Politics Thread


#1486

My hope would be both would fall to impeachment.


#1487

Donald Trump is the kind of guy who will take Pence out with him completely out of spite.


#1488

You willing to bet on that Bryce?

If it comes to impeachment then Trump’s role is pretty much over anyway. I really, really doubt a Republican controlled Senate is going to allow him to drag Pence down with him.
Particularly if this will gain them more leverage over Pence and his possible administration.

And I hope to win the lottery every year. Getting the Republican Senate to approve one impeachment would be a minor miracle, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. I doubt they’d drag Pence down with Trump and risk president Pelosi (even if she is fairly conservative).

I respect you @Eiwynn but I really do think that hope is going to be in vain.


#1489

Guttingly true. :frowning: But that fact is only explicable in terms of how resoundingly they’ve been losing the culture war. The US is further from theocracy than it’s been in pretty much its entire history–and that despite post-2000 eight years of a white evangelical president and two years of one who panders enthusiastically to his white evangelical base.

In particular, the LGBTQ rights movement has enjoyed more success in a shorter time than any other civil rights movement in US history, despite the fact that it’s only been supported by top Democrats for a decade or so. True, there’s plenty yet to be achieved, and a backlash we can see and feel (and not only from white evangelicals). We know from the experience of earlier battles against anti-Semitism, sexism, and racism that there are no final victories. But a generational value shift is plainly taking place, and any politician who tries to roll it back on the national level will fail.

So while I think your gloom about economic issues is well-founded, by the same token I think your fear of Pence et al is overblown. The contemporary US political terrain is as unfriendly to theocracy as it is to democratic socialism.

I’m more worried about impeachment than hoping for it. At this point, I think it’s far likelier that Trump-Pence will lose reelection than that Trump will be successfully impeached. I don’t want to see a failed impeachment attempt boost Trump’s credibility (which I think is a very likely future) and help him pull off another Electoral College victory (a reasonably likely one). I’m with Pelosi and Schumer: however much I’d like to see Trump out, the best Democratic strategy is one that doesn’t aim for impeachment, but limits the damage of a Trump Presidency until he can be successfully challenged in 2020.

If Trump were successfully impeached, it would be because he was found to have done things so incredibly corrupt and/or treasonous that it forced a significant number of GOP Senators to vote against him. Even after the party has doubled down on Trump Victory as its best hope for holding onto power. I agree that it’s unlikely even then that it would lead to a double impeachment, but the whole GOP (let alone Pence) would come out of it politically crippled.

In that scenario, I don’t think it’s at all likely that Pence would win re-election. Those structural advantages you mentioned are real, but they barely sufficed to get Trump a victory over an epochally (if unfairly) unpopular Democrat candidate. I’m comfortable that Pence doesn’t have the charisma or network to pull off a win following the first successful impeachment in US history, which would itself have required a civil war in the Republican party going against the man that Pence has glued himself to.


#1490

Even if you start counting from the Stonewall riots and not the turn of the millennium?

Sadly true, I know many black communities, as well as many, many immigrants are some of the most virulently anti-gay ones.
Which is one reason, along with a lot of other ones, why I tend to be more cautious about embracing essentially right-wing libertarian “open borders” (in absence of an effective planetary government) rhetoric.

Her uninspiring VP pick was the straw that would have broken this democratic-socialists camel’s back, in the event I’d been entitled to vote in the US elections. As it signaled business as usual to me and the fact that Hillary in spite of pressure from Sanders was still up to her old modus operandi of compromising or even simply adopting right-wing economic policy whenever presented with the opportunity. That combined with her proven, hawkish tendencies (I remain convinced she would have found a way to get the US deeply into the Libyan quagmire) probably would have made me protest vote for Joe Exotic or something at the top of the ticket.


#1491

Absolutely. The speed of what’s been achieved in 50 years is without precedent. Marriage laws, for notable example, were a core focus of both the black civil rights and LGBTQ rights movement–but the road to Loving was a lot longer than the road to Obergefell.

We’ll see if the Dems can muster a candidate who’ll inspire less protest in 2020. They could still screw things up, no doubt.


#1492

Word is that Trump still hasn’t entirely forgiven Pence for saying he was ready to step in if Trump were to pull out back when that misogynstic Access Holywood tape recording came to light in 2016 just before the election. As a result Trump may well consider a different running mate for 2020. Trump is the sort to fight to the bitter end regardless of the cost to his running mate, his party, or even the country as a whole. Trump remains a self-centered narcissist and nothing really matters to him besides himself.

Let’s not forget that up until 2012 Obama himself was publicly opposed to gay marriage. It really was only a relatively short while ago that the Democratic party on a national level embraced LGBT rights. Prior to that all advances on the national level were due to the courts getting out ahead of public opinion instead of moving with it.

Hillary was an extremely flawed and problematic candidate and Kaine was in some very important ways even worse. They were the Wall Street & globalist investor dream team and very much out of touch with the rest of America.


#1493

As in touch as the Republicans who are 'bout to cut food stamps from hundreds of thousands of people. Because having an income of 4k a year can clearly make you be able to feed yourself and your family.

The GOP under Trump is as in-touch as a person in a Dementia ward. Same with the Dems, it’s just that some Dems actually believe in meaningful social reform to try to at least help some people.


#1494

Trump was a bomb thrown by a very angry segment of the population at the system itself. The white upper lower and lower middle class (ie. the “working poor”) felt abandoned by both parties and pulled the lever for Trump in a fit of anger, while their African American peers who had a similar axe to grind against the Democratic party stayed home. These are the union voters that were once the backbone of the Democratic party and which handed Trump the “Rust Belt”, ie. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and very nearly, Minnesota.

Has Trump done much of anything for them? Not really, and that may well have a great deal to do with why Democrats did much better in all of these Rust Belt states in the mid-terms.


#1495

The operative word here being some and apparently their willingness to reform is mostly limited to solely social isssues. Nothing economic, except for the Sanders wing, but we know they are (sadly enough) not going to be a majority of the Dems, so that will likely go nowhere…again. :unamused:


#1496

I still go back and forth about who would be the more dangerous President, Trump or Pence. And considering how unhinged Trump is, that says a lot about Pence and the current state of the Republican party.

They are both lunatics. But whereas Trump is a lunatic driven by ego, Pence is a lunatic driven by theological fervor.

This is still a country very much in the hands of the religious right. Atheists like yours truly are still pretty much the most despised group (perhaps right below or above Muslims?). SCOTUS is 5-4 now, with apparently Roberts as the “middle,” which is scary by itself. And RBG is on fumes. She may not make it another 2 years.

I hate to say it, but our best chance as a country is for Trump to just be a (somewhat) lame duck these next two years with hopefully a continually eroding base and for a sane Dem to win in 2 years.

It’s interesting to me how many conservative commentators (Will, Kristol, Cupp, etc.) have been willing to say what we mostly think (“Trump is nuts”) but hardly any GOP politicians are willing to do the same, which implies that they either agree with Trump, or are too spineless to speak up. Either is pretty bad.


#1497

Yup that’s what I’m saying, the difference between trump and pence is that trump while having a pretty messed up view on things is still pretty stupid whereas pence is more calculated and dangerous. Soooo, let’s suffer through this buffoon for now and then get him outta there rather than trying to impeach him and having to deal with someone way worse.


#1498

This is true, and terrible. But the trend seems positive, even if there’s a long road yet ahead to fully shed the bias.

I just can’t agree that the country is headed in a direction that merits fear of impending theocracy. There’s an ongoing struggle, absolutely. That’s part of sharing a country with people who want things diametrically opposed to us in many ways. But we should be clear eyed about the state of the struggle.

The religious right has been losing for decades on basically all the issues they care most about. Not only thanks to the courts, but in democratic debate. More broadly, the cultural hegemony enjoyed by Christianity has disintegrated; there’s no comparison with the role churches played in newspapers, radio, TV, movies etc. a generation ago. Some features like attitudes toward atheism are hanging on longer than others…but Christianity is fast becoming a cluster of subcultures rather than the main value system of US culture.

And conservative Christians know it. Hence the grotesquerie of evangelicals’ desperate latching on to any politician who verbally panders to them, even a Biblically illiterate lecher. Hence their profound susceptibility to a message of “making America great again.”

And make no mistake, Trump is pandering harder to them than just about any politician in the last century. Evangelicals are getting more of what they want from Trump than they did from Dubya; because Trump is all about transactional politics and waaay less concerned than just about any other US politician when it comes to antagonizing people, it turns out he’s more likely to deliver on the agenda of his evangelical vote base than most true believers. (Including, I’d predict, a President Pence.) It’s still not won the religious right any big battles, and it’s doing generational damage to their credibility.

For the record, since I mentioned Hillary’s unpopularity upthread, I should be clear that I liked her, voted cheerfully for her, and continue to think the intensity of opposition to her (compared to, say, fellow center-right Democrat Barack Obama) was massively gender-driven. Take it away, Molly:


#1499

I was never as giddy about the whole “Obamania” as some parts of our own more elite Dutch commentariat either, likely because I always keenly saw the essentially conservative politician beneath the historical veneer of the first black president.

I believe the goal has shifted from winning big battles to death by a thousand cuts by way of the Supreme Court among other things. Where the goal is to gradually and incrementally restrict abortion and women’s rights and in some states (like Texas) turn gay rights into nothing more than the right to obtain a wedding certificate.

Kaine still remains the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. An electoral alliance with Bernie or Warren would have done more to convince me that perhaps she might be looking for different compromises this time that might have defied her tendencies as a former “Goldwater girl” to always and almost exclusively compromise with the right, unless faced by truly extraordinary pressure.


#1500

They will succeed in some of those cuts-- and more in some states than others. That’s the nature of politics with an interest group comprising roughly a fifth of the population.

But there’s little reason to think they can turn back the trends pushing America away from the conservative evangelical vision, and the resulting mess (however costly, however unsatisfying) doesn’t come close to “theocracy”. If we gin up too much fear around that easy target, we may find ourselves missing the bigger threats.


#1502

That 20% of the population dictating the policies, rules and regulations of the majority of people in the nation is exactly why we are seeing the majority of the population in states like California, Texas and Florida starting to demand more of a say in the outcome of such things like Primaries … this upcoming Presidential cycle is going to be the first that candidates are forced to consider their wishes, wants and needs to win … instead of being nothing but an ATM machine that a homogenized minority candidate visits whenever they need campaign money.

Agreed on this.


#1503

Oh yeah, for those who haven’t been following, my governor in Wisconsin recently signed a bill to remove a bunch of the governor’s powers, because he’s been defeated and there’ll be a Democrat governor coming up. This right after he used the same powers himself :roll_eyes: the hypocrisy is obvious, and there’s no way the legislators would’ve even done this had Walker won again, despite what they say :confounded:

Wait, hmm, question. Theoretically, would there be enough time for Pence to appoint a replacement vice president? :thinking: Or would they actually be able to impeach them simultaneously?
(I don’t think it likely that Pence would be impeached, but just wondering how this actually works :sweat_smile:)

Even if you count my lifetime, it’s been incredibly overwhelming :astonished: just the bare level of getting sodomy laws ousted nationwide was only a decade and a half ago. I was just becoming a teenager when my state of Wisconsin passed an amendment by referendum to ban gay marriage (pretty much the first I was aware of this stuff politically). For the 2008 election, I couldn’t find any significant candidates who favored gay marriage. And then suddenly politicians were actually publicly supporting it, DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell rapidly crumbled… things happened really fast in just the last few years under Obama, coinciding with my college years, which also happened to be when I was doing LGBT news reports for the club I was in… yeah, it’s been an incredible shift :astonished:

This is still treating people differently for reasons of birth outside their control. It’s also not a good way to be supportive of LGBT people among those groups.

As long as the US is under a first-past-the-post system, I can’t favor doing that. A moderately right-wing Democrat candidate in really any federal position is going to make Trump’s abuses more difficult. It’s still going to keep threatened people safer. The time to push in more progressive candidates who will be more responsive to economic issues as well as important social issues is during the primaries, the point where the overall voters can push which direction they want the party to focus on. That’s what’s turned the Republican party in the direction it went; it can transform a party’s agenda, and is the time to work on doing that to the Democrats as well. The general election is round two.

Compared to undocumented immigrants? Or the government talking about defining transgender people out of existence?

I remember a friend telling me she overheard some people saying that they didn’t want to vote for Trump, but they were going to because it was God’s will :sweat:

I still like him better than, well, predecessors and alternatives, but I was pretty bothered by him dragging his feet on gay issues (he took far more years than necessary to sign an executive order to prevent LGBT discrimination of federal workers) as well as everything with the drone strikes.


#1504

Worries of a new 5-4 conservative tyranny on the US Supreme Court seem to be largely overblown:

Both Roberts and Kavanaugh sided with planned parenthood which is noteworthy because the case is a proxy for the culture war over abortion, one of the “thousand cuts” opponents would use to eliminate it.


#1505

Unlikely. Impeachment is a political and contstutional remedy to an otherwise constitutional crisis. Some republicans will have to vote to convict and I am certain one of the concessions they will extract will be maintaining republican control of the presidency. Next in line after Pense is Pelosi after all. Hell President Pelosi will make some Democrats apoplectic…


#1506

The way I see it this country (USA) is stuck in a rut and everybody is too busy trying to blame each other for the situations that we find ourselves in today, on the right and on the left.

The right cannot let go of the institutions that they have felt are tried and true institutions that have pulled this country out of its worst qaugmires, they hope by sticking by these institutions that all their problems will vanish like it did in the previous generations. Even if it’s the same institution that put them their in the first place, this pardox leads them to follow leaders who generally cannot relate with them but they feel that these people will bring a change by some magic that will make everything go away, they want hero’s, but are blinded by pride and a sense of desperation that everything they love will be destroyed if the left wins, ultimately they are driven by fear.

The left on the other hand thinks itself David going to fight goliath, the rebel who will bring about the change needed to help the country. They idealize themselves as paragon of virtue and understanding, yet like the hero they made their own villain on the right by demonizing them blaming them for everything wrong and this is some level of truth, but they don’t try to understand people on right, it’s like just being associated with the right makes you villain automatically, but they fail to understand that these people are not monsters of the system but it’s victims created by it, but the biggest problem with the left is not being able to recognize imperfections of character as weakness instead anyone not adhering to the idealistic standard is quickly disposed of as a villian, this zero tolerance for flaw leaves the left with very few leaders and allies forgiveness seems to be lost to left, remember Al Franken he tried to help but once that photo came out they quickly abandon him, the left needs more humility because right now they are driven by this lust for heroism and victory over the right.

Both parties I should add all feel pride and have a sense of righteousness about them, what I think is missing from both is the unwillingness to step back and take an objective view of themselves and each other, and maybe just maybe we could find solidarity and humility.