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Pol Lounge General News Thread of "This doesn't deserve it's own thread" (Page 72)
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subego
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Mar 31, 2023, 10:52 AM
 
Trump bumper sticker helps Chicago cops crack anti-gay hate crime case: prosecutors

Chicago police identified the man responsible for a series of anti-gay hate crimes because he is the only person in the area who bought a bumper sticker showing Donald Trump urinating on Joe Biden’s name, prosecutors said Thursday.

Investigators learned that the only place in the world to buy the Trump-Biden sticker was from an eBay seller. And, after getting a grand jury subpoena for eBay sales records, police determined that Thomas Howard was the only person in the area who bought one, said Dale-Schmidt.

Extra detail: People’s Gas [Howard’s employer] told cops that Howard had been given “multiple coachings” about having political discussions at work, according to Dale-Schimdt.


https://cwbchicago.com/2023/03/trump...osecutors.html
     
Laminar
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Mar 31, 2023, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Investigators learned that the only place in the world to buy the Trump-Biden sticker was from an eBay seller.
That's kind of surprising. I guess in the future people should buy their own vinyl cutters to avoid getting tracked down like this.
     
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Mar 31, 2023, 11:14 AM
 
Great. Now those stickers are gonna be on every shit Dodge Ram you see, thanks to this publicity.
     
subego
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Mar 31, 2023, 11:47 AM
 
There isn’t too much publicity as of yet. This is from a local police blotter blawg. I tried to find the story from a more mainstream source but got nothing.
     
subego
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Mar 31, 2023, 11:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
That's kind of surprising. I guess in the future people should buy their own vinyl cutters to avoid getting tracked down like this.
The real screw-up is the perp lives a block away from the people he was harassing. Even without the sticker, if he kept it up it was only a matter of time before he got pinched.

ProTip: commit crimes in other neighborhoods, not your own.
     
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Apr 13, 2023, 11:05 PM
 
So talk to me, how can a sitting Supreme Court justice receive free vacations, trips and have their properties and families taken care of by prominent political donors?

This story is absolutely wild to me.
     
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Apr 14, 2023, 12:02 AM
 
Hunter biden"s laptop!:!!
     
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Apr 14, 2023, 03:52 AM
 
It baffles me how far publications like National Review bend themselves when claiming everything is a nothing burger and that this is just the latest chapter in the “harassment” of Justice Thomas.

I don't think it should be controversial to expect that Supreme Court Justices are subject to the same code of conduct that other federal judges and federal employees are subject to. Receiving presents worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars is something that should be reported, no exceptions. Justices should recuse themselves from cases that involve spouses, family members or friends. Even the mere appearance of impropriety should be avoided. And adherence to these principles should be checked by an independent body, not the Supreme Court Justices themselves.

If you don't report something, because you think it'd make you look bad, then precisely this is precisely when you must report it.
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Apr 14, 2023, 09:46 AM
 
Remember that Clarence did NOT recuse himself on a case wherein his WIFE was a principle…. Let that sink in, and you’ll see that the term “ethics” is foreign to him.

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Waragainstsleep
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Apr 15, 2023, 07:47 PM
 
Is there any rumblings of Thomas being impeached? It seems like it would be well deserved.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Apr 15, 2023, 09:23 PM
 
I doubt it. Impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice seems like crossing the Rubicon and there is no majority for it in the House (which has to bring articles of impeachment and pursue the case) nor a sufficient majority in the Senate to convict.
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reader50
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Apr 15, 2023, 09:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Is there any rumblings of Thomas being impeached? It seems like it would be well deserved.
It would, but recall, it requires 2/3 of the Senate to convict. Assuming full attendance, at least 16 Republicans would have to vote to convict.

Oh yeah, and a majority of the House would have to impeach in the first place. Republicans have a slim majority there, so Thomas has a license to break the law.
     
