Tag: Elections

С днем ​​россии: A (Not Very) New Era in Russian Politics


Before COVID became the center of international news coverage, much attention was being paid to Vladimir Putin’s sudden reorganization of the Russian government and proposed overhaul of the Constitution, which has seen little change since 1993. Naturally, Vladimir Vladimirovich did not attempt to bring about these changes with a spirit of liberal democracy and healthy regime change in mind (indeed, some would say that it is very unhealthy to even think about regime change in Russia). The spread of the virus, though, which he was unable to halt even after closing the Russian border with China in January, put a wrench in his plans. 

Russia is still, right now, the third most affected country in the world with at least half a million cases (this is data compiled and released by Putin’s government, after all), and a health system that is not up to the challenge in a multitude of ways. Putin was well aware of this, which is why he closed the border so early and implemented a strict lockdown when the situation started to deteriorate. But now, more important concerns are at hand. The President has pressured the Moscow government into lifting restrictions, and, after a holiday celebration today, has planned a concert for tonight in Red Square. These moves come in plenty of time to get people comfortable with going outside and attending rallies ahead of a July 1 vote on the changes. 

Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Mary Connaughton as they talk with MIT Professor Charles Stewart on how states in general, and Massachusetts in particular, are adapting their voting process to keep elections safe, transparent, and fair during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT, where he has taught since 1985, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research and teaching areas include congressional politics, elections, and American political development. Since 2001, Professor Stewart has been a member of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, a leading research efforts that applies scientific analysis to questions about election technology, election administration, and election reform. He is currently the MIT director of the project. Professor Stewart is an established leader in the analysis of the performance of election systems and the quantitative assessment of election performance. Professor Stewart has been recognized at MIT for his undergraduate teaching, being named to the second class of MacVicar Fellows in 1994, awarded the Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the recipient of the Class of 1960 Fellowship. Since 1992, he has served as Housemaster of McCormick Hall, along with his spouse, Kathryn M. Hess. Professor Stewart received his B.A. in political science from Emory University, and S.M. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer one certain Republican win in a congressional election on Tuesday and a likely win in another, but also wonder what a national election based mostly on voting by mail will look like. They also slam officials in Los Angeles County for announcing the stay-at-home order is being extended for another three months. And they blast CNN for booking Greta Thunberg to be an expert guest for its coronavirus town hall.

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WOW! I went to Member Feed > live and started chatting a bit. Then I see there is the add file icon on the left and I clicked it and then from my computer I selected the file I wanted to attach to my post. Low and behold it put an http link where you click […]

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US Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican from Florida’s panhandle, darling of Fox News aficionados and star among conservatives active on social media today spoke to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC) that is led by my friend and fellow conservative, Matt Schlapp. During his speech to the assembled and enthusiastic throng, Rep. Gaetz briefly took […]

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For my third year of college, I lived in the dorms with a fifth-year senior. Some of his friends planned to run for student body president and vice-president as a joke party, the Bloom County Party and they registered as Bill and Opus. They asked him to join them and he recruited me for one […]

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Advice to Republicans on Winning over Non-Republicans


So you want to be elected? Do you really? How’s about acting like it? If you must, fake it ’til you make it. Here are a few suggestions, for free:

  • Show up.
  • Listen actively and respectfully.
  • Act on what you hear.

Free is much less than Karl “The Architect” Rove charged, but we all know how his advice worked out, leaving President George W. Bush in the hands of Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid. Take a look at the latest State of the Union address, consider the many actions, words, and images that formed the basis of a string of accomplishments, and you might find a path to maximizing your chances in future elections, near and far.

Karl Rove’s advice was grounded in the loser belief that Republicans could only delay the tide of history. Under this view, the best Republican strategy is to do detailed analysis of each district and demographic, carefully activating just enough registered Republicans to win just enough to take and hold power at the presidential level. Mitt Romney spoke out loud what the Republican establishment believed and still believe, that demographics and the irresistible trend of social welfare programs were naturally changing the electorate into one that would vote for the party of entitlements. None of them really subscribed even to Ronald Reagan’s views, views that had broken Democrats’ grip on demographic groups characterized for a time as “Reagan Democrats.”

We the People Are Failing Our Government


Airplanes fly because the people who design them understand physics. They know how pressure changes as air flows over a curved surface. They understand lift and drag, and how force and mass relate to each other to determine acceleration. They’re experts in the science of materials, in finite element analysis, in instrumentation and control systems and combustion and ten thousand other arcane details of science and design and manufacture.

None of this means that they get it right every time, as Boeing’s recent travails remind us. But they get it right often enough to make air travel the safest means of transportation.

On October 4, 2019, the Gray Center co-hosted “The Administration of Democracy⏤The George Mason Law Review’s Second Annual Symposium on Administrative Law.” For the second annual symposium, scholars wrote papers on such fundamental questions as: Is nonpartisan campaign-finance regulation possible? Who should draw electoral maps—and how? How can we best protect voting rights? How should the census be administered? How do we preserve the regulatory process’s democratic legitimacy? And, are members of Congress entitled to see the President’s tax returns? These papers are forthcoming in the George Mason Law Review. In addition, the event featured a Keynote Conversation with two former public servants with deep expertise in both governance and campaigns: Robert Bauer, former White House Counsel to President Obama, and Donald McGahn, former White House Counsel to President Trump.

The second panel focused on the administration of elections. The discussion revolved around three new papers: “Bush v. Gore, Decentralized Election Administration, and the Equal Protection Right to Vote” by Florida State University College of Law Professor Michael Morley, “How Independent is Too Independent?: Redistricting Commissions and the Growth of the Unaccountable Administrative State,” by Jason Torchinsky, Partner at Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC; and “Independent Institutions and the Design of Fair Districting Maps” by New York University School of Law’s Richard Pildes. The discussion was moderated by the Gray Center’s Deputy Director, Andrew Kloster, and introduced by the Center’s Executive Director, Adam White. The video is available at http://administrativestate.gmu.edu/events/the-administration-of-democracy-the-george-mason-law-reviews-second-annual-symposium-on-administrative-law/.

Glad you’ve joined us for the Monday martinis! Today, Jim and Greg cheer the people of Hong Kong for leaving no doubt in local elections that they are on the side of freedom and the protesters. They also cringe as figures on the right speak of Trump is near messianic terms, a tactic the left engaged in over President Obama for eight years prior to Trump. They’re both way off base. And as Kamala Harris suddenly declares herself a champion of marijuana decriminalization because it leads to mass incarceration, Jim and Greg inconveniently point out her record and her painfully obvious political calculations.

Beto: the Kang Candidate


I have long suspected that Beto O’Rourke is an alien, and not the kind that merely comes from another country, but one who may not even be from this solar system. His presidential campaign, after all, is a strange and almost parodical pastiche of exactly how conservatives have parodied the extremes of liberalism for years. It’s as though all he knows of being an “Authentic American” came from a battered bootleg copy of Jack Kerouac, and all he knows of campaigning is what he learned some 20 light-years out as the faint broadcast signals of the late 90s reached his starship, and the only one he could pick up cleanly was Rush Limbaugh’s brief TV run. Plus an early Simpson’s Halloween special that he misunderstood as a training video for his species.

How else does one explain Beto’s outbursts and truly bizarre proclamations? They’re not the sort of thing a sane and rational Democrat would actually say out loud and in public even in these crazy times (even if they were thinking them). Most politicians have at least some inner-monologue filter that prevents them from appearing honest or emotional, and they normally only disable that filter if they think nobody is listening (which is a foolish assumption anymore because somebody is always listening, somebody always has a voice recorder and video camera handy in the form of a phone). Romney’s “47 percent,” remark, Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables,” Obama’s “Bitter Clingers,” and ¡Jeb!’s entire primary bid was all well-remembered political gaffes, not political triumphs, but one suspects Beto does not quite understand the context, and thus misses the lesson.

Already Beto bears an uncanny resemblance to Otto, from A Fish Called Wanda (Link here, language warning), reading the news and the signs of the times, but not understanding any of it. And so it was that after decades of the Democrat Party insisting that its drive for gun control and registration was only about safety, and would never ever pinkie-swear lead to confiscation, what does Beto say?

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4. The black community needs to become politically competitive. Today Democrats know they will win without even bothering to campaign, without any regard for candidate quality. Republicans, on the other hand, know there’s zero chance of winning, no matter how good their candidate or his roots, record or pedigree in the district. Preview Open

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How the GOP Can Win Black Votes: Sideline the NAACP


A note: I’m using NAACP is a stand-in for itself and every other supposed “civil rights” organization that purports to speak on behalf of the black community, but, in actuality, has cast its own mission and history aside, and is now no more than a fully owned and operated subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

Let’s be clear here: any GOP plan involving the NAACP, the Urban League, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Congressional Black Caucus, etc., or any affiliated individuals (e.g., pastors, community organizers, etc.) in any outreach effort to the black community is not only a waste of time, but a willfully stupid act of self-sabotage. It earns you no goodwill, and it only arms them with extra credibility for when they inevitably turn around to smear you as a racist.

How The GOP Can Win Black Votes: Actually Talk to Black People


How should Republicans go about winning over black voters? Most of the articles I’ve seen with similar titles tend to offer a high overarching view of how Republicans should go about winning over more black voters than an actual plan on how to go about it.

What would an actual plan for this look like? How do you put into action? Where do you need to go? Who do you need to see and talk to? What arguments should you push? What pitfalls should you look out for?