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Thread: The Election: three worrisome factors

  1. #1
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    Default The Election: three worrisome factors

    Even though the Dems mobilized a lot of voters... and the outcome was good - winning back the House... it was NOT as good as it should have been.

    And that's due to three factors.

    First - the electoral system that is weighted toward short-stopping 'the tyranny of the majority' and which springs from some historical compromises that might not be reasonable to continue with today.

    Second - gerrymandering. The success of recent technology which has allowed redistricting to become a very keen weapon indeed, and which perversely allows a minority to gain undue influence - in ways that were NOT envisioned nor intended by the Founding Fathers.

    Third - voter suppression. Dishonest. Illegal. Traitorous, in fact. And yet, widespread. I view it as the last, flailing, desperate, gasp of a Republican party that knows the public is not with them on most issues, the demographics are only going to make that worse, and yet wish to serve their constituency (the ultra-wealthy) for as long as possible to maintain growing disparity in income/wealth.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats...120012119.html
    David G
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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Fourth. What's with only half of the eligible population showing up to vote, when things are this important?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Synopsis is about right!

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    But on the otherhand this successful opposition came in good economic times, things may change.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    But on the otherhand this successful opposition came in good economic times, things may change.
    On the surface, many would agree, the economy LOOKS nice but, so are the dark clouds on the horizon.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by S.V. Airlie View Post
    On the surface, many would agree, the economy LOOKS nice but, so are the dark clouds on the horizon.
    Indeed, and in fact. But Lee is right - the PERCEPTION is of a robust economy... even though the metrics used are (due to increasing polarization between 'haves' and 'have nots') less and less reflective of the reality for most folks.
    David G
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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    But on the otherhand this successful opposition came in good economic times, things may change.
    I certainly am not HOPING for a recession... although if one is inevitable, I'd prefer to get it over with.....

    ...but there's no doubt in my mind that a recession will probably be the ONLY way that the blindly loyal Trumpistas... or, at least, SOME of them... will begin to abandon their orange God.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Fourth. What's with only half of the eligible population showing up to vote, when things are this important?
    That's problem number one. And two, three,...

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    That's problem number one. And two, three,...
    And #4 is a consequence of NOS. 2 and 4. Not always but, play roles.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    I'm guardedly optimistic. The Senate we're stuck with for now, as bad an idea as it has turned out to be after 250 years. Gerrymandering is a long struggle, both sides actually have done it (although Republicans much more lately), and is generating lots of opposition. Voter suppression has a long and nasty history, particularly in the ex-Confederacy, starting with property qualifications, continuing with the end of Reconstruction and disenfranchisement of former slaves, and now a new round - but there's a limit to how much they can do, it generates its own pushback, and it really does only affect very close elections (not that it's much consolation to the people of Georgia, but still . . . )

    But remember - every minute of the day, some more angry old rural evangelical white guys die, and in a city somewhere, more kids register to vote (and an awful lot of them are named Garcia). As vile as the tactics we're seeing are, they're a desperate and ultimately futile rear-guard action against larger trends that show no sign of stopping. They also go a long way to ensure that no one outside 'the base' will vote Republican, and 'the base' is shrinking every minute. Demographics is destiny, as long as we can limit the damage and preserve democracy in the meantime, and the results of the election suggest we can.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    That's problem number one. And two, three,...
    Have to disagree. You've got cause and symptom inverted, methinks. Not that they're not interactive...
    David G
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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Given the first midterm election results of two previous successful presidents, democrats have every reason to be worried.

    In 2010, President Barack Obama lost 63 House and six Senate seats in his first midterm election.

    In 1994, President Bill Clinton lost 54 House and eight Senate seats in his first midterm election.

    President Trump only lost half the number of House seats and actually gained in the Senate!

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Have to disagree. You've got cause and symptom inverted, methinks. Not that they're not interactive...
    Here's Minnesota for 2008-2016. We typically lead the nation in voter turnout, and gerrymandering and voter suppression are simply not issues here. Maybe the absence of problems explains the overall high turnout, but I think it's the other way. We have a culture that insists on clean government, so shenanigans are rare.

    And younger people don't vote here, especially in non-Presidential years, despite it being easier here than anywhere. You can walk up to your polling place, register (ID helps but isn't mandatory), and vote immediately. I voted absentee and filling in the application online was easier than an Amazon order.

    But still, younger voters don't.

    IMG_0411.jpg

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Time for a simple question from an outside observer. Regarding gerrymandering, wtf is with registering to vote as either an R or a D? Without that declaration, gerrymandering goes away. Just have people register as eligible to vote and be done with it, don't tell them in advance how you vote!
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Time for a simple question from an outside observer. Regarding gerrymandering, wtf is with registering to vote as either an R or a D? Without that declaration, gerrymandering goes away. Just have people register as eligible to vote and be done with it, don't tell them in advance how you vote!
    Registration as a party member is a feature of America's system of using primary elections to select candidates for this or that office, who will then run in the later general election. In Canada (and elsewhere) the parties function as private clubs or organizations. Card-carrying and active partisans participate according to that club's rules, just like the Kiwanis or Rotary club or your local boating association, but ordinary citizens who just happen to habitually vote this or that way don't cast a ballot 'till the general election. America's process, though, has developed in a way which seeks to have a lot more popular participation in choosing candidates. I think it's really flawed, and vastly increases the cost, the length of time, and the degree of damage and polarization in electoral politics ... but doubtless it had some noble intentions when the practice arose. Regardless, you can't run popular primary elections without ordinary voters self-identifying as D or R.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Turnouts are so low that a ~100% turnout could probably swamp the effect in almost all cases. Paradoxically, the Republicans, accused of Gerrymandering, have a majority in the Senate, where it should not have an effect. The Democrats have a majority in the House, where Gerrymandering should have an effect.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Time for a simple question from an outside observer. Regarding gerrymandering, wtf is with registering to vote as either an R or a D? Without that declaration, gerrymandering goes away. Just have people register as eligible to vote and be done with it, don't tell them in advance how you vote!
    On the congressional elections a lot. Take a district. Gerrymandering politicians separate it into regions by party. If two districts are close to another; say portion A is republican, section B is democratic, if they take a bit of A, republican and put it in B,originally Democratic, there will be fewer Democrats in B and more Republicans. Candidate for A, a Republican wins.Candidate B in a district that was Democratic but, now purple or red leaning, the Republican might win there.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    I agree, David, that gerrymandering could not factor in Senate (or Gubernatorial) contests - which is why the Republican dirty tricks in such races focused on various types of voter suppression. As we saw documented in Georgia, North Dakota, etc. The Dem majority in the House was sharply reduced by gerrymandering - did you not see the academic reports released in the last few days before the election showing that for a given % change in House seats, the Dems needed to have roughly a 3X % change in the popular vote?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    I understand the primary vote, I just see it as incredibly flawed, it opens the door to unqualified people. There was a White Supremacist put into office yesterday. Have people that wish to determine the party candidates join the party, as it's done here, and elsewhere.

    I mean really, talk about tipping your hand. . .
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    I understand the primary vote, I just see it as incredibly flawed, it opens the door to unqualified people. There was a White Supremacist put into office yesterday. Have people that wish to determine the party candidates join the party, as it's done here, and elsewhere.

    I mean really, talk about tipping your hand. . .
    I don't think so if I understand your question I can only speak for here.

    People join a party because; it's hereditary, (very true here) or they actually believe in the party's platform in a nutshell. It may just be one policy the party supports; guns, religion, abortion controlling the debt, welfare, you name it. It maybe be more than one policy but, at least one.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Cris - here's an example of the dynamic I'm perceiving --

    When Medicaid Expands, More People Vote


    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/u...-increase.html
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by S.V. Airlie View Post
    I don't think so if I understand your question I can only speak for here.

