2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

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2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 10:09pm

Because New York, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, and Maryland are holding primaries tonight, and its shocking that its June and we don't have an active thread on what may be the most consequential American elections in living memory.

The stakes: Will Trump be subjected to meaningful Congressional constraints (and possibly impeachment), or will neo-fascistic policies like locking immigrant children in cages, and unfettered political corruption, be given free reign?

I mailed my vote for the Colorado Democratic Primary, supporting Neguse for Congress and Polis for Governor (if elected in November, he will be America's first openly gay governor). Currently awaiting the results.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 10:46pm

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beats long-time Democrat incumbent Joe Crowley in the New York primary:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/26/politics ... index.html

Excerpt:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's 14th. congressional district, CNN projects, in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.

Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won over voters in the minority-majority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley -- the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House -- outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.

This was the first time in 14 years a Democrat has attempted unseat Crowley, who chairs the Queens County Democrats. His defeat marks a potential sea change in party politics -- a result with implications for Democrats nationwide that would recall, as optimistic progressives routinely noted during the campaign, former GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss to the insurgent, tea party-backed Dave Brat in June 2014.

Even as Ocasio-Cortez runs defiantly to his left -- with universal health care, a federal jobs guarantee and the abolition of ICE headlining her demands -- Crowley leaned on what was a formidable liberal record. He was the first member of the House Democratic leadership to sign on in support of "Medicare for all" and has been a vocal advocate for immigrants' rights. But Crowley stumbled repeatedly on the campaign trail, the likely residue of going so long without a primary test.
I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this. Mostly elation: Ocasio-Cortez sounds like a strong Left-wing candidate, and she will raise the profile and respectability of democratic socialism in national politics. But Crowley is hardly the embodiment of a Centrist establishment Dem., given his record. He's not one of the ones I'd have most wanted to see primaried from the Left. So I worry that this is a step towards purging the part of genuine progressives for "not being progressive enough", while Centrists stay in place, leading to a further fracturing of the party. But I also hope that it will inspire successful primary challenges of Blue Dog types. And in some ways, an apparently solid blue district in New York is an ideal state for progressive/socialist primary challenges- the chances of losing there by running someone "too far Left" seem fairly low.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-26 11:11pm

Well, it looks like Polis and Neguse won in Colorado. This is looking like a good night.

Edit: corrected the spelling of Neguse's name.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-06-27 09:39am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-26 10:46pm
But Crowley is hardly the embodiment of a Centrist establishment Dem., given his record. He's not one of the ones I'd have most wanted to see primaried from the Left. So I worry that this is a step towards purging the part of genuine progressives for "not being progressive enough", while Centrists stay in place, leading to a further fracturing of the party.
What on earth makes you say that? I admit that I am not super familiar with Crowley's specific policy record, but he is widely perceived to be one of the embodiment of the corporate, moderate Democratic establishment, and one who was likely to be the establishment pick as successor to Nancy Pelosi at the head of the party. Literally every single news and commentary source I am finding this morning on this story is talking about him in this light. I am struggling to find even a whiff of a story of this being a "purge". Hell, Crowley HIMSELF in his concession touted this as a victory for the will of the people over the establishment, and pointed to it as a sign of hope in American politics.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-06-27 12:09pm

O'Rourke took the Texas primary a couple months ago and is set to run against Cruz. He's young(er) and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Honestly, if someone is going to oust Cruz, I think this is the guy to do it. He's come out in favor of guns rights, but also expansions of the background check system (which even many Texans agree with) and is focusing on the economy. I mean, I'd vote for pretty much anyone over Cruz, but O'Rourke seems pretty much on the ball.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-27 01:11pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-06-27 09:39am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-26 10:46pm
But Crowley is hardly the embodiment of a Centrist establishment Dem., given his record. He's not one of the ones I'd have most wanted to see primaried from the Left. So I worry that this is a step towards purging the part of genuine progressives for "not being progressive enough", while Centrists stay in place, leading to a further fracturing of the party.
What on earth makes you say that? I admit that I am not super familiar with Crowley's specific policy record, but he is widely perceived to be one of the embodiment of the corporate, moderate Democratic establishment, and one who was likely to be the establishment pick as successor to Nancy Pelosi at the head of the party. Literally every single news and commentary source I am finding this morning on this story is talking about him in this light. I am struggling to find even a whiff of a story of this being a "purge". Hell, Crowley HIMSELF in his concession touted this as a victory for the will of the people over the establishment, and pointed to it as a sign of hope in American politics.
He's part of the "establishment" in that he's a high-ranking Democrat. However, his actual record is pretty far Left on some key issues- its right there in the CNN article I quoted.

