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  #101  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:46 PM
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I am quite content with the concept that a geographically broad section of the country can, in a close election, select a President despite there being fewer total votes for him/her than for the losing candidate, yes. Because one or the other must be true, and as between the two competing concepts, I prefer the latter. This is because I believe that the country remains a federation of states, and not a political whole in which states are nothing but administrative boundaries.

Now, if we start having elections in which candidates win the Presidency despite having massive vote total differentials, then I might re-think my position on the mechanic. But so far, the only president elected with a massive undervote was John Quincy Adams, and that was the result of a system of selection that no longer exists. Since then, the largest margin deficit was 3% by Rutherford B. Hayes, and that election required some substantial chicanery on the part of the winning party to succeed. Donald Trump's 2% deficit isn't enough to cause me worry; 46% to 48% is not enough to make me think the system is totally borked.
I suspect most conservatives will tolerate the current system as long as it produces results they agree with and will decide it's intolerable the first time it produces a result they don't like.
  #102  
Old 06-04-2019, 01:48 PM
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I think it's a nice sounding slogan. But true dual sovereignty can't exist in reality. Two individual organizations can't be equally in charge of the same thing. There are going to be irreconcilable decisions and one organization has to have the final say. If it's not clear beforehand, there will be a crisis the first time such an irreconcilable situation arises which will be resolved either by one side conceded supremacy to the other or by the two sides splitting apart and establishing separate sovereignties.
There is the supremacy clause of the constitution. The Constitution is supreme, but it is of limited powers. The states are sovereign where there is no conflict with the Constitution, and enjoy plenary power. That's how our system of dual sovereignty works. Sovereignty didn't lose when put to a vote. The states ceded a portion of their sovereignty when ratifying the Constitution, however they retained their sovereignty in all matters not explicitly controlled by that document. Your assertion that state sovereignty lost is not consistent with the history of the country.
  #103  
Old 06-04-2019, 02:39 PM
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I think it's a nice sounding slogan. But true dual sovereignty can't exist in reality. Two individual organizations can't be equally in charge of the same thing. There are going to be irreconcilable decisions and one organization has to have the final say. If it's not clear beforehand, there will be a crisis the first time such an irreconcilable situation arises which will be resolved either by one side conceded supremacy to the other or by the two sides splitting apart and establishing separate sovereignties.
Where are you getting this? Sovereign may identify overall authority or it may refer to an authority that is limited in its influence. It is absolutely true that the Federal government has ultimate authority, but even then there are limitations on what it may do in regard to the states. (E.g., when Congress decided that the country needed a 55 m.p.h. speed limit to save gas, it had to use the back door approach of threatening to withhold financial support to states that did not go along with the idea. The Feds did not begin setting speed limits.) And there are a number of Articles and Amendments that were not originally applied to the states until later. (E.g., four states continued to have established religions after the adoption of the Bill of Rights and several more had laws favoring religions weill into the 19th century.)
Demanding that there can be only one type of sovereignty is simply not real in either daily usage or Law.

And your "by the people argument" falls in the face of the actual history of the ratification of the Constitution in which only one state held an actual referendum while the others held conventions using a republican format. (It is interesting to read the occasionally coercive methods used to get the votes, as well.)
  #104  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:09 PM
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There is the supremacy clause of the constitution. The Constitution is supreme, but it is of limited powers. The states are sovereign where there is no conflict with the Constitution, and enjoy plenary power. That's how our system of dual sovereignty works. Sovereignty didn't lose when put to a vote. The states ceded a portion of their sovereignty when ratifying the Constitution, however they retained their sovereignty in all matters not explicitly controlled by that document. Your assertion that state sovereignty lost is not consistent with the history of the country.
I disagree. The national government is clearly sovereign over the state governments. State governments cannot overrule the national government (unless the national government chooses to allow it). It's meaningless to say states are sovereign except when there's a conflict. Because when there is a conflict, it's the national government which decides the outcome.
  #105  
Old 06-04-2019, 03:18 PM
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And your "by the people argument" falls in the face of the actual history of the ratification of the Constitution in which only one state held an actual referendum while the others held conventions using a republican format. (It is interesting to read the occasionally coercive methods used to get the votes, as well.)
Yes, there were conventions; that was the means by which the people chose whether or not to ratify the Constitution. That's my point.

