MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 72.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

If you can't win, twist the rules

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:34 pm

kurt_w wrote:Arturo's like the vegan who tries to stop people from discussing the pros and cons of a newly opened steakhouse, on the grounds that what they really ought to be discussing is the moral crime of enslaving and killing cows for our delectation.
That's a fair analogy.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby DCB » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:35 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
kurt_w wrote:The Republicans have concluded ...

It's really only some Republicans, it's not as if they are a hive-mind on this issue.

It not just some Republicans. Did you notice that one of them is the RNC Chair?

Stealing, rather than earning, elections, is an approved stategy in the GOP:
“The rationale was straightforward,” reads the memo. “Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn. Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.”


They knew the redistricting was underhanded. That's why the Wisconsin team outsourced it to a private law firm - to keep the details secret.

And they are proud of the results:
NRCC Chairman Greg Walden: "Redistricting was a blessing for us."

https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/2 ... 7489796096

As a result of redistricting, which favored Republicans, and this well-executed strategy – the House is well-aligned and firmly in GOP control.

The national map of competitive House races looks very different headed into 2014. Namely, it’s smaller and Republicans have the upper-hand.

http://www.nrcc.org/2013/01/15/2012-pre ... -district/
NRCC = National Republican Congressional Committee.
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2649
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:40 pm

Galoot wrote:Actually, that sounds more like anarchism. Are you shifting even farther into loony-land, Arturo?
I resent your choice of words, but yes, my opinions have been closer to anarcho-capitalism than minarchism for some time now.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby kurt_w » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:47 pm

I think the Republicans are increasingly aware that the only way they can win elections is by cheating. If it weren't for gerrymandering and the disproportionate allocation of House seats, the Democrats would hold a majority in both houses of Congress.

Look at where they're focusing their energy: restrictions on voting, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, and now this game of selectively changing the rules for presidential elections in blue states vs red states. Perpetual filibusters in the senate. "Hastert rules" in the House, that only allow votes on bills supported by a majority or Republicans.

It's like they're not even pretending to care about all the stuff my daughter's learning about in civics at school. Everything we're teaching the kids about how American government works is basically a lie. As far as the Party is concerned, the only rule now is "might makes right".
kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5083
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:55 pm

DCB wrote:It not just some Republicans. Did you notice that one of them is the RNC Chair?
I'd be happy with "national Republican leaders" or something similar. There are a lot of people who identify as Republican for various reasons, and not all of them are in lockstep on political strategies of this sort. It never threatens intelligent discourse to be more specific.

On redistricting - I assume that most of you would agree that redistricting must happen occasionally to reflect population shifts, right? If so, how would anyone do redistricting in a way that was perceived as fair by all (since there is no objective way to determine fairness)? No matter how the lines are drawn, someone is going to feel that someone else has manipulated the system to their benefit. With that in mind, why put on a charade that everyone can or will act in the collective interest? I'd rather everyone just be upfront about their intentions.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:19 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:my opinions [are] closer to anarcho-capitalism than minarchism

Translation: "I care more about not telling people what to do than I do about people."
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8868
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:27 pm

kurt_w wrote:I think the Republicans are increasingly aware that the only way they can win elections is by cheating.

That may be true, but it's not necessarily cheating if you're playing by the existing rules of rule-changing
kurt_w wrote:If it weren't for gerrymandering and the disproportionate allocation of House seats, the Democrats would hold a majority in both houses of Congress.
You mean, "if it weren't for this last round of gerrymandering and disproportionate allocation", right? The previous district boundaries were probably as arbitrary and imbalanced as the new ones.
kurt_w wrote:Look at where they're focusing their energy: restrictions on voting, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, and now this game of selectively changing the rules for presidential elections in blue states vs red states.
Are you sure it's not that opponents are focusing their outrage on these areas? I'm not saying the outrage isn't warranted, however. I don't know all the things that the RNC is working toward, I just hear about some things when the media gets a whiff of them.
kurt_w wrote:It's like they're not even pretending to care about all the stuff my daughter's learning about in civics at school. Everything we're teaching the kids about how American government works is basically a lie. As far as the Party is concerned, the only rule now is "might makes right".
Good points. In addition to the idealized civics model, it might make some sense to teach kids how the system actually works (and has worked since the beginning of civilization).
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby gargantua » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:46 pm

I kind of hate agreeing with Arturo about any aspect of this amoral gaming of the system but I think he's right on one significant point. They are doing so playing by existing rules. That is, using legal mechanisms to change the rules in their favor. If not, the Democrats would sue them. And probably lose in the courts the GOP has been purchasing over the past several years.

It's brilliant, in an evil genius sort of way.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4099
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:52 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:my opinions [are] closer to anarcho-capitalism than minarchism

Translation: "I care more about not telling people what to do than I do about people."
I'll accept this characterization. I would rather let people self-determine than force my determination on them, even if I think my imposition would benefit them.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby DCB » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:00 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
DCB wrote:It not just some Republicans. Did you notice that one of them is the RNC Chair?
I'd be happy with "national Republican leaders" or something similar. There are a lot of people who identify as Republican for various reasons, and not all of them are in lockstep on political strategies of this sort. It never threatens intelligent discourse to be more specific.

To be specific: the members of the GOP who actually make decisions about how the party operates chose to make redistricting an essential part of their strategy.

I doubt they give a shit about the unwashed masses who might have misgivings about gaming the system.
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2649
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:04 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:I would rather let people self-determine than force my determination on them, even if I think my imposition would benefit them.
Instead, you'd rather impose your belief that self-determination is better than what is actually better. At least your irrationality is consistent.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8868
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:06 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Instead, you'd rather impose your belief that self-determination is better than what is actually better. At least your irrationality is consistent.
What is "actually better"? Will you concede that "betterness" is highly subjective?
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:15 pm

ArturoBandini wrote: Will you concede that "betterness" is highly subjective?
I absolutely will not.

Having food to eat is objectively better than starving.
Having access to healthcare is objectively better than dying.
Having a place to live is objectively better than homelessness.
Having job opportunities is objectively better than having none.
Having access to basic education is objectively better than only being exposed to ignorance.
And so on.

And the fact that you are unwilling to acknowledge such simple truths is one of the reasons I have concluded you are a terrible person.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8868
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:27 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Having food to eat is objectively better than starving.
Having access to healthcare is objectively better than dying.
Having a place to live is objectively better than homelessness.
Having job opportunities is objectively better than having none.
Having access to basic education is objectively better than only being exposed to ignorance.
And so on.

And the fact that you are unwilling to acknowledge such simple truths is one of the reasons I have concluded you are a terrible person.
Terrible person - ha! I'll recognize your statements as simple truths all else held equal, sure, but things aren't always simple or held equal when you make value judgments for other people. And staking out a few cases where we can agree what is "better" does not establish universality of the concept of "goodness" ("betterness" was a silly word). When it comes to political and social matters, I think that simple truths are increasingly hard to nail down.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: If you can't win, twist the rules

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:34 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:Terrible person - ha!

That is how I characterize people who don't give a fuck about other people. That is you.
ArturoBandini wrote: And staking out a few cases where we can agree what is "better" does not establish universality of the concept of "goodness" ("betterness" was a silly word).
I see. Now you want to move the goalposts. Can't say I blame you. Nobody likes being shown that they are an asshole.

In your view, to give but one example, it is better to let someone die than it is to compel a doctor to administer a simple life-saving technique. That's because, in your view, people can go fuck themselves. You can keep trying to sugarcoat it, but no matter how you slice it, that makes you a terrible person.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8868
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

PreviousNext

Return to National Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar