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ROMAD1

Directions and Objectives For A Future Mainstream Party

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9 hours ago, mtutiger said:

Pretty much.

My hypothesis is that it tends to be a lot worse in non-competitive or one party states... Illinois and Texas both qualify. Although Texas is getting more competitive statewide

there was a reason in The Wire that city hall was such a mess.  Everything was feudal. 

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10 hours ago, Buddha said:

True.

Illinois can be competitive, but Cook County has been a one party banana republic for a long, long time.

The 1st Governor of Il was named Shadrach. With a start like that, what can you expect?

Which is by way of preface to this question: The state has been in GOP hands often enough in recent decades that I would have thought that some Governor  would have launched an effective anti-corruption program at the city. Sort of on the lines of Snyder forcing Det to bankruptcy and back to clean out the economic rot.  Never happen? 

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45 minutes ago, ROMAD1 said:

 

I have to say Repubs never lack for nerve asking Dems so spend *their* capital to fix what the GOP broke, whether it's a crashed economy or a crashed democracy. Biden shouldn't *have* to use political capital to fix the guardrails because the GOP damn well ought to be there helping him and if Biden does choose to 'spend his capital' on Democratic priorities that's tough cookies for Sarah.

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27 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I have to say Repubs never lack for nerve asking Dems so spend *their* capital to fix what the GOP broke, whether it's a crashed economy or a crashed democracy. Biden shouldn't *have* to use political capital to fix the guardrails because the GOP damn well ought to be there helping him and if Biden does choose to 'spend his capital' on Democratic priorities that's tough cookies for Sarah.

Yeah, an essential part of his coalition can't demand anything and should shut up and be grateful

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Quote

The Guardrails of Democracy project has identified dozens of these kinds of reforms that need to be implemented: fixing the Vacancies Act, updating the Electoral Count Act, revamping the system under which presidential emergencies are declared and managed, etc. None of these reforms is partisan. They are all fixes that will be broadly supported by anyone, Democrat or Republican, conservative or progressive, who is not a fan of authoritarianism. While there may be vigorous debates on how best to implement these reforms, there is broad consensus that these reforms should be implemented. We can argue about how, precisely, we ought to amend the Constitution to prevent self-pardons, but does anyone really think presidents should be allowed to pardon themselves?

 

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18 hours ago, Buddha said:

nobody said that.  were just having a conversation about the democrats at the moment.

if there is one "biggest" problem in politics its the erosion of trust in institutions of government.  i think that problem comes from the actions of republicans (but not exclusively republicans) over the last 40 years along with our goofy federalist set up.

Reagan said in his first inauguration speech that "government IS the problem", and that supercharged the avalanche of distrust.

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3 hours ago, ROMAD1 said:

 

Point of order: why do people insist on calling it the "American experiment" in constitutional democracy? Calling it an "experiment" makes it sound like it's something theoretical and tenuous and even slightly illegitimate.

If people want to build up the idea of constitutional democracy, why don't they call it an American institution instead? People tend to think of an experiment as something that's likely to fail. Unless that's what people like Truax, the writer, are actually trying to put across?

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3 hours ago, Gehringer_2 said:

The 1st Governor of Il was named Shadrach. With a start like that, what can you expect?

Which is by way of preface to this question: The state has been in GOP hands often enough in recent decades that I would have thought that some Governor  would have launched an effective anti-corruption program at the city. Sort of on the lines of Snyder forcing Det to bankruptcy and back to clean out the economic rot.  Never happen? 

we had a republican governor just a few years ago.  it can happen.  unfortunately for him he was a terrible politician and the democrats had a super majority in the legislature that allowed them to block everything he tried to do (we didnt have a budget for two years).  every now and then the democrats run a candidate who is just so corrupt that even the chicago suburbs wont vote for him (like they did with serial politician pat quinn who was tarnished by blagojevich).

illinois is all about the chicago suburbs.  most of the state is red, but nobody lives there.  so cook county will supply the democrat votes and then its up to republicans to siphon off enough votes in the suburbs of chicago to take the state.  

there are always rumblings about chicago and bankruptcy.  for all intents and purposes the city (and state) are bankrupt.  they have such massive debt they will never be able to get out from under and their pension responsibilities are only getting worse.  the democrats wont allow them to switch to a 401k type system for future employees cause the unions dont want it.  theyre screwed.

we have a flat state income tax by constitution.  they tried to change the constitution to allow them to put in a graduated income tax but people voted it down (i voted for it).  they have no way to collect the revenue required to pay for all the pensions they gave everyone for decades but didnt bother to pay for.

