April 1, 2016

"Delegates are generally supposed to represent voters.... But delegates may not personally support the candidate that voters picked...."

"The outcome of the convention could come down to whom the delegates personally favor.... Delegates Selected By Candidates May Be Less Likely to Switch Sides... Delegates Chosen By Party Members Could Flip Their Support... Some Delegates Can Only Be Released by Winning Candidates... Some States Don’t Bind Their Delegates to Primary Results at All... Party Leaders Who Are Automatic Delegates Could Favor Anyone... It’s also possible that the rules will change...."

A primer — with cute illustrations — at the NYT — about something that should not have been under the radar. I've been thinking about it for a while, but it seems like something not everyone — e.g., Trump — has been thinking about enough.

84 comments:

Michael K said...

Nobody has to teach the GOP how to lose elections.

It is in their DNA.

johns said...

it looks to be the most interesting convention since Chicago 1968

Hagar said...

The most interesting convention ever is the House of Representatives in the 1800 election.
What would the United States be like today if Aaron Burr had been anointed?
Would there even be a United States today?

AllenS said...

I've been thinking about it for a while, but it seems like something not everyone — e.g., Trump — has been thinking about enough

Why should he think about it at all? What good are the delegates if they don't follow the voters choices? There simply isn't a damned thing that Trump or anyone (Sanders) else can do about it. This is why so many people hate politics and the present political parties.

Amanda said...

Blame Trump's advisors for being as uninformed as he is. They should've known!

tim maguire said...

A lot of people who were already pissed off are going to get more pissed off when they find out how little their votes count for. Their delegate isn't required to represent their interests, their delegate is merely required (usually!) to vote they way they want. Once. Then the primary voter disappears as a factor and some connected fat cat gets to sell his vote to the highest bidder.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Weren't there democrat party delegates in '72 who wouldn't give their votes to Wallace? It's not unprecedented. If the democrats were considering it, it would be hailed as the height of good politics.

Deirdre Mundy said...

The nice thing about the convention systems is that conventions are basically a buffer between an uniformed electorate and the White House.

You can't be elected President unless you have been involved enough to convince people who actually pay attention all the time that you are actually not a disaster.

Why SHOULD selecting the candidate be in the hands of people who only pay attention every couple of years, if nothing good is on TV, and who get their information from FB memes?

We're a Republic, not a Direct Democracy. We're set up that way on purpose.

If a candidate is too uninformed and ignorant of politics to understand high school civics 101, how can you expect him to run the country?

If you're angry and want to change things (instead of just tantrumming) , get involved in a party at the local level. Learn to work with people. Get involved with your state convention. Why are the Teapartiers now "unstoppable members of the insider track?' (I.e. Rubio, Walker, Ryan, even Cruz) Because the Tea Party DID that. And now in this election, they have power.

The problem with the Trump contingent is that they don't really want to work hard and change things for the better. They're anarchists. They want to burn it all down. And that's not the American way, and our country is set up to PREVENT idiots from burning it all down.

YoungHegelian said...

Some days one doesn't have to be a crazed anarcho-syndicalist to want to just burn the whole thing down.

LYNNDH said...

Yeah, should be better informed, but it is just another attempt by the "elites" to block Trump. Of course it would mean Hillary would be elected. Piss off enough times and WE stay home and say F**k It.

mccullough said...

This GOP civil war is entertaining. I wonder how Trumps supporters will treat any scab delegates

tim maguire said...

Deirdre Mundy said...Why SHOULD selecting the candidate be in the hands of people who only pay attention every couple of years, if nothing good is on TV, and who get their information from FB memes?

Because they have a right to decide what's important to them. If you consider their choices sub-optimal, you are welcome to vote against them.

Civilization has tried rule by elites and it doesn't work out very well for most people.

Thorley Winston said...

I've been thinking about it for a while, but it seems like something not everyone — e.g., Trump — has been thinking about enough.

I’ve been hearing about it pretty much nonstop a weekly basis for the last four years since the rule changes were adopted at the 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida. Anyone who has been active in Republican politics knows that the RNC adopted rules regarding the binding of delegates and there has been an ongoing discussion in each State about what enabling rules they would adopt (if necessary) to follow those rules. I can get if you’re someone who isn’t generally tuned into politics that this might be news but if you’re running as a Republican candidate for president, you’d have to go out of your way not be aware of this or hire a campaign manager who wasn’t aware of it.


mikee said...

Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson described the forces working on delegates in his still-relevant,a nd still hilarious, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

I, for one, think each individual delegate will be decided on a candidate well before the convention. And if not, they will be decided good and hard real quickly once there.