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Apr 16, 2023, 07:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Remember that Clarence did NOT recuse himself on a case wherein his WIFE was a principle…. Let that sink in, and you’ll see that the term “ethics” is foreign to him.
I do remember. Yeah, apparently Ginni Thomas was entirely within her rights, and Justice Thomas having to recuse himself would have infringed on her First Amendment rights. It is not as if Justices talk to spouses about their cases. Besides, this is only a problem if there actually were impropriety.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Oh yeah, and a majority of the House would have to impeach in the first place. Republicans have a slim majority there, so Thomas has a license to break the law.
This is really unfortunate, but a fact of life. IMHO making rules such as the ones outlined above (e. g. making sure Supreme Court Justices to the same rules and regulations other federal judges are subject to).

I am quite sure I read an earlier draft of a National Review column where the author used language like “The Left was trying to lynch him/The Left mob … since 1991.” (I'm fairly certain, but once I double checked in order to link it, this passage was gone.) Plus, many publications on the right have gotten suspiciously quiet about the investigation on the leak of the draft of the Dobbs decision after initially “being sure” that the only viable theory was a leak from the offices of one of the liberal Justices. (I'm equivocal on that, both theories have merit and zero public evidence.)
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Apr 16, 2023, 04:59 PM
 
Western democracies (yours and ours) are built to rely too heavily on a degree of honesty and decency in their leaders. So now we have problems where one party is happy to break any laws they can get away with and then just let themselves off, and the other side for reasons I can't explain is still too trusting to believe the real extent of the deliberate wrongdoing.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
reader50
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Apr 16, 2023, 06:39 PM
 
I think the problem is the founders didn't anticipate political parties. With unethical behavior, it should be easy to get 2/3 of reasonable people to convict. Until politics got turned into a team sport.

The best solution is ranked-choice voting. That encourages more parties. If no party has a majority, no single party can block all consequences.
     
subego
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Apr 16, 2023, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
With unethical behavior, it should be easy to get 2/3 of reasonable people to convict.
Is it unreasonable for one to overlook ethical improprieties when the balance of the Court is at stake?

A decision to let it slide may very well reflect a different set of priorities, but I’d hardly call it unreasonable.
     
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Apr 16, 2023, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is it unreasonable for one to overlook ethical improprieties when the balance of the Court is at stake?
First of all, the GOP has a 2-seat majority on the Supreme Court, so the balance of the court is not at stake. And even if it lost its majority by Thomas' unethical behavior, if you don't enforce norms, people won't stick to them any longer. Ideally, you should not look at political implications in the justice system.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A decision to let it slide may very well reflect a different set of priorities, but I’d hardly call it unreasonable.
It is a short-sighted decision, because it prioritizes short-term gains over long-term gains. Forcing people to stick to norms, rules and regulations has a positive long-term benefit. It raises the average quality of people who are working for the justice system, and increases respect amongst the population. And when a liberal justice has a misstep, it isn't political when you insist on them conforming to the rules.
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OreoCookie
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Apr 16, 2023, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I think the problem is the founders didn't anticipate political parties.
I thought they disliked the idea of having political parties or am I misremembering?
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
With unethical behavior, it should be easy to get 2/3 of reasonable people to convict. Until politics got turned into a team sport.
Maybe it is not intentional, but the existence of parties is not bad per se. In the US you have a relatively unfortunate combination of the Constitution being silent on the subject, first-pass-the-post elections (with very few exceptions), a very rigid system with high hurdles for change, lifetime appointments and a presidential system. Historically, it makes sense, there was no template of a modern democracy, and most newer democracies have learnt their lesson. In a healthier democracies, political parties (and in most places you have more than 2 viable parties) play an important role.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The best solution is ranked-choice voting. That encourages more parties. If no party has a majority, no single party can block all consequences.
There is more than one solution, ranked-choice voting is one. You could apportion seats according to the total percentage of votes. In some democracies such as Germany that is combined with personalized elections, i. e. you can both, elect a person and still have a parliament that respects proportionality.

