« A poetry open thread | Main | Sometimes the shit comes down so heavy I feel like I should wear a hat. (a Brexit thread) »

October 09, 2018

Comments

Finally it breaks into the open. https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/10/heres-whats-really-wrong-with-the-supreme-court-its-too-damn-powerful/

I’ll go a touch further, the power of the Supreme Court deeply warps the political system because the only way to fix its bad rulings (from whatever your perspective is) is to stick with a coalition, no matter how ugly it gets, for 30+ years.

I'd say it's the constitutional amendment process, and the undemocratic makeup of the House and Senate, that deeply warps the political system.

Also Drum is ranting. "Gay marriage" is the wrong way to view it - it's not a "right" to marry the gay, it's a right to be free from government discrimination on the basis of sex.

This "It does have something to do with Congress’s habit of passing vague laws that are wide open for multiple interpretations" is also wrong. The big Court fights are mostly if not all over Constitutional issues, not whether some statute gives someone a remedy or what not.

Also, Jonah Goldberg is full of sh1t. The proper decision tree starts with Garland's nomination in 2016, which of course Goldberg fails to mention. At all.

The proper decision tree doesn't start with Garland. The problem,issue etc for the Democrats is that they went from controlling all three non judicial government bodies in 2009 to controlling only the presidency in 2016. And then not that. And then all three. All the numbers excuses aside that's an epic fail.

People forget the Dems had 60 seats for a bright shining moment and still got rid of the filibuster for judges once they only had 59.

It can be traced back further, an ever increasing demand to be able to wield power rather than govern. But it didn't start with Garland or Trump.

Just 10 years ago the Dems had a wave, and were thrown out. Instead of going on about the demise of the GOP maybe the Dems should figure out how to turn around their demise.

They are struggling to do that even with massive help from Trump. Because they insult, demean and ignore huge swaths of the country in order to attract single issue voters.


At the same time Congress has abdicated much of its responsibility to the executive administrators. Allowing for more wielding power.

The basics of our governmental structure arent what needs to be fixed, it's the acceptance of their responsibility by each branch so the initial checks and balances are ]put back in place that needs to occur.

Sebastian,
See also this by Jack Balkin. Strikes me as a pretty sound analysis.

bobbyp

an ever increasing demand to be able to wield power rather than govern

they insult, demean and ignore huge swaths of the country

I'm not sure these statements are accurate.

The (R)'s hold a majority in the Senate, yet represent 44% of the population. Trump lost the popular vote decisively, yet he is POTUS.

That seems problematic to me.

I get the historical precedent of the whole federalism thing. I just think it's become dysfunctional. I'm freaking sick and tired of a situation where a guy like McConnell, who personally represents about 0.7% - not 7 percent, zero-point-seven percent - of the population, being able to screw over more than half the country.

That sucks.

There were good reasons for the Electoral College in 1789. By and large, they no longer exist. It's an anachronism.

I don't disagree that the various branches need a reset on what their relative responsibilities are.

Marty, on the Democrats: ... they insult, demean and ignore huge swaths of the country in order to attract single issue voters.

"Single issue voters" like gun fetishists and anti-abortionists?

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, the SCOTUS now contains a pervert, a perjurer, and a receiver of stolen goods. All appointed by Republicans catering to gun fetishists and anti-abortionists; the latter two by Mitch McConnell and He, Trump -- paragons of civility who would never insult, demean, or ignore anybody.

And chances are, McConnell and He, Trump will get to place one or two more "conservatives" on the SCOTUS because nothing is sacred to them except their promises to gun fetishists and anti-abortionists. Whether a SCOTUS packed with RWNJs will turn the American electorate into single-issue voters determined to pack the court will be interesting to watch.

--TP

There were good reasons for the Electoral College in 1789. By and large, they no longer exist. It's an anachronism.

But, given the requirements to amend the Constitution by getting 3/4 of the states to sign off, there's no way we will get rid of it. (Unless we went the Constitutional Convention route. Which has the prospect for all kinds of problems.)

Marty,

The Dems controlled both the Congress (with a supermajority) and the Presidency for a very brief time, and that situation was wiped out in the 2010 elections.

You may also find this hard to believe, but there has been a Republican majority on the Supreme Court since the 1980's. True story.

Personally, I feel if we had swung a few bankers from lamp posts in 2009, worked harder to alleviate the financial distress of overextended home owners, and had a much bigger stimulus, that the Dems would have done a whole lot better in the 2010 election.

But all that went out the window after the mid-terms.

As for denigrating one's political opponents, well pot, kettle. I've been called an 'un-American' for 50 years. I don't ask my conservative opponents to be more civil. I ask for their total abject surrender.

Regards,


“All appointed by Republicans catering to gun fetishists and anti-abortionists...”

