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  #51  
Old 10-12-2019, 10:36 AM
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Oh, I don't know. This seems a good bit more plausible to me than "President Pelosi". YMMV.
Gosh, I wonder why it'd seem plausible to you. Wonder wonder wonder.
  #52  
Old 10-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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Oh, I don't know. This seems a good bit more plausible to me than "President Pelosi". YMMV.
Speaking of plausibilities, had Paul Ryan been a strong, honest man, it could've been "President Ryan". But he wasn't, so it won't be.
  #53  
Old 10-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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Beto is just staking out the centrist vote for 2036.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:09 PM
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I don't know, maybe: Make sure they don't win in 2020, so he can try again in 2024, as the darling of the Left.
So he's going to undermine his own party, just so he will be rewarded in the next election, by the same people he jacked up in the previous election. That's your hypothesis?

My hypothesis is that he's just not a very good candidate, and upon realizing he's not going to win, he's making stupid mistakes in a last ditch attempt to garner attention to a dying campaign.

But lets just roll with 'deliberate election sabotage'; it's so much more intriguing.
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  #55  
Old 10-12-2019, 02:25 PM
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My hypothesis is that he's just not a very good candidate, and upon realizing he's not going to win, he's making stupid mistakes in a last ditch attempt to garner attention to a dying campaign.
But he's getting THREE PERCENT! Answer for that, libs!!
  #56  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:51 PM
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Beto has also sabotaged his chances in Texas in the future as well, which is cool.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:03 PM
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Beto is responsible for the Texas Lunch. Damn him to hell.
  #58  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:03 PM
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... My hypothesis is that he's just not a very good candidate, and upon realizing he's not going to win, he's making stupid mistakes in a last ditch attempt to garner attention to a dying campaign. ...
It's certainly a plausible one. Probably the most likely. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
  #59  
Old 10-12-2019, 09:11 PM
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We wouldn't even be mentioning Beto's name had he not run against Ted Cruz, and in a more normal era, we wouldn't even be talking about Senator Ted Cruz. Fringe politics begets fringe politics.
  #60  
Old 10-12-2019, 10:44 PM
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We wouldn't even be mentioning Beto's name had he not run against Ted Cruz, and in a more normal era, we wouldn't even be talking about Senator Ted Cruz. Fringe politics begets fringe politics.
Honest question: what makes Beto a fringe politician? (Other than his "I know Im gone, better go out with a bang!" stunt with guns recently)
  #61  
Old 10-12-2019, 11:38 PM
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Is John Hickenlooper deliberately sabotaging the Dems? His goofy last name alone will alienate moderates and independents and Dems should care about what they think. I know this because I spend sooo much time talking to moderates and independents. He could be making sure they don't win in 2020, so he can try again in 2024, as the darling of the Left, because that is a tried and true strategy.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:25 AM
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Honest question: what makes Beto a fringe politician? (Other than his "I know Im gone, better go out with a bang!" stunt with guns recently)
Maybe fringe wasn't the best choice of words. Beto's not all that 'fringe-y' but he probably wouldn't have become a household name were it not for his candidacy against Cruz. Beto would have likely been obliterated against someone like Cornyn or Abbott; it's just that Cruz is such a polarizing ass that if you put Willie Nelson against him, Nelson just might pull off the upset.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:06 AM
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Maybe fringe wasn't the best choice of words. Beto's not all that 'fringe-y' but he probably wouldn't have become a household name were it not for his candidacy against Cruz. Beto would have likely been obliterated against someone like Cornyn or Abbott; it's just that Cruz is such a polarizing ass that if you put Willie Nelson against him, Nelson just might pull off the upset.
Of course now that Francis has let his mask drop for the whole world to see, he will never have a chance in Texas again. Which is great.

And as was already know, Cruz was right all along about him. He turned out to be exactly the douchebag everyone thought he was.

And yeah, Francis is fringe as fuck. He’s firmly planted both feet in the AOC camp of stupid.
  #64  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:39 AM
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The Vice Presidency is probably out of the picture now. He would be a liability on the ticket now.

That said it's a strange phenomenom about him. Media darling in 2018, could do no wrong. Urged on by the media to run for president. Got fantastic early fundraising numbers from small donors. Then everything ground to a halt.

That Vanity Fair cover did him dirty to an extent and then the things he was being praised for in 18' were being mocked in 19'. Things that are seen as cringe and overbearing now were seen as inspiring and enthuasistic then. Perhaps the real story was Ted Cruz was so despised by the democrats rather than Beto was admired and therefore everyone misinterpreted the enthusiasm for Beto.

He actually has pretty detailed plans and his climate plan and immigration plan are among the better ones in my opinion but he's too eccentric to win a debate with this many candidates on stage (hands all over the place, talks too fast) so the time to build momentum has come and went.

Klobuchar had a better Fundraising quarter than him. I actually like her so I'm pleased but it's bad news for Beto.
  #65  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:10 AM
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While tax exemptions for religious institutions has been upheld, I don't think anything in the 1st amendment compels tax exempt status. The Congress could pass laws to tax churches like any other organization and not run afoul of the 1st amendment. It's not been the practice since the country's founding, but given that tax exempt status can be revoked based on criteria, it stands to reason that this is an available option.

I'd prefer the entire structure of not for profit entities be eliminated.
While O'Rourke's specific proposal is one of the most blatantly unconstitutional ideas I've heard advanced by a politician on the national stage in quite a while even taxing religious institutions in general would almost certainly run afoul of the Free Exercise Clause. The Court has long held to the maxim "the power to tax is the power to destroy" and consistently applied it far outside its original context and specifically in the context of Constitutional Rights. And it has also noted that the practicalities of administering any such tax would almost certainly involve excessive government entanglement with religion (Walz v Tax Commission ). The chances of a Court, regardless of its make-up, upsetting this long standing status quo anytime soon are slim to none.

So we have O'Rourke suggesting a blatant violation of Equal Protection, Free Speech and almost certainly Free Exercise, Sanders advocating for the abolition of Corporate Personhood, and Warren proposing that Congress can extend its oversight of Federal judges to the Supreme Court. The first is ridiculously unconstitutional, the second is ridiculously stupid and short-sighted and possibly unconstitutional as well, the last is probably unconstitutional and all of them are never, ever going to happen. So are these candidates actually this ignorant or even stupid or do they know better and are shamelessly appealing to a voter base that doesn't?
  #66  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:16 AM
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So we have O'Rourke suggesting a blatant violation of Equal Protection, Free Speech and almost certainly Free Exercise, Sanders advocating for the abolition of Corporate Personhood, and Warren proposing that Congress can extend its oversight of Federal judges to the Supreme Court. The first is ridiculously unconstitutional, the second is ridiculously stupid and short-sighted and possibly unconstitutional as well, the last is probably unconstitutional and all of them are never, ever going to happen. So are these candidates actually this ignorant or even stupid or do they know better and are shamelessly appealing to a voter base that doesn't?
It is likely, that when someone advances policy positions you disagree with, that they're stupid and ignorant--not that they might know something you don't, or have a disagreement over constitutional law with you. Well spotted.
  #67  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:30 AM
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For example, Here's probably what you're talking about with Sanders. All his amendment does ("all"!) is to specify that corporations may be regulated fully by the legislature, and that the people involved in the corporations may not appeal to the courts for the protection of the corporation's rights. They may still of course ask for the protection of their own rights.

You say that his call may be unconstitutional. To be clear, are you saying that his proposed amendment to the constitution may be unconstitutional?

As for Warren, is this what you're talking about? Calling for extending the judicial code of ethics to cover the Supreme Court? Why the hell would that be unconstitutional? Congress can impeach a judge, and that's the only remedy AFAIK (please correct me if I'm wrong) for other federal judges who violate the code of ethics; this would just say that Congress ought to impeach a SC judge who violates it, right?

The SC can still conduct their business as they see fit. But if they violate that code, they'd know Congress was taking a close look at them.
  #68  
Old 10-13-2019, 10:42 AM
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It is likely, that when someone advances policy positions you disagree with, that they're stupid and ignorant--not that they might know something you don't, or have a disagreement over constitutional law with you. Well spotted.
On what possible basis are you making this assignment of probability? Is it based on your extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law? Because that's what I'm basing my analysis on and maybe I do indeed know more about that subject than either you or the three candidates in question. See not everyone takes a position on an issue based on their biases and not knowing whatsoever what they're talking about.

I explained above why O'Rourke's proposal to tax churches is almost certainly unconstitutional as violative of the Free Exercise Clause. However, specifically singling out churches and other organizations who refuse to support gay marriage/rights is viewpoint discrimination and is as much a crystal clear example of an unconstitutional law as you are ever going to find. If you have any legal cites that say differently or are going to argue that this isn't viewpoint discrimination or would somehow survive strict scrutiny by all means go right ahead.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:18 AM
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For example, Here's probably what you're talking about with Sanders. All his amendment does ("all"!) is to specify that corporations may be regulated fully by the legislature, and that the people involved in the corporations may not appeal to the courts for the protection of the corporation's rights. They may still of course ask for the protection of their own rights.

You say that his call may be unconstitutional. To be clear, are you saying that his proposed amendment to the constitution may be unconstitutional?

As for Warren, is this what you're talking about? Calling for extending the judicial code of ethics to cover the Supreme Court? Why the hell would that be unconstitutional? Congress can impeach a judge, and that's the only remedy AFAIK (please correct me if I'm wrong) for other federal judges who violate the code of ethics; this would just say that Congress ought to impeach a SC judge who violates it, right?

The SC can still conduct their business as they see fit. But if they violate that code, they'd know Congress was taking a close look at them.
As for Sanders his basic proposal is an idiotic idea that obviously fails to appreciate the enormous implications of what he's advocating. If he attempts to advance it through statute then there's a good chance it would be found unconstitutional. If he is advocating for change through Constitutional Amendment then it obviously couldn't be unconstitutional but would still remain a massively stupid idea and a legal nightmare as the courts tried to reconcile it with other parts of the Constitution. So when you say "all it does..." are you sure you understand the full implications of the language of his proposal legally-speaking? Because I'm virtually certain that neither you nor Sanders in fact do.