That leads to more parties and things like gerrymandering simply do not work as a matter of principle. More parties also means you are way less likely to stay with one team your whole life.
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subego
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Apr 17, 2023, 01:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
First of all, the GOP has a 2-seat majority on the Supreme Court, so the balance of the court is not at stake.
If the Court had ruled on Dobbs without Thomas, abortion would still be federally legal.

The balance is quite self-evidently at stake.
     
subego
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Apr 17, 2023, 03:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
It is a short-sighted decision, because it prioritizes short-term gains over long-term gains
The degree of moral revulsion one feels about abortion versus ethical impropriety has no relevance in this decision?
     
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Apr 17, 2023, 03:55 AM
 
It’s the difference between a super majority and a majority. Not putting Robert’s in the conservative camp for not wanting to go as far as his colleagues in one case for reasons that are consistent with conservative judicial principles seems like cherry picking. Other justices such as Gorsuch have voted against their conservative colleagues at times. It doesn’t make him any less conservative.

In the end Dobb’s was a 6–3 decision along ideological lines. If Thomas had been absent, it’d have been 5–3 or 5–4.
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subego
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Apr 17, 2023, 04:24 AM
 
FWIU, Roberts opinion is Dobbs should have only impacted Roe and Casey insofar as the Mississippi law under review should stand.

On what basis do you surmise Roberts would choose to overturn both decisions if he had been faced with a 4-4 split? His position is much, much closer to keeping the prior decisions as is rather than erasing them entirely.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 17, 2023 at 04:46 AM. )
     
subego
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Apr 17, 2023, 04:43 AM
 
Edit: ehhhh… nm
( Last edited by subego; Apr 17, 2023 at 05:01 AM. )
     
subego
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Apr 17, 2023, 06:33 AM
 
Here’s my brief analysis of Roberts’ style of jurisprudence.

Roberts generally considers the reasoning used by the other conservatives on the Court to be correct.

What distinguishes Roberts from the other conservatives is the degree to which principles other than being correct factor into his opinions. The other conservatives are more of the mind it begins and ends with “the law is the law”.

Now, I understand one might have a less charitable description for the process these justices use. Be that as it may, the point remains that whatever you want to call it, Roberts is far more comfortable deviating from it than the others.
     
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Apr 17, 2023, 05:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In some democracies such as Germany that is combined with personalized elections, i. e. you can both, elect a person and still have a parliament that respects proportionality.

That leads to more parties and things like gerrymandering simply do not work as a matter of principle.
Eeeeehhhhhhhhh… not quite.

IIRC, there have been some cases here where redistricting actually increased the number of direct mandates — though nothing near the corruption commonplace in the US electoral system.
     
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Apr 17, 2023, 06:01 PM
 
Yes, but ignoring the proposed changes for the moment, other parties get additional compensatory seats so that the ratios are still those determined by the proportional vote. (I’m leaving out the 3-seat rule, too.)

It is true that rural regions are over represented, for example, which has given the conservatives a boost. So it isn’t perfect. But it has sustained a very large range of political parties with diverse ideologies.

PS As a funny aside, I met an expert in the mathematical analysis of election systems a few years back. He is a member of the SPD. Nevertheless, the CDU wanted to hire him as a subject matter expert for a case on election law at the German supreme court. I think they offered him something like 80,000 €, which is bananas money for mathematicians. (We are not medical doctors …) He declined. (Also, their arguments were weak at the time.)
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Apr 17, 2023 at 07:21 PM. )
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OreoCookie
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Apr 17, 2023, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here’s my brief analysis of Roberts’ style of jurisprudence.
I don't really disagree with any of the rest of the post. None of that changes that Roberts is a staunchly conservative justice whose judicial philosophy isn't identical to that of his colleagues. This applies to literally every other justice on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch places more emphasis on literalism sometimes. Other members are motivated more strongly by ideology. And this is reflected in the final “score” of the Dobbs decision: 6–3.

