2012 U.S. Presidential Election

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Derek
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:10 am UTC

I'm tempted to complain about spoilers, since I still haven't finished watching the VP debate, but I don't actually care :P

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:16 am UTC

Oh shit. Crowd just clapped for Obama/Crowley. Romney is losing this question, he should back the fuck off.

Wow. Gun control.

Immigration, equal pay, gun control, this is pretty wild to hear.


Nice answer. He even implicitly acknowledged a right to handguns.

10 cookies on Romney bringing up fast and furious?

And Romney doesn't talk about guns at all.

EDIT: My girlfriend owes me 10 cookies. I'm collecting in Thin Mints.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:22 am UTC

Someone gets 10 cookies...
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Darryl » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:23 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:Oh shit. Crowd just clapped for Obama/Crowley. Romney is losing this question, he should back the fuck off.

Wow. Gun control.

Immigration, equal pay, gun control, this is pretty wild to hear.


Nice answer. He even implicitly acknowledged a right to handguns.

10 cookies on Romney bringing up fast and furious?

And Romney doesn't talk about guns at all.

EDIT: My girlfriend owes me 10 cookies. I'm collecting in Thin Mints.

I'd have been collecting in Samoas or Tagalongs myself.
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omgryebread
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:26 am UTC

Neither wants to answer the question, actually.

And now Obama's looking bad on talking against the moderator.


zzzz. Falling asleep with protectionism and China-bashing.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:32 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:10 cookies on Romney bringing up fast and furious?

It would be spectacular if this, the drone war, and the kill list get discussed. Note, a name-drop is not discussion.

A fistfight is more likely.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:36 am UTC

Heh. Romney indirectly brings up Mormonism. Odd Choice.

I'm just gonna play Harvest Moon for the rest of this debate since we got the personality question, where we hear absolutely nothing of value.



OOHHHH. 47%. Saving it for the last part. And hitting it hard.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby mike-l » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:36 am UTC

Romney looks good, much like last time.

Obama is a different person altogether. He's on fire.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:41 am UTC

Derek wrote:I'm tempted to complain about spoilers, since I still haven't finished watching the VP debate, but I don't actually care :P


What you missed.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:44 am UTC

Yeah, I think Obama won this one, but I'm not sure what the undecideds will think.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:47 am UTC

Some guy: Who denied the request for more security in Benghazi?

No one answered that question.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:52 am UTC

Yeah, but you know why. Decisions like that don't go directly to the president. Obama can't point fingers or take blame, so he has to dodge. Romney can't blame Obama and he can't say it's not Obama's fault, so he has to dodge.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:55 am UTC

And apparently the security requests weren't for Benghazi, but rather for Tripoli.

You know, I really enjoyed when Candy owned the shit out of Romney in front of people by saying what Obama said as correct. Romney wouldn't stand a chance if moderators grew a pair and started interjecting fact-checking during debates.

I was pissed that Obama didn't press Romney for an answer on why he'd veto the Dream Act. It was enjoyable when he retorted that he didn't need the time to check his pension because it wasn't nearly as big as Romney's.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:04 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Some guy: Who denied the request for more security in Benghazi?

No one answered that question.
Because it's a stupid question. Why are we reducing our foreign policy to one procedural question?
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Jave D » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:06 am UTC

One good thing is how Obama emphasized science, technology, research, education and innovation as key ingredients in the US's success economically in the long-term. While Romney did say that hey, education is good, he missed this point - perhaps intentionally, since a lot of the Republican constituency has a rather, shall we say, backwards view on science - i.e. that global warming is a myth/hoax, scientists are in on a huge conspiracy, science is a 'lie straight from the pit of hell,' etc.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:25 am UTC

CBS has Obama winning with 37% and Romney at 30%, 4% margin of error.

PPP gives Obama 48/44 among Colorado voters. 58/36 among undecided.


Also, Republicans are bitching about Crowley. Blaming the moderator is a pretty good indicator you lost a debate.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby lutzj » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:43 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:It was enjoyable when he retorted that he didn't need the time to check his pension because it wasn't nearly as big as Romney's.


If Obama keeps it up people might forget he's a multi-millionaire.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:47 am UTC

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nation ... -be,29941/

lutzj wrote:If Obama keeps it up people might forget he's a multi-millionaire.


To be fair, Romney is worth over 20 times as much as Obama.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:01 am UTC

CNN has polls in. 46/39 for Obama, 4.5% margin of error. R+8 over their polling average for 2012. Taken with that sampling, it's pretty good for Obama.

That's CBS giving a slight lead to Obama, CNN giving a bigger one, and PPP giving around CNN's.

PPP also shows undecided, and has a large advantage for Obama there.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby BigBoss » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:11 am UTC

I'm pretty sure Batman would tell you that having married parents doesn't stop gun violence.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:40 am UTC

lutzj wrote:
Lucrece wrote:It was enjoyable when he retorted that he didn't need the time to check his pension because it wasn't nearly as big as Romney's.


If Obama keeps it up people might forget he's a multi-millionaire.


9 millions worth versus 250. You take your pick on how comparable that is. Biden sits at about $750,000.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:44 am UTC

BigBoss wrote:I'm pretty sure Batman would tell you that having married parents doesn't stop gun violence.


I like how Romney's plans include both not guaranteeing support for contraception, and also having fewer single mothers.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:46 am UTC

"Do you look at your pension?"
"Well..."
"DO you look at your pension!?"
"Well mine's not as long as yours, so it doesn't take me as long. I don't look at it that much."


That's my favorite part, right there.

BigBoss wrote:I'm pretty sure Batman would tell you that having married parents doesn't stop gun violence.
+1
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby mike-l » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:49 am UTC

omgryebread wrote:Also, Republicans are bitching about Crowley. Blaming the moderator is a pretty good indicator you lost a debate.

I'm about as Democrat as you can get, and I felt that Crowley was harder on Romney than Obama.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:00 am UTC

I only notice a difference in that she fact checked Romney about the Rose Garden statement. (Of which like, ten minutes post-debate MSNBC had video.) Did she do that kind of thing to Obama, at any point that I missed? Or did he just not spout a lie like that? Also, wow, that's the... third maybe? Second? time Mitt got up in Obama's face asking him a question that he didn't actually want him to answer. That's why the President simply said, "Please continue" or whatever he said, because clearly it's useless to try to answer when Mittens is about to have a tantrum.
I'm totally unnerved by Romney's body language and approach to this debate. High definition TVs let us see ALL THE CONTEMPT.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Green9090 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:06 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:"Do you look at your pension?"
"Well..."
"DO you look at your pension!?"
"Well mine's not as long as yours, so it doesn't take me as long. I don't look at it that much."


That's my favorite part, right there.


I'm partial to Romney's reference to a BINDER of women. His whole answer to the women's wages issue was comedy gold.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:09 am UTC

He's also renowned for his "that wasn't a question; it was a statement" patronizing approach. The douchebag businessman in him comes out from time to time, as if he was still speaking to his subordinates.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:59 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:He's also renowned for his "that wasn't a question; it was a statement" patronizing approach. The douchebag businessman in him comes out from time to time, as if he was still speaking to his subordinates.

To be fair, both have been characterized as the Business consultant and the Professor squaring off.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Lucrece » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:19 am UTC

http://www.romneytaxplan.com/

Try clicking on "Get Details" ;)
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Garm » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Thesh wrote:http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-ever-so-malleable-simpletons-fluttering-be,29941/

lutzj wrote:If Obama keeps it up people might forget he's a multi-millionaire.


To be fair, Romney is worth over 20 times as much as Obama.


Also, too be fair, Obama didn't make over a million dollars last year (~800k I think) AND made the bulk of his fortune by writing two best selling books.

Also, too: this!
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:06 am UTC

The video from the "binders full of women" bit:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3Q7hON ... ature=plcp

Anyone care to explain to me how that is not affirmative action?

Also, Romney really stepped in it with the Rose Garden thing. Calling the president a liar to his face, while telling a bald-faced lie, is really overstepping the alpha-male thing. After the last debate I thought maybe all the theories about the Romney campaign only existing in the right wing echochamber were wrong. But that really showed that even the people at the top believe the crap the base trots out. Everyone who doesn't watch Fox News will be seeing clips this week of Romney making a baseless accusation, and the evidence proving him a liar.

Kudos to the moderator, though: She did call Romney out, but balanced it by pointing out that the administration had indeed dithered for 2 weeks on whether the attack was about the video.

Video for context, it's worth watching a couple times, to see how fake Romney's indignation is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... -sp0b33fbs

I think that section is going to hurt Romney pretty badly this week, because it's probably worse than any of his other lies in that it relies on manipulating peoples' patriotism and empathy - and the Dems should really be pushing it as hard as they can (without venturing into the GOP level of classlessness).
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:14 pm UTC

Silknor wrote: Does it attempt to predict what the difference between the economy in 2015 or 2050 would be with and without stimulus? No.

So if the question is, did the stimulus create jobs and boost growth, then the answer is absolutely. And this is a really important question to answer! Unfortunately since our political system is heavily focused on short-term outcomes, it is probably also the only question that matters politically (and that's not a good thing, it would be better if we thought more long-term in general).

If the question is, will the economy be better in 20X6 given the stimulus than it would be without it, then it doesn't attempt to answer that question.

But if you're trying to determine if the stimulus was worth it, that's not the question you want to ask, after all, it only gives you the cost side. The question to ask is "was the stimulus the right decision" and the study gives some of the data you want to look at that (the earlier CBO gave even more).


Trimmed for length...and that's the problem. I believe that trade-offs in long-term growth for short-term gains are inherently something important, and that you'd want to measure. The short term data is fine, and a useful part of that...but almost everyone is staring at the short term without even considering the long term. Certainly this is true politically. It's not impossible for it to be an overall good deal, but I believe that our short term focus means that long term gains don't receive sufficient prioritization, and a *lot* of economic decisions are suboptimal as a result.

Heisenberg wrote:
Garm wrote:The point is that the GOP is planning to use reconciliation from the get go because they know their budget is so terrible and so bad for the majority of this country that it'll never pass on the merits.
Or perhaps they're just counting on the Democrats to use the filibuster to stop Romney just as much as the Republicans have used it to stop Obama. I think it's entirely reasonable to expect Senate Democrats to close ranks and filibuster Romney and be just as "obstructionist" as the Republicans have been to Obama. (Not that we'll hear that word used to describe the Democrats' heroic stance)


I would definitely expect this to happen if Romney gets elected...that said, I still don't expect him to be elected.

Also, I have a hard time giving Republicans shit over using Budget Reconciliation to pass a Budget. Using it to pass an Insurance Mandate, however, seems like some serious mission creep. Although I guess according to the Court, it is a "tax" now. Regardless, I don't understand how you can simultaneously hate on the filibuster and on people trying to circumvent it. If you get rid of the filibuster, everyone gets to pass legislation by majority vote, and Romney can push this through without reconciliation.


Agreed. Also, yeah, it's very overtly a tax, can't disagree with the Court on that score. However, that only applies to the mandate, not the entire bill, IIRC. Even if you hate on the mandate(which I do), going through the bill shows some of the rest is pretty decent/benign. And there's got to be SOME way of getting around filibuster eventually. I do like the minority not being entirely ignored, but would prefer they not have the ability to shut down the entire show.

It is also notable that the filibuster is definitely not a campaign issue for anyone. So, can't really expect much change here.

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Green9090 wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:I really think supermajority only legislation would make the US more like Sparta.


I was against supermajority legislation until you said this.


Sparta is a good thing to be if you like manly men, caste systems, and disastrous domestic policy!


