Politics Thread


Garland’s problem wasn’t that he was too extreme, it was twofold:

  1. After having their traditional minority party rights trampled by the Democrats in 2013, the Republicans were in no mood to respect the traditional minority party rights of the Democrats in 2016. It was time for a payback.

  2. It was arch-conservative Scalia’s seat that was up for grabs, and the Republicans weren’t going to sacrifice a Supreme Court seat and allow the fundamental balance of the court be changed for decades over rules that the Democrats themselves didn’t respect. It would have been tantamount to fighting with one hand tied behind your back.


Now look at what’s happening.

Both parties bases now despise one another and all unity has been destroyed.

They got their supreme court picks, but at the cost of destroying the fragile balance.

“But it was the dems who did it first.”

I could care less, now we’re stuck in a perpetual tit for tat mode that will continue to reinforce the divides in society.


I get that, I was more referring to all those appellate judges. I’m sure there were a handful of liberal firebrands among them but by and large the pre-Bernie Democrats already trended conservative themselves, so aside from that handful I mentioned I’m curious what and who the Republicans found so objectionable about the slate of appellate judges the Dems wanted to appoint.


They came from Obama’s administration.


The destructive tit for tat has been going on for decades ever since the Bork and Thomas hearings, with the retaliations and counter-retaliations getting more severe every year… Both parties have their often justifiable grievances with the other side. It’s like a blood feud. It almost doesn’t matter why it started now, with fresh offenses occurring regularly, the feud has taken on a life of its own with an all or nothing attitude fueled by the increasing partisanization of the nation.

The Bush administration had similiar difficulty with Democratic filibusters of its nominees…


Yeah, but they still mostly got through. A few of course didn’t but that’s normal. Some of Trump’s withdrew. Contention is good, earnest debate is better, but refusing to work with one another is destructive.

Some of the greatest pieces of legislation were done by bipartisan support. Including Civil Rights which was passed with Republican assistance.

I am a young man, I freely admit that. But, this is also my country and I am afraid that it’ll be irrevocably split apart because of the actions of a few hundred tired old politicians.

I worry for my daughter who has to grow up in a country that is increasingly getting violent towards minorities.

I know we can be better than we have been. Because we have, being strong and projecting power is important for maintaining the international order we built, but at the expense that our education system is an utter joke except for private schools, charters, or wealthy suburban towns. Not to mention our infrastructure and other key sectors to be a functional nation.

We both are on different political sides, but I know you geel the same way. That we can be better, that we can go and earnestly fix the divides, and that we can make the world better than the one we were born into. We don’t need to become a Scandinavian country or a European country. We can do it by embracing the American identity. But manipulating it at the expense of the majority of the country is disgraceful.


“Syndicalism with American characteristics”, eh? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I suppose America will always be America, whether in real-life or in fiction.


Not even that, we have the basis for significant social welfare reform already established.

We just need to find a way to fund the damned thing. Same with education, criminal justice reform, infrastructure spending, green power, and a thousand different initiatives and benefits to provide for our people.

We just need to fund them and believe in our abilities to get it done. Part of the American is rolling up the sleeves and as JFK said when we decided to go to the Moon.

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

I think people forgot this part of America because of the nonsense that’s been occurring with more and more frequency. But this is also a big part of the American psyche. I also forgive you for forgetting it @idonotlikeusernames.



The court will be packed, just as FDR was going to do so in the 1940’s. The Supreme Court became political then and has once again.


A 280 member supreme court is theoretically allowed to happen.

Of course that’ll be a circus.


Supreme Court packing is a whole different can of worms much like the death of the filibuster which once used by Democrats will also be used by tRepublicans at the very next opportunity. The result might well be a Supreme Court that eventually gets expanded to the point of absurdity in a never-ending game of tit-for-tat.


Hey! I’m not actually that old (yet) you know, I don’t have personal recollections of Kennedy or even of Carter. I mean when I was born Reaganomics was already a thing. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Criminal justice reform in the US wouldn’t actually be hard to fund since it would save a lot of money compared to today’s militarized police departments and Arpaio-esque concentration camp jails that then cost the state a ton in civil liabilities. And that’s just the start of it as most (not all of course but most) ex-cons could contribute far more to society (and taxes) if given the chance and a halfway decent education in prison.
I’m certainly not a financial whiz-kid and some of those things are hard to fund, even for the US, but decent criminal justice isn’t one of them.

Well our own highest national court has a legal maximum of 53, one president, 7 vice-presidents, 30 ordinary judges, and 15 extraordinary judges. Last I looked we were a half dozen or so short of that maximum. So realistically the US Supreme Court would have some room to grow. Though perhaps not to the point it rivals a national legislature in size.
I wouldn’t call it a circus, but then the maximum number of judges sitting in on any one case is fixed at thirteen and it is difficult to direct exactly who gets on what case from a position in the executive or legislative branches.

True, on the other hand, you have a potential, perhaps even likely return to the arch-conservative Lochner era Courts who will just strike down everything should there ever be something like a Sanders or Warren administration. Worse is that all the new arch-conservatives are young while some of the more liberal members might just not make it through four more years of Trump and sadly I do believe Trump just might get that. Then, of course, you’re looking at a 7-2 or even 8-1 Supreme Court for decades.


That’s not really accurate. He passed an amendment to the Senate rules, which can be done by majority vote. That’s not creatively redefining the concept of 60, any more than the 21st Amendment redefined alcohol. There was definitely more “creativity” involved in McConnell deciding that the Senate’s Constitutional duties didn’t come with any explicit time limit, so he didn’t have to hold any hearings until he had a GOP President.

That said, Reid’s “nuclear option” was one more step down our norm-killing slope, and on the judicial side the Dems have taken way more of those, Garland notwithstanding.


You’re mistaken. No amendment to the Senate rules was ever passed. He didn’t have the 67 votes needed to push through an amendment to Rule XXII. He called a point of order, said the rule was different than it was, was overruled by the presiding officer upon the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian, held a vote in which a Democratic majority agreed with him that the rules were different than they were, and presto, the majority’s interpretation of the rule overrode the actual rule itself. The actual text of Rule XXII requiring three-fifths of the Senate for cloture was never changed, it was simply reinterpreted by the Senate majority as a matter of procedure to mean a simple majority for the purposes of cabinet and lower court nominations. But don’t take my word for it, read Congress’s own reports on the subject:

US Congressional Research Service. Majority Cloture for Nominations:
Implications and the “Nuclear” Proceedings.
(R43331, December 6, 2013), by Valerie Heitshusen.


US Congressional Research Service. Procedures for Considering Changes in Senate Rules. (R42929, January 22, 2013), by Richard S. Beth.

Both of these congressional documents make it pretty clear that the precedent Reid set is a reinterpretation of existing rules by the chairman via an appeal to a majority vote, not an actual change in the rules. The press was all over the place in its coverage of the event and numerous reporters incorrectly referred to it as a change in the rules.

Oh come on, Reid set the precedent that all you ever need in the Senate from now on is 51 votes. It’s probably only a matter of time before that gets applied to regular legislation as well, just as it has been applied to judicial nominations and cabinet appointees. What McConnell did isn’t really anything new. The Senate Majority leader has full control over the Senate calendar, it’s not something newly invented, and his hardball response wasn’t entirely unjustified given the Democrat’s own violations of longstanding traditions as well as previous compromises with respect to presidential nominations in the preceding years when the Democrats were in the majority. Democrats just didn’t like that they were the ones now in the minority and on the receiving end of it. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Democrats would have behaved in exactly the same manner had their positions been reversed.

True that.


Just one belated remark I missed earlier Bryce, but…
If my experience, or indeed our current European experience, is any guide replacing them with a couple of hundred of fresh-faced newly minted politicians isn’t the panacea some think it is going to be. We have Sebastian Kurz in Austria and Luigi di Maio over in Italia who are both eagerly aiding and abetting fascists and in my country we have mr. Baudet as a rising talent who makes mr. Wilders look like a moderate consensus option.


So, I’m not often on here for certain reasons (admittedly, one being lacking in some areas of politics, including current), but after the Brazil election where there is now a right wing president, I have decided to ask this question to you guys; I’d like to think, since 2016, there has been a steady rise of support for right wing parties, so I ask, should we be concern right now?


As a brazilian guy I can say that the experience with a leftist government wasn’t that good. The “worker party” (PT) ruled my country for 13 years, being kicked out by an impeachment. They was really irresponsible. The violence has reached a point of, practically, despair. The corruption was the modus operandi. The Car-wash operation unveiling all the sh*ts that they did. So, I can’t help but being very hopeful with a right wing turn in Brazil. Brazil, in it’s recent history, never had a right wing government. Let’s give those guys a chance to do something to change this amazing country.


Handing out guns like candy and instituting government death squads isn’t going to make your country any less violent, nor is brutal repression of minorities, including the gay one. On that account, I’m afraid Mr. Bolsonaro is selling pie in the sky, unless there is something very different about the triangular relationship between the availability of guns, actual shootings with said guns and the crime rate that sets Brazil truly apart from the rest of humanity somehow.

That’s is taking quite a short-term view of recent, even for politics. As I don’t think that military dictatorship you used to have that Mr. Bolsonaro so admires cannot even charitably be described as centrist or left-wing.

Now as for the corruption, just take a look at the US and how Trump is likely the most corrupt president they ever had. Or for that matter for a truly staggering account of corruption by the right-wing just look at the recent Park administration of South Korea. Though frustratingly enough that woman’s one redeeming quality as compared to her successor, Mr Moon was that she didn’t give two shits about gay guys and refused to go along with some of the shit the South Korean military wanted to pull to weed us out, anecdotally on account of finding it “pointless”. Whereas the record of esteemed human-rights lawyer Moon apparently stops at gay guys and he’s basically given the South Korean military absolute carte-blanche for whatever shit they want to pull on gay guys. :unamused:

Though in all fairness none of the truly major South Korean politicians and parties have been very supportive of gay rights.

But I digress. Back to the original point, as far as corruption goes I sure hope the Bolsonaro administration is going to prove that one wrong, but I have a gut feeling they won’t.
Nor will mass privatization improve things any for anyone who isn’t already rich.

But cheer up! Whatever shit Bolsonaro pulls we can thank his accomplice mr. M. Zuckerberg. Bolsonaro is a bought and paid for candidate by very shady corporate money who gained his traction and money largely thanks to Mr Zuckerberg. As many other places around the world have.
Thus far Mexico seems to be the one and only exception where this has worked in the favour of a nominally left-wing populist.

The most worrying implication about the Buzzfeed article, however, is the growing information and entertainment divide based on wealth, that throws poorer people to the online predators, and snake-oil peddlers of fake news. :unamused:


Not that I’m Brazilian, but I can’t see someone who’s openly advocated violence against LGBT people, threatened harm against indigenous people, and advocated dictatorship as a positive step.


With Angela Merkel’s plan to resign as CSU chairwoman in December , Germany seems to go into an unpredictable future in the next Germany election , Will Merkel’s successor be popular enough to regain CSU’s dominant ? and howabout the fading SPD ? will they able to seize the opportunity in order to regain federal power ? Or will the Green Party totally replace SPD as Germany’s Center-Left power ? I am hoping for once, the environmentalist of the Greens are able to hold power in one of the world’s leading nation , and continuing their momentum to other countries’ Green Party so that there will be an environmental friendly future world :-):sweat_smile: