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Old 09-28-2019, 05:50 PM
Nanoda is offline
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What was the plan to regain US government trustworthiness if Trump wasn't impeached?


(I hesitated to post this question last week as I thought it might contentious, but since actual in-name impeachment inquiries are now occurring I feel it'll work better.)

Trump's presidency has been a pretty sad chapter in democracy - by virtue of having zero shame and treating both written laws and unwritten convention with the same complete and total disregard, he's shown a remarkable ability to sidestep what anyone would consider to be obvious and immediate consequences.

That said, it seemed like the plan for many people who recognized this was not to impeach, based on the idea (that I admit I can see an argument for) that should this fail it could galvanize Trump's base in to re-electing him in 2020.

My problem with this is that even if the Democratic party had waited things out and subsequently won a landslide 2020 victory, they would be inheriting a country where the rule of law demonstrably had no sway. Nobody either within or outside the US could trust anyone in any of its institutions on elections, trade, treaties, the environment, anything, ever again.

So how would that have worked?
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:26 PM
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Trump's presidency has been a pretty sad chapter in democracy
On a quibble, it’s been a sad chapter in history.

Democracy doesn’t provide any guarantees as to the quality or competence of those it elects. What matters is how it (or more correctly the constituency) respond to poor governance.

The problem (from my perspective) is that the faction who put Trump in office seem happy with Trump in office.

So any process to short circuit the term in office, is to effectively disenfranchise that (near) majority who voted for Trump because he is Trump. “You are so dumb, your vote doesn’t count” is a bigger assault on democracy than electing Trump.

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they would be inheriting a country where the rule of law demonstrably had no sway.
I don’t accept the premise, you seem to be confusing law and democracy.

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Nobody either within or outside the US could trust anyone in any of its institutions on elections?
Can’t talk for “within the US” and likely am unrepresentative of “outside the US”, but the rest of the world is pragmatic, we’ve had the odd moment of faux democracy ourselves, and perhaps we don’t have the US on the same elevated pedestal you seem to put it.

The legitimate means for the US to reaffirm it’s political institutions is at a bog standard election, where that oversized US bloc that didn’t vote decides to front the ballot box and that bloc that was Trump 2016 decides their interests are not best served by Trump 2020.
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:55 PM
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So how would that have worked?
In a democracy, the desires of the people rule the day. The law is the mandate of the people.

In a republic, a minority of professionals in governance have a clear duty and job to execute the laws and see to it that they are faithfully followed.

In a democratic republic where the the emphasis has moved from the latter word to the former, the representatives in government are fearful of acting without the approval of the people, while the people look to the representatives to tell them which way they should be cheering for. This creates a catch-22 standoff and leads to crisis, because it ultimately comes down to the people and the people simply don't have the information nor time to govern. See Brexit and the political inability for anyone to deal with Trump.

So, it wouldn't have worked. No one is offering a plan. The closest that I have seen is a recent Elizabeth Warren position piece to recreate the Office of Technology Assessment which is a good step to take but, almost certainly, insufficient.

My expectation is that the Democratic party's general plan is to continue on with the country as it is and trust that the Constitution is sufficient. It has worked until now and, to the extent that it doesn't some times, it was at the will of the people and fundamentally the government works at the will of the people. This is as opposed to working as the embodied representatives of the people, granted the trust to execute their work in freedom.

Now, possibly, the system will go back to working after Trump. But, personally, I think of Trump as a symptom of growing polarization, the increasing treatment of political issues as team sports, and the ease of both physical and intellectual movement of people to join people whom they agree with (whether that be the Internet or moving away from the Deep South to go live in New York).

And, worse, I believe that it's necessary to understand how innovation works and what that means for our systems.

Innovation doesn't create something out of nothing. When we learned how to ride horses, the horses didn't fall out of the sky all of a sudden and immediately become usable. The horses were there running around all the time for hundreds of thousands of years. At any point in all of that time, a human could have grabbed one, broken it, and started to ride it around. But until someone did, no one did. Once they did, everyone did. The raw material was there, but no one had the right idea or - having the idea - couldn't figure out the set of techniques to make it work.

Cars existed for a hundred years before someone figured out that you could drive them into a crowd of people, as a means of mass murder. In retrospect, it may seem like something that should have been obvious and yet it just didn't happen. But now that it's a thing, it will continue to be a thing.

There are people in the world with a direct aim of breaking the Constitution and they're doing a good job at narrowing in on the right technique.

And by that, I mean less Donald Trump and more Mitch McConnell.

In Japan, the Prime Minister is fully acknowledged to be a fall guy for The Party. That role exists to serve as a buffer against unpopular policy. If some policy goes wrong, that the party decided, then they blame it on the PM, axe him, put in some other idiot who's good at distracting everyone, and try a different policy or try to implement it more slowly.

Ultimately, good government requires smart people to be in charge but electoral systems aren't particularly good at that.

If the people are electing, then there's very little to prevent the election from becoming America's Got Talent, so far as what the people are looking for - entertainment and spectacle. To be sure, we used to do some amount of trying to elect for intellect and reason but, as said, innovation.

And if the parties are electing, then you're giving all of the power to a single party for a while and, over time, that encourages single-party rule and that power will be used to propagate their success forward. In Japan it happened early. In the US and the UK, it's still migrating that direction.

Ultimately, this leads the parties to internally select a leader and give them the power, while outwardly still running things in accordance with the constitutional setup.

Mitch McConnell (who, I would suspect, is the unofficial person in this role) loves the idea of a single-party state and the RNC have gotten some good experience through Bush II and Donald Trump exactly what sort of person is good as President in terms of being pliable to their desires, directing attention away from them, but being popular with the people.

At the moment, they haven't yet landed on the sort that the Japanese have discovered, but they are certainly narrowing in.

And, idiot though he may be in most things, Trump is a genius at taking advantage of polarization and distracting the media - the one part of the system that's not an official branch of the government - and many will learn from that. Trump's "Caravan / George Soros" venture will prove to be a very strong template for future elections.

Mitch McConnell is the sort of slimy bastard to have noticed that, and I'm sure that Trump is collected a good supply of people who are good at using those same techniques, whom McConnell can hire on after Trump goes to jail.

The issues that need to be dealt with require more than having an Office of Technology Assessment. Even if McConnell isn't the guy to move this to the next step - I'm not saying that this is our future - we have still seen a system that has clearly failed to operate in any sane way and that, eventually, some innovator will act to explicitly take advantage of those same things - and do so effectively.

The problem is, to make those changes, you have to choose country over party - but the only people who get into office are those chosen by the parties. And you also have to reduce democracy - but democracy has been advertised as the end-goal of the country for a hundred years, despite that being in conflict with the explicit words and ideas of our founders. Reversing that idea will take a long time and it's to neither party's advantage to reduce democracy. Democracy is the key to establishing and maintaining party power since the people are easily mobilized to back sports teams.

If the presidency of Donald Trump wasn't a big enough shock to the system for the Democratic candidates for President to even be talking in the slightest bit about how to fix the system, then we can reasonably expect the country to continue to march downhill. The Democrats may well continue to elect somewhat reasonable and sane people to the Presidency and so give us some time to go forward, in sanity. Moscow Mitch might pass away, retire, or lose his position to someone else and someone more boy-scoutish, like Paul Ryan, might take over the position and rope the RNC back towards a more patriotic view of its role in the world.

But polarization isn't just an aspect of the parties fighting each other, it's also an aspect of TV, internet, physical mobility, and other things. Polarization isn't going to shrink on its own and, so long as it exists and isn't being mitigated, it's going to continue to empower the worse and more predatory members of the parties. Eventually, one of them will move to stage II.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 09-28-2019 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:02 PM
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Your first mistake in all this is posting from the position that everything was fine and dandy prior to trump and then all of a sudden Trump is elected and the house is on fire.

When in reality it’s been on a downward slide for a decade. Trump is a symptom of an underlying disease, not the disease itself.

How to fix it? One party has to get out of the fuckin gutter and start leading/inspiring.

That’ll never happen though.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:14 PM
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The first order of business to restore confidence in democracy and rule of law post-Trump, and which would require both his defeat and the removal from power of his faction and not just removing the man himself, would be to codify into proper law all the things that for whole lifetimes we just assumed elected or appointed officials, or aspirants thereto, would or would not do or have expected from them, but which in fact were based solely in a sense of "Unwritten and often Unspoken Expectation of Reasonable Decency and Decorum". 'cause really all the likes of Trump and McConnell have been doing adds up to "Where does it say I can't do that?" and "Who's going to come in and actually stop me?"

Last edited by JRDelirious; 09-28-2019 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
The problem (from my perspective) is that the faction who put Trump in office seem happy with Trump in office.

So any process to short circuit the term in office, is to effectively disenfranchise that (near) majority who voted for Trump because he is Trump. ďYou are so dumb, your vote doesnít countĒ is a bigger assault on democracy than electing Trump.
I don't really get this line of argument. At the time when he was elected, Trump hadn't committed the acts for which he is now likely to be impeached. (One could argue that a reasonable person could have predicted that he would be likely to do something along similar lines, but a prediction isn't a guarantee.) So, how does removing him from office for a bad act committed after people voted for him disenfranchise those people or imply that they are dumb? By that reasoning, it would be disenfranchisement and an assault on democracy to remove any elected official for misconduct at any time.

Honestly, if in some alternate universe Hillary Clinton became president and then got caught conspiring with a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 opponent, I would be unhappy and disappointed in her, I might have a hard time believing the charges at first, I might even try to convince myself the misconduct wasn't serious enough to warrant impeachment -- but I don't think I would feel that anyone calling for her impeachment was calling me dumb. Nor would I feel particularly disenfranchised, unless by some bizarre twist of events we ended up with President Ryan instead of President Kaine at the end of it.
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:39 PM
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The first order of business to restore confidence in democracy and rule of law post-Trump, and which would require both his defeat and the removal from power of his faction and not just removing the man himself, would be to codify into proper law all the things that for whole lifetimes we just assumed elected or appointed officials, or aspirants thereto, would or would not do or have expected from them, but which in fact were based solely in a sense of "Unwritten and often Unspoken Expectation of Reasonable Decency and Decorum". 'cause really all the likes of Trump and McConnell have been doing adds up to "Where does it say I can't do that?" and "Who's going to come in and actually stop me?"
Trouble is, the list of new laws would prove to be infinite.


I mean, you'd have to include EVERYthing that it would be illegal for the president to do, in detail.

- Ha, you forgot to say explicitly that it's illegal for the president to crap in his pants on the National Mall.

- Whoops, you said that the president cannot accept money from foreign leaders, but you said nothing about the first lady!

- I am ordering the bombing of Canada - just for the hell of it. Nothing can stop me! ha ha!
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Old 09-28-2019, 09:48 PM
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I doubt there is one.

Passing new laws would be blocked by the republicans to codify all the things that used to be considered decorum and professionalism but we now know we can't rely on (laws against nepotism, laws requiring a presidential candidate to undergo legitimate independent medical exams, laws requiring them to release their taxes, etc).

Also the world knows that the 63 million people who voted for Trump aren't going anywhere. Trump is the symptom. He is a symptom of a nation so mired in white nationalism that we will abandon all morals, intellect and competence as long as someone is on the 'right' side of the culture wars. The world knows we aren't competent to lead and will just look to Europe and China to lead, no matter who wins in 2020. America is going through the same civil war places like Pakistan are mired in. On one hand you have traditionalists who believe in religious fundamentalism, sexism, racism, authoritarianism, etc. and on the other you have the reformers who believe in egalitarianism, democracy, rule of law, etc. The US is too dysfunctional due to this civil war to lead.

Because the 63 million people who voted for Trump will turn around and vote for another dangerously incompetent white nationalist in 2024 or 2028.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 09-28-2019 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:55 PM
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I don't really get this line of argument. At the time when he was elected, Trump hadn't committed the acts for which he is now likely to be impeached.
If impeachment was a legal process, weight of evidence, presumption of innocence and all that legalistic principles malarkey your point holds.

But itís a partisan political process. Itís ďyour guys sticking by your guy who their guys are sticking it to.Ē
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:12 AM
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Plan? To renew trust? Trust a government that's been rogue since Geo. Washington started breaking Indian treaties? Constitution says treaties are the law. Ha. Ha. Trust a government that's been world-class corrupt for most of its existence? There's a plan?

(America's problem isn't corrupt politicians, but that they're pretty inexpensive. College coaches take bigger bribes to deliver less.)

Tramp lost the vote. Say again: Tramp lost the vote. A candidate could take 28% of the national vote, and the White House. Who could trust that result? Some state legislatures and congressional blocs are run by thugs taking 55-60% of seats with 40-45% of votes. The losers win. Do losers rule well? Who can trust such results?

(Eisenhower said a party without morals is only a power-grabbing gang of thugs.)

Side note: Forget that republic vs democracy crap. Most US constitutional rights (look-em up) are VOTING rights, i.e. democracy to pick our republic's representatives and executive. Other republics don't bother with a voting charade. Move to China or DPRK or Congo for the full republican experience.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:56 PM
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I donít accept the premise, you seem to be confusing law and democracy.
I don't think I am - for some time Trump has been openly flouting emolluments restrictions. Other countries have confidence votes that can immediately bring down goverments; from what I can see, impeachment is the legality to deal with the US 4-year fixed-term in the face of a criminal president.

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[...] perhaps we donít have the US on the same elevated pedestal you seem to put it.
I don't know where you get that idea - like most Canadians I live in perpetial annoyance with the US (possibly excluding Obama's tenure), but it was always understood that whatever agreements the current Whitehouse signed, the next one would honour. Trump has thrown that out the window.



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But polarization isn't just an aspect of the parties fighting each other, it's also an aspect of TV, internet, physical mobility, and other things.
That's a lot to think about. I've long thought that the lack of a third (or even more) parties in the US has lead to a polarization of note just US politics but of a number of other things too. While I can vaguely mark my coworkers from "left" to "right", we can still discuss discrete issues at lunch if we want, and I don't consider myself beholden to any one parties platform. In the last municipal, provincial and federal elections I voted for 3 different parties.


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Your first mistake in all this is posting from the position that everything was fine and dandy prior to trump and then all of a sudden Trump is elected and the house is on fire
I never said the previous governments were amazing, but at the very least they paid lip service to the laws they were meant to be following.

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A candidate could take 28% of the national vote, and the White House.
Well, I certainly agree that the electoral college system has long outlived it's purpose. Maybe I'm still just being naively idealistic on the rest.

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[...]codify into proper law all the things that for whole lifetimes we just assumed elected or appointed officials, or aspirants thereto, would or would not do[...]
Sounds great (and I'd be all for it) but I don't think that could ever have a hope of even being discussed without Trump's impeachment, not just defeat. Even if resoundingly voted out of office, it would leave room for someone in the future to perform the whole circus act again, even worse. It sounds juvenile when I write it, but I believe Trump has to face actual legal consequences for his actions, not just ones at the ballot box.
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:06 PM
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Your first mistake in all this is posting from the position that everything was fine and dandy prior to trump and then all of a sudden Trump is elected and the house is on fire.

When in reality itís been on a downward slide for a decade. Trump is a symptom of an underlying disease, not the disease itself.

How to fix it? One party has to get out of the fuckin gutter and start leading/inspiring.

Thatíll never happen though.
The real issue as I see it wasn't so much that Trump got elected, but rather that Republican Senators and Reps doubled down on his bullshit out of party loyalty and/or fear, rather than acting for what's right or legal.

THAT is the big problem- they've entirely abrogated their responsibilities to keep the Executive branch in check out of craven self interest.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:20 PM
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The best way to bring back some measure of trust is to vote him out. And get a dem majority in the senate.

That wont fix everything but it would be the will of the people and a start.