Meh. They also had surprisingly decent woman's rights for the time, and being gay was entirely normal and manly. It wasn't perfect, but it had it's good points.

CorruptUser wrote:If you make more rich people, you can simultaneously cut taxes on the rich while the rich pay a larger share of the tax burden.


While this is true, this would beg the question "how are you going to make more rich people?".

Thesh wrote:Romney only said he would be different from Bush because the technology allows them to drill more at home.


Haven't watched the #2 debate yet, but holy god, that's a terrible answer.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby faranim » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

In third party news...

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein attempts to protest 2nd Presidential Debate, gets arrested instead.

Short video here
Green Party candidate Jill Stein was arrested outside of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday evening.

She was arrested for attempting to enter the facility of the debate along with her running mate Cheri Honkala.

"We are here to stand our ground, stand ground for the America people who have been systematically locked out of these debates for decades by the Commission on Presidential Debates," said Stein as she was being escorted by police.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

That second video in the first article makes Jill Stein the most coherent and relevant candidate to speak at the debate yesterday.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:29 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Silknor wrote:Given that the 17th amendment repealed the later difference, it makes little sense to appeal to the intentions of the Founders when their system is no longer in operation.

No, I think the system of governance that has sustained these United States of America for the last 200 years is pretty good, and we should try to maintain it as well as we can.

To your other point, I agree that the Constitution does not outline the filibuster procedure, but then again it does allow the two houses to make their own rules, so there's some lenience in the document. That said, it is my personal opinion that if half the people disagree, we shouldn't move forward. I wouldn't order pizza with a simple majority vote, so using it to pass laws seems pretty awful to me, especially with the current crop of geniuses we've elected.


As for the last 200 years, filibusters haven't even been around that long, and the routine filibuster (thus creating the effective supermajority requirement you praise) is far shorter. See here for an illustration of the exponential growth of the filibuster.

While I too would prefer consensus on pizza toppings to a dictatorship of the vegetable-tariot, I tend to get annoyed when debates on which toppings we should have on tonight's pizza lasts for months without anyone changing there views.

One of the main advantages of majority rule of course is that if Congress passes bad legislation, it's much easier to throw out enough Members to overturn it! Majority rule also makes it easier to identify who is accountable for bad legislation or good legislation not passing.

Sardia wrote:Isn't the reason filibuster works is because nobody wants to get rid of it since everyone will be in the minority at one point in time. It's a powerful tool, so nobody wants to ditch it.


I think more salient is that if your only look at the next 2, or 4 years, there's an obvious loser to removing the filibuster. The benefits of better governance get swamped by the large possibility of 1 party controlling the Senate for the rest of the horizon you care about. That's why a number of filibuster reform proponents have suggested that the changes be implemented on a six-year delay, which would be far enough out so that we have no idea who will control the Senate then.

All of that aside, plenty of newer Democratic Senators supported filibuster reform (not as far as total elimination, largely) in early 2010, but couldn't get Democratic leadership to agree. Majority Leader Reid switched his position a few months ago though.

One possibility for a nail in the coffin of the filibuster is if Republicans win the Presidency, Senate, and House, but wouldn't have a filibuster proof majority to repeal the ACA. I believe they wouldn't be able to repeal it under current reconciliation rules because it would it increase the deficit past a 10 year horizon (hence the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts when I'm sure most proponents would've wanted to make them permanent). Circumventing the filibuster to allow repeal of one piece of legislation that wouldn't normally be possible might undermine some of the legitimacy of the filibuster, as Republicans are once against forced to argue for majority rule.

Tyndmyr wrote:I believe that trade-offs in long-term growth for short-term gains are inherently something important, and that you'd want to measure. The short term data is fine, and a useful part of that...but almost everyone is staring at the short term without even considering the long term. Certainly this is true politically. It's not impossible for it to be an overall good deal, but I believe that our short term focus means that long term gains don't receive sufficient prioritization, and a *lot* of economic decisions are suboptimal as a result.


Our political system does focus too much on the short-term, that's true, and I'm sure it does lead to poorer decisions. As for how that could be changed, I have no idea.

With regards to the stimulus in particular, it's clear that there has been an attempt to weigh short-term gains versus long-term costs, and from what I've seen, the results are very one-sided in favor of it being worthwhile. As for why so much discussion of the stimulus focuses on the short-term, both among proponents and opponents:
1. As above, the political system is overly focused on short-term outcomes.
2. Data on if the stimulus created jobs is pretty easy to get. Measuring the long-term impacts is much harder. Part of this is because we're not in the long-term yet, and part is because the predicted short-term effects are more than an order of magnitude higher than the long-term ones. It's also much easier to look at jobs created or saved versus trying to figure out what impact debt will have on growth long term, what impact Race to the Top will have on growth long-term, what impact an investment in renewable energy will have on growth and pollution long-term, etc.
3. The fact that political opponents and proponents talk largely about short-term outcomes (did it create jobs) creates a demand for research on that question. The existence of that research in turn fuels the political debate. We study what we're most interested in and then get interested in the studies!
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:As for the last 200 years, filibusters haven't even been around that long, and the routine filibuster (thus creating the effective supermajority requirement you praise) is far shorter. See here for an illustration of the exponential growth of the filibuster.
Sure, but the Founders' system is still in place. The filibuster is just an add-on to that system. I was trying to say that an additional check doesn't void the warranty here.
Silknor wrote:While I too would prefer consensus on pizza toppings to a dictatorship of the vegetable-tariot, I tend to get annoyed when debates on which toppings we should have on tonight's pizza lasts for months without anyone changing there views.
Me too! Let's fire those assholes!
Silknor wrote:One of the main advantages of majority rule of course is that if Congress passes bad legislation, it's much easier to throw out enough Members to overturn it!
I was going to mention that last post as a disadvantage. Why do you want bad legislation to get passed and then get overturned and then get passed and get overturned again? That seems awful, but that's allowed by a majority rule system. If you up the threshold, it takes a lot more impetus to pass legislation, which helps guarantee it's not a steaming pile of shit when it comes out. Then, when good laws are in place, they're hard to overturn, and when laws are sufficiently bad that 3/4 of the Congress wants to change them, they still can. It makes for a more stable and shit-free legal code, from my perspective.

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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby bentheimmigrant » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

Well, in the UK we don't really have a filibuster, and we don't tend to swing back and forth quite like that... To some extent I think majority rule makes the parties more considered in their actions. I mean, if the GOP won, passed all its budgets and killed the economy while ballooning the deficit, hopefully they would pay so dearly that it would serve as a significant lesson.

But then again the GOP base these days is crazy, so who knows where that would go.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby omgryebread » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:04 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I was going to mention that last post as a disadvantage. Why do you want bad legislation to get passed and then get overturned and then get passed and get overturned again? That seems awful, but that's allowed by a majority rule system. If you up the threshold, it takes a lot more impetus to pass legislation, which helps guarantee it's not a steaming pile of shit when it comes out. Then, when good laws are in place, they're hard to overturn, and when laws are sufficiently bad that 3/4 of the Congress wants to change them, they still can. It makes for a more stable and shit-free legal code, from my perspective.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Silknor » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:19 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:Sure, but the Founders' system is still in place. The filibuster is just an add-on to that system. I was trying to say that an additional check doesn't void the warranty here.


The Founders explicitly rejected:
Any supermajority requirement for ordinary legislation (treaties and constitutional amendments only). Not only did they decline to include one, the previous system (the Articles of Confederation) had a 2/3rds requirement for legislation, so the absence of that from the Constitution should be very telling.
Senators elected by the people: they were appointed by state legislatures.
Presidents elected by the people: the idea behind the Electoral College is that states would appoint intelligent individuals to deliberate on who should be President.

Much of the system is still in place yes. But it is quite strange to appeal to the Founder's visions in justifying the filibuster.

I was going to mention that last post as a disadvantage. Why do you want bad legislation to get passed and then get overturned and then get passed and get overturned again? That seems awful, but that's allowed by a majority rule system. If you up the threshold, it takes a lot more impetus to pass legislation, which helps guarantee it's not a steaming pile of shit when it comes out. Then, when good laws are in place, they're hard to overturn, and when laws are sufficiently bad that 3/4 of the Congress wants to change them, they still can. It makes for a more stable and shit-free legal code, from my perspective.


I won't dispute that under super majority rule you get more stability in the text of legislation*. But do we see "bad" legislation getting passed, repealed, repassed, repealed again, etc? And we can't take bad to mean that you or I don't like it.

Likewise, do we see that legislation which survives a filibuster (and not through reconciliation) tends to be better than legislation that passes the House? It certainly tends to have more exceptions and less consistency.

Of course, the flip side of making good laws harder to overturn and bad laws harder to pass is that good laws are harder to pass and bad laws harder to overturn. But outside of this, remember that deadlock is not neutral. Rather, we need constant legislation just to stay where we are now. It's not a neutral outcome to see a government shutdown or debt default because legislation didn't pass, but both are without a doubt more likely the higher the supermajority threshold. Likewise, it's easy for the quality of legislation to decline over time (for example, no or improper inflation adjustments, changing technology creating new loopholes or conflicts, external events that require new legislation).

As I see it though, the key point is one of accountability. Majority rule makes it easier for voters to know who to vote out if they disagree with the results. And if the will of the people shifts, majority rule makes it easier and quicker for legislation to shift in response.

Of note, we do have a parallel system for regulation that largely operates on pure majority rule. Executive orders and agency decisions can be overturned when a new president assumes office, and reinstated by the next. I don't know if this tends to lead to better or worse policy making than the legislative process (and there are of course major differences between the procedures besides the requisite vote margin).

*That doesn't mean stability of policy of course. The minority may be unable to repeal legislation, but they can prevent funds from being appropriated to implement it, see also, the Republican House and the ACA. They can also prevent changes needed to amend the law to fix errors, keep up with changing technology, fix unintended consequences, etc. Static text is not the same as static policy.
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Re: 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Postby Dauric » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Silknor wrote:One of the main advantages of majority rule of course is that if Congress passes bad legislation, it's much easier to throw out enough Members to overturn it!
I was going to mention that last post as a disadvantage. Why do you want bad legislation to get passed and then get overturned and then get passed and get overturned again? That seems awful, but that's allowed by a majority rule system. If you up the threshold, it takes a lot more impetus to pass legislation, which helps guarantee it's not a steaming pile of shit when it comes out. Then, when good laws are in place, they're hard to overturn, and when laws are sufficiently bad that 3/4 of the Congress wants to change them, they still can. It makes for a more stable and shit-free legal code, from my perspective.


The PATRIOT Act was passed with minimal 'no' votes in no small part because of the national emotions surrounding the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

Passed the House on October 24, 2001 (Yeas: 357; Nays: 66) (84%)
Passed the Senate on October 25, 2001 (Yeas: 98; Nays: 1) (98%)


The Authorization for Use against Iraq 2002 passed 297 to 133 (68%) in the house and 77 to 23 (77%) in the Senate, again because the issue was emotionally charged over imagined (and ultimately false) threats to the U.S.

Congress set up the environment for so called "fusion centers" which a recent Senate report has declared to be a waste of taxpayer dollars by granting almost unlimited funds to intelligence agencies with largely no oversight.



And even with simple majority rule, PATRIOT was reauthorized and it's unlikely that fusion centers will ever be dismantled simply because there's so much money and bureaucracy in those new departments.

If Congress was immune to emotional outbursts, either their own or those of their constituents, then sure -maybe- thee would be an impetus to avoid passing crap bills with a higher threshold. However the need for rapid response, imagined or otherwise, can easily lead to bad decision making as well as a tendency to grasp on the first idea that gets any serious traction.
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