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  #251  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
With enough playing about, you can win the electoral college with 24% of the popular vote.
Hypothetically, a lot less than that. Picture some number of states, X, that collectively have exactly 270 EC votes. In a particular election, turnout in these particular states is absurdly low; say 5% of the eligible electorate, though in each state, 2.51% of the votes go consistently to one candidate, hence that candidate wins the EC election. Meanwhile in non-X states, voter turnout has been at record highs, 95%+, almost all of which goes to the EC-losing candidate. It wouldn't be hard to work out a model where someone wins the EC with less than 5% of the popular vote.
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  #252  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:06 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Yep.

Whack-a-Mole: Does it bother you that, by your definition, everyone in Congress is "above the law in a number of areas" and has been since the earliest days of our Country?
Can you tel me the difference between that rule and the one covering the president?

For instance, if a congressperson is not attending, going to, or returning from a session, they may be arrested for crime they have committed, correct? And even if they are, they still may be arrested for Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, correct?

For instance, as you say, if trump hands putin the list of spies in russia, and putin thanks him publicly for that list, and then executes those spies publicly, then trump would be in no trouble at all, right?

Can any congressperson get away with that?
  #253  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:09 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Hypothetically, a lot less than that. Picture some number of states, X, that collectively have exactly 270 EC votes. In a particular election, turnout in these particular states is absurdly low; say 5% of the eligible electorate, though in each state, 2.51% of the votes go consistently to one candidate, hence that candidate wins the EC election. Meanwhile in non-X states, voter turnout has been at record highs, 95%+, almost all of which goes to the EC-losing candidate. It wouldn't be hard to work out a model where someone wins the EC with less than 5% of the popular vote.
Fair enough, I was looking at it as if all the states had about equitable voter turnout, but sure, if it were made more difficult to vote in the states that actually have people in them, and easier for the states that few wish to live in, then you could get some even more ridiculously lopsided results.
  #254  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:09 PM
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I take it that you would only perceive disenfranchisement if you personally were disenfranchised. Other people losing their right to have a voice in the government that represents them is their problem, not yours.
I'm sure Bricker can defend himself but that is, plain and simple, nonsense.

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Can you tel me the difference between that rule and the one covering the president?
None that matters. That's why I quoted his definition: "above the law in a number of areas".

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  #255  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:19 PM
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That is exactly correct.
So had an American citizen actively assisted the Imperial Japanese Navy in planning and executing the Pearl Harbor attack, that would not have legally been treason?
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  #256  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:28 PM
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I'm sure Bricker can defend himself but that is, plain and simple, nonsense.
Seems pretty much on the nose to me.
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  #257  
Old 07-21-2018, 12:36 PM
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I'm sure Bricker can defend himself but that is, plain and simple, nonsense.
He has been dismissive of the problems of others before, ones that I am sure that he would find very concerning should they concern him, but you are correct, he is welcome to defend himself in his own words. To be fair, he would probably also perceive it if it happened to anyone he cared about as well.
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None that matters. That's why I quoted his definition: "above the law in a number of areas".
You were referring to an area that they specifically are not above the law on, so it does matter, quite a bit.

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  #258  
Old 07-21-2018, 01:02 PM
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You were referring to an area that they specifically are not above the law on, so it does matter, quite a bit.
Same with the scenario regarding the president. Specifically NOT above the law. That's why the analogy works.

Last edited by John Mace; 07-21-2018 at 01:03 PM.
  #259  
Old 07-21-2018, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Can you tel me the difference between that rule and the one covering the president?

For instance, if a congressperson is not attending, going to, or returning from a session, they may be arrested for crime they have committed, correct? And even if they are, they still may be arrested for Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, correct?

For instance, as you say, if trump hands putin the list of spies in russia, and putin thanks him publicly for that list, and then executes those spies publicly, then trump would be in no trouble at all, right?

Can any congressperson get away with that?
Pretty close. Any congressperson can read the names aloud on the floor of the House (or a Senator on the Senate floor) and he can’t be arrested, tried, or even sued.
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  #260  
Old 07-21-2018, 03:58 PM
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I take it that you would only perceive disenfranchisement if you personally were disenfranchised. Other people losing their right to have a voice in the government that represents them is their problem, not yours.

