February 10, 2016

You said you wanted a revolution...



Well, you know...

You want a revolution? (Check all that apply.)
 
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97 comments:

tim in vermont said...

"You know it's gonna be all right" would have been a better choice.

AReasonableMan said...

You do not need a revolution to make the current political system a lot less corrupt. Commonsense rather than legalistic nonsense would be a good place to start. Obviously money corrupts the system, making some votes count much more than others. That is not a democracy.

Daniel Richwine said...

What I'm concluding is things have already changed. GOP establishment candidates can't stop Trump or Cruz. Democrat establishment candidates cannot prevent an old socialist who uses terms like "Oligarchy" in his speeches from exciting their voters.
The old models and old arguments, the ones I grew up listening to and forming opinions on, are no longer the natural fault lines in American politics. What is, I wonder?

Simon said...

Could we please just have a "no" choice?

Todd said...

Run away from anyone that earnestly wants to "change the world". That way lies chaos. Ask those living with the results of Rachel Carson's efforts (as but one example).

Patrick said...

Meet the new boss, same as the old.

Shouting Thomas said...

The end of the 60s nostalgia that obsesses you would be a good start.

Laslo Spatula said...

Revolution, sure, but it seems a winning candidate also has to show some elements of a 'Street Fighting Man'...

Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution
'Cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution...

Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants....

I am Laslo.

Rick said...

Obviously money corrupts the system, making some votes count much more than others. That is not a democracy.

Not only absurd on its face but we're watching the refutation of this argument in real time. It's amazing how little some people understand of what is going on in front of their noses.

Donald Douglas said...

"Revolution" as a word has been debased, denuded of meaning. Sanders is promising nothing of the genuine sort. Think French Revolution or Russian Revolution and we know that after next November there might be some progressive change, but things will go on as they have been under the same constitutional regime.

Talk to me when we toppled the legitimate government power in this country.

traditionalguy said...

It is more like a counter-revolution to throw out Obama and all of his sell out for mega wealth crony enablers in the Congress. We liked the USA fine before the last 7 years of insider destruction carefully installed inside all levels of the Government by the Fifth Column Marxist Muslim working hard to eliminate Pax Americana.

Limited blogger said...

I want 33 1/3 revolutions! Per minute.

Love the 'White Album'.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
Not only absurd on its face


Show your work. How is democracy not degraded by allowing the influence of monied interests to dictate politician's agendas? Yes there is a backlash at the moment but that is because the brighter proles have finally figured out that we are getting screwed and have been getting screwed for a long time.

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
Show your work.


You first. Who do I pay for my vote to count twice? Do they accept bitcoin?

buwaya puti said...

The cause of corruption is government.
Corruption is caused, ultimately, by government crossing the grain of what people want, or what naturally must be. Which can't be helped, because that's what governments do.
It is ur-conservatism to point out that the greater effect of government policies are not what was intended but the unintended consequences.
The only correct approach is to govern as little as possible.

tim in vermont said...

I don't like Sanders' ideas, but I like that he has done it without the help of Zuckerberg, Google, Goldman Sachs, etc. I like that a lot. My basic problem with him is that the stronger you make government, the more irresistible a target it becomes for the corrupt and self interested. Road to Hell, good intentions, all that.

Brando said...

Everyone wants a revolution when they think they're going to come out on top with the new order. But revolutions tend to eat their own supporters.

Besides, this is all bluster. Much as Sanders or Trump would be embarrassments, this country has enough checks and balances and limits on power that neither of them is going to get any revolution happening. We're just going to see more aggressive gridlock.

bbkingfish said...

Has Rubio yet quit the race to let the Establishment coalesce around Bush?

It's coming.

Mark Nielsen said...

... we're all doing what we can.

jr565 said...

I vote All Right All Right All Right. Because while the beatles are great you need a little Matthew Mconohay in your politics as well. And All Right All Right All Right is more all Right than a single All Right. its' 3x as many all rights as the Beatles All Right. Which has to be better.

jr565 said...

Tim in vermont wrote:
I don't like Sanders' ideas, but I like that he has done it without the help of Zuckerberg, Google, Goldman Sachs, etc.

Howard Dean made the point that unions are actually PAC's that democrats love. And Sanders has no problem taking money from Unions. If you think not calling them PAC's makes it better to take money from them, well Howard Dean is calling you a liar. Also, I'm not sure that he isn't in fact taking money from Zuckerberg or Soros just because he says he isn't

Original Mike said...