The perception that Roberts is in the center is akin to the perception that Liz Cheney or Justin Amash have moved more to the liberal side, because they are at odds with the GOP on a very important issue and new members are from crazy town or la la land. Their judicial record shows where they stand (I'm saying that neutrally). Ditto for Roberts. He is just someone who was appointed in a different era.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What distinguishes Roberts from the other conservatives is the degree to which principles other than being correct factor into his opinions. The other conservatives are more of the mind it begins and ends with “the law is the law”.
The only thing I'd quibble with is that being reluctant to overturn precedent is a principle in someone's judicial philosophy, and clearly, Roberts puts more emphasis on this than his other conservative colleagues. Not wanting to change things radically and quickly, and “judicial activism” are entirely consistent with a conservative judicial philosophy.
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subego
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Apr 18, 2023, 06:37 AM
 
If a staunch conservative justice doesn’t want to overturn Roe, Casey, or to give another example, Obamacare, what do we call all those other conservative justices who do? Double-dog staunch?
     
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Apr 18, 2023, 08:36 AM
 
“Paid political shills?”


*ba-dum ching*
     
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Apr 18, 2023, 09:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If a staunch conservative justice doesn’t want to overturn Roe, Casey, or to give another example, Obamacare, what do we call all those other conservative justices who do? Double-dog staunch?
Reactionary.

These people don't want to conserve family values, they want to turn back the clock to a time that never existed.
     
subego
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Apr 18, 2023, 11:12 AM
 
Was Scalia a reactionary or a conservative?

Are (for example) Thomas and Alito notably more extreme than Scalia?
     
reader50
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Apr 18, 2023, 01:21 PM
 
We live in a representative democracy.

On the democracy front, polls show about 2/3 of the public want Roe left alone. Since Roe was cancelled, both elections and state propositions have tilted heavily in favor of abortion rights. SCOTUS has been determining election outcomes.

On the representative front, elected leaders are supposed to represent the views of their constituents. This is a central reason why gerrymandering is evil - it elects people who don't have to represent the views of the state they come from. In this case, conservative lawmakers are not representing majorities from their states. Not true in all states, but true in enough states, that if it were corrected, Congress would have the 2/3 votes needed to remove a corrupt judge.

Lawmakers are expected to address corruption, including judicial corruption. Ignoring it for personal reasons is equivalent to accepting bribes to supplement one's income. Allow the corruption because you perceive it as a benefit.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The degree of moral revulsion one feels about abortion versus ethical impropriety has no relevance in this decision?
There is a reason why Lady Liberty is blindfolded. Justice is supposed to be blind. Not peeping with the right eye, watching out to protect conservative views. Judges are indeed supposed to ignore their moral revulsion (or stomach flu pains) in making rulings - they're supposed to interpret the law. Their rulings should not depend on their mood that day. They should not stomp on the legislative branch, creating laws. Or supplant the executive branch, substituting their stomach pains for expert opinions used to guide health agencies.

That's three strikes. No wait, that's four strikes. If you have to twist yourself up 4 different ways to justify a corrupt judge (and keep the corrupt judge on the bench), there's something wrong with your position.

A corrupt judge needs to go, whether a district judge in Texas, or on SCOTUS. And differences of opinion on policy should be settled in elections, without gerrymandering or voter suppression. If your position loses, you weren't persuasive enough. Or in this case, the vast majority of citizens see abortion as a right.
     
subego
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Apr 18, 2023, 01:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Judges are indeed supposed to ignore their moral revulsion (or stomach flu pains) in making rulings - they're supposed to interpret the law.
To clarify, my question was whether moral revulsion towards abortion, either felt personally or by one’s constituents, enters into the decision whether to impeach.