 

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2 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Point of order: why do people insist on calling it the "American experiment" in constitutional democracy? Calling it an "experiment" makes it sound like it's something theoretical and tenuous and even slightly illegitimate.

If people want to build up the idea of constitutional democracy, why don't they call it an American institution instead? People tend to think of an experiment as something that's likely to fail. Unless that's what people like Truax, the writer, are actually trying to put across?

experiment doesnt mean its likely to fail, it means it CAN fail.

and calling it the american experiment is just myth making.

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17 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Reagan said in his first inauguration speech that "government IS the problem", and that supercharged the avalanche of distrust.

I think it's deeper than that. I have to go back to the US evangelical voter. The Bible literalists are the most fertile ground in Western politics for charlatans and demagogues that want to push fantasy politics. Those folks are already in denial about science and the leadership of the secular state and without that fertile ground I don't think the GOP could have gotten to where it is today. Ironic that Jesus said that it was  Truth that makes people free. I find it striking how that piece of wisdom actually applies just as much and more to politics as to religion. Like George Schultz recently said, without trust there is nothing. Without truth there is no trust and truth has been the first casualty in every repressive regime in history. So it's no surprise at all that those of us who feel the nation itself has been at risk in the US see that happening at the hands of people for whom the concept of truth has no operative meaning.

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1 minute ago, Buddha said:

experiment doesnt mean its likely to fail, it means it CAN fail.

and calling it the american experiment is just myth making.

Well, then, everything on Earth is an experiment, because everything on Earth can fail.

Constitutional democracy has been around for a quarter of a millennium, so it seems to me about time to graduate the concept from the experimental phase to the institutional phase.

By the way, institutions can also fail.

I don't get the comment about myth making, but OK.

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1 minute ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think it's deeper than that. I have to go back to the US evangelical voter. The Bible literalists are the most fertile ground in Western politics for charlatans and demagogues that want to push fantasy politics. Those folks are already in denial about science and the leadership of the secular state and without that fertile ground I don't think the GOP could have gotten to where it is today. Ironic that Jesus said that it was  Truth that makes people free. I find it striking how that piece of wisdom actually applies just as much and more to politics as to religion. Like George Schultz recently said, without trust there is nothing. Without truth there is no trust. So it's no surprise at all that those of us who feel freedom itself has been at risk in the US see that happening at the hands of people for whom the concept of truth has no operative meaning.

i think the erosion of trust comes in a lot of different ways, not just with religious people.

the media became much more suspicious of government during the 60s and 70s and government did a lot of bad things (like lbj and vietnam and nixon and watergate).  then along comes social media and everyone with an iphone is now an expert.  it erodes social trust.

national myths that united people before have been eroded as people become more educated about american history.  i think that has eroded trust too.

plus government's failure to deliver change and better outcomes to a lot of its citizens.

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6 minutes ago, chasfh said:

Well, then, everything on Earth is an experiment, because everything on Earth can fail.

Constitutional democracy has been around for a quarter of a millennium, so it seems to me about time to graduate the concept from the experimental phase to the institutional phase.

By the way, institutions can also fail.

I don't get the comment about myth making, but OK.

you had an entire country founded on these new principles.  it was an experiment because it was something that had never been done before.  they keep calling it that because it harkens back to the founding of the country and makes people think they are a part of the glorious american past.  we were the first and thats special.

thats the story people like to think about america and, in that way, calling it an american experiment is an exercise in myth making that is supposed to unite us.