"You do not need a revolution to make the current political system a lot less corrupt. Commonsense rather than legalistic nonsense would be a good place to start. Obviously money corrupts the system, making some votes count much more than others. That is not a democracy."

Yeah, we'll pass us some more laws. That'll work.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
Who do I pay for my vote to count twice?


You vote doesn't count twice. A lot of the time it doesn't count once. That the system is not perfectly corrupt doesn't mean it isn't corrupt.

Limited blogger said...

I've mentioned it in other posts. That there is some corruption scale. Somewhat corrupt, partially corrupt, mostly corrupt, fully corrupt.

You are corrupt or you are not.

Rick said...

A lot of the time it doesn't count once.

Only in the sense that no single vote ever decides an election. But votes count the same. Your complaint is government corruption, not democracy. Why pretend the evidence supports an unrelated allegation? Is it because you think this issue will influence more people or because the remedies to the actual problem are politically unpalatable?

Original Mike said...

"Only in the sense that no single vote ever decides an election."

Sometimes, it's a coin flip.

Real American said...

the more government spends, the more people and businesses and unions and PACs will spend to get a piece of that pie. The money that is corrupting our government begins with the money spent by our government. That is the incentive that people who complain about "money in politics" refuse to acknowledge. Reduce the spending and power of the government and the money spent on politics will be reduced as well.

Bernie Sanders will not be leading that particular revolution. The socialist revolution he will be continuing will end up with millions of more dead people, as it already has.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
But votes count the same.


But votes are not the only way decisions get made in a democracy. Half the country can see this, why can't you? In a perfect democracy politicians would only care about attracting the votes of their constituents. As everyone, except you apparently, knows in our system politicians spend more time chasing money than they do chasing votes. Doesn't this tell you something about how money will influence their behaviors?

Juvenal said...

So interesting that it is rarely mentioned that the 'revolt' is against eight years of governance by Barack Obama. Are voters more angry today than they were eight years ago. If so, why?

AReasonableMan said...

Juvenal said...
Are voters more angry today than they were eight years ago.


Voters were scared eight years ago, the world was melting. They feel more confident to take on entrenched interests now.

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
Rick said...
But votes count the same.

But votes are not the only way decisions get made in a democracy.


Right, which is why I noted your objection isn't to Democracy but government corruption.

Half the country can see this, why can't you?

Maybe 10% of the country is misdirecting their objections as widely as you are. I don't because I employ thought discipline.

Doesn't this tell you something about how money will influence their behaviors?

Money influences behaviors huh? Is this impact limited to politicians?

Freder Frederson said...

The socialist revolution he will be continuing will end up with millions of more dead people, as it already has.

The socialist revolution that Sanders is advocating is the socialist revolution that took place in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland after World War II. How many people died in that revolution?

It is ridiculous to equate Sanders' democratic socialism with the excesses of the Soviet Union and Maoist China.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
Right, which is why I noted your objection isn't to Democracy


The problem with ideologues is that they can't see beyond the purity of their own vision. Democracy is a wonderful system that still has many flaws. Most notably, oligarchs can rig the system in their favor by flooding the system with money. I do not know that any serious person really argues with this. As you note politicians are people, not abstractions, and they chase money rather than votes. This distorts our democracy.

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
Most notably, oligarchs can rig the system in their favor by flooding the system with money.


This is a weakness of government rather than democracy as I have now pointed out twice.

The problem with ideologues is that they can't see beyond the purity of their own vision.

It's amazing you can self-diagnose without the ability to act upon it. For example it caused you to erroneously conclude I denied that "oligarchs can rig the system in their favor by flooding the system with money".

I see a common thread with you and many other wingers. You've so convinced yourself others are stupid that you misinterpret their statements in a stupid way. It leaves you unable to engage their ideas and utterly incapable of contributing to a conversation. We might as well debate a brick wall.

Original Mike said...

"I do not know that any serious person really argues with this. "

We're arguing about the solution. But to avoid that argument you put up a straw man.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
I see a common thread with you and many other wingers. You've so convinced yourself others are stupid that you misinterpret their statements in a stupid way.


Not stupid, but locked into a way of seeing the world that has become outdated, much like Althouse herself. The rise of Trump and Sanders are no mystery to those of us who see the system and its flaws more clearly.

Rick said...

Not stupid, but locked into a way of seeing the world that has become outdated

I've proven twice your fantasy is wrong and you persist in asserting it again anyway. The locked vision is yours, demonstrated this time by skipping past your errors as if they didn't happen.

Will Cate said...

More like Revolution 9: a cacophonous nightmare-collage of sound clips, a bad trip for the ears, ultimately fading out with the ubiquitous football-game chant.

Brando said...

"The rise of Trump and Sanders are no mystery to those of us who see the system and its flaws more clearly."

Only compared to those of us who wonder why when you see your house has a leaky roof so you decide to fix the problem by slapping your kids.

Trump and Sanders may be signs of the problem, but anyone thinking they're the solution is going to be in for a rude awakening. We went through something similar in 2008.

Original Mike said...

The solution to "money in politics", to the extent that there is one, is an anathema to liberals.

Matthew Sablan said...

"As everyone, except you apparently, knows in our system politicians spend more time chasing money than they do chasing votes"

-- You have it backwards. Special interests go to politicians and debase themselves before them to try and get them to use their power to help them.

The problem isn't rich people are powerful; the problem is powerful people have too much power.

Matthew Sablan said...

Another way of looking at it.

If we had a much weaker central government, and stronger, more accountable, local governments, why would a special interest throw money into politics when they couldn't GET anything out of it?

They wouldn't. The more you empower the central, unaccountable bureaucratic government, the more you encourage people to buy favors. Remember: The lords are the ones the people with money go to to purchase favor. Big money PACs, unions, lobbyists, etc., are the SUBSERVIENT ones in their relationship with government, not the other way around.

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
I've proven twice your fantasy is wrong


Did you predict the rise of Trump and Sanders? Of course not. You thought that the complaints about income inequality and stagnation and too much influence buying were overstated. I, on the other hand, took those complaints seriously. Guess who was in closer touch with reality.

You haven't proven anything other than that you are willing to cling to an outdated vision long after the facts on the ground have changed.

Original Mike said...

ARM won't go down that road, Matthew, because it would mean giving up his notion that if only the "right" people were the powerful ones, we would all be so much better off.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
stronger, more accountable, local governments


Whenever anyone writes something along these lines I know they are blowing smoke. Local governments are cesspools of corruption because there is little or no press coverage of their actions. It is only when the Feds or States start prosecuting the more egregious crooks that we get to see how they really work.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Local governments are cesspools of corruption because there is little or no press coverage of their actions. It is only when the Feds or States start prosecuting the more egregious crooks that we get to see how they really work."

-- Some local governments are corrupt. Some are not. Oddly enough, by giving the central government even MORE power to decide how to prosecute them, you've essentially turned cities into fiefdoms for influential bureaucrats and federal agencies/governments.

Tell me: If there is little or no press coverage of their actions, how do you KNOW that they are cesspools of corruption? Do you personally go around investigating local governments? How many have you investigated? What corruption have you talked about? How much of that corruption is caused by limiting the power of the government, and how much of it, like we saw in Flint, was done by building successful walls within government and sectioning off power away from the local government and vesting it into federal ones, like the EPA?

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
how do you KNOW that they are cesspools of corruption?


I have friends who work in local government. And, as I said, the more egregious crooks go to jail on a regular basis, which does make the local news. For all its faults the Federal government is under minute scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that is lacking in lower levels of government where petty corruption is rampant.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, in other words, you have some anecdotes and press reports [which earlier didn't exist, but now suddenly do.]

The federal government is not under strict scrutiny at all. Even when it is, career employees can retire with bonuses, in the VA's case, after literally running their organization so poorly people died. I get the distinct feeling, between that and the various GSA fraud cases and issues, that you might just not be as well versed on the level of corruption in the federal government.

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
Did you predict the rise of Trump and Sanders?


Two points:

1. I didn't predict Trump and/or Sanders, nor did I not predict them. It's not the sort of thing I spend any time on. On the other hand you didn't predict them either contrary to your self-adulatory revisionism. So the point is false.

2. Even if this supposition were true it doesn't demonstrate what you seem to think it does.

So your ideology leads you to believe things that aren't true and imbue those beliefs with significance they don't hold. It's not a great combination of weaknesses, especially when combined with overwhelming arrogance and a refusal to even try to understand anyone else's comments.

You thought that the complaints about income inequality and stagnation and too much influence buying were overstated.

