Orange is the new President

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thoreau
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by thoreau » 28 Aug 2018, 14:53

Trump is losing friends and courtiers, but the base still loves him.

Whether he survives will depend, in large part, whether democracy matters more than opinion in the upper tiers of the bureaucracy. He may not have majority support, but he has support from voters who matter in primaries that matter. In that sense, there is a direct line from the opinions of voters to the fates of politicians.

I used to think that there was a "they." "Oh, they'll never let that happen." "Nah, they'd work things out." Now I think we're an actual democracy. And I'm scared.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 15:11

Trump wants Google investigated for bias, over bringing up unflattering "fake news" when people search for his name.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1LD1I1
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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JasonL
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by JasonL » 28 Aug 2018, 15:37

I've long since abandoned a "they". "They" are the electorate. The electorate wants something that looks like this.

I have the same sets of concerns in this area as I do in the private sector when people primarily assign outcomes to collusions and cabals that are not connected to voters/customer demand. You wind up asking the wrong questions. In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".

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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 15:41

JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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JasonL
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by JasonL » 28 Aug 2018, 15:47

Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:41
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
I think that's an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of public whim. It was close enough to win by the rules as established and that's the thing we should be focused on. In any close election you can point to various things that are marginal effects and blame the whole thing on those but you are dodging the tough questions when you do that.

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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 15:49

JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:47
Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:41
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
I think that's an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of public whim.
Or, public whim is an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of our "minority rules" electoral system.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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JasonL
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by JasonL » 28 Aug 2018, 15:53

I think that's not great as a take. 63,000,000 people voted for Donald Trump. If you are not primarily focused on "how in the world did we get there" you are not engaging in thoughtful analysis.

ETA that's more than the entire population of Italy and nearly the entire population of France.
Last edited by JasonL on 28 Aug 2018, 15:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Painboy
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Painboy » 28 Aug 2018, 15:53

Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:41
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
The problem with that fact is the election is about getting electoral votes. That's what the campaigns focused on. If they had needed the popular vote they would have focused on that and you likely would have gotten different numbers.

It's like saying the team that loses a football game should have won because they gained more yards when the decision of who wins is determined by points.

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nicole
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by nicole » 28 Aug 2018, 15:57

Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:49
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:47
Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:41
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
I think that's an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of public whim.
Or, public whim is an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of our "minority rules" electoral system.
50%+1 voters would still be "minority rule"
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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 16:00

JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:53
I think that's not great as a take. 63,000,000 people voted for Donald Trump. If you are not primarily focused on "how in the world did we get there" you are not engaging in thoughtful analysis.

ETA that's more than the entire population of Italy and nearly the entire population of France.
ETA it's also three million fewer than the entire population who voted for Clinton in 2016. Which is the actually relevant factor here. As for "how did we get here," well, it's because we have an electoral system whereby instead of all votes counted equally, voters in rural areas have far more weight than voters in dense urban populations.

If the majority of voters chose Trump and the majority of Americans even now still supported him, I'd agree the problem is "the public." Given the situation we actually have now, though, arguably the problem is the opposite: the guys in power can ignore what The Public wants.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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JasonL
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by JasonL » 28 Aug 2018, 16:02

Well, the good news for you is the DNC seems to agree with you and so they will produce another quality candidate that's totally in touch next time because they did everything right - they Won!

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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 16:06

JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:02
Well, the good news for you is the DNC seems to agree with you and so they will produce another quality candidate that's totally in touch next time because they did everything right - they Won!
Which is not what I am saying, as you know full well; instead, I am pointing out why blaming Trump on "public whim" is not a valid complaint, because he does not and never has had support from "the public."
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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JasonL
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by JasonL » 28 Aug 2018, 16:08

That's not smart. If 63 million people and an EC win, which is how all elections are run in the US forever, doesn't count as public support, you don't have a useful view of that term.

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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 16:13

JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:08
That's not smart. If 63 million people and an EC win, which is how all elections are run in the US forever, doesn't count as public support, you don't have a useful view of that term.
Or, you and I are using the term in different ways -- you to mean "whoever won the election according to our quirky laws," I to mean "who actually has the support of the bulk of the public."
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Hugh Akston » 28 Aug 2018, 16:26

Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:13
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:08
That's not smart. If 63 million people and an EC win, which is how all elections are run in the US forever, doesn't count as public support, you don't have a useful view of that term.
Or, you and I are using the term in different ways -- you to mean "whoever won the election according to our quirky laws," I to mean "who actually has the support of the bulk of the public."
Since voter participation has never reached 80%, it's not clear that anyone meets that standard.
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nicole
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by nicole » 28 Aug 2018, 16:32

And I mean who knows how many nonvoters support him. Maybe a ton. Definitely all the boys. I was going to say all the high school boys and then I was like oh god middle school boys would definitely like Trump, and then I realized that seven-year-old boys are also uniformly gross idiots, so yeah. At least, all the boys ages 5 to 17.
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Highway
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Highway » 28 Aug 2018, 16:33

You can't tell who has "the support of the bulk of the public" from a 51% to 49% win. That's both things having equal support, and deciding who wins by unrelated tiebreak. Especially when that 51% is from less than 40% of the actual "public". Jason's point, and it's clear as day, is that half the voters preferred Trump. They knew what they were voting for. That's what they want. Ignoring that fact and the implications thereof doesn't make anything better. Personally I think it's a vile thing to have to confront, but not confronting it will get us more of it.
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Jennifer
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jennifer » 28 Aug 2018, 16:37

Hugh Akston wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:26
Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:13
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 16:08
That's not smart. If 63 million people and an EC win, which is how all elections are run in the US forever, doesn't count as public support, you don't have a useful view of that term.
Or, you and I are using the term in different ways -- you to mean "whoever won the election according to our quirky laws," I to mean "who actually has the support of the bulk of the public."
Since voter participation has never reached 80%, it's not clear that anyone meets that standard.
Nonetheless, Jason's suggestion that "winning the electoral college, even if you got fewer votes than your opponent, means you enjoy 'public support' to the point where whatever you do can be blamed on 'public whim' (regardless of how much of that public actually opposes you) does NOT address what's going on with Trump: it's not "he's doing what the public wants," but "he's able to ignore what the public wants." (See also: Republican efforts at voter suppression and pro-Republican gerrymandering. If "the public" supported Trump and the Trumpists as much as all that, the Republicans wouldn't need to pull off such shenanigans.)
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Aresen
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Aresen » 28 Aug 2018, 16:40

Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:49
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:47
Jennifer wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:41
JasonL wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 15:37
In this case it's "why did voters want this" not "who did this to us".
Given that Trump is the second president in 16 years to win despite losing the popular vote, blaming "the voters" only goes so far, though. Most people who actually voted in 2016 did NOT want this.
I think that's an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of public whim.
Or, public whim is an excuse people are using so they don't have to contemplate the full horror of our "minority rules" electoral system.
In theory, a US president could be elected with only 23% of the popular vote. In countries with Westminister-style parliaments and three or more parties, the number needed to elect a prime minister can be even less.

While a candidate winning the popular vote can claim a degree of 'legitimacy' that a successful candidate lacking a plurality would not have, if the rules are known and agreed to by all, there is a kind of 'fairness' in the sense that the outcome can be clearly determined.

However, what matters most to me is the degree to which lawfulness is observed: Winning the election does not entitle you to use the powers of your office to persecute your opponents (like Erdogan in Turkey, Putin in Russia) or to implement whatever one desires. Trump seems to regard his win as entitling him to do whatever he pleases, regardless of law or custom.

On the other hand, systems with 'leveraged' votes are much more prone to swings in voter preference and make changes in government easier. Proportional systems tend to provide a party with a plurality of support a long-term 'lock' on power until their corruption causes even loyalists to desert.
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Jake » 28 Aug 2018, 17:07

It's impossible to know if either candidate had anything like the "will of the people" because our first-past-the-post voting system hides information about true voter preferences from us. Personally, I suspect a huge proportion of the votes for Trump, and a similarly huge proportion of the votes for Clinton, were cast not *for* the candidate in question, but *against* the *other* candidate.

Which isn't a great way to pick a good president, as we're seeing.
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thoreau
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by thoreau » 28 Aug 2018, 18:05

I'm less interested in debates over majoritarianism and its failings, and more interested in whether American politics is fundamentally democratic, i.e. entirely determined by the votes cast by people (even if those votes get weighted according to federalist, non-majoritarian mechanisms) or if it is a compromise between elites (whether in the permanent bureaucracy, the donor classes, or the classes that shape the ideas proffered to politicians by advisors).

There's a lot to dislike about the permanent bureaucracy, the donors, and the people who shape opinion among respectable elites, but they would not have given us Trump. And there's plenty to be said about the electoral college, but ultimately it is still a mechanism that responds to votes in a mechanical manner, without any agency of its own.

If American politics is a compromise between elites and the demos, then when everyone around Trump abandons him he'll have to go, because one of those twin pillars will have fallen and the other won't be enough on its own. If American politics is ultimately about the demos, then all that will matter is that enough of the base still supports him, and that base votes in Republican primaries. That is not "democratic" in a majoritarian sense, but it is certainly democratic in the sense that there is a direct line from the opinions of pivotal voters to the outcomes of the system.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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nicole
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by nicole » 29 Aug 2018, 13:11

The White House has secretly amassed a committee of federal agencies from across the government to combat public support for marijuana and cast state legalization measures in a negative light, while attempting to portray the drug as a national threat, according to interviews with agency staff and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, as it’s named in White House memos and emails, instructed 14 federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration this month to submit “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana and the “threats” it poses to the country.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/do ... -marijuana
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Hugh Akston » 29 Aug 2018, 14:21

The Trump Administration's pot policy is so weird. He never mentions pot in his rambling rally speeches or his Fox News call-ins. Who is he appealing to with this? Are law enforcement groups lobbying him? Is this Jeff Sessions' pet project? Did Kevin Sabet buy ad time during Fox & Friends?
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nicole
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by nicole » 29 Aug 2018, 14:31

Kevin Sabet does seem to be making a bit of a comeback -- did you see the recent piece of trash in The Atlantic by Annie Lowery?
"Fucking qualia." -Hugh Akston

"This is why I carry a shoehorn.” -jadagul

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Orange is the new President

Post by Hugh Akston » 29 Aug 2018, 15:02

Life is too short for liberal think-pieces about how capitalism is ruining something that me and all my white friends used to do anyway with no fear of consequences.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Inexplicably cockfighting monsters that live in your pants" ~Jadagul

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