For the past thirty years, every single time we’ve had a new President, that first year of the new president, the president’s party lost both the Virginia governor and the New Jersey governor. Every single time.
Except this time Democrats didn’t lose New Jersey. In a rational world this would not be a cause for Democratic panic. Quite the contrary.
Democrats have beat the odds. They’ve done better than everybody’s done going back to the great communicator, Ronald Reagan, who’s the last president who pulled this off.
The last time a president managed to only lose one of those governorships in the first year he was in office, it was the great communicator himself Ronald Reagan.
Biden has done something that no other President has been able to do since Reagan. You would think this would be cause for celebration in the Democratic party.
I wouldn’t even have known we passed 300,000 today if Joe Biden hadn’t observed that we passed that landmark after marking the victory that was recorded by the electoral college today. A grim pairing for a grim year.
Fuck you 2020. Let’s hope your next of kin is kinder than you were.
I would like to point out that this contingency is covered. There is no need to fret about this subject. If the election is muddied to the point where there is no clear victor, then Donald Trump’s term in office still ends on January 20, 2021.
Donald Trump will not be president after that date. (especially since the election says he didn’t win. -ed.) It is a fixed point in time beyond his ability to alter. The nuclear codes will go to the next person in the line of succession. That person is also set in stone in a way that he cannot change it. The presidency will pass over the Vice President, who will also no longer be an office holder on that date, and it will come to rest on the speaker of the newly seated House of Representatives.
If there is one thing that you can rely on in this alternate reality we currently inhabit, it is that the military will follow procedure and dutifully remove the codes from Donald Trump’s hands on that date and they will hand control of the military to the next person that law dictates is his successor as president. That person will most likely be Nancy Pelosi. That is, if Joe Biden doesn’t win outright. We’ll know when the new legislature takes office.
…you think you know something and then someone asks a question that you don’t have an answer for. A contingent election?
In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used to elect the president or vice president in the event that no candidate for one or both of these offices wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College. A presidential contingent election is decided by a special vote of the United States House of Representatives, while a vice-presidential contingent election is decided by a vote of the United States Senate. During a contingent election in the House, each state’s delegation casts one en bloc vote to determine the president, rather than a vote from each representative. Senators, on the other hand, cast votes individually for vice president.
The contingent election process was originally established in Article Two, Section 1, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. The procedure was modified by the 12th Amendment in 1804, under which the House chooses one of the three candidates who received the most electoral votes, while the Senate chooses one of the two candidates who received the most electoral votes. The phrase “contingent election” is not found in the text of the Constitution but has been used to describe this procedure since at least 1823.
Contingent elections have occurred only three times in American history: in 1801, 1825, and 1837. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, the presidential and vice-presidential nominees on the ticket of the Democratic-Republican party, received the same number of electoral votes. Under the procedures in place at the time, this necessitated a contingent election the following year to decide which would be president and which vice president. In 1824, the Electoral College was split between four candidates, with Andrew Jackson losing the subsequent contingent election to John Quincy Adams, despite having won a plurality of both the popular and electoral vote. In 1836, faithless electors in Virginia refused to vote for Martin Van Buren‘s vice-presidential nominee Richard Mentor Johnson, denying him a majority of the electoral vote and forcing the Senate to elect him in a contingent election.
I had heard of those three instances in history. I had never looked at how the votes are cast in the House of Representatives. Now that I’ve looked I don’t think I’ll sleep well until after December 8th or December 14th. I won’t sleep well, because the Republicans do control more states in the House than the Democrats do. Once again I’m struck with the injustice of 7 million more votes for Joe Biden not counting as a victory in and of itself.
If Trump succeeds in corrupting the vote certification process in an attempt to throw the election to the House of Representatives, all bets are off. Never mind that Donald Trump didn’t win in any real sense of the word, not even the technicality that he took the presidency with in 2016. This time he will steal the election right in front of our faces. What will we do then?
Since the Democrats do control the House of Representatives and since the vote certification can be shown to have been corrupted, I would think that the House could simply refuse to act and allow the line of succession rules to take over, as I originally theorized. It’s not like Mitch McConnell hasn’t done exactly the same thing for the last decade. I guess we’ll find out.
On the Dan Carlin Facebook group, a former moderator of the old BBS posted this little tidbit of a text string:
The real issue is not to that trump and Biden are the same, it’s that their differences don’t matter.
If you lived in Gaul or Hispania or Bythnia or Alexandria, The correct answer to Marius or Sulla is neither.
The corruption on display by Biden and Trump cannot be fixed by Your Guy.
Disempower DC. Let Oregon be a progressive. Let Mississippi be conservative.
It is the only hope to prevent the violence that will not be worth it, even if you win.
nmoore63, The Ponderous Right-Winger
We go way back, Nick and I, as if in saying “way back” you mean quiet but firmly militant enforced tolerance of disparate beliefs that are violently at odds under the surface. Kind of like the various ethnic groups kept together under the pressure of a dictatorship, now released to tell each other what they really think. Of course, I had to respond to this tasty bit of bait.
The belief that Biden is corrupt is where nmoore63 stumbles into the bullshit. There is no proof, none whatsoever, that Biden is corrupt. Even if there was, he hasn’t been a tax cheat all of his adult life and Trump has. He hasn’t defrauded his contractors since the 1980’s and Trump has. Joe Biden isn’t a racist, and Trump is. Joe Biden isn’t a populist, and Trump is.
Trump wants to be Marius or Sulla, a Caesar or Tsar, except Donald Trump doesn’t have the balls to do the work. Joe Biden isn’t even trying to be a dictator, so making that comparison with him is pointless.
The list of differences is nearly infinite. I have zero patience for people who want to pretend that Biden is the same as Trump or that the Democrats are the same as the Republicans. They aren’t. The similarities between Democrats and Republicans ends at the point where the parties have both inserted themselves into the framework of the country and shouldn’t be there. After that point, their goals diverge, as is demonstrated on a daily basis.
Republicans want to keep voter turnouts low, because that is what has worked for the oligarchy in the past, and they are the oligarchs that profited from discouraging voter turnout in days gone by. Over and over the points add up and the Republicans are the ones who are responsible for most of the problems today, because they took on those problems when they invited the Dixiecrats into their fold.
In four years the story may well be different. But as long as the Republican party remains the racist, fascist creation of Donald Trump, I will be a Democrat. The problem is Trump and his supporters, not the Democrats and the rest of the human race. If you don’t understand this point by now, you probably never will.
I get it. I really do. You think that the states can go it alone if we only let them have a free-er hand. That is your anarchist beliefs talking. Anarchism is a dysfunction of the mental processes, it is not (not) a philosophy. If it was a philosophy there would be more to it than just believing you should be free to do as you please. The Zero-Aggression Principle (ZAP) or whatever your particular flavor of anarchism amounts to is not a philosophy. It isn’t a philosophy because aggression among humans is unavoidable.
In the end, when words fail, it comes to force. Anyone (anyone) who has lived long enough to raise their own children knows this fact. If they deny it, they are lying to themselves and to you. You doubt this? Your child is running towards the street and oncoming traffic. Do you stop them before they get run over? If so, you have used force to get your way. You have aggressed against your child. So much for anarchism. So much for the ZAP, it was zapped by parental concern. As it should have been.
So here you are, willing to use force to get your way, and you want me to believe that you won’t use it to get your way in most other situations where you think you’re right. You’ll use force, if that is what it comes to. This is human nature, and I’ve had a lot to say about the subject of human nature in my many years of blogging.
When this country (the United States) started there had never been any government quite like it before in history. There was Greece and it’s Athenian direct democracy, and then Rome and it’s vaunted (but largely powerless) Senate. But there hadn’t been a new government formed that was based solely on the words written on parchment.
A solid majority of the people who migrated here were aware of parliaments, but those nations they came from had kings and other forms of nobility that held the power. The American colonies were the first to fall to the new ideas of the enlightenment, followed closely by a few other countries that were remarkable in their spectacular failures more than they were remarkable in their successes.