If the Constitution had been a contract between states, it would have been sent to the various state governments for them to decide. It would have been treated like a treaty between sovereign nations.

Instead special conventions were called so that the people could decide whether to retain the current states they lived in or form a new country.
  #106  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:12 PM
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I disagree. The national government is clearly sovereign over the state governments. State governments cannot overrule the national government (unless the national government chooses to allow it). It's meaningless to say states are sovereign except when there's a conflict. Because when there is a conflict, it's the national government which decides the outcome.
I canít believe you are actually arguing that the states have no sovereignty. Tell that to the state when you fail to pay your state taxes. Ultimately, the states today could assert their power and call a new constitutional convention. That is proof that the power of the national government, as outlined in the constitution, is derived from the power of the states.
  #107  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:15 PM
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Yes, there were conventions; that was the means by which the people chose whether or not to ratify the Constitution. That's my point.

If the Constitution had been a contract between states, it would have been sent to the various state governments for them to decide. It would have been treated like a treaty between sovereign nations.

Instead special conventions were called so that the people could decide whether to retain the current states they lived in or form a new country.
Did the public referendum on Brexit nullify UKís sovereignty?
  #108  
Old 06-05-2019, 01:25 AM
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Yes, there were conventions; that was the means by which the people chose whether or not to ratify the Constitution. That's my point.
So what? Have you seen the vote tallies from those conventions? I am not sure that even one of them had as many as 100 persons in attendance. The conventions were organized by the states. I am not sure, but I believe that the attendees were chosen by the state legislatures. (I'm still looking that up.) I do not doubt the legitimacy of the conventions, but to claim that they were of and by the people (as in all the white, male, landowning, voting persons of each state) seems to be a stretch.

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If the Constitution had been a contract between states, it would have been sent to the various state governments for them to decide. It would have been treated like a treaty between sovereign nations.
Sending it to the states for conventions hardly seems radically different than being "sent to the various state governments for them to decide." The state legislatures could have "handed it off" to the conventions to avoid being pilloried if the whole thing self-destructed.
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Instead special conventions were called so that the people could decide whether to retain the current states they lived in or form a new country.
I see no need for a treaty, but a convention of men selected by their legslatures without a popular vote hardly meets the criterion of "by the people." How were the conventioneers selected?
  #109  
Old 06-05-2019, 08:16 AM
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Donald Trump's 2% deficit isn't enough to cause me worry; 46% to 48% is not enough to make me think the system is totally borked.
Agreed. The system may be borked, but it isn't totally borked. The problem isn't that DJT got a 2% boost from a vestigial gimmick, but that he got a 46% boost from voters who, if not haters themselves, fell for the lies of haters and kleptocrats.

The Senate isn't being abolished anytime soon. Nevertheless we should continue to fight gerrymandering in all its forms when we can. The plans to cheat on the 2020 Census need to be pushed against, even if that requires organized counter-cheating.
  #110  
Old 06-05-2019, 08:47 AM
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Even if we assume absolutely equal representation, there is much to be said about geography playing a larger part.

Imagine a city divided into three areas: East, Mid, and West. Each area has 10 citizens (small city).

The race is Smith v. Jones and it breaks down as follows:

East: Smith 7, Jones 3
Mid: Jones 9, Smith 1
West: Smith 6, Jones 4

In a direct popular vote, Jones wins 16-14. However, shouldn't some consideration be given to the fact that two diverse areas of the city support Smith and only one supports Jones?

Should overwhelming support in one area drown out consistent support across a broader area?

Now supposed that Mid had 20 residents. You could see that in a direct popular vote, no candidate would ever pay attention to East and West. Some weight has to be given so that all diverse groups are heard.
  #111  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:49 AM
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Hi, UltraVires.

Even if your comment made full sense, it doesn't account for the insipidities of the present system.

Huge swathes of California have priorities hugely different from the San Francisco liberals. Swathes that vastly outnumber some states in population and/or area. Yet they have Zero Senators. Tiny Rhode Island has two Senators. Tiny Delaware has two Senators. How many Senators does upstate New York, with large are and population, have? How many Senators does urban Texas have?