Where is the Thompson of 2016? Someone, anyone, mocking most seriously these eminently mock-able and ridiculous candidates would be a beam of sunlight in the sewer of this election.

TCom said...

To suggest that closed political parties was the founders' intent, or that a bunch of establishment hacks are naturally better than the rubes in the populace...

Be careful what you wish for...you people are REALLY digging a hole for yourselves.

TCom said...

Also, it's not that they aren't "aware" of it. State GOP conventions are dominated by insiders and there is only a limited amount that Trump can even do about it.

All the apologizing for the entrenched political class...telling the people their votes don't matter is going to go over real well, don't you think?

You see, you party hacks pretended the exact opposite for decades until now, when your machinations aren't so hidden anymore.

Sebastian said...

"something that should not have been under the radar. I've been thinking about it for a while, but it seems like something not everyone — e.g., Trump — has been thinking about enough." It's not "under the radar." Any even moderately active or aware Republican knows this. It just shows you know very little about how the actual GOP works. It also shows that Trump is a Dem who "gets along with the Republicans" but has no clue about the actual people in the actual party and its actual rules. Of course, that also works to his advantage. But as Thorley W says, most Republicans have been hearing about his very regularly, and of course delegate selection is a big thing local/state parties actually do, so "if you’re running as a Republican candidate for president, you’d have to go out of your way not be aware of this or hire a campaign manager who wasn’t aware of it."

DKWalser said...

The only problem with the NYT graphics is the impression that the Democrat Party doesn't have a similar patchwork of rules for allocating delegates. It does. Trump can complain about all he wants, but the fact that each state has its own rules is NOT one of the secrets of the universe that was just discovered in the last 48 hours. I've known about it since following the 1976 contest between Ford and Reagan.

Trump's older than me by a decade. His only excuse for not knowing this basic fact of electoral politics is an abject lack of interest in the process. That's defensible. Most people live productive lives without paying attention to such details. But Trump's entering a realm where attention to such matters is important. If he gets the Presidency, he'll need to know how to get Congress and the entrenched bureaucracy to implement his policies. That takes a knowledge of how Congress works and what levers are available to move civil servants to act against their will. He obviously lacks that knowledge and, so far, has shown no desire to gain.

I'm NOT saying Trump doesn't know how to get government to do some things that he wants done. His real estate empire is built on gaining special concessions from zoning commissions, using eminent domain to gain access to property for redevelopment, and obtaining state and local tax exemptions. He knows how to spread enough cash around to get those things done. There's no evidence that such skills are transferable to getting things done at the federal level.

Thorley Winston said...

The fact that Trump is having problems getting delegates elected to support him isn’t because of any shenanigans on the part of the “elites” (whoever they are) – it’s a sign that he’s failed to put together an organization that can handle the most basic part of retail politics: getting your people to show and support you. If he can’t even do this right at the presidential primary level, he’d be slaughtered on Election Day when the DNC turns their GOTV machine up to 11. Better to find this out now than after we’re stuck with him as a candidate.

mccullough said...

Maybe they will pick Mitt after all. He can be the Thomas Dewey of the 21st Century. He'd probably lose a few more states this time. But it would be nice to see his stepford sons out on the trail again. Lot of hair gel in that family

Amanda said...

"Piss off enough times and WE stay home and say F**k It."

Yes, stay home.

Fen said...

I think the kicker will be whether the Establishment tries to install their own guy.

If Trump falls short the first count, the base will understand that delegates are no longer bound and can vote for someone else PROVIDED its someone still in the race with a respectable delegate count (ie Trump and Cruz). If instead, they try to draft Ryan or Jeb, all hell will break loose.

Its dangerous because the Elites STILL haven't gotten it through their thick skulls that the base is one betrayal away from decorating the trees with them.

mccullough said...

Reality check time. Hillary is going to be the president. No GOP is going to beat her. The Senate is going back to the Dems. It's amusing to watch all the inside baseball of how the local and state GOP officials, especially in states no GOP has won in 30 years, come up with and enforce their arcane rules. The only question for the GOP is how small the party is going to get. My guess is that after the general election, fewer than 20% identify as GOP. Right now it's at 25%. It's quickly devolving into a cult and these cult like rules are just reinforcing that.

mccullough said...

Trumps voters hate Cruz. Most will not show up to vote for the snake handler. The GOP would be better off picking a Romney so they could lose again with country club dignity. Maybe Cruz can turn out all those pure conservatives hiding in the bushes. They are so into small government, they aren't even registered to vote.

Thorley Winston said...

Also, it's not that they aren't "aware" of it. State GOP conventions are dominated by insiders and there is only a limited amount that Trump can even do about it.

Let me explain to you who dominates State GOP conventions by giving a real world example from exactly one month ago. On March 1st, I was the coordinator for a Republican House District where we had a record number of people turn out for our caucus where we (a) held our president straw poll (which is used to bind national delegates on the first ballot) and (b) elect the delegates who would elect the delegates to the Congressional and State conventions who will ultimately elect the national delegates.

That night I had well over three dozen people ask if they had to stay for the entire caucus or if they could just vote in the straw poll and leave. The people who stayed to run for delegates rather than just going home after voting in the straw poll are the ones who will eventually serve as delegates and run our State GOP convention. The people who went home after voting in the straw poll (even after I advised them not to), not so much.

That’s how grassroots politics works.

Ficta said...

Is sneering, condescension, and name calling directed at the 30% (at least) of the party who voted (enthusiastically) for the man you plan to maneuver out of the nomination really a good plan for November? Will that work well?

DKWalser said...

Also, it's not that they aren't "aware" of it. State GOP conventions are dominated by insiders and there is only a limited amount that Trump can even do about it. ...

This is BS on steroids. When I was a senior in high school and first old enough to vote, I was elected precinct chairman and delegate to county and state conventions. How did I pull this off? I showed up on caucus night and volunteered. (It was an assignment for my law and economics class to attend caucus. Volunteering was my own idea.) Virtually all the state, county, and local party organizations are desperate for workers and you become an "insider" by simply showing up and making yourself available. Cruz and the other candidates did the work necessary to get their people to show up and volunteer. Trump didn't. There's absolutely no reason why he couldn't have.

Nonapod said...

I'm not sure how plausible these various nightmare scenarios are, things like the drafting of Romney or Jeb or Ryan or some other scary establishment character. What I mean is, I think it would be a very, very bad idea for the party to do something like that, and I have to believe that they know that. Going completely against the will of the people is a sure way to burn this party to the ground.

mccullough said...

TW,

That's how cults work, as well. I'm starting to think that 15% is a good over/under on the number of voters who identify as GOP after this presidential election cycle.

mccullough said...

Nonapod,

The party burned to the ground awhile ago at the national level. It's a shit platform that benefits the top 10% of Americans in the short run and benefits no o e in the long run. You really have to be ignorant or brainwashed to believe their bullshit about tax cuts and trickle down. They are every bit bad as the Dems.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Why is the government involved in primary elections, granting them a sense of legitimacy, when the outcome may be determined by arcane rules established by a private party?

Nonapod said...

mccullough said...

You really have to be ignorant or brainwashed to believe their bullshit about tax cuts and trickle down


As opposed to... what? Wealth redistribution? Picking winners and losers? How's that turned out for the various socialist utopias around the world?

Birkel said...

mccullough:

If you benefit from a smaller government with fewer economy-strangling regulations, a polite thank you is all that is necessary.

John Bragg said...

"Why SHOULD selecting the candidate be in the hands of people who only pay attention every couple of years, if nothing good is on TV, and who get their information from FB memes"

Because that is the system that the rules of the 2 parties and the laws of 50 states have set up over the past 40-50 years. The convention itself, like the voters of the Electoral College, are a vestigial rubber-stamp.

The current system does not really provide for the possibility that no one wins the nomination on the first ballot.

So we're in an ambiguous situation. Ambiguous situations where both sides are going to interpret things by their own prisms of what is right and legitimate.

Hopefully, the contests on June 7 provide a decisive pro- or anti-Trump answer, serving essentially as a referendum on whether the party should nominate Trump. The worst case scenario (even worse than a Trump nomination) is some sort of split decision, justifying both #nevertrump and the Trump forces fighting on at the convention.

Or are you arguing for changing the primary/convention system? That's a very legitimate argument

Ficta said...

There's a lot of attitude up this thread that if you want to have a voice in the primary, you need to "get involved"; i.e. do something more than vote. On some level that makes sense, but if you pursue that ruthlessly for many years, eventually, you lose touch with people who have better things to do with their time and you stop serving their interests in any way and eventually, they notice. And here we are.

Thorley Winston said...

This is BS on steroids. When I was a senior in high school and first old enough to vote, I was elected precinct chairman and delegate to county and state conventions. How did I pull this off? I showed up on caucus night and volunteered. (It was an assignment for my law and economics class to attend caucus. Volunteering was my own idea.) Virtually all the state, county, and local party organizations are desperate for workers and you become an "insider" by simply showing up and making yourself available. Cruz and the other candidates did the work necessary to get their people to show up and volunteer. Trump didn't. There's absolutely no reason why he couldn't have.