You consistently reveal you have no idea what anyone else thinks but merely invent some fantasy which carefully excises all but the easiest beliefs to refute. In this case I said nothing of the sort.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
[which earlier didn't exist, but now suddenly do.]


This is a flat out lie. I am very disappointed in the quality of your response. You are not a smart guy, but telling such an obvious lie is flat-out stupid.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Local governments are cesspools of corruption because there is little or no press coverage of their actions."

No press coverage would mean they don't exist. You gave an option of little or no. You then said:

"It is only when the Feds or States start prosecuting the more egregious crooks that we get to see how they really work."

That made me realize that "no" was a valid choice, since if someone's corruption was publicly broadcast, it would be an option besides "only" when Feds or States prosecute things.

It's not my fault you said something silly, and I believed you.

Sigivald said...

All I can tell you is - baby, you have to wait.

Ideally forever.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
I get the distinct feeling, between that and the various GSA fraud cases and issues, that you might just not be as well versed on the level of corruption in the federal government.


I am not suggesting that the Federal government is not corrupt. All governments, including state and local governments, harbor some level of corruption. The question is how do we minimize the problem. It is unicorn-level fantasy thinking to believe that moving everything to the state or local level would solve the problem.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
It's not my fault you said something silly, and I believed you.


Just digging a deeper hole now. Why not just acknowledge your error?

Matthew Sablan said...

The point of the comment, by the way, was to poke a hole in your ridiculous statements and to show that your thoughts are inconsistent and flawed. You go from little to no reporting to suddenly relying on those very same reports that didn't exist, or existed in such minute quantities that only the power of the federal or state government could coerce good behavior from local corrupted officials.

You may not MEAN to come across like that, but if I argue with the words you use instead of the words you mean, that's your own fault for not speaking clearly.

Matthew Sablan said...

A Reasonable Man: No error was made, unless you want to backtrack and clarify your statements. What you SAID is perfectly consistent with what I took exception to.

If you MEANT something else, please, do clarify.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It is unicorn-level fantasy thinking to believe that moving everything to the state or local level would solve the problem."

-- No one has argued "moving everything to the state or local level would solve the problem."

AReasonableMan said...

Rick said...
I didn't predict Trump and/or Sanders


It is a start that you can acknowledge that your view of the world does not encompass the entirety of reality. You are not alone in this, but when new facts that you cannot account for are staring you in the face doesn't this suggest that you might want to rethink at least some of your basic assumptions. Althouse is very similar. Literally days ago she was trying to tell us to all rally around Rubio. Isn't there a very deep problem with the thinking of someone who would suggest this strategy at this point in time unless their goal is the maintenance of the status quo at any cost?

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
The point of the comment, by the way, was to poke a hole in your ridiculous statements and to show that your thoughts are inconsistent and flawed


But you failed to do this, unless you happen to believe that I have secret line into the goings on in state and federal prosecutors offices.

Original Mike said...

Instead of arguing about who does it how about we entertain the question of should it be done in the first place. Start with the tax code. Eliminating handouts (i.e. crony capitalism) would be a good start.

Mike said...

But ARM the only way those guys get into a position of power is through votes or the rule-making within behemoth government. Voting is "our" only way to influence the process.

Matthew Sablan said...

No. I asked you how you learned these things if the press didn't report them like you said. You then admitted, well, yeah. The press DOES report them, more than little to no, because egregious crooks are well known. Also, you have friends who tell you about it.

The fact you can't even SEE how the Q&A worked to expose the problem with your initial statement makes me think that you're not even TRYING to have a conversation.

AReasonableMan said...

Mike said...
Voting is "our" only way to influence the process.


Which is why it is so important that our vote is not diluted by other influences, such as the vast amounts of money flowing directly or indirectly to politicians.

AReasonableMan said...

This:

"It is only when the Feds or States start prosecuting the more egregious crooks that we get to see how they really work."

is not an ambiguous statement, given reasonable assumptions about how the world works. Of course, if you believe in unicorns then all bets are off, I guess.

Matthew Sablan said...

Right. We all agree: Politicians shouldn't be bribed.

So, what's the actual solution being proposed to do this? I thought we already had laws against bribing politicians and rigging elections.

Matthew Sablan said...

Actually, that statement is ambiguous [and stupid]. What they? Local governments? Crooks? The Feds or States? Why is that the only time we get to see how "they" work? Can we not understand how a corrupt politician works without prosecution? Why do we need federal or state prosecutions -- if a local cop arrests a corrupt politician, can we not understand what happened?

