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The Trumperium 2: Caesar by the Pussy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jon, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Wildfeather

    Wildfeather Seventh Year Prestige

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    That's a bit if a disingenuous point. The institution as a whole may have an approval rating of 16%, but people typically like their own congressmen/senators.

    Quick article to source the idea that it's normal to disapprove of congress but like your congressman.

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/162362/americans-down-congress-own-representative.aspx

    It's not your congressman that's the issue, it's all the other congressman who is getting in your guys way that's the issue.
     
  2. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Exactly, and said PACs are a lot less favourable toward keeping Obamacare than the public is. This was the case even before the recent opinion shift, but said shift makes the contrast all the more obvious. Listening to their donors means that they should try to repeal it, not leave it alive.

    Beyond that, the GOP has spent the better part of 7 years clamouring about Obamacare, and their window for repealing it is shrinking. It is folly to expect them to just give up this close to the deadline. It'd be most welcome, but not counting your chickens before they hatch is a lesson anyone left-of-centre should have learned by now.
     
  3. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    You will of course note that they did not provide actual numbers to support their "paradoxical" conclusions. You will also note that the article is 4 years old. However, that claim is partially correct. Here's a more useful (and recent, though many of the relevant points are a bit out of date, sadly) dataset: http://news.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx

    I think it would be more accurate to say that the majority of voters are ambivalent about their own elected officials, and angry at congress as a whole.

    When they get to the data about their congresspeople being corrupt, overly permissive toward special interests, or out of touch, the numbers are around 50%/50% splits, sometimes within the margin of error, which then jump dramatically to 65-85% disapproval when talking about other states' congresspeople. The other factor they explicitly don't talk about is the impact of Gerrymandering on these sorts of polls, and on how it's helped polarize our politics. I expect that's because of how difficult such a thing is to correct for, rather than being deliberately misleading.

    However, getting into that can of worms is perhaps a bit off topic.

    Simply put, it's not so much a disingenuous point, as an overly simplified one because this is a political discussion on a fanfiction forum.

    Okay, I think you rather missed the thrust of my post.

    Corruption is rife throughout the US congress, but it's hardly the only issue with money in politics. Basically, we're getting dumber and weaker politicians. They are being selected by their ability to get donations, not by being effective. More and more in recent years, huge amounts of donations do not correlate to doing a good job. In practice, what this means is that congress is not able to perform its function, which has coincidentally led to increase in Executive branch authority- often to pick up the slack, but also for political gain.
     
  4. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    As I've tried to explain to you before, the presence of money in politics does not ipso facto constitute corruption. There is corruption in Congress. 'Rife' is an exaggeration.

    Their inability to perform their function has very little to do with donations, and more to do with gerrymandering removing the incentive to do anything except pander to their base. They're also cowards. That's why they've abrogated so much of their responsibilities over the years.
     
  5. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Exactly this. Most members of Congress are in safe seats where they're guaranteed to win reelection as long as they don't egregiously offend their base or get caught in a huge scandal.
     
  6. tikkier2000

    tikkier2000 First Year

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    Because I do have a life outside the internet, I haven't been on DLP in a while. Checking this thread, I'd like to clarify an earlier off-hand comment: Hillary would not have ended up being whatever the fuck Mr. Cheeto is. Not close. But I don't agree with how she handles foreign policy or most economical issues. I also don't like some of the agendas quite a few of her financial backers support, so.

    Trump feels like a strange, nightmarish acid trip that I'm still trying to come out of until I realize that shit that wasn't LSD it was meth that's trying to keep me happy when everything goes to hell. I hate to say it, but Hillary would be the steadily worsening nausea that follows too many shots of cheap tequila until it's the end of the night and you run to the toilet to spew and regret everything.

    In response to Congressional incompetency, I refer to the earliest example of it: during the American Revolution, Washington had to find his own way to feed and supply his army because whenever the subject came up in Congress, they basically avoided it. In fact, they didn't find a competent logistical head with good managerial skills until two and a half years into the war. The first guy actually hated the job so much that he refused to do it and Congress refused to replace him until he quit.

