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andym's Journal
andym's Journal
December 16, 2020

Steve Schmidt criticizes the Hill for headline using "Democrat" Party instead of "Democratic" Party

The Hill used the headline:
"Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he's registering Democrat"

Steve objected:

"Democratic. It’s the Democratic Party. It’s the oldest in the world. This headline should read “registering Democratic”. It’s an important enough institution in this country that it is entitled to its’ proper name."

Welcome to the Democratic Party, Steve.

December 14, 2020

What to expect when Congress meets: their playbook is Tilden vs Hayes in 1876

Trump will order his "troops" (GOP senators and representatives into action). Why? He can't stand to lose, and he has the "what do you have to lose" mindset. This is why they are forming faux alternate slates of electors.

Their playbook is obsolete, not applicable to the current situation and will lose, but it's instructive to understand it:

The Election of 1876
Democrat Tilden, the NY governor, won a majority of the vote (50.9%) and seemed to win the electoral college until charges of fraudulent elections in 4 contested states. The GOP controlled the SC and Senate while the Democrats controlled the House-- just like today. There were two slates of electors from each of the contested states, each certified by different officials. An electoral commission eventually awarded all of the disputed states to Hayes making him the winner.

The difference is that there wasn't real fraud this time, so there is NO justification as well as the reforms from the Electoral Count Act in 1887. There are also no alternate slates of electors certified by any state officials. I'm pretty sure they will try to dispute this on January 6 to try to cheat their way in. They need their alternate slates of electors should the disputes ever get that far. But they won't, thanks to greater clarity in the law and the lack of any evidential fraud with more than 50 court cases to back up the conclusion of a clean election.

November 20, 2020

The mininum is that Trump should be called a "Sore Loser" loudly by at least some prominent people

And it should be repeated in public by regular folks like they did to Gore during the Florida recounts. That could be followed up by stating he is trying to cheat his way into office after losing which is significantly worse-- anti-democratic and Anti-American. The latter should be used frequently.

November 20, 2020

Trump as Simple Simon for deluded cultists which number in the millions

and enthralls weak GOP politicians who are either directly controlled by Simple Simon or are afraid of his voters.

I just read this article which provides evidence for this claim:
If Simon (Donald) says go to civil war, they will, no matter how educated they are and no matter the complete lack of evidence.

Why Republican voters say there’s ‘no way in hell’ Trump lost
Brad Brooks, Nathan Layne and Tim Reid
Fri, November 20, 2020, 4:07 AM PST

SUNDOWN, Texas (Reuters) - Brett Fryar is a middle-class Republican. A 50-year-old chiropractor in this west Texas town, he owns a small business. He has two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree, in organic chemistry. He attends Southcrest Baptist Church in nearby Lubbock. Fryar didn’t much like Donald Trump at first, during the U.S. president’s 2016 campaign. He voted for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries.

Now, Fryar says he would go to war for Trump. He has joined the newly formed South Plains Patriots, a group of a few hundred members that includes a “reactionary” force of about three dozen - including Fryar and his son, Caleb - who conduct firearms training. Nothing will convince Fryar and many others here in Sundown - including the town’s mayor, another Patriots member - that Democrat Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 presidential election fairly. They believe Trump’s stream of election-fraud allegations and say they’re preparing for the possibility of a “civil war” with the American political left.

"If President Trump comes out and says: 'Guys, I have irrefutable proof of fraud, the courts won't listen, and I'm now calling on Americans to take up arms,' we would go," said Fryar, wearing a button-down shirt, pressed slacks and a paisley tie during a recent interview at his office.

The unshakable trust in Trump in this town of about 1,400 residents reflects a national phenomenon among many Republicans, despite the absence of evidence in a barrage of post-election lawsuits by the president and his allies. About half of Republicans polled by Reuters/Ipsos said Trump “rightfully won” the election but had it stolen from him in systemic fraud favoring Biden, according to a survey conducted between Nov. 13 and 17. Just 29% of Republicans said Biden rightfully won. Other polls since the election have reported that an even higher proportion - up to 80% - of Republicans trust Trump’s baseless fraud narrative...."

November 20, 2020

How can Trump inspire such loyalty in the GOP?

Nixon would not have resigned if Republicans of his day were more loyal to him than the nation. Something has happened to the GOP since then. Many of that era fought in WWII, perhaps that is the difference. Modern-day Republicans identify more strongly as Republicans than Americans.

November 14, 2020

Landslide: Biden will achieve the highest level of support by % of eligible electorate since 1980

I wanted to find a way to quantify how much support a candidate achieves to compare support across elections while accounting for an increased number of voters each succeeding election cycle. Why? To understand if a candidate's support has expanded or decreased if running twice, and to compare what percentage of the country actually supported a candidate. Increased turnout over and above the mere increase in eligible voters for that year is an indication of enthusiasm for or against a candidate, and should correlate with their support levels. Normalizing the absolute number to the electorate size provides the desired measure.

