Lying to Ourselves

 

We have a problem with our federal government, but it’s not exactly the one we’re used to thinking about. Frankly, we don’t want to think about it all – better to deny the reality entirely.  Easier to lie and lie and lie, and blame our problems on everyone else.  Easier to blame Liberals, or Wokesters, or (the current favorite among the increasingly reality-averse folks who still cannot face that Trump has immolated himself once and for all time) traitors and sabotage.  It is, of course, all lies.  Mind you, lies can be useful – especially when trying to avoiding hurt feelings (our own not the least), but they’re still lies.  At one time rebellions against ruling monarchs favored the lie “We’re not really rebelling against the King, he’s just the victim of bad advisors.” 

The lie we all tell ourselves today is that we are the helpless victims of “The DC Establishment” (or whatever other term you want to use).  Synonyms for this include “Wall Street,” “Big Tech,” and a host of others.  They are the “bad advisors” we blame for manipulating Congress, for stealing elections, or for disloyalty to Trump (fact check here: the only consistent disloyalty in the Trump administration came from Trump – watching his cabinet members go from vaunted heroes to filthy traitors and sellouts in the commentariat was much akin to studying Soviet photography for disappearing faces alongside Stalin).  We are very good at lying to ourselves about why Trump lost this or that political battle, about why Congress is a dysfunctional mess, and about why the “authoritarian ratchet” is inexorable.  The truth we cannot confront about it is all is simple, and we all bear the shame of it.  We do not really want any of our congress critters, our president, or our courts to lead us out of our morass, we want them to follow us into the pit of our own making.  And follow they blithely do.

Why should anyone really attempt to lead?  Why should anyone take any campaign rhetoric seriously?  I’m not even speaking for the Left here, I’m just talking about the entire right half of the political spectrum.  Think of all that we demand:

Repeal Obamacare! But get me my pills cheap! And you’d better not slash Medicare because Granny will be out on the street! Cut my taxes! But don’t touch Social Security, that’s my retirement! Slash regulations! But raise the minimum wage! And punish those rich Wall Street fat cats! No more bailouts! But bail out small businesses! No more stimulus checks… after the next one (and send a chaser too)!

Any time anyone in Congress actually tries to show real leadership he gets savaged. Paul Ryan was sent to Congress and proclaimed a hero as a fiscal wonk. Paul Ryan is now disgraced as a heartless fiscal wonk. Well? Which is it? He was the same Paul Ryan that entered as left – the truth is he violated the will of the voters, and the will of the voters is that the gravy train run to them, but not to other people they don’t like.  We hailed the Tea Party a decade ago for demanding fiscal accountability, and then it all wilted when we realized everyone would take a hit, not just the “bad guys”.  We wailed about Obama’s fiscal profligacy, then ignored Trump’s (even pre-COVID) because that spending was just better because it went to the right people.

We blame the Republican congress of 2017-2018 for not having a Repeal and Replace plan from Day 1 (nevermind that Trump promised he had his own too – and we never saw any of it).  Why would any sane and safe Republican bother to come up with a health care reform plan? Any real plan would gore everyone’s ox, but not equally, and that would be seized on as evidence of favoritism towards whoever was hurt less than someone else – and we would be as happy to denounce it as the Left, just for different reasons. Why bother with specifics? Why bother to stick your neck out?  Easier to campaign on an issue and then blame the other side when nothing ever happens later.  Keeps the issue alive for a few election cycles, until the voters fixate on something else for a few cycles.

It’s no wonder Congress is stuffed with hacks, charlatans, grifters, sell-outs, and bench warmers. It’s no wonder both parties spend like drunken sailors. It’s no wonder the debt keeps growing and growing – hardly anyone there dares to change the game. When they try, they’re denounced as traitors, or Elitists, or uncompassionate eggheads, or accused of being in some group’s pocket (which, while true, is a problem only because it’s the “wrong” group), and so turfed out.  Besides, they know what the voters really want better than the voters themselves: having someone else always around to blame.