Yet people are repeating banalities about geography over and over and over in this thread without acknowledging such simple facts.
  #112  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Even if we assume absolutely equal representation, there is much to be said about geography playing a larger part.

Imagine a city divided into three areas: East, Mid, and West. Each area has 10 citizens (small city).

The race is Smith v. Jones and it breaks down as follows:

East: Smith 7, Jones 3
Mid: Jones 9, Smith 1
West: Smith 6, Jones 4

In a direct popular vote, Jones wins 16-14. However, shouldn't some consideration be given to the fact that two diverse areas of the city support Smith and only one supports Jones?

Should overwhelming support in one area drown out consistent support across a broader area?

Now supposed that Mid had 20 residents. You could see that in a direct popular vote, no candidate would ever pay attention to East and West. Some weight has to be given so that all diverse groups are heard.
This is a good argument for increasing the senators per state and setting up ranked voting.

The argument that you are making, however, is that the less populace east and west should dictate what happens in the more populous Mid.
  #113  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:08 PM
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I suggest you look it up.
Look WHAT up?

You mean, like this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...e_Constitution

You might find the table of ratification votes instructive.
  #114  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:13 PM
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So what? Have you seen the vote tallies from those conventions? I am not sure that even one of them had as many as 100 persons in attendance. The conventions were organized by the states. I am not sure, but I believe that the attendees were chosen by the state legislatures. (I'm still looking that up.) I do not doubt the legitimacy of the conventions, but to claim that they were of and by the people (as in all the white, male, landowning, voting persons of each state) seems to be a stretch.
No, most of the convention attendees were selected by the people, either in county-wide votes (New Jersey, for example), or in town halls (Massachusetts, if I recall correctly, for example).
  #115  
Old 06-05-2019, 01:32 PM
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Look WHAT up?

You mean, like this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...e_Constitution

You might find the table of ratification votes instructive.
Wikipedia might be a good place to start. But it's hardly the final word on any subject.

I suggest Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier. There's also The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis, Slavery's Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification by David Waldstreicher, and Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard Beeman. There's also Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (I'll admit when I read this one, I totally missed its potential as a musical) and The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President by Noah Feldman (cheating a bit here; I'm still in the middle of reading this one). And of course, there's the Federalist Papers and various Anti-Federalist works; a lot of them have been collected into a two-volume work titled The Debate on the Constitution.

There's some other works on the subject that look interesting: An Anti-Federalist Constitution: The Development of Dissent in the Ratification Debates by Michael Faber, Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution by John Kaminski and Richard Leffler, and The Writing and Ratification of the U.S. Constitution: Practical Virtue in Action by John Vile. But I haven't read these yet.
  #116  
Old 06-05-2019, 01:53 PM
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Hi, UltraVires.

Even if your comment made full sense, it doesn't account for the insipidities of the present system.

Huge swathes of California have priorities hugely different from the San Francisco liberals. Swathes that vastly outnumber some states in population and/or area. Yet they have Zero Senators. Tiny Rhode Island has two Senators. Tiny Delaware has two Senators. How many Senators does upstate New York, with large are and population, have? How many Senators does urban Texas have?

Yet people are repeating banalities about geography over and over and over in this thread without acknowledging such simple facts.
Thatís San Franciscoís problem. Not Rhode Islandís. At least with regards to the national level. At the state level, California has a state government. How when it has no sovereignty is still a puzzle. But it exists and San Francisco and those who have differences with San Francisco can deal with it in Sacramento.

Within San Francisco you have different neighborhoods with different priorities. They take issues up with city government. They donít go to Washington D.C. because they want a new stop sign or more needle and poop sweepers. They handle it or not locally. With local government and local powers.

What you attempt to trivialize by labeling it Ďbanalitiesí is, in reality, the way the political and social world works. History and past agreements matter. If boundaries of territory arenít respected because of treaty and law then that only leaves the rule of force.
  #117  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:21 PM
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Thatís San Franciscoís problem. Not Rhode Islandís. ...
So. Due purely to historical accident more than 200 years in the past, the individual voters in Rhode Island should have FAR more power in U.S. national politics than the voters of San Francisco. Because ____________. Got it.

Cancel my subscription, if I haven't already. I left the because empty so as not to put words in your mouth. Has there been an intelligible 'Because' in the thread?
  #118  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:21 PM
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States insisted? How do states communicate? I've live in a state all my life and I've never heard it say a word.

States don't talk. People talk. So explain why a person who lives in Wyoming should have more representation than a person who lives in California.
That's very far from compelling logic, even for the internet. By the same logic the United States does not communicate, I've never heard it say a word either. So why should it have any influence on overall world policies out of proportion to its population as a % of the world total? Because it's a sovereign entity, which by its own political process decides what limited portions of that sovereignty it's willing to surrender to 'higher' international bodies (there are some cases under various treaty agreements).

The states as sovereign entities agreed to surrender a good deal of their power to the new federal govt to form the Union, but not all of them, nor did they agree to no longer be sovereign entities. And practically speaking you have to live within that agreement, or get around it under it's own terms but without word games. That's the practical reality which isn't even really affected necessarily by whether your logic is strong, or as lame at it just was.

The further ridiculousness of this conversation being, that if Democrats (the 'reformers' seeking their 'rightful' political domination at all cost) got the kind of majorities they need to pass constitutional amendments downgrading the Senate's power (which is the marginally realistic path rather than 100% state govt agreement to have their Senate representation reduced, which would literally never happen)...it would depend on Democratic politicians first attaining Senate and state legislature 2/3's and 3/4's majorities then downgrading their *own* personal power, which would also not happen when push came to shove.
  #119  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:31 PM
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So. Due purely to historical accident more than 200 years in the past, the individual voters in Rhode Island should have FAR more power in U.S. national politics than the voters of San Francisco. Because ____________. Got it.

Cancel my subscription, if I haven't already. I left the because empty so as not to put words in your mouth. Has there been an intelligible 'Because' in the thread?
Yes there has. History matters. Thatís why France has a permanent spot on the UN Security Council and every other country with 4 exceptions does not. History matters. Thatís why Canada has all that land and so little people. Howís that fair? Letís split the worldís land up proportionately.

Look up the EU. If it doesnít collapse at some point they will want more central power. You think they will get buy in from the smaller countries if no concessions are made? You think the smaller countries are going to be thrilled once the deal is made Germany reneges?
  #120  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:41 PM
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I don't know how Scotus would rule on that semicolon ó a case has been made to partially invalidate the 2nd Amendment based on a smudge that looks like a comma! (My best solution to the Axis of Evil on Scotus would draw a Warning.)

But the Dakotas would not be able to gerrymander themselves unless the R's got control of both Congressional houses.

Is my proposal "partisan?" Sure! Criminals have taken over the GOP and have declared War. It's foolish for Americans to ignore that fact. It's a delusion to imagine that "playing fair" has any merit in this subverted former Republic. Restore Democracy by whatever means necessary. Then we can talk about fairness.
Here's a state merger/break-up scenario I proposed in a thread last year, complete with silly names:

ND and SD = Dakota
ID and MT = Montanaho
VT and NH = Vampshire
CA = N. California & S. California
TX = E. Texas & W. Texas
NY = The City & Upstate

This would not universally benefit Democrats, although that would probably be the immediate net effect.
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  #121  
Old 06-05-2019, 02:52 PM
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Here's a state merger/break-up scenario I proposed in a thread last year, complete with silly names:

ND and SD = Dakota
ID and MT = Montanaho
VT and NH = Vampshire
CA = N. California & S. California
TX = E. Texas & W. Texas
NY = The City & Upstate

This would not universally benefit Democrats, although that would probably be the immediate net effect.
I'd add to that:

- Maryland retrocession for DC
- Do something with Rhode Island (I vote for merging with CT)
  #122  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:01 PM
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So. Due purely to historical accident more than 200 years in the past, the individual voters in Rhode Island should have FAR more power in U.S. national politics than the voters of San Francisco. Because ____________. Got it.

Cancel my subscription, if I haven't already. I left the because empty so as not to put words in your mouth. Has there been an intelligible 'Because' in the thread?
It's not "should". It just is. The reason is because that is the agreement that was entered, and it didn't have a sunset clause. It does however, contain the ability to modify if the people involved in the agreement want to.
  #123  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:18 PM
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Thatís San Franciscoís problem. Not Rhode Islandís. At least with regards to the national level. At the state level, California has a state government. How when it has no sovereignty is still a puzzle.
Not really. Anyone that approaches this in good faith is not confused.
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But it exists and San Francisco and those who have differences with San Francisco can deal with it in Sacramento.

Within San Francisco you have different neighborhoods with different priorities. They take issues up with city government. They donít go to Washington D.C. because they want a new stop sign or more needle and poop sweepers. They handle it or not locally. With local government and local powers.
The points was to refute the argument that this is to make sure that the "little people" get represented.

Since you acknowledge that it has nothing to do with making sure that rural interests are assured, we can move on.
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What you attempt to trivialize by labeling it Ďbanalitiesí is, in reality, the way the political and social world works. History and past agreements matter. If boundaries of territory arenít respected because of treaty and law then that only leaves the rule of force.
Treaty and law are upheld by the use of force.

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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
That's very far from compelling logic, even for the internet. By the same logic the United States does not communicate, I've never heard it say a word either. So why should it have any influence on overall world policies out of proportion to its population as a % of the world total? Because it's a sovereign entity, which by its own political process decides what limited portions of that sovereignty it's willing to surrender to 'higher' international bodies (there are some cases under various treaty agreements).
That's actually because we have a military that can go around and kick people's ass. We do not give up any sovereignty to anyone at all. We don't have to.

Tell that to a country like Iraq, how much sovereignty do they have? How much sovereignty did it decide to surrender by its own political process

If your argument is that the states should arm themselves and war amongst each other, then it is relevant, but a bad, very bad idea.
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The states as sovereign entities agreed to surrender a good deal of their power to the new federal govt to form the Union, but not all of them, nor did they agree to no longer be sovereign entities. And practically speaking you have to live within that agreement, or get around it under it's own terms but without word games. That's the practical reality which isn't even really affected necessarily by whether your logic is strong, or as lame at it just was.
The word game that is being played is to say that states have sovereignty under one definition, and then claim they have the powers of a sovereign under another.
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The further ridiculousness of this conversation being, that if Democrats (the 'reformers' seeking their 'rightful' political domination at all cost) got the kind of majorities they need to pass constitutional amendments downgrading the Senate's power (which is the marginally realistic path rather than 100% state govt agreement to have their Senate representation reduced, which would literally never happen)...it would depend on Democratic politicians first attaining Senate and state legislature 2/3's and 3/4's majorities then downgrading their *own* personal power, which would also not happen when push came to shove.
Why would it have to be democrats? Couldn't that be a representative of any group who wishes to live up to the ideals of democracy? Why are you insistent that only democrats are willing to fight for the right of self governance? You may be right, but I had a bit more faith in the republican party than that.

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Yes there has. History matters. Thatís why France has a permanent spot on the UN Security Council and every other country with 4 exceptions does not.
When the UN has any say in how France is run, then your analogy would be relevant.
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History matters. Thatís why Canada has all that land and so little people. Howís that fair? Letís split the worldís land up proportionately.
Ummm, that is irrelevant to proportional representation. Once again, it seems you have to be reminded that land is not people.
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Look up the EU. If it doesnít collapse at some point they will want more central power. You think they will get buy in from the smaller countries if no concessions are made? You think the smaller countries are going to be thrilled once the deal is made Germany reneges?
Yeah, I think that smaller countries would like to be a part of the economic system of the EU, as well as be protected by a coalition of forces. Lithuania wouldn't hold out to have the same vote as Germany, and Germany wouldn't allow them to have a vote equal to themselves.

If 240 years after lithuania joins, the deal needs to be renegotiated, then the people who made the deal will be dead, not thrilled.
  #124  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:26 PM
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It's not "should". It just is. The reason is because that is the agreement that was entered, and it didn't have a sunset clause. It does however, contain the ability to modify if the people involved in the agreement want to.
Great, thank you for agreeing.

This is us building the case for changing that agreement. Making a counter case to that proposal is fine, but just repeating over and over again that that was the agreement made well over 200 years ago is rather pointless, and is really not relevant to the argument.
  #125  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:35 PM
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Great, thank you for agreeing.

