The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

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The Swollen Goiter of God
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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » November 8th, 2016, 12:09 am

Mal Shot First wrote:Was that a sexist comment?
Sexist or not, there's this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Rouge
Mal Shot First wrote:I want to respond to this in some detail, but it's late and I need to go to bed, so I'll just say for now that I agree with this and I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner in a political system dominated by two parties. More on this to come soon, I hope.
I got a feeling of déjà vu while writing it, which makes me wonder if I've mentioned it in passing either in this thread or in the sister thread. I was considering expanding on it before I decided the post was long enough as it was. Something tells me that whatever you're going to write will be a more worthwhile read than whatever I might have written. My expansion was going to talk about some of the more famous historical switches Most of those switches, of course, have been from one Big Two party to another or from a Big Two party to a third party. (I was going to go from John Tyler to Theodore Roosevelt to George Wallace. I might have talked Rick Perry a bit.) I wasn't really planning to address the strategy and repercussions of an utter outsider assuming a Big Two party mantle. I think it's probably something worth talking at length about, though, so I look forward to reading whatever you eventually cook up.

I wouldn't know without reading up on things if a late-life switch from independent or third party to a Big Two party was even really a thing before this election. It does seem like something of a no-brainer now, but maybe it only seems that way in hindsight. If it's not something that was done very often in the past, I can imagine either that intraparty hostility toward the convert played into it or that the threat of it was enough to keep people from even trying. Beyond just the intraparty elitism and gnashing of teeth, I'm guessing converts from back when would have put up with plenty of charges of opportunism/being wolves dressed as sheep. I suppose potential converts might have also been halted by worries that a conversion would have been too great a compromise of their beliefs. Maybe it says something about the current political landscape that it's happening now and has proved to be at least moderately successful as a strategy.

Of course, both Trump and Sanders had to deal with their fair share of hostility, elitism, and charges of opportunism. I'm honestly unsure how moves such as theirs would have been received in elections past. Maybe it would have been successful thirty years ago, too. Then again, maybe party identity was stronger back then, and maybe that's why it didn't happen. (Was it stronger then, though? I'm not sure. Stronger or not, I think there was a time maybe a decade ago when both parties' stances on nearly every talking point was pretty rigid. I have this impression that there was more depth within the parties and that there were more intraparty disagreements on the finer points of policy back in the eighties. I know that both Bush and Reagan, for example, had very different ideas about economics back in the day and that they were clear and thorough when expressing their very different ideas--at least in comparison to the modern standard. It seemed to me as a kid that there was less of a party line to toe. It seemed like the Republicans could be more generally conservative and the Democrats could be more generally liberal. I could have a completely wrong impression. Again, I'm comparing my impression of the Big Two parties in the eighties to my impression of the Big Two parties a decade ago. Clearly, party identities today are a bit fractured [how else could Sanders gain the kind of traction he did with his unclear-at-times stance on Israel and his positions on gun control?], even if both parties do still have a lot of the same rigid talking points that they had a decade ago.)

(I realize that the parenthetical aside at the end of the previous paragraph lacks for clarity, leans pretty heavily on impressions from youth, and may be a bit contradictory in places, but I kind of want to keep it there. Maybe someone will feel there's something in it worth tearing down or talking more about.)

I do think the situation with Sanders and Trump has helped to illustrate for some how the two-party system can be manipulated, and to both noble and ignoble ends. I don't know how most of the people who've had this illustrated for them will go on to feel about it. Some may respond to it with defeatism ("The only way to get things done is to go Republican or Democrat!"), some may respond to it with a schemer's glee ("The only way to get things done is to go Republican or Democrat!"), some may see it as proof that the two-party system is volatile and in need of either dismantling or stabilizing, and some may just shrug their shoulders at it.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » November 8th, 2016, 2:44 pm

This one's long, but it's also pretty enjoyable:



I'm glad it was Cody Johnston and not Daniel O'Brien. Daniel O'Brien's the worst.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Mal Shot First » November 9th, 2016, 6:12 pm

Mal Shot First wrote:
The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:The amount of traction Trump got as a first-timer and the amount of traction Sanders got with the party switch probably crystalized for a lot of people how much easier being a part of the machine makes things. Declaring yourself Democrat or Republican does a lot of your work for you. I guess you vaguely need to reflect the professed party's platforms when you run, but it also appears you can go somewhat afield without a number of the party's adherents noticing or caring all that much.
I want to respond to this in some detail, but it's late and I need to go to bed, so I'll just say for now that I agree with this and I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner in a political system dominated by two parties. More on this to come soon, I hope.
Maybe I'm coming at this part of your post from a different angle than you did when you wrote it. What I meant to say is that the two major parties dominating our political system have taken on an ever wider array of stances on various issues. This development was partially organic, I'm sure, as certain types of people were drawn to certain types of political ideologies. Part of the reason for it was probably also that the only sure way of getting any exposure for any cause you're supporting has been to make it part of the agenda of one of the two major parties. This has led to the grouping under the same banner of some political positions that aren't intrinsically related to each other. There's no reason that pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, pro-social-safety-net, pro-taxation, pro-environment advocates should all be part of one group and pro-life, pro-family, pro-small-government, pro-deregulation advocates should all be part of another. What I mean to say is that particularly the grouping of certain social issues with certain economic issues is a bit artificial.

Once you get a large set of issues all under one roof, though, there are bound to be some that are going to be seen as more important than others at times. This year, the economy turned out to be a big source of anxiety for a lot of people, and with Trump and Sanders you got two outlier candidates on each side, each with their own visions of how the middle and working classes can achieve more financial stability. It didn't seem to matter much to voters whether these candidates toed the party line in all other respects because one issue dominated the others (in fact, for both Trump and Sanders, it was actually their respective parties who seemed to care more about that than the voter base).

The flipside of that system occurs when you support a candidate because of their stance on one set of issues, but you don't agree with the rest of their ideas, which happen to match the party line. I think a fair bit of that occurred this year among both Clinton and Trump voters. That's why I think a system with at least one other party that can get around 30% of Congressional seats (but preferably with three to five major parties) would work much better to capture the granular divisions between political ideologies in this country, and it would make it much more difficult for a vocal minority to hijack the government while not making it impossible for them to get heard. It might even encourage more people to vote if they align more closely with their chosen party.

Anyway, that probably went in a different direction than you were aiming for, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while now.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » November 9th, 2016, 8:29 pm

Mal Shot First wrote:Maybe I'm coming at this part of your post from a different angle than you did when you wrote it. What I meant to say is that the two major parties dominating our political system have taken on an ever wider array of stances on various issues.
I assumed your elaboration would be its own thing and that my initial statement might be little more than a prompt for you to take things in a direction I probably wouldn't have even considered. That's why I was looking forward to you going into greater detail. (We're different people with different life experiences. Even that time shared a hooker, we took different ends.) My focus, as you already saw, was on the increased electability that follows a party switch--regardless of whether or not the switcher alters any platforms.
Mal Shot First wrote:There's no reason that pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, pro-social-safety-net, pro-taxation, pro-environment advocates should all be part of one group and pro-life, pro-family, pro-small-government, pro-deregulation advocates should all be part of another. What I mean to say is that particularly the grouping of certain social issues with certain economic issues is a bit artificial.
I agree with this. I think I may have even posted something along these lines in the past. I usually approach it from the angle of the adherent and the unlikelihood that all that person's beliefs would align so perfectly with a party's broader platforms. It probably starts out with alignment on a key issue or two. Over time, the adherent becomes somewhat shaped by the party--in part to intellectualize remaining with the party, in part because frequent appeals to the party's authority result in eventual buying into the party's authority across the board, in part because distaste for the opposing party begins to breed distaste and contempt for any platform associated with that party.

It's because of the artificiality of social-issue grouping that I warn people to be wary when they find themselves agreeing with everything their preferred party does or says. (There's always the chance that the party truly does reflect every belief they have and that they would have cottoned to everything this party pushes if they'd gone in cold/with no prior awareness of the party or its policies, of course. It's unlikely, but it's possible.) There's a chance their party could be leading them by the nose without their realizing it. If they frequently find themselves seeking out their party's take on a specific issue before they make their minds up about a specific issue, they should probably be doubly cautious. (This doesn't mean they shouldn't allow their party to inform their ideas at all. They gravitated toward the party for a reason, after all, and the party may approach things--either in part or as a whole--from angles they wouldn't have considered if left to their own devices.)

I think either/or thinking, in general, is dangerous. It has its place, and one does occasionally encounter inescapable binaries, but it's probably best to approach with caution. The more our government suppresses third parties, the more these seeming binaries occur, and the more people are left wondering if they're wrong whenever they have a thought that doesn't match with their party's ideology. This can be psychologically damaging, and it can lead to people making decisions they may not even realize are against their natural grain.

(I realize you were focused more on how key issues could make a candidate/party attractive to a person despite that person differing, ideologically, from the candidate/party in other areas. [The shifting of key issues from election to election is a big part of why some people find themselves voting for one party during one cycle and for another during another cycle. But this is probably self-evident.] I went off the reservation a bit and focused on the susceptibility of some party adherents to their party's influence.)

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Adam54 » January 5th, 2017, 11:20 am

I'd like to issue a retraction.

Among the many, many things I got wrong about this election, please add to the list my argument that Trump is smart. He's not. He's a masterful showman, He knows very well how to toss red meat to an audience of carnivores, but his Cabinet appointments and CONSANT infantile trolling on Twitter, even after being elected, tells me he's an absolute moron. He's got enough brains to put smart people around him, but nowhere near enough to see that they're playing him like a fiddle and are actually even bigger pieces of shit than he is. Which is saying something.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who was on the receiving end of my "Nuh uh! He's terrible, but he's SMART" argument.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » January 5th, 2017, 1:07 pm

:shock:

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Adam54 » January 10th, 2017, 5:44 pm

Don't get used to it.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » January 10th, 2017, 7:41 pm

Even if Makewatergate turns out to be a bucket full o' lies, the damage may have already been done.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » January 11th, 2017, 3:07 am

I think the fact that Putin is walking all over the entire Western world almost at will, fucking up America here, scaring the shit out of the Baltic states there, prolonging Ukraine engagements to the West of him, dicking about in Syria to the South, is far more worrying than whether or not Trump paid a pro to piss on a bed. Basically we are all a bit fucked and Putin is conducting the whole thing like an orchestra. It would be kinda pathetically funny if it wasn't so serious.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Adam54 » January 11th, 2017, 10:49 am

No one's gonna argue with me if I call Putin smart, right?

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » January 11th, 2017, 11:05 am

You'll likely have more success with that argument than you had with your Trump-is-smart argument.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » January 11th, 2017, 12:03 pm

Devious is the word. He is basically kicking Psyops ass. America could be made to have a civil war with the right kind of push. Europe is divided. The French are causing trouble in NATO, which is a bloody cheek seeing as they have only been properly in it for a few years. The Baltics don't trust us to defend them. The Ukraine will never trust us again. The Middle East is on fire and he seems to be the only non-ME leader who understands how to deal with it.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » January 20th, 2017, 5:18 pm

So that's done then.

Do you reckon if Biden had run he would have won it?

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Space Tycoon » January 20th, 2017, 6:31 pm

Yes. Perhaps he will in the near future.

I take back everything negative I ever said about one Senator Joseph Biden.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » January 20th, 2017, 6:47 pm

Obama seemed to think he was a class act.

Feels like the end of a game show where the contestant has just failed in the final big prize round and the host brings out the speedboat from behind the screen - "Look at what you could have won!"

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Space Tycoon » January 20th, 2017, 8:35 pm

Well, maybe some good will come of the Trump victory. People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » January 20th, 2017, 11:37 pm

Yes. I wouldn't believe a word of what they say though. None of them (the establishment) actually believe any of the shit they are spouting as they attempt to realign/respond following Trump, Brexit etc.

They are all just saying what they think people want to hear. You watch, there will be a raft of "Trump Lite" pronouncements in the coming months.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Space Tycoon » January 23rd, 2017, 6:53 am

Well, yeah, I expect a lot of "me-too" ism in the near future as well, from the political hacks and certain sectors of the media.

I guess I was talking more of the ordinary, sensible folks, as well as activists and so forth who won't have the cushy 4 years of Clinton they were banking on.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » February 4th, 2017, 8:54 pm

Jesus fucking Christ! It's like one of you finally understands!!!


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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Space Tycoon » February 5th, 2017, 7:53 am

I saw this a while ago. Was thinking of posting it on FB.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Mal Shot First » February 6th, 2017, 5:50 pm

Ugh, Bill Maher is a douche.

"Yes, let's take a cheap stab at political correctness and pretend like it's the major reason for the liberals' losing congressional seats. Oh, and then let me and my panel of white guys casually mock the notion of cultural appropriation."

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » February 8th, 2017, 2:08 am

I think that's part of it!

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Adam54 » February 8th, 2017, 6:37 am

I'm with Dalty. Maher's not wrong at all.

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » February 8th, 2017, 9:05 am

Wasn't "Stop apologizing!" originally the right's mantra? Didn't the left used to say that the "Stop apologizing!" attitude was inherently smug and fostered feelings of unimpeachable rectitude and notions of superiority? Now the idea is that being apologetic is inherently smug and fosters feelings of unimpeachable rectitude and notions of superiority?

Is there any way for someone not to be inherently smug and for that person's attitude not to foster feelings of unimpeachable rectitude and notions of superiority?

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Re: The Batshit Crazy Republicans Roundup

Post by Dalty » February 8th, 2017, 12:12 pm

It taps into the hair trigger switch of readiness to be offended on others behalf. The assumed victimhood frothing with righteous indignation when those who they assume to be offended don't actually care.

It's then a short hop, skip and jump from there to closing down debate with ad hominem attacks rather than engage.

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