See, this is the kind of thing I'm worried about- people being primaried/assumed to be "establishment" (and therefore bad/corrupt) simply because they're long-time Democrats or hold a high position in the party, rather than for their voting records. Mind you, I'm also of the opinion that "establishment" is pretty much a meaningless, over-broad buzzword, especially since 2016, when it was conveniently defined in such a way that it includes Hillary Clinton but excludes Donald Trump. Look at each candidate's personal record, not "Are they a high-ranking/long-term member of the Democratic Party, if so ESTABLISHMENT."

Now, if you can show that his voting record actually leaned Centrist overall, or that he was personally corrupt, then I'll withdraw the critique.

All that said, I do think this outcome is overall a positive one. I just don't think Crowley would have been the ideal target for primarying, based on his record.
TheFeniX wrote:
2018-06-27 12:09pm
O'Rourke took the Texas primary a couple months ago and is set to run against Cruz. He's young(er) and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Honestly, if someone is going to oust Cruz, I think this is the guy to do it. He's come out in favor of guns rights, but also expansions of the background check system (which even many Texans agree with) and is focusing on the economy. I mean, I'd vote for pretty much anyone over Cruz, but O'Rourke seems pretty much on the ball.
What's his view on Trump's immigration policy? I'd consider that a litmus test for any candidate right now, but particularly in a border state.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by TheFeniX » 2018-06-27 03:27pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-27 01:11pm
What's his view on Trump's immigration policy? I'd consider that a litmus test for any candidate right now, but particularly in a border state.
I don't think you could find a Democract, even a Texas one, who would put a foot in or near the Trump Immigration waste dump.
End the militarization of our immigration enforcement system, and close private immigration prisons and detention centers that profit from locking up families.
Pass the DREAM Act and ensure that undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, known as ‘Dreamers’, find a permanent home and citizenship in the U.S.
Ensure that those who come to our borders seeking refuge from violence and persecution are given a fair opportunity to present their claims and guaranteed due process under our laws.
Improve the immigration system to encourage and facilitate family reunification, education, and the investment of talent in our country.
Modernize the visa system to allow U.S. employers to find workers for jobs that American workers can’t fill.
Reform our immigration laws to legalize the status of millions of immigrants already in our country and ensure a fair path to citizenship for those inspired by the opportunity and ideals that we present to the rest of the world.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-27 03:40pm

True. For some reason I got mixed up, and thought you were talking about someone primarying Cruz. Not sure how I got that mixed up. Sorry.

But even among Democrats, there's a range of opinions. And at this point, I don't want moderates who will compromise on immigration. I want "Defund/abolish ICE now!" I honestly don't know if that's the "politically pragmatic" approach, but I am tired of "compromise" and trying to be "bipartisan" with fascists.

Bring on socialism. Bring on open borders. As long as they still believe in freedom of expression/belief, rule of law, equality under the law, and free elections, there is pretty much NO position too far Left for me at this point. The Republicans have been branding us as socialists who want open borders for decades. I say its time we fucking OWN it, and then ram it down their fucking throats.

Edit: I mean, if a more moderate Dem. is running, I'll still vote for them over a Republican, because the Republican Party is now an existential threat to the world. But the further Left we can push the party with splitting the party, the better.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-27 04:47pm

This one is going to be interesting.

If the Republicans hold onto both houses it will cement Trumps's position and his policies.

If Democrats take back one or both houses... I'm really not sure what's going to happen, but it'll be messy. There's a good chance Trump and his voting base will refuse to recognize a Democrat victory as legitimate.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-27 04:56pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-06-27 04:47pm
This one is going to be interesting.

If the Republicans hold onto both houses it will cement Trumps's position and his policies.

If Democrats take back one or both houses... I'm really not sure what's going to happen, but it'll be messy. There's a good chance Trump and his voting base will refuse to recognize a Democrat victory as legitimate.
If they restrict themselves to talk, it might provoke some violence on a relatively small scale, and further erode public confidence in democratic government, but it won't necessarily immediately plunge us into an existential crisis.

In the more unlikely event that they actually tried to forcibly prevent the new Congress from being seated, then there'd be massive demonstrations, and it might very well degenerate quickly into full-scale civil war.

I'm going to give everyone some advice regarding election day:

1. Double and triple-check that your voter registration/information is up-to-date well in advance, and if you're mail voting, mail your ballot early.

2. Know what your rights are.

3. If you go to vote in person at a polling station, especially in a red or purple area, don't go alone if possible. I will not be at all surprised if there are attempts to intimidate voters, or even use violence at polling stations to disrupt the election.

4. Make sure you do not do anything which could be seen as intimidation or instigating violence. Obviously.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-27 07:00pm

Maybe also have your camera ready to get some footage of voter intimidation in progress. I wager it couldn't hurt.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2018-06-28 07:32am

Crowleys backers, anyone who is this bought is... well fuck me I don't know, reality keeps trumping satire and fiction. This is the darkest timeline, this is hell world.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-06-28 09:57am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-27 01:11pm
He's part of the "establishment" in that he's a high-ranking Democrat. However, his actual record is pretty far Left on some key issues- its right there in the CNN article I quoted.

See, this is the kind of thing I'm worried about- people being primaried/assumed to be "establishment" (and therefore bad/corrupt) simply because they're long-time Democrats or hold a high position in the party, rather than for their voting records. Mind you, I'm also of the opinion that "establishment" is pretty much a meaningless, over-broad buzzword, especially since 2016, when it was conveniently defined in such a way that it includes Hillary Clinton but excludes Donald Trump. Look at each candidate's personal record, not "Are they a high-ranking/long-term member of the Democratic Party, if so ESTABLISHMENT."
But, see, I think you are completely missing the point, and arguing against a strawman. It really doesn't have a whole lot to do with any candidate's personal voting record. In fact, to a certain extent, any particular politician's voting record is a red herring. The issue is that the Democratic Party, as a whole, is and has been a largely dysfunctional organization for years, with little leadership, guidance, or any particular strategic plan. People with leftist/liberal interests should have a vested interest in wanting a FUNCTIONAL Democratic Party. And any high-ranking politician within the Party, such as Crowley, is to a certain extent culpable for this dysfunction, because they were in a position with the influence to change things and either could or would not do so.

It doesn't particularly matter whether you use the phrase "establishment" or not, the point is that the leadership of the Democratic Party has objectively failed their base, whether due to incompetence, cowardice, corruption, or anything else. And it is entirely reasonable to want to replace this leadership; in fact I would argue it's utterly foolish to NOT want to replace this leadership, given their established track record. And this is what I mean when I say that an individual's personal record is to a large extent irrelevant; it honestly doesn't matter what Crowley's personal beliefs and voting record are if he was an active participant in the dysfunction of the DNC that prevented any of those beliefs and votes from actually having an impact on national policy. Crowley can personally be the most liberal, intelligent, caring politician in the world, but if he is an incompetent leader then he should still be replaced by someone who has a chance of being a competent one.

Saying we should ONLY look at personal voting record, and NOT try to understand the broader context and machinations of the Democratic Party, is honestly just part of the problem that has led to the DNC being so incompetent in the first place. If anything, you are falling into the same trap you are accusing the voters who turned on Crowley of falling into: you are so concerned with the "purity" of a candidate's progressive voting credentials that you aren't actually considering whether they are a competent politician and leader. You are looking at the purity of Crowley's beliefs as his only qualification for being in office.

EDIT: I don't want to imply that it isn't unreasonable to have concerns over the practical implications of this, or any other, primary result. That's fine. I'm just saying that you should spend some more time considering the big picture, and considering both sides of this, instead of immediately jumping to deriding everyone who voted a certain way as being foolish and wrong.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-06-28 10:40am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-27 07:00pm
Maybe also have your camera ready to get some footage of voter intimidation in progress. I wager it couldn't hurt.
That might be a little harder than it seems. I can't say whether it's universal, since US election laws are a complete mess, but generally trying to record video inside a polling place is a surefire way of getting you thrown out by the cops, for the same reason why campaign signs, workers, and other political advertisements are not allowed within a certain distance of the polling places while they are open.

As for the whole Ocasio-Cortez/Crowley thing, there isn't a single reason why Crowley lost, but one major contributing factor I've heard is that Crowley half-assed his campaign, refused to participate in debates, sent surrogates to campaign for him instead of showing up himself, and generally came across as disconnected from and apathetic towards the district he's supposed to represent, while Ocasio-Cortez did the opposite.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by White Haven » 2018-06-28 11:14am

Ah, the Eric Cantor approach. That's a...brave plan in 2018.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-06-28 12:09pm

Yeah, I did hear more than a few comparisons between this primary and Cantor's. Both tell the tale of a senior representative and party bigwig who gets unseated by an insurgent primary opponent that they failed to take seriously.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-28 01:15pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2018-06-28 09:57am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-27 01:11pm
He's part of the "establishment" in that he's a high-ranking Democrat. However, his actual record is pretty far Left on some key issues- its right there in the CNN article I quoted.

See, this is the kind of thing I'm worried about- people being primaried/assumed to be "establishment" (and therefore bad/corrupt) simply because they're long-time Democrats or hold a high position in the party, rather than for their voting records. Mind you, I'm also of the opinion that "establishment" is pretty much a meaningless, over-broad buzzword, especially since 2016, when it was conveniently defined in such a way that it includes Hillary Clinton but excludes Donald Trump. Look at each candidate's personal record, not "Are they a high-ranking/long-term member of the Democratic Party, if so ESTABLISHMENT."
But, see, I think you are completely missing the point, and arguing against a strawman. It really doesn't have a whole lot to do with any candidate's personal voting record. In fact, to a certain extent, any particular politician's voting record is a red herring.
The fact that you think a person's personal record doesn't matter, and that we should make political decisions based only on broad labels and what "team" someone belongs to, is the problem here. This is the very antithesis of responsible voting.

And yes, I'm aware that I have applied a similar argument to Republicans- that anyone who supports them or is a member of the party is culpable. But the Republicans and the Democrats are NOT the same, regardless of how many people think it wise to pretend that they are. The Democratic Party is not virtually lock-step behind a cult of the leader bent on destroying basic democratic, legal, and international norms. The Republican Party is.

I suppose your position would make sense if you regarded the Democratic Party, top to bottom, as a fundamentally and intrinsically corrupt organization. I don't, and I don't think you do, either. I regard it as a deeply flawed organization, but not homogenously so or beyond salvaging. In that case, one must apply a scalpel, not a sledge-hammer.
The issue is that the Democratic Party, as a whole, is and has been a largely dysfunctional organization for years, with little leadership, guidance, or any particular strategic plan. People with leftist/liberal interests should have a vested interest in wanting a FUNCTIONAL Democratic Party. And any high-ranking politician within the Party, such as Crowley, is to a certain extent culpable for this dysfunction, because they were in a position with the influence to change things and either could or would not do so.
The problem with that is that it is exactly the sort of thing I'm worried about, and that you're criticizing me for worrying about- demands for a systemic purge of even genuinely Left-wing politicians simply for being Democrats, or for having a high position in the party. And if "long-term/high-ranking Democrat" is a synonym for "culpable part of the establishment who needs to be replaced"... well, let's say Ocasio-Cortez wins her campaign in November (as I truly hope that she does). A couple terms from now, someone comes along attacking her for being part of the "Democratic establishment" for no other reason than because she's been in office for X number of years, and primaries her from the Left on a Marxist platform.

Farfetched? Maybe. But I hope that I illustrate the point- we shouldn't primary people based on how many years they've been a Democrat/in office or how high a rank they hold, but based on their individual values and record. After all, ultimately, we ought to WANT people with progressive records in high positions in the party. That's the only way we will ultimately reform the party.
It doesn't particularly matter whether you use the phrase "establishment" or not, the point is that the leadership of the Democratic Party has objectively failed their base, whether due to incompetence, cowardice, corruption, or anything else.
I think that you are treating "the Democratic Party leadership" as a homogenous block more than it actually is, painting them with too broad a brush and failing to make individual distinctions.

Again, I'm glad that a democratic socialist won a primary. I hope that she wins in November. I just don't think that Crowley was the optimal or most deserving target for this sort of challenge. He can't just be lumped in with the Blue Dogs or the likes of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz simply because he holds a high position in the party.

Do you not see why "Anyone who holds a high position in the party is the enemy" is an ultimately self-defeating strategy that will ensure progressivism and socialism are permanently marginalized?
And it is entirely reasonable to want to replace this leadership; in fact I would argue it's utterly foolish to NOT want to replace this leadership, given their established track record. And this is what I mean when I say that an individual's personal record is to a large extent irrelevant;
And that's our problem: you are basing your support on labels and broad stereotypes rather than individual records, and them holding this up as a virtue.
it honestly doesn't matter what Crowley's personal beliefs and voting record are
I honestly don't know how you can say that a candidate's personal beliefs and voting record flat-out do not matter.
if he was an active participant in the dysfunction of the DNC that prevented any of those beliefs and votes from actually having an impact on national policy. Crowley can personally be the most liberal, intelligent, caring politician in the world, but if he is an incompetent leader then he should still be replaced by someone who has a chance of being a competent one.
Being unable to single-handidly change the entire direction of the party does not make him "incompetent".

By that standard, you could easily say (as many self-defeating progressives do) that ANY member of the Democratic Party is unfit for office, for no other reason than because they are a member of the Democratic Party. And at that point, you might as well just say "Bernie or Bust, Vote Green Man".

This is how the Left marginalizes itself in America, and renders itself politically impotent. And one of my great fears is that even the election of Trump was not enough of a wake-up call to change this.
Saying we should ONLY look at personal voting record, and NOT try to understand the broader context and machinations of the Democratic Party, is honestly just part of the problem that has led to the DNC being so incompetent in the first place. If anything, you are falling into the same trap you are accusing the voters who turned on Crowley of falling into: you are so concerned with the "purity" of a candidate's progressive voting credentials that you aren't actually considering whether they are a competent politician and leader. You are looking at the purity of Crowley's beliefs as his only qualification for being in office.
I don't demand purity, nor did I say that voting records are the ONLY thing to look at. Please confine your rebuttals to the facts of my argument.
EDIT: I don't want to imply that it isn't unreasonable to have concerns over the practical implications of this, or any other, primary result. That's fine. I'm just saying that you should spend some more time considering the big picture, and considering both sides of this, instead of immediately jumping to deriding everyone who voted a certain way as being foolish and wrong.
I did no such thing. I did not "deride" Ocasio-Cortez's supporters. In fact, I repeatedly said that I was glad that Ocasio-Cortez won. I simply expressed my concern about where primarying even genuinely progressive Democrats for not being Left-wing enough could lead, in the bigger picture. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that this mistake is due to carelessness, not dishonesty. Once.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-28 08:17pm

aerius wrote:
2018-06-28 06:40pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-28 05:16pm
Well, not really. It feels that way, sometimes, but I'm well aware that a full-scale civil war would kill far more people, far more quickly.
Think of it as a cold war that hasn't gone hot yet and that's about where we are these days.
I'm putting my response in this thread as I feel it is more appropriate.

If this is a Cold War it's a pretty lopsided one so far as only the Republicans seem to be waging it effectively. IMO this because they are the only ones who truly view this as a war, with the Democrats as the enemy that must be outright destroyed and its ideology (and moderate ideology in general) purged. Democrats are generally trying to win elections and govern by finding some sort of middle ground, while Republicans are now ideologically committed to wiping the Democrats out and establishing a one-party state.

IMO Democrats are (or will soon be) facing a choice - submit to the Republicans, or acknowledge that they are in a war and that moderation, concessions and compromise no longer work against the opponent they are facing. After all, what's the point in dealing with a party which has as one of its main mottos "never compromise?" Playing nice with Republicans and their base is pointless now as they will simply view any concessions as a victory, yet more proof that they are winning the war, and just move the goal posts further. While continuing to work towards abolishing their opposition by all means at their disposal, of course.

IMO if Democrats intend on surviving the next few years they need to stand for something more than "we are in the middle!" and the gloves really need to come off.

Could resisting in this manner result in a actual civil war? Perhaps. Especially if Trump and Co. keep on whipping their voting base into a frenzy. But it seems clear to me now that the only other alternative will be submit entirely to Republican control as they will accept nothing less, and will not stop until they achieve that purpose. And to submit in this case is to submit to a party where the majority supports putting children into concentration camps to keep the dirty foreigners out, and whom believe that the constitution and rule of law should not apply to them as they are the good guys, but must be used as a hammer against their opponents since they are the bad guys. Given the choice between the two, I think it's worth the risk. But that's a choice Democrats will end up having to make IMO.

I really hope I'm wrong here btw, this is just how I see it. My cynicism tends to be correct more often than not, but hopefully in this instance that won't be the case.
Last edited by Tribble on 2018-06-28 08:27pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-28 08:25pm

"The Democrats" don't really have a single view on this issue.* There are moderate Democrats who tend to want to compromise, and others who are less inclined to do so. I feel that the momentum is shifting toward the latter category, but too slowly.

That's not to say that I want Democrats to adopt Trumper tactics of political violence and fraud, because then democracy and the rule of law are dead regardless of who wins. But we are way past the point where we can afford to be nice and bipartisan- endlessly giving and getting little or nothing isn't viable. And the further down that road we go, the more likely we are to reach a point where we HAVE to resort to force in order to defend ourselves. That is not a desirable outcome, but it is, ironically, a likely result of endless "compromise" with people who sell out their country's elections to foreign tyrants and lock little children in cages.

*Edit: Which is arguably a big part of the problem. To a point, diversity of opinion in a political party is a healthy thing. But I swear, sometimes, it seems that trying to get Leftists to unite on something is harder than trying to herd cats.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-28 08:34pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-06-28 08:25pm
"The Democrats" don't really have a single view on this issue.* There are moderate Democrats who tend to want to compromise, and others who are less inclined to do so. I feel that the momentum is shifting toward the latter category, but too slowly.

That's not to say that I want Democrats to adopt Trumper tactics of political violence and fraud, because then democracy and the rule of law are dead regardless of who wins. But we are way past the point where we can afford to be nice and bipartisan- endlessly giving and getting little or nothing isn't viable. And the further down that road we go, the more likely we are to reach a point where we HAVE to resort to force in order to defend ourselves. That is not a desirable outcome, but it is, ironically, a likely result of endless "compromise" with people who sell out their country's elections to foreign tyrants and lock little children in cages.

*Edit: Which is arguably a big part of the problem. To a point, diversity of opinion in a political party is a healthy thing. But I swear, sometimes, it seems that trying to get Leftists to unite on something is harder than trying to herd cats.
I agree that's a big part of the problem. Republicians are remarkably united in their goal of wiping out the Democrats, while Democrats aren't unified on any particular issue, much less taking out the Republicans. Between the two, it's easy to see why one is winning. Republicans can afford to view this as a war and treat it as such since they are the extremist party that is mostly responsible for instigating it. Democrats generally can't or won't, mostly for ideological reasons - yes this is a good thing from a philosophical perspective, but from purely practical perspective it is a huge handicap since it limits their options.

It's like someone who refuses to carry a weapon and/or take a life running into a serial axe-murderer whose been dying to kill someone all day; sure the person can win, and perhaps even without compromising his/her principles, but the odds certainly aren't in his/her favour. Especially when "talk to the axe-murderer and hope s/he decides not to kill me, or maybe just compromises and chops one of my arms off" isn't a realistic option.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-28 08:48pm

I will note that it is possible to be principled without being weak. The problem with the Democratic party a lot of the time isn't that we're too principled (in fact, often the leadership acts rather unprincipled)- its that a lot of Democrats, especially in the upper leadership, are far too hesitant to stake out a principled position and stand by it, and far too quick to concede, even on what should be core issues, for little or nothing in return.

I don't think the answer is "Be as dirty and hateful and vicious and despotic as the Republicans" (nor do I think that that is what you are suggesting, but I want to be absolutely clear on this point). But we have to STAND for something, and be known to stand for something, and not be too afraid of being labeled "socialist" or "partisan" or whatever to do so. We have to be willing to sacrifice for what we stand for, too. And we have to stop pretending that we can accomplish anything in the long-run by appeasing the people who lock children in cages.

I mean, just take the recent immigration debate. Now, Democrats are pretty united on Trump's immigration policy being abhorrent. Hell, we even got some Republican defections on that issue, though not nearly enough. But when protesters exercise their right to freedom of expression by jeering at the Homeland Security Chief in a restaurant, or another restaurant exercises its right as a private business by kicking Sarah Sanders out, then suddenly there's handwringing about the "uncivil" discourse and how we should be more polite to the people locking children in cages. Which rather misses the point that they are locking children in cages, and the last thing that we should be doing is calling out our own side for hurting the poor widdle Nazis' feelings.

Republicans are mobilized, energized, and largely united. Democrats haven't been, up until recently. We'll see this November if that has really changed. I pray that it has, or we are fucked as a country on a level that we haven't been since the Civil War/Reconstruction era.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-28 08:50pm

I mean, any lingering pretense of civility in politics died the moment that Donald "Lock her up" Trump became the Republican nominee. No use pretending that we can preserve civility when its already dead.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-28 11:04pm

The Romulan Republic wrote: I will note that it is possible to be principled without being weak. The problem with the Democratic party a lot of the time isn't that we're too principled (in fact, often the leadership acts rather unprincipled)- its that a lot of Democrats, especially in the upper leadership, are far too hesitant to stake out a principled position and stand by it, and far too quick to concede, even on what should be core issues, for little or nothing in return.

I don't think the answer is "Be as dirty and hateful and vicious and despotic as the Republicans" (nor do I think that that is what you are suggesting, but I want to be absolutely clear on this point). But we have to STAND for something, and be known to stand for something, and not be too afraid of being labeled "socialist" or "partisan" or whatever to do so. We have to be willing to sacrifice for what we stand for, too. And we have to stop pretending that we can accomplish anything in the long-run by appeasing the people who lock children in cages.

I mean, just take the recent immigration debate. Now, Democrats are pretty united on Trump's immigration policy being abhorrent. Hell, we even got some Republican defections on that issue, though not nearly enough. But when protesters exercise their right to freedom of expression by jeering at the Homeland Security Chief in a restaurant, or another restaurant exercises its right as a private business by kicking Sarah Sanders out, then suddenly there's handwringing about the "uncivil" discourse and how we should be more polite to the people locking children in cages. Which rather misses the point that they are locking children in cages, and the last thing that we should be doing is calling out our own side for hurting the poor widdle Nazis' feelings.

Republicans are mobilized, energized, and largely united. Democrats haven't been, up until recently. We'll see this November if that has really changed. I pray that it has, or we are fucked as a country on a level that we haven't been since the Civil War/Reconstruction era.
Pretty much. They are also hoping to court moderate Republicans, which are becoming less and less prevalent now since many of the moderates are in the process of being purged and/or have joined Democrats already. There's no real point in trying that anymore.
I'm not suggesting that in terms of ideology. However there are certain tactics such as gerrymandering, blocking appointments where possible, willing to shut down the government etc. which the Democrats have no choice but to do now if they want to survive. And they have to do it while they still have the ability to have a meaningful impact. There is no point in moderating here anymore since the Republicans certainly won't. Plus calling the Republicans out for being fascists that must be stopped and must be opposed on all fronts doesn't amount to being dirty, hateful or vicious... because at this point that's what the Republicans factually are. It's now reached the point where the optiosn are "democratic republic and rule of law (no natter how flawed" vs "neo-facism" on the elciton ballot. Democrats shouldn't beat around the bush here, and they shouldn't apologise for it.

Perhaps more importantly Democrats have to acknowledge that large violent Republican protests are now a distinct possibility, and prepare for them. If they are unwilling or unable to do that they may as well throw in the towel now.
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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-28 11:12pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-06-28 11:04pm
The Romulan Republic wrote: I will note that it is possible to be principled without being weak. The problem with the Democratic party a lot of the time isn't that we're too principled (in fact, often the leadership acts rather unprincipled)- its that a lot of Democrats, especially in the upper leadership, are far too hesitant to stake out a principled position and stand by it, and far too quick to concede, even on what should be core issues, for little or nothing in return.

I don't think the answer is "Be as dirty and hateful and vicious and despotic as the Republicans" (nor do I think that that is what you are suggesting, but I want to be absolutely clear on this point). But we have to STAND for something, and be known to stand for something, and not be too afraid of being labeled "socialist" or "partisan" or whatever to do so. We have to be willing to sacrifice for what we stand for, too. And we have to stop pretending that we can accomplish anything in the long-run by appeasing the people who lock children in cages.

I mean, just take the recent immigration debate. Now, Democrats are pretty united on Trump's immigration policy being abhorrent. Hell, we even got some Republican defections on that issue, though not nearly enough. But when protesters exercise their right to freedom of expression by jeering at the Homeland Security Chief in a restaurant, or another restaurant exercises its right as a private business by kicking Sarah Sanders out, then suddenly there's handwringing about the "uncivil" discourse and how we should be more polite to the people locking children in cages. Which rather misses the point that they are locking children in cages, and the last thing that we should be doing is calling out our own side for hurting the poor widdle Nazis' feelings.

Republicans are mobilized, energized, and largely united. Democrats haven't been, up until recently. We'll see this November if that has really changed. I pray that it has, or we are fucked as a country on a level that we haven't been since the Civil War/Reconstruction era.
Pretty much. They are also hoping to court moderate Republicans, which are becoming less and less prevalent now since many of the moderates are in the process of being purged and/or have joined Democrats already. There's no real point in trying that anymore.
I'm not suggesting that in terms of ideology. However there are certain tactics such as gerrymandering, blocking appointments where possible, willing to shut down the government etc. which the Democrats have no choice but to do now if they want to survive. And they have to do it while they still have the ability to have a meaningful impact. There is no point in moderating here anymore since the Republicans certainly won't. Plus calling the Republicans out for being fascists that must be stopped and must be opposed on all fronts doesn't amount to being dirty, hateful or vicious... because at this point that's what the Republicans factually are. It's now reached the point where the optiosn are "democratic republic and rule of law (no natter how flawed" vs "neo-facism" on the elciton ballot. Democrats shouldn't beat around the bush here, and they shouldn't apologise for it.
I largely agree, though I think its valid to ask how far we can go in using Republican-style tactics before we are essentially destroying democracy and the rule of law in order to save it. Gerrymandering to the extent permitted by law, blocking appointees, and shutting down the government are all tactics that we should be willing to employ, however.
Perhaps more importantly Democrats have to acknowledge that large violent Republican protests are now a distinct possibility, and prepare for them. If they are unwilling or unable to do that they may as well throw in the towel now.
I reiterate my advice to voters going to vote in person:

-Know your rights.
-Don't go alone if possible.

And I think it would not necessarily be unwise for State Governors to put their National Guard forces on alert around election day.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: 2018 Midterm Elections Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-06-29 12:38pm

The Romulan Republic wrote: I reiterate my advice to voters going to vote in person:

-Know your rights.
-Don't go alone if possible.

And I think it would not necessarily be unwise for State Governors to put their National Guard forces on alert around election day.
That is part of it, yes. I wouldn't be surprised if the Republicans end up urging their members to "protect" polling stations from the millions of "illegal voters" who will vote Democrat.

The other part is dealing with the aftermath of the vote. If the Democrats take back one or more houses, they must be prepared for Republicans (and Trump in particular) claiming it was a fraud, a sham, only due to illegal voters etc, which will likely lead to large scale protests.
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