Impeachment is currently not wanted by the American Public, so impeachment would lower trust in the government.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:46 PM
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Side note: Forget that republic vs democracy crap. Most US constitutional rights (look-em up) are VOTING rights, i.e. democracy to pick our republic's representatives and executive. Other republics don't bother with a voting charade. Move to China or DPRK or Congo for the full republican experience.
Lol. Voting rights are one of the most weakly protected and unspecified rights in the Constitution.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:17 PM
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Impeachment is currently not wanted by the American Public...
From where did you get this idea?
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:18 PM
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The real issue as I see it wasn't so much that Trump got elected, but rather that Republican Senators and Reps doubled down on his bullshit out of party loyalty and/or fear, rather than acting for what's right or legal.

THAT is the big problem- they've entirely abrogated their responsibilities to keep the Executive branch in check out of craven self interest.
Yes but their self interest is based on Trumps voters being highly loyal. Trump has about a 90% approval rating from GOP voters, and GOP politicians know it.

If GOP senators and reps expected their voters to be mature, moral, intelligent people they wouldn't back Trump. Yes they are motivated solely by self interest but sadly their self interest requires appealing to the worst impulses of some of the worst people in the country.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:35 PM
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Lol. Voting rights are one of the most weakly protected and unspecified rights in the Constitution.
Pull up the USC on your screen. Search for the word 'right'. Count and locate the hits. Notic how many cover voting. And consider that 'rights' imply responsibility. You can hand it over to me by neglecting to vote. Don't worry, pal, I'll cast my vote responsibly, heh heh.

Do legislators ignore the USC when convenient? Vote-em out. They are enemies.

While at it, search USC articles for 'freedom'; count and locate the hits. I mean hit. Just one. And it's not "nothing left to lose," as a West Point graduate wrote. We have FREEDOM of speech and the press, period. But no freedom of sedition.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:57 AM
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From where did you get this idea?
Umm, perhaps the polls which have been linked to in various threads about a dozen times now?


https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...t-impeachment/

The polling we have so far mostly shows an uptick in support for impeachment. But according to the initial polls at least, public opinion doesnít seem to have shifted dramatically from where it was following both the release of special counsel Robert Muellerís report on April 18 and Muellerís testimony before Congress on July 24. The majority of Americans still do not favor impeachment, although more than two-thirds of Democrats do....

Finally, just over the last day or so, some polls now show a bare majority in favor of a impeachment inquiry.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:01 AM
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Finally, just over the last day or so, some polls now show a bare majority in favor of a impeachment inquiry.
I hope serious pollsters clearly explain to the polled the differences between a Congressional impeachment inquiry (gathering evidence), a Congressional impeachment (indictment on charges for trial), a Senate trial conducted by CJOTUS, and conviction and removal by the Senate.

How many Americans, and likely voters, want him either gone or retained no matter what else happens? How many are eager for the process to proceed? How many wish this would all just go the fuck away?

Are pollsters asking about government trustworthiness after various outcomes? Is trustworthiness now a dead horse, never to return?
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:57 AM
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Yes but their self interest is based on Trumps voters being highly loyal. Trump has about a 90% approval rating from GOP voters, and GOP politicians know it.

If GOP senators and reps expected their voters to be mature, moral, intelligent people they wouldn't back Trump. Yes they are motivated solely by self interest but sadly their self interest requires appealing to the worst impulses of some of the worst people in the country.
I'm not so sure it's necessarily pandering to the "worst impulses of some of the worst people in the country", as much as there's a very large bloc of voters out there who are absolutely, positively convinced in as ironclad of a way as possible, that the Democrats are (pick any 4 below), and that voting Republican is the only way to defend against this terrible encroachment on our basic rights and freedoms.
  • Wanting to take your hard-earned tax dollars and give them to shiftless people.
  • Wanting to force you into a government-run healthcare system that will give you less choice and less coverage
  • Wanting to raise taxes on the middle class/rural people for the benefit of people in urban areas
  • Wanting to be soft toward our foreign enemies (who need a good ass-kicking)
  • More concerned with trying to make everyone equal rather than clearing the way for everyone to succeed.
  • Wanting to tell you what you can and can't buy as far as vehicles go.
  • Tie our countries even more tightly to NAFTA and the UN and thereby reduce our sovereignty and independence.
  • Take your right to self defense away because some morons in the inner city can't manage not to be criminal and shoot each other up.
  • Restrict your freedom as to what you use for that self-defense, because of some mentally ill lunatics who do crazy stuff, while tens(hundreds?) of millions of law-abiding gun owners have no issues whatsoever.
  • Planning on using your hard-earned tax dollars on illegal aliens, who not only are not citizens, but who are de-facto criminals by virtue of being illegal aliens. (this is doubly bad in their mind- not only are we spending American tax money on non-Americans, but we're spending it on CRIMINAL non-Americans.)

Now we know this is a very skewed and somewhat incorrect viewpoint, but it's one they old- I've had the misfortune to have some interaction with my brother-in-law's brother in law (his sister's husband- my wife and I call him 'Cletus', after the Simpsons character). He's like a walking, talking tea party/super-conservative meme spewer. This kind of thing is really what worries him- I spent most of a family gathering mocking him about how stupid what he was saying is. He was going on about how CAFE requirements for vehicles were just a way to stick it to the country people, and that Obama wanted to put us onto the "Amero" with Mexico and Canada, and how Obama this, and Obama that, etc.... Surprisingly none was actually outright racist, but it all had a very large flavor of Democrats=sissified urbanites who want to patronistically solve the problems of the urban poor at the expense of the larger, rural/suburban middle class, who are already put-upon, and don't need this bullshit, and think the sissified urbanites should STFU, and the urban poor should suck it up because they're responsible for their own problems.

And I've heard basically the same thing out of some others in my family and in my wider social circle, although not as bluntly idiotic as what Cletus spouts.

Last edited by bump; 09-30-2019 at 09:57 AM.
  #21  
Old 09-30-2019, 10:19 AM
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I don't think there's any plan, just hope that we get the bastard out either by impeachment/conviction or by election.

I disagree with some of what has been said. Impeachment does not disenfranchise anybody. Those who voted for him did so either out of party loyalty, distrust of Hillary, single issues (guns, abortion), or just plain wanted to shake things up. Most didn't knowingly vote for a criminal. They thought he as a funny buffoon, someone to shrug off political correctness, someone who would stand up for the US. I'd like to think that if they knew he'd be a common criminal, they wouldn't have voted for him.

Enough about riling up his base. His base is always riled up. They always vote, and they always vote for the guy with the (R) after his name. Fun prediction, as he leaves office, the Fox news graphic will show a (D) after his name. What impeachment will do is give notice to the American people that the law means something. If he gets away with it and somehow gets re-elected, then the US is completely finished.

There's nothing wrong with the country that getting Republicans out of office wouldn't largely correct. Sure, there's a vile white nationalist segment. They didn't begin with Donald, they just became freer to express their vulgar beliefs. Take away their political leader, and they crawl back under the rocks from which they came.
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:47 PM
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I hope serious pollsters clearly explain to the polled the differences between a Congressional impeachment inquiry (gathering evidence), a Congressional impeachment (indictment on charges for trial), a Senate trial conducted by CJOTUS, and conviction and removal by the Senate.

How many Americans, and likely voters, want him either gone or retained no matter what else happens? How many are eager for the process to proceed? How many wish this would all just go the fuck away?
..
All good points.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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Cars existed for a hundred years before someone figured out that you could drive them into a crowd of people, as a means of mass murder.
For very low values of "a hundred", perhaps, or if you're ignoring the crimes of, say, Olga Hepnarova in 1973.
  #24  
Old 09-30-2019, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat
Cars existed for a hundred years before someone figured out that you could drive them into a crowd of people, as a means of mass murder.
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
For very low values of "a hundred", perhaps, or if you're ignoring the crimes of, say, Olga Hepnarova in 1973.
Wikipedia, Vehicle-ramming incidents: "1953 Elias Antonio case, Syrian merchant who killed one person and wounded up to 29 others in Bento Ribeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when ramming his car into a carnival block".