Your characterization of Warren's proposal is similarly an over-simplification. As with all things of this nature the devil is in the details but the basic Constitutional issue is that the Federal Courts are a creation of Congress and SCOTUS is a creation of the Constitution and a co-equal branch of government. Constitutionally speaking the remedy of impeachment, specifically mentioned in the Constitution, may be the only authority Congress can exert over a co-equal branch. There's also the not-no-insignificant fact that any such laws Constitutionality would be decided by the very institution the law seeks to cover.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:32 AM
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As for Sanders his basic proposal is an idiotic idea that obviously fails to appreciate the enormous implications of what he's advocating. If he attempts to advance it through statute then there's a good chance it would be found unconstitutional. If he is advocating for change through Constitutional Amendment then it obviously couldn't be unconstitutional but would still remain a massively stupid idea and a legal nightmare as the courts tried to reconcile it with other parts of the Constitution. So when you say "all it does..." are you sure you understand the full implications of the language of his proposal legally-speaking? Because I'm virtually certain that neither you nor Sanders in fact do.
First, you're not appreciating my parenthetical comment. It was important. Second, you're not even clear on whether he's advancing it through statute or amendment, but you think you're in a position to criticize him? That tells me all I need to know about your argument.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:02 PM
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Agree. It would have generated less controversy if it were all or none.

Sure, many Christians oppose churches being taxed no matter what. But what Beto said here is akin to a pro-lifer saying, "Abortions for white women, but none for women of color!"
This is not a fair assessment. He did not make the statement, he was asked a question.

A better analogy would be for him to have been asked, "Should women of color be allowed to have abortions?" and if he says "Yes." then you jump on him for discrimination.

If he doesn't feel that any churches should be protected by tax exempt status for non-charity work, but is asked how he feels about the protected church status for non-charity work of churches that spread hateful messages, is there a better way to answer this "yes or no" question?
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:37 PM
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This is not a fair assessment. He did not make the statement, he was asked a question.

A better analogy would be for him to have been asked, "Should women of color be allowed to have abortions?" and if he says "Yes." then you jump on him for discrimination.

If he doesn't feel that any churches should be protected by tax exempt status for non-charity work, but is asked how he feels about the protected church status for non-charity work of churches that spread hateful messages, is there a better way to answer this "yes or no" question?
But he doesn’t just say “yes”; he says “yes”, and then — since he doesn’t get asked another question — he still has the floor, and, well, he keeps talking. Goes on for dozens and dozens of words, in workmanlike sentence after workmanlike sentence, during which time he could explain that he favors removing the tax break for all churches. Instead, he then limits himself to only talking about how there can be no tax break “for anyone, any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights, that denies the full civil rights, of everyone in America.”

That’s a bizarre thing to say if he meant “and also for any organization that doesn’t deny those human rights, please forget that I just mentioned the bit about denying human rights; threw that part in even though it’s irrelevant; there should be no such tax break regardless, so kindly ignore the red herring.”
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:55 PM
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But he doesn’t just say “yes”; he says “yes”, and then — since he doesn’t get asked another question — he still has the floor, and, well, he keeps talking. Goes on for dozens and dozens of words, in workmanlike sentence after workmanlike sentence, during which time he could explain that he favors removing the tax break for all churches. Instead, he then limits himself to only talking about how there can be no tax break “for anyone, any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights, that denies the full civil rights, of everyone in America.”

That’s a bizarre thing to say if he meant “and also for any organization that doesn’t deny those human rights, please forget that I just mentioned the bit about denying human rights; threw that part in even though it’s irrelevant; there should be no such tax break regardless, so kindly ignore the red herring.”
Yeah, that's answering the question that is asked, rather than the question that you want to answer. I'm not a huge fan of O'Rourke, but I can respect that. It would be like, in the abortion analogy, going on to explain why allowing women of color to have access to abortions is a good thing. That he did not bring up an unrelated topic about a question that was not asked is not a major failing, IMHO.

Now, the fact that he actually answered the question that was asked, rather than responding to the question he wants to answer does make him a poor politician, as a good politician never gets themselves into a situation like this, and they do so by not answering the questions as asked.

Has he been asked about his stance on automatic tax exemption for non-charitable religious institutions? Has he made his feelings known? I ask this because I do not know, and a simple google doesn't really come up with anything other than this singular statement.

If I was feeling particularly cynical, I could say that "any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights, that denies the full civil rights, of everyone in America.” applies to most churches. There are not many that are fully on board with equality as regards to sexual orientation or identity, and there are quite a few that still see discrimination of the sexes to be right and proper according to their beliefs. Some even still seem to struggle with accepting racial equality.

Personally, I say let churches file non-profit status with their charitable work like any other charity, but not get automatic exemption to everything deemed religious, whether or not it has any benefit to anyone outside that church.

In any case, his views matter very little unless the 42 democratic nomination candidates currently ahead of him drop out.
  #74  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:24 PM
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Here is how Slate put it:

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Given his low and static polling, it’s hard to tell what, exactly, Beto O’Rourke hopes to accomplish by staying in the presidential race. But while his actual goal seems a bit elusive, he is increasingly playing a very specific role: the human straw man, the embodiment of every seemingly irrational conservative fear about what the left really wants. ... These are not the only far-left positions Beto has staked out recently. He’s strongly pro reparations, for instance. But his comments about churches and guns are especially remarkable, in that he’s essentially adopting unpopular stances that Democratic politicians have spent years claiming are unfair caricatures of their actual beliefs. He is turning himself into a walking straw man, the non-fringe guy Republicans can reliably point to when they want to say: “See, the libs really do want to take your guns and shut down your churches.” ... The thing about all of this is that, politically, it is deeply unhelpful. ... That by making himself a convenient figure on which Republicans can hang bad faith attacks about Democrats’ intentions, he has hurt the causes he’s supposed to be fighting for? Yes, I do. That’s what straw men are good for, after all.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-13-2019 at 01:25 PM.
  #75  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:29 PM
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First, you're not appreciating my parenthetical comment. It was important. Second, you're not even clear on whether he's advancing it through statute or amendment, but you think you're in a position to criticize him? That tells me all I need to know about your argument.
No, I understood your parenthetical comment just fine, it just completely glossed over the enormous problems such an Amendment would cause. Did you really think "(All!)" meaningfully addressed those issues? And whether he proposes to accomplish it through statute or Amendment is irrelevant to whether it is fundamentally a stupid idea and shows a complete lack of understanding of how these things work. And if the end goal is a stupid policy that will never pass as a Constitutional Amendment or be struck down as a statute if it even passes in the first place what does it matter what futile method is employed to try and make it reality?

So first you assume that my criticisms were based on bias, a lack of knowledge on my part, or a mere disagreement on the legal issues. You yourself have no expertise in this area but you somehow assume that 1) such criticisms must be the result of one of those three reasons and 2) that there aren't Constitutional and other issues with these proposals that are glaringly obvious to those who actually can claim some expertise in this area. And not even knowing what you don't know you further assume that I can't possibly have more knowledge in this area than you or the candidates in question. It somehow never occurs to you that maybe, just maybe, your lack of knowledge about these things makes you incapable of a meaningful legal analysis and evaluation of either the candidates' proposals or my criticisms.

But instead of even attempting that you focus on two irrelevant details to try and bail yourself out without addressing the actual legal or policy arguments. Somehow in your mind my not acknowledging your one word caveat and covering every possible outcome of Sanders' proposal instead of merely addressing it as a Constitutional Amendment renders all the other myriad legal issues irrelevant. Just some real fine logic on your part. So no, you are not even close to "knowing all you need to know" about my arguments or the issues in general.
  #76  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:31 PM
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No, I understood your parenthetical comment just fine, it just completely glossed over the enormous problems such an Amendment would cause. Did you really think "(All!)" meaningfully addressed those issues? And whether he proposes to accomplish it through statute or Amendment is irrelevant to whether it is fundamentally a stupid idea and shows a complete lack of understanding of how these things work. And if the end goal is a stupid policy that will never pass as a Constitutional Amendment or be struck down as a statute if it even passes in the first place what does it matter what futile method is employed to try and make it reality?

So first you assume that my criticisms were based on bias, a lack of knowledge on my part, or a mere disagreement on the legal issues. You yourself have no expertise in this area but you somehow assume that 1) such criticisms must be the result of one of those three reasons and 2) that there aren't Constitutional and other issues with these proposals that are glaringly obvious to those who actually can claim some expertise in this area. And not even knowing what you don't know you further assume that I can't possibly have more knowledge in this area than you or the candidates in question. It somehow never occurs to you that maybe, just maybe, your lack of knowledge about these things makes you incapable of a meaningful legal analysis and evaluation of either the candidates' proposals or my criticisms.

But instead of even attempting that you focus on two irrelevant details to try and bail yourself out without addressing the actual legal or policy arguments. Somehow in your mind my not acknowledging your one word caveat and covering every possible outcome of Sanders' proposal instead of merely addressing it as a Constitutional Amendment renders all the other myriad legal issues irrelevant. Just some real fine logic on your part. So no, you are not even close to "knowing all you need to know" about my arguments or the issues in general.
That's a lot of words and a lot of implication of your own expertise. If you want to convince me you have some expertise, spend less time implying that you're an expert, and more time demonstrating some basic knowledge of what you're criticizing.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-13-2019 at 01:32 PM.
  #77  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:32 PM
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Yeah, that's answering the question that is asked, rather than the question that you want to answer. I'm not a huge fan of O'Rourke, but I can respect that.
Uh, yeah. I, too, respect that he answered the question he was asked.

But then — after he did that, you understand — there’s nothing stopping him from going on to answer the question he wanted to answer. I’m not saying he should skip straight to that; oh, heavens, no; I’m saying that, if he’s already given his answer, and for some reason he gets to keep talking and talking and then talking some more, he can also answer the question he wanted to answer.