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3 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think it's deeper than that. I have to go back to the US evangelical voter. The Bible literalists are the most fertile ground in Western politics for charlatans and demagogues that want to push fantasy politics. Those folks are already in denial about science and the leadership of the secular state and without that fertile ground I don't think the GOP could have gotten to where it is today. Ironic that Jesus said that it was  Truth that makes people free. I find it striking how that piece of wisdom actually applies just as much and more to politics as to religion. Like George Schultz recently said, without trust there is nothing. Without truth there is no trust. So it's no surprise at all that those of us who feel freedom itself has been at risk in the US see that happening at the hands of people for whom the concept of truth has no operative meaning.

I agree that the evangelicalism, which is inherently anti-intellectual and steeped in magical thinking, that has defined America since the beginning is the single biggest impediment to people-based institutions in this country, specifically because evangelicals reject "humanism" as inherently sinful and evil. The only institution they have any respect for at all is headed up by their notion of an infallible, all-powerful god. This idea animated the hands-off governance that dominated throughout the 19th Century and on into the 20th.

However, starting with Roosevelt and going through the war, Americans by and large liked and trusted their government, even as the evangelicals stuck to their own retrograde beliefs. But the people's state wasn't in any danger of being dismantled until Reagan blew that big ol' loud dog whistle in front of the whole world at his inauguration. They gave his benefactors' agenda of handing traditionally governmental powers over to the private sector the impetus to set it into motion. That Reagan statement was a real turning point.

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1 minute ago, Buddha said:

you had an entire country founded on these new principles.  it was an experiment because it was something that had never been done before.  they keep calling it that because it harkens back to the founding of the country and makes people think they are a part of the glorious american past.  we were the first and thats special.

thats the story people like to think about america and, in that way, calling it an american experiment is an exercise in myth making that is supposed to unite us.

OK, I think I see where you're coming from. I still think calling it an experiment makes it sound more fragile than they would like to put across.

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10 minutes ago, Buddha said:

i think the erosion of trust comes in a lot of different ways, not just with religious people.

no doubt. But I still see a difference in kind between the liars and cheaters that are trying to hide what they are doing because they acknowledge they could not survive the exposure of the truth, and people who willingly embrace falsehood and intellectual fantasy. The first has been the eternal focus of reform movements that in general keep it more or less confined in successful societies. The latter is a cultural mindset that makes informed self-government impossible.

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17 minutes ago, Buddha said:

national myths that united people before have been eroded as people become more educated about american history.  i think that has eroded trust too.

of course, Lincoln told us we were a nation dedicated to a proposition, he would have said our unity should reside in our aspirations.

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America was the cradle of the revolutionary forces that created representative Democracy in Europe.  It was all part of the Enlightenment when Divine Right and or brute force was being questioned as a legitimate basis for sovereign rule.  

Its not a bad national myth if you want to call it that.

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france was cradle of revolutionary forces that created representative democracy in europe, america was a backwater colony half a world away from civilization; a curiosity that turned into an obsession because it was a black mark on the English.

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I don't like either. England as far back as the Norman conquest became the evolutionary incubator for the emergence of multi-pole distributed political power. By the time of the American revolution the British Parliament already controlled the crown's money. The step to democratic Colonial administration was organic, hardly revolutionary. The idea that the US fought a revolution is fairly inaccurate by the modern meaning of the word. The US didn't overthrow or replace anything about it's political institutions at the time, and England had no fundamental argument with the form of the colonial governments at their formation. 1776 was a war over home rule - a war of independence, but quite different in kind from what happened in France, China or Russian that is more commonly what the word revolution evokes today.

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1 hour ago, Buddha said:

france was cradle of revolutionary forces that created representative democracy in europe, america was a backwater colony half a world away from civilization; a curiosity that turned into an obsession because it was a black mark on the English.

We handled our business better than the French.  Then again, our monarchs weren't as awful as theirs.

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33 minutes ago, ROMAD1 said:

We handled our business better than the French.  Then again, our monarchs weren't as awful as theirs.

it is difficult to do it worse than the french, but many have tried.  the russians might have, at least the french had a pretty fun time when napoleon was around...

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1 hour ago, Buddha said:

it is difficult to do it worse than the french, but many have tried.  the russians might have, at least the french had a pretty fun time when napoleon was around...

The Man on a White Horse that the bubbas think Trump was. 

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