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Thread: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

  1. #1
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    Default We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    A disturbing article in the Bulwark demonstrates the alternate ways in which a President might be 'elected'.

    In the days after Democrats unseated an incumbent president and won unified control of Congress, the victorious party went though a round of self-analysis and recriminations.

    The Republicans, who managed a trifecta of losing that hadn’t been accomplished since Herbert Hoover, doubled down. Then they backed up their bets, split 4s, and doubled down again.

    People were confused as to why the losing party didn’t conduct an autopsy to try to figure out what went wrong.

    Except that they did. It wasn’t a traditional autopsy in the sense that there was no formal committee and the project wasn’t centered around getting more votes in future elections. But it’s clear that Republicans are in the midst of a crowd-sourced attempt to figure out how to win the presidency in 2024.


    There are three ways to capture the presidency:

    (1) Win a lot more votes than the opposing candidate.

    (2) Get fewer votes, but win pluralities in enough states to get 270 certified and counted Electoral Votes.

    (3) Get fewer votes and fewer Electoral Votes, but prevent the official counting and certification of the Electoral Votes—and then win a majority of state delegations when the contest is shifted to Congress.

    You can win the presidency even while getting blown out in both the popular vote and the Electoral College, provided your party:


    • Controls the House and Senate.
    • Constitutes a congressional majority in 26 states.
    • Has sufficient raw political will.


    Five years ago this scenario would have sounded like a nightmare designed to scare children; democracy’s version of the Baba Yaga.

    Today it’s just an alternative path to power.

    After all, it’s right there in the rules. How could anyone possibly object?

    And if you ask Conservatism Inc. they’ll tell you how beside-the-point “democracy” is, anyhow.



    2. The Republican Game Plan

    When Republicans conducted their autopsy, they skipped “How to Win Option 1” and went straight to Options 2 and 3—leapfrogging the question of how to get more votes and focusing on how to use institutional leverage to take power even while losing popular majorities.

    Option 2—the path of least resistance—is for Republicans to change voting rules at the state level in the hopes that they can drive down the number of Democratic votes cast and win the Electoral College despite being a persistent minority. A lot has been written about these various initiatives, some of which are more grotesque than others.
    But the real cutting edge work being done as a result of the GOP autopsy concerns

    Option 3: Figuring out how a Republican can win the presidency even while losing the popular vote and the Electoral College.

    Just go by the numbers: It is likely Republicans will have majorities in the congressional delegations of at least 26 states for the foreseeable future. They have a >50 percent chance of winning the House in 2022 and a pretty good shot at flipping the Senate.


    So the first two preconditions for winning the presidency while losing the election are very much on the table.

    Which leaves just one project: Mustering the political will to move past both the popular vote and the Electoral College.

    In 2020, many elected Republicans lacked the will to use the means that would have been necessary to stop the certification and counting of Electoral Votes:

    • In Michigan, the election results were certified only because a single Republican member of the state canvassing board, Aaron Van Langevelde, broke party ranks and voted to certify them.
    • In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger refused direct requests from the president of the United States to change the official tally of the state’s votes.
    • In Pennsylvania, enough Republicans in the state legislature declined the president’s entreaty to create an alternate slate of electors.
    • Once the Electoral Votes were sent to Washington, more than half of the Republican members of Congress objected to the counting of the Electoral Votes—but
    • it wasn’t enough to stop the process.


    So the key parts of the Republican autopsy have been (1) building the political will to use raw power next time and (2) removing the Republican officials who were not willing to comply last time.

    That’s why Republican state parties have censured nearly every Republican who did not participate in Trump’s attempted coup.

    That’s why Brad Raffensperger is the target of a primary challenge in Georgia.


    That’s why Michigan Republicans replaced Aaron Van Langevelde with a more reliable partisan on the state canvassing board.


    That’s why Nevada Republicans are attacking Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, the only Republican to have won state-wide office in 2018. (Even though she is a

    Republican, Cegavske refused to go along with the attempt to overturn Nevada’s result.)


    That’s why Republicans in Arizona have introduced HB 2720. Here’s the relevant section of the bill:
    The Legislature retains its legislative authority regarding the office of presidential elector and by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration may revoke the Secretary of State’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election.

    Ladies and gentlemen: Behold the fruit of the Republican autopsy.



    "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: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    ...And then the murders began.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    And people worry about parts of the new laws, making it illegal to give water to voter's. Just a big distraction watch what they do not what they say. Mitch hopes a repeat of 2012 . I doubt the democrats stay home this time.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    New York State used to try to make it illegal to give alcohol to voters.
    Liquor stores were closed on Election Day.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    New York State used to try to make it illegal to give alcohol to voters.
    Liquor stores were closed on Election Day.
    Seems a poor analogy.

    Watching all this unfold, I sure hope the courts hold up, as that seems our only hope.

    Are we still the beacon of democracy?
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    This is a replay of 1877, and the end of Reconstruction. Hays won the 1876 election, but there was a lot of fraud intended to keep blacks from exercising the franchise. Phony electors were part of the issue.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1876_U...ntial_election

    The new Georgia law throws certification of the election to the legislature, where we can expect the votes of African Americans to be effectively nullified.

    1877 marked the beginning of the Jim Crow era.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Seems a poor analogy.

    Watching all this unfold, I sure hope the courts hold up, as that seems our only hope.

    Are we still the beacon of democracy?
    I hate to be a bubble-burster, but I'm afraid the USA has not been living up to the internal image as the beacon for quite a while. It has ranked around 16th place in the democracy rankings for quite a few years. The rankings for 'freedom' are not particularly uplifting, either.
    A quick search of the net will turn up a number of the reputable ranking sites if you are up to it.

    Here is a simple map showing the world of democracy at a glance. Light blue is 'flawed democracies'.
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...-very-bad-year

    Another....
    https://www.statista.com/chart/18737...dex-world-map/
    Flawed democracy.

    2020 saw a drop to 25th place... Here's a list by country. The 30 most democratic countries.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...tic-countries/
    Sorry. But we all know why.
    Last edited by lagspiller; 04-14-2021 at 02:38 PM.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Might be true, but the US keeps something far worse at bay. Can Europe prevail without the US?
    Ragnar B.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by lagspiller View Post
    I hate to be a bubble-burster, but I'm afraid the USA has not been living up to the internal image as the beacon for quite a while. It has ranked around 16th place in the democracy rankings for quite a few years. The rankings for 'freedom' are not particularly uplifting, either.
    A quick search of the net will turn up a number of the reputable ranking sites if you are up to it.

    Here is a simple map showing the world of democracy at a glance. Light blue is 'flawed democracies'.
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...-very-bad-year

    Another....
    https://www.statista.com/chart/18737...dex-world-map/
    Flawed democracy.

    2020 saw a drop to 25th place... Here's a list by country. The 30 most democratic countries.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...tic-countries/
    Sorry. But we all know why.
    But we keep boasting about being that beacon. It's like people boasting "we're number one", but not realizing we're number 1 in the percentage in prison, the number of people shot, how much we owe, and the like. I'm not sure we're number one in any good category.
    Now he's gone. If only he'd be forgotten.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    The founding fathers were only interested in a 'controlled democracy' meaning controlled by the proper people, like them. The flaws were designed in deliberately as far as I can see, and various decision of the USSC political organisation have furthered the bias.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    The founding fathers were only interested in a 'controlled democracy' meaning controlled by the proper people, like them.
    The question is this: 240 years later, do Americans accept the notion that the only people who should vote should be a certain elite class? Read the right wing press.... a remarkable number of far right pundits are arguing exactly that.
    "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: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by mizzenman View Post
    Might be true, but the US keeps something far worse at bay. Can Europe prevail without the US?
    Sure they can. Europe can’t prevent the US from going down the path of decay and authoritarianism.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    The question is this: 240 years later, do Americans accept the notion that the only people who should vote should be a certain elite class? Read the right wing press.... a remarkable number of far right pundits are arguing exactly that.
    Currently, the Republican Party is trying to promote itself as the party of the working class.

    What's that word, starts with 'H'...

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    The question is this: 240 years later, do Americans accept the notion that the only people who should vote should be a certain elite class? Read the right wing press.... a remarkable number of far right pundits are arguing exactly that.
    It’s not the far right, it’s a mainstream view in the Republican Party.

    The Republican Party is promoting itself as the white working class party.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    White as against everyone else? Or do they recognise, as in Sth Africa under apartheid, 'honorary whites' if they are rich enough?

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    It is, indeed, to be aware of what the traitors might be getting up to.

    The thread title should be stated as a danger, but not a likelihood.
    David G
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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    It is, indeed, to be aware of what the traitors might be getting up to.

    The thread title should be stated as a danger, but not a likelihood.
    From your lips to God's ear. I hope you are correct.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    From your lips to God's ear. I hope you are correct.
    I hope so, too. I know enough activists who are already riled up and alert, and get the impression there are enough around the country, that it seems unlikely.

    OTOH, I'm not looking for a bookie to take that action...
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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I hope so, too. I know enough activists who are already riled up and alert, and get the impression there are enough around the country, that it seems unlikely.

    OTOH, I'm not looking for a bookie to take that action...
    Yeah, not a gabling man myself...

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    The occidental collection of wisdom tells us that 'pride goeth before a fall'.

    No denying there is a lot to be proud of and for.
    The downside of that is a mirror effect where the amazing qualities, over time, fill the entire viewing screen. It becomes harder to see around the edges and focus on what is outside the mirror frame. That is a dangerous phase in the history of any country. Seems to me that dominant countries through history have collapsed on themselves fairly regularly when their understanding of reality becomes clouded by unrealistic evaluations of what they see in the mirror.

    Can Europe prevail without the USA? A more precise question.... can Europe prevail with a faultering democracy in the USA?
    I don't know. USA has been a forefront country in building democracy. It has directly influenced a number of constitutions in Europe... the French and Norwegian are directly based on the US constitution. Benjamin Franklin was asked by the French govt to advise during that process. And did you know there are links not only to ancient Greek democracy, but also from native American sources in what Franklin brought to the table when all three constitutions were written? The idea of the division of power and the two houses of legislation are taken directly from what Franklin observed, visiting the iroquois nation. It's in the congressional records, if you don't believe it.
    The concepts in modern democracy and US history are inseparable.

    Which is also why the tottering condition of democracy in USA in recent years is affecting the shape of democracy in Europe.
    We see the same forces enabled and sticking their heads out, here. I think we are still in good shape, but the pressure is on and what is happening in USA is not the same positive affect it used to be. Some of the affects can only be described as anti-democratic.
    So, I don't know if Europe can stay 'wholly democratic' for long against the turning tide.

    Final thought - with China on the rise and USA in decline, are we living through one of those historic 'paradigme shifts'? Democracy is built on human rights and the idea of equality as founding ideals. That is what has raised the condition of the people to a standard of living that historically is unprecedented. (No, not great for everyone. Just well better than in previous times for everyone).
    But look at China. Look at the incredible advances, for the country and for the people - an incredible number of people, that has sprung out in China since 1948. They have gone from feudal, agricultural country to major world economy in one generation. Plenty of mistakes and what we would call 'abuses of power'... with a view on building a country that betters the standard of living as fast as possible, cost it what it may along the way. Definitely a competing ideology to democracy. One that now seems to be a realistic competitor to the throne.

    If democracy doesn't get its act together again soon, I am worried for the future shape of human rights, freedom of speech, and all the other freedoms we pay lip service to but take so for granted. The Chinese single-party system just may surpass our democracies in meeting the needs of most people, in our lifetime. And I'm getting old.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Norm, with respect, the US has never had a democratic presidential election. That would be one person, one vote, which you don't practice.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    A disturbing article in the Bulwark demonstrates the alternate ways in which a President might be 'elected'.
    And yet the voting laws of Biden's own state of Delaware, as are the voting laws of most of the Northeast "Blue States", more restrictive than Georgia's. You simply can't make this **** up.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabeau View Post
    And yet the voting laws of Biden's own state of Delaware, as are the voting laws of most of the Northeast "Blue States", more restrictive than Georgia's. You simply can't make this **** up.
    Feel like explaining this? Maybe some cites?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabeau View Post
    And yet the voting laws of Biden's own state of Delaware, as are the voting laws of most of the Northeast "Blue States", more restrictive than Georgia's. You simply can't make this **** up.
    Yes the new Georgia law adds two more weekends of early voting then New York. This is not the issue,in the new Georgia law the legislature's can get rid of Brad Raffensperger and appoint a yes man.Then they pick a new slate of electors this is the issue. Tell my how many Democrat presidents ever won but lost the popular vote? And how many Republican presidents won by losing the popular vote? I wish I was making this up.Electors are picked six months ahead of the election a slate of loyal democrats and republicans. When the state gives the results only the winning side certifies and the losers effin stay home I don't care blue controld or red state. unlike last year when republicans tried going in state capitals

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Yeah, not a gabling man myself...
    You prefer hipped roofs, then?

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    I find it amusing that I've been telling Norman that the Republican Party is a seditious criminal cabal, bent upon the destruction of liberal democracy for YEARS, and he still thinks this is news.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    ^^^ Yep.

    It has been obvious in Wisconsin for more than 10 years now. The rest of the country seems to be catching up fast.

    Tom
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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    ^ "The rest of the country seems to be catching up fast."

    too little, too late? At this point it sure looks a done deal. After all, in the wake of massive Black Lives Matter protests, the DNC ran & elected two people massively responsible for enslaving blacks in For Profit Prisons.

    But yes, obvious for more than decade. How's that go? "None so blind as they who will not see".. Or Peter Sibley's Grateful Dead .sig - "You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know". In line with those two thoughts - individual exceptions aside, much/most of the DNC has been happily tripping along behind the RNC down the 'control the vote' path all along.

    cue 'the usual crowd' to school me in 5..4..3....

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    2...1... Crickets?
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    You prefer hipped roofs, then?

    Tom
    I've heard him gab a bit myself. Just gotta get him around the right group <G>
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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I've heard him gab a bit myself. Just gotta get him around the right group <G>
    Nice pitch, but it slater than you think.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    2...1... Crickets?
    They must all be busy defending Derek Chauvin and/or blaming Daunte Wright for making a cop shoot him over on some other threads.

    Tom
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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    There is no defending him. Unless you're his attorney. Then you're sitting on an impossible task because, see my first sentence.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    ^ seems more than a few don't quite get that.

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    Default Re: We may have seen the last democratic Presidential election

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabeau View Post
    And yet the voting laws of Biden's own state of Delaware, as are the voting laws of most of the Northeast "Blue States", more restrictive than Georgia's. You simply can't make this **** up.
    See post #6. The real problem isn't what the new law does to voters, it's the fact that it throws certification of the election to the Georgia legislature. Suppose Kamala Harris wins the most votes in a future presidential election, will the Republican-dominated legislature give Harris the electoral college votes?

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