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It would be like, in the abortion analogy, going on to explain why allowing women of color to have access to abortions is a good thing.
You know what? You’re right; it’s exactly like that. It’s like being asked whether a woman of color should have a particular right, and replying “yes”: thinking to himself that he believes all women should have that right, but not bothering to specify, even though he’s got plenty of time to do so (after, that is, answering the question that was asked, since you and I of course agree he should do that first; you and I merely disagree on what he should do after that).

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That he did not bring up an unrelated topic about a question that was not asked is not a major failing, IMHO.
IMHO, it is. Otherwise, he can forever get suckered into saying really dumb crap by answering the question that was asked instead of (a) doing that first, but then (b) going on to also answer some ‘unrelated’ question. Like, ask him whether he thinks white people should never receive the death penalty; and don’t interrupt him after he answers the question, make sure he’s got all the time in the world to answer the question he should’ve been asked — and sit back and watch as he doesn’t bring anything else up, because, gawrsh, strictly speaking that’d be unrelated, see.

Repeat as necessary, one supposes.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:40 PM
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Yeah, that's answering the question that is asked, rather than the question that you want to answer. I'm not a huge fan of O'Rourke, but I can respect that. It would be like, in the abortion analogy, going on to explain why allowing women of color to have access to abortions is a good thing. That he did not bring up an unrelated topic about a question that was not asked is not a major failing, IMHO.

Now, the fact that he actually answered the question that was asked, rather than responding to the question he wants to answer does make him a poor politician, as a good politician never gets themselves into a situation like this, and they do so by not answering the questions as asked.

Has he been asked about his stance on automatic tax exemption for non-charitable religious institutions? Has he made his feelings known? I ask this because I do not know, and a simple google doesn't really come up with anything other than this singular statement.

If I was feeling particularly cynical, I could say that "any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights, that denies the full civil rights, of everyone in America.” applies to most churches. There are not many that are fully on board with equality as regards to sexual orientation or identity, and there are quite a few that still see discrimination of the sexes to be right and proper according to their beliefs. Some even still seem to struggle with accepting racial equality.

Personally, I say let churches file non-profit status with their charitable work like any other charity, but not get automatic exemption to everything deemed religious, whether or not it has any benefit to anyone outside that church.

In any case, his views matter very little unless the 42 democratic nomination candidates currently ahead of him drop out.
His views are also irrelevant, as are anyone's who shares these views, if SCOTUS strikes down any such law. O'Rourke's proposal of discriminating against organizations who don't support LGBT Rights has absolutely no chance of being upheld for multiple Constitutional reasons. The Court upholding a general tax on churches that has the government necessarily deciding on what is legitimately religious for the purposes of administering that tax is only slightly less unlikely.
  #79  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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Can't say that I disagree. As the article put it
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That by making himself a convenient figure on which Republicans can hang bad faith attacks about Democrats’ intentions,
I've seen quite a few bad faith attacks about Democrats' intentions. Just because he makes it convenient doesn't somehow make them make in good faith. It just gives the Republicans a convenient way to avoid the topic of what they are actually proposing, and paint to their opponent with a broad brush that includes someone polling below 3%.

It's bad faith enough when a republican makes a bad faith attack against a democrat for something that another elected democrat is doing, but to make attacks against them for what someone who has no chance of holding any office in the future again goes a few steps further down the path of utter disingenuous rhetoric.

So, in order for a republican to in good faith make attacks against the democrats based on his remarks, they would not only have to accept responsibility for everything that Steve King has said and done, but also what David Duke has said and done as well. Do you feel that the republican party follows King and Duke the way that you seem to be insinuating that the Democratic party follows Beto?
  #80  
Old 10-13-2019, 01:51 PM
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Uh, yeah. I, too, respect that he answered the question he was asked.

But then — after he did that, you understand — there’s nothing stopping him from going on to answer the question he wanted to answer. I’m not saying he should skip straight to that; oh, heavens, no; I’m saying that, if he’s already given his answer, and for some reason he gets to keep talking and talking and then talking some more, he can also answer the question he wanted to answer.



You know what? You’re right; it’s exactly like that. It’s like being asked whether a woman of color should have a particular right, and replying “yes”: thinking to himself that he believes all women should have that right, but not bothering to specify, even though he’s got plenty of time to do so (after, that is, answering the question that was asked, since you and I of course agree he should do that first; you and I merely disagree on what he should do after that).



IMHO, it is. Otherwise, he can forever get suckered into saying really dumb crap by answering the question that was asked instead of (a) doing that first, but then (b) going on to also answer some ‘unrelated’ question. Like, ask him whether he thinks white people should never receive the death penalty; and don’t interrupt him after he answers the question, make sure he’s got all the time in the world to answer the question he should’ve been asked — and sit back and watch as he doesn’t bring anything else up, because, gawrsh, strictly speaking that’d be unrelated, see.

Repeat as necessary, one supposes.
Yeah, and I'll agree, he's absolutely terrible at extemporaneous speech. I noticed this about him when I barely paid attention to him as he was running for senate in a state I've never even visited. This disqualifies him from being a politician in this day and age of the soundbite, but it doesn't actually make his positions or intentions nearly as nefarious as others try to make them out to be. And even less does it justify attacks on other democrats.
  #81  
Old 10-13-2019, 02:24 PM
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That's a lot of words and a lot of implication of your own expertise. If you want to convince me you have some expertise, spend less time implying that you're an expert, and more time demonstrating some basic knowledge of what you're criticizing.
But you know you yourself have no such expertise don't you? So what does it matter what expertise I have in that sense? You don't know enough to know whether I'm wrong or not or offer any cogent legal rebuttal.

But regardless I didn't rest on bare assertions did I? I explained how Warren's proposal includes Congress potentially exerting control over a Constitutionally co-equal branch didn't I? And with O'Rourke's proposal I cited Due Process/Equal Protection, Free Exercise and Free Speech/viewpoint discrimination as clear Constitutional issues as well as the problems of meeting strict scrutiny. How's that for basic legal knowledge? And if that doesn't qualify as basic legal knowledge how far below that do your contributions fall?

So you didn't address any of the actual legal points I made, let alone rebut them, and instead pretend I didn't make them. I can certainly expand on my arguments with all the legal cites you want but do you really need it explained to you how taxing a church based on its doctrine/viewpoints raises a lot of Constitutional red flags? Doesn't framing Warren's proposal as one branch exerting control over a co-equal branch give you a basic idea of what the Constitutional issues would be?

As for Sanders suffice it to say that there are very good and complex reasons why Corporate Personhood has existed for centuries and predates the US by a good while. If you can't comprehend how denying Corporations the right to say Equal Protection or Due Process, as an example, would have monumental legal, economic, and social repercussions then you need to look harder. And the caveat that such rights would still reside with the individual as some sort of saving grace shows a massive misunderstanding of how these things work.
  #82  
Old 10-13-2019, 02:42 PM
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Okay, buddy.
  #83  
Old 10-13-2019, 02:44 PM
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I don't think O'Rourke is deliberately sabotaging. He's doing what losing primary candidates do, which is to say attention-getting stuff to get back on the stage.

I absolutely think Tulsi Gabbard is deliberately trying to sabotage the Dems, though.
  #84  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:44 PM
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And it has also noted that the practicalities of administering any such tax would almost certainly involve excessive government entanglement with religion (Walz v Tax Commission ). The chances of a Court, regardless of its make-up, upsetting this long standing status quo anytime soon are slim to none.
Are you actually disagreeing with me? I can't tell. Walz stood for the idea that it was permissible to allow churches to be tax exempt. I'm saying that it would not be unconstitutional to eliminate tax exempt status en toto, including for religious institutions. There is nothing in the constitution or any holding that says that churches must be exempt from say, property taxes.

Yes it's always been this way, and the chances of that ever happening are virtually nil, but the action of not exempting religious institutions is not foreclosed by the constitution.
  #85  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:49 PM
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Your characterization of Warren's proposal is similarly an over-simplification. As with all things of this nature the devil is in the details but the basic Constitutional issue is that the Federal Courts are a creation of Congress and SCOTUS is a creation of the Constitution and a co-equal branch of government. Constitutionally speaking the remedy of impeachment, specifically mentioned in the Constitution, may be the only authority Congress can exert over a co-equal branch. There's also the not-no-insignificant fact that any such laws Constitutionality would be decided by the very institution the law seeks to cover.
I don't think this is accurate either. Congress can clearly assert authority over the Supreme Court. One obvious way is by changing its size. Another may be by altering its budget.
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The Court upholding a general tax on churches that has the government necessarily deciding on what is legitimately religious for the purposes of administering that tax is only slightly less unlikely.
There is already precedent for taxing churches when they engage in political activity outside of religious exercise. See Johnson Amendment. I just don't think the issue is as cut and dry as you make it seem. Sure there are norms that are in place, but there are also counter examples as well.
  #86  
Old 10-13-2019, 06:41 PM
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... Do you feel that the republican party follows King and Duke the way that you seem to be insinuating that the Democratic party follows Beto?
No. Neither King nor Duke are running for president. And they've not been the subject of fawning coverage and enthusiastic support like Beto was in 2018.
  #87  
Old 10-13-2019, 06:59 PM
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No. Neither King nor Duke are running for president. And they've not been the subject of fawning coverage and enthusiastic support like Beto was in 2018.
I'm not sure of your choice of adjectives. He was supported in the senate race because he was against a republican. To say it was fawning and enthusiastic to anyone outside of that race is solely your own opinion. The republicans supported Roy Moore in his bid for a senate seat. I would only describe it as fawning and enthusiastic support for that pedophile if I wanted to smear the republican party as supporting his values.

As far as "running for president", that would only be something that would be relevant if he had any chance of securing the nomination. Which he does not. The reason that he does not is because most democratic voters do not agree with his platform.

It takes quite a bit of motivated reaching in order to look at someone who at best polls at 3%, and claim that that person embodies the policies of those who are actively rejecting him.
  #88  
Old 10-13-2019, 07:19 PM
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1. He has nothing to lose; it's all but certain that he won't be the 2020 nominee.

2. Having nothing to lose, he is much freer to speak his mind than Biden or Warren.

3. He needs to find a way to stand out from the pack.
This. He knows he isn't going to be President, so he is positioning himself for whatever the next phase in his political career is. I assume he's trying to endear himself to the Democratic base. He's either going to run for governor or Senator next time around, or if Trump wins again he's trying to stand out from the crowd of also-rans to raise his credibility for 2024.

In the meantime, he IS staking out positions that will give Republicans lots of red meat and ammunition for the election campaign.
  #89  
Old 10-13-2019, 07:24 PM
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So, after the replies in this thread and the Slate quote, do you now agree that attacking the Democrats in general, when pointing out desperate attempts by O'Rourke to get attention, are done in bad faith? I think they are.
  #90  
Old 10-13-2019, 07:52 PM
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This. He knows he isn't going to be President, so he is positioning himself for whatever the next phase in his political career is. I assume he's trying to endear himself to the Democratic base. He's either going to run for governor or Senator next time around, or if Trump wins again he's trying to stand out from the crowd of also-rans to raise his credibility for 2024.

In the meantime, he IS staking out positions that will give Republicans lots of red meat and ammunition for the election campaign.
It's also possible that Beto isn't even thinking strategically or anything, and is instead simply an honest politician with no brain-to-mouth filter, blurting out what he is honestly thinking. I rather doubt the OP theory that Beto is intentionally sabotaging the D's. I think Beto is simply saying out loud what he feels - and it happens to be what a significant swath of D's feel. There are indeed a good chunk of D's who want assault rifles confiscated, want churches taxed, and Beto is simply beating to the same drummer as they.
  #91  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:13 PM
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Okay, buddy.
Aren't you a teacher? So you do understand the concept of both higher education and advanced study as well as the concept of specialization within a field correct? I mean you've seen how they don't just let anyone teach without the proper credentials right? And how teachers specialize and the Science teacher teaches Science and so on?

So once again, knowing that you are not only not an attorney or legal scholar, let alone one specializing in Constitutional Law, on what basis exactly are you expressing skepticism about anything whatsoever I've said? Gut feeling? Reasons? I invited you to provide cites to actually disprove any of my conclusions and you've completely failed to do so. So what exactly do you have left? Apparently the "okay buddy" version of "nothing."
  #92  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:18 PM
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It's also possible that Beto isn't even thinking strategically or anything, and is instead simply an honest politician with no brain-to-mouth filter, blurting out what he is honestly thinking. I rather doubt the OP theory that Beto is intentionally sabotaging the D's. I think Beto is simply saying out loud what he feels - and it happens to be what a significant swath of D's feel. There are indeed a good chunk of D's who want assault rifles confiscated, want churches taxed, and Beto is simply beating to the same drummer as they.
I agree that a good chunk of Americans (56% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans, as of 2018*) want assault rifles banned, but can you cite that a good chunk of D's want churches taxed? Especially just some churches, depending on their views?

* Cite: https://news.gallup.com/poll/243860/...lt-rifles.aspx
  #93  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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I don't know about LHOD, but you are the first person I have ever heard suggest that a tax exemption for churches is Constitutionally mandated. I'm with Bone. This sounds like some inaccurate stuff.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-13-2019 at 08:22 PM.
  #94  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:49 PM
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Looking at the full exchange
"Don Lemon: Do you think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities—should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?

Beto O’Rourke: Yes. There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break, for anyone, any institution, any organization in America, that denies the full human rights, that denies the full civil rights, of everyone in America. So as president, we’re going to make that a priority. And we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans. "

It seems to me there's quite a lot of space between "oppose" and "deny"
And I think he's right, if you DENY, (as in, break the law of the land, with no religious exemptions) you SHOULD lose tax free status
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:17 PM
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Are you actually disagreeing with me? I can't tell. Walz stood for the idea that it was permissible to allow churches to be tax exempt. I'm saying that it would not be unconstitutional to eliminate tax exempt status en toto, including for religious institutions. There is nothing in the constitution or any holding that says that churches must be exempt from say, property taxes.

Yes it's always been this way, and the chances of that ever happening are virtually nil, but the action of not exempting religious institutions is not foreclosed by the constitution.
Yes I understand your position and I'm disagreeing with you to the extent that I think you are most likely incorrect. I mean there is no case directly on point because the issue has never come before the Court but even without such a precedent it's not difficult to make an educated guess based on dicta, analogus cases and general principles the Court follows when deciding such issues. Did you even read the full opinion in Walz or just the holding or a summary ? Because the Court spends a lot of time discussing the broader issues that would also apply to taxing religious institutions as well and covers this stuff quite extensively. For instance:

We must also be sure that the end result -- the
effect -- is not an excessive government
entanglement with religion. The test is
inescapably one of degree. Either course, taxation
of churches or exemption, occasions some
degree of involvement with religion. Elimination of
exemption would tend to expand the involvement
of government by giving rise to tax valuation of
church property, tax liens, tax foreclosures, and
the direct confrontations and conflicts that follow
in the train of those legal processes. 397 US 664,
675.

And:

In analyzing either alternative, the questions are
whether the involvement is excessive and whether
it is a continuing one calling for official and
continuing surveillance leading to an
impermissible degree of entanglement. Ibid at
676.