    This article says it all.

    Congress has been a dumpster fire from the very beginning.

    And I don't think that many people realize how important their state and local elections are. Your vote counts for a lot more on the state and local level, yet most people either don't vote or don't have any idea who to vote for.

    Two good examples: my city's District Attorney, Karen, is an utter bitch with a control issue that refuses to have someone from her office on standby during police call-outs for warrant purposes. They refuse to write up warrants for crisis and barricade situations that are legally stronger cases if the police have warrants and not just consent because consent can be revoked. Yet most people I talk to are like: "We have elections for attorneys?" *rips hair out*

    And when it comes to state representatives for Congress, too many people don't understand what their rep or senator would vote for. And if they do, usually they're the kind of people that elected a person so many times to begin with. This is inevitable, though, when the system was designed to be a public service and not a career. People didn't used to want to be politicians because it sucked major ass, so reps and senators revolved in and out much more often.
     
  7. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Then you've made a terrible case for your point and you're not correct. Well, except about most of congress being cowards. That is demonstratively true.

    Gerrymandering is the means that politicians stay in power, combined with super PACS being able to flood a district with money, and a "healthy" amount of voter suppression. To me, it looks like you're confusing the tools with the cause. The political machines that allow for our current state of affairs do not function without a huge amount of money. Even in district elections it's hugely expensive. Thus, politicians will spend most of their time fundraising. Time for money, the best investments are the CEO and investor class, who can fund Super PACS. The politician promises to do favors for campaign donations, often indirectly, gaming the system. And then, when the politician wins reelection, you can go through their donor list, and compare it to their voting records. In a truly unexpected turn of events, they pander to their donors, not their base.

    Pick a senator, representative, or other elected official that uses Super PACs, and I bet you a shiny cookie that I can find a clear example of favors for cash.
     
  8. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think Revan is focusing specifically on the legal definition of corruption (correct me if I'm wrong Revan?), the standard for which isn't being met by the cash for favours side of things you're talking about.
     
  9. Arthellion

    Arthellion Groundskeeper

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    I'm still partial to the "let's let DLP run the country for four years"

    Syed is best el presidente
     
  10. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think the point is that "cash for favours" isn't even really a correct characterisation. It's more "cash for access, where that access occurs through the vehicle of a democratic institution such as legitimate lobbying groups or think-thanks which produce genuine academic and technical material."

    The true value of money in politics is not the rather naive idea of using said money to pay for what you want. Rather money is a means to legitimacy as it allows you to buy the apparatus to dress up your views as democratically correct consultation with experts and stakeholders.

    And this is exactly why it is so difficult to eliminate the negative effects. Good law making is based on consultation with stakeholders and experts. Indeed, in many jurisdictions a failure of governmental bodies to consult is a ground for judicial review because the decision-making process without consultation is considered too arbitrary.

    Of course "do X and I'll give $$$ to your campaign" does happen. But the truly systemic issue is more "I'll give $$$ to your campaign, and all I want in return is your friendship." The goal is not normally to make a politician do a single specific thing, but rather to develop a long term relationship in which, as a friend, you can discuss your opinion and introduce your new friend to legitimate democratic influences of your choosing.

    People wanting to reduce the influence of money in American politics would probably have a more successful time of it if they focused less on trying to stamp that out (effectively impossible) and more on making sure alternative voices were heard as well as the money.

    One possible avenue towards this would be developing a more institutional executive with long-term, politically neutral civil servants in relatively high positions. This would mean that the Cabinet and the President were hearing technocratic voices at the highest level of decision making, potentially acting as a check to prevent politicians operating in a self-imposed echo chamber of interested parties.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  11. Mage

    Mage Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, no you have no idea how this actually works. It's a great narrative, but it's not true. First of all, despite the fact that I agree politicians spend too much time fundraising, it isn't the majority of their time, or even close to the majority. Most federal politicians are working 14-16 hours per a day and spend maybe an average of 2 or 3 hours per a day fundraising. Those in incredibly tough districts might do up to 5 hours per day, but that's on the super extreme side and it's still not a majority. Candidates do spend all of their time campaigning (not just fundraising), but they're not elected officials.

