Trump presidency

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trpmb6
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:04 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:Too bad we can't go back to the days of senators being selected by state legislatures.

Why? So they would have no reason to be concerned about the public at all?


Actually yes. They were never meant to be a directly elected body.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:08 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
Thesh wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:Too bad we can't go back to the days of senators being selected by state legislatures.

Why? So they would have no reason to be concerned about the public at all?


Actually yes. They were never meant to be a directly elected body.


Nor was the President. Nor were Black people / Women allowed in the process. Alas, history has changed things.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:12 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Nor was the President. Nor were Black people / Women allowed in the process. Alas, history has changed things.


And most of those changes have been for the better.

I can only really think of two amendments that I think should be reversed. Income Tax and the ability to directly elect senators.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:18 pm UTC

Also, I am kind of half-trolling when i say that. Neither of those things will likely happen in my life time.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:12 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:
Thesh wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:Too bad we can't go back to the days of senators being selected by state legislatures.

Why? So they would have no reason to be concerned about the public at all?

Actually yes. They were never meant to be a directly elected body.

That would be much the same system as we have in the UK. The Senate would basically be like our House of Lords.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

Yeah same over here (Netherlands). Our Senate is elected by the provinces. Provinces generally have a lot less power than states do in the USA, but they do have their own elected representative bodies just like states, and those elect the senate.

But our Senate is a very different body than the US senate. The senate can't propose legislation, they can only vote on laws already passed by the house, and they can only vote yes or no, they can't put in amendments. Of course in practice they can demand concessions in exchange for support, but the actual vote is just a straight yes/no. They aren't really involved in the daily business of government. Ministers have to defend their policies in the house, not the senate. Consequently the senate is a much smaller job. Senators are paid part-time, for something like 1 or 2 days a week only.

Most interestingly is that the Senate is not supposed to judge laws on political grounds, but only on technical grounds. Their job is to protect against shoddy legislation. Against laws that are badly written or have unintended consequences. This rule is adhered to pretty well, despite their being no enforcement mechanism. It's very rare for the senate to get political. It's not unheard of, but it's rare. Our current coalition doesn't have a senate majority and still manages to get almost all of its legislation through the senate without much trouble.

I think it's a fine system. Not perfect, but probably better than the US one. I really don't see why the US has two bodies that seem to do the exact same thing. It just complicates everything.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:10 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I think it's a fine system. Not perfect, but probably better than the US one. I really don't see why the US has two bodies that seem to do the exact same thing. It just complicates everything.


The main difference is 6-year terms vs 2-year terms. The House is designed to be rabble-rouser, while the Senate is supposed to be less political. Most Senators are "safe", in that the next election is so far away that they can't really be swayed by cheap political games. In effect, the House plays mostly a short-term game (see 2008 to 2010... after the ACA was passed the House immediately swung to Republicans). Such swings never happen in the Senate, it just takes too long for a Senator to be removed.

----------------

Major announcement: Priebus is fired. John Kelly is replacing Priebus as chief of staff. Trump tweeted it just a few minutes ago: there's not much reporting aside from people just copy/pasting the tweet.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diadem » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:30 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Diadem wrote:I think it's a fine system. Not perfect, but probably better than the US one. I really don't see why the US has two bodies that seem to do the exact same thing. It just complicates everything.


The main difference is 6-year terms vs 2-year terms. The House is designed to be rabble-rouser, while the Senate is supposed to be less political. Most Senators are "safe", in that the next election is so far away that they can't really be swayed by cheap political games. In effect, the House plays mostly a short-term game (see 2008 to 2010... after the ACA was passed the House immediately swung to Republicans). Such swings never happen in the Senate, it just takes too long for a Senator to be removed.

But is that good design? Why have a rabble-rouser at all? Why not fold the Senate and House into a single body, with 4 or 6 year terms, directly elected, and have a senate more in line with how senates operate in other countries.


KnightExemplar wrote:Major announcement: Priebus is fired. John Kelly is replacing Priebus as chief of staff. Trump tweeted it just a few minutes ago: there's not much reporting aside from people just copy/pasting the tweet.

Came here to post that.

So turns out Scaramucci was wrong when he called Priebus a fucking paranoid schizophrenic. I don't know about fucking or schizophrenic, but he's clearly not paranoid. They really were out to get him.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ivnja » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:50 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Major announcement: Priebus is fired. John Kelly is replacing Priebus as chief of staff. Trump tweeted it just a few minutes ago: there's not much reporting aside from people just copy/pasting the tweet.

His National Security Advisor resigned in disgrace after 24 days. He fired his FBI director (who, in a modicum of fairness, he did not hire) a little less than four months in. His White House Communications Director resigned in May after three months on the job. His Press Secretary just resigned after six months (and looks so much happier now!). A press aide resigned this week after the new Communications Director apparently threatened to fire him. The spokesman for his (personal?) legal team recently resigned. He seems to be trying to get his Attorney General to quit. Now he's replaced his Chief of Staff. And on top of that, there are still a ton of positions unfilled because the administration hasn't put forward the nominations, six months into the term and almost nine months after the election.
We seem to be doing really well with his promised best and brightest.

I'm concerned with this one. Priebus was an ideological counter to Bannon. I don't know anything about Kelly, so I can only hope that he's not in Bannon's wing, else things could get even more ugly quickly on the social policy front. The transgender tweets had Bannon's hateful little fingerprints all over them.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby arbiteroftruth » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:14 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Diadem wrote:I think it's a fine system. Not perfect, but probably better than the US one. I really don't see why the US has two bodies that seem to do the exact same thing. It just complicates everything.


The main difference is 6-year terms vs 2-year terms. The House is designed to be rabble-rouser, while the Senate is supposed to be less political. Most Senators are "safe", in that the next election is so far away that they can't really be swayed by cheap political games. In effect, the House plays mostly a short-term game (see 2008 to 2010... after the ACA was passed the House immediately swung to Republicans). Such swings never happen in the Senate, it just takes too long for a Senator to be removed.
But is that good design? Why have a rabble-rouser at all? Why not fold the Senate and House into a single body, with 4 or 6 year terms, directly elected, and have a senate more in line with how senates operate in other countries.


Which basically brings us back to trpmb6's original point: Senators should be selected by state legislatures to represent states' interests. That's the entire reason for having two houses in the first place, and the entire reason there are 2 Senators per state rather than distributing them by population. The whole point is that the states are supposed to actually have a certain degree of sovereignty, with the House representing the people at the federal level and the Senate representing the states at the federal level.

Having directly elected Senators just breaks everything. It deprives states' interests of federal representation, it throws off the proportionality of representation for the public, and it makes the entire system pointlessly redundant. Worst amendment ever.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:23 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But is that good design? Why have a rabble-rouser at all? Why not fold the Senate and House into a single body, with 4 or 6 year terms, directly elected, and have a senate more in line with how senates operate in other countries.


Well, the other major difference is that each state gets two seats in the Senate, regardless of population. This gives the smaller states much more bargaining power over the total composition (100 members total). In the House, if a state has a large population, like California, they have much more representation (In the house of reps, California has 53 of the 435 total members).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:25 pm UTC

Senate seats are free from gerrymandering, which makes them quite distinct from the HoR. The incredible redistricting efforts in states like NC would only be compounded. BUT THAT'S A TANGENT.

Anyway. Reince getting booted made me chuckle as a sign of disarray and I don't know how influential he was any case.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:52 am UTC

Liri wrote:Senate seats are free from gerrymandering, which makes them quite distinct from the HoR. The incredible redistricting efforts in states like NC would only be compounded. BUT THAT'S A TANGENT.

Anyway. Reince getting booted made me chuckle as a sign of disarray and I don't know how influential he was any case.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... collapses/ This neat guide explores the power centers of the White House, and their status.
The big winners are
The Pence wing,
The Bannon Wing,

The mid winners are the Wall street wing and family wing.

The losers are the establishment wing and the McCain wing.

So we knew that Trump would have an unusual administration. But it’s evolution, at least in its early stages, has been, frankly, kind of weird. Trump is executing a small government and conservative moral values agenda on domestic issues with a skew towards more nationalist policies on race and immigration but a somewhat pro-Russia foreign policy. That is an unusual mix. His chief of staff, press secretary and a deputy chief of staff have already left, and there have been rumors that his chief of staff, attorney general, chief strategist and secretary of state will quit in frustration or be pushed out, all while his daughter and son-in-law occupy secure roles. That too is unprecedented. Trumpworld still has a lot of of competing power centers, and it’s still not clear exactly which one dominates.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:38 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Because he doesn't actually care about healthcare, or anything else other than veterans and maybe one or two other pet issues, but he does care about the process of passing bills. The previous vote was just a vote to have a debate, while this was just a vote on a bill with no debate purely for the sake of passing something. He'd gladly take healthcare away from twenty million Americans, as long as there is more discussion on it.

From this, it sounds like he made the right move to kill it (at least for this year)?

US politics is so confusing.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:04 pm UTC

Didnt they vote on a ton of bills just this week? How does that fit the whole "one reconciliation bill per year" bit?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:12 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Didnt they vote on a ton of bills just this week? How does that fit the whole "one reconciliation bill per year" bit?

They voted on possible amendments to a single reconciliation bill.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:23 pm UTC

Angua wrote:From this, it sounds like he made the right move to kill it (at least for this year)?

I'd be curious to hear from someone with more direct knowledge of the subject, because it sounds from the Wikipedia article on reconciliation like only one bill per topic can be passed per year - and since this wasn't passed, doesn't that mean it won't count toward that?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:49 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Angua wrote:From this, it sounds like he made the right move to kill it (at least for this year)?

I'd be curious to hear from someone with more direct knowledge of the subject, because it sounds from the Wikipedia article on reconciliation like only one bill per topic can be passed per year - and since this wasn't passed, doesn't that mean it won't count toward that?


I disagree. The wikipedia article links this as a primary source: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-b ... nciliation

Under Senate interpretations of the Congressional Budget Act, the Senate can consider the three basic subjects of reconciliation — spending, revenues, and debt limit — in a single bill or multiple bills, but it can consider each of these three in only one bill per year (unless Congress passes a second budget resolution). Consequently, in the Senate there can be a maximum of three reconciliation bills in a year, one for each of the basic subjects of reconciliation.

This rule is most significant if the first reconciliation bill that the Senate takes up affects both spending and revenues. Even if that bill is overwhelmingly devoted to only one of those subjects, no subsequent reconciliation bill can affect either revenues or spending because the first bill already addressed them.


Considering that the Senate is expected to pass a Budget in August / September timeframe (aka: the next major issue is the Budget / Debt ceiling), the Health Care bill can be pushed through Reconciliation as early as September or October.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby orthogon » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 am UTC

I'm strongly in favour of a revising chamber made up of experts that isn't directly elected. The House of Lords isn't quite it, but it's not bad. But that's not the topic.

Anyway, I came here to say that I can't keep up with events in Washington, but every time I see the former press guy's name, I read it as "Prince Rebus".
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Puppyclaws » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:07 am UTC

The House of Lords seems like such a terrible system, I can't see someone comparing it favorably to the United States system. I really am surprised by the number of people here who think reducing the amount of direct democracy is a good idea. The Senate has been consistently the chamber of sanity in comparison to the madness in the House; arguments to "reform" the Senate I can only interpret as a power grab.

Also, the naked hypocrisy of Trump calling for an end to the direct election of Senators because they are too focused on campaigning when he has not stopped campaigning for one day... but anyway.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:19 am UTC

I always liked Bill Bryson's characterization of the House of Lords: "It is an arresting fact of British politcal life that a Briton can enjoy a national platform and exalted status simply because he is a residue of an illicit coupling 300 years before between a monarch and an orange seller."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:56 am UTC

And all for the good, I say, compared with an orange bastard who imagines selling himself as King.

(There's actually only ?91? hereditary peers out of the 804, a number of whom are there by being (internally) elected from the pool of all possible Lords(/Ladies). The 26ish "Lords Spiritual" (we don't have Separation Of Church And State, yet are far less hamstrung by naked religion, it seems) got there through ecclesiastical elections. A handful of Law Lords go through some sort of meritocratic appointment (I think, perhaps give or take 'guidance' from the elected government) and the rest are Life Peers appointed by sitting governments on either a meritocratic (at best) or cronyist (at worst) basis. If anything, I'd love there to be more cross-benchers (traditionally unpolitical peers) at the expense of 'reward' appointments from the political realm (ones who have been voted for, at least in the past). I have no problem with the hereditary peerage as it currently stands, except that they're deliberately skewed heavily to the Conservative side due to the 1999 agreement.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Quercus » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:58 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:I really am surprised by the number of people here who think reducing the amount of direct democracy is a good idea


I don't like the house of lords, but neither do I like a system made up entirely of directly elected representatives. Such a system is IMO inherently too populist and too short-termist. My preferred second chamber would look something like appointments made by a college of electors who are voted for by national proportional representation (or maybe even a college of electors appointed by sortition for a month or two every few years*) , who themselves nominate and vote in members of the second chamber on a replacement basis for indefinite terms, and can remove a second chamber member by supermajority vote.

This would need to be coupled with an increase in the effectiveness of direct democracy for the first chamber and the executive - some sort of STV with independently drawn constituency boundaries for the first chamber, and, in the US, getting rid of the ridiculous electoral college system for presidential elections (along with measures to break the two party stranglehold).

Never likely to happen though :(

*This idea is even more "back of the envelope" than the rest of my post - there's probably some serious unforeseen consequences here

Edit: Hell, a second chamber selected entirely by sortition doesn't necessarily sound like a terrible idea either

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:41 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:The House of Lords seems like such a terrible system, I can't see someone comparing it favorably to the United States system. I really am surprised by the number of people here who think reducing the amount of direct democracy is a good idea.

I agree with Quercus: Too much populism is as dangerous to the health of a society as being ruled by self-appointed elitist technocrats. My ideal system is a mixture of the two.

If you want an analogy, think of a court room: The judge and lawyers are the technocrats and the jury the representatives of the common man. In theory each should largely mitigate the risks and flaws inherent in the other.

As such, I'd like to see the House of Lords reformed but not abolished: Right idea, just wrong implementation.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:03 am UTC

elasto wrote:If you want an analogy, think of a court room: The judge and lawyers are the technocrats and the jury the representatives of the common man. In theory each should largely mitigate the risks and flaws inherent in the other.

That analogy might not work since judges are elected in the USA.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:10 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:The Senate has been consistently the chamber of sanity in comparison to the madness in the House;
This has actually been the case here too rather more often than can be called comfortable.



They’ve done it again. Those radical freedom fighters dressed all in mink have put us poor lefties in yet another dilemma. This week, the Lords voted down the government’s Article 50 bill, urging ministers to guarantee EU nationals’ right to stay in the UK after Brexit.

It’s another of those moments, which have felt increasingly common lately, when anyone with a mildly progressive outlook can’t help but sigh: “Thank God for the Upper Chamber.”

It was our reaction during the Housing Bill last year, when the House of Lords watered down a Tory policy prioritising earners who can buy “affordable” homes over those in need of social housing. And to the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act that same year, which urged Britain to take in refugee children (which it has, but far fewer than hoped).

It also happened when the peers delayed the government on its proposal to cut tax credits in 2015, which led to former Chancellor George Osborne dropping the policy. (This even led to the Strathclyde Review into curbing the House of Lords’ powers, so infuriated were the Tories.)

Other recent legislation that the Lords have pushed back on includes a Tory crackdown on trade unions and a £30 a week cut to Employment and Support Allowance (although this eventually went through).

So if you’re a person who thinks it’s generally wrong to financially devastate working households for ideological purposes or condemn migrants to a precarious future as a political bargaining chip – but also feel kind of squeamish about unelected random old rich dudes, some who are simply there because they happened to be born, running the country – how are you supposed to feel about those pesky Lords?


It seems crazy to hand a family the task of always raising a few suitable people to make sure the country is well-governed and putting one on a particular chair on a daily basis so that our democratically-elected representatives can't screw us over on behalf of Rupert Murdoch, British Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton and a dozen Saudi princes, but somehow we peasants continue to be protected against the treachery of avaricious and self-aggrandising manipulators by the nation's nobility. When an arrow in the calf turns your lower leg gangrenous and the surgeon has to saw it off, it's left to the Duke to tell the merchants' guild that they're damn well paying you for your trouble even if you can't ride escort on their caravans any more, and to insist that you be allowed a dry bed, a sound roof and solid walls.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:03 pm UTC

I like our more stable chamber to be able to introduce bills, deny ones from the other, and have a good deal of say over who can be appointed to various positions - being democratically elected, it's not controversial/undemocratic that they have these powers. Having them go through statewide elections quite often leads to democrat senators from "red" states and vice versa, which is, in my view, a good thing. Also check out that Blagojevich (wow my swipe keyboard knew what I meant). Even if appointees to the Senate had to go through stage legislatures, those can be incredibly un-representative of the state at large.

But back to Trump...

His averaged approval rating doesn't seem to want to dip below 38% - who are the holdouts and what are they holding out for? How sizeable is the group that consumes mainstream media (including Fox or not) but is still giving him a chance/unwilling to say they messed up?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:33 pm UTC

Liri wrote:His averaged approval rating doesn't seem to want to dip below 38% - who are the holdouts and what are they holding out for? How sizeable is the group that consumes mainstream media (including Fox or not) but is still giving him a chance/unwilling to say they messed up?


Gallup's polls have more information.

IIRC, Republican support for Trump has never dropped below 81%: a brief stint in March.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/203198/presi ... trump.aspx
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:07 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Liri wrote:His averaged approval rating doesn't seem to want to dip below 38% - who are the holdouts and what are they holding out for? How sizeable is the group that consumes mainstream media (including Fox or not) but is still giving him a chance/unwilling to say they messed up?

Gallup's polls have more information.
IIRC, Republican support for Trump has never dropped below 81%: a brief stint in March.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/203198/presi ... trump.aspx

Nate did an analysis of Trump's approval rating, including die hard supporters, in this impeachment probability. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/ch ... impeached/
Trump’s popularity is in a somewhat awkward middle ground. With an approval rating of about 39 percent, he’s no Clinton or Reagan. But he isn’t late-stage Nixon, either. Trump is not very popular, but he was never all that popular to begin with and won the Electoral College despite it. It’s not clear that all that many voters have regrets about their decision to vote for Trump, at least not yet. And few polls have asked voters whether they think Trump should be impeached.

At the same time, the idea that 39 or 40 percent of the country will never abandon Trump is probably mistaken — or at least, it represents a speculative interpretation of the evidence. The share of voters who say they strongly support Trump is only 20 to 25 percent — and those numbers have been falling. Moreover, Trump has lost about one point off his overall approval rating per month. That might not sound like a lot, but if the pattern continued, he’d be in the low-to-mid 30s by the new year and into Nixonian territory by the midterms.

There are a couple of further complications. One issue is that while Trump is fairly unpopular overall, his numbers are holding up better in red states — and red-state senators represent the pivotal votes for Trump’s removal from office.
In short, Trump's approval isn't as strong as you think it is, but not as weak as Democrats need it to be. The only thing of note is that his supporters still support him, but there are less "strongly approve" voters than before. If you can demoralize them, that's almost as good as getting their vote, especially if you consider how tight the margins are.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:14 pm UTC

Yeah, that's what I was getting at. Are the no-longer-strongly-supporting folks really at risk of abandoning him fully, like Nate and Co. have theorized? If they're ignoring the Russia stuff, what'll end up convincing them? (If anything)

Ha, ninja'd by sardia's edit
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Puppyclaws » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:02 pm UTC

elasto wrote:I agree with Quercus: Too much populism is as dangerous to the health of a society as being ruled by self-appointed elitist technocrats. My ideal system is a mixture of the two.

If you want an analogy, think of a court room: The judge and lawyers are the technocrats and the jury the representatives of the common man. In theory each should largely mitigate the risks and flaws inherent in the other.

As such, I'd like to see the House of Lords reformed but not abolished: Right idea, just wrong implementation.


As Mutex says, and I agree should be the case, Judges are elected positions in many jurisdictions and can be put out of office in elections if they turn out to be bad at the job. The Supreme Court forms a protection against this, which could be seen as good, but we saw with the wrangling that happened after Scalia's death because these positions are so important (I mean JFC, lifetime appointments ?!) and I am not sure that is really a 'better' outcome.

I think the internal working of the United States government's numerous departments and branches that are career based rather than political serve as the body of technocrats that the system needs (These are the lawyers in the example you give). It is a system that works a lot better when you don't have someone like Trump on the job, of course.

I don't, in general, think technocrats and non-elected officials should be making final decisions about anything (one reason I thought Clinton was a terrible candidate, even though I voted for her because I didn't want fascist rule).

I'm not entirely sure how to address the power of forces like the Kochs and the Murdochs, but if a system of electors worked to do that then Trump wouldn't be in the white house today.

I'm just not into non-democratic systems. I'd like to see more direct democracy (although Brexit does give one pause... but this is what happens when we have a media system that allows liars to say anything and throws it's hands up and says "who's to say" about settled facts).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:01 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:As Mutex says, and I agree should be the case, Judges are elected positions in many jurisdictions and can be put out of office in elections if they turn out to be bad at the job.

I don't have much faith in the public's ability to judge if a judge is doing well at their job. One controversial ruling later, where the judge has weighed up the evidence against someone accused of child murder and decided there isn't any convincing evidence, the judge is out of job because the media has already tried the defendant and come to a different conclusion. Someone more likely to "chuck em in jail and throw away the key, cos they deffo done it" gets voted in in their place.

Puppyclaws wrote:I don't, in general, think technocrats and non-elected officials should be making final decisions about anything (one reason I thought Clinton was a terrible candidate, even though I voted for her because I didn't want fascist rule).

You might prefer the European Parliament system more, elected technocrats write bills and directly elected MEPs can pass them or reject them. I prefer it myself, bills get written by people who know what they're doing but nothing happens without the approval of directly elected representatives.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:35 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:You might prefer the European Parliament system more, elected technocrats write bills and directly elected MEPs can pass them or reject them. I prefer it myself, bills get written by people who know what they're doing but nothing happens without the approval of directly elected representatives.
Tell Nigel Farage (one of the directly elected MEPs, currently) about that. He still keeps spouting about all the unaccountable, unelected people... :roll:

(The roll was for him, not you. He's still spouting the same position on the European Commission, European Council, etc being not elected, when they are, just neither being the same ways as he was... Not that I'm sure that his election validates his own POV, but that's democracy for you...)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:40 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
elasto wrote:If you want an analogy, think of a court room: The judge and lawyers are the technocrats and the jury the representatives of the common man. In theory each should largely mitigate the risks and flaws inherent in the other.

That analogy might not work since judges are elected in the USA.


My whole response was pretty much ninja'ed above, so I'll spoiler it.

Spoiler:
Whether or not judges are elected, and whether "elected" judges' names actually appear on the ballot, depends on the jurisdiction.

Where I live, municipal (city) and superior (county) court judges are, technically, elected every even-numbered year; however, incumbents who run unopposed for re-election are shoo-ins--that is, they get the job for another two years without their names appearing on the ballot.

In my state, the state supreme court justices are initially appointed by the governor and approved by a special commission to make sure the person is qualified to serve. They are subject to retention elections every 12 years, unless there is a petition to recall one of them sooner than that, as has happened in my lifetime.

Federal judges at various levels [94 district courts, 13 circuit courts (also called courts of appeals), and the Supreme Court of the United States] are nominated by the President of the US, subject to approval by the US Senate. No elections, ever.

I think the technocrat characterization is a legitimate one, because at every* level, judges have to meet certain qualifications in order to be eligible as candidates (10 years of experience as a law practitioner or judge in a court of record, in the case of my state's superior courts).

* I suppose it's possible that some jurisdictions are sloppy about this. For example, in the November 2016 election, we had a local ballot measure to amend our city charter to require candidates for city attorney to have been admitted to the state bar, because someone finally noticed that the city charter had never stated that the city attorney actually must be an attorney. Oops. That wasn't a judgeship, but still.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:11 pm UTC

When you look at all the parliamentarian rules and powers of the senate it is quite clear it was never meant to be a directly elected body. Many may say the constitution is antiquated. But it is only 230 years old. The Roman Republic lasted just over 500 years, when the mob finally got it's way in their darling Caesar. The empire lasted another 1500 years, though realistically it was only a "great" empire for maybe half of that.

Our framers were not stupid. They knew the fallacies of the Roman senate during the Republic. They knew what led to an eventual dictatorship and imperial rule. That's the beauty of hindsight. I'm not saying the Constitution is perfect. But the framework of it is what has allowed the US to become such a strong country. We significantly altered that framework by amending the Constitution and changing how the Senate is structured. How that plays out in the next few hundred years is anyone's guess. Some day in the far future they may look back and point to that amendment as the turning point though. Sure, we have thrived since the change. But, imo, we've thrived in spite of the change. Not because of it.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:23 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:When you look at all the parliamentarian rules and powers of the senate it is quite clear it was never meant to be a directly elected body. Many may say the constitution is antiquated. But it is only 230 years old. The Roman Republic lasted just over 500 years, when the mob finally got it's way in their darling Caesar. The empire lasted another 1500 years, though realistically it was only a "great" empire for maybe half of that.

Our framers were not stupid. They knew the fallacies of the Roman senate during the Republic. They knew what led to an eventual dictatorship and imperial rule. That's the beauty of hindsight. I'm not saying the Constitution is perfect. But the framework of it is what has allowed the US to become such a strong country. We significantly altered that framework by amending the Constitution and changing how the Senate is structured. How that plays out in the next few hundred years is anyone's guess. Some day in the far future they may look back and point to that amendment as the turning point though. Sure, we have thrived since the change. But, imo, we've thrived in spite of the change. Not because of it.


You're speaking nonsense. The rules of the Senate and the House have nothing to do with the Constitution. The rules of the Senate (and the House) are made up by the Senate and the House respectively.

Parliamentary rules exist because the bodies themselves believe its the most efficient way to hold a debate. There's nothing in the Constitution that says that debate must continue for X-minutes at a time in the House, or that the Senate will have enough time for infinite debate. Or the rule that says that debate alternates between Republicans and Democrats. These rules were made up by the House and the Senate to facilitate the debate environment that our own elected officials want.

As soon as you have more than 10-people in a room, all trying to talk at the same time... it becomes clear that a system of rules and an official "speaking order" for the matter of fairness is required. The House has 435 people trying to talk at once, while the Senate has 100 people trying to talk at once, and they're all "Alpha Dogs" who are trying to make the best of their individual states.

The Constitution didn't design shit actually. The framers of the Constitution didn't know how the House or the Senate would work. They just left it up to the future to figure it out. The Senate's structure is NOT determined through the Constitution nor is it determined through Amendments. I dare you to find in the Constitution the requirements for committees, the Filibuster or debate times.

The Filibuster was never designed. It just sorta happened as a natural result of the Senate feeling that any issue is required to have an infinite amount of debate if necessary. Originally, it took 66 Senators to break the Filibuster, but then it became 60 after the Filibuster started to get abused. It took no Amendment to change that. Hell, originally the HOUSE had a Filibuster opportunity until the 1840s, when the House Rules changed.

-----------

The "rules" are made by the House Rules Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. Who were anointed by the House (and Senate) to figure out the proper rules for the House (and Senate) respectively. Because very few people have an understanding of human behavior to make good rules that facilitate debate, and the changing culture of the USA means that the rules should change as our culture changes. This isn't "Constitution", this is virtually unwritten tradition of the House / Senate itself.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:52 pm UTC

KE, I think trpmb6 is only referring to the 17th Amendment.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:00 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:KE, I think trpmb6 is only referring to the 17th Amendment.


I must have got stuck on the "Parliamentary rules" of the Senate then. Because those rules have nothing to do with the Constitution and never have.

As far as what the framers "intended", the President was never supposed to be directly elected either: but instead chosen by the House of Representatives. The Electoral College was designed to deadlock every time, and the House was supposed to choose the President after that. The Framers clearly didn't intend for political parties to become a thing... but they did.

The only thing that the framers "intended" was for the law of the land to change over time.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 pm UTC

To be fair KE is right about the parliamentarian stuff. The way I intended to write that originally was for the emphasis to be on the powers of the senate granted by the constitution. I threw in the parliamentarian part because I drew a line from the given powers and the way the senate operates. You're right though, there is nothing in the constitution that dictates how many votes it takes to break a filibuster. There also isn't a rule about how many supreme court justices there should be. Yet for some reason we seem set on 9. Trump could go on a spree and add 5 more justices if he wanted. Nothing really to stop him.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby iamspen » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:26 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Yet for some reason we seem set on 9. Trump could go on a spree and add 5 more justices if he wanted. Nothing really to stop him.


That's a statute instituted by Congress. FDR tried to have the statute amended to allow for a bench of up to 15 justices, but Congress refused. So no, Trump can't just add a bunch of justices because there is, in face, a rule established by law limiting the SCOTUS bench to 9.


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