So given these quotes along with the rest of the discussion in the case it demonstrates the Court's serious concerns of the dangers of excessive entanglement between government and religion. And not only that, they go on to specifically conclude in this context that administering a tax on religious institutions would necessarily involve a greater entanglement than an exemption would. And if you combine that with the fact that the Court has consistently held that the power to tax poses a special threat to fundamental rights and it would seem you have quite a bit more weighing against Constitutionality than for it.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:42 PM
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I don't think this is accurate either. Congress can clearly assert authority over the Supreme Court. One obvious way is by changing its size. Another may be by altering its budget.


There is already precedent for taxing churches when they engage in political activity outside of religious exercise. See Johnson Amendment. I just don't think the issue is as cut and dry as you make it seem. Sure there are norms that are in place, but there are also counter examples as well.
Warren's proposal, and my critique, was specifically in the context of the Judicial Code of Conduct and expanding and extending it to the SCOTUS Justices. So yes, Congress confirms nominees, can expand the Court, and can control its budget. That has nothing whatsoever to do with regulating the conduct of Justices beyond the Constitutional remedy of impeachment. Those aren't the same thing at all and that distinction is pretty important.

And yes, the non-religious activities of a church may be taxed under some circumstances but you're trying to extend a specific exception to a general rule and it doesn't work that way. Do you really not see how the ability to tax a church under certain narrow and limited cases in no way stands for the notion that a general tax on churches would be Constitutional?
  #97  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:58 PM
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@DirkHardly
I don't know about LHOD, but you are the first person I have ever heard suggest that a tax exemption for churches is Constitutionally mandated. I'm with Bone. This sounds like some inaccurate stuff.
In what context have you even heard the issue raised or discussed? Since the issue has never been before the Court what scholarly discussions of the issue have you actually encountered? Law journal article? Treatise?

Me, I did what lawyers, legal scholars, and judges do all the time in such cases when having no clear precedent to follow - extrapolate from dicta, holdings of analogus cases, and known Constitutional principles. So which of those did you use beyond "I've never heard of it" that convinces you Bone is correct?
  #98  
Old 10-13-2019, 10:14 PM
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...Also right wingers are not the average voter. The average voter believes in reasonable gun control.
And we already have more than reasonable gun control.

I have no understanding of Beto's statements..

Last edited by sps49sd; 10-13-2019 at 10:14 PM.
  #99  
Old 10-13-2019, 11:05 PM
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Yes I understand your position and I'm disagreeing with you to the extent that I think you are most likely incorrect. I mean there is no case directly on point because the issue has never come before the Court but even without such a precedent it's not difficult to make an educated guess based on dicta, analogus cases and general principles the Court follows when deciding such issues. Did you even read the full opinion in Walz or just the holding or a summary ?
I read it. I think the court would be extremely reluctant to impose any kind of tax on religious institutions. But that's not the question, or the assertion. My assertion is that nothing in the constitution precludes taxing religious institutions, generally. The 501(c)(3) tax provision is a creation of Congress. Congress could repeal it. The IRS needs to make a determination as to the bona fides of a church before granting tax exempt status, though historically it offers a lot of deference. Essentially you concede my point - that the issue has never come before the court, and as a result the default would be that Congress could act in this space.

As to increased entanglement - as you say it's a matter of degree. My contention is that religious institutions could get no special treatment with regard to taxes and I don't think that is prohibited by the constitution or any holding of SCOTUS. We already know how to levy sales taxes, property taxes, etc. Treating these entities the same as we do others doesn't strike me as excessive entanglement, though I grant it is increased. Right now I think religious institutions get favorable treatment. Ignoring the religious status of any institution would be closer to being truly neutral - neither preventing the free exercise, nor establishing. Just make government blind to the religious status and I don't think that would be prohibited constitutionally, as a thought exercise at least.
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In what context have you even heard the issue raised or discussed? Since the issue has never been before the Court what scholarly discussions of the issue have you actually encountered? Law journal article? Treatise?
You are the one making the assertion, while at the same time acknowledging that there is no case on point. The status quo would be, maybe, maybe not. But you're going further and saying - not. Not sure why you seem so incredulous about the idea that reasonable people can disagree when the matter has not been settled, ever. It likely won't be, so we may just have to agree to disagree.
  #100  
Old 10-13-2019, 11:12 PM
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You are the one making the assertion, while at the same time acknowledging that there is no case on point. The status quo would be, maybe, maybe not. But you're going further and saying - not. Not sure why you seem so incredulous about the idea that reasonable people can disagree when the matter has not been settled, ever. It likely won't be, so we may just have to agree to disagree.
FWIW, Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State doesn't see a constitutional problem with it.
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Originally Posted by Lynn
[G]overnment at the local, state and federal level made a decision early in our history to grant tax exemptions to churches and other bodies. The Constitution does not mandate it; and indeed, even the decision you cite -- the Walz case -- doesn’t say that tax exemptions are required by the 1st Amendment. In general, governments believed that churches along with other types of community groups enhanced and supplemented government services such as feeding the hungry, housing those in need of shelter and in general using private funds for public good.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-13-2019 at 11:12 PM.
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