Why is that the only chance we get to understand "how they really work?"

Rick said...

AReasonableMan said...
It is a start that you can acknowledge that your view of the world does not encompass the entirety of reality.


Interestingly every assertion ARM makes has already been described:

So your ideology leads you to believe things that aren't true and imbue those beliefs with significance they don't hold.

Original Mike said...

"Solyndra was a solar-energy company backed by the family foundation of George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil magnate and major Obama fundraiser."

ARM, if the government isn't handing out cash, is George Kaiser shoveling money to Obama?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM said...obviously money corrupts the system, making some votes count much more than others.

I'll bite: what's the common sense solution to money corrupting the system, ARM? A powerful central government that has the ability and authority to make decisions that will influence the economy (through laws, regulations, different enforcement tactics, etc) in profound ways will be subject to attempts to influence it by people with money at stake. If the EPA can make a rule change that could wipe out coal mining, and coal mining is a business that makes $X millions of dollars/year, then it's natural that coal mining concerns will be willing to spend some fraction of $X millions of dollars per year to try and influence the government/EPA not to put coal miners out of business. Multiply that by the number of ways the government exerts influence over the economic decisions and outcomes of people and business in the nation, and make sure you take account of the actual money those people have at risk. Then explain why it's improper for the people who have money at stake to voluntarily spend their own money to try and persuade others to vote in ways that will influence the government. Call that corruption if you want to, but I have a hard time seeing what's immoral about it.

Combine that with the existence of the 1st Amendment and I'm not clear what common sense anti-corruption "get money out of politics" laws you guys think are so clearly needed would be.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Another way to ask it would be: how will you structure your anti-corruption "money out of politics" law in a way that it'll stop the type of corruption you don't like while not stopping me from exercising my 1st Amendment rights (individually or in conjunction with like-minded fellow citizens in an incorporated group)? The people arguing the losing side in the Citizens United case didn't care about stopping little guys from expressing themselves--they argued that it would be proper to suppress or confiscate books if those books were put out by a group and might influence an election! The S. Court found against the potential book burners. I'm glad they did, and I cringe when I hear candidates and politicians denounce the Citizens United case.

Whether you agree or not, that decision exists. What is your proposed "get money out of politics" law that won't run afoul of the decision?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

One nice thing about shrinking the size and the scope of government is that it would reduce opportunity for corruption both of the "money in politics influencing politicians" kind and of the "politicians directing money to their friends" kind.
Expanding the size and scope of government necessarily creates more opportunity for both kinds of "corruption." The Left thunders against "corruption" but does everything it can to expand the size, scope, and power of the government. They overcome this contradiction, in my experience, by simply ignoring it.

damikesc said...

Obviously money corrupts the system, making some votes count much more than others. That is not a democracy.

But WHY is money so flush in the system?

You have a government meddling in everything and the rich will want to insure that the meddling supports them.

The socialist revolution that Sanders is advocating is the socialist revolution that took place in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland after World War II. How many people died in that revolution?

The one where the US footed all of the bills for their defense against a massive, totalitarian regime?

There's a small problem --- who will protect US?

The federal government is not under strict scrutiny at all. Even when it is, career employees can retire with bonuses, in the VA's case, after literally running their organization so poorly people died.

And if they're fired or demoted for rank incompetence, it will be overturned anyway. Who in the EPA was punished for that mine fiasco? How many in the IRS were punished for their partisan actions and ignoring of court orders? How many in the State Dept were punished for the system-wide ignoring of document security?

Why, NOBODY, that's who.

The Federal government has no oversight at all. They ignore it and then dare anybody to do anything.

It should also be noted that the states and cities with massive corruption problems tend to have been governed by one party, for the most part, for decades on end.

damikesc said...

Which is why it is so important that our vote is not diluted by other influences, such as the vast amounts of money flowing directly or indirectly to politicians.

I thought you were going to say "massive influx of illegal immigration and governments providing them IDs while one party fights any attempt at any semblance of voting security while claiming it is not needed".

AllenS said...

Let's get back of topic, shall we?

Currently, Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders

Where's that Revolution that you talk about?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Currently, Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders"

-- I'm not a Democrat, but super delegates annoy me to no end.

AReasonableMan said...

Matthew Sablan said...
What they?