This is us building the case for changing that agreement. Making a counter case to that proposal is fine, but just repeating over and over again that that was the agreement made well over 200 years ago is rather pointless, and is really not relevant to the argument.
Thank you for agreeing that I'm right. Does this rhetorical tactic work often?

That the agreement is still controlling means it is relevant. I don't even think there is common understanding of the nature of the agreement between states - without that there's not anything close to building a case. But hey, if you want to change the agreement, the amendment process is open and takes all comers. A constitutional convention is also available. I think the Democratic Party should make this a key part of their platform - elect Democrats and abolish the constitution!
  #126  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:39 PM
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Great, thank you for agreeing.

This is us building the case for changing that agreement. Making a counter case to that proposal is fine, but just repeating over and over again that that was the agreement made well over 200 years ago is rather pointless, and is really not relevant to the argument.
You're not going to win a lot of support with just "I think this other way is more fair". What could you offer the Wyomings and North Dakotas of the country to incentivize them to go along with your "case for changing that agreement"? Have you given that any consideration?
  #127  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:51 PM
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Thank you for agreeing that I'm right. Does this rhetorical tactic work often?

That the agreement is still controlling means it is relevant. I don't even think there is common understanding of the nature of the agreement between states - without that there's not anything close to building a case. But hey, if you want to change the agreement, the amendment process is open and takes all comers. A constitutional convention is also available. I think the Democratic Party should make this a key part of their platform - elect Democrats and abolish the constitution!
Oops.

Last edited by Red Wiggler; 06-05-2019 at 03:52 PM.
  #128  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:58 PM
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...

CA = N. California & S. California
...
It's more fun to divide California into FOUR states. The exciting thing there is to gerrymander the districts just so to get all 4 states D-Blue! Hey! They're using live ammo; we'd better too.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:03 PM
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Bone's quote in my post above should have been deleted. My "oops" was not directed at anything he wrote. Apologies.
  #130  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:13 PM
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And in the House we have the opposite problem. States like Ca (and NY and IL) can dictate what happens inside a state like UT. Why should the citizens of L.A. have more say about what happens in Bears Ears, fer instance, than the people who actually live in UT? If it wasn't for equal representation in the Senate there would be NO interstate highways in HI. Why would I, as a citizen of Chicago ever vote to approve spending my taxes on bridges in the middle of nowhere MT?

And while I realize that its not a perfect analogy; octopus' point is apt. China has 5x the population of USA. Should the Chinese get 5x the voting power in the UN?

mc
That's also why we have State legislatures; for the most part, the goings-on in Bears Ears, UT are regulated by the Utah legislature, and only the parts which are Federal in scope are in jeopardy of being run over roughshod by the good representatives of Los Angeles.

And as far as the House versus the Senate is concerned, we all seem to be forgetting that neither of them can do a whole lot independent of the other when it comes to forging actual legislation.

Ultimately though, the Senate represents the States' interests, and this made a whole lot more sense prior to the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment, when the legislatures chose the Senators, instead of a popular vote.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:45 PM
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. . . This is us building the case for changing that agreement. Making a counter case to that proposal is fine, but just repeating over and over again that that was the agreement made well over 200 years ago is rather pointless, and is really not relevant to the argument.
But, so far, the only reason you and others are giving to change that agreement is that the Senate doesn't represent the people of the US fairly. And myself, and others, keep pointing out that it was never designed to represent the people. That's the House's job.

You keep saying that the Senate gives unfair advantage to certain members, and is therefore broken and should be fixed or changed. And we keep saying that it's only an unfair advantage from one perspective and it's not the perspective that the Senate was devised to respond to. It's not a bug, it's a feature.

And besides, it's the responsibility of those who advocate for change to make the case that that change is needed. The rest of us can sit back and say "it is what it is, and it has been since the beginning, and has worked (for the most part)!

mc
  #132  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:12 PM
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I'd add to that:

- Maryland retrocession for DC
- Do something with Rhode Island (I vote for merging with CT)
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It's more fun to divide California into FOUR states. The exciting thing there is to gerrymander the districts just so to get all 4 states D-Blue! Hey! They're using live ammo; we'd better too.
So DC becomes part of Maryland? Seems reasonable.

Rhode Island + Connecticut = Rhodecticut (obviously)

California/4 =
  • Sequoialand (the northern half minus the Bay Area)
  • Siliconia (the Bay Area)
  • Fresnomia (the southern half minus the LA area)
  • Dodger Nation
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #133  
Old 06-05-2019, 05:27 PM
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It's more fun to divide California into FOUR states. The exciting thing there is to gerrymander the districts just so to get all 4 states D-Blue! Hey! They're using live ammo; we'd better too.
Perhaps a break-up into seven states would be best. Each resultant state would be about as big as a regular state.

With blatant gerrymandering we should be able to get all 14 Senators Blue. There'd be a West Northifornia, East Northifornia, Central Northifornia, South Northifornia, North Southifornia, Central Southifornia, and South Southifornia.

Blatant gerrymandering? Sure. At this point I just want to thumb my nose at the *u***** in exasperation.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:17 PM
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Perhaps a break-up into seven states would be best. Each resultant state would be about as big as a regular state.

With blatant gerrymandering we should be able to get all 14 Senators Blue. There'd be a West Northifornia, East Northifornia, Central Northifornia, South Northifornia, North Southifornia, Central Southifornia, and South Southifornia.

Blatant gerrymandering? Sure. At this point I just want to thumb my nose at the *u***** in exasperation.
Thatíd be interesting. What would also be funny is seeing the evolution of the so-called blues as the path to power shifted decisively in that direction. The name might be the same but would the people attracted to the party be the same?
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:02 PM
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Wikipedia might be a good place to start. But it's hardly the final word on any subject.

I suggest Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier. There's also The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis, Slavery's Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification by David Waldstreicher, and Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution by Richard Beeman. There's also Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (I'll admit when I read this one, I totally missed its potential as a musical) and The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President by Noah Feldman (cheating a bit here; I'm still in the middle of reading this one). And of course, there's the Federalist Papers and various Anti-Federalist works; a lot of them have been collected into a two-volume work titled The Debate on the Constitution.

There's some other works on the subject that look interesting: An Anti-Federalist Constitution: The Development of Dissent in the Ratification Debates by Michael Faber, Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution by John Kaminski and Richard Leffler, and The Writing and Ratification of the U.S. Constitution: Practical Virtue in Action by John Vile. But I haven't read these yet.
Please explain in which of these you find a statement that the ratification of the Constitution by the states occured by POPULAR VOTE, as you asserted in the post I objected to?
  #136  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:37 PM
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This is us building the case for changing that agreement. Making a counter case to that proposal is fine, but just repeating over and over again that that was the agreement made well over 200 years ago is rather pointless, and is really not relevant to the argument.
This gets to the heart of the problem.

Your "side" asserts, "We need to change the Senate."

"Why", the other side asks?

"Because it means some people have more political power than others simply because of geography."

"But that's intentional. Why should it be changed?"

"Because we don't think that's right."

Well, ok, we get that you and others think that there is something inherently "wrong" about the current situation. But that, in and of itself, isn't a reason for change. Establish how the current system creates poor results. How would abolishing the Senate produce a better set of laws for our country? Provide some analysis of situations in the relatively recent past where Congress would have produced a better result had it not had a Senate, but rather something else? In doing so, don't just offer up situations where something would have passed that you're particularly in love with politically, because keep in mind that the House can be controlled by a majority of the OTHER party, and absent a Senate, can pass legislation that you'd be politically opposed to vehemently.

All I see is a continued harping on the idea that somehow it's "wrong" to have a system like the Senate because not every person's "vote" is "equal". I don't personally think that's a compelling argument for change, for reasons that have been posted previously. And those reasons aren't just, "that's the way it's been done". They include perfectly good arguments about how interests of people in geographically diverse areas are protected by the current system, arguments that your side simply don't see as more important. Again, I get that, but you are the people agitating for change. Were the roles reversed, the burden would be on the other foot. It's not.
  #137  
Old 06-06-2019, 01:42 PM
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All I see is a continued harping on the idea that somehow it's "wrong" to have a system like the Senate because not every person's "vote" is "equal". I don't personally think that's a compelling argument for change, for reasons that have been posted previously. And those reasons aren't just, "that's the way it's been done". They include perfectly good arguments about how interests of people in geographically diverse areas are protected by the current system, arguments that your side simply don't see as more important. Again, I get that, but you are the people agitating for change. Were the roles reversed, the burden would be on the other foot. It's not.
I see it as this idea that some people don't agree with how the country should be organized. That their way is obviously better and any right thinking person would just know this to be true. It's like they joined the libertarian party.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:04 PM
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I see it as this idea that some people don't agree with how the country should be organized. That their way is obviously better and any right thinking person would just know this to be true. It's like they joined the libertarian party.
Aren't they left-thinking people? </rimshot>
  #139  
Old 06-07-2019, 01:00 AM
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Thatíd be interesting. What would also be funny is seeing the evolution of the so-called blues as the path to power shifted decisively in that direction. The name might be the same but would the people attracted to the party be the same?
Sure. This would be a feature, not a bug. The Democratic Party has historically been the Big Tent Party which builds consensus out of diverse opinions. Getting a broader group of people to join the Tent would be good.
  #140  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:10 AM
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Well the same thing for individual states. If Kansas is typical we have 105 counties. Now each county has its own representative in the state house of representatives which has 125 members so some counties have 2. There are 40 senators in the state senate. Now where I am at, Johnson county, supplies roughly 1/3rd of the states income. Yet we dont get that much back from the state for things like schools and roads. The state actually limits how much we can raise taxes. The state also sets spending on a formula of per student so some very poor district in western Kansas gets about the same as a wealthy district here.

I suspect other states are similar.
  #141  
Old 06-09-2019, 11:00 AM
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You're not going to win a lot of support with just "I think this other way is more fair". What could you offer the Wyomings and North Dakotas of the country to incentivize them to go along with your "case for changing that agreement"? Have you given that any consideration?
Why should they be offered anything? They have power that is tremendously out of proportion, and thereby get to be part of a minority bloc that dominates the majority.

What you're asking is akin to saying "what should we offer the white ruling class in South Africa to incentivize them to go along with your case for changing the agreement on apartheid?" or "what should we offer the slave owners to incentivize them to go along with abolition?"

It shouldn't matter what they think, and we shouldn't have to make a deal with the devil in order to do the right thing.
  #142  
Old 06-09-2019, 01:45 PM
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Why should they be offered anything? They have power that is tremendously out of proportion, and thereby get to be part of a minority bloc that dominates the majority.

What you're asking is akin to saying "what should we offer the white ruling class in South Africa to incentivize them to go along with your case for changing the agreement on apartheid?" or "what should we offer the slave owners to incentivize them to go along with abolition?"

It shouldn't matter what they think, and we shouldn't have to make a deal with the devil in order to do the right thing.
First of all, it's not equivalent cases; stop trying to make your case with an appeal to emotion though false equivalencies.

But more to the point: the Constitution itself REQUIRES that you do something for them, because they have to agree to give up that power. So, while you might think it's simply justice that that power be given up, reality is that you need their approval.
  #143  
Old 06-09-2019, 06:20 PM
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It's different in pretty much every way.

The equivalent of somebody sticking a gun in your face is a dictatorship backed by force. A government like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union or North Korea; these regimes ruled by force because they didn't have popular support.

That's the reason democracy works better than other political system. Democratic rule means the government has to do things which are supported by a majority of the citizenship.

Democracy isn't perfect; it still allows a majority to mistreat a minority. But every other political system is worse because it allows a minority to mistreat the majority.
mikecurtis has a point.

In California, too much population resides in a few counties in SoCal. Therefore, they have a lot of power in the Legislature. They exercise this power by fucking over the rest of the state when it is convenient.
When the Northridge earthquake damaged infrastructure in the South, state money paid for the repairs. When the SF Bay Bridge was damaged by earthquake, the local area paid in the from of higher tolls.
Note that the 7 toll bridges in California are ALL in the Bay Area; none of the bridges in SoCal are toll.

The majority is screwing over the minoritiy, regardless that it is Democrats controlling other Democrats.

Last edited by sps49sd; 06-09-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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