It was much the same for me (except I was a college freshman). My work and school have caused me to live in five of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts and each time I’ve had to move, I’ve shown up on caucus night in my new town and ran for and been elected as a delegate and/or a precinct officer even without knowing anyone before that night. The idea that there is some “establishment” or “elites” that prevent new people from being involved is ridiculous. You just have to be willing to put in at least the minimal effort.


jdniner said...

There are all sorts of people with a little bit of knowledge trying to game the caucus systems. Caucuses in my experience are disorganized affairs. And in the chaos the few people in the know try to tilt the output in their favor. Thus did Ron Paul fall short.

And the delegate choosen has no other qualifications other than he/she has time to travel and to vote. No telling what they do after the caucus.

Qwinn said...

Trickle down is patently obvious common sense. To actually counter it, you'd need to demonstrate that poor people are capable of employing others. Good luck with that.

Qwinn said...

Oh, and before you get cute, I mean long term employment, benefits, etc., not just "poor people hire plumbers once in a while so we win!" idiocy.

jdniner said...

Most of the Trump voters i know are really Trump/Cruz voters.
The Bernie voters I know are people detached from the world of hard facts.

In any case if you find yourself disenfranchised by the elite as a Sanders/Trump/Cruz voter. Your best solution is to loudly vote libertarian for an election cycle. The libertarians should be getting ready for voter blowback.

jdniner said...

Hunger, Homelessness, and abortion. No one really seems to poll or talk to the populations involved for what they think is the correct solution.

Does hunger exist in America when compared to the world?
When do women actually think abortions should be illegal? Never? At 20 weeks into the pregnancy with exceptions?

mccullough said...

Birkel,

W more than doubled federal regulations. I don't remember McConnell and Ryan, who both voted for Medicare Part D, saying shit. When did the GOP vote to sell off some of the ridiculous amount of federal land the government owns? When did they get rid of the stupid environmental regulations that prohibit ranchers from using their land because there are a few roads nearby. Whose Justice Department got involved in investigating steroid use in baseball? Charging Barry Bonds for bullshit offenses that he either bear at trial or got overturned on appeal?

The GOP is as bad as the Dems. They are big government enthusiasts who only want to benefit their donors. Unless you're one of their donors you are either ignorant or brainwashed. Time to quit the cult

SteveR said...

Most people have no idea how it works and the media largely only wants Hillary to be elected, so they don't care if the GOP implodes as long as there are good ratings.

Look at O'Reilly who maintains he is looking out for the folks but in all the times he's talked to Trump never pinned him down on this issue. Because he didn't know either.

The debates devolved into meaningless policy distinctions and weeded out some good candidates without ever telling us who was actually the best candidate.

HRC 2016 -- reap the whirlwind

Nonapod said...

Allahpundit seems to agree with Karl Rove's assessment that the Republican deciders should select someone "battle tested".

If the establishment wants Ryan, they could nominate Ryan, let Trumpers and Cruz fans spend the next three months screaming that they’ll never vote Republican again, and then pray that the sheer amount of day-to-day irritation they endure from watching Hillary Clinton campaign finally leads those people to say in October, “F*** it, Ryan it is!” That’s a Hail Mary pass, but nominating Cruz after he’s been weakened by Trump attacks and embittered Trump fans by “stealing” the nomination through delegate chicanery is a Hail Mary pass from your own 20. And nominating Trump, given his radioactive unpopularity with the wider electorate, is a Hail Mary pass from your own end zone.

As I said upthread, I think this idea is nuts. Look, it's almost unavoidable that no matter what happens there are going to be a lot of very unhappy people. If Trump gets the nomination, obviously there's going to be a lot of unhappy folks just as if Cruz gets the nomination. But in my estimation you'll end up with wayyy more unhappy people if you pick someone other than those two.

DKWalser said...

W more than doubled federal regulations. I don't remember McConnell and Ryan, who both voted for Medicare Part D, saying shit. When did the GOP vote to sell off some of the ridiculous amount of federal land the government owns? When did they get rid of the stupid environmental regulations that prohibit ranchers from using their land because there are a few roads nearby. ...

W won the national election by running as a compassionate conservative. IIRC, it was a fairly close election as was his re-election. There's a very good argument that W would never have been elected president or re-elected if he'd run promising to undo excessive environmental regulations, selling off federal lands, or by ignoring seniors' complaints about their healthcare (which was federalized long before W came onto the scene). What was the realistic alternative at the time? Al Gore or John Kerry?

Please don't make the stupid claim that Gore or Kerry wouldn't have been more liberal than W. It's simply not true and is insulting to everyone who was paying at least some attention at the time. W wasn't my preferred candidate and I cringed whenever he spoke about being a big-government conservative. (Using government power for things government shouldn't be involved with is wrong even if I approve of the goals.)