    People join a party because; it's hereditary, (very true here) or they actually believe in the party's platform in a nutshell. It may just be one policy the party supports; guns, religion, abortion controlling the debt, welfare, you name it. It maybe be more than one policy but, at least one.
    Maybe I'm making an incorrect assumption. Party membership lists are closed in the US and not publicly available, but voter registration lists are open to the public. Correct?
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Maybe I'm making an incorrect assumption. Party membership lists are closed in the US and not publicly available, but voter registration lists are open to the public. Correct?
    In theory, you're over 18, are a citizen. In the past, say G. Washington, you had to be white, a landowner, and male.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick-Mi View Post
    Given the first midterm election results of two previous successful presidents, democrats have every reason to be worried.

    In 2010, President Barack Obama lost 63 House and six Senate seats in his first midterm election.

    In 1994, President Bill Clinton lost 54 House and eight Senate seats in his first midterm election.

    President Trump only lost half the number of House seats and actually gained in the Senate!
    Trump is stoking fear which trumps logic. We've become a nation of cowards. We never tried detainees for fear it would trigger another terrorist attack. Fear allowed Bush to lie us into two wars. Now people are afraid of 'others' and fear drives their vote.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Time for a simple question from an outside observer. Regarding gerrymandering, wtf is with registering to vote as either an R or a D? Without that declaration, gerrymandering goes away. Just have people register as eligible to vote and be done with it, don't tell them in advance how you vote!
    But they know how people in various areas vote, no matter how they are registered.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    Turnouts are so low that a ~100% turnout could probably swamp the effect in almost all cases. Paradoxically, the Republicans, accused of Gerrymandering, have a majority in the Senate, where it should not have an effect. The Democrats have a majority in the House, where Gerrymandering should have an effect.
    There's a flaw in our system. All states have 2 senators regardless of population. Number of house members is tied to population. That's how the party that gets the most votes doesn't necessarily win.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Second - gerrymandering. The success of recent technology which has allowed redistricting to become a very keen weapon indeed, and which perversely allows a minority to gain undue influence - in ways that were NOT envisioned nor intended by the Founding Fathers.
    The House is the only national institution where gerrymandering happens. And the Democrats won the House. The Senate is impervious to gerrymandering. The Republicans won the Senate. Elections do seem to bring out misunderstandings of the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    But on the other hand this successful opposition came in good economic times, things may change.
    A lot of rich people think economic times are good. But the economy has not been good for those in the bottom 50% for many decades.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Cris - here's an example of the dynamic I'm perceiving --

    When Medicaid Expands, More People Vote


    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/08/u...-increase.html
    Sorry, I can't get past the paywall.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Here's the NY Times article.

    When Medicaid Expands, More People Vote
    Expansion measures that passed in several states on Tuesday could increase turnout in 2020, research suggests.
    By Margot Sanger-Katz Nov. 8, 2018

    Obamacare didn’t just give more people health insurance. It also caused more people to vote. That’s the conclusion of a new body of evidence that strongly suggests that giving people coverage through expansions of the Medicaid program increases their likelihood of participating in the next election. Medicaid expansions seem to raise both voter registration and voter participation, at least temporarily.

    On Tuesday, voters in three states approved measures to further expand Medicaid. The election of Democratic governors in three more could also prompt new expansions. Researchers who worked on three recent studies of the effects say it’s likely that those expansions will have a similar effect on voting in the next election cycle.

    “We can confidently say: When you expand Medicaid eligibility, participation goes up,” said Jake Haselswerdt, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, who wrote one of the papers.

    It’s not clear exactly why getting Medicaid makes people more likely to vote, but there are a couple of theories. It could be that Medicaid, which has been shown to increase treatment for depression and improve financial stability, makes it easier for people to participate in the political process by giving them direct benefits. Over all, wealthier and healthier Americans tend to be more likely to vote than their poorer, sicker counterparts.

    Perhaps enrollment in the program simply connected people with information about registration and voting, as it brought them into contact with government websites and case workers. Medicaid might also boost civic engagement by making people more grateful to the government and more interested in public policy. Earlier studies have shown that the creation of Social Security had a large effect on the civic participation of older Americans, and that the G.I. bill boosted participation from veterans who earned benefits under its program.

