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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14621 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 03:39

View Postawm, on 2020-January-19, 10:59, said:

This seems like a terrible idea! Letting parties choose their candidates is a fine idea in a multi-party system with proportionate representation or ranked-choice voting, but a terrible idea in a country that really has a two-party system with first-past-the-post voting.

If you need more evidence, in the UK the parties decide their leaders. And they ended up with two staggeringly unpopular candidates in Corbyn and Johnson.


I haven't read the article y66 linked to but generally, those who prefer a "party decides" system mean that the party officials/establishment decides, not it's membership at large. In the UK, the major parties changed from such a system to one where party members have larger control. Almost anyone who thinks deeply about the UK's constitutional issues thinks that was a big mistake which greatly contributed to the near constitutional crisis last year. (Basically, the UK parliamentary system only makes sense if the party leader is also the accepted leader of their party's faction in parliament.) Mind you, anyone with just a little bit of common sense also thinks it was a big mistake because it led to the election of Corbyn and Johnson as party leaders.
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#14622 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 10:42

A few thoughts.

In the 1950s the candidates were Adlai Stevenson and Dwight Eisenhower. A great many people would be pleased to have such a choice today.

Winston says "Our problem is not system. Our problem is the people, both voters and those who are voted into power. ". Well, yes, but people are what people are, so a good system would make an effort to address that. Stupidity of people might explain a bad result, but even if that is so, where do we go from there?

The cited article notes that in 1968 only 17 states had adopted Democratic primaries and that most were beauty contests. As I recall, Maryland was one of them in 68. In 1964 I was still in Minnesota and I have tried to recall how that went. I don't believe that back then there was any reason to register as a D, or an R, or as anything. I have sometimes thought that such registration creates an "us versus them" problem. It's a human impulse. The Washington Nationals won the World Series. Yay. The Baltimore Ravens got eliminated early in the run up for the Super Bowel Sigh. But I don't actually care. I do care who is president, and I would hope we can get past "us versus them" in choosing. I register as a D to vote in the D primary, but I want the best person to win in the general election.

It seems to me that the D undecideds are very numerous as we head into Iowa. This could be because all of the candidates are so good that it is just impossible to choose from among them. Somehow I do not think that this is the reason for people being undecided.


The primary system, even if working well, means that the D candidate will be the one most Ds support and similarly for the R candidate. But the majority of the entire electorate might very well prefer both a different D candidate and and a different R candidate, even without any strategic game playing.


We've got ourselves a problem. It might not be solvable. I doubt that having back room deals in the parties is the way to go.
Ken
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#14623 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 12:16

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-January-19, 15:29, said:

Our problem is not system. Our problem is the people, both voters and those who are voted into power.

I disagree. I think our problem is precisely that too many important systems are poorly designed or, as Jamie Dimon and his pals on the Business Roundtable put it last summer, focusing on shareholders' interests alone is not cutting it -- it's time for corporations to also do their part to provide for the common good, i.e., their customers, employees, suppliers and local communities. And as Professor Dekker pointed out in the NYT story about the 2009 crash of the predecessor to the Boeing 737 Max, human-factors design -- the people part -- is an important part of system design. This applies to the design of political organizations too.
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#14624 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 13:06

President Trump made 16,241 false or misleading claims in his first three years

Quote

He averaged six such claims a day in 2017, nearly 16 a day in 2018 and more than 22 a day in 2019.

Quote

The key reason for last year’s surge in October and November was the uproar over a phone call on July 25 in which Trump urged Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden, a potential 2020 election rival — and the ensuing House impeachment inquiry. Almost 1,000 of the false and misleading claims made by the president deal with the Ukraine investigation, even though it only became a category four months ago.

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#14625 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 14:35

View Posty66, on 2020-January-20, 12:16, said:

I disagree. I think our problem is precisely that too many important systems are poorly designed or, as Jamie Dimon and his pals on the Business Roundtable put it last summer, focusing on shareholders' interests alone is not cutting it -- it's time for corporations to also do their part to provide for the common good, i.e., their customers, employees, suppliers and local communities. And as Professor Dekker pointed out in the NYT story about the 2009 crash of the predecessor to the Boeing 737 Max, human-factors design -- the people part -- is an important part of system design. This applies to the design of political organizations too.


Well, we elected Henry Ford...er...Donald Ford...er.....Henry Trump...

Quote

Pinning down Ford’s preferred policies proved equally problematic. Ford rejected attempts by political parties to bind him to a platform—a surrogate explained that “Mr. Ford will not sign his name on any dotted line." Instead he promised to use the great ability he had demonstrated in business to tackle challenges as they came.

This proved worrisome to party elites, but Ford found success attacking all politicians. Press releases from the Ford for President movement said that "the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties has become the special servant of what is commonly understood...as 'the interests'."

People believed that only Ford could liberate the common man from crooked elites. One Congressman complained about hearing poor farmers chanting “‘When Ford comes,...when Ford comes’, as if they were expecting the second coming of Christ.” In an early poll of magazine subscribers, Henry Ford received the most votes of any potential presidential candidate.

This horrified America’s upper crust. The few ideas Ford did propose seemed bizarre—he suggested that since American troops had nothing to do during peacetime, they should enforce prohibition by breaking up speakeasies. He also met with and received support from the Klu Klux Klan and wrote that “the trouble with us today is that we have been unfaithful to the White Man’s traditions and privileges.”


Followed by this:

Quote

“We know that extremist demagogues emerge from time to time in all societies, even in healthy democracies. The United States has had its share of them, including Henry Ford, Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, and George Wallace. An essential test for democracies is not whether such figures emerge but whether political leaders, and especially political parties, work to prevent them from gaining power in the first place - by keeping them off mainstream party tickets, refusing to endorse or align with them, and when necessary, making common sense cause with rivals in support of democratic candidates. Isolating popular extremists requires political courage. But when fear, opportunism, or miscalculation leads established parties to bring extremists into the mainstream, democracy is imperiled.”
― Steven Levitsky, How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future


The reason Donald Trump made it onto the ticket is the change to a more democratic method of acceoting primaries' votes.
So, my question is this: In the past, Henry Ford was kept out of power, but Huey Long was elected, as well as George Wallace. So how is it that a system will alter these outcomes?


Perhaps I misundertand, but how will a better system of chosing candidates change other systems? After all, the broken systems were created by the voting system.
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#14626 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 16:40

It seems obvious to me that
1. Who the Democratic nominee is will affect the chance of the nominee becoming president and
2. The process for choosing the nominee will affect who the nominee is.

No process can guarantee a desirable outcome, but surely process matters. People argue about process because they think it sometimes affects outcomes. This is correct, it does.

On some matters I do not expect to change my mind.


Ken
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#14627 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-20, 17:54

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-January-20, 14:35, said:

The reason Donald Trump made it onto the ticket is the change to a more democratic method of acceoting primaries' votes. So, my question is this: In the past, Henry Ford was kept out of power, but Huey Long was elected, as well as George Wallace. So how is it that a system will alter these outcomes?

Perhaps I misundertand, but how will a better system of chosing candidates change other systems? After all, the broken systems were created by the voting system.

You're the one who said the system is broken. Laurin Schwab agrees and thinks letting parties pick the candidates would help fix the problem. I think she has a point. I suspect everyone can agree that the best system is the one that strikes a reasonable balance. IMO, the focus on picking the best candidate is misplaced. The focus should be on figuring out the best policies and making sure they are credible and broadly supported by voters long before elections take place which can be done, I think, by creating a strong peer review capability like the Congressional Research Service / Congressional Budget Office for vetting policy proposals in combination with something like the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel to do representative voter testing. The main differences with the current system are that in the current system (1) policy proposals, whether they come from the likes of Warren, Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Trump, Wallace, McCarthy, Long or Ford, are not stress tested ahead of time and (2) primary voters in key primary states are not well informed or representative of all voters. All systems and humans have limitations and are subject to fail under stress. So, while we're at it, we should try to take that into account too.
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#14628 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-21, 08:09

From 3 Organizers for 3 Candidates, Under One Roof: This Is Campaigning in Iowa by Trip Gabriel at NYT:

Quote

RICEVILLE, Iowa — Charles Uffelman, a bearded and burly Tennessean who is working in Iowa for Elizabeth Warren, stirred gravy on a stovetop while biscuits rose in the oven.

Jared Sherman, a Pete Buttigieg organizer in a checked lumberjack shirt, scrambled eggs.

Bryan McNamara, a staff member for Joseph R. Biden Jr. who is fond of a light leather jacket in the Midwest winter, poured strong coffee.

“I love these guys, I love organizing alongside them,” Mr. Uffelman said as he and the others prepared a country breakfast on a recent weekday morning.

The Democratic presidential candidates may have thrown some sharp elbows on a debate stage in Des Moines last week. But two and a half hours away, in a farmhouse beneath a wind turbine, with the odor of a hog farm wafting across a rural road, field organizers for three of the combatants have found a way to coexist in harmony as housemates.

“It helps we all have thick skin,” said Mr. McNamara, who has added 8,000 miles and a coat of dust to a sedan with New York plates. “Being able to come home and, you know, if I had a rough day, being able to talk to people and see that we’re all having similar challenges out here — it’s not just our candidate or our campaign — there are issues with rural organizing that we all encounter.”

