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Old 12-02-2019, 09:39 PM
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Democrats: Would you defend a Democrat Trump?


Suppose the Dems had a lunatic demagogue who you knew was corrupt to the core and would use the office for personal gain. Suppose you knew he would advocate using agencies to reward his loyalists and punish his enemies.

You really don't think of him as someone who's fit for office, yet you know that, inexplicably, he garners about 40-45% of the vote no matter what. Moreover, you know that he religiously supports the progressive cause: rubber stamps liberal judges, toughens regulations on business for the public good, promises to pump up welfare spending, promises to protect immigrants rights, and do all the things that progressives want.

Would you vote for that guy knowing all his baggage?
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:41 PM
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:41 PM
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:09 PM
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I'm an independent who despises the Republicans, not a Democrat; however given their typical behavior it's nearly certain the Democrats would turn on and condemn anyone anywhere near as bad as Trump. They do that kind of thing regularly, after all; look at what happened to Al Franken.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:22 PM
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No need to ask the question as if it were some parenthetical theoretical hypothetical -- we already have experimental data from the LaRouchies who managed to run stealth campaigns to get nominated as Democrats, only to be disowned by the party once they found out what was going on.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:27 PM
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Don't know if I can post in here since I am not a (D) - (if the OP would prefer that I stay out, just let me know):

The difference between D's and R's, IMHO, is that the D's might elect a Trump but quickly then impeach him or 24th-Amendment him in favor of Democratic Pence. The R's, for some reason, just have never brought themselves to do that.


On a broader note, it's important to bear in mind that almost no one in their right mind - whether Republican or Democratic - would vote for a saintly candidate who opposes everything they stand for, rather than an asshole who champions all causes dear to them. Since the OP directs his questions at D's, I'd venture a guess that faced with a choice between - say, Rosie O'Donnell for president, but even more asshole-ish than she currently is - or perhaps Whoopi Goldberg for president - versus someone like Mike Pence, who appears to be a totally upstanding citizen of the law, boring but moral - but who firmly champions the anti-LGBT, anti-choice, side of things - why would any D want President Pence???


If you vote for Pence, you can expect potentially many back-alley abortions, gays to lose the right to SSM, the Supreme Court to tilt right for a generation, climate change to run amok, no healthcare reform, all kinds of such woes. Why wouldn't you prefer Rosie or Whoopi, especially since you can depose them once they are in power and get a sane Democratic VP as prez?

Last edited by Velocity; 12-02-2019 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:35 PM
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:37 PM
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If it was a corrupt sleezebag like Rod Blagoevich vs Romney or Jon Kasich? I’d vote Republican. But if they were running against Ted Cruz or Trump? I’d probably vote 3rd party.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:40 PM
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I'll be completely honest: there's no fucking way I'd vote GOP, but I would probably not vote. I'd sit it out if that guy became our dear leader.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:47 PM
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
On a broader note, it's important to bear in mind that almost no one in their right mind - whether Republican or Democratic - would vote for a saintly candidate who opposes everything they stand for, rather than an asshole who champions all causes dear to them.
Thing is, if you are a well-intentioned person then a "asshole who champions all causes dear to them" is basically a contradiction in terms. At best it means someone who is good at doing horrible things without getting caught.

Trump is popular with the Republicans because they are lying about their claimed principles, and mainly just want to hurt people. The fact that Trump is vile in every way is a plus not a minus because that's what they want in a leader; somebody who is bigoted, cruel, ignorant and destructive.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:42 PM
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I'd like to think I wouldn't.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:50 PM
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Velocity's claim that Mike Pence is a totally upstanding citizen of the law is pretty strange given that he has said not one word against all of the blatantly illegal activity going on in the administration that he is Vice President of, openly supports dismantling regulatory agencies that actually enforce the law against rich white people, and openly supports passing anti-abortion laws even though such laws are actually unconstitutional. None of those are the actions of someone who is an upstanding citizen that follows the law. The Republican definition of "Law and Order" apparently doesn't mean following the actual laws that are passed.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:08 AM
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No I wouldn't. Trump isn't vile merely because he is a Republican. Had the Democratic party been amenable to his candidacy he could have easily started spouting about the dangers of the prudes in the religious right and making fun of the hayseeds in flyover country. He would still be just as corrupt, just as power hungry, just as incompetent and just as much of a danger to the US.