I wasn’t implying it should be an important factor in regards to jurisprudence.




As an aside, Lady Liberty is the one with the torch and spiky tiara, but I know what you meant.
     
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Apr 18, 2023, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As an aside, Lady Liberty is the one with the torch and spiky tiara, but I know what you meant.
Agreed - it was Lady Justice with the blindfold, scales, and sword. Or possibly goddess Themis. Lady Justice has multiple precedents.
     
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Apr 18, 2023, 06:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To clarify, my question was whether moral revulsion towards abortion, either felt personally or by one’s constituents, enters into the decision whether to impeach.
In this thread the reasons in favor of an impeachment were Thomas' refusal to recuse himself from cases where e. g. his wife was involved and him not disclosing valuable presents, vacations and the like. I don't think one of us has argued that Thomas should be removed because of his verdict in the Dobbs decision. Why do you bring that up?

Like reader nicely explained, the reason why the composition of SCOTUS does not reflect the gamut of American society (and American legal philosophy, including alternative conservative legal philosophy that does not adhere to the Federalist Society's ideology). In the long run, that's a huge liability for the Court, like any institution, its power rests on the trust given to it by the people.
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subego
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Apr 18, 2023, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Why do you bring that up?
Because it was claimed it was unreasonable not to impeach him for his ethics violations.

I argue it’s perfectly reasonable for one who wants to maintain the balance of the court, and the decisions which follow, such as Dobbs.
     
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Apr 18, 2023, 09:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Because it was claimed it was unreasonable not to impeach him for his ethics violations.
Maybe one of us got lost in the double negative: your sentence is equivalent to “Because it was reasonable to impeach him for his ethics violations.” (I have just deleted the two negatives which cancel one another.) If that is what you meant, then yes, I (together with others) think Thomas should be impeached. But e. g. his voting record on Dobbs does not play a role, that's something you brought up, because you think it is important.

Just because Thomas ought to be impeached does not mean he will. In fact, I think none of us expect him to.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I argue it’s perfectly reasonable for one who wants to maintain the balance of the court, and the decisions which follow, such as Dobbs.
Why is the balance of the court more important than dealing with wrongdoing? Justice should be blind to such considerations.
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subego
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Apr 19, 2023, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Why is the balance of the court more important than dealing with wrongdoing?
The honest answer is there are situations where serving an agenda is more important than fair play.

Such a stance is subject to many criticisms, but a lack of reasoning isn’t one of them.

Note, this isn’t necessarily my opinion. I don’t really have an opinion, and even if I did, it’s irrelevant to the claim I make above.
     
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Apr 19, 2023, 12:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The honest answer is there are situations where serving an agenda is more important than fair play.
What if that is one party's entire playbook?
( Last edited by Laminar; Apr 19, 2023 at 02:50 PM. )
     
subego
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Apr 19, 2023, 01:20 PM
 
Woops! Never mind.
     
subego
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Apr 19, 2023, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
What is that is one party's entire playbook?
Can you go over this sentence? I think there might be missing words, or words which are supposed to be other words.

I get the basic idea, I only want to be sure I’m answering the precise question you’re asking.
     
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Apr 19, 2023, 02:50 PM
 
Oops, should be "What if"
     
subego
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Apr 19, 2023, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
What if that is one party's entire playbook?
They’ll tend to win disproportionately.
     
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Apr 19, 2023, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They’ll tend to win disproportionately.
Universally? I feel like winning disproportionately while working directly against your voting constituents best interests has a couple more required prongs, like strict control of messaging and ability to influence voting results in your favor.

If information was transparent and perfect and constituents were well represented, most cultures would reject the "cheating, lying" party.
     
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Apr 19, 2023, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
... most cultures would reject the "cheating, lying" party.
Not to worry, we have George Santos (or whatever he calls himself today) on the job. He's filed for re-election, though his fundraising isn't going so well. His fellow freshmen Rs from New York are already getting painted as co-horts of him in early 2024 advertising.