The monthslong buildup to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest, and the challenges of turning out voters to more than 1,000 caucus sites on Feb. 3, have led to a culture of grass-roots organizing in the state unlike anywhere else. All four leading Democratic campaigns, including Bernie Sanders’s team, have dispatched small armies of field organizers, mostly idealistic young people from out of state, to embed themselves in communities.

Mr. Sherman is an organizer for Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind.Credit...Jordan Gale for The New York Times
They knock on doors, hold meet-ups of potential supporters and otherwise build out networks of volunteers who play a large part in determining the results of the caucuses. Lack of an Iowa ground game in 2016 was a big part of why Donald J. Trump finished second in the state despite leading in pre-caucus polls. Barack Obama’s enormous organizing footprint in 2008 was largely why his margin of victory exceeded expectations.

“You have to build community around the campaign — it has to feel like a family,” said Mr. Uffelman, 26, the Warren organizer, who has joined a local Methodist church in an effort to meet people and become known.

Mr. McNamara, 22, the Biden representative, held a potluck dinner for volunteers he recruited and people just considering the former vice president. “I love community events that pull our supporters together but also don’t put pressure on them to just make it about the candidate,” he said.

Laura Hubka, who has opened her large home to the organizers rent-free since October, in a windswept region on the Minnesota border, is chairwoman of the Howard County Democratic Party. An area of declining population with many older rural voters, Howard County is famous in political circles for having swung more jarringly than any county in America from Mr. Obama to Mr. Trump. It voted for Mr. Obama by a 21 percentage point margin in 2012 and for Mr. Trump by 20 — a 41-point gyration.

“I’ve been asked 300 times what happened,” Ms. Hubka said. The closest she’s come to an answer is that the Obama-Trump vote was a fed-up rejection of both parties by people who had lost faith in government. The county seat, Cresco, is a town of fewer than 4,000 rarely visited by presidential candidates. A wall mural of standout local wrestlers represents community pride, but downtown storefronts are increasingly going dark.

Also, there was a lot of “Hillary hate” in 2016, Ms. Hubka acknowledged. “We were chased out of yards with rakes while door knocking.”

Quote

Ms. Hubka, 55, an ultrasound technician married to a long-haul truck driver, was a Sanders supporter four years ago, when Howard County Democrats gave the Vermont senator 54 percent of their caucus vote. After the general election, she quit the state party central committee in frustration over the factionalism between supporters of Mr. Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

But she did not stay away long from activism. Ms. Hubka endorsed Mr. Buttigieg, the first county chair in Iowa to do so. She believes Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., can bridge the divisiveness in her party, in Howard County and in the country.

She does not demonize Trump voters, who include friends and family members. She ticks off some who regret their choice: the husband of a dietitian at the medical center where she works. A conservative official at the Chamber of Commerce angry at the lack of fiscal restraint under Republicans. A “shirttail uncle” of her husband’s, a small farmer hurt by tariffs, who she said “came up to me and put his fist down on the table” and declared he would not vote for Mr. Trump again.

Such voters are not hard to find in Howard County, even if far from the majority. They include Sara Burke, who plans to participate in her first Democratic caucus next month, an abrupt reversal in her short voting history. Ms. Burke, 38, cast her first ballot ever for president in 2016 for Mr. Trump.

At the time, she said, she was “terrified” that Muslim extremists would harm her family in rural Iowa, a fear driven by Mr. Trump that even her 11-year-old son echoed. “He legitimately felt fear; it’s horrible as a parent,” she said.

Her disappointment set in early. She described the president’s bullying speech and braggadocio as “disgusting.”

The auto parts factory where Ms. Burke works is near full employment, running three shifts, but she said her income from a $21.50 an hour job is barely above the line that would entitle her children to subsidized school lunches. “If I’m at one of the best paying places around here, I should be able to be grateful and do my job and pay for the lunches and not have to need help,” she said. “It’s crazy to me.”

Last year Ms. Burke became active in the political wing of the United Automobile Workers union. She concluded the president was anti-worker. “What I really realize now, and didn’t before, is if he had his way, my God, our children would be working right alongside of us and none of us would be making any money, there would be no union,” she said.

“From what I was paying attention to and where I was getting my information,” Ms. Burke recalled of 2016, “I was not informing myself well at all.”

Neil Shaffer, the chairman of the Republican Party in Howard County, said he saw no signs of a “Trump revolt.” He predicted the general election would turn on the tone of the two major candidates, in a county where many voters have weak partisan identity and dislike divisiveness. “I think honestly this election will have more to do with personalities than with issues," he said.

Ms. Hubka is not optimistic the county will swing back to the Democrats in November. If she can shave 10 points off Mr. Trump’s 2016 margin, that would be a victory, she said. “I think it’s going to be a horrible, nasty election,” she said.

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#14629 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-21, 08:26

View Posty66, on 2020-January-20, 17:54, said:

You're the one who said the system is broken. Laurin Schwab agrees and thinks letting parties pick the candidates would help fix the problem. I think she has a point. I suspect everyone can agree that the best system is the one that strikes a reasonable balance. IMO, the focus on picking the best candidate is misplaced. The focus should be on figuring out the best policies and making sure they are credible and broadly supported by voters long before elections take place which can be done, I think, by creating a strong peer review capability like the Congressional Research Service / Congressional Budget Office for vetting policy proposals in combination with something like the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel to do representative voter testing. The main differences with the current system are that in the current system (1) policy proposals, whether they come from the likes of Warren, Sanders, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Trump, Wallace, McCarthy, Long or Ford, are not stress tested ahead of time and (2) primary voters in key primary states are not well informed or representative of all voters. All systems and humans have limitations and are subject to fail under stress. So, while we're at it, we should try to take that into account too.


I guess I am confused. I see the nomination system as separate from everything else. Many systems we use now are either faulty or failing, such as unbridled capitalism. Most of those systems seem based on zero sum models.

But when evidence over time builds to show those models and systems flawed or even false, yet they continue to be heralded as "the answer", then the problem is not the system but the people who believe, or have faith, or accept by faith that those systems should prevail.

That's why I say it is a people problem - people who retain faith in nonsense or in ridiculous systems.
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#14630 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-January-21, 08:55

View Posty66, on 2020-January-20, 12:16, said:

This applies to the design of political organizations too.

Political organizations aren't designed, they're created by committees and grow organically. There's occasional tweaking, but because concensus is required to make significant changes, there's only so much that can be done to make them close to optimal.

#14631 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-21, 12:10

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-21, 08:55, said:

Political organizations aren't designed, they're created by committees and grow organically. There's occasional tweaking, but because concensus is required to make significant changes, there's only so much that can be done to make them close to optimal.

We can quibble about what design means. According to wikipedia:

Quote

A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process.

Here's a rough spec (2018) for the DNC + their platform for 2016 + a discussion of a 2017 system upgrade + a discussion of additional upgrades that have been implemented since 2016.

From Keith Ellison's vision for the Democratic Party:

Quote

On the direction of the national Democratic Party

Ellison said the Democratic Party needs to shift from a party that over the past eight years has focused intently on the presidential election, and national races in key swing states and districts, to an organization that competes in "every state, every county, every precinct."

"We're doing all of that," he said. "We're every race, all over the country, all the time. It's a big re-envisioning of what the Democratic Party is supposed to be."

The strategic goal of the party, Ellison added, is to reconnect with the grassroots activists, and to let their voices determine the direction of the party and the policies it fights for.

The key for the future he said is to convert that grassroots energy into electoral victories.

"We're in this mess because we lost elections," he said. "Not just one. Over a thousand. The way we're going to get out of it is by winning all those elections back, and even more."

On Democrats' game plan as the minority party in Washington

"I would say the goal is not to exist to fight Trump, and it's not to exist to figure out a way to work with Trump," said Ellison. The priority, he said, is what the American people need.

He said Democrats will fight for better paying jobs, well-financed public education, infrastructure and retirement security.

"Our responsibility is to make sure we're always asserting a positive vision, so people don't make the mistake of thinking we're all wrapped up in our opposition."

On primary elections

Ellison said the Democratic Party will not choose sides in primary elections. Leaked emails last year showed the committee favored eventual Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"The base expects the party to be utterly neutral," Ellison said. "No matter what, nobody should ever find an email that indicates that the DNC is not calling it straight down the line for every primary candidate."

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#14632 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-21, 15:00

When the hometown newspaper turns on you, the end may well be in sight:

Quote

Devin Nunes’ Ukraine lies are a betrayal. Voters in his district deserve better
BY THE SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL BOARD
JANUARY 20, 2020 02:11 PM


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#14633 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-22, 21:40

From Jennifer Rubin at WaPo:

Quote

Given how firmly some Republican senators are ensconced in the right-wing news bubble, and how determined they are to avoid hearing facts that undercut their partisan views, it is possible many of them are hearing the facts on which impeachment is based for the first time. Impeachment manager and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) took them through in meticulous detail the scheme President Trump devised to pressure Ukraine to help him smear former vice president Joe Biden.

Intentionally ignorant Republicans previously may have learned these things from Schiff’s presentation (seriously, if they didn’t hear it from talk radio or state TV, it doesn’t exist):

  • Trump mentioned the Bidens and Burisma but not “corruption” during the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • Trump followed up with a call to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, on whether the investigations he demanded would happen.
  • A text by a Trump appointee to Zelensky’s top aide sent 30 minutes before the July 25 call stressed that Trump was looking for an announcement of an investigation into the Bidens.
  • When Trump, standing on the White House driveway, told the media that he wanted both Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden, he was not pursuing corruption in Ukraine, but rather looking for foreign countries to smear the former vice president.
  • The draft statement announcing that Ukraine would undertake corruption investigations was rewritten by Sondland and Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to specifically include Burisma and the 2016 election (i.e., Crowdstrike).
  • Giuliani openly bragged about interfering in an investigation in Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian officials threw Trump’s corrupt scheme back in our faces when asked not to investigate their political opponents.
  • Ukraine was confronted with a cut-off of vital aid in the middle of a hot war.
  • The aid was only released when Trump was caught (and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed it publicly).

Schiff stacked one fact upon another until an impenetrable wall of evidence confronted Republicans. What will their excuse for acquittal be? The facts turn out to be a lot stronger, by gosh, than the House Republican apologists said!

Schiff was confronting not only the public but also the Republicans with an indisputable factual account for which Trump’s lawyers have no answer. So how are they to acquit? Well, there is always the legally insane argument that abuse of power is not impeachable. But Schiff knocked that down as well:

  • Attorney General William P. Barr apparently thinks that this bizarre interpretation of the Constitution is wrong, as does Jonathan Turley, who testified for Republicans during the House impeachment process.
  • Alexander Hamilton and other framers of the Constitution made plain they were seeking to prevent breaches of public trust and political crimes.
  • If abuse of power isn’t impeachable, then the president is king.

Schiff was methodically cornering the Republicans. Nope, the claim there is no evidence of a corrupt quid pro quo is unsustainable; in fact, there is overwhelming and uncontradicted evidence. Nope, you do not want to adopt the crackpot theory that abuse of power is not impeachable. Schiff is leaving them no legitimate basis on which to acquit. He mocked Mulvaney’s comment that we should just “get over it,” challenging the senators to tell their constituents that none of this mattered.

And that is what the trial is about. It’s about making clear to the entire country that Trump did exactly what he is accused of, but that his own party, suffering from political cowardice and intellectual corruption, do not have the nerve to stop him. If that is the goal — prove Trump’s guilt and Republicans’ complicity — Schiff hit a grand slam. And we have days more of evidence to hear.

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#14634 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 06:33

View Posty66, on 2020-January-22, 21:40, said:

From Jennifer Rubin at WaPo:




For whatever use it might be to strategists, I present myself as the man in the street.


When this stuff about the Ukraine deal came out I understood it briefly as

Get dirt on Bidens, you get the money.
Don't get dirt on Bidens, you don't get the money.

Anyone with any experience with life could see that immediately.


Now we have all these detailed arguments. Sure, that's fine. But the basic argument is: Do you really not understand what happened? And you also believe Harvey Weinstein had consensual sex? Sure, we need to supply the details, but we should not be surprised when the details completely support the obvious conclusion.


I was on a jury and I and the other jurors listened carefully and discussed it thoroughly. As we should. But actually it was pretty obvious what had happened. And so it is here.


So what has to come across is this: Let's not embarrass ourselves by pretending we do not know what happened. The choices boil down to "Yeah, but I don't give a **** " or "He's out".


No one needs a degree in constitutional law to follow that.

Ken
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#14635 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 08:31

View Postkenberg, on 2020-January-23, 06:33, said:



For whatever use it might be to strategists, I present myself as the man in the street.


When this stuff about the Ukraine deal came out I understood it briefly as

Get dirt on Bidens, you get the money.
Don't get dirt on Bidens, you don't get the money.

Anyone with any experience with life could see that immediately.


Now we have all these detailed arguments. Sure, that's fine. But the basic argument is: Do you really not understand what happened? And you also believe Harvey Weinstein had consensual sex? Sure, we need to supply the details, but we should not be surprised when the details completely support the obvious conclusion.


I was on a jury and I and the other jurors listened carefully and discussed it thoroughly. As we should. But actually it was pretty obvious what had happened. And so it is here.


So what has to come across is this: Let's not embarrass ourselves by pretending we do not know what happened. The choices boil down to "Yeah, but I don't give a **** " or "He's out".


No one needs a degree in constitutional law to follow that.


Hello, Dr. Berg,

I think Jennifer Rubin, and many others, do not grasp the Trump supporter. I live in the heart of Trump country, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it is quaint that the rampant support for Trump comes from an area known previously for: 1) oil money, 2) the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921, 3) Oral Roberts and 4) the heart of the bible belt. One local television station interviewed a local Trump supporter about the impeachment trial. She said, "I don't care. I don't think he did anything wrong."

There it is. She is repeating Trump's own claims, repeated over and over by the right-wing echo chambers of radio and television and pulpits(here). Adam Schiff is wasting his breath - nothing, and I mean nothing, penetrates the right-wing bubble.

This is a mixture of a faith-based movement with those don't care Republicans. Anything that is against that movement comes from evil intent or is a socialist commie plot to take: a) our guns, b) our unborn children c) you pick your horror.

For the 1/3 or more of his supporters who are Christian right, what he does is like the poster my own mother used to have hanging in her bathroom: A kitten hanging by its front paws on a branch with the words: "Faith isn't faith until it's all you have to hold onto".

Impeachment, to them, is "of the devil."

Welcome to Tulsa.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14636 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 08:43

View Postcherdano, on 2020-January-20, 03:39, said:

I haven't read the article y66 linked to but generally, those who prefer a "party decides" system mean that the party officials/establishment decides, not it's membership at large. In the UK, the major parties changed from such a system to one where party members have larger control. Almost anyone who thinks deeply about the UK's constitutional issues thinks that was a big mistake which greatly contributed to the near constitutional crisis last year. (Basically, the UK parliamentary system only makes sense if the party leader is also the accepted leader of their party's faction in parliament.) Mind you, anyone with just a little bit of common sense also thinks it was a big mistake because it led to the election of Corbyn and Johnson as party leaders.


This was a point made by the authors in "How Democracies Die", that in the past the party bosses, or elites, could keep a damaging demagogue from getting a party's nomination, regardless of popularity. When the change was made to force the will of the voters, i.e., a democratic election process, the Republicans ended up with Trump.

Yet, more democracy is the heart of the argument for ridding the U.S. of its electoral college. So what is right?
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14637 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 09:31

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-January-23, 08:31, said:

For the 1/3 or more of his supporters who are Christian right, what he does is like the poster my own mother used to have hanging in her bathroom: A kitten hanging by its front paws on a branch with the words: "Faith isn't faith until it's all you have to hold onto".

Which reminds me of the parable of the drowning man

Quote

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, "Jump in, I can save you."

The stranded fellow shouted back, "No, it's OK, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me."

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. "The fellow in the motorboat shouted, "Jump in, I can save you."

To this the stranded man said, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, "Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety."

To this the stranded man again replied, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, "I had faith in you but you didn't save me, you let me drown. I don't understand why!"

To this God replied, "I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"


#14638 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 11:04

View Postbarmar, on 2020-January-23, 09:31, said:

Which reminds me of the parable of the drowning man



Yes, I heard that story before. It, or variants, are often used to illustrate frustrations with assistance programs. We can provide help, but at some point the person in need of help has to play an active role in his own rescue. .


As a child I was told about a person who was about to be hauled off to the graveyard. He was not yet dead but he had not eaten for days and death would come soon. Someone brought food to him , he asked if they had cooked it for him, they hadn't, so he signaled the others to just continue the plan to carry him off.

At any rate, my earlier point is that the Ukraine business is pretty simple. It can be called quid pro quo, or tit for tat, or scratch my back and I will scratch yours, or call it anything. The deal was that the money will get released when the dirt on Biden is provided. Senators decide how to vote on this, and then people can decide how to vote on the Senators. This is where we are.

It should not be made too much more complicated than that, and in particular i recommend against bringing religion into the argument. Yes religion influences thinking, perhaps sometimes for the better, perhaps sometimes for the worse. Many things in our lives influence our choices. But we should keep it simple. Are we ok with what Trump did, or are we not? Save any discussion of religious beliefs for another day.
Ken
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#14639 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-January-23, 12:57

View Postkenberg, on 2020-January-23, 11:04, said:



Yes, I heard that story before. It, or variants, are often used to illustrate frustrations with assistance programs. We can provide help, but at some point the person in need of help has to play an active role in his own rescue. .


As a child I was told about a person who was about to be hauled off to the graveyard. He was not yet dead but he had not eaten for days and death would come soon. Someone brought food to him , he asked if they had cooked it for him, they hadn't, so he signaled the others to just continue the plan to carry him off.

At any rate, my earlier point is that the Ukraine business is pretty simple. It can be called quid pro quo, or tit for tat, or scratch my back and I will scratch yours, or call it anything. The deal was that the money will get released when the dirt on Biden is provided. Senators decide how to vote on this, and then people can decide how to vote on the Senators. This is where we are.

It should not be made too much more complicated than that, and in particular i recommend against bringing religion into the argument. Yes religion influences thinking, perhaps sometimes for the better, perhaps sometimes for the worse. Many things in our lives influence our choices. But we should keep it simple. Are we ok with what Trump did, or are we not? Save any discussion of religious beliefs for another day.


Ken, IMO you are asking a question that only applies to reasonable persons - Are we O.K. with what Trump did, or are we not? Because it is so simple does not answer the question of: why won't he be removed? That requires another question:

Are we O.K. with what Trump did, or are we O.K. with Trump? If the latter, how can that be possible? That's where religion rears its head.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14640 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-January-24, 06:40

From the NYT editorial board's endorsement of Warren and Klobuchar:

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Senator Warren is a gifted storyteller. She speaks elegantly of how the economic system is rigged against all but the wealthiest Americans, and of “our chance to rewrite the rules of power in our country,” as she put it in a speech last month. In her hands, that story has the passion of a convert, a longtime Republican from Oklahoma and a middle-class family, whose work studying economic realities left her increasingly worried about the future of the country. The word “rigged” feels less bombastic than rooted in an informed assessment of what the nation needs to do to reassert its historic ideals like fairness, generosity and equality.

She is also committed to reforming the fundamental structures of government and the economy — her first commitment is to anti-corruption legislation, which is not only urgently needed but also has the potential to find bipartisan support. She speaks fluently about foreign policy, including how to improve NATO relations, something that will be badly needed after Mr. Trump leaves office.

Her campaign’s plans, in general, demonstrate a serious approach to policymaking that some of the other candidates lack. Ms. Warren accurately describes a lack of housing construction as the primary driver of the nation’s housing crisis, and she has proposed both increases in government funding for housing construction, and changes in regulatory policy to encourage local governments to allow more construction.

She has plans to sharply increase federal investment in clean energy research and to wean the American economy from fossil fuels. She has described how she would reduce the economic and political power of large corporations and give workers more ability to bargain collectively. And she has proposed a sweeping expansion of government support for Americans at every stage of life, from universal child care to free public college to expanded Social Security.

At the same time, a conservative federal judiciary will be almost as significant a roadblock for progressive change. For Ms. Warren, that leaves open questions — ones she was unwilling to wrestle with in our interview. Ms. Warren has proposed to pay for an expanded social safety net by imposing a new tax on wealth. But even if she could push such a bill through the Senate, the idea is constitutionally suspect and would inevitably be bogged down for years in the courts. A conservative judiciary also could constrain a President Warren’s regulatory powers, and roll back access to health care.

Carrying out a progressive agenda through new laws will also be very hard for any Democratic president. In that light, voters could consider what a Democratic president might accomplish without new legislation and, in particular, they could focus on the presidency’s wide-ranging powers to shape American society through the creation and enforcement of regulations.

As an adviser to President Barack Obama, Ms. Warren was the person most responsible for the creation of a new regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In her interview with the editorial board, she demonstrated her sophisticated understanding of the different levers of power in an administration, particularly in the use of regulation in areas such as trade, antitrust and environmental policy.

When she first arrived in Washington, amid the Great Recession, Senator Warren distinguished herself as a citizen-politician. She showed an admirable desire to shake off the entrapments of many Washington interests in favor of pragmatic problem-solving on behalf of regular people. In her primary campaign, however, she has shown some questionable political instincts. She sometimes sounds like a candidate who sees a universe of us-versus-thems, who, in the general election, would be going up against a president who has already divided America into his own version of them and us.

This has been most obvious in her case for “Medicare for all,” where she has already had to soften her message, as voters have expressed their lack of support for her plan. There are good, sound reasons for a public health care option — countries all over the world have demonstrated that. But Ms. Warren’s version would require winning over a skeptical public, legislative trench warfare to pass bills in Congress, the dismantling of a private health care system. That system, through existing public-private programs like Medicare Advantage, has shown it is not nearly as flawed as she insists, and it is even lauded by health economists who now advocate a single-payer system.

American capitalism is responsible for its share of sins. But Ms. Warren often casts the net far too wide, placing the blame for a host of maladies from climate change to gun violence at the feet of the business community when the onus is on society as a whole. The country needs a more unifying path. The senator talks more about bringing together Democrats, Republicans and independents behind her proposals, often leaning on anecdotes about her conservative brothers to do so. Ms. Warren has the power and conviction and credibility to make the case — especially given her past as a Republican — but she needs to draw on practicality and patience as much as her down-and-dirty critique of the system.

Ms. Warren’s path to the nomination is challenging, but not hard to envision. The four front-runners are bunched together both in national polls and surveys in states holding the first votes, so small shifts in voter sentiment can have an outsize influence this early in the campaign. There are plenty of progressives who are hungry for major change but may harbor lingering concerns about a messenger as divisive as Mr. Sanders. At the same time, some moderate Democratic primary voters see Ms. Warren as someone who speaks to their concerns about inequality and corruption. Her earlier leaps in the polls suggest she can attract more of both.

Quote

The senator from Minnesota is the very definition of Midwestern charisma, grit and sticktoitiveness. Her lengthy tenure in the Senate and bipartisan credentials would make her a deal maker (a real one) and uniter for the wings of the party — and perhaps the nation.

She promises to put the country on the path — through huge investments in green infrastructure and legislation to lower emissions — to achieve 100 percent net-zero emissions no later than 2050. She pledges to cut childhood poverty in half in a decade by expanding the earned-income and child care tax credits. She also wants to expand food stamps and overhaul housing policy and has developed the field’s most detailed plan for treating addiction and mental illness. And this is all in addition to pushing for a robust public option in health care, free community college and a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Ms. Klobuchar speaks about issues like climate change, the narrowing middle class, gun safety and trade with an empathy that connects to voters’ lived experiences, especially in the middle of the country. The senator talks, often with self-deprecating humor, about growing up the daughter of two union workers, her Uncle Dick’s deer stand, her father’s struggles with alcoholism and her Christian faith.

Ms. Klobuchar promises a foreign policy based on leading by example, instead of by threat-via-tweet. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she serves on the subcommittees responsible for oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the nation’s borders and its immigration, citizenship and refugee laws. In 13 years as a senator, she has sponsored and voted on dozens of national defense measures, including military action in Libya and Syria. Her record shows that she is confident and thoughtful, and she reacts to data — what you’d want in a crisis.

All have helped Ms. Klobuchar to be the most productive senator among the Democratic field in terms of bills passed with bipartisan support, according to a recent study for the Center for Effective Lawmaking. When she arrived in the Senate in 2007, Ms. Klobuchar was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that proposed comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants, before conservative pundits made it political poison. Her more recent legislative accomplishments are narrower but meaningful to those affected, especially the legislation aimed at helping crime victims. This is not surprising given her background as the chief prosecutor in Minnesota’s most populous county. For example, one measure she wrote helped provide funds to reduce a nationwide backlog of rape kits for investigating sexual assaults.

Reports of how Senator Klobuchar treats her staff give us pause. They raise serious questions about her ability to attract and hire talented people. Surrounding the president with a team of seasoned, reasoned leaders is critical to the success of an administration, not doing so is often the downfall of presidencies. Ms. Klobuchar has acknowledged she’s a tough boss and pledged to do better. (To be fair, Bill Clinton and Mr. Trump — not to mention former Vice President Biden — also have reputations for sometimes berating their staffs, and it is rarely mentioned as a political liability.)

Ms. Klobuchar doesn’t have the polished veneer and smooth delivery that comes from a lifetime spent in the national spotlight, and she has struggled to gain traction on the campaign trail. In Minnesota, however, she is enormously popular. She has won all three of her Senate elections by double digits. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried nine of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Ms. Klobuchar carried 51 in 2018. And it’s far too early to count Ms. Klobuchar out — Senator John Kerry, the eventual Democratic nominee in 2004, was also polling in the single digits at this point in the race.

Quote

THERE HAS BEEN A WILDFIRE BURNING in Australia larger than Switzerland. The Middle East is more unstable at this moment than at any other time in the past decade, with a nuclear arms race looking more when than if. Basket-case governments in several nations south of the Rio Grande have sent a historic flood of migrants to our southern border. Global technology companies exert more political influence than some national governments. White nationalists from Norway to New Zealand to El Paso use the internet to share ideas about racial superiority and which caliber of rifle works best for the next mass killing.

The next president will shape the direction of America’s prosperity and the future of the planet, perhaps irrevocably. The current president, meanwhile, is a threat to democracy. He was impeached for strong-arming Ukraine into tampering with the 2020 election. There is no reason patriotic Americans should not be open to every chance to replace him at the ballot box.

Yet, Mr. Trump maintains near-universal approval from his party and will nearly certainly coast to the nomination. Democrats would be smart to recognize that Mr. Trump’s vision for America’s future is shared by many millions of Americans.

Any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, a willingness to compromise and the support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition — young and old, in red states and blue, black and brown and white. For Senator Klobuchar, that’s acknowledging the depth of the nation’s dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it’s understanding that the country is more diverse than her base.

There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives. But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have since Mrs. Clinton’s defeat in 2016, and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth. That’s the very purpose of primaries, to test-market strategies and ideas that can galvanize and inspire the country.

Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate.

May the best woman win.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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