As to what I would do instead it would probably depend on who his opponent was. If it was a competent Republican who I believed would actually put the country first, such as say McCaine, Dole, Governor Hogan, or maybe even as far as Paul Ryan, I might vote for them. Otherwise I'd look to a third party candidate or write in.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:25 AM
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MSNBC did a great piece today that highlights how Democrats have absolutely gone after other Democrats who commit bribery:

https://youtu.be/QlHFOOQon1U
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:34 AM
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Hell, I can't defend Franken, and he was only accused of sexual impropriety. Trump has full-on admitted it.

So nah.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:14 AM
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OP, You mean someone like Rod Blagojevich ? No, I don't think so, no .
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:42 AM
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Are my choices between Trump and democratic Trump?

I'd like to say no. But that's easy to do in a hypothetical.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:16 AM
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The title and the post ask different questions. I wouldn't defend his sleazy personal life and behavior, but I'd absolutely vote for him in the unlikely even that he was the Democratic nominee in the general election. All else being equal, I'd prefer a good person to a bad person, for both moral and political reasons, but all else isn't equal and I'm not going to throw out all those other outcomes to make some dramatic point.

FWIW, I kind of extend this to Trump too. Like, obviously he's a bad president and a horrible human being, but if you asked me to choose between him and George W. Bush, it would take me a while to think about it.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-03-2019 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:47 AM
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I’m an independent, usually vote Dem. A friend of mine is conservative and we once had a memorable conversation back in the Obama days.

The president had done something he didn’t like and challenged me to defend it. I said I couldn’t because I thought it was a bad policy too. He seemed surprised and I asked, “Why do you expect me to defend a policy I don’t agree with?”

He was visibly taken aback that I didn’t choose to defend someone I voted for in that instance. I don’t see why on Earth I would, and therein may lie a major difference between people.

Today I would also point to people like Al Franken and John Edwards - my “side”, such as it is, can and will cast off inappropriate people. Sometimes too soon, actually, but that’s another discussion.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Quoth Velocity:

On a broader note, it's important to bear in mind that almost no one in their right mind - whether Republican or Democratic - would vote for a saintly candidate who opposes everything they stand for, rather than an asshole who champions all causes dear to them.
The problem is that you can't trust the asshole. Sure, they may say they support all the right causes, but how do I know they're not lying? Like, a lot of people say that they support Trump because he'll put conservative (by which they mean anti-abortion) judges on the Supreme Court, but he hasn't actually done that. His actual criterion for picking judges has been how supportive they are of totalitarianism.

Incidentally, this is yet another reason to prefer candidates who have held other elective offices before. Not only is the experience valuable, but it gives you a chance to see what they really support.

Fortunately, we don't have to choose between an asshole who supports the right causes and a well-behaved man who doesn't. There are hundreds of millions of people in this country, and out of them, we can find plenty of good people who support the right causes. Republicans act like they were helpless in the face of Trump, because he was the Republican candidate, and it was him or a Democrat, so they were forced to hold their noses and vote for him... but how did he become the candidate? The problem came not in the general, but in the primaries: If Republicans had followed their consciences, then Trump would never have gotten the nomination.
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:21 AM
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Llama Logophile nailed it. There are two kinds of people: those who defend their “Dear Leader” no matter what, and those that recognize all leaders are complex human beings that we needn’t always agree with. (I am an enthusiastic Democrat and Obama voter, but just yesterday I was telling someone how I disagreed with certain of the Obama administration’s immigration policies).

As the voting, I agree with others that it would depend on the opponent — and perhaps other factors such as “has Ruth Bader Ginsberg died yet and been replaced by a similarly left-leaning judge?”.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:10 AM
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I'm an independent who despises the Republicans, not a Democrat; however given their typical behavior it's nearly certain the Democrats would turn on and condemn anyone anywhere near as bad as Trump. They do that kind of thing regularly, after all; look at what happened to Al Franken.
Yes. Comparing the treatment of Franken with that of the many real criminals in the GOP should make OP ashamed for devising such a stupid hypothetical.

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Velocity's claim that Mike Pence is a totally upstanding citizen of the law is pretty strange given that he has said not one word against all of the blatantly illegal activity going on in the administration ...
I guess I only skim Velocity's posts, if at all, but if that's what he said it just confirms what's increasingly obvious: Velocity is not one of the brighter bulbs on the Christmas tree. (In his defense I suppose he voted for Gary Nutjob instead of Trump.)
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:20 AM
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I'm not a Democrat, but I would never defend a prime minister who acted like Trump regardless of party. Trump's approval rating should be 0%. The fact that it isn't tell me that there's something fundamentally wrong with American voters.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 12-03-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:23 AM
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Democrats: Would you defend a Democrat Trump?