It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving.  That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies.  That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign.  Even if you lose, you win!  After all, you were cheated!  And martyrs are always more beloved than Darwin-award winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first-class flights).  Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

The truth of the matter is, Americans of all stripes really do not want reform. They do not want leaders. They do not want any hard choices. They want the status quo, but also want the moral high ground of blaming it on everybody else.  And the government they claim to hate so much?  It’s just following along.  If we really wanted reform, we’d stop blaming the “swamp”, or whatever other excuses we have at hand.  Instead, we would admit to ourselves that, like losing weight we are the ones who have to change first.

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  1. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    SkipSul: We blame the Republican congress of 2017-2018 for not having a Repeal and Replace plan from Day 1 (nevermind that Trump promised he had his own too – and we never saw any of it).

    I like most of what you have written. I take exception to this part. Not from a Pro-Trump place as you are right Trump did not have a plan and yes we kind of blame 2017-2018 Republican’s for not having a plan and McCain for not approving the watered down plan they came up with. 

    My issue is your formulation that we blame the 2017-18 congress. I blame every Republican congressperson since 2010. They promised, ran on and fund raised on the idea that they did have answers. They have never had an answer.

    Your are right about the difficulties of this issue, that said a bunch of smart people given a decade to work on the problem should have something to say, a rough outline at least. Today a decade latter there is no hint of a real plan. 

    • #1
  2. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    SkipSul: We hailed the Tea Party a decade ago for demanding fiscal accountability, and then it all wilted when we realized everyone would take a hit, not just the “bad guys”.

    The way I remember it the Tea Party was a protest movement that got subsumed into the 2010 midterm election, which produced a new crop of congressmen and senators which… turned out to be similar to the old crop of congressmen and senators. Meanwhile half the organizations attempting to keep the movement running were audited by the IRS, and the other half were people trying to grift a quick buck.

    Speaking of Tea Party failures, I gave up on saying “I wish a politician would take a stand once” when Marco Rubio went all gang of eight on illegal immigration reform. That’s also about when I stopped trusting Paul Ryan.

    That said, I agree with your broader point that we can’t have good government until such a time as we the people are virtuous. This does not fill me with hope.

    • #2
  3. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    • #3
  4. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator
    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker
    @AmySchley

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    99% on the left, 99% on the right. Both sides. 

    • #4
  5. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I thought Paul Ryan was a fraud way before it was cool.

    Way back in Ricochet  1.0

    Frickin Noobs and Casuals are ruining this game..

    • #5
  6. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    99% on the left, 99% on the right. Both sides.

    I would agree, but it depends on the electoral reforms. The Left is against stricter voter ID laws, while the right is against the Voting Rights Act or the passage of any renewal of the act. There are de facto poll taxes in Florida on ex-felons, put in there by the right.

    FWIW, stronger voter ID laws might hurt the right more than the left, but few people think about this.

    • #6
  7. HeavyWater Member
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    This is a brilliant post.  You wrote what I would have written if I had been able to put my thoughts onto the electronic “paper.”

    The fact of the matter is that governing is very difficult.  The wants and needs of 330 million Americans simply can not be satisfied.  Many on the Left have very unreasonable ideas about what the government can do and what the people will tolerate.  But the Right might be trying to see through similar blinders.

    I have my free market, libertarian leanings on economic policy.  So, I appreciated Paul Ryan’s courage and vision.  But these days I wonder, if politics is the art of the possible, what is possible?  How can anyone be a leader in a country so divided?

    • #7
  8. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):
    The way I remember it the Tea Party was a protest movement that got subsumed into the 2010 midterm election, which produced a new crop of congressmen and senators which… turned out to be similar to the old crop of congressmen and senators. Meanwhile half the organizations attempting to keep the movement running were audited by the IRS, and the other half were people trying to grift a quick buck.

    You remember it correctly, Hank. I’ll add that we Tea Partiers were smeared as racist Klan wannabes, and the GOP really didn’t push back on that. After a while it became clear we got the worst of both worlds: we were smeared as racists AND the GOP just paid lip service to our issues, with no intention of actually doing anything.