As bad as the EPA was under Bush, I'm sure it would have been much worse under Gore. Much of the "badness" of the EPA was caused by the EPA being forced to follow court orders resulting from law suits brought by environmental groups who were working with civil servants within the agency. There's not much Bush could have done to prevent those bad outcomes -- other than appoint more conservative judges (where he did a good, but not perfect job).

Much of the anger directed at the Republican establishment is over their failure to stop Obama from doing many of the things that he's done. While I share that anger, it's largely misplaced. For the most part, people are angry over things the Republicans in Congress simply could not prevent Obama from doing. Obama, unlike any other President in my memory, openly refuses to stay within the constitutional bounds of his office. The remedy for that is impeachment. That's not possible. There's no way Senate Democrats would ever vote to convict. They've been vocally encouraging his extra-constitutional power grabs. So, in the end, people are angry at the Republicans for not doing the impossible -- stop a President who's unwilling to be bound by the rule of law.

Which is another reason why the claim that there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats is such a stupid claim. If there were a veto proof majority of Republicans in the Senate there would be a huge difference in the way the country is governed.

Chuck said...

I love the epithet "country club Republicans" in the era of Trump.

Trump is the guy who actually, proudly owns about 18 country clubs. And for the most part, Trump prides himself in his clubs being exclusive and expensive. But in addition, Trump's clubs have a much greater emphasis on gold-plated crap and fake waterfalls, as opposed to the much more modest and family orientation of the real old-line, old-money vibe of the clubs that gave rise to the "country club" epithet.

While most old clubs that were founded at the turn of the last century go out of their way to at least co-exist if not enhance their surrounding neighborhoods, the Trump Organization can't seem to operate a single club without a half-dozen lawsuits against the locals.

Fen said...

If the establishment wants Ryan, they could nominate Ryan, let Trumpers and Cruz fans spend the next three months screaming that they’ll never vote Republican again, and then pray that the sheer amount of day-to-day irritation they endure from watching Hillary Clinton campaign finally leads those people to say in October, “F*** it, Ryan it is!”

Nope. That might work if it was the first time, but not on people who feel you have stabbed them in the back at least 3 times over.

Fen said...

"For the most part, people are angry over things the Republicans in Congress simply could not prevent Obama from doing."

That's not true. The Senate abrogated its treaty powers, turned what was a 2/3rds to approve into a 2/3rds to block. And then they had they nerve to say they couldn't stop Obama from doing it. Failure Theater, as Ace puts it.

Drago said...

mikee: "Someone, anyone, mocking most seriously these eminently mock-able and ridiculous candidates would be a beam of sunlight in the sewer of this election."

Speaking as a Cruz supporter with a fine appreciation for Cruz' weaknesses as well as his strengths and as someone who could vote for Trump if Trump won the nomination, the reality is the Republican party belongs to the Republican party "owners".

I may not like the Republican insiders taking the nomination out of the hands of the voters within the primaries, but the insiders are well within their rights to do it.

Of course, there will be significant and possibly disastrous results of all types if they do.

But I will say this, I would find it nearly impossible to take seriously any other candidate who now puts themselves forward as a party "savior" and mocks the active candidates when that "savior" lacked the guts or drive or grit to run for the nomination from the beginning.

A profile in political courage the "savior" will most assuredly not be.

rehajm said...

You really have to be ignorant or brainwashed to believe their bullshit about tax cuts and trickle down

Trickle down is not a thing. It isn't an economic theory at all but a derogatory term invented to dismiss any disliked economic policy. It's the intellectual equivalent of Poopiehead Economics.

Sebastian said...

@DKW: "Which is another reason why the claim that there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats is such a stupid claim" Thorley W, Chuck, DKW: it's good to see at least some people around here are in touch with reality. I guess AA is right in a way: reality has been "under the radar" a bit in this election.

Qwinn said...

DKWalser,

I was in agreement with you as I read your post, but yeah, Fen's point is a pretty good rebuttal. The situation *is* as bad as you say, but the GOPe has given away even more than it had to (such as with the treaty bit). It's not unreasonable in that context to assume that, had Obama not taken it, they would've given it to him anyway.

Qwinn said...

rehajm:

I disagree. I think "trickle down" is a fair descriptor of an actual economic policy. Nothing inherently derogative in the term in my view, though of course it is used derogatively by those who oppose it. It's basically a shorthand for "a rising tide lifts all boats" economic policy.

And it's such an obvious truism that it is the ignorant or brainwashed that claim it isn't true. Same as those who dismiss the Laffer Curve, which is obviously indisputable (who would work with a tax rate of 100%, aside from at the point of a gun? Nobody. Obviously. Laffer Curve proved.)

