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Member since: Wed Mar 13, 2013, 01:00 PM
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The Right is Giving Up on Democracy


An interesting take from an interesting source. I had associated this with sore-loser narcissists but the question about which causes the other is quite intriguing.


Suspicion of the democratic system is so pervasive on the right because it’s driven by the fear that white Christian America is facing demographic doom. The evidence is right there in the election results: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, and if current polling trends hold, the GOP will be batting one for seven when the results come in on November 8. Thanks to gerrymandering, Republicans may hold on to a U.S. House majority for a while, and they’ll remain competitive in state capitols in the near future. But a whites-only party can’t win national elections. And over time, the GOP’s congressional and state fortresses will crumble if the party doesn’t change dramatically. Or if the democratic system doesn’t change dramatically.

As conservative writer Byron York noted in the Washington Examiner in May, there’s been an upsurge on the right of calls for “a test for voting, limited-participation elections, condemnations of democracy in general.” The anti-democratic measures have been taken up with especial fervor by anti-Trump writers like David Harsanyi, Jonah Goldberg, and Keven D. Williamson, all frequent contributors to The National Review.

Harsanyi, senior editor at The Federalist and author of the book The People Have Spoken (And They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy, is one of the most forthright voices. In a May 2016 op-ed in the Washington Post, he called for “weeding out millions of irresponsible voters who can’t be bothered to learn the rudimentary workings of the Constitution, or their preferred candidate’s proposals or even their history.” That way, he said, “we may be able to mitigate the recklessness of the electorate.” In effect, Harsanyi is calling for a return to old-style literacy tests once used to uphold Jim Crow disenfranchisement. But he assures readers that his proposed test wouldn’t have that kind of discriminatory effect, since it “would ensure that all races, creeds, genders and sexual orientations and people of every socioeconomic background are similarly inhibited from voting when ignorant.”

This supposed "complacency" fear

Does anybody have any data on it? I can find conflicting anecdotes that people rely on to propose either "people stay home if they think it's a sure thing" on one side or "people are more excited to be part of a certain victory than defeat" on the other.

The only hard data I can find are state turnout rates, which correlate very weakly, but positively, with certainty (IOW, to a tiny and likely random degree, turnout is overall a bit higher in states that are morecertain one way or the other). Frankly worthless.

But here there is a HUGE difference in the assumption of the "stay home" effect rather than the "get excited" effect. Any even modest level of confidence is deluged with numerous scoldings about its presumptive danger with nary a peep about its possible advantage.

Forgetting for a moment that it's unlikely anyone here has any great level of authority on campaign and GOTV strategy, I, sincerely, wonder why the confidence = bad mindset so utterly dominates the confidence = good mindset. Why is this place different from its RW analog FreeRepublic, which seeks, laughably, to convince itself Trump is ahead and this will be a fascist landslide, while we collectively tremble at the thought that somebody is pretty sure Hillary will win. Are the two sides seeing different data? Different personality types? Why do we dread confidence and they seek it? And it's not just that they are losing and need hope; the 2010 and 14 gains were sure and certain and the RWers reveled in confident predictions of gains then too without fearing this complacency turnout depression I see here.

Where does it come from?

The economy stinks, but we're just peachy, according to white working class.


Oh what doomers and tin-foiled econ-"truthers" hath wrought with their endless bullshit about the falsity of official data and countless lies about the US economy.

Even if we ignore the intrinsic contradiction of the article's theme, their main gripes are just the result of the dunghills of lies they have absorbed thanks to doomers.

No, SSI isn't running out of money any time soon despite increased longevity and lower birth rates (in fact it only recently started paying out more than it takes in, and has an enormous muti-trillion dollar surplus), and can be easily rendered secure for the foreseeable future with minor tweaks.


The US gives less in foreign aid than the vast majority of developed nations - just 0.19% of GDP (in polls, estimates hover around 28% - way to inform folks, guys), less than half that of beleagured Spain and below even basket-case Greece. Despite jingoistic attempts at revisionism, no, military imperial outposts don't count as foreign aid, although I'm sure a few bar and brothel owners in their host nations would miss them.


And the granddaddy of all doomer lies. We don't make disposable low-end clothing or cheap WalMart tchochkes that much these days, it's true. But people who can see past their own rectum know that this is because we are too busy making more valuable capital goods and higher profit higher-IP protected products as well as leveraging our natural resources (and no, Zephyr Buttercup, military hardware isn't even close to the top of manufacturing by category). 30% less industrial output than China!!!!! Well sure, with 75% less population that's an obvious travesty.


But we're way down historically!!!! Nope - output has grown since the supposed manufacturing boom of the 70s. We make a crapload more, in constant dollars, now than we do then (this chart ends mid-recession and has increased greatly since btw), we just do so with fewer people.


In a likely vain attempt to stem panic


We are not dealing with a huge unprecedented revolt here. On average Obama lost about 10% of actual Dems as is perfectly normal, let alone Green/DSA bandwagoners.

A rather jarring Canadianism

No it doesn't mean the same thing. No it doesn't make sense to be offended by use of phonemes that mean different things where they are more acceptable, but this one does indeed tend to cause a double take, and given how many Canadians live very close to the US I'm sure most of them are well aware of the US loading...


Apparently this is a high fat but not whole milk option which doesn't show up as much under any name in the US that I've seen, but maybe it's something I've missed.

Primary Preference and GE Prediction Poll

Question raised by another thread which contrasted the two. While I'm sure much of the response will be based on what people WANT TO happen, I'm really asking what you THINK WILL happen *IF HILLARY IS THE NOMINEE*.

I'm asking the question this way partly because Sanders' path to the nomination is very unlikely, however regrettable that may be considered, partly because most of the angst posted here is about Clinton's chances in the GE, but mostly because ther aren't enough options to cover all eventualities.

It's the damned Mongols' fault

No it probably isn't, but who knows? I'm just channeling my inner Eric Flint and indulging in some alternate history. It is however very discouraging to look at the turmoil and horrors of a great part of the Islamic world today and compare it to the Islamic Golden Age, which essentially collapsed today in 1258 when the Mongols sacked Baghdad and broke the Abbasid caliphate.

Any thread mentioning Islam invariably gets at least one defensive response that Islamic regimes were once, and for centuries, far ahead of both Christian Europe and Imperial China in art, science, technology and learning. They gave the world great advances in math and engineering and government, as well as being far more tolerant and cosmopolitan than other regimes to outsiders.

All absoluitely true. That was under the Abbasids. Thanks, Mongols for fucking that up.

Now obviously it wasn't a toggle switch between the Abbasids and ISIS. The Ottomans had some good points without a doubt for a start, and the Mamluks weren't hell on earth either. Moorish Spain varied between enlightened pluralism and snappish oligarchy for another 200 plus years, but the great Golden Age of Islam died today in 1258. And while it's trendy to blame Euro-whitey for everything Islamic extremists do today, it's worth pointing out the Crusades petered out before the Abbasids did, and both the Mamluks and the Ottoman Turks suffered great humiliation at the hands of westerners without any similar responses. Heck the surviving outposts of the Abbasids didn't start kidnapping and beheading Mongols in 1258. Maybe they should have. Restoring THAT caliphate would not have been a bad thing.

US weekly jobless claims total 271,000 vs 275,000 estimate

Source: CNBC

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell from a five-month high, suggesting sustained labor market healing that could lead to further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next year.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ended Dec. 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's claims were unrevised.

It was the 41st straight week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with strong labor market conditions. That is the longest such run since the early 1970s.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/17/us-weekly-jobless-claims-dec-12-2015.html

Have I missed this today? Apologies if duplicated. Decent but not earth shattering stable news from the DOL today. Only the length of the sub-300k threshold string is all that noteworthy.

Remember these are INITIAL claims, a proxy for layoffs, and are not in any way affected by benefit expiry etc. They are reported by the DOL, of which the BLS, which provides UE data, is a distinct and separate reporting agency.

Just me or others not able to expand topics subfolders on left hand menu?

The little gray arrows just aren't working aat all for me. Same?
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