The ideas of faction were nascent then. Poorly understood, loosely equated with the political parties of the time and a thing that the founders of the United States wrote about in the most ominous tones. But even they fell into factions shortly after the first election that gave us George Washington. Factions that were firmly in place by the time that Thomas Jefferson unseated John Adams and became the third president of the United States.
Faction, it turns out, is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that we have to encode factions into the body politic. We don’t have to suffer them dictating policy on the whim of their supporters, reversing from election to election. We can remove them from the system, just like has been done in California, the only state that has so far done the work that needs to be done to divorce government from factional infighting.
How is this done, you ask? Jungle primaries and representative districts that are drawn by a non-partisan commission. That is how it was done in California and it will work in every state in the United States if the people of those states would agree that was what they wanted. So we take over the Democrats, because the Republicans are already off on a fool’s errand of vanishing returns, and then we make the system sound by passing state legislation that ends gerrymandering, institutes jungle primaries and mandates public financing for all elections.
With those measures in place every dollar that gets into a representatives hands from outside the government will be criminal and prosecutable. Their parties will be largely irrelevant aside from the issues the party represents. Whoever best represents an area will be the representative because there won’t be a corrupting influence involved in drawing the districts. It’s a long haul, but we can do it. We can do it forty-nine times (or fifty-one, or a hundred and fifty-one) if that is what it takes, because we, the Democrats, will have the majority. We will have the majority and we will maintain the majority for as long as the Republicans continue to pursue a vanishing, white, evangelical electorate.
For Republicans to win in the nation these efforts will create, they will have to actually change. There is little chance of conservatives ever embracing that liberal notion.
Maddow speaks to AOC last night on her news program.
In that clip, and in other segments in the show, Rachel and her guests seem to be incapable of understanding what it is that Trump and McConnell are doing right now. She uses the phrase politically inexplicable several times. This is an incorrect assessment.
Telling Americans and their representatives in the House and Senate of the legislature that they won’t get coronavirus aid until after Trump’s SCOTUS nominee is confirmed is politically explicable, if you understand that the Republicans are fighting on a different battlefield than the rest of the country is fighting on.
The battlefield that the Republicans are willing to die on is the battlefield where they turn the United States, through control of its courts, into a Christianist country perfectly aligned with the prosperity gospel dogma espoused by their evangelical base. The dogmatic anti-abortion hordes that were created by Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority, promoted to power by Ronald Reagan, that went into resistance mode under Newt Gingrich and then the Tea Party, and are now given voice my Mitch Mcconnell and the last, dying coronavirus-infected gasp of Donald Trump. They are demonstrably ready to die on that battlefield, and they are determined to take us with them.
V.P. Pence’s attitude towards Kamala Harris and the extra COVID-19 precautions that the council on debates has proposed confirm this assertion of mine. He is quite likely a super spreader himself now, since he spends so much time sucking Donald Trump’s cock in their private meetings. It is only a matter of days before he too shows a positive coronavirus test result, and he’ll get the same gold-star treatment that is reserved for the politically powerful in the United States of today. This is the country that America’s evangelicals have been working towards since 1978. Do you like it?
The war the rest of us are fighting is the one where the coronavirus is destroying our country with the president’s help. The president that has done nothing but pander to his evangelical, white nationalist base since he took office. The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has given them all one last chance to lock in the changes to our government that they have been seeking for more than forty years now. They think that with six solid conservative votes on the SCOTUS they will finally be able to enjoy the fruits of their Christianist efforts, establishing the dogmatic supremacy that the evangelical faith was established to produce more than a hundred years ago.
Liberals should not capitulate. The Democratic party should continue blocking the efforts to replace RBG with Amy Coney Barrett. She, like Kavanaugh and Thomas, has no business being on the highest court in the land, much less being there for the next sixty or seventy years. Her willingness to subvert fact with dogma precludes her from ever being suitable for the federal bench, at all. Do not give in and allow them to fast track the corruption of our courts. If the Senate confirms no more judges until after next January 20th it will be a service to the country, even if that service comes at the cost of more lives destroyed by the coronavirus. Don’t do anything, if that’s what it takes. I’m betting the conservatives will blink first. Especially once the coronavirus finishes working its way through the ranks of Washington elites.
Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.
But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightenedconscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
I can’t speak to why the Liberal Democratic party allowed Jeremy Corbyn to run their party. I wouldn’t have, but then I’m not a Lib-Dem. They suggest that Bernie Sanders is too liberal and we should toss him out in favor of Joe Biden. I know why Joe Biden is winning, and I will vote for him in the general if he secures the nomination.
Since they had the temerity to offer suggestions to NPR as to what the US should do to fix our politics, I have some pointed observations to offer them in response. If the Lib-Dems wanted to stand a chance in the last election, they should have come out 100% against Brexit. They should have said “we aren’t leaving, and we aren’t holding another election. We are going to do what David Cameron should have done in the first place and are simply going to say NO. No Brexit because it is suicidal and probably racist to think that we should leave the European Union.” They should have said that, and left the subject at that.
The original Brexit vote was tainted by interference from outside of of the UK. Tainted by the interference of Vladimir Putin. The referendum results can just be set aside for this reason, and no other vote needs to be held on the subject.
I have some bad news for the Lib-Dems, the Tories and Biden supporters all three. There is no past to return to. Not for Britain and their Brexit dreams, and not for the Democratic party hoping to just bury the last four years in more Obama/Biden platitudes.
The United Kingdom is done for. I know this because it isn’t UKexit that Britain screams for, but Brexit. Northern Ireland and Scotland will likely leave the UK because of Britain’s folly. Ireland isn’t going to leave the European Union in any real sense, because it is a separate island, and one county on that island is part of the UK. Scotland will do their best to seperate themselves from the suicidal behavior of their brethren in Britain, hoping against hope that they will see what kind of hell leaving the EU will inflict on them. I think their hopes are in vain. I think Scotland will have to re-erect Hadrian’s wall to keep the Brits out, once they start to suffer.
Joe Biden represents a similar desire in Americans. He represents a return to normality in the minds of the people who are voting for him, in the same way that a renewed British empire attracts a questionable majority of Britain. Joe Biden represents a return to the days of Barack Obama, the days before we knew our friends and relatives were raging xenophobes willing to destroy our country to make themselves feel safe. Those days are over, and they aren’t coming back.
Elizabeth Warren was angling to put herself in the position where Joe Biden forced himself onto the stage. Elizabeth Warren had already moderated her healthcare plan so as to distinguish herself from the hardline stance that Bernie Sanders insists on, to his own political detriment. Elizabeth Warren represents the future. New ideas, new plans, a fresh approach to old problems. She would have made more moves toward moderation if Joe Biden not decided to take over the moderate wing of the Democratic party. Joe Biden, who pushed the woman out of the way so that he could appeal for a return to the good old days.
The Republicans have tried to recapture the days of Ronald Reagan with every single presidential candidate they have offered since Reagan left office, including the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) The OHM who stole one of Reagan’s soundbytes, make America great again. It isn’t a Trump tagline, it is a Reagan tagline, and Trump is a poor man’s idea of who and what Ronald Reagan was. They’re wrong, as stupid people are wrong about so many things, but that’s what they think Trump is.
The Democrats cannot erase Trump or the suicidal and openly criminal behavior of the Republican Party leadership. Not with Joe Biden, not with anybody. Trump will always be the forty-fifth president of the United States. As much as I would like to think we could pull an Akhenaten with him, even the ancient Egyptians couldn’t completely remove the pharaoh they wanted to forget. They didn’t have the internet to contend with, or half of the country bent on preserving the memory of the last four years in the hopes of continuing the trend of xenophobia and sociopathy that the OHM embodies.
Biden will fail to live up to the memory of what the Obama years were, because we can’t turn back the clock to 2008. We can’t unring the bell that the OHM rang, summoning the ghost of the Confederate South to his side. If we’re lucky the best he can do is delay the confrontation with them for another four to eight years. In the end, we will have to face down those demons and my kindly Uncle Joe isn’t going to have it in him to do that job.