    • #8
  9. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I liked the post because it’s so thoughtful and well put together.  But I disagree with its thesis, and am not sure it applies to hardly anyone here.    I’ll think some more.

    • #9
  10. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    I don’t think Stacey Abrams has conceded the Georgia Governors race from a few years ago. Hillary had a million excuses for why she was not declared the winner, including things like disproven Russian Collusion and  like $100,000 of facebook ads stealing the election. 

    I don’t know that I could give an exact percentage but I would say it is way closer to 50-50 then to 1-99 in either direction. 

    • #10
  11. HeavyWater Member
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Jager (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    I don’t think Stacey Abrams has conceded the Georgia Governors race from a few years ago. Hillary had a million excuses for why she was not declared the winner, including things like disproven Russian Collusion and like $100,000 of facebook ads stealing the election.

    I don’t know that I could give an exact percentage but I would say it is way closer to 50-50 then to 1-99 in either direction.

    If Trump had said “The election was stolen” one time, refused to concede but then simply went about the business of transferring power to Biden, not pursuing any lawsuits, efforts to persuade office holders to send a “alternate” slate of electors, efforts to have Congress contest the certified electoral votes from states, I could accept that.  I never expected Trump to be gracious.  I just didn’t think he would be as reckless as he has been.

    I can’t wait for Trump to be gone.  Yet I am concerned that Biden will be a menace in completely different way.  There is no safe harbor.  The Right has lost its mind.  The Left never had one.

    • #11
  12. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    I don’t think Stacey Abrams has conceded the Georgia Governors race from a few years ago. Hillary had a million excuses for why she was not declared the winner, including things like disproven Russian Collusion and like $100,000 of facebook ads stealing the election.

    I don’t know that I could give an exact percentage but I would say it is way closer to 50-50 then to 1-99 in either direction.

    If Trump had said “The election was stolen” one time, refused to concede but then simply went about the business of transferring power to Biden, not pursuing any lawsuits, efforts to persuade office holders to send a “alternate” slate of electors, efforts to have Congress contest the certified electoral votes from states, I could look accept that. I never expected Trump to be gracious. I just didn’t think he would be as reckless as he has been.

    I can’t wait for Trump to be gone. Yet I am concerned that Biden will be a menace in completely different way. There is no safe harbor. The Right has lost its mind. The Left never had one.

    So you have Trump on one side and I have Hillary and Abrams on the other, again way closer to 50-50 then 1-99. Remember Abrams made a lot of the same arguments Trump did about rigged elections, voter fraud ect. This is how both sides do things now. 

    • #12
  13. HeavyWater Member
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Jager (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    If Trump had said “The election was stolen” one time, refused to concede but then simply went about the business of transferring power to Biden, not pursuing any lawsuits, efforts to persuade office holders to send a “alternate” slate of electors, efforts to have Congress contest the certified electoral votes from states, I could look accept that. I never expected Trump to be gracious. I just didn’t think he would be as reckless as he has been.

    I can’t wait for Trump to be gone. Yet I am concerned that Biden will be a menace in completely different way. There is no safe harbor. The Right has lost its mind. The Left never had one.

    So you have Trump on one side and I have Hillary and Abrams on the other, again way closer to 50-50 then 1-99. Remember Abrams made a lot of the same arguments Trump did about rigged elections, voter fraud ect. This is how both sides do things now.

    Neither Abrams nor Hillary filed one lawsuit after another in an attempt to change the result, fail to win those lawsuits and continue on to try to hold power.  Both Abrams and Hillary acted like sore losers and then faded away to little effect.  

    If Trump had merely followed the Abrams-Hillary example of ungracious petulance, I could have tolerated that.  But Trump took it to a new, disgusting and disgraceful level.  I, as a lifelong Republican, am going to have to own what Trump did.  Yes, guilt by association.  Trump has soiled the GOP, making the Democrats almost appear like the voice of reason.  That’s bad for the country.

    • #13
  14. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    It’s the human condition. It’s a tendency for all of us. 

    • #14
  15. SkipSul Member
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    I thought Paul Ryan was a fraud way before it was cool.

    Way back in Ricochet 1.0

    Frickin Noobs and Casuals are ruining this game..

    Some friends and I had an argument on Facebook the other night about who pegged Cruz as a shameless hack first.  My marker was laid in December of 2015, but I was beat out by @jamesofengland who pegged Cruz back in 2012.

    • #15
  16. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    I thought Paul Ryan was a fraud way before it was cool.

    Way back in Ricochet 1.0

    Frickin Noobs and Casuals are ruining this game..

    Some friends and I had an argument on Facebook the other night about who pegged Cruz as a shameless hack first. My marker was laid in December of 2015, but I was beat out by @jamesofengland who pegged Cruz back in 2012.

    I remember James of England arguing with others on Ricochet during the 2016 primary over how awful Cruz was.

    He has gotten worse since then.

    • #16
  17. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator
    Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker
    @AmySchley

    • #17
  18. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor
    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ!
    @Majestyk

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    I would agree, but it depends on the electoral reforms. The Left is against stricter voter ID laws, while the right is against the Voting Rights Act or the passage of any renewal of the act. There are de facto poll taxes in Florida on ex-felons, put in there by the right.

    FWIW, stronger voter ID laws might hurt the right more than the left, but few people think about this.

    I can’t get over the feeling the the left don’t like Voter ID laws because they think it would hurt their chances for busing loads of people to polling places on election day in order to win elections. Sorry. I don’t exactly trust their motives, and I resent the notion that the idea of a common set of rules being applied to all without malice is “racism.”

    Is the left’s resistance to this idea not a de facto admission that they think their electorate is composed of a bunch of dummies who can’t get identification? Given that the Democrat coalition is barbell shaped (lots of poor people plus a slice of the rich) how is this not the case?

    My proposal? The Social Security ID needs to be updated to be be a photographic identification akin to a Passport along with a biometric security component. This could be used to facilitate RealID in employment, Voter ID, and as a means of acquiring other government identifications.

    This is a neutral proposal that would hit all sides equally, assuming you have a minimum amount of documentary evidence of your legal presence/birth in this country, and are bright enough to use a computer and google. That’s all the intelligence test we need to ensure that utterly uninformed voters aren’t canceling out my well-informed one.

    What say you?

     

    • #18
  19. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Jager (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    If Trump had said “The election was stolen” one time, refused to concede but then simply went about the business of transferring power to Biden, not pursuing any lawsuits, efforts to persuade office holders to send a “alternate” slate of electors, efforts to have Congress contest the certified electoral votes from states, I could look accept that. I never expected Trump to be gracious. I just didn’t think he would be as reckless as he has been.

    I can’t wait for Trump to be gone. Yet I am concerned that Biden will be a menace in completely different way. There is no safe harbor. The Right has lost its mind. The Left never had one.

    So you have Trump on one side and I have Hillary and Abrams on the other, again way closer to 50-50 then 1-99. Remember Abrams made a lot of the same arguments Trump did about rigged elections, voter fraud ect. This is how both sides do things now.

    Neither Abrams nor Hillary filed one lawsuit after another in an attempt to change the result, fail to win those lawsuits and continue on to try to hold power. Both Abrams and Hillary acted like sore losers and then faded away to little effect.

    If Trump had merely followed the Abrams-Hillary example of ungracious petulance, I could have tolerated that. But Trump took it to a new, disgusting and disgraceful level. I, as a lifelong Republican, am going to have to own what Trump did. Yes, guilt by association. Trump has soiled the GOP, making the Democrats almost appear like the voice of reason. That’s bad for the country.

    The question as i understood it dealt with no one being willing to fix the election sty system  and how frequently each side then used the issue to claim their loss was unfair. Trump is one man and one loser of an election. It does not matter how loudly or often he makes the claim he only counts as 1. Hillary and Abrams kept making there  claims for months/years after the election again they each just count as 1.

    I think we are answering different questions.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    I thought Paul Ryan was a fraud way before it was cool.

    Way back in Ricochet 1.0

    Frickin Noobs and Casuals are ruining this game..

    Some friends and I had an argument on Facebook the other night about who pegged Cruz as a shameless hack first. My marker was laid in December of 2015, but I was beat out by @jamesofengland who pegged Cruz back in 2012.

    I remember James of England arguing with others on Ricochet during the 2016 primary over how awful Cruz was.

    He has gotten worse since then.

    I’ll vote for him. 

    • #20
  21. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    I would agree, but it depends on the electoral reforms. The Left is against stricter voter ID laws, while the right is against the Voting Rights Act or the passage of any renewal of the act. There are de facto poll taxes in Florida on ex-felons, put in there by the right.

    FWIW, stronger voter ID laws might hurt the right more than the left, but few people think about this.

    I can’t get over the feeling the the left don’t like Voter ID laws because they think it would hurt their chances for busing loads of people to polling places on election day in order to win elections. Sorry. I don’t exactly trust their motives, and I resent the notion that the idea of a common set of rules being applied to all without malice is “racism.”

    Is the left’s resistance to this idea not a de facto admission that they think their electorate is composed of a bunch of dummies who can’t get identification? Given that the Democrat coalition is barbell shaped (lots of poor people plus a slice of the rich) how is this not the case?

    My proposal? The Social Security ID needs to be updated to be be a photographic identification akin to a Passport along with a biometric security component. This could be used to facilitate RealID in employment, Voter ID, and as a means of acquiring other government identifications.

    This is a neutral proposal that would hit all sides equally, assuming you have a minimum amount of documentary evidence of your legal presence/birth in this country, and are bright enough to use a computer and google. That’s all the intelligence test we need to ensure that utterly uninformed voters aren’t canceling out my well-informed one.

    What say you?

     

    I would be ok with this.

    Would you be ok with the Democrats passing a new Voting Rights Act that simply guarantees the protections of the old act with the same or more levels of enforcement before it was gutted by the Supreme Court?

    • #21
  22. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    SkipSul: It’s no wonder that both sides refuse to actually address electoral reforms too – that’s the gift that keeps giving. That way you never have to take any blame on your side for nominating cultists and loonies. That way you never have to take any blame for running a terrible campaign. Even if you lose, you win! After all, you were cheated! And martyrs are always more beloved than darwin-award-winners, giving you a leg up on fundraising for the next round (that’s where the real money is made – paying your friends and relatives for “consulting fees” while you expense first class flights). Both sides play the game, and the money rolls in.

    So when you say “both sides”, is it like 1% on the left and 99% on the right? Is it 50-50? What’s the distribution here?

    100% of the left is totalitarian. We are still sorting out who on the right but my best guess is 20% or less might be worthy of praise and trust.

    • #22
  23. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor
    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ!
    @Majestyk

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    I would be ok with this.

    Would you be ok with the Democrats passing a new Voting Rights Act that simply guarantees the protections of the old act with the same or more levels of enforcement before it was gutted by the Supreme Court?

    No.

    Because this idea entrenches certain states as “second class” on the basis of crimes that their current residents had no part of. It isn’t 1947. Codifying in Federal law the idea that Georgia is the same state that it was back then is hard to maintain in light of Tuesday’s results.

    That is unless that “voting rights act” has provisions which demand that all states regularize their primary and general election procedures to a certain minimum set of standards – and places like Illinois, which are notoriously scummy – subject themselves to election oversight from some independent observers in order to ensure there’s no hinky business going on.

    • #23
  24. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    I would be ok with this.

    Would you be ok with the Democrats passing a new Voting Rights Act that simply guarantees the protections of the old act with the same or more levels of enforcement before it was gutted by the Supreme Court?

    No.

    Because this idea entrenches certain states as “second class” on the basis of crimes that their current residents had no part of. It isn’t 1947. Codifying in Federal law the idea that Georgia is the same state that it was back then is hard to maintain in light of Tuesday’s results.

    That is unless that “voting rights act” has provisions which demand that all states regularize their primary and general election procedures to a certain minimum set of standards – and places like Illinois, which are notoriously scummy – subject themselves to election oversight from some independent observers in order to ensure there’s no hinky business going on.

    It would apply equally to all states.

    • #24
  25. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    SkipSul: We have a problem with our federal government, but it’s not exactly the one we’re used to thinking about. Frankly, we don’t want to think about it all – better to deny the reality entirely. Easier to lie and lie and lie, and blame our problems on everyone else. Easier to blame Liberals, or Wokesters, or (the current favorite among the increasingly reality-averse folks who still cannot face that Trump has immolated himself once and for all time) traitors and sabotage. It is, of course, all lies. Mind you, lies can be useful – especially when trying to avoiding hurt feelings (our own not the least), but they’re still lies. At one time rebellions against ruling monarchs favored the lie “We’re not really rebelling against the King, he’s just the victim of bad advisors.”

    What specifics? Who and which lie? You may have a point, but I also suspect you are vague here on purpose.

    Also, nowhere in your analysis do you attempt to account for five years (and more) of around the clock propaganda, censorship, Resistance, BAMN, CHAZ/CHOP, election irregularities, covid authoritarianism, antifa violence, BLM violence, cancel culture, big tech censorship.

    Are these just lies as seems to be your implication? No big deal? Nothing we can’t handle on our own? Are these issues that Republicans (or, heh, Democrats) are lining up to address even disingenuously?

    • #25
  26. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor
    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ!
    @Majestyk

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    It would apply equally to all states.

    Apparently you don’t understand what the idea of “preclearance” under the VRA is and which states it applies to.

    SCOTUS should have struck the entire thing down, but left some of it dangling for… reasons. But no, the VRA targets certain states for special scrutiny and exerts control over their sovereign election procedures. That is uncalled-for in the modern era.

    • #26
  27. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    SkipSul: Any time anyone in Congress actually tries to show real leadership he gets savaged. Paul Ryan was sent to Congress and proclaimed a hero as a fiscal wonk.

    I think the problem with Paul Ryan is that he didn’t lead when he should have and when we needed him to. He was the Speaker of the House! Savaged for leading? That’s not how I remember it at all.

    • #27
  28. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    SkipSul: Any time anyone in Congress actually tries to show real leadership he gets savaged. Paul Ryan was sent to Congress and proclaimed a hero as a fiscal wonk. Paul Ryan is now disgraced as a heartless fiscal wonk. Well? Which is it? He was the same Paul Ryan that entered as left – the truth is he violated the will of the voters, and the will of the voters is that the gravy train run to them, but not to other people they don’t like.

    Here I think you’re conflating groups and switching between hierarchy levels. Who is We ? Ricochet? Republican voters? Registered voters? Wisconsin voters? Republican congressional hacks?

    How can we discuss the idea without discussing specifics?

    • #28
  29. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    It would apply equally to all states.

    Apparently you don’t understand what the idea of “preclearance” under the VRA is and which states it applies to.

    SCOTUS should have struck the entire thing down, but left some of it dangling for… reasons. But no, the VRA targets certain states for special scrutiny and exerts control over their sovereign election procedures. That is uncalled-for in the modern era.

    Couldn’t the jurisdictions that were covered under the original simply being expanded to cover every area of the country in a new VRA?

    • #29
  30. SkipSul Member
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    It would apply equally to all states.

    Apparently you don’t understand what the idea of “preclearance” under the VRA is and which states it applies to.

    SCOTUS should have struck the entire thing down, but left some of it dangling for… reasons. But no, the VRA targets certain states for special scrutiny and exerts control over their sovereign election procedures. That is uncalled-for in the modern era.

    Well, not uncalled for in theory, just applied to the wrong jurisdictions for the historical reasons you cite above.  Philly and Chicago today need the oversight more than the old deep South.

    • #30