challenge the patriotism of Democrats and liberals. Enough historical evidence exists.”

1989:

“The left-wing Democrats will represent the party of total hedonism, total exhibitionism, total bizarreness, total weirdness, and the total right to cripple innocent people in the name of letting hooligans loose.”

1994: 

A South Carolina woman, Susan Smith, murders her two sons. Gingrich draws the only logical conclusion: “I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”

1994:

“People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day.”

1995:

Following the House GOP’s triumphant 1994 election victory, Gingrich sends all the Republican freshman House members copies of the GOPAC memo suggesting they refer to their opponents as “traitors.”

2006:

Asked whether he agrees with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s comments that opposition to the Bush administration’s Iraq policy is tantamount to appeasing Hitler, Gingrich responds, “Yes.”

2007:

“We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” Two years later, Gingrich unveils a new Spanish-language website, The Americano.

2008:

Gingrich tells Bill O’Reilly that “there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us.” The gay and secular fascist movement, Gingrich charges, is “prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it.”

There are more, but that's about all I can handle of thinking of Gingrich.

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Just now, smltwnrckr said:

I disagree with this. There's some truth to it if we limit that statement to presidential politics, but rural communities often contrast greatly from county to county let alone state to state. 

But, even assuming what you're saying is more true than what I am saying... There's a strong argument that the EC obscures the clear economic issues in rural communities where you have just as wide divisions between the haves and have-nots by pitting those voters against urban voters. To what extent does the EC push things in that direction and exacerbate the problem by incentivizing presidential candidates to consolidate all rural or urban voters under a handful of central culture war issues? If you're only worried about the rural populations of a handful of states, then those states get to set the standard for what count as rural concerns.

The fact of the matter is that the interests of the "rural" voter from someone who's lived and worked in rural communities all my adult life looks looks like the interests of a particular kind of rural voter who cares about a handful of particular issues. That's gotten worse under the EC. Maybe you think it's gotten worse despite the EC, but the fact of the matter is that Trump won in 2016 with the EC by using culture war rhetoric to galvanize a rural voting base largely in the Southeast and Midwest whose governing priorities (trade restrictions and immigration restrictions) are in direct conflict with the interests of a whole heap of rural communities in the West. Those communities are largely made up of immigrants or families of immigrants whose jobs depend heavily on of the free flow of agricultural goods between the US and other countries. To the extent that he tried to govern for our rural communities, it was for a certain segment of our rural communities - the people who owned the farms. Again, the actual role of the EC in that dynamic is complicated, but I don't believe it's as clear cut as you're making it out to be.

A number of concerning trends in American politics have gotten worse in recent decades under the EC. Power has shifted disproportionately to the executive. Our politics have nationalized, to the point where the term "All politics is local" has gone from being a truism to being an anachronism. Rural/urban electoral concerns have consolidated under left/right cultural issues like guns and abortions. And European style populism has ingratiated itself on both the left and the right. All of this has happened under the EC, and seemingly during the same timeframe that the EC has become a central issues to both the left and right. At what point do we start looking at the role the EC has played getting us to where we are now, instead of looking at what might happen if the EC wasn't there?

I'm personally pretty torn about the EC. I actually agree with some of what you've been saying here, especially the concerns about populism but more importantly about the fact that a lot of these concerns are just not that big a deal if the Legislative branch actually acted like it is supposed to act - as the branch that matters the most for passing laws and thus setting the parameters for the chief executive. At the same time, I find it harder and harder to defend the EC as an important safeguard against oppression for rural folks when 1) the Senate already does that and 2) the Executive branch increasingly is the branch vested with the most power for governing. If Senate + President is all that really matters for governing, (as opposed to Senate+House+President) then it increasingly looks more like minority rule under the EC than protecting rural interests. It looks like rural people are given inordinate power over what happens in America's blue cities.

 

 

There used to be a saying that all politics was local politics.  Not sure that is true anymore, sadly.

Your point is well taken.  Some of the biggest economic divide in the country exists in rural areas.  Big difference between the rancher with 20k heads of cattle and the cook at the local cafe, and what their interests are or rather should be.  Health care and jobs, that's what the left needs to hammer to win back rural voters and they need to do it by campaigning on those issues in rural areas more.

Speaking of Ag.  The democrats missed a huge opportunity to punish Trump for the impact of subsidies.  That is clearly one example of how much power the executive does in fact wield.

A pure popular vote scares me.  I think it would lead to even more power in the Executive.  It would facilitate populism.  The legislative branch would be even more scared of speaking out against the party leader.  I agree with @NVGiant and @grandjean87 if there are issues with the EC, there are systems in place to change it.

The left has some winning issues with rural America, they need to spend more time with them.  Make them realize money saved in health care will make up for the 10% rise in gas.  Make some promises for infrastructure to rural communities.  Encourage more work from home.

 

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13 minutes ago, NVGiant said:

If we're looking for major national political figures saying outlandish shit about the other side before Obama, may I offer you Newt Gingrich.

1984:

Gingrich touts a study being compiled by conservative House Republicans, noting it “will argue that it is time to stop challenging or seeming to challenge the patriotism of Democrats and liberals. Enough historical evidence exists.”

1989:

“The left-wing Democrats will represent the party of total hedonism, total exhibitionism, total bizarreness, total weirdness, and the total right to cripple innocent people in the name of letting hooligans loose.”

1994: 

A South Carolina woman, Susan Smith, murders her two sons. Gingrich draws the only logical conclusion: “I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”

1994:

“People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day.”

1995:

Following the House GOP’s triumphant 1994 election victory, Gingrich sends all the Republican freshman House members copies of the GOPAC memo suggesting they refer to their opponents as “traitors.”

2006:

Asked whether he agrees with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s comments that opposition to the Bush administration’s Iraq policy is tantamount to appeasing Hitler, Gingrich responds, “Yes.”

2007:

“We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.” Two years later, Gingrich unveils a new Spanish-language website, The Americano.

2008:

Gingrich tells Bill O’Reilly that “there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us.” The gay and secular fascist movement, Gingrich charges, is “prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it.”

There are more, but that's about all I can handle of thinking of Gingrich.

I’ll grant you Gingrich, that guy was scum. 

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5 minutes ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

 

There used to be a saying that all politics was local politics.  Not sure that is true anymore, sadly.

Your point is well taken.  Some of the biggest economic divide in the country exists in rural areas.  Big difference between the rancher with 20k heads of cattle and the cook at the local cafe, and what their interests are or rather should be.  Health care and jobs, that's what the left needs to hammer to win back rural voters and they need to do it by campaigning on those issues in rural areas more.

Speaking of Ag.  The democrats missed a huge opportunity to punish Trump for the impact of subsidies.  That is clearly one example of how much power the executive does in fact wield.

A pure popular vote scares me.  I think it would lead to even more power in the Executive.  It would facilitate populism.  The legislative branch would be even more scared of speaking out against the party leader.  I agree with @NVGiant and @grandjean87 if there are issues with the EC, there are systems in place to change it.

The left has some winning issues with rural America, they need to spend more time with them.  Make them realize money saved in health care will make up for the 10% rise in gas.  Make some promises for infrastructure to rural communities.  Encourage more work from home.

 

Don’t get us started on the sorry shape of local journalism right now!

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1 minute ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

 

There used to be a saying that all politics was local politics.  Not sure that is true anymore, sadly.

Honestly, this probably has more to do with technological advances than with electoral systems. The ability for the entire country to be aware and part of singular policy discussions online is the biggest culprit. But I think there may be a correction... I wonder if the end of COVID (hopefully this year) sends people back into their communities with fresh eyes. 

1 minute ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

Your point is well taken.  Some of the biggest economic divide in the country exists in rural areas.  Big difference between the rancher with 20k heads of cattle and the cook at the local cafe, and what their interests are or rather should be.  Health care and jobs, that's what the left needs to hammer to win back rural voters and they need to do it by campaigning on those issues in rural areas more.

Speaking of Ag.  The democrats missed a huge opportunity to punish Trump for the impact of subsidies.  That is clearly one example of how much power the executive does in fact wield.

A pure popular vote scares me.  I think it would lead to even more power in the Executive.  It would facilitate populism.  The legislative branch would be even more scared of speaking out against the party leader.  I agree with @NVGiant and @grandjean87 if there are issues with the EC, there are systems in place to change it.

The left has some winning issues with rural America, they need to spend more time with them.  Make them realize money saved in health care will make up for the 10% rise in gas.  Make some promises for infrastructure to rural communities.  Encourage more work from home.

 

I also am uncomfortable with a pure popular vote. I want to see strengthening of alternative parties and I want to see the Legislature take some of its power back from the executive. What electoral system gets us there? The reality is that we have to find a way to get there under the one we have, because it's not changing. 

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