By this metric, Joe Biden already has 32.68% and will achieve a level of support of 34.52% of eligible voters (% Voting Eligible Population=%VEP) if he wins 52% of the popular vote as expected, greater than anyone has achieved (including Reagan and Obama) since eligible voter records (not registered voters, not all voters of age) are available. This level suggests that a combination of support for Joe and anti-Trump sentiment is at record highs. To compare, Hillary Clinton only achieved 28.52% in winning the popular vote in 2016. Biden has seen an increase in support in 6% of %VEP over Hillary.

The bad news is that Trump has achieved a 30.42% VEP, with a 31.2% %VEP predicted at the end suggesting Trump has greatly expanded his support from the 2016 level of 27.24% %VEP, an increase of 4% MAGAs, suggesting just how dangerous Trump is, especially since his supporters often are cultish and enthusiastic in trying to spread their beliefs. His final level of %VEP will only be exceeded by Obama in 2008, Reagan in 1984, and Biden this year. This number helps explain why Democrats did not achieve a blue wave-- Trump induced an almost corresponding red wave of enthusiasm, cancelling out much of Biden's large blue wave.

November 11, 2020

Disregard for political norms has been suggested to have caused the decline of the Roman Republic

The Trump-catalyzed insurrection cannot be allowed to stand unpunished. I'm bumping this post from November because it provides a historical example of what happens to a republic when the violation of political (democratic) norms becomes acceptable:

Trump may be our destructive catalyst, as he disregards our political norms-- the transition to the winning President-elect's government being just the last example. He has already damaged our Republic with his lies and divisory actions and it looks like there's more to come. And there has been: 1) lies about election fraud, and 2) Trump encouraged insurrection against Congress.

How Rome Destroyed Its Own Republic:
Augustus told Romans he was the only one who could save Rome. And they believed him.


"imagine a world in which political norms have broken down. Senators use bad faith arguments to block the government from getting anything done. An autocrat rigs elections and gives himself complete control over the government. Even stranger, many voters subscribe to the autocrat’s personality cult and agree that he should have absolute control.

Welcome to Rome in the first century B.C.E. The republic that had existed for over 400 years had finally hit a crisis it couldn’t overcome. Rome itself wouldn’t fall, but during this period it lost its republic forever."

Also take a look at this article:
Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic

'The U.S. Constitution owes a huge debt to ancient Rome. The Founding Fathers were well-versed in Greek and Roman History. Leaders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison read the historian Polybius, who laid out one of the clearest descriptions of the Roman Republic’s constitution, where representatives of various factions and social classes checked the power of the elites and the power of the mob. It’s not surprising that in the United States’ nascent years, comparisons to ancient Rome were common. And to this day, Rome, whose 482-year-long Republic, bookended by several hundred years of monarchy and 1,500 years of imperial rule, is still the longest the world has seen.

Aspects of our modern politics reminded University of California San Diego historian Edward Watts of the last century of the Roman Republic, roughly 130 B.C. to 27 B.C. That’s why he took a fresh look at the period in his new book Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny. Watts chronicles the ways the republic, with a population once devoted to national service and personal honor, was torn to shreds by growing wealth inequality, partisan gridlock, political violence and pandering politicians, and argues that the people of Rome chose to let their democracy die by not protecting their political institutions, eventually turning to the perceived stability of an emperor instead of facing the continued violence of an unstable and degraded republic. Political messaging during the 2018 midterm elections hinged on many of these exact topics."
We have a choice, try to restore norms against the prevailing trend of unenlightened selfishness and self-interest from Trump-supporting Republicans and their fellow travelers or face fascism in America.
November 8, 2020

Why Lindsay Graham and GOP politicians continue to back Trump?

They (Republican pols) all need to placate Trump supporters who are the base of the GOP. And so far almost all continue to back Trump! This election, though a bad loss, cemented Trump's power as his presence on the ballot brought out an additional 10 million more votes than last time (so did Joe of course with 11M more than Hillary).

If they don't, they will lose their jobs and power.

Even out of office, Trump will still have a great deal of power, because of his supporters (who love him more than the GOP).

He may try to block Biden from the sidelines. McConnell will no doubt go along as he already has signaled that he intends to roadblock Joe Biden.

November 7, 2020

National results are not far off from the registered voter statistics for the US

From Pew Research
2018/9 party statistics:

33% Demoocrats
29% GOP
34% Independents (49% lean Democratic= 16.7% total)(44% GOP= 15% total )
4% other

Democrat total 33+16.7%=49.7%
GOP = 29+15% = 44%
The differential is 5.7% with an error from the 4% other/unstated/didn't respond.
The results this year suggest the remaining 3% of 4% other are actually Trumpers/GOP.

In reality, some Democrats voted for Trump, some Republican voted for Biden. But the trends are there.

November 4, 2020

Biden's strength is being sympathetic and empathetic-- he will try to unify the country

but he will be up against a very unfriendly Right Wing propaganda network that while lacking Rush will still be more than enough to sow discord. Joe will have to be very proactive-- speeches etc to help make things better. It's the most important thing he can do.

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