Dating the auto era from the 1895 Selden patent, 'hundred' is less than 60. Ha. I haven't found if classic gangland wars involved driving into groups, or if teamsters drove loaded horse-drawn wagons into gathered pedestrians. I bet charioteers rolled over any peasant gangs in their way. Crushing the innocent is a long tradition.

Which has nothing to do with government trustworthiness. But IMHO fear and loathing of government will drive US secession pushes. Is Heinlein's FRIDAY a model of the breakup? Does America end with a bang or several whimpers?
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:35 PM
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Pull up the USC on your screen. Search for the word 'right'. Count and locate the hits. Notic how many cover voting. And consider that 'rights' imply responsibility. You can hand it over to me by neglecting to vote. Don't worry, pal, I'll cast my vote responsibly, heh heh.
.
No, you search the Constitution and report back how many rights relate to voting. Very few. Maybe include a short paragraph explaining why women, black and landless people weren't allowed to vote. Thanks in advance, pal!

Last edited by CarnalK; 09-30-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:44 PM
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No, you search the Constitution and report back how many rights relate to voting. Very few. Maybe include a short paragraph explaining why women, black and landless people weren't allowed to vote. Thanks in advance, pal!
The 15th and 19th amendments are actually about as clear as the constitution gets.

The reason it's been possible to deny voting rights to women, black people, etc. is primarily twofold:

-States and the federal government have since had varying laws about what exactly constitutes racial discrimination. Many states came up with very complicated rules to deny black people the vote that technically never mentioned race, but were designed to be enforced only for black people. It took the voting rights act (which is still on the books, although it was neutered by the supreme court) to strengthen federal enforcement over states putting arbitrary restrictions intended to marginalize racial or other groups.

-You put any right you want in the law, but if societies completely reject it, it's not going to matter. Essentially the reason the right is actually respected today is that a lot of brave people were willing to risk arrest and murder to try and vote, and they completely changed the way large portions of society looked at their right to vote and "the violence inherent in the system."

The reason it used to be possible to deny voting rights to women, is that it wasn't in the constitution. Since the 19th women's right to vote has been much better protected than the 15th.

Last edited by str8cashhomie; 09-30-2019 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:52 PM
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The 15th and 19th amendments are actually about as clear as the constitution gets.
Uh huh, both added about a hundred years or so after the start. In case you didn't notice, the guy I was addressing suggests that most rights in the Constitution are somehow related to voting.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:59 PM
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Uh huh, both added about a hundred years or so after the start. In case you didn't notice, the guy I was addressing suggests that most rights in the Constitution are somehow related to voting.
Everything in the constitution has equal weight regardless of when it was added. A constitutional right is a constitutional right, doesn't matter if it was agreed in the constitutional convention or hundreds of years later.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:05 PM
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Yeah, that's true. Now, pull up the USC on your screen. Search for the word 'right'. Count and locate the hits. Notic how many cover voting.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:10 PM
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Yeah, that's true. Now, pull up the USC on your screen. Search for the word 'right'. Count and locate the hits. Notic how many cover voting.
This is true, the word "most" was wrong. However it is also wrong to say that the right to vote is "unspecified" or not seriously protected by the constitution. Frankly there aren't more amendments about it because the ones on the books cast a wide net.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:51 PM
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A wide net that apparently has a few holes in it.
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Old 10-01-2019, 04:39 AM
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A wide net that apparently has a few holes in it.
VOTIES, RIGHTS, US CONSTITUTION - a few extracts (and comments)

https://constitutionus.com

ARTICLE V
The Congress... shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or... shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified...

(The Amendment articles are part and parcel of the Constitution.)
__

ARTICLE I, SECTION 2
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States...

ARTICLE XVII - Amendment 17
1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years...

(The US republic's representatives, both chambers, are to be elected by the people. By voting. Folks disliking democracy have other options. But funny... few people seem anxious to emigrate to non-democratic republics.)
__

ARTICLE XV - Amendment 15
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

(That's pretty general except for women, the poor, under-21s, and Native Americans. The trick here and below is getting Congress to pass and enforce "appropriate legislation".)

ARTICLE XIX - Amendment 19
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

(Women get to vote. More generally, citizens of any sex get to vote.)

ARTICLE XXIV - Amendment 24
1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

(Poor folks get to vote, too, but only on Federal election or primary days.)

ARTICLE XXVI - Amendment 26
1: The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

(Eve Of Destruction drove this one: "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'.")
__

ARTICLE XIV - Amendment 14
1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

(This still denied votes to Native Americans; citizenship awaited a 1924 law.)

2: Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers... But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any... inhabitants of such State, being... of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced...

(Denying voting rights means losing representatives i.e. clout. So don't.)
__

OTHER ENUMERATED RIGHTS

ARTICLE I: ...securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

(The following instances of the word 'right' not associated with 'vote' are found in amendments. Those disliking amendments can chuck-em.)

- Amendment I: ...right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- Amendment IV: ...right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
- Amendment V: ...right of the people to keep and bear Arms...
- Amendment VI: ...right to a speedy and public [criminal] trial...
- Amendment VII: ...right of [common law] trial by jury...
- Amendment XX: ["rights of choice" of Congress to replace a dead president and VP]

Sorry if I miscounted 'rights' in a prior post. Enumerated rights not about voting are: one right for creators, five for the people, and one for Congress. Another five rights specify voting. Legislators are specifically to be chosen by the voters. I'd say these articles establish voting rights in this democratic republic. YMMV.
__

Back to topic: WE CAN'T TRUST GOVERNMENTS THAT RIG ELECTIONS AND EXCLUDE VOTERS. That's the fast answer. DON'T EMPOWER LOSERS. That's even faster.

How to cleanse US federal, state, and local governments and restore trust? Start by killing gerrymandering, punishing voter suppression, and counting votes honestly. Stalin uttered an uncomfortable truth: IT'S NOT WHO VOTES THAT MATTERS; IT'S WHO COUNTS THE VOTES.

Then probe every politician's finances; reveal who owns them. And then... sorry, I have no comprehensive program. Not a candidate.
  #33  
Old 10-01-2019, 05:07 PM
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In a democracy, the desires of the people rule the day. The law is the mandate of the people.

In a republic, a minority of professionals in governance have a clear duty and job to execute the laws and see to it that they are faithfully followed.
Incorrect. 'Republic' is a form of government run by representatives rather than royalty or priests. 'Democracy' is a method of selecting those representatives rather than by inheritance (as in the Venetian Republic) or lots.

Quote:
In a democratic republic where the the emphasis has moved from the latter word to the former, [1] the representatives in government are fearful of acting without the approval of the people, [2] while the people look to the representatives to tell them which way they should be cheering for.
[1] Elected officials SHOULD fear acting against the interests and approval of their constituents. "The consent of the governed," it's called. Otherwise it's tyranny.

[2] Speak for yourself, please. I despise the notions and actions of my sleazy congresscritter and most county supervisors, deeply-embedded in old-boy networks of self-serving favor. Like the Venetian Republic. I do not look to them, or any political figure, for guidance. YMMV.

I mentioned before: Migrants seem to head for democratic republics or parliamentary states rather than the alternatives. I don't see mass influxes on the borders of most of the world's 200+ 'republics'. Those who dislike democracy can skip the crowds.
  #34  
Old 10-01-2019, 06:49 PM
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A propos the question of whether the public favors impeachment, the Votemaster has this (emphasis in the original):
Quote:
The current impeachment fervor has been going on for a week or so, which is long enough for a number of polls of the question to have been produced. The latest is from CNN/SSRS, and covers the timespan from Sept. 24-29, which means that the substantive allegations against Trump were publicly known for the entire run of the poll. It may well be the worst poll for the President yet, when it comes to his current crisis, as 47% of respondents say they support impeachment and removal from office, as compared to 45% who don't feel that way.
Probably about equal within the usual margin of errors in such polls. But already half the population who care, have already rendered their verdict. Assuming more solid evidence emerges, this should increase significantly.
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