Elizabeth Warren could do that job. She has attacked Trump in the past, and she has scored points on him that Joe Biden has not. After her losses on Super Tuesday, I don’t know if she can pull out a win now. But she deserves the right to take on Trump and prove that she can win against him. That women can win against the naked misogyny that is Donald John Trump. I hope she gets that chance.
The logic goes that if healthcare is a right, then healthcare providers become slaves.
If healthcare is a right, they say, then I (for example) am entitled to the labor of doctors and nurses and they cannot refuse me. If healthcare is a right, according to these Randian libertarians, then any doctor, any nurse, any healthcare provider must provide me with their services free of charge at any time. Because it’s my right, you see?
Which is a damned good example of why Atlas Shrugged should be regarded as a tediously mediocre science fiction novel and not a blueprint for civilization.
In America, guns are a right. The right, in a lot of ways. But you can’t just walk into a gun store and demand a gun as your due free of charge – not without getting shot, probably. The government isn’t obligated to provide you with a gun. Hell, we don’t even have subsidies for poor people who want a gun and can’t afford one. And instead of turning gun manufacturers into slaves, it made them fabulously wealthy.
Using the logic libertarians apply to healthcare, I’ve pointed out to them that they can’t have the right to a gun, pretty much the way you draw it out. You can have a right to defend yourself but you cannot have a right to a weapon, the product of another man’s work. Their response generally has been to declare that argument pointless, because without a gun you are defenseless. They apparently haven’t heard of kitchen knives and baseball bats.
Doctors take an oath. They are required to treat the injured, within their ability to do so. To not offer help when it is needed, when it is available, is inhumane. To the extent that healthcare is generally available, it is a right of the citizenry to seek it. Just like food and shelter, healthcare should be provided to those in need.
The problem with conservatives and capitalists is that they seem to think that you can gain wealth through social austerity. That isn’t how modern economic systems work. Money is a debt instrument. If they want people to pay for things then give them the money to spend in enough quantities to meet their needs. Then we’ll know what the price and demand for goods and services really are, because everyone who needs a thing will be able to pay the market price to get it. I’m convinced that public health is too important to be treated as a commodity, but anything outside of public health concerns (screenings, inoculations, hospitals, research) should be fine treated in this way. Just as long as those in need are not required to do without.
That is the problem that zero-sum game types can’t wrap their heads around. With millions of Americans and billions of people on this planet, there is little we cannot do if we set our minds to doing it. We created these systems out of whole cloth in previous generations. There is nothing keeping us from maintaining them in perpetuity aside from our own lack of will. Our own greed. We’ve let the greedy run this country for far too long now. It’s time for a change.
I had forgotten about this comment on Stonekettle’s article until he reposted the article on Facebook the other day as part of an illustration of what a change in the presidency and his agenda can do to address the plights of millions of people.
Bill Quick over at the Daily Pundit endorsed Bob Barr the other day:
I just dropped my absentee ballot in the mail box. After waffling around, first saying I wouldn’t vote for John McCain, then saying I would, I ended up voting for Bob Barr. Not because I think he has any chance of winning, or even because I think he’d be a great president – although he would certainly be a much better one than either of the two major candidates.
I voted for him because it was the only way I could think of to get my libertarian/conservative preference on the official record, in hopes that the GOP might see what it had thrown away with its nomination of McCain, and its general move away from conservative and libertarian principles.
I briefly came up for air from a 7 hour stint on my diversion of choice these days, and decided to visit some of my old haunts (like digg and blogger) for a brief reminder as to why I have need of some diversion. I noticed a shout on digg from Bob Barr to the article above, and while reading through the comments on the site, I ran across one (buried to the level of -9) which offered up the same old “thanks for voting for Obama” argument in response.
Here’s a little counter spin for you.
As a Texas resident living in Austin, I am surrounded by yellow dogs who voted for Kerry 4 years ago, and are dutifully touting their Obama stickers which have mercifully replaced the Kerry stickers. I mean, leave the advertisement for the also ran on your bumper for 4 years? What does that mean? Does it mean I need a guide to tell the real Democrats from the fake ones?