Actually, I suppose I can think of another way you could try to disprove "trickle down". You could try to prove that when employers have a reduction in costs, they never ever ever pass any of that on to their employees in the form of higher compensation. Good luck proving no one ever gets a raise too.

Drago said...

rehajm: "Trickle down is not a thing. It isn't an economic theory at all but a derogatory term invented to dismiss any disliked economic policy. It's the intellectual equivalent of Poopiehead Economics."

Just had this conversation with a couple young people who only knew what they had been told at the feet of their lefty professors (Professors of Literature, no less).

It took more than a few moments to enlighten them regarding Supply Side economics, the Laffer Curve (which they actually thought was a "made up thing") and basically the Austrian school of economic thought.

And for the Obama-fans here, no, they do not speak "Austrian" in the Austrian school of economic theory.

Howard said...

This isn't new. It was highlighted that Trump didn't have a ground-game since Iowa. Futures on popcorn keep going up.

rehajm said...

I think "trickle down" is a fair descriptor of an actual economic policy.

Freedom of speech and all but economists certainly don't use it to describe anything, except when they're being political.

Michael K said...

"For the most part, people are angry over things the Republicans in Congress simply could not prevent Obama from doing."

That's not true. The Senate abrogated its treaty powers, turned what was a 2/3rds to approve into a 2/3rds to block. And then they had they nerve to say they couldn't stop Obama from doing it. Failure Theater, as Ace puts it."

I pretty much agree. I thought for a while that Trump might pull it off and bring a revolution, if not a violent one. Now, he seems to be getting outwitted, as in the delegates and the abortion"question" which was a trap set for an amateur.

I am pretty much resigned to losing unless Hillary implodes.

Howard said...

Supply Side = Muslim Philosophy

Although the Laffer Curve bears his name, the ideas behind it were not new or his alone. In fact, Dr. Laffer likes to point out that the ideas are so straightforward that people knew about it hundreds of years before. For example, the Muslim philosopher, Ibn Khaldun, wrote in his 14th century work, The Muqaddimah: It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.

Qwinn said...

"Freedom of speech and all but economists certainly don't use it to describe anything, except when they're being political."

I suppose, but I guess I see it as an amalgamation of a lot of the finer more detailed points that they do discuss directly. I do see your point though.

The main thing they're really dismissing when they dismiss "trickle down" is the Laffer Curve, which economists do discuss, as well as a couple of other finer points as to other ways in which labor obeys the laws of supply and demand.

I think what economists discuss is general First Principles, and the set of First Principles that a conservative economist would consider dominant can be fairly described with that phrase, as it is fairly descriptive of the relationship between tax rates, employers and employees. It is obvious that the cost of high taxes on employers must get passed down in the form of smaller budgets for all layers of their business, including employee compensation. Reducing those taxes likewise increases those budgets.

But lefties see all employers as Scrooge McDuck or Republicans in smoke filled rooms twirling their evil mustaches and filling their pools with loads of untaxed cash, rather than reinvesting it back into their business as virtually all employers do. They do, after all, follow the Creed of Envy, and can see the world in no other terms.

Qwinn said...

"For example, the Muslim philosopher, Ibn Khaldun, wrote in his 14th century work, The Muqaddimah: It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments."

Um, I guess that's the Laffer Curve, if you assume "beginning of the dynasty" is equivalent to "at high tax rates", and "end of the dynasty" is equivalent to "after several years of lowered tax rates". Perhaps those equivalencies are obvious to Muslims, but not sure why it should be obvious to the rest of us, or why we should believe Ibn Khaldun drew the necessary connections to actually understand, you know, the Laffer Curve.

DKWalser said...

That's not true. The Senate abrogated its treaty powers, turned what was a 2/3rds to approve into a 2/3rds to block. And then they had they nerve to say they couldn't stop Obama from doing it. Failure Theater, as Ace puts it.

Fen -- I clearly limited my statement to "most things", not everything the Republicans failed in was a failure to overcome the impossible. However, recall that Obama was threatening to simply enter into an "agreement" with the Iranians and not submit the agreement to the Senate for ratification because the agreement was not a "treaty". There was a decent argument that the approach taken by Senate Republicans was an improvement over the status quo because it required any agreement to be submitted to the Congress. At least then, the argument went, Congress would have the chance to block the agreement (which it would not have had the ability to do otherwise).

The hope was having to submit the agreement to Congress would stiffen Obama's spine. Which it did. Obama saw another chance to stick it to Republicans in Congress (the only people he genuinely dislikes) and it energized him. He gave away even more to the Iranians and hid details of the agreement in side agreements that he didn't submit to Congress. Again, the Republicans underestimated just how low the man would go. (It's hard for someone with at least some morals to imagine the mental workings of someone with none.)