That’s Kevin Drum’s point. They aren’t natural allies. They have to hang together in a weird alliance, for 30+ years in order to have a chance at changing their issue. In a world with a stronger Congress and weaker Supreme Court that wouldn’t be the case. In a world where you were allowed to make legislative changes to protect the fetus in the second trimester (wanted by 65-70% of the population) but allow abortion in the first (wanted by about 75% of the population) it would be done, and they wouldn’t need to ally with the gun fetishists. The gun fetishits have a constitutional claim of some sort, so outright bans probably would have trouble, but their Supreme Court level clout would be much lower so all sorts of common sense laws might be possible.

denigrating ones political opponents...
is a positively polite way of putting it.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/09/republican-attack-ads-midterms-876287

They aren’t natural allies.

They're almost all white, both have no issues with racial exclusion, they tend to be more rural, and tend to share a conservative sensibility, especially the socially conservative sensibility as opposed to economic conservatism.

So no, contrary to your assertion, they are in fact natural political allies.

A slightly hopeful piece in today's NYT about some white evangelical women leaning towards Beto O'Rourke:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/us/politics/texas-beto-orourke-evangelicals-women.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

On the other hand, of the 40,000 women who responded to the NYT's question about the Kavanaugh confirmation, a surprising number (to me, although the paper does not give percentages) seemed pleased about it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/09/reader-center/women-kavanaugh-confirmation.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Reader%20Center

Another good take.

I still like being ruthless, because so much is at stake. But good points, Matty.

Personally, I feel if we had swung a few bankers from lamp posts in 2009, worked harder to alleviate the financial distress of overextended home owners, and had a much bigger stimulus, that the Dems would have done a whole lot better in the 2010 election.

Amen.

And, would have done so, because the country would have been much better off.

I've been called an 'un-American' for 50 years.

Right on.

Plus, now I'm an elite. I'm disappointed, I thought the pay would be better.

Personally, I feel if we had swung a few bankers from lamp posts in 2009, worked harder to alleviate the financial distress of overextended home owners, and had a much bigger stimulus, that the Dems would have done a whole lot better in the 2010 election.

Amen.

And, would have done so, because the country would have been much better off.

I've been called an 'un-American' for 50 years.

Right on.

Plus, now I'm an elite. I'm disappointed, I thought the pay would be better.

It's rural America. It's where I came from. We always refer to ourselves as real America. Rural America, real America, real, real, America.

Dan Quayle

We always refer to ourselves as real America.

There is nothing in modern American discourse that offends me more than this. Nothing.

I followed this with a fairly lengthy rant, but none of it is anything you all haven't heard 100 times.

So I'll just leave it there.

Dan Quayle can kiss my keister.

Plus, now I'm an elite. I'm disappointed, I thought the pay would be better.

I was going to agree, in spades.

But then I realized that everybody who isn't all of white, uneducated, and poor counts as an "elite" in current parlance. Explains why the pay isn't better....

What's become dysfunctional about our system is people not in power cherry picking stats. If we had a majority required Presidential election the 7m that didnt vote for either one would have decided the runoff.

Hilary didn't win by a landslide 3m votes out of 130m cast isn't a landslide. It's a few more votes in the blue states.

The Senate was designed for just the numbers you're describing, the House is supposed to even things up on that score.

I mean, honestly, if the situation were reversed wouldn't be having the same argument, just swap the name?

The system ain't broke, the distinction of why you vote for a rep and why you vote for a senator are long gone. But that's what should be fixed.

No Marty, Dems to not demean huge swaths of the country. Huge swaths of the country demean everyone but themselves and then have a pity party about their self-inflicted isolation

10 million more people voted against Trump than for him. And yet, he's the president.

Those are my "stats".

7 million more voted against Hilary than voted for her. The difference is 3m.

Cherry picking

There is nothing in modern American discourse that offends me more than this. Nothing.

Yes. It really is a vicious thing to say, with the viciousness hidden behind a tone of politeness. And it is meant to foment division and hatred just as surely Clickbait's more overtly hateful performances.

But hey, as long as you use a civil tone, it doesn't matter what you actually say or do, or whom you hurt.

Clinton 48.18%
Trump 46.09%

Marty seems happy with his choices. No need to try to change his mind.

I find it hugely depressing that the monumental story about the Trump family's fraud is not even news, and not persuasive in the least to people like Marty. But then I remember that Marty is about pure tribalism. It's incredibly depressing that two-year-olds are sitting before immigration judges, without representation, and are sent to concentration camps. We should be storming that place, and I feel inadequate for not organizing a militant action. Whereas, the embryo faction? They don't care about the two-year-olds nearly as much as the embryos. Climate change? We have 12 years. We have at least 2 1/2 more with Trump. Frat boy supreme court justices? Barf O'Kavanaugh. What a sickening spectacle our country is.