The longer party leadership delays kicking Santos out, the more he's going to become a stereotype for the party. Those freshmen Rs from NY actually want him gone the most, but haven't been able to move party leadership. I see it as a textbook case of sacrificing future concerns, for short-term gains. Much like their climate-change position. Or attacking abortion rights, when the new generations clearly see it as an important right.

It seems to me the Republican Party is setting itself up for some dramatic losses in the future. Until / unless they change course.
     
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Apr 19, 2023, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
working directly against your voting constituents best interests…
What if I consider my best interests to be…

Religion playing a major role in shaping policy, as well as in society at large.
Maintaining the patriarchy.
Strict control over the education of my children.
Being armed.
Well funded police.


Edit: add a very well funded military.
Edit 2: and very strongly discouraging illegal immigration.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 19, 2023 at 07:40 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 19, 2023, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The honest answer is there are situations where serving an agenda is more important than fair play.
In the short and perhaps medium term, this might work. But over time this will lead to an erosion of trust and an erosion of norms. You can see this now in the polls, for many decades the Supreme Court had an approval rating (= great deal + fair amount of trust) of > 60 %, peaking at 80 %. I cannot think of another US government body with similar approval ratings. From 2020 till 2022, it dropped from 67 % to 47 % in the Gallup poll I linked to.

If the GOP continues on this path, then it becomes more likely that Democrats might simply add a few Justices to the Supreme Court — this is entirely constitutional, it is “just” norms that stops them from doing it right now. Quickly flipping precedents that the conservative side doesn't like could very well lead to a liberal majority doing the exact same thing when they are in a majority. This might take decades, yes, but unless the US government falls in the meantime, I think it is bound to happen. The longer the US has a Supreme Court that is so unreflective of society at large and with very little ideological diversity, I think you can make an argument for disrupting the status quo at some point.

Lastly, the way you argued whether Roberts could be counted as a conservative Justice is entirely symptomatic: Supreme Court Justices are perceived as elements of political process, Justices are conservative if they vote for whatever the vocal majority of conservatives thinks is conservative in the moment. You can see this in reactions to e. g. Justice Gorsuch's opinion on discrimination of LBTQ people. His emphasis on literalism, though, made this a straightforward logical argument. (However, these are the exception.)
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Laminar
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Apr 20, 2023, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What if I consider my best interests to be…

Religion playing a major role in shaping policy, as well as in society at large.
Maintaining the patriarchy.
Strict control over the education of my children.
Being armed.
Well funded police.


Edit: add a very well funded military.
Edit 2: and very strongly discouraging illegal immigration.
Those are "your" best interests because the strict control of messaging has convinced you that they are your best interests. Every single one of those items are wedge issues selected by Republican strategists to push in the media in order to maintain control. Your actual best interests - health, safety, prosperity, a bright future for your family - those are being soundly trod on in favor of control and corporate profit.
     
subego
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Apr 20, 2023, 09:06 AM
 
Is it possible the chicken and egg are reversed here?

As in, these gain traction as wedge issues because they’re positions conservatives are naturally inclined to have?
     
Laminar
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Apr 20, 2023, 09:31 AM
 
Republican strategists invent problems that presuppose solutions that happen to be good for corporations (smaller government, deregulation, suppression of workers' rights and wages, etc.). The problems speak to conservatives because they trigger something innate (propensity toward authoritarianism), or they play on an invented problem (abortion, trans people, violent immigrants, Antifa, etc.).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Weyrich

Maybe you don't spend enough time around other conservative people, but I can tell you that they actually stand for very little and are blown around entirely by the culture war du jour. They live in an alternate reality of Alternative Facts defined by conservative talking points, and are not able to accurately assess the state of the world around them. Tell any of my family or coworkers that the average European experiences better quality of life and more freedom than the average American and watch them absolutely melt down.
     
 
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