Once someone starts diagramming the sentences of blog comments it strongly suggests they have lost the plot. As I said, it is not an ambiguous statement, given reasonable assumptions about how the world works. Since you are a lawyer, I guess I cannot reasonably make the assumption that you would use reasonable assumptions about how the world works in interpreting a given sentence. If nothing else, I have learnt this on the Althouse blog.

Original Mike said...

"Let's get back of topic, shall we?"

Sure, now that we've determined that ARM has no answers.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, what they, ARM? I'll repeat: Local governments? Crooks? The Feds or States? Why is that the only time we get to see how "they" work? Can we not understand how a corrupt politician works without prosecution? Why do we need federal or state prosecutions -- if a local cop arrests a corrupt politician, can we not understand what happened?

Your statement is unclear, and I don't understand it. Why can't I learn understand something except by the federal or state government prosecuting someone? The "they" can feasibly refer to one of two things: Crooks or Local Governments. Which is it? Why can't a local cop's successful arrest, and a local prosecutor's successful conviction, of the same corrupt local government or crook teach us what a federal prosecutor's success would tell us?

Also, I am not a lawyer.

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
I'll bite: what's the common sense solution to money corrupting the system,


Personally I cannot see any functional difference between a campaign donation and a bribe, but I guess they need some money. I would be comfortable with a limit on individual giving up to $200 per candidate. I think $200 is reasonable in that even families of relatively modest means could probably find this amount of money to waste on a politician. There should be a complete ban on any organization providing cash or in kind donations to politicians.

It is reasonable to require the media to provide some fraction of their advertising time for free, given that politics provides so much of their low-cost programming. At a minimum they should provide free advertising up to the level of expenditure that they make on college sports programming.

Matthew Sablan said...

"There should be a complete ban on any organization providing cash or in kind donations to politicians."

-- Would it be illegal, then, for newspapers to endorse a candidate?

Matthew Sablan said...

"It is reasonable to require the media to provide some fraction of their advertising time for free, given that politics provides so much of their low-cost programming."

-- Define: Low-cost. Some fraction. Media.

Original Mike said...

We'll have a government of Trump's and Bloombergs.

Freder Frederson said...

The one where the US footed all of the bills for their defense against a massive, totalitarian regime?

Finland and Sweden are/were neutral and were never members of NATO.

Rick said...

AllenS said...
Currently, Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders


She doesn't have those superdelegates any more than she had the SC black vote in December.

Original Mike said...

Tim in Vermont posted this in another thread, but I don't know where he got it:

"Though Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide over Hillary Clinton, he will likely receive fewer delegates than she will. Sanders won 60 percent of the vote, but thanks to the Democratic Party’s nominating system, he leaves the Granite State with at least 13 delegates while she leaves with at least 15 delegates."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM said...There should be a complete ban on any organization providing cash or in kind donations to politicians.

Ok, ban all contributions directly to candidates; done. How about PACs? Or just other political organizations, like say a labor union or the NRA?

When you ban the money that can be give directly to the candidates people give to organizations that will support those candidates anyway. Are you arguing that spending by those organizations is not corruption, but spending by candidates' campaigns themselves is corruption? If so then I guess I don't have a problem with your solution...only that it won't really solve the problems ("money in politics" nor "money influencing politicians") you mentioned.

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
If so then I guess I don't have a problem with your solution...only that it won't really solve the problems ("money in politics" nor "money influencing politicians") you mentioned.


As discussed earlier there are two kinds of corruption, the fallen man corruption that you find everywhere. There is not much that can be done about this other than to emphasize ethics and try to be vigilant. The second kind of corruption, where one segment of the population has a much greater influence on the course of political decisions than other segments, is resolvable - impoverish the politicians. This is the corruption that has a large section of the body politic up in arms and this is a problem that can be ameliorated.

It is hard to state the problem more clearly than Trump already has:

"I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people. Before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. And that's a broken system."

This is not complex, we have to stop this kind of giving in order to create a more even playing field. Currently both the givers and the politicians are acting rationally but the net result is an increasingly corrupt society. We have to change that.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

ARM said...This is not complex, we have to stop this kind of giving in order to create a more even playing field.