    “These are programs that have a major effect on people’s lives,” said Andrea Campbell, a professor of political science at M.I.T., who wrote a book on the political legacy of Social Security. She suggested Medicaid could work similarly, by improving people’s circumstances and making them more aware of the stakes of government action.

    A somewhat conflicting body of evidence has shown that enrollment in stigmatized programs, like cash welfare, actually depresses voting.

    Medicaid may be more like Social Security.

    Two of the recent studies looked at what happened during the big Medicaid expansions in 2014, which occurred as a result of the Affordable Care Act. A Supreme Court ruling made the expansion optional, and only about half of states expanded right away. One study, from the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, compared voting later that year between states that expanded and those that didn’t.

    Another study, from the American Political Science Review, zoomed in more narrowly, looking just at similar counties on the borders between states that expanded and those that didn’t. Both papers showed increases in voter registration and voting. In the neighboring-counties research, people in the expansion counties were more likely to register and to vote, by three to four percentage points.

    A third study, released as a working paper this week, looked at an earlier Medicaid expansion, when Oregon opened up its program to some childless adults in 2008. The state set up a lottery to determine who got coverage, which led to an important randomized experiment of how Medicaid coverage affects people’s lives. Unlike the 2014 research, the Oregon study was able to track voting by individual, not just region. It found that the Medicaid expansion increased voter turnout by 7 percent among the newly covered group in Oregon.

    Voting is private, so none of the research could say whether the new Medicaid voters supported Democrats or Republicans. Mr. Haselswerdt, who did the statewide study, said it might even be possible that some of the voting increase by Medicaid beneficiaries was matched by increased voting by expansion opposers.

    But the people eligible for Medicaid expansion tend to be poor, single adults, a demographic more likely to be Democratic-leaning. And the Oregon study showed bigger voting effects in more heavily Democratic parts of the state.

    Even though all the studies detected an effect of Medicaid on voting, none of them showed one that lasted. Political science research suggests that voting can be a habit-forming behavior, but that may not be the case for this particular group. In each study, the voting boost after expansion had faded by the next election. That means that the coming expansions may make an electoral difference only once.

    “Medicaid coverage policy is still front and center in the political debate,” said Katherine Baicker, a co-author on the Oregon work and the dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. “Having this kind of information about how Medicaid coverage affects not only health and health care use and financial security, but also civic engagement, seems like a really important relationship to have a little more information about.”
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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
    Benjamin Franklin
    Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. John Fn Kennedy. (D)

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Time for a simple question from an outside observer. Regarding gerrymandering, wtf is with registering to vote as either an R or a D? Without that declaration, gerrymandering goes away. Just have people register as eligible to vote and be done with it, don't tell them in advance how you vote!
    Gerrymandering can be done quite effectively without party registration information. Most of what's used is census information. A lot of it is how people actually voted in a precinct.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by mdh View Post
    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
    Benjamin Franklin
    First, Franklin almost certainly did not say that; it appears to be a fake quote. FWIW, here's a real one on a similar subject (source):

    “All the Property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.”

    But neither here nor there. Your "Franklin" quote argues that any use of any taxes to help poor people (like Medicaid), or anything that shifts money from those who have more to those who have less, including progressive taxation, would 'herald the end of the republic.' This is, to be altogether too polite, utter and complete nonsense. You can take your Randian crap and stuff it where the sun don't shine.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Keith - you are telling him to stuff it into Oregon??? Please don't do that. We've got plenty of our own dingbats already. Really! <G>
    David G
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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Fourth. What's with only half of the eligible population showing up to vote, when things are this important?
    People get the governments they deserve, especially if they don't vote.

    Use it or lose it.

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    Default Re: The Election: three worrisome factors

    If there is a recession in the near future, trump will point out that it occurred after the Dems took Congress. Therefore it's their fault. The believers will lap it up.
    Michigan seems like a dream to me now.

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