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

#20681 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 09:01

View Postkenberg, on 2023-January-09, 20:38, said:

In 1968 I voted for Charles Mathias, a Republican, to be a senator from Maryland. I also voted for Hubert Humphrey, a Democrat, to be president. I am right, am I not, that the analogous thing can't happen in a parliamentary system. Voters choose the members of parliament, parliament chooses the prime minister.

Yes that's true. Of course you can vote for different parties for different tiers of government, and in Germany and New Zealand you can vote for an MP of one party while voting for another party casting your "list" vote, but basically, yes, you vote for a party to represent you in the lower house which will then appoint a cabinet.

This sometimes creates a dilemma - when I lived in Denmark I generally preferred the social democrats among the candidates in my local constituency, but didn't like their leaders too much. Personally, I never cared much who became PM, but politics is becoming increasingly person-fixated so today I think that in many countries, most voters will vote for whichever party fields the most attractive PM candidate. To some extent, if your favourite party is a small one which has no chance of delivering the PM, you will look for which major party leader they will support in coalition talks rather than looking for the attractiveness of the party's own leader.
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#20682 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 10:02

View Posthelene_t, on 2023-January-10, 09:01, said:

Yes that's true. Of course you can vote for different parties for different tiers of government, and in Germany and New Zealand you can vote for an MP of one party while voting for another party casting your "list" vote, but basically, yes, you vote for a party to represent you in the lower house which will then appoint a cabinet.

This sometimes creates a dilemma - when I lived in Denmark I generally preferred the social democrats among the candidates in my local constituency, but didn't like their leaders too much. Personally, I never cared much who became PM, but politics is becoming increasingly person-fixated so today I think that in many countries, most voters will vote for whichever party fields the most attractive PM candidate. To some extent, if your favourite party is a small one which has no chance of delivering the PM, you will look for which major party leader they will support in coalition talks rather than looking for the attractiveness of the party's own leader.


Thanks. Having lived my life in the USA (with occasional travel) I had never given any thought to how a parliamentary system might make a person more party-oriented. Of course people do still shift. Canada has, I think, gone back and forth between Liberal and Conservative. Partly voters die and are replaced by others, but I think the change back and forth is frequent enough so that dying off is only part of the reason. People change their minds. Or the parties change their course. Here in the US both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are very different than what they were in my childhood. And then, when the parties change, voters change their vote.

I was particularly gratified to see "This sometimes creates a dilemma - when I lived in Denmark I generally preferred the social democrats among the candidates in my local constituency, but didn't like their leaders too much." If I may re-phrase, party loyalty can be iffy. It often seems like the Dem leadership here has absolutely no concept of who I am, who my parents were, who my neighbors were as I grew up. I think of them as good people. The present-day Dem leadership writes them off as hopeless. They weren't saints, but they also weren't scum. I was brought up well, as were the other kids in the neighborhood. This was seen as important.


Anyway, I have for the most part voted for Dems throughout my life but there have been exceptions and there have been cases where I would have voted R except the R candidate was even worse than the D candidate. Sometimes I have done a write-in, to say "Hey, I vote, but not for either of the two jerks the Rs and Ds offer". I won't be changing my approach.
Ken
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#20683 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 18:38

Ken,

Can you offer any examples where Democrat leaders write people off as hopeless or is this still about Hillaryís deplorable comment?

Thanks
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20684 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 19:50

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-January-10, 18:38, said:

Ken,

Can you offer any examples where Democrat leaders write people off as hopeless or is this still about Hillary's deplorable comment?

Thanks


No.
But you can observe the results and draw your own conclusions.
You can't expect politicians (ok, you mention Hillary but she was unusual) to make such an announcement. To the contrary, they claim an interest in everyone.
You can watch, see what they do, and then decide for yourself whose votes they are seeking.
If they are hoping to get the votes of people today who resemble my parents of 1950, they are doing a really lousy job of it.
They are looking elsewhere for votes.
It's a different party. Very different.
Maybe it is a better party, one could argue that. It is, beyond dispute, a different party.
I vote D (with exceptions), it's better than R, but I doubt that the leadership and I would agree on much.
So, in Maryland, they solved the problem by helping a truly repulsive R get his party's nomination for governor. It worked. I am not applauding.

The D leadership is often castigated as "elite". Whatever that means (and it means very little to me) it is the wrong way to describe the problem. Their views and my views just don't jibe all that well. I watch and listen and say "Oh, really?". Nothing to do with elitism.

Ken
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#20685 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 21:18

Ken,
Donít we have to change with the times? You mention your 1950 parents. They, as well as my parents, are dead. It seems misguided to set the partyís sights on that group of people. I donít see the Democrats as radially left. What group you think they should be able to win over? I donít get your argument. That may well be because I am not on the east coast so I donít see moderates. This is ruby red Oklahoma. These people want to name highways for insurrection leader Donald Trump.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20686 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-January-10, 21:42

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-January-10, 21:18, said:

Ken,
Don't we have to change with the times? You mention your 1950 parents. They, as well as my parents, are dead. It seems misguided to set the party's sights on that group of people. I don't see the Democrats as radially left. What group you think they should be able to win over? I don't get your argument. That may well be because I am not on the east coast so I don't see moderates. This is ruby red Oklahoma. These people want to name highways for insurrection leader Donald Trump.


So they can spend their days driving over him?
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#20687 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 08:21

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-January-10, 21:42, said:

So they can spend their days driving over him?

No, they want to be him-as soon as they win the lottery.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20688 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 09:19

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-January-10, 21:18, said:

Ken,
Don't we have to change with the times? You mention your 1950 parents. They, as well as my parents, are dead. It seems misguided to set the party's sights on that group of people. I don't see the Democrats as radically left. What group you think they should be able to win over? I don't get your argument. That may well be because I am not on the east coast so I don't see moderates. This is ruby red Oklahoma. These people want to name highways for insurrection leader Donald Trump.


You have summarized the issue nicely (Although I did change your "radially" to radically" :) ).

Yes our parents are dead, yes times have changed, not entirely for the better, but people are still people. Our DNA hasn't altered or at least not all that much. The neighborhood kids still ride their bikes and play tag. Well, the parents now drive their eight-year-olds two blocks to a bus stop where a bus picks them up and takes them three blocks to school, that's seriously weird. Our housecleaner's daughter started dating when she was 13 (I started when I was 14, boys mature slower), she has grown into a fine young woman. So not that different from the 50s. Here is an important similarity. Over the years we have gotten to know Michelle, the housecleaner, pretty well, we chat about her life, her kids, our life, our kids and grandkids, but I have no idea who she votes for. Once upon a time people could be friends without first checking out their political leanings. If changing with the times means that I should ask Michelle who she voted for then that's a change I can pass over. She is a very sensible woman who, I am sure, would happily vote for a candidate who shares her values.

There are many echoes today of my days in the 50s, here is one. When Michelle's daughter was 13 an older boy, 16 perhaps, asked her to go to the school prom with him. Great, except they found out that school rules forbade 13-year-olds from going to this particular prom. Oh well. When I was 17 I was dating a 15-year-old from a different high school and I asked her to our prom. Oops. According to school rules I could bring a 15-year-old from my school or a 17-year-old from a different school but not a 15-year-old from a different school. So we borrowed a name from a 17-year-old friend from the other school, 15-year-old Kathy attended the prom as 17-year-old Susan and all was well.

I'll repeat my point. Times change, but people still have the same DNA.

One more example. My mother's friend May often came over and the two women sat at the kitchen table drinking beer and chatting. May's daughter Shirley went to Holy Spirit, a Catholic grade school, I went to Randolph Heights, a public grade school. May explained to my mother that she really should have Kenny transfer to Holy Spirit, it's so much better, Shirley is already taking something called "algebra". My mother explained that we were not Catholic so we would not be doing that. That settled the matter. I can imagine two mothers talking today and one of them bragging that her child's school is so much better, her child has Drag Story Time. Well, no, I can't imagine it.

My parents are dead, your parents are dead, people are still people.
Ken
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#20689 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 11:13

View Postkenberg, on 2023-January-11, 09:19, said:

You have summarized the issue nicely (Although I did change your "radially" to radically" :) ).

Yes our parents are dead, yes times have changed, not entirely for the better, but people are still people. Our DNA hasn't altered or at least not all that much. The neighborhood kids still ride their bikes and play tag. Well, the parents now drive their eight-year-olds two blocks to a bus stop where a bus picks them up and takes them three blocks to school, that's seriously weird. Our housecleaner's daughter started dating when she was 13 (I started when I was 14, boys mature slower), she has grown into a fine young woman. So not that different from the 50s. Here is an important similarity. Over the years we have gotten to know Michelle, the housecleaner, pretty well, we chat about her life, her kids, our life, our kids and grandkids, but I have no idea who she votes for. Once upon a time people could be friends without first checking out their political leanings. If changing with the times means that I should ask Michelle who she voted for then that's a change I can pass over. She is a very sensible woman who, I am sure, would happily vote for a candidate who shares her values.

There are many echoes today of my days in the 50s, here is one. When Michelle's daughter was 13 an older boy, 16 perhaps, asked her to go to the school prom with him. Great, except they found out that school rules forbade 13-year-olds from going to this particular prom. Oh well. When I was 17 I was dating a 15-year-old from a different high school and I asked her to our prom. Oops. According to school rules I could bring a 15-year-old from my school or a 17-year-old from a different school but not a 15-year-old from a different school. So we borrowed a name from a 17-year-old friend from the other school, 15-year-old Kathy attended the prom as 17-year-old Susan and all was well.

I'll repeat my point. Times change, but people still have the same DNA.

One more example. My mother's friend May often came over and the two women sat at the kitchen table drinking beer and chatting. May's daughter Shirley went to Holy Spirit, a Catholic grade school, I went to Randolph Heights, a public grade school. May explained to my mother that she really should have Kenny transfer to Holy Spirit, it's so much better, Shirley is already taking something called "algebra". My mother explained that we were not Catholic so we would not be doing that. That settled the matter. I can imagine two mothers talking today and one of them bragging that her child's school is so much better, her child has Drag Story Time. Well, no, I can't imagine it.

My parents are dead, your parents are dead, people are still people.


People may be similar but not so political parties. Lincoln was a Republican. The south used to be solidly Democrat. What changed, the people or the party?
From my understanding, the basic tenet of the modern Democratic party is inclusion. This seemingly does not fit well with with those who would exclude.


My argument is that instead of telling how great inclusions is, show and explain the incredible evil of exclusion. The goal is not to get the middle to vote for you but to vote against them.

Issues are too complex to try to win over voters with what you want to do versus can be done politically. So don't try. Simplify. Show the opposition to be what they truly are, cruelly exlusionary, with no room for outsiders, just as was Hitler, the Confederate states, lthe 9-11 hijackers, and on and on. Show yourselves to be the good guys who want to help everyone.

I would promote how the idea of inclusion stacks up nicely with New Testament teachings.
I would use the supposed words of Jesus in advertisements about migrants, food stamps, taxes, etc.
Faith cannot be reasoned with so you have to use emotional appeal.

Not that these church-type ads will appeal to everyone, but it should create cognitive dissonance in the right, perhaps enough to nudge a few away from the total crazies.

Few, religious or not, want to vote for the 9-11 hijackers.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20690 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 13:10

The above back and forth has been clear. I will leave it now as "enough said", there is no point in being redundant. Thanks.
Ken
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#20691 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 19:37

Quote

STATEMENT FROM NEW YORK STATE CONSERVATIVE PARTY CHAIRMAN GERARD KASSAR CALLING FOR RESIGNATION OF REP. GEORGE SANTOS
Brooklyn-NY "The New York State Conservative Party stands with Nassau County Republicans in calling on newly elected Rep. George Santos to resign. Mr. Santos's profound use of mistruths as a candidate morally disqualifies him from serving in public office and exposes him to potential legal action, seriously compromising his ability to represent his constituents.


What exactly is a "mistruth".
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#20692 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-11, 20:01

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-January-11, 19:37, said:



What exactly is a "mistruth".


https://en.wiktionar...y%20misleading.
gives two meanings, the second being "while technically true, is dishonestly misleading". Eg I survived the Holocaust? Well, the Holocaust happened am I am still alive so I survived it. In the same sense, I survived numerous earthquakes, fires, floods and mass shootings.

But I suspect it is just punch and duck phrasing. If I say 2+3=6 that is obviously untrue but if you say I lied I could say no, I was drunk. Of course if I say the same thing the next day and the day after, it gets a little difficult to accept the drunk explanaton.

The party chairman was supposed to say something so he said something. What else is new?
Ken
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#20693 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-12, 17:14

I have a question and I do not mean it as any sort of attack, it is just an honest question.

How does a person, any person but say a vice president, forget that he has classified files lying around somewhere? Even if a person quite frequently checks out classified material I would expect all checked-out classified materials would be kept in more or less the same place. Not the same drawer, not necessarily the same desk, but I would expect that there would be a small number of places where checked-out classified documents would be stored. And then, at the proper time, it would be very easy to be sure that all of them have been checked in.

I don't want to spend time discussing people who deliberately hold on to classified stuff after it should be checked back in. That's an entirely different matter. In the case of Biden I am more than willing to believe that it was unintended and careless. Forgetting your wife's birthday is a serious error. So is forgetting to return checked-out classified documents. It's like handing your sworn enemy a loaded pistol. Any thoughts on how it could happen?

For comparison, imagine a high-level NSA guy coming in one day with a stack of papers saying "Here is some classified stuff I checked out ten years ago and just now found lying around the house". I am guessing he would lose his security clearance and probably his job.

Basic idea: I just don't get it.
Ken
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#20694 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-January-12, 18:12

The primary difference in my mind is that whereas Trump knew that the documents were classified and knew that he wasn't allowed to have them he took them anyway.
Doing something you know is wrong and doing it anyway is a crime.

Biden on the other didn't know it was your wife's birthday so he gets a mulligan.
Also, as soon as he discovered it was your wife's birthday he sent her flowers and returned the documents.

The two cases are completely different.
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#20695 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-12, 19:16

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-January-12, 18:12, said:

The primary difference in my mind is that whereas Trump knew that the documents were classified and knew that he wasn't allowed to have them he took them anyway.
Doing something you know is wrong and doing it anyway is a crime.

Biden on the other didn't know it was your wife's birthday so he gets a mulligan.
Also, as soon as he discovered it was your wife's birthday he sent her flowers and returned the documents.

The two cases are completely different.


I agree. That's why I said I don't really want to talk about people who deliberately held onto classified documents, and as I could have said, refuse to give them up until the feds come in with a search warrant.

My question is how a guy, yes, Biden but really any guy, could lose track of classified documents. Ok, there are a lot of classified documents, some on international politics, some on internal issues, some on financial analysis, and so on. Still, I would expect someone dealing with classified documents to be organized enough to be able to gather them all together and get them back to where they should be. It's not like someone told Biden on Jan 18th "Hey, buddy, you have to be out of here on the 20th, pack your bags". The date of departure was known, I would think he could well understand the importance of not leaving classified stuff lying around after he leaves office. To repeat, I just don't get it.

I think he has to acknowledge that he made a mistake.
Ken
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#20696 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-13, 08:57

I donít think we can compare our own actions with that of the ďthe office if the vicePresidentĒ. These files most likely were the responsibility of aides to the office. Biden is responsible, but more like a CEO is responsible that the cars his company builds that explode occasionally in rear end collisions.
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#20697 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-13, 09:18

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-January-13, 08:57, said:

I don't think we can compare our own actions with that of the "the office if the vice-president". These files most likely were the responsibility of aides to the office. Biden is responsible, but more like a CEO is responsible that the cars his company builds that explode occasionally in rear end collisions.


Right, my comment about forgetting a birthday was not to be taken seriously, I just meant that both cases have bad results.

Perhaps it is something like this: Let's think of VP X. Some issue arises, X is supposed to be prepared, so a bunch of documents are gathered up and X sees a two inch stack of papers on his desk. He says to himself "I guess I should read this crap sometime but not right now", puts it aside and forgets it.
Still, this shouldn't happen, at least not with Secret and Top Secret stuff. My understanding is that just about anything can get a Confidential classification but even there some Confidential stuff really should remain Confidential, and since it is classified, well, then it is classified.

My comparison of X with a high level NSA person who leaves classified stuff lying around was meant seriously, unlike my birthday example. If people are going to be handling classified material then they have to take responsibility for handling it correctly. "The buck stops here" is a decent way of looking at things. No doubt staff and aides are part of the problem but the buck should still stop with X.

One of the many many problems Trump created is that when something like this happens we compare it with Trump's arrogant actions. No. Trump belongs in jail. But we still need to acknowledge that carelessly leaving classified documents lying around is a problem. Biden is not Trump. But this should not have happened.
Ken
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#20698 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-January-13, 17:25

It's a good point.
Neither situation leaves a good taste.
And it seems that AG Garland agrees, with the appointment of a second Special Counsel.

Perhaps the common feature in both cases is a disinterest in following procedures for the administrative excellence that underpins good governance.
One of which is based on contempt and the other, apparently, incompetence.

Neither is a good look - or advertisement - for having a single individual with their finger on the button.
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#20699 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-January-13, 17:55

It is hard to imagine a greater PR win for Trump; no one will care about the details that differ. All that will be blared is the false equivalence, Biden did it too.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20700 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-January-14, 08:43

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-January-13, 17:55, said:

It is hard to imagine a greater PR win for Trump; no one will care about the details that differ. All that will be blared is the false equivalence, Biden did it too.


True, this is a bonanza for Trump but I made it clear that, for myself, I do not regard Biden's actions and Trump's actions as remotely equivalent so "false equivalence" does not apply to me. I am saying that there are many reasons why Top Secret documents should not be left lying around who knows where. I am not happy with the general idea that "Well, sure, these things happen". I am willing to believe that yes they do happen, but they should not happen.

This will probably be an over-simplification but perhaps it is a start: An aide to high-level person X checks out a Top Secret document on behalf of X. The document should have a number, and X should receive a notice that this document has been checked out on his behalf, and X should acknowledge receipt of this notification. X is now responsible for this document. After some length of time, perhaps six months, X could be notified that the document has not yet been returned, after which X either returns it or says no he still needs it. If X is leaving his position, maybe his term has come to an end or he is retiring or whatever, then he should get a notice that he is still in possession of unreturned Top Secret documents. He should then return them.

The above is just a first try, but the problem needs to be addressed. Secret and Top Secret documents should not just be forgotten. Documents classified as Confidential present the additional problem that, as I understand it, almost any observation of anything can get stamped "Confidential". But still, if we are going to classify documents with some secrecy rating then we should treat that classification seriously.

Short version: Sure, Trump is a problem, but that is not the only reason Top Secret documents should not be left lying around.
Ken
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