Anything worth talking about, is worth blogging about

As pretty much everyone knows by now, the United States had a general election yesterday. The Republican Party took the House of Representatives, but the Democrats retain the Senate, but with a smaller majority.

I don’t think the Republicans will really accomplish much of anything. They do not control the Senate and there is Obama’s veto power, so no significant agenda will be advanced. Basically, the likeliest results is basically a lot of keeping things the way they are. The GOP is not going to make a serious attempt at cutting government spending because they have no plans to do so. Their rhetoric on the matter is hollow because they always exempt the biggest financial black holes on the US budget. It’s easy to simply be against the government when out of power, but now that they control the purse strings they’ll have to do something. Nor do I think they will fail to increase the US’s debt ceiling. They might talk a lot about doing it but when the time comes to govern they’ll increase the ceiling rather than cause a default.

Several extremist Tea Party candidates lost. I’m especially glad that Christine O’Donnell lost. She and other lunatics probably kept the Senate in Democratic hands. It looks as if Sarah Palin’s chances of being the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 went down a bit, if she is serious about running. Her own chosen candidate could lose in her own state.

In other news, California unfortunately failed to legalize marijuana and Iowa had its pro–marriage equality judges thrown out. But at least California moved closer to getting rid of gerrymandering.

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Comments on: "Divided government on the way" (9)

  1. Christine O’Donnel is not like Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a character and Chritine O’Donnel, as far as I know, is real. Expecting the same thing out of them is like expecting the same thing out of Jeffery Dahmer that you would out of Jack Nicholson.

    Also, could you explain to me what you meant about the Iowa judges being thrown out? I was under the impression that American judges served for life. Did you mean a vote overturned the judicial ruling like with Prop H8? I should propose a measure on the ballot that allows Americans to vote for whether Christians can be thrown to lions for entertainment. “Oh, I’m not in favour of doing horrendous things to Christians. Shucks, no. I just think we should let the people vote.” What? Too much logic for Americans?

    You’re right about government. It’s a pendulum really. The Republicans get in and screw up, and the people say, “We’ve had enough of you. We’re putting in the Democrats,” and then it’s the Democrats’ turn to really screw up. Then, who do they have left to put in there but the Republicans again? When are they going to realise this is getting them nowhere?

  2. In Iowa, judges are appointed, but subject to a yes/no retention vote. These three were campaigned against by NOM, and lost the retention vote.

    If Christine O’Donnell genuinely believes the nonsense she spouts (it seems likely) than she is a dangerous woman who should be kept from power. Unless she gets a job on Faux News, her becoming an historical footnote seems likely. If Palin is “playing the part”, so to speak, than she has no firm convictions. Another good reason to keep her out of power.

    The sort of pendulumism you mention is probably a manifestation of the two-party system. As the middle 20% or so of the electorate decides elections, a two-party system, on paper, causes both parties to converge in policies, in an attempt to appeal to the middle 20%. The end result of this is that you basically end up with a choice between centrists and centrist supporters. With this in mind, it’s possible that the TP might become a victim of their own success. If they become too extreme, it will drive away generally GOP-leaning idependents who will imply hold their noses and vote Democrat.

  3. Actually, I think the two party system, which America didn’t really have prior to shortly over 100 years ago, was created to give the illusion of choice while always keeping the same people in power. In America’s infancy, due to the number of political parties and the large amount ideas out there, it was rare that any one candidate could obtain the necessary electoral college votes to win. Most of the time, Congress picked the president. In fact, a little known fact is that THAT was the intention of the electoral college. You know that if one person doesn’t get the required electoral college votes to win, Congress picks the president?

    But, enter the two party system, and now, every time, one of them gets the required electoral college. So, now, they have to actually appeal to the people, AND it’s easier than before. They tricked the people into thinking their options were Tweedledum and Tweedlestupid, and that any other vote is a waste of their vote. The people are too stupid to realise that voting for the lesser evil of the two most popular parties is the real wasted vote. This is the same reason Paris Hilton is famous because she’s famous, Duracell is the most popular battery because it’s the most popular battery, and Google is the most popular website because Google is the most popular website even though ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE professes to hate ALL THREE of those things I just named.
    America runs on the argumentum ad populum logical fallacy.

  4. Appeal to popularity convinces people, but you are correct in saying its fallacious.

    Image that a grade school class is electing a class president. Suppose further that boys and girls often disagree on most matters. The final vote totals are as follows:

    Barry (12)
    Alice (11)
    Carol (2)

    In such an election, vote splitting has caused the girls to lose, even though they are a majority of this class. That’s because there is only one vote per person, most votes wins, everyone else loses (that is, it First past the post). Hence, when the next semester rolls around, Carol doesn’t run. The new totals are:

    Alice (13)
    Barry (12)

    Notice that the minor candidate has dropped out, resulting in two candidates left. This is identical to a two-party system.

    Hence, explaining the origin of the two party system requires no malice. Rather, it is simply caused by the FPTP electoral system.

    This is why you should support electoral reform. I favour the single transferable vote.

  5. Argumentum ad populum doesn’t necessarily result in a wrong decision. It’s just not the way to come to a correct conclusion.

    A two party system is fucked too. Let’s say that four parties are running for president. None of them can take the required electoral college. The Federalists took the most, but congress elects Andrew Jackson instead.

    Okay, so what do we do to let the people choose? We discredit the Naders and Perots of elections and call them wasted votes. That’ll convince people to vote for one of the real choices.

    You just don’t get it. I’ve fucking watsed and even I get it. If America has two parties, the lesser of two evils wins. If America has more than two parties, the people don’t pick the president. Ergo, America should have NO parties.

  6. The exact same thing would happen in a non-partisan democracy. A nominally RW and a nominally LW candidate duke it out. An additional, or less moderate LW (say) candidate enters, splits the vote, giving the election to the RW. This is exactly the same as with parties. The problem is the electoral system, not the existence of political parties.

  7. They’re both problems. Thomas Jefferson was an anarchist. He believed that there should be no government. That’s why he wrote the constitution. To limit the power of the government that some of the other founding fathers convinced him was a necessary evil. Thomas Jefferson would have left the people to their own devices. As a group, the decided that there should be a government, but it shouldn’t have any sort of power. So the constitution was written to limit the power, and Thomas Jefferson advocated destroying this government within a generation, by force if necessary. Today, citing that Thomas Jefferson quote in a manner that advocates what Thomas Jefferson was advocating will get you an all expense paid, one-way trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It’s terrorism, they say.

    Fat lot of good that constitution did for limiting the government’s power, no? Thomas Jefferson proven right again.

  8. Jefferson also believed that an anarchist society would function only if it was small enough. He also thought an industrialized society would be bad for the US and preferred an agrarian nation. However, the US is an industrialized society and hardly agrarian. In other words, his vision of a “proper” US did not come true.

  9. His vision failed before the United States even considered itself a country. He saw his vision fail in his own lifetime. However, if a person in the United States truly loves their country, they will destroy their government. It’s what Jefferson would have wanted.

    @The Pentagon (who is now reading this because I’ve used enough key words to be put on alert) It’s okay. You can trace my IP. You won’t find me by tracing it. Besides, if my words scare you, it only proves me right.

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