    Now, I'm positive that there are examples of elected officials voting based on who their donors are and who's going to give them the most money, however that is far from the norm. It makes sense that an elected officials donors match up with their voting records, you contribute to candidates that support your cause and you think represent your interests in Congress well. It's not that these Members say oh so and so gave me $5400 I need to vote their way on an issue, rather it's Member X votes consistently on an issue one way, John Doe notices that and decides that it serves his interests to keep Member X in office and contributes towards his campaign.

    Taure brings up valid points about why money in politics is bad, and puts folks on unequal footing. And again, I do agree that there's too much money in politics but please use informed reasoning and facts.
     
  12. tikkier2000

    tikkier2000 First Year

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    I haven't finished reading this entire bill yet, but it directly addresses a lot of the perceived issues with money in politics. It was introduced by Richard Durbin [D-IL] in the 2015-2016 legislative session, but it didn't go anywhere. It's been introduced again recently to the Committee on Finance, so I thought I'd get it out there.

    Like I said, I haven't finished reading it, but the idea might have merit. Thoughts?

    And as an aside, the rhetoric for Title 1, Subsection A, Sec. 101 (b) (7) cracks me up. It may very well be true, I've never been a senator, but "freeing" senators from the "incessant" task of raising money--just the way it's put makes me chuckle.

    Update: I was hoping that this was going to be more... nuanced than it is. Maybe having my hopes high going into it was not my brightest idea, but I had hoped it was going to be a little bit more than "let's throw extra money at candidates". I agree for the most part with Taure, though. A good way to even the playing field is to make sure those without the same kind of financial resources also have a voice even far up the hierarchy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  13. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yep, that's right.

    Except that I am. Money doesn't have the weight in politics that you seem to think. SuperPACs are corrosive to politics because of their lack of transparency, not because of the money itself. In fact, dollar for dollar, SuperPACs are actually spectacularly ineffective and inefficient at getting people elected.

    It's the lack of transparency that invites the temptation of corruption, but most of the time, politicians don't actually act corruptly. Buying face-time isn't corruption.
     
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Heir

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    http://politi.co/2hD8VK8
    Price is out.

    "BREAKING: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has resigned amid mounting outcry over his use of private jets and military aircraft for government business, which was first reported by POLITICO last week."

    Unsuprisingly, after Trumps comments, Price asked out. He saw what happened to those who didn't and with another Obamacare repeal failing, things look shit to him. Imo it's mostly fairly petty things that removed him and the bad optics it gives.
     
  15. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Alchemist

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  16. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Probably a good thing though, especially if they let Don Wright, a career HHS bureaucrat, continue. According to friends and family who work at NIH and CIDR, Price has been issuing edicts and mandates that are completely illogical at an admin level. Being a doctor and a congressman does not make you qualified to oversee one of our most complex bureaucracies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  17. ILikeLurking

    ILikeLurking First Year

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  18. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Stolen shamelessly off of reddit, but... You see that speck of purest white, way up there in the distance, just large enough that you're certain it's actually a thing, and not some mote of strange dust that had settled on your glasses?

    That's rock bottom.

    In an interesting case of governmental flip-flopping in the same case: Trump Administration Says Employers Can Fire People For Being Gay.

    Earlier Vox article on the same.
     
  19. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Trump has just announced that Rex Tillerson is wasting his time making diplomatic overtures to NK (via Twitter, of course).

    Does this not completely undermine any attempts that might have been made? Given Trump's apparent disregard for diplomatic talks, who would have directed Tillerson to reach out in the first place?
     
  20. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    Diplomacy in the year 2017: conducted through the medium of character-limited text that has never led to any misunderstandings whatsoever.

    Honestly, at this rate, we might see a formal declaration of war sometime next year, delivered through the 140 (280?) characters of Twitter.

    [​IMG]