How, though? You haven't said. Preventing people from giving cash directly to a campaign won't stop those same people from supporting the candidate (and asking for favors in return), nor will it do anything to stop the politicians from getting rich themselves. Bill & Hilary Clinton didn't get mega-wealthy personally by people donating to their campaigns, they "gave speeches" as private citizens and cashed in. Your proposed solution wouldn't stop that in any way.
I don't see what stopping people from donating directly to campaigns will do to solve the problem you're trying to solve. At best it makes potential donors jump through one hoop, but they can still point to their donations/influence their cash had in helping get a candidate elected (and keep 'em in office) and expect reciprocal treatment vis a vis preferential government decisions, etc.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The second kind of corruption, where one segment of the population has a much greater influence on the course of political decisions than other segments, is resolvable - impoverish the politicians.

Impoverishing the politicians won't stop the NYTimes (and its owners) from having a much greater influence on the course of political decisions than an equal number of people who happen not to own a paper have. Nor will it stop Rupert Murdoch from having move of an influence than I have. Nor will it stop Planned Parenthood from having more of an influence than the American Legion has.

Making politicians poor won't change the fact that politicians are responsive to those groups that can help their political careers. On top of that, preventing political campaigns from accepting donations from individuals & corporations won't really do much to make or keep politicians poor!

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Impoverishing the politicians won't stop the NYTimes (and its owners) from having a much greater influence on the course of political decisions than an equal number of people who happen not to own a paper have. Nor will it stop Rupert Murdoch from having move of an influence than I have. Nor will it stop Planned Parenthood from having more of an influence than the American Legion has.


The press, more than anything, are responsive to the commercial forces exerted by their readership/listeners. They are more neutral than most are willing to admit, when looked at in the context of the entirety of the media. If PP is blocked from direct giving, not sure how they are so influential.

preventing political campaigns from accepting donations from individuals & corporations won't really do much to make or keep politicians poor!

Combined with restrictions on revolving door job seeking it would make it a lot more difficult. No one is suggesting that you can make a perfect system, just one more in tune with the ideals that we espouse to the rest of the world, but are more honor'd in the breach than the observance at home.

Original Mike said...

"-- Would it be illegal, then, for newspapers to endorse a candidate?"

Guess so, Matthew.

Original Mike said...

Actually, it looks like ARM would allow it.

He'd allow anyone not a candidate to say whatever they want (good), but then he hasn't solved the "problem".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

You are misusing "more honored in the breach," ARM, but it is a common misusage.
http://www.cjr.org/resources/lc/honored.php

Brando said...

"Currently, Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders"

Between the Iowa shenanigans (not releasing the vote totals) and this, I'll note that it helps build the case for Bernie fans to revolt against their party and go independent in the general election if they believe the fix is in for Hillary (which of course it is--Moron Wasserman-Shulz has been in the bag from the beginning).

AReasonableMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
You are misusing "more honored in the breach," ARM, but it is a common misusage.


It is hard to improve on Shakespeare but I think it is regularly misused because it becomes more bitter in the inversion.

Todd said...

AReasonableMan said... [hush]​[hide comment]

The second kind of corruption, where one segment of the population has a much greater influence on the course of political decisions than other segments, is resolvable - impoverish the politicians. This is the corruption that has a large section of the body politic up in arms and this is a problem that can be ameliorated.

It is hard to state the problem more clearly than Trump already has:

"I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people. Before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. And that's a broken system."

This is not complex, we have to stop this kind of giving in order to create a more even playing field. Currently both the givers and the politicians are acting rationally but the net result is an increasingly corrupt society. We have to change that.
2/10/16, 2:14 PM


There are none so blind as those that will not see. That is a good quote. You will not see. You are trying to put band-aids on a leaking ship and not even on the holes. You either fail or refuse to see the underlying problem and instead try to patch the wrong issue. The foundational issue is not money in politics, it is that there is a benefit to big downers putting their money into politics. If government AT ALL LEVELS was smaller and more focused on its core responsibilities government would be exerting influence on the country and individuals less and as a result there would be less need to curry favor with politicians.

The answer to our problem is less government everywhere, doing less. Not the opposite.

AReasonableMan said...

The press, more than anything, are responsive to the commercial forces exerted by their readership/listeners. They are more neutral than most are willing to admit...

2/10/16, 3:18 PM


I can not beleive you actually wrote that. I am not sure if you are being dishonest with yourself, with us, or you are actually that delusional. When 90% plus of the newspapers endorse the same candidates, cover the same stories, fail to cover the same stories, and support the same things, it is not "commercial forces exerted by their readership/listeners". If it was they would not all (or nearly all) losing readership and money.

Gahrie said...

Finland and Sweden are/were neutral and were never members of NATO.

That doesn't mean they weren't protected by the United States from soviet aggression.