Remember, in the dismantling of a democracy, the supporters of that destruction are the last to be turned on. It's odd that they always seem surprised when that happens though...
You take it incorrectly. The mere fact that I reject your hyperbolic view of “disenfranchising” voting rules does not compel the conclusion that I would have such a myopic view of them myself.
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  #261  
Old 07-21-2018, 04:15 PM
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Pretty close. Any congressperson can read the names aloud on the floor of the House (or a Senator on the Senate floor) and he can’t be arrested, tried, or even sued.
Close but no cigar.

Yes, if they have the information, they can read it, while the senate is in session. the other senators can form cloture to stop the senator from doing so, and the house would have similar mechanisms to deny the floor to a congressperson who wanted to disseminate classified info this way. Of course, they can be prosecuted for their method of obtaining the information, should it not have come through proper channels.

So, we have several steps that prevent that. Are there any that would stop the president? He has access to all intel, and he can choose to disseminate it at any time to anyone, and there is no one that can stop him.

I'm not quite sure the point of this contention that you seem to be insisting that there is no discernible difference between the way that a congressperson has to handle classified info compared to a president.

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You take it incorrectly. The mere fact that I reject your hyperbolic view of “disenfranchising” voting rules does not compel the conclusion that I would have such a myopic view of them myself.
I am not sure how your labeling of a hypothetical situation as hyperbolic actually advances your argument, it actually doesn't even make sense. But, anyway.

So, what percentage of the population would you have to see denied the right to have a voice in government before it became a concern? 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%? Does it make any difference to you if the disenfranchisement is politically lopsided, in that one party definitely benefits from it at the expense of others?

If there were only a small percentage disenfranchised, say less than 1%, but that included yourself, would you feel any differently?
  #262  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:02 PM
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Close but no cigar.

Yes, if they have the information, they can read it, while the senate is in session. the other senators can form cloture to stop the senator from doing so, and the house would have similar mechanisms to deny the floor to a congressperson who wanted to disseminate classified info this way.
No. Cloture may be invoked to end debate, but this would not stop a senator from reading the names on the floor. For one thing, a cloture petition must be signed by 16 senators, read by the clerk, and is then inoperative for one full day of the Senate being in session. Only on the second legislative day after the presentation of the petition, and after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, may be the petition be acted upon (following a mandatory quorum call).

And I'd be very interested to hear your idea of how to stop the House version from being read. Can you be specific about just how that would be done?

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So, we have several steps that prevent that.
No, as I have shown above, we don't.

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So, what percentage of the population would you have to see denied the right to have a voice in government before it became a concern? 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%? Does it make any difference to you if the disenfranchisement is politically lopsided, in that one party definitely benefits from it at the expense of others?
Point one: I don't concede to you the right to define when someone's voice is "denied," any more than I concede you have any insight into what "disenfranchisement," means. So right now, for example, I'm unaware of any non-felon United States citizen who has been "denied the right to have a voice."

But 1% would make a difference to me. I squeal at 1%.

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If there were only a small percentage disenfranchised, say less than 1%, but that included yourself, would you feel any differently?
I'd say it would depend entirely on the reasons. I'm not a liberal, and so I focus on the process, the rules, not whether I don't care for a given application's results.
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  #263  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:25 PM
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Can we dispense, now, with the line of attack that disregards the actual issue and castigates me for gloating or not having a life for daring to resurrect a thread to observe the results of a comment made about a future event?
Well, given that when you did it the other day, you said you were doing it to prevent people from claiming that they were psychic predictors of the future or some bullshit like that, despite the fact that nobody'd tried to, I'd say your track record of justification for such resurrections is rather poor.
  #264  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:37 PM
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No. Cloture may be invoked to end debate, but this would not stop a senator from reading the names on the floor. For one thing, a cloture petition must be signed by 16 senators, read by the clerk, and is then inoperative for one full day of the Senate being in session. Only on the second legislative day after the presentation of the petition, and after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, may be the petition be acted upon (following a mandatory quorum call).

And I'd be very interested to hear your idea of how to stop the House version from being read. Can you be specific about just how that would be done?
How do they normally shut people up? McConnell shut up Warren. Ryan refuses to allow debate on things that he doesn't want debate on. Do I know the specifics of how it is done? Nah. But I see it happening, and what exact arcane justifications that they use is less important than the fact that they use them.
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No, as I have shown above, we don't.

Point one: I don't concede to you the right to define when someone's voice is "denied," any more than I concede you have any insight into what "disenfranchisement," means. So right now, for example, I'm unaware of any non-felon United States citizen who has been "denied the right to have a voice."
Okay, what is your definition of when someone's voice is denied? We can go with that. My definition is when the government prevents you from voting. Now, I would have hoped that you would agree with that definition, but maybe yours has more caveats as to when it is acceptable for the government to prevent you from voting. We are not in the pit thread on voter ID here, and you are making assumptions as to what I consider to be disenfranchisement with no basis whatsoever. I presented a hypothetical, in which the govt had explicitly denied the right to vote, and you came back calling it hyperbole and disagreeing that I had a right to talk about it.
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But 1% would make a difference to me. I squeal at 1%.
Far more than 1% of the citizens of the united states cannot vote due to felony convictions, yet I see no squealing from you. This is one of the groups that doesn't concern you.
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I'd say it would depend entirely on the reasons. I'm not a liberal, and so I focus on the process, the rules, not whether I don't care for a given application's results.
Nice little slam on liberals there, as if you really believe that your fellow conservatives are focused on the process and rules, while accusing liberals of ignoring them. As has been explained many, many times, it is a desire to use the democratic process to change the process and rules so that our social contract is beneficial to all, rather than a suicide pact.

If you see that the process and the rules lead to catastrophic results, would you not seek to change that process and rules, rather than follow them blindly to our doom?

If it was because the very evil liberals had democratically taken control of the government, and passed a law that said that anyone who ever registered as a republican can no longer vote, would you respect those rules, or seek to change them?

Turn that around, and say that your enlightened and noble conservatives take on enough clout to do deny the right to vote to anyone who had ever registered to vote as a democrat, would you work just as hard and diligently to change those rules?
  #265  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:23 PM
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Probably, given my experience that you, and other commentators from the left, assert that disenfranchisement already exists, notwithstanding the general fact that courts have validated the various Voter ID laws in place now.

In other words, you don't get to define the presence of terms like "disenfranchisement," and then ask me this question. I insist that we stick to objective measures that our society has in place to determine voting legality.

However, if your question is whether, if *I* perceive disenfranchisement on a large scale, would I be complacent? Answer: no.
Aren't people being disenfranchised, even if the government is doing so in a legal manner? Disenfranchisement just means somebody loses the right to vote. So if a law is enacted that requires people to have a picture ID to vote, then people who were previously able to vote but do not have a picture ID are disenfranchised.
  #266  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:30 PM
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I'd say it would depend entirely on the reasons. I'm not a liberal, and so I focus on the process, the rules, not whether I don't care for a given application's results.
No you don't. When McConnell decided Obama wasn't entitled to nominate a Supreme Court Justice and so refused to hold hearings, you were fine with it on the grounds that you saw no substantial difference between turning down a nominee after a hearing and refusing to allow a nominee a hearing in the first place.
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  #267  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:40 PM
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Aren't people being disenfranchised, even if the government is doing so in a legal manner? Disenfranchisement just means somebody loses the right to vote. So if a law is enacted that requires people to have a picture ID to vote, then people who were previously able to vote but do not have a picture ID are disenfranchised.
It does still boggle that the idea that there are those with the perception that there could be elections swung by voter fraud that could be implemented by requiring picture ID, even though all empirical studies have shown that that is simply not the case, and so laws can be made to assuage such irrational fears. But, when people are actually effected by those laws, and at the very least have to bear an inconvenience that they did not have to bear before, the very suggestion that that could be perceived as disenfranchisement is considered to be hyperbole.

No, hyperbole is claiming that voter ID laws have any effect on making elections secure.
  #268  
Old 07-21-2018, 07:27 PM
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So, does anyone think Trump is a traitor?
  #269  
Old 07-21-2018, 08:31 PM
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Oh, I do.

I understand why he is not likely to be prosecuted as such, and I understand the legal thresholds as they are presently written and under current legal interpretations (what few there are) is unlikely to be prosecuted.

I absolutely believe in the rule of law -- but laws must change to keep up with societal norms. Ours have not.

If our laws are so hopelessly outdated that there are legal loopholes permitting adversarial nations to control our elections and pick our top government officials, then there is something seriously wrong. I've stated in other threads that I believe much will be codified in the aftermath of Trump that was never codified before. It never had to be. Things have changed.
  #270  
Old 07-21-2018, 10:26 PM
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I absolutely believe in the rule of law -- but laws must change to keep up with societal norms. Ours have not.
How likely do you think it is that the Constitution will be changed to suit you?
  #271  
Old 07-21-2018, 10:34 PM
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It does still boggle that the idea that there are those with the perception that there could be elections swung by voter fraud that could be implemented by requiring picture ID, even though all empirical studies have shown that that is simply not the case, and so laws can be made to assuage such irrational fears. But, when people are actually effected by those laws, and at the very least have to bear an inconvenience that they did not have to bear before, the very suggestion that that could be perceived as disenfranchisement is considered to be hyperbole.

No, hyperbole is claiming that voter ID laws have any effect on making elections secure.
I disagree with Bricker on this issue. There should be a higher standard applied than "this isn't technically illegal." Look at our abysmal history of Jim Crow laws; those were validly enacted by legislatures and upheld by courts. But is anyone today defending those laws? So why should we defend their new successors?

Let's face reality; legislators and judges can work together to deny people their legal rights. It happened for over a hundred years in this country. The courts simply ignored the 15th Amendment.

So Bricker's argument that voter ID laws are okay because a court ruled in their favor doesn't have the closure that he'd like to claim it has. You can argue that a court made a bad decision just like you can argue that a legislature enacted a bad law. And people should work on reversing a bad decision just as they should work on repealing a bad law.

Hell, conservatives themselves have been doing exactly this for over over forty years now with their opposition to Roe. They certainly don't agree that the Supreme Court had the final word on that subject.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 07-21-2018 at 10:34 PM.
  #272  
Old 07-21-2018, 10:36 PM
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How likely do you think it is that the Constitution will be changed to suit you?
Is your assertion that the Constitution has never been interpreted into modern law prior to now? Trust me; it's nothing new.
  #273  
Old 07-21-2018, 10:53 PM
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Is your assertion that the Constitution has never been interpreted into modern law prior to now? Trust me; it's nothing new.
The Constitution has a very specific definition of treason. It would take an Amendment to change that. Go ahead and try.
  #274  
Old 07-21-2018, 11:27 PM
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The Constitution has a very specific definition of treason. It would take an Amendment to change that. Go ahead and try.
Sure thing, D'.

Many things can be done short of an amendment, but I'm not following you off topic.

You can educate yourself about all the various ways new law can come into being short of Constitutional amendments. Here are a couple of hints: Case law as interpreted by the courts and statutory law as it is written by the legislative branch.

That should get you started.
  #275  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:21 AM
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The Constitution has a very specific definition of treason. It would take an Amendment to change that. Go ahead and try.
Your Fearless Leader seems to have his own definition of "treason", which includes not giving him enough applause.

But I'm quite content to let the Supreme Court and the editors of the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries fight it out over exactly what "treason" means. I think the more relevant question is the one addressed in this thread, which is, basically, whether has Trump consorted with an enemy of the United States in a way and at a level that is unprecedented in US history. To which the answer is quite persuasively "yes".
  #276  
Old 07-22-2018, 06:45 AM
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So, does anyone think Trump is a traitor?
To which the Austrian writer and satirist Karl Krauss replied: "A fresh heap of dung will do just fine as well" (original in German: "Ein frischer Mist tut's auch"). I concur. So we either have a traitor or a fresh heap of dung in the White House. Or both.
  #277  
Old 07-22-2018, 06:46 AM
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Not at all. Congress could change the law. But right now, the President is not "above the law;" the law allows him to declassify. So if he were to declassify information and hand it to the Russians, he'd be acting legally.
So, when congress exempted itself from insider trading laws they were not placing themselves "above the law" because the law said they could trade stock on insider information (and yes I know about the STOCK Act and I also know congress still trades on insider information without consequence).

Neat trick.

I do not see how writing a law that protects someone from legal consequences everyone else must abide by should be considered as not placing that someone above the law.
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  #278  
Old 07-22-2018, 09:14 AM
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I do not see how writing a law that protects someone from legal consequences everyone else must abide by should be considered as not placing that someone above the law.
Because then we would need a different term to describe someone to whom the actual law does not apply. Your definition, for example, makes cops "above the law" because they can disregard the speed limit or for the simple matter that they can arrest someone. It's not a workable definition.

And there is a further distinction from your bad analogy about insider trading. No one has to be able to trade on insider information. But someone (or some group) has to make the determination of what is classified.

There is no country on earth where you can say, according to your definition, that "no one is above the law". So when you use your definition, and exclaim: OMG, he's above the law, the response will be "shrug-- happens all the time, and for good reason". If that's the response you are looking for, then keep using that definition.

Last edited by John Mace; 07-22-2018 at 09:16 AM.
  #279  
Old 07-22-2018, 09:24 AM
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Let me add that this whole hijack started because you said "I would like to believe no one is above the law". If you are using that definition, why would you "like to believe" that, especially in the case of classifying documents? Did you think that process could be done by a computer?

Last edited by John Mace; 07-22-2018 at 09:24 AM.
  #280  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:07 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Sure thing, D'.

Many things can be done short of an amendment, but I'm not following you off topic.

You can educate yourself about all the various ways new law can come into being short of Constitutional amendments. Here are a couple of hints: Case law as interpreted by the courts and statutory law as it is written by the legislative branch.

That should get you started.
Maybe you should educate yourself about the Constitution. Article III, section three states:

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (bolding added)

How could the Court interpret that any differently than it's plain language? And the legislative branch cannot make any law that contradicts the Constitution.

Last edited by D'Anconia; 07-22-2018 at 12:08 PM. Reason: coding
  #281  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:26 PM
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Maybe you should educate yourself about the Constitution. Article III, section three states:

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (bolding added)

How could the Court interpret that any differently than it's plain language? And the legislative branch cannot make any law that contradicts the Constitution.
So, you would say that giving intel that gets our people killed and damages our operations around the world is not any form of aid or comfort?

Last edited by k9bfriender; 07-22-2018 at 12:26 PM.
  #282  
Old 07-22-2018, 01:12 PM
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So, you would say that giving intel that gets our people killed and damages our operations around the world is not any form of aid or comfort?
"To the enemy", yes. Which enemy are you talking about, and who got killed by them?
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
"To the enemy", yes. Which enemy are you talking about, and who got killed by them?
We were just a few posts ago talking about a hypothetical situation in which trump hands putin a list of operatives in russia, and putin has them all killed, and whether or not that would be a traitorous thing to do.

I think that, even if the president is protected from the consequences of these actions due to the nature of his office, that is still treason, in that it gives aid to our enemies. Others feel that because he is the president, he cannot commit treason, no matter how grievous the offense. If trump ordered a nuclear strike on american territory at the direct command of putin, because that is something that that office holder is able to do, it wouldn't be illegal. I would still consider it treason, though, ommv.

Lets say you are in a smallish town, and you have elected a new mayor based on a populist demagoguery campaign. Now, because in the past, when mayors were of a different party or philosophy of the chief of police, the police would pull the mayor over constantly, making up violations. So, in the town charter there is a clause that makes the mayor immune to traffic and parking laws. Some mayors in the past have taken advantage of this; they speed a bit, sometimes they double park in front of city hall when there isn't available parking and they need to attend a meeting.

So, we have this new mayor, and he decides that this immunity is great, so he speeds through town at 100+ mph while drunk, crashing into other cars and buildings, causing considerable property damage and personal injury, and parks his car in the middle of a main intersection, effectively stopping all traffic in the town.

Now, when it is pointed out that his behavior is detrimental to the community, and that he is "above the law", his defenders come back with showing that police too have the ability to drive at high rates of speed, they are usually immune to suits about property damage, and they can block traffic, and so is the mayor is "above the law", then so are they. That certain duly sworn officers have, in certain places and circumstances similar powers to what they mayor has at all times and places and circumstances is shown as if there is an equivalency there; that the mayor is justified in his actions, because sometimes police take somewhat similar actions.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 07-22-2018 at 01:47 PM.
  #284  
Old 07-22-2018, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
We were just a few posts ago talking about a hypothetical situation in which trump hands putin a list of operatives in russia, and putin has them all killed, and whether or not that would be a traitorous thing to do.

I think that, even if the president is protected from the consequences of these actions due to the nature of his office, that is still treason, in that it gives aid to our enemies. Others feel that because he is the president, he cannot commit treason, no matter how grievous the offense. If trump ordered a nuclear strike on american territory at the direct command of putin, because that is something that that office holder is able to do, it wouldn't be illegal. I would still consider it treason, though, ommv.
I think the bigger issue with the treason charge is that Russia isn't an enemy. Has anyone ever been convicted of treason under the "enemy" clause where the country in question and the US were not in a state of armed conflict?
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I think the bigger issue with the treason charge is that Russia isn't an enemy. Has anyone ever been convicted of treason under the "enemy" clause where the country in question and the US were not in a state of armed conflict?
Does "enemy" have a legal definition that requires a state of armed conflict?
  #286  
Old 07-22-2018, 02:41 PM
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Does "enemy" have a legal definition that requires a state of armed conflict?
I don't think so, which is why I asked the question (see the link upthread to the GQ thread I started on that subject over a year ago). If we never before considered a country to be "the enemy" when we weren't in a state of armed conflict, you're charity new judicial territory. And considering that you can get the death penalty for treason, charting new territory in that area is pretty risky. As people keep mentioning:

The Rosenbergs were convicted of selling nuclear secrets to the Soviets, but they weren't charge with treason.

John Lindh was convicted of fighting with the Taliban against he US in Afghanistan and even he wasn't charged with treason.

Last edited by John Mace; 07-22-2018 at 02:42 PM.
  #287  
Old 07-22-2018, 02:51 PM
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Right. According to wiki:

Quote:
Since the Constitution came into effect, there have been fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions.
A summit with Russia doesn't meet the criteria, by far. Congressmen and tv people who say otherwise are trolling.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:26 PM
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I don't think so, which is why I asked the question (see the link upthread to the GQ thread I started on that subject over a year ago). If we never before considered a country to be "the enemy" when we weren't in a state of armed conflict, you're charity new judicial territory. And considering that you can get the death penalty for treason, charting new territory in that area is pretty risky. As people keep mentioning:

The Rosenbergs were convicted of selling nuclear secrets to the Soviets, but they weren't charge with treason.

John Lindh was convicted of fighting with the Taliban against he US in Afghanistan and even he wasn't charged with treason.
To continue to debate along the lines of this digression, I will point out that in the hypothetical that I mentioned, if russia is openly executing our operatives, then yes, they would be a pretty open enemy of ours.

But, this is a digression of semantics to avoid the actual question. The wording of the OP is traitor, and while you may only consider a traitor to be someone who is convicted of the narrow definition of the United States crime of treason, the actual definition of a traitor is someone who betrays their country (or friend, principle, etc). That I can find, Benedict Arnold was not convicted of treason, do you consider him to have not betrayed our country? Did the Rosenbergs not betray us, are they not traitors, in your mind?

So, by changing the subject that we are talking about, "Is donald trump betraying his country" to what *you* want to talk about, "Does donald trump's actions fit the narrow legal criteria of the US legal code of treason" you can make a point, but it is a point that has no relevance to the actual question asked by the OP.

If you feel that his actions do not betray our country, then defend him on those grounds. Don't change the argument to one in which you can win on pedantic semantics, while completely ignoring the actual point of the OP's question.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 07-22-2018 at 03:30 PM.
  #289  
Old 07-22-2018, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
To continue to debate along the lines of this digression, I will point out that in the hypothetical that I mentioned, if russia is openly executing our operatives, then yes, they would be a pretty open enemy of ours.

But, this is a digression of semantics to avoid the actual question. The wording of the OP is traitor, and while you may only consider a traitor to be someone who is convicted of the narrow definition of the United States crime of treason, the actual definition of a traitor is someone who betrays their country (or friend, principle, etc). That I can find, Benedict Arnold was not convicted of treason, do you consider him to have not betrayed our country? Did the Rosenbergs not betray us, are they not traitors, in your mind?

So, by changing the subject that we are talking about, "Is donald trump betraying his country" to what *you* want to talk about, "Does donald trump's actions fit the narrow legal criteria of the US legal code of treason" you can make a point, but it is a point that has no relevance to the actual question asked by the OP.

If you feel that his actions do not betray our country, then defend him on those grounds. Don't change the argument to one in which you can win on pedantic semantics, while completely ignoring the actual point of the OP's question.
This thread has had a lot of twists and turns in it, but you did just then respond to a post that specifically cited the constitutional definition of treason, so I don't think it's unreasonable that I thought that was what we were talking about at the moment.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:06 PM
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This thread has had a lot of twists and turns in it, but you did just then respond to a post that specifically cited the constitutional definition of treason, so I don't think it's unreasonable that I thought that was what we were talking about at the moment.
You are correct that I followed D'Anconia's digression from the actual topic, and answered directly his question that I would feel that aiding a foreign power in causing harm to our country would fall under the guise of treason. That I did allow myself to be distracted by his diversion from the topic does not mean that the conversation has changed. You yourself asked,

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So, does anyone think Trump is a traitor?
So, you do know what the actual question of the thread is. And the answer is yes, he has betrayed our country. Do you feel otherwise?
  #291  
Old 07-22-2018, 04:21 PM
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So, you do know what the actual question of the thread is. And the answer is yes, he has betrayed our country.
Having a summit with the President of Russia is not "betraying our country."
  #292  
Old 07-22-2018, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Having a summit with the President of Russia is not "betraying our country."
Who said it was?
  #293  
Old 07-22-2018, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
You are correct that I followed D'Anconia's digression from the actual topic, and answered directly his question that I would feel that aiding a foreign power in causing harm to our country would fall under the guise of treason. That I did allow myself to be distracted by his diversion from the topic does not mean that the conversation has changed. You yourself asked,
I thought it was obvious why I asked that. If not, it's because people were hijacking the thread to talk about voter ID laws and such.



Quote:
So, you do know what the actual question of the thread is. And the answer is yes, he has betrayed our country. Do you feel otherwise?
The actual question in the OP was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OP
I mean, is he literally acting on Russia's behalf to undermine the United States?
No, I don't think that. I think Trump is acting on Trump's behalf to enrich Trump.
  #294  
Old 07-22-2018, 04:33 PM
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Who said it was?
OK then explain yourself. How has President Trump "betrayed our country"? Please provide cites.
  #295  
Old 07-22-2018, 04:57 PM
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I thought it was obvious why I asked that. If not, it's because people were hijacking the thread to talk about voter ID laws and such.
I thought it was too, at the time, but now I'm not sure. Did you ask that rhetorically, or did you ask that looking for someone to actually answer it?
Quote:
The actual question in the OP was:

No, I don't think that. I think Trump is acting on Trump's behalf to enrich Trump.
If someone is selling out to the highest bidder, that's not betrayal? I have no impression that he is doing it out of loyalty to russia, but loyalty to a foreign govt is not necessary for betrayal, only betrayal is, for whatever motivation. Are you saying that if someone is selling classified secrets for profit, rather than political motivation, then they are not a traitor?

Yes, the united states is being undermined, and it is being undermined to the benefit of russia, and trump is the one doing so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
OK then explain yourself. How has President Trump "betrayed our country"? Please provide cites.
He has caused a great deal of harm to our reputation abroad, he has given recognition as equals to brutal dictators, he has equivocated that the actions that the US has taken are not any better than that of dictators and strongmen.

He has threatened the long term stability of our govt and economy with tax give aways to his wealthy peers. He has threatened the short and mid term stability of our economy with unnecessary trade wars.

Other countries are benefiting, some that we have been at odds with for decades, at the expense of our country and that of our allies, and it is specifically because of decisions that trump has made, due to his desire for personal enrichment over the benefit of the country that he represents.

He has called for an increase in police brutality, undermining the public's trust in local law enforcement.

He has undermined our country's federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies that he now controls by starting and spreading false and malicious stories while using the bully box of the presidency.

He has specifically given russia intelligence that was entrusted to us by foreign governments, meaning that those governments intelligence agencies are no longer willing to share information that could be crucial to our protection.

I could go on, but I'm a combination of sickened and bored with this list, and I am sure that he will do something next week that will top that anyway.

Now, you may feel that these are all the qualities of a leader that you admire, and that being weakened on the world stage and having our economy falter due to his whims is a great thing, so it is a matter of opinion as to how much damage a person can do before *you* would consider them to have betrayed the office to which you placed him, so ymmv.

So, then explain yourself, why would you think that a a summit with putin was the entirety of the grievances against this man, to the point of repeating your inane question? What actions would it take for a president to be considered to be working against the interests of the country he is elected to represent, in your eyes?
  #296  
Old 07-22-2018, 05:18 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
He has caused a great deal of harm to our reputation abroad, he has given recognition as equals to brutal dictators, he has equivocated that the actions that the US has taken are not any better than that of dictators and strongmen.

He has threatened the long term stability of our govt and economy with tax give aways to his wealthy peers. He has threatened the short and mid term stability of our economy with unnecessary trade wars.

Other countries are benefiting, some that we have been at odds with for decades, at the expense of our country and that of our allies, and it is specifically because of decisions that trump has made, due to his desire for personal enrichment over the benefit of the country that he represents.

He has called for an increase in police brutality, undermining the public's trust in local law enforcement.

He has undermined our country's federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies that he now controls by starting and spreading false and malicious stories while using the bully box of the presidency.

He has specifically given russia intelligence that was entrusted to us by foreign governments, meaning that those governments intelligence agencies are no longer willing to share information that could be crucial to our protection.

I could go on, but I'm a combination of sickened and bored with this list, and I am sure that he will do something next week that will top that anyway.

Now, you may feel that these are all the qualities of a leader that you admire, and that being weakened on the world stage and having our economy falter due to his whims is a great thing, so it is a matter of opinion as to how much damage a person can do before *you* would consider them to have betrayed the office to which you placed him, so ymmv.

So, then explain yourself, why would you think that a a summit with putin was the entirety of the grievances against this man, to the point of repeating your inane question? What actions would it take for a president to be considered to be working against the interests of the country he is elected to represent, in your eyes?
So no cites. In my opinion, Great Debates should be about facts, not random opinions.

Also, what's wrong with your caps lock button?
  #297  
Old 07-22-2018, 05:31 PM
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Well, given that when you did it the other day, you said you were doing it to prevent people from claiming that they were psychic predictors of the future or some bullshit like that, despite the fact that nobody'd tried to, I'd say your track record of justification for such resurrections is rather poor.
That's an exceedingly inapt summary of what I said. While it's true that I invoked phony psychics (as opposed to the real ones??) I did so only to rebut the claim that failed predictions didn't matter.

I do it to impose a cost on the makers of false predictions. They are otherwise free to gain a rhetorical advantage during discussion, and then escape any scorn when their failures materialize. There is an analogy to bad psychics, true, but that analogy ends with their failure: I never said they were claiming to be psychic. They are just claiming insight and confidence, and that confidence should be tested with reference to their success rate.

I certainly understand your reluctance to adopt that approach.
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Last edited by Bricker; 07-22-2018 at 05:32 PM.
  #298  
Old 07-22-2018, 05:32 PM
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So no cites. In my opinion, Great Debates should be about facts, not random opinions.
Dispute any of those, then. I'll cite them if you challenge them.

Those are betrayals of our country, which is the definition of a traitor. Now, if you admire those qualities, then that may make you have a favorable opinion of a traitor, but those are the facts, whether you admire the traitor for his actions against our country or not.
Quote:

Also, what's wrong with your caps lock button?
Could you elaborate on what you perceive the issue to be there?
  #299  
Old 07-22-2018, 05:33 PM
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That's an exceedingly inapt summary of what I said. While it's true that I invoked phony psychics (as opposed to the real ones??) I did so only to rebut the claim that failed predictions didn't matter.

I do it to impose a cost on the makers of false predictions. They are otherwise free to gain a rhetorical advantage during discussion, and then escape any scorn when their failures materialize. There is an analogy to bad psychics, true, but that analogy ends with their failure: I never said they were claiming to be psychic. They are just claiming insight and confidence, and that confidence should be tested with reference to their success rate.

I certainly understand your reluctance to adopt that approach.
You must write some pretty nasty mails to your local weatherman nearly every day.
  #300  
Old 07-22-2018, 05:36 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Dispute any of those, then. I'll cite them if you challenge them.

Those are betrayals of our country, which is the definition of a traitor. Now, if you admire those qualities, then that may make you have a favorable opinion of a traitor, but those are the facts, whether you admire the traitor for his actions against our country or not.


Could you elaborate on what you perceive the issue to be there?
Where are you cites that the President has "betrayed the United States?

Again, a factual cite, not your opinion.
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