They are now trumpeting their intention to vote for the guy with the best teeth and hair running in the presidential race (like all Americans do) the man who will be the future president of the United States. As almost anyone who pays attention to politics could have told you the minute that Barak Obama became the clear Democrat favorite, Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Up to the point where he won the Democratic nomination the next President of the United States was going to be a woman. He’s going to win because the Republicans never stood a chance this time around and they stand even less of a chance now that the markets have tanked.
None of this even touches on the fact that Texas will go for McCain. The Republicans could leave the top of the ticket blank and claim that we’d be better off without a President, and Texas would still go to the Republicans because “nobody is better than anybody the Democrats would nominate.”
So, for all you yellow dog Democrats out there, wasting your vote for Obama in Texas; I just want to know, why? If you agree with Mr. Better Teeth and Hair then good for you, you did you research and know what you are getting into (you’re wrong, but…) But if you are voting for Obama because at least he’s not McCain, what planet are you living on?
The ultimate wasted vote is a vote for the lessor of two evils. Especially when the majority of the voting population disagrees with you. To use the old adage:
If two wolves and a sheep are voting on what’s for dinner, and you’re the sheep, why are you wasting your time voting?
If it’s a life or death issue, better to be a well armed sheep when the wolves come knocking looking for dinner.
Politics has become quite blasé for me. I never was much interested in saying I told you so, and I’ve found myself repeating that phrase more and more often since 9/11. I got into politics because I wanted to see a positive change in the system; and in 15 years of activity, I’ve seen things go from bad to worse to imminent destruction. I no longer care about petty little things like who the next President will be. He’s going to screw things up at least as much as the last guy did. Both major party candidates are blissfully oblivious to real problems while attacking each other over meaningless twaddle.
Obama chooses a dedicated socialist as his running mate, and McCain nominates a woman who is so backwards in her thinking I shudder to wonder what her presidency will be like after McCain kicks it. Kicks it? Dies in office. My money is on John McCain not even surviving to be sworn in; in the almost incomprehensible reversal of fortune that would inspire Americans to vote for the ugly puppet on the stage.
But in both major party candidates cases the baggage they are freighting is so onerous and the understanding of the real world around us is so absent, that I have no doubt that, whichever screwup is elected will make the most mess possible before the downfall of the dollar brings his reign to it’s ultimate end.
So I’m not wasting my time worrying about which lessor evil to vote for. I’m going to go out and pull the lever next to the L, again. Bob Barr at least talks about issues, and has the nomination of the only party dedicated to smaller government. The rest of it is just so much noise.
The reorganization of my priority list continues apace. Time to return to my W0W session.
This was my last post as a member of the Libertarian party. I find this odd, looking back. I remember there being a finality in my having to hold my nose and vote for Bob Barr. Hold my nose and vote for the presidential candidate for my party of conscience. I remember thinking “does this make sense? I thought the other guys were evil and we weren’t?”
Looking back (eight years) I wonder how I couldn’t see it. The libertarians in Texas and through most of the US are closer to conservatives than they are to liberals. Economics is to blame for this; economics and the influence of the Midwestern work ethic. Not even they can see it from inside. It is only from outside, from the vantage point of more accumulated knowledge on the subject of money and social systems that I can say that the mantra of small government forces them into proximity with conservatives who have adopted the same talking points.
As if government in the US isn’t already small. We just pay too much for it, considering how much it doesn’t get done. McCain died of a brain tumor right after destroying Republican hopes (fears?) of repealing the Affordable Care Act. He did something with that last act that inspires me to forgive him for picking Sarah Palin. She self-destructed anyway, just like all hypocrites do.
The dollar didn’t tank (at least not yet) Donald Trump came as close to destroying our country as anyone since General Robert E. Lee has. Obama was just a mediocre as a President as I feared he would be. I voted for him anyway in 2012. Why not?
I chuckled to myself when I read what I typed about Joe Biden. Joe Biden a socialist? Gimme a break. Just like the dog whistle that yellow dog Democrat is, calling every Democrat a socialist is just code for saying “he’s not one of us.” If anything Joe Biden is just as mediocre as Obama and Clinton were. I wish he was less like us and more like younger Americans. Here’s hoping that Kamala Harris does better when she is in charge.