So, while I disagreed with their tactical decision in fighting Obama, I don't know that my preferred strategy would have worked any better. Obama would have simply done what he said he was going to do -- announce an agreement, get it ratified by the UN Security Council, and then he was obligated by international law to release the Iranian's from sanctions. Sure, we'd have been able to go to court and the courts would have said Obama overstepped, again. By that time, the harm would have been done.

I Callahan said...

DK Walser - I largely agree with your comment, but I'd add one caveat: if the GOP congress, especially since the beginning of last year, would have put up some bills to force the president to either veto or sign, at least it would have looked as though they were trying. Had they tried this, I think it would look a whole lot different to current GOP voters, and may have nipped the whole Trump thing in the bud.

Since they didn't, one can draw the conclusion that they really are no different than the Dems, and pretty much want the same things, albeit at different speeds.

Achilles said...

You either have trickle down capitalism or trickle down government. The government at various levels over the last 2 years took about $400k out of several of my businesses or around 40-50% of our gross.

I would have paid people to work and grown our businesses. Maybe bought another house to fix up and rent.

The governments who took that money are going to pay off cronies and pay people not to work to buy votes.

I am a much more effective distributer of capital than the government.

Dr Weevil said...

Qwinn (2:48pm):
Your paraphrase is exactly backwards. The "low assessments" at the beginning of a dynasty are the equivalent of low taxes, the "high assessments" at the end the equivalent of high taxes. That higher assessments bring in lower revenues (once you pass the hump) and vice versa is exactly what Laffer said.

I suspect "assessments" is used because pre-modern societies couldn't calculate income for every worker, so they did things like make everyone who owns a horse pay the king a gold piece very year. I've heard of a window tax where the tax-collector would count the number of windows in your house as a measure of wealth. (Easy to do, and he doesn't have to invade your privacy to do it.) In Athens, the wealthy had to pay for a trireme or a dramatic festival, and could only get out of it by finding someone wealthier and offering to trade wealth with them if they didn't take on the financial burden.

Achilles said...

When the Republicans are not passing new entitlements, creating the EPA, or trying to sneak amnesty through after seeing how bad it was the first time they passed it they are busy trying to explain how they can't stop the Democrats.

Trump is your way out. You screw this up and let hillary win and see what happens. His policy positions are what you claim you support. But it is clear the GOP does not believe in limited government.

Talk to any former SEAL. They are more than a little angry about Clinton and Obama. The rest of the Community is right there with them. The GoPe has not differentiated themselves or shown sufficient concern about their mistreatment of the armed forces or freedom in general.

"To punish the oppressors is clemency; to forgive them is cruelty."

Guess who.

mikeyes said...

While political parties have an inordinate effect on our elections and virtually control the process, they are private entities that are not part of the Constitutional election process. They control who is on the ballots (assisted by state laws) and if you are not associated with one of the two major parties, you are SOL. Nonetheless, they are not beholding to anyone, especially the voters and they can make up any rules they damn well please.
The way the process is supposed to work is that the states choose Electors and the Electors choose who is to be President and Vice President with the consent of Congress. Congress can void the Electoral College vote for cause and choose these officers themselves if they do. That's it. Nothing about popular vote (states can choose Electors by lot if they wish), nothing about voter's "rights" to choose the candidates, and nothing about rules and regulations of parties.
Granted, the party system has been around ever since GEN George Washington gave up the presidency, but parties are not bound to the Constitution in any way and can do what they please when it comes to choosing their candidates.

Howard said...

Hillary is the GoPe candidate the moneyed elite want. Trump appears to be her stalking horse. I used to think Billy Jeff had the goods on teh Dronald and was blackmailing him to run and destroy the republicans. Now I'm thinking BJC just appealed to Trump's id and encouraged him to run, knowing he would be successful and would cause the republicans to have a meltdown. A three-way race her only chance for victory.

Browndog said...

Achilles said...

Trump is your way out.


Every national poll I've seen shows Americans believe we are on the wrong track, overwhelmingly.

Many polls show Hillary will be elected President. This implies she will change the trajectory of America.

Hard, if not impossible, to explain.

mccullough said...

The GOP said that GDP would go down if Obama raised the top two tax brackets. It didn't happen. GDP went up and so did the number of jobs. So we are still on the left side of the Laffer curve and the trickle down theory was disproved yet again. What did Paul Ryan and the ignoranti say then? Of course they were silent hoping the cult wouldn't notice. Apparently it worked because the brainwashed in this comment thread have t learned anything yet.

But the investor class has done an excellent job of creating jobs in China. Well done boys.

mccullough said...

Ryan and the boys also voted to lift the sequester spending caps because defense contractors were getting upset. Let the Dems have the entire government. If nothing else, Paul Ryan and his friends can officially move their offices to K street. Maybe Pelosi will return his calls and throw him a few scraps. He can be a panelist on This Week and give the "conservative take" on how people on food stamps should have to join the military and get killed fighting for Freedom

Browndog said...

mccullough said...

When Government spending is factored into this paltry GDP..

When Government hirings are factored into this fictitious employment rate..

..You might want to save your gloating for the record numbers of food stamps/non-employed Americans.

Michael K said...

"The GOP said that GDP would go down if Obama raised the top two tax brackets. It didn't happen. "

Spoken like a Obama/Clinton voter.

You can keep the balloon inflated a while longer with zero interest rates but it is going to burst. This time will be worse than 2008 and there may be some hangings.

mccullough said...

Clinton raised taxes in 1993 and the economy grew and unemployment went down. Maybe the trickle down cultists can explain why their favorite fringe experts were wrong about that? How much evidence is needed that trickle down is bullshit? How much evidence needed to show the GOP has no idea about the left side of the Laffer Curve?

C'mon cultists. Defend the bullshit. Paul Ryan can't. He knows it's bullshit but doesn't want to get a real job adding value to the economy. He wants to be a parasite

mccullough said...

Michael K,

Now you are talking monetary policy. Don't mix monetary and fiscal policy. But please explain the 1993 tax increases and why GDP increased and unemployment decreased. The trickle down cult was wrong, again. Don't you guys get tired of the bullshit they feed you?

mccullough said...

I will say that the GOP economic experts predicted heavy inflation with zero interest rates from the Fed. But it didn't happen. So their monetary policy cultists are as bad as the fiscal policy cultists.

Birkel said...

mccullough:

Given that I am not a Republican, I fail to see how your citation of Republican failings impacts me.

George W. Bush was almost as bad as Nixon on the one thing that matters. Every Democrat is worse still.

As a Democrat, you already know that.

Big Mike said...

Interesting to read how the New York Times analyzes Republicans -- sort of like Dian Fossey studying gorillas.

Michael K said...

"But please explain the 1993 tax increases and why GDP increased and unemployment decreased. "

A GOP Congress after an election rout, you dope !

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The reciprocal is also true. The representatives may not personally support the delegates support the citizens, and so a democracy is born out of a penumbra that consumes its republican host.

Bill Peschel said...

"But please explain the 1993 tax increases and why GDP increased and unemployment decreased."

You're also forgetting that's when Internet use was growing, creating a demand for more infrastructure, more computers, and more companies forming in Silicon Valley coming up with possible ways to exploit this "Internet" for profit.

Technological advances create an environment when players with money will begin investing in opportunities. This is when Amazon was getting going, as well as Ebay, Paypal, and thousands of companies that ended up imploding, as recorded on the "Fucked Company" website.

Drago said...

But please explain the 1993 tax increases and why GDP increased and unemployment decreased. "

I guess the tech revolution which blasted off in the early 90's (you might have read about it as it was in all the papers) leading to the tech bubble burst in 2000 is just too difficult for some to integrate into their thinking.

Which is ok since the world needs ditchdiggers too.

Beldar said...

The Republican National Committee has a new webpage, ConventionFacts.org, with an extremely succinct and clear explication of the how the 2016 GOP National Convention will work, including the operation of the convention’s Rules Committee, what happens if there’s no first-ballot nominee, the difference between bound and unbound delegates, and several other important particulars.

I encourage folks to share this resource widely.

The nominations process isn’t specifically mentioned, nor are any of the existing rules from the 2012 Convention (such as Rule 40(b)’s “eight-state rule”).

Trump and his campaign have been focused, amateurishly, only on the delegate allocation process (which is done through the primaries and caucuses); too late, in at least some instances, they’re waking up to the fact that they should also have been focused on the delegate selection process (picking what individual people fill the spots after they’re allocated). The Cruz campaign has been on top of this continuously, and I’m sure that as part of that effort, they’re going to be particularly focused on getting as many Cruz supporters as possible onto each state’s two-delegate representation on the Rules Committee.

DKWalser said...

Trump's complaints about Cruz "stealing" delegates is like someone new to basketball complaining that his team is only getting 2 points for each basket while the other team sometimes gets 3 points for a basket. Guys, that 3-point line has been there for a long time!

It's not Cruz' or the RNC's fault that Trump decided to play the game without bothering to learn the rules of the game before stepping onto the court. The only unfairness going on is the Trump supporters who blame Cruz, the RNC, and the supporters of other candidates for Trump's failure to do the basic blocking and tackling (switching sports) of running a campaign.