Nope. No way.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:49 AM
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There couldn't be a "democratic Trump" because Trump represents everything that liberals abhor. That's like asking, "Would you support a demonic Mother Theresa?" It's a nonsense question. I'll play along, though, and answer, NO!
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:58 AM
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Trump's approval rating should be 0%. The fact that it isn't tell me that there's something fundamentally wrong with American voters.
Yes, exactly, at least for a certain core. It specifically means that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Republican Party, in that it has, over the decades, become a mechanism which would put such a corrupt, venal jackass in power.

Anyone who engages in false equivalencies to make apologies or excuses for Trump--as some do on this board--is intellectually and morally bankrupt.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:59 AM
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Of course I wouldn't. I'd like to think that a Democratic president would resign the minute the phone transcript was released. I don't think that Republicans believe the lies that the White House has ordered them to parrot about Ukrainian interference in elections, they know that if they don't they will never survive a primary. No dissent from Donald can be tolerated on any matter, great or small. I can't see Democrats behaving this way because there isn't a batshit core of the Democratic base that Democrats are afraid of.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:06 AM
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I'm reaching back into what seems like ancient history here, but there was once a congressman from Florida (where else, of course) named Alan Grayson. He was (and remains) a thoroughly odious person. He swiftboated his Republican opponent one year, running ads calling him "Taliban Dan." He said the Republican health care plan amounted to telling people to "die quickly." He raised money by comparing the Tea Party to the KKK. Beyond his, uh, "policy positions," he did great stuff like allegedly beating his ex-wife, and was involved in some kind of shady Ponzi scheme, losing millions. He won a couple elections in Florida, and now seems to have been relegated to persona non grata in the Democratic Party.

He's a pretty good role model for the Trump of the Democratic Party.

Now, Dems at large have soured on him, but his status on the SDMB at the time included some vocal supporters:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=534234
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=564268
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...t=alan+grayson



So while Dems at large have seen through him now, let's not kid ourselves that quite a few Dems were egging him on at the time. I always thought he was detestable, FTR.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:11 AM
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I'd like to think I wouldn't.
Yeah, it's kind of hard to answer a hypothetical like this. I'd also like to think I'd oppose a criminal demagogue who supported liberal policies. But I've disappointed myself before, so I guess I can't be sure. Like others, I would also point to examples like Al Franken to show that Democrats (at least currently) are trying to root out any unethical or unseemly behavior, so a Democratic Trump is not that likely in any case.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:22 AM
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Trump's corruption is one of his greater sins, but not his greatest. His greatest sin is how he's treating immigrants, specifically the concentration camps he's putting children in.

If I had to choose between two candidates, one of which was thoroughly corrupt and the other of which would put children in concentration camps, I'd choose the former. Party affiliation wouldn't matter.

Is that the choice you propose?

I don't think I can answer the question in isolation. I've mentioned elsewhere that I see elections as a trolley problem, and third-party voting is not a reasonable option for me (unless I'm in a state where my vote doesn't matter). I need to know what the alternative is to voting for this thoroughly corrupt Democrat.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:59 AM
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Not after observing the last few years. I don't want a corrupt demagogue as president anyway, but after seeing how downballot elections have gone during the Trump era and how public opinion on many issues has shifted rather sharply to the left, I'm pretty sure I especially don't want a corrupt demagogue who's on my side.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:02 AM
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Democratic Trump is currently writing irrelevant blog posts raving about vaccinations and GMO foods. He or she is nowhere near any position of power in the Democratic party. So, this question is impossible to answer in reality, because "Democratic Trump" doesn't exist.

But, if this person somehow dropped from the sky into the oval office, then no, I would not support them.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:27 AM
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I'll be completely honest: there's no fucking way I'd vote GOP, but I would probably not vote. I'd sit it out if that guy became our dear leader.
I may well vote GOP (I've done it for local elections; when Rod Blagojevich ran for re-election as governor, I voted for Judy Baar Topinka.) Though, on a federal scale, that is a bit different of a situation. So, thinking about it some more, I'd most likely vote third party.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:37 AM
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Suppose the Dems had a lunatic demagogue who you knew was corrupt to the core and would use the office for personal gain. Suppose you knew he would advocate using agencies to reward his loyalists and punish his enemies.