It's getting to be too much. I'm working for, and hoping for, some improvement in November. If we fall short, I feel pretty hopeless. Actually, I feel pretty hopeless already. Engage with Marty? He's still motivated by Hillary hatred. Not a productive conversation at this point.

We're dealing with pure fucking Evil:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/is-the-khashoggi-mystery-now-a-us-scandal

We'd need to kill it. Eliminate it.

There are some who have the mp brand sizzling on their asses, by choice.

Perhaps they can be re-educated. I doubt it.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/10/10/proud-to-be-a-democrat-concerning-heidi-heitkamp/

Kill it.

What are you going you fucking c*nt republicans, call the government to protect your anti-American filthy, worthless lives?

Fuck you, ya vermin.

Want to bounce off the comment by bobbyp.

I still like being ruthless, because so much is at stake. But good points, Matty.

The Yglesias article is good, but what he doesn't say (though I'm sure he realizes it) is that Dems can scream until they are blue in the face that they are doing something not because it is ruthless, but because it is good policy, but it will be portrayed as ruthlessness. DC, Puerto Rico as states? Dems just trying to get more seats. Simplifying voter registration? Dems trying to get dead people and immigrants to vote. Want everyone to have insurance? Just trying to undercut Republicans and create death panels.

The current atmosphere means that anything that the Dems do would be considered 'ruthless', so I'm not sure it is worth the time worrying if it is or not.

The difference is 3m.

I.e., Trump lost the popular vote. More people wanted somebody else. And yet, there he is.

Second time in 20 years. Keep digging that hole.

Next topic.

The Senate was designed for just the numbers you're describing

Let's talk about the Senate.

I'm not sure it's accurate to say the Senate - and specifically the equal representation per state thing - was "designed", at all. It surely was not the only option on the table, or even the option seen as most desirable. It was a compromise, just like the "3/5 of a person" thing. It was the price of getting states like Delaware to sign on the bottom line.

It was also modeled on the House of Lords, and was intended among other things to safeguard the interests of people of property against those of the population at large.

As far as numbers, the difference in size between the largest state at the time and the smallest was about 10 or 11 to one. Now it's 70 to one.

It is theoretically possible for a majority in the Senate to represent 17% of the population.

There is no way in hell that the basic structure of the Constitution is going to change short of a new Constitutional Convention, and that would IMO be the shortest possible path to actual civil war in this country. So we're stuck with it.

But when dudes like McConnell, who personally represents zero-point-seven percent of the population, and whose cohort in the Senate represent a minority of the population as a whole, uses his position of intra-Senate leadership to force circumstances that most of country DO NOT WANT, it strains the ties that bind to the breaking point.

Marty seems happy with his choices. No need to try to change his mind.

You are correct.

And the second paragraph of your 11:29 captures my sentiments precisely.

There's civility, and then there's re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We'd all like to think that things aren't actually going straight to hell, but that thought might be a luxury.

and was intended among other things to safeguard the interests of people of property against those of the population at large.

So it is working exactly as designed, then.

On the utter lack of principle of Lindsay Graham:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/lindsay-grahams-supports-trump-avoid-2020-primary/572566/

Monetizing fascism:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/aclu-trump-admin-limit-protester-rights

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government

Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters

“Just 10 years ago the Dems had a wave, and were thrown out.”

By the GOP selling a bundle of lies like “death panels” to idiots who wanted the government to stay out of their Medicare.

You must be so proud.

Very smooth. A purring, slithering reptile, that operative.

"My boss is calling for civility." ("And my husband has the dic pics to prove it.")

A line for the history books.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conway-clinton-dangerous-rhetoric-trump-civility

The firing squads that will execute this woman and her entire traitorous cabal will be solemn, full dress affairs, all of the rule of law p's and q's observed, the t's crossed and the i's dotted.

The kids rotting in the detention centers will be accorded priority seating. If Hillary so much as lets out a self-satisfied cackle, I'll remove her myself from the proceedings, because I am all about civility to those experiencing their final moments.

Dems can scream until they are blue in the face that they are doing something not because it is ruthless, but because it is good policy, but it will be portrayed as ruthlessness.

Then I would say it's about time we took up the moniker. Politically speaking, we should want to slit every GOPPER throat and watch the blood run in the gutters.

The times call for cold calculating political anger.

For godawful snobbishness, it is hard to beat rural Americans. It is part of the culture to declare themselves better in everyway than the rest of America. WHile demanding tax funded services for themselves of course, and demanding tax cuts for themselves and whining about how the people they put down and sneer at have the nerve to think that they might matter too.

The Democrats don't control the house largely due to gerrymandering.

In defense of any president elected but lost the popular vote, that isn't the rules of the game. If the popular vote decided, they likely would have run different campaigns, invested in ads in states they would lose but close the gap, etc.

Doesn't seem dispositive to me.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/10/10/and-though-its-a-part-of-the-lone-star-state/

@Marty

3m votes out of 130m cast isn't a landslide.

A 2%+ margin may or may not be a landslide, but it is, as a statistical matter a very large margin. The chance that an electorate that actually favored Trump would have produced that result is small.

It's a few more votes in the blue states.

WTF does it matter where the votes were cast? This is an amazingly stupid point, and goes to the whole "demeaning" issue. For some bizarre reason, Republicans don't think that votes in blue states, especially CA and other big ones, don't really count, or something.

@jrudkis,

In defense of any president elected but lost the popular vote, that isn't the rules of the game. If the popular vote decided, they likely would have run different campaigns, invested in ads in states they would lose but close the gap, etc.

Doesn't seem dispositive to me.

See my response to Marty. No, it's not dispositive, but it's damn strong evidence. Yes, the set of voters would have changed, but is there a reason to think it would have shifted towards Trump?

Maybe R voters in CA didn't turn out because they saw carrying the state as hopeless. But than maybe D voters in TX did the same. And maybe majority party voters in those states didn't turn out because they thought it was a lock.

I don't think it's enough to say tactics would have changed, etc. You have to also have some reason to think there would have been a major shift to Trump.

Monetizing fascism

It's not a right, it's a profit center!

If the popular vote decided, they likely would have run different campaigns

And, their opponent would have done likewise.

Politically speaking, we should want to slit every GOPPER throat and watch the blood run in the gutters.

No.

And enough of this language, please.

Emma Goldman famously said (or was reported to say), "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution".

If I have to kill my neighbors to get it, I don't want to be part of your revolution. Period.

Byomtov, exactly. Campaigns are not about the popular vote. They are about the electoral one. The popular vote is not a reasonable measure of the contest. It is like saying a football team didn't win because the other team gained more yards. The goal in football is points, the goal in presidential elections is electoral votes.

Change the goal, and people will play different.

"By the GOP selling a bundle of lies like “death panels” to idiots "

Both sides sell stuff to idiots. I try to avoid calling it out.

More people wanted someone other than Hilary also, goalposts still the same, electoral votes. Not worried about digging a hole, I can hold two independent thoughts at the same time, Trump sucks, some Republican policies are good. Democrats dont like either. I get it.

"The chance that an electorate that actually favored Trump would have produced that result is small"

I am not sure I believe this. The two most populous states are so heavily Democratic that there is simply little reason for aRepublican to vote outside local races,which we know drive much lower turnout.

I, nor anyone else, knows the extent of that sense of disenfranchisement, but I believe it is significant. The difference in California alone was over 3M votes.

Aside from all else, what's with the constant misspelling of Hillary Clinton's first name, with only one "l", common among conservatives here.

Does the second "l" get lost in the translation from Russian, or what?

Is this the Q-Anon spelling, perhaps?

Like the Luntzian "Democrat" Party?

Ya know, after the troubles subside and the dead are still being counted, we're going to institute spelling bees at gunpoint.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/27/us/hillary-clintons-name-misspelled-on-debate-ticket.html

Sorry about the spelling. I'll be better.

And maybe majority party voters in those states didn't turn out because they thought it was a lock.

This. Virtually-certain outcomes suppress votes on both sides, not just on the certain-to-lose side.

More people wanted someone other than Hilary also

But more people wanted someone other than Trump than wanted someone other than Clinton. Just to be clear.

Marty,

But, as I pointed out, there are disenfranchised Democrats as well.

(Isn't this issue a strong reason to abandon the EC?)

I looked at states where one candidate got less than 40% of the vote. Clinton got 8 million votes in states where she got less than 40% of the vote. Trump got 14 million votes in states where got less than 40%.

So those totals would have to go up by 50% to make the popular vote a tie. I don't find that plausible, and it ignores those who didn't vote not because they were sure their candidate would lose, but because they were sure the candidate would win.

Looking at the mirror image, Clinton got 13 million votes in states where got 60%+, while Trump got only 7 million in his 60%+ states.
That's the same 6 million vote margin, only for Clinton.

So to get to a tie, you have to have the percentage of currently disenfranchised voters go up 50 percentage points more than the percentage of highly confident voters.

The chance of that seems small.

Well, FWIW, turnout was lower only in Japan and Switzerland in recent years:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-election-turnout-emmanuel-macron-parliament-france-victory-fn-marine-le-pen-national-front-a7785366.html
(and Switzerland with its regular referenda is something of a special case).

Is that apathy, disillusion, disgust, or voter suppression ?

The two most populous states are so heavily Democratic that there is simply little reason for aRepublican to vote outside local races,which we know drive much lower turnout.

It should be possible to test this. Look at the primary election. Look at the total number of Republican voters vs the total number of Democratic voters.

Both have equal reason to turn out: their fellow party members are the only ones who can vote in their presidential primary (even if the state overall has the kind of open primary system that California uses). So what is the difference there vs. the difference in the general election?

That might not be proof. But it would be a step forward from straight up speculation.

mp, which will be misspelled until * is all that's left of him, would have fought back against the charge of misspelling Clinton's name by appointing the kid who finished dead last in last year's national spelling bee, never even making it out of the first round in his classroom, perhaps by misspelling his own name, the head of the Government Printing Office.

Well, maybe he would have experience passing out towels at the Mar-a-Lago cabana as the second bullet point on his resume.

Mp would ask him in the job interview, "Hey kid, how do you spell 'woman'?"

The kid: "P-U-S-S-Y?"

Mp: "Hey, Kellyanne, get in here right away, I've got a live wire on tap for that position!"

Mp: "So, kid, tell Kellyanne here how you would spell "Blasey Ford". Go 'head, don't hold back, Wisenstein."

Kid: "E-L-I-T-I-S-T L-Y-I-N-G C-*-N-T"

mp: "Ya know, Kellyanne, I'm going to need a new Chief of Staff soon and I think the kid here is overqualified for the Government Printing Office."

Kellyanne (removing something, probably gum, from her mouth): "Boss of me, your civility takes my breath away."

jrudkis: The goal in football is points, the goal in presidential elections is electoral votes.

The reason FOR football is to have some fun and get some exercise. What's the reason FOR presidential elections?

Okay, I know the reason for pro football, as a spectator sport rather than a children's game, is to deliver eyeballs to advertisers and give gamblers something to bet on. It serves a purpose and has effects outside of the playing field, just like presidential elections do. It's important to keep that in mind.

We keep going around this particular mulberry bush mostly to humor Marty so he will hang around and regale us with tales from his home planet, not because anybody doubts what The Rules are. But if we're going to do sports analogies, consider major league baseball.

As I understand it, there was a time when the game started to bore spectators because pitching came to dominate hitting. The Rules, within the game, do not require lots of runs to win; they only require one more run than the other side. Within the game, that's perfectly fine. No need to add a designated hitter rule -- unless you worry that fans will turn to other spectacles for entertainment.

"Politics ain't hopscotch", they say. Neither is it football, or baseball, or chess. It's not a game where observance of arbitrary rules, by the players, is the only purpose of the exercise. It's civil war by other means. And civil wars can only be played by The Rules for so long.

--TP

Posts of mine in preparation include "A Brief History of the Pants Option", "Quit Spitting at That Fly In My Soup", and "Flip That Metaphor, Republicans!".

Bet y'all can't wait.

The popular vote is not a reasonable measure of the contest.

It's not just about the contest.

The (R)'s represent a large minority of the country. But it is a minority.

Were they interested in responsible governance, rather than just winning and ruling, they would not proceed by grabbing as much as they possibly can while the grabbing is good.

Because that pisses people off, and undermines the popular sense of the legitimacy of the government.

Because, according to our lights, at least in principle, the legitimacy of the government depends on the consent of the governed.

I'm leaving aside the question of the actual substance of (R) policies, which in my opinion suck, thoroughly and consistently.

As things stand right now, (R)'s have to cheat in order to continue to dominate politically. Suppress votes, gerrymander House districts to the point where the courts have to intervene.

Enlist the assistance of foreign governments to win the presidency.

It's impossible for that kind of crap to continue without breaking things.

Want to live in a broken country? I don't.

"Both sides sell stuff to idiots. I try to avoid calling it out"

Sure, because doing so would mostly be "calling out" your guys as lying liars who lie.

Were they interested in responsible governance, rather than just winning and ruling, they would not proceed by grabbing as much as they possibly can while the grabbing is good.

Time was when both parties, when in power, would try out a few of their pet ideas. See which ones worked . . . and by working won them more votes. But it appears, based on their actions, that Republicans don't really think they have ideas that will win votes. Certainly the big tax cut, which is their one big accomplishment in this session of Congress, is so unpopular that their Congressional candidates never mention it.

Gotta have actual ideas that will, or at least that you believe will, benefit a majority of voters. Otherwise you have to run on fear and tribalism. And grab what you can before the demographic trends leave even that inadequate.

Tony P,

The stakes are higher, but elections are still contests that require rules. Trump won by those rules. Bush v Gore is a much better argument that the popular vote matters given the contested electoral vote.

As I recall in 2000, the expectation before the vote was that Gore would win the electoral vote and lose the popular vote. The opposite happened, but democrats were ready to accept and argue the legitimacy of Gore's win.

I don't know how you have elections where the measure of winning is not understood beforehand.

If I have to kill my neighbors to get it, I don't want to be part of your revolution. Period.

I was speaking metaphorically, but apologize for the misunderstanding.

The time for Democrats 'playing nice' has to come to an end.

The two most populous states are so heavily Democratic...

#2 Texas will be surprised to learn this. Based on current estimates, #3 Florida also. New York has slipped to fourth place on the list of states by population.

As I recall in 2000, the expectation before the vote was that Gore would win the electoral vote and lose the popular vote. The opposite happened, but democrats were ready to accept and argue the legitimacy of Gore's win.

That's not exactly how I remember it.

As I see it, a lawless Supreme Court intervened, tossed out the rules, and gave the presidency to their favored candidate.

I was speaking metaphorically, but apologize for the misunderstanding.

No worries bobby.

I've been living with 15 years of conservatives telling me how much they want to kill people like me. It's just not a path I want to follow them down.

I feel the need for some kind of standards. :)

Thanks for your reply.

The stakes are higher, but elections are still contests that require rules. Trump won by those rules.

I don't think anybody is contesting that point. Nobody is calling for Trump to resign because he didn't win the popular vote.

Winning without winning the popular vote should be a highly unusual event. Ideally, it should never happen. Because it calls the legitimacy of the process into question.

More people wanted Person X to be POTUS than wanted Person Y to be. And yet, Person Y is POTUS.

And that has happened twice, now, within 20 years. And in both cases the winner has been a highly divisive and problematic individual.

To say the least.

And in Trump's case, all of that is exacerbated by the incredibly hostile, antagonistic, and malicious campaign that he waged, and by his remarkably hostile, antagonistic, and malicious performance while in office.

It's a problem, and I don't think it's out of bounds to note the fact that it's a problem.

#2 Texas will be surprised to learn this. Based on current estimates, #3 Florida also

Facts, facts, facts. It's always facts with you, dude.

What's your problem?

:)

No worries bobby.

What? Me worry?

Bobbyp,

I think that link shows during various periods GWB was ahead of Gore during the election in the popular vote. Gore was also projected to win the electoral vote. That the projected vote was roughly even at the end does not mean democrats did not plan for the reverse outcome.

My googlefu did not find a link that I am looking for, but I blame deepstate for that.

***I don't think anybody is contesting that point. Nobody is calling for Trump to resign because he didn't win the popular vote.***

Ok. I read that as saying he is not a legitimate president because he lost the popular vote. If I read into it, I apologize.

I think he is illegitimate because I believe he colluded with Russia illegally to win the electoral vote, but I don't think the popular vote impacts that at all.

Jrudkis,

I agree that elections need rules. My point is that we hold elections (in preference to other forms of combat) to determine the "Will of the People". How many Republican presidents in a row need to be elected while losing the popular vote before We the People decide that The Rules are not serving our will?

You may remember that back in 2002 there was an interesting Senate race in New Jersey. Late in the campaign, the scandal-plagued Democratic incumbent Bob Torricelli withdrew from the race. Republicans insisted that The Rules required he remain on the ballot against their boy Doug Forrester. They may have had a good case; I don't know. But the Democrats did manage to replace "The Torch" with Frank Lautenberg. And The People of New Jersey turned out to prefer Lautenberg over Forrester.

The GOP's position was that Forrester, who only a minority wanted, was entitled to run against Torricelli, who nobody wanted. The Rules should prevail over The Will of the People, in other words. A hardy perennial notion.

Somebody once calculated that in theory, and strictly by The Rules, a mere 11 individual voters can elect a POTUS. (One voter in each of CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA, OH, GA, MI, NC, and NJ.) Never gonna happen, but The Rules as presently constructed theoretically allow it. Let's hope Putin doesn't manage to exploit that little quirk.

--TP

Facts, facts, facts. It's always facts with you, dude... What's your problem?

Let's see... Originally trained as an applied mathematician and real-time programmer: you either get the right answer within the allotted time or you don't. A pseudo-academic by inclination: if you're going to get facts wrong, don't get the obvious ones wrong. Three years on state legislative budget staff, where "I don't know, Senator, I'll have to get back to you" is acceptable but getting the facts wrong isn't.

Or maybe just a character flaw :^)

Tony P,
I remember the torch election, and was a Republican then. I disliked Lautenberg the first time he was senator, so very much disliked him the second time. Anyone who carries a gun for a living still signs a Lautenberg amendment form annually affirming they have no disqualifying misdemeanors to keep their job.

Had Lautenberg been the candidate the whole time, Forrester would have campaigned against him, and be prepared for him.

Lautenberg could walk in with torricelli's information and damage inflicted on Forrester, while the public only heard a familiar name.

Maybe Lautenberg would have won anyway, but it is definitely a goalposts move, that was not fair to the electorate.

The whole 'fair and free election thing' was missing from that vote.

That the projected vote was roughly even at the end does not mean democrats did not plan for the reverse outcome.

Well, it's only the Gallup poll, but it indicates voter preference swinging quite a bit, with Bush mostly ahead thru October. I take this as a proxy for "most people" thinking he would win the popular vote ....don't really know if that would imply he would then lose the electoral vote.

As to the Dems "being prepared" or not for the reverse, I would simply point out that the Bush legal team did a lot better job for their client than Gore's legal team. For what it's worth.

Bobbyp,
I agree. At the time I was outraged Gore cherrypicked districts to recount, instead of going statewide. I didn't understand why GWB didn't immediately demand statewide.

I guess he was better served by his team.

bobbyp, your Slate link about the "feminization" of the Dems started out depressing me so much I couldn't finish it (and may therefore have missed much that was important). But I was personally uneasy about Blasey Ford's submissive, girlish demeanor, while absolutely seeing that it was necessary, although in the event clearly not sufficient. I'm still very very upset about the outcome, let alone what seems to be a common perception among white women that this was either a false accusation or a case of mistaken identity. As the kids say: I can't even.

The Democrats don't control the house largely due to gerrymandering.

And vote suppression.

GFNC,

Perhaps class and/or tribe overshadows gender? I don't know how any woman could have voted for Trump.

But they did.

And do please finish the article!

Best Regards,

At the time I was outraged Gore cherrypicked districts to recount, instead of going statewide. I didn't understand why GWB didn't immediately demand statewide.

I agree Gore should have gone statewide immediately.

But there is one other thing that has always puzzled me. IIRC, Gore picked districts where he got a lot of votes. Is that incorrect?

If it is correct, aren't those exactly the districts he shouldn't have picked? ISTM that he should pick districts he lost heavily, because those were the one where he had more votes to gain.

If counting errors are independent of the candidate voted for then in any district there will be more errors favoring the district winner than the loser.

Another reason to go statewide.

I didn't understand why GWB didn't immediately demand statewide.

He didn't need to. They asked for a suspension of the recount. A lawless Supreme Court said, "Sure, why not? Sounds good to us!"

Of one thing I am reasonably sure: Had Gore won the elctoral but not the popular vote, he would not have behaved as if The People had given him a mandate to simply ignore everything the other half of the population wants and to unilaterally impose extremist policies on them.
He would have been conciliatory and the 'liberal' media would have insisted on that.
Bush/Cheney/Rove made clear from the start that they had no intention of doing that and the same media pretended that they had a steamrolling mandate.

The Senate and the Electoral College were purposely designed to protect the interests of slaveholders in rural states from the will of the majority in more urban states.

They continue to work as designed.

IIRC, Gore picked districts where he got a lot of votes. Is that incorrect?

IIRC, those were districts in which voting was recorded by "butterfly ballot" with a misleading layout, and in which the first count showed Gore substantially underperforming his polling -- for example, heavily-Jewish districts that showed a surprising vote for Patrick Buchanan.

Bobbyp, I agree any USSC decision that begins with 'dont quote us' is crap, and even as a GWB guy thought so. But that does not excuse Gore from his choice to cherry pick where he thought he had the best chance (apparently misguided as byomtov points out). And it felt like simple politics, not an effort to find out what the Florida voters wanted. Still does, so to the extent the USSC arbitrarily stopped a targeted political recount, I can understand why there is little sustained outrage from most.

So we're stuck with it.

No, russell, you could move to Alaska! Your vote would the be worth, what, four times as much? :)

Or maybe just a character flaw

LOL.

No worries Michael, it was just a joke.

No, russell, you could move to Alaska!

TOO DARK!! Half the time, anyway.

If I'm gonna go that far north, I'm going to Quebec or maybe Toronto.

:)

Since it is an open thread, I want to post a safety warning to all. I am currently sitting in a hotel, enjoying the discussion, and had to refresh my beverage. While doing so I overheard someone who was 'wrong.' I immediately started to plan my refutation when I realised I had no reasonable basis to explain his wrongness. But just barely.

So if you drink and obwi, please do so responsibly, Ideally with a wing man.


Still does

I'm with you. I guess there were good reasons (see Joel above), but the optics were dreadful. He should have asked for a statewide recount.

As for B vs. G....well, a lot of the pain we Dems currently suffer was a direct result of that political heist, for theft it was.

The 2000 recount counties targeted were largely chosen because of large Democratic population AND a significant number of undervotes - fewer total votes for president compared to the total ballots cast. So for example Leon County, where Tallahassee is located, though a strong Democratic county, was not a target for a manual recount. The county had an extremely competent supervisor of elections, and used optical scan ballots with which the voting and tallying are extremely accurate. So why push for a recount where you trust the results?

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/party-lincoln-party-calhoun-endless-series-2

cheating is the only way they can keep winning.

Hartmut,

Had Gore won the 2000 election, he might well have gone after bin Laden for the USS Cole bombing and thus possibly forestalled the 9/11 catastrophe. That would have cost him dearly, of course: the likes of Marty would have caterwauled about "wagging the dog" and there would not have been a STFU answer. And of course if bin Laden had still managed to pull off 9/11 the likes of Marty would have exploded with accusations that Gore provoked him to do it. The Republicans' fury, amplified by the Right Wing Noise Machine and abetted by the Lame Stream Media, might have been so hot as to force Gore to invade Iraq just to shut them up.

And all because "reasonable Republican" Sandra Day O'Connor played Susan Collins in a previous incarnation.

It is of course possible that Dick and Dubya would have won anyway, based on what the 537 most marginal Florida voters had for breakfast on election day.

Oh well, c'est la vie. For the survivors, I mean.

--TP

In regards to the zimmerman link about the feminization of the dems

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gop-apologizes-snatching-mic-opponent

and

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/the-mommy-party

Don't want to make promises I can't keep, but this may occasion a front page post on the point.

FWIW, I acknowledge the popular vote argument. It's not lost on most people.

But in my simple political math, (campaigning for the electoral college) + ((Trump + Johnson+ McMullin votes) - (Clinton + Stein votes)) > Hillary's popular vote total. Add in Jrudkis' point about running for the electoral college and well, advantage "conservatives". By almost a million votes and probably more given campaign strategy.

IMHO, this race isn't the best race to argue about the popular vote vs. the electoral college.

advantage "conservatives".

Does that mean "conservatives" love incarcerating babies? What a country, then. [Can't remember, but assume you're in the embryo brigade.]

advantage "conservatives".

Oops. Forgot the itals last time. Can't wait to reread history, and see "advantage Nazis." You must be extremely proud!

bc,

Without arguing your math, I just want to note your voluntary admission that He, Trump is a "conservative".

--TP

russell: cheating is the only way they can keep winning.

Actually wrong on two counts.

First, they could keep winning by the simple expedient of doing what their own 2008 post mortem suggested: advocate for things that more of the population likes, and try to become a bigger tent party.

Second, even cheating is producing diminishing returns. Which is to say, it isn't going to allow them to keep winning all that much longer.

But agreed, if they refuse to change, it's their only option at the moment.

Sapient,

Isn't it true that children in immigration court were not provided attorneys for years before Trump? I don't think they ever have had them provided.

That is my understanding. I agree that is outrageous, but not new.

Trump has made worse what was already awful, but pinning the lack of representation on this administration or republicans generally is not accurate imho.

Trump has made worse what was already awful, but pinning the lack of representation on this administration or republicans generally is not accurate imho.

The Obama administration was faced with a huge influx of unaccompanied minors whose parents sent them north because the parents were desperate to get them out of harm's way (because the countries of origin are basically failed states where gang violence is the law of the land).

No, there's no "guarantee" of a lawyer in immigration cases. The unaccompanied minor situation, as faced by the Obama administration was difficult. However, they were put in a pipeline for Special Juvenile Immigration Status, some of whom I represented in juvenile court in my jurisdiction.

Now, kids have been separated from their parents unnecessarily. Families who are seeking asylum are outright rejected are put in indefinite detention.
The US has dramatically reduced the number of asylum seekers it will accept in the face of dramatic numbers of people who are seeking asylum.

The government is building new tent cities (private prison corporations being paid for this) to house tons more people.

I'm not in the mood to provide links. Look it up or be skeptical - who cares anymore.

OK bobbyp, since you asked so nicely, I finished it. It's a good article, but I'm still fucking depressed.

By the way, our recent fracas with McKinney was a perfect illustration of this phenomenon: the left is supposed not to bother ideological opponents like SHS in public restaurants, while RWNJs regularly insult and harass people speaking Spanish, shoot black people and insult LGBT people. To misquote the great Nina Simone: USA goddam!

sapient, I don't know exactly what I did to offend you, but I'm pretty sure I'm guilty simply for being conservative in your book. Godwin and all.

Your cartoonish version of conservatives (i.e. Embryo Brigade) is not something I recognize in myself or those I associate with. And, for the record, I'm not in favor of separating young children from parents. Read minds much?

they were put in a pipeline for Special Juvenile Immigration Status, some of whom I represented in juvenile court in my jurisdiction.

I notice that I didn't elaborate on this much. Special Juvenile Immigration Status allows kids to seek citizenship status over time. It's a hard road, but a road to citizenship.

Unless, of course, a la McKinney and friends, it's okay to hunt for reasons to take away people's citizenship.

Look, I have to try hard to be nice here. Sometimes it's pretty difficult.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad