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9 hours ago, DShomshak said:

But there's a deeper difficulty. Assume Dems have made the 127 micro-states, all solidly Democratic, out of Washington, DC neighborhoods. The new micro-states hold 48% of the electoral votes (or thereabouts); they have total control of the Senate; thier single representatives form 29% of the House; their legislatures are sufficient to ratify constitutional amendments with little need for cooperation from any other state. So if they act as a bloc (and why wouldn't they), why do they still need the rest of the Democratic Party?

 

It's a way to make Republicans lose, conclusively. But Dems could find it a Pyrrhic victory as pleasing this new bloc becomes the sum of all policy, and America gains a truly imperial capital.

 

Yeah, that would be the big thing.  America becomes DC and its tributaries/colonies.  I think I'd almost rather George version 3.0 to make a return.

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8 hours ago, DShomshak said:

Wrapping up: There may still be value in a state-packing scheme: as leverage to force Republicans into abandoning their voter-suppression and gerrymandering schemes, as the price of avoiding some worse loss. It might work like this:

 

Dems somehow manage to pull off the electoral trifecta, however narrowly. They quickly change the Senate's rules to end filibusters, pack the Supreme Court, withdraw the Federal District boundaries, and create 20 or so new micro-states, to be activated right before the next electoral cycle. Then they introduce a package of Constitutional amendments: Abolish the Electoral Collecge, automatic voter registration for all citizens, some provision to prevent gerrymandering, the Senate must confirm or deny judge appointments within a month of the president nominating them, maybe some other reforms (Pick your own.) And also abolishing the micro-states and preventing their future creation, de-packing the court, and otherwise making the state-packing scheme impossible in the future. Set a time limit of the next election. If the House and Senate pass the package and enough states ratify it in time, the micro-states never come into existence. If Republicans agree to the reforms, they likely lose the White House for a decade at least, and they lose state houses controlled through gerrymandered districting, but they are not perpetually locked out from any branch of government. They can try to come back through good policies, pitched persuasively. Dems will gain strong advantages through the wider and more diverse voter base, but they can lose those advantages if they govern badly. The American people win by politicians needing to appeal to them for votes instead of relying on structural advantages. Which is what we all want, right?

 

Dean Shomshak

 

 

 

To be bluntly honest, I see the Dems likely making their own gerrymandering if they take over.  Kind of interested, and wary now that the Dems are in control of here in VA how they carve things up, for next cycle.

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My general preference is for a resumption of the expansion of the House, as was discontinued 100 years ago.  Under the original constitutional formula, we'd have around 6000 congressmen right now.  Imagine the difficulties in lobbying that many!  I'd like there to be around 900 to 1000 members of the House.  

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3 hours ago, Badger said:

 

To be bluntly honest, I see the Dems likely making their own gerrymandering if they take over.  Kind of interested, and wary now that the Dems are in control of here in VA how they carve things up, for next cycle.

 

One could easily argue the Virginia Dems are fools if they don't gerrymander and otherwise try to lock in every electoral advantage they can get. Just like Republicans do with voter suppression laws and suchlike. Politics, after all, is merely an exercise in finding who has power over whom. There is no hypocrisy in politics, because there are no principles to betray. (Though the accusation of hypocrisy can be a useful ploy.) And so on.

 

Bleah. I just started reading Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars, which argues that morality applies usefully even in this brutal sphere of human activity. I hope he can persuade me, because I'm getting pretty damn disgusted with humanity.

 

Dean Shomshak

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58 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

 

One could easily argue the Virginia Dems are fools if they don't gerrymander and otherwise try to lock in every electoral advantage they can get. Just like Republicans do with voter suppression laws and suchlike. Politics, after all, is merely an exercise in finding who has power over whom. There is no hypocrisy in politics, because there are no principles to betray. (Though the accusation of hypocrisy can be a useful ploy.) And so on.

 

Bleah. I just started reading Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars, which argues that morality applies usefully even in this brutal sphere of human activity. I hope he can persuade me, because I'm getting pretty damn disgusted with humanity.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

I will admit, I found the whole VA going to the Dems was an overrated victory.  Federal workers have been spilling into Northern VA for 20 years.  It was a bluish purple state that finally went completely blue.  Right or wrong*, it is kind of frustrating that 8-10 counties in the northern part of the state, gets to decide your fate, when their needs and wants have very little to do with yours.  It is what it is though, and I doubt unique to one state.  I just know the only part of my life politically I have  left with the feeling of any actual say over is who represents me in the House of Reps.  So, that does make me nervous.  If that does get dramatically altered, I fear there is no real use for me to ever vote again.

 

*I sometimes agree with them, and I have nothing against them voting for their interest.  But, at the same time, it is hard to swallow that you don't matter at all (except for Tax Day of course. :winkgrin:)

 

Edit: I can already tell you all the minute details of how the November election will go in VA, if you want.

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55 minutes ago, Badger said:

 

I will admit, I found the whole VA going to the Dems was an overrated victory.  Federal workers have been spilling into Northern VA for 20 years.  It was a bluish purple state that finally went completely blue.  Right or wrong*, it is kind of frustrating that 8-10 counties in the northern part of the state, gets to decide your fate, when their needs and wants have very little to do with yours.  It is what it is though, and I doubt unique to one state.  I just know the only part of my life politically I have  left with the feeling of any actual say over is who represents me in the House of Reps.  So, that does make me nervous.  If that does get dramatically altered, I fear there is no real use for me to ever vote again.

 

*I sometimes agree with them, and I have nothing against them voting for their interest.  But, at the same time, it is hard to swallow that you don't matter at all (except for Tax Day of course. :winkgrin:)

 

Edit: I can already tell you all the minute details of how the November election will go in VA, if you want.

Imagine how citizens of color felt about the government's attitude toward their interests for the period from 1619 to about the mid-60s(and beyond, in many cases).    

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Looks like Iowa turnout was around 170,000 which was about the same as 2016.  In 2008, it was around 240,000.  Again, as long as the economy is decent for most people, then the average Jane/Joe cares a lot less about the Presidency.  It's not right, but IMO it is the truth.

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7 hours ago, Badger said:

I will admit, I found the whole VA going to the Dems was an overrated victory.  Federal workers have been spilling into Northern VA for 20 years.  It was a bluish purple state that finally went completely blue.  Right or wrong*, it is kind of frustrating that 8-10 counties in the northern part of the state, gets to decide your fate, when their needs and wants have very little to do with yours.  It is what it is though, and I doubt unique to one state.  I just know the only part of my life politically I have  left with the feeling of any actual say over is who represents me in the House of Reps.  So, that does make me nervous.  If that does get dramatically altered, I fear there is no real use for me to ever vote again.

 

I live in AZ.  Have for almost 12-15 years.

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7 hours ago, Badger said:

Right or wrong*, it is kind of frustrating that 8-10 counties in the northern part of the state, gets to decide your fate, when their needs and wants have very little to do with yours.

 

That's also the feeling in much of Colorado with respect to the Denver metro area and the People's Republic of Boulder. And Vail, which is where all the celebrities go to ski.

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Hot take - Election Day as a federal holiday.  Would it increase voting, or decrease voting?

 

 

Also... more of our federal government gaining secret intelligence powers, apparently?  Although twitter is hardly a reliable source of intel.  The article is... something.

 

 

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First they fail to release the pre-voting poll, and then they fail to release the vote totals.  

 

"I believe in coincidence.  Coincidences happen every day.  But I don't trust coincidences."  

 

Garak, Star Trek Deep Space Nine

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5 hours ago, TrickstaPriest said:

Hot take - Election Day as a federal holiday.  Would it increase voting, or decrease voting?

 

 

Also... more of our federal government gaining secret intelligence powers, apparently?  Although twitter is hardly a reliable source of intel.  The article is... something.

 

 

 

Probably the change would be minimal.  People who actually want to vote find ways to vote.

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27 minutes ago, megaplayboy said:

Romney's vote puts a different cast on the whole proceeding.  Romney, Jones and Manchin all showed courage in voting to convict.  

 

Manchin does seem to be motivated by what is right.  Don't know enough about Jones.  

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

 

Senator Romney is going to catch seven different kinds of Hell for this, and he knows it.

 

He did it anyway.

 

That's not nothing.

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On 2/3/2020 at 10:11 PM, Old Man said:

I'd like to take this moment to repeat that, in my opinion as an IT and cybersecurity professional, elections should be paper and ink only.  No hackable voting machines, no badly written caucus apps, no easily deleted centralized databases.  Ever.  The mere existence of these opaque technologies can only reduce the perceived legitimacy of any election.

 

My sister would like to add her thanks for this post. When I told her about it, she said, "And here I thought I was just a Luddite."

 

Dean Shomshak

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33 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

 

My sister would like to add her thanks for this post. When I told her about it, she said, "And here I thought I was just a Luddite."

 

Dean Shomshak

 

I've never met a computer whose mission in existence wasn't to make life miserable.

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