You really don't think of him as someone who's fit for office, yet you know that, inexplicably, he garners about 40-45% of the vote no matter what. Moreover, you know that he religiously supports the progressive cause: rubber stamps liberal judges, toughens regulations on business for the public good, promises to pump up welfare spending, promises to protect immigrants rights, and do all the things that progressives want.

Would you vote for that guy knowing all his baggage?
How can he do all that stuff----caring for the public good------and still be corrupt? Isn't that the essence of not corruption? Trump robs every Institution for his own personal gain, lies about it, and hurts people. He doesn't care. He wants power and money.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:10 AM
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The whole question doesn't make sense because the Republican party supports Republican Trump while the Democratic party doesn't even know who the Democratic Trump is. So, by definition, Democrats would not defend Democratic Trump.

Republican Trump represents the Republican party, hence their defense of him.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:30 AM
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Suppose the Dems had a lunatic demagogue who you knew was corrupt to the core and would use the office for personal gain. Suppose you knew he would advocate using agencies to reward his loyalists and punish his enemies.
But... But... It was her turn!
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:49 AM
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Absolutely not. I don't think billionaires belong in government, regardless of good intentions. They tend to be entitled, spoiled and out of touch. I wouldn't hire a plumber to do electrical work, either. To address Trump specifically, his background of abusive treatment of employees and women, his financial shenanigans, his pathological need to lie about everything, and his general smarminess would make him a non-starter for me.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:52 AM
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I can't imagine Democrats nominating anyone remotely as bad as Trump, so for me the hypothetical fails right there.

Undoubtedly many if not most Democrats/progressives (on this board and in general) would support and excuse wretchedly bad behavior by a powerful Democratic politician in order to maintain power over Republicans/conservatives.

Case in point (no, not Clinton): Bob Menendez.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:25 PM
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I'm not a Democrat but I can't say I would vote for a Demo-Trump.
The last election was a perfect example.
I viewed my Presidential choices as that I had to make a choice between eating a dogshit sandwich or a catshit sandwich.
In that situation I would probably choose the Demo_Trump (Actually I voted Libertarian last election)

The most important thing to me is that just because I voted for any candidate doesn't mean I would support them after election.

So, I can understand why people voted for Trump. what I don't understand is why they continue to defend him.

Just because I chose the dogshit sandwich doesn't mean I'm going to brag about how great it tasted.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:02 PM
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Of the Dem names floated here as being somewhat similar to Democratic Trump, the closest one IMO is Rod Blagojevich, who tried to use his office for personal gain. (In another simularity, after being charged he did a media blitz to claim he was innocent and would be vindicated.)

The Illinois House voted 114-1 with 3 abstentions to impeach. The Illinois Senate voted unanimously to remove him from office and prevent him from ever holding public office in Illinois again.

Oh, and that single vote in his favor in the House? It was cast by Deb Mell, who happens to be his sister-in-law.

I can't imagine that if a similar situation occurred on the national stage with the corrupt Dem as POTUS that the result would be any different.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:26 PM
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Fighting the hypothetical on this one. One can't be a corrupt asshole AND champion progressive causes. If that's the image projected by the candidate then progressive voters would shred said candidate with much haste. But if I lose that fight, then the answer depends on whom the candidate is running against. If it's a sane and lawful person who just happens to cleave to conservative social and economic principles then that is where my vote will go. Such a person may espouse views I don't agree with, but they'd also be unlikely to try and ram them through a differently-minded congress that actively represents the will of the people. If the congress happens to be like-minded, then those getting ready to be oppressed didn't make a very compelling argument for their position--welcome to democracy.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:28 PM
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How can he do all that stuff----caring for the public good------and still be corrupt? Isn't that the essence of not corruption?
No. It can be. But one can be simultaneously concerned about public welfare AND greedy about their own needs and wants. Or just be willing to accept some corruption as a necessary part of "getting things done." People are complicated - it is why you can have a mobster who is lovingly dedicated to his family while still comfortable being a cold-blooded killer. Because people can compartmentalize and endlessly justify their less lovely impulses.

Look at the recent college scandals. My understanding is that a couple of those athletic directors took bribes that didn't necessarily go into their pockets. One was using them primarily to subsidize the salaries of his assistant coaches, another was pumping it directly into the athletic program itself. It becomes easy to justify corruption when you convince yourself you're doing it for a "good cause."

Last edited by Tamerlane; 12-03-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 12-03-2019, 03:20 PM
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Suppose the Dems had a lunatic demagogue who you knew was corrupt to the core and would use the office for personal gain. Suppose you knew he would advocate using agencies to reward his loyalists and punish his enemies.

You really don't think of him as someone who's fit for office, yet you know that, inexplicably, he garners about 40-45% of the vote no matter what. Moreover, you know that he religiously supports the progressive cause: rubber stamps liberal judges, toughens regulations on business for the public good, promises to pump up welfare spending, promises to protect immigrants rights, and do all the things that progressives want.

Would you vote for that guy knowing all his baggage?
It depends on the consequences.

If the consequences is more conservative justices that will overturn roe v wade, etc. then most Democrats would go ahead and hold their nose and vote for him.

Some voters seem to be willing to tolerate morally compromised politicians to advance their politics. See Bill Clinton
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Old 12-03-2019, 04:31 PM
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I've been pretty flaccid about voting all my life - I only started voting when it started to seem like it really, really mattered who won. Which is to say, I'm well aware that my vote is worth absolutely and literally nothing. My vote will have no effect whatsoever and is a goddamn waste of time, no matter what. So I only vote for ideological reasons.

Which has given me a good look at what my ideological reasons are.

I will vote for somebody only if one of the following two conditions apply:
1) One person is clearly a great choice, and the other isn't.
2) One person is clearly a horrible choice, and the other isn't.

So I voted for Obama because he seemed really superior (and while he wasn't perfect, I still think he was superior) and I voted against Trump because he was clearly a gigantic shit sandwich.

So what if there was a democratic Trump? Well, I'm presuming that his opponent is still a republican - and specifically a modern republican, which means he's pretty much certain to be at least to some degree a shit sandwich. So you're telling me that my options are to cast a vote between a gigantic shit sandwich and a shit sandwich.

Under these circumstances, I stay home. No support for either side.

Last edited by begbert2; 12-03-2019 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typo
  #46  
Old 12-03-2019, 05:16 PM
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There are plenty of corrupt Democrats. NYC's Sheldon Silver is a prime example. One had to lie to oneself nearly to the same degree Trump supporters lie to themselves to convince oneself that one wasn't voting for a crooked politician. And he hung around for an awfully long time. But he was content with ruling Albany (capital of NY for the geographically-challenged) and never was inflicted on a national stage. So we know that Democrats will vote for corrupt politicians, at least at the state and local levels.

But Trump is on another level. Trump is cult of personality, appealing to the most base of us. I haven't seen any elected Democrat try to do the same. It's not that Democratic candidates don't lie, but they aren't as brazen nor frequent. Most are much more nuanced. Trump's lies are in-your-face. Trump wears his racism on his sleeve; a Silver-type keeps it in the closet.

So no, I don't think a Trump-like Democrat would even get by the primaries, but let's not pretend that Democrats won't put corrupt officials in place, especially in their strongholds (like Chicago and NY).
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  #47  
Old 12-03-2019, 05:18 PM
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Hell no.
  #48  
Old 12-03-2019, 07:55 PM
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It's easy to say "hell no" but realistically, one has to wonder - I think it has to do not so much with being willing to vote for an asshole with the correct platform as it does with being slow to realize just how much of an asshole someone is. Thinking back on Bill Clinton, I cut him a lot more slack than he deserved with respect to his affairs.

For myself, I do have evidence I'd spurn a Democratic candidate based on his/her lack of personal decency. I voted for Republican William Weld - the only time I've ever crossed party lines - over Democrat John Silber, because Silber was such a loathsome creature.
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  #49  
Old 12-03-2019, 08:08 PM
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Often we are forced to choose the lesser of evils. I would vote for a corrupt Democrat before I would vote for Trump if the Democrat could at least fake competence.
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  #50  
Old 12-03-2019, 08:14 PM
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Look at the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was hounded out from running for a second full term in 1968 despite a landslide victory in 1964 and significant domestic legislative accomplishments through his term. Then all his personal behaviour started to be documented after his death in 1972 through his comments on race, his attitude towards women, his bullying nature towards staff, his methods of getting things done, his general filthy mouth (check the tapes!), his power hungry rise through politics. I rarely see a modern day democrat invoke him as an example even if legislatively he did a lot of transformative things. He got far more accomplished than Mr Nice Guy Jimmy Carter, but modern democrats are more likely to invoke Carter because his character is something to admire whereas it's hard to bring up Johnson without acknowledging his methods were dodgy and he was a real SOB.
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