There is much to commend in Thomas Schaller’s recent piece describing the built-in structural advantages that the Republican Party enjoys in the American electoral system. Some analysts believe this advantage derives from the systematic gerrymandering of legislative districts; others declare it a result of a voluntary demographic “sorting” of Democrats into metropolitan areas and Republicans to exurbia.
A troglodyte is a troglodyte is a troglodyte. "R" or "D", meh?
Sobering article, Mr. Lofgren. I was aware of some of the tactical advantages that favor Republicans, and why it is that big business ("get the government's hands off MY profits!") tends to fund the campaigns of those all too willing to cut taxes for the rich while leaving Grandma out to fend for herself.
Thank you for explaining some of the others.
Yet something that is perplexing remains. In articles by both Paul Buchheit and Richard Atcheson, poll numbers show HIGH majorities of citizens favoring indisputably Progressive policies. What accounts for the gap... that is, mostly citizens of the heartlands voting in the most repugnant of climate-change denying Neanderthals possible?
What I'm getting at is if polls show high Progressive majorities, do the district/tactical advantages that favor Republicans account for why there are 32 Republican governors now?
What this article did not mention--and it's quite clear to me as well as Barry Lynn, the author of "God and Government," is the strong voting bloc found in right-wing leaning Fundamentalist Christians.
In my view, so long as a candidate says the requisite number of "God" salutations, rails against abortion/women's rights, insists on more money for charter (Christian) schools, and shows an impossible intolerance for Muslims... that individual will be prized by too many from this demographic.
When religion fuses with politics it is ALWAYS dangerous. Those who have been taught from a tender age to obey an (male) authority figure are not ones to question rules. And it's this ilk that can be counted upon to march lockstep with authoritarian protocols and laws to that effect.
This is a very dangerous time in our own nation's history.
While this forum's political cognescenti will find flaws in Mr. Lofgren's analysis, no doubt, they should also realize the dangers in insisting that Bernie Sanders does not go far enough. What will come to replace him could well be the brownshirts... albeit, wearing a different hued uniform.
I think the proper term is "fascist."
Why bother with defending old conservatives? Its the new conservatives we have to worry about.
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
― John Kenneth Galbraith
Since the system is run by and about Big Money, corruption is built-in. Both must dance for the same donor dollars unless and until Big Money is not the Decider.
Nor are Republicans in favor of "small government" as they claim. Their only disagreement with Democrats is what the government should be doing. To Republicans it should legislate morality. Prohibit abortion, keep gays "in the closet", and the US military should occupy the Earth. They also support "social darwinism" in that the poor (failures in Republican eyes) should die ASAP and stop wasting resources better used by the "winners" of evolution, those who have proved their worth through the obtainment of wealth.
A very sobering and well reasoned article indeed and takes us to the constitutional root of current problems. Should have done away with the electoral college years ago, but not going to happen. We have a nation that is paralyzed by its politics.
One of the problems is that progressives don't get out and vote because it is beneath them or they are lazy. I really don't know why, but the progressive ideas that seem to be favored by the electorate in polls do not become realized on election day. The Kentucky election recently was a case in point. Where were the 400,000 that are going to lose their medical care after election day with a Republican governor? Did they vote and if so how? It is pretty scary that Trump or Carson could be elected. I once thought that no one in their right mind would vote Ronald Reagan president. WRONG!
The Republican party was founded in 1854 as an anti slavery party. It has washed wide to the right and wide to the left ever since. So it's a chameleon. Right now big money has it siding with their aims, which is to widen the gap between them and the poor, even the middle class. Back in Eisenhower's day the Republican manifesto was far more left leaning than the Democrats although all parties I believe supported policies for full employment and ran budget deficits which made it possible. It was for the US a golden age [for whites] but oil was cheap and energy was freely abundant.
I would like to see Republicans recover their mojo and behave with more emphasis on reality, especially economic reality.
I think because they bare so corrupted by lunatics enough moderates will soon seize back the reins. They might then understand the supply of currency is a bottomless pit and there is always enough to go round, no need to rob the poor to save the rich. Plenty for both. It just takes a serious level of good will and competence to manage it in everyones interest.
The Republican party as a radical revolutionary right wing bunch of selfish facists and no longer conservative? I'll be happy to promulgate that notion. Thanks for the talking points. So, the left is the current conservative party. Fine by me. Rational progress, that certainly is what progressive politics is truly about.
Meanwhile, what am I going to do? Vote? pff...
Your comment makes me wonder if you read the article at all. You want to make the problem into that of voters--in this case, Progressives purportedly not voting.
The article makes it clear that Republicans have a clear advantage. They have recently gerrymandered districts to their advantage, small red states have a disproportionate (in terms of number of citizens) advantage, drug laws create felons who lose their right to vote (and many are persons of color), and then there are the fake voting machines with their computer-generated counts/outcomes, and when all else fails... send in The Supremes, those sagacious luminaries!
There's also the redundancy of "American dynasty" in the form of a Bush or a Clinton, lots of dead Progressive politicians, and the cost of elections exacting their price in who gets elected and what policies s/he passes.
Sorry. I don't buy your argument. If people are cynical... they have sound cause for arriving at that state for all of the reasons I just delineated. And more.
From budget-busting tax cuts for the rich, to making bankruptcy more onerous for people (but not for corporations, which on other occasions Republicans claim are people)...
Republicans correctly claim that corporations are people because the Supreme Court affirmed them as people back in 1886 in the Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad case. For all intents and purposes, corporations are recognized as people in the Constitution and they enjoy 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th amendment rights already, rights that should be reserved only for human beings. And the sooner folks recognize that legal fact, the easier it will be to amend the Constitution.
I recognize how difficult it will be to amend the Constitution, but it was just as difficult to amend it at other times in our history. That's why it's called a struggle. And, struggle we must to abolish corporate constitutional rights by amending the Constitution to say that only natural persons have constitutional rights and money is not a form of protected political speech and shall be regulated in campaigns.
The author describes with accuracy the state of the two-party monopoly on democracy, and then basically says there's nothing we can do about it. Bullocks! Corporations are rewriting the Constitution through the courts. The only avenue the people have is through amendment. It is not at all helpful to reinforce the notion that it cannot be done because it is the only thing to be done, short of armed revolution.
Your post just corroborated what I have been saying for a long time: The dems. are not the opposition party, they are the fake opposition party and what more proof does one need than a Wall Street corrupt quisling with no morals or conscience like HRC has been selected over Bernie Sanders, who, for all his liabilities, is a choir boy in comparison.
When I go down to vote I never see young people. Only old. Honestly. And in a conservative state like Idaho, knowing that the Fox News crowd is running down to cast their ballots while the young educated folks are working, going to school, and trying to raise families explains some of the lopsided nature of election results. Maybe making Election day a national holiday (a petition that just showed up in my inbox) might be a good idea?
It should be mentioned to the readers (especially those leaning right) that Mr. Lofgren had served as a dedicated GOP operative for nearly three full decades in Washington D.C. . He wrote a masterful piece entitled 'Goodbye to All That' - Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult. His article was brilliant for it's timely, first hand analyses and scorching honesty at how Republicans exchanged conservatism, for full throttle corruption as the new normal to governing.
What is not said here or much anywhere for that matter, is how Republicans are "really winning elections." Election statisticians have begun focusing on the unlikely outcome of various races around the country, whose final tally bare feint resemblance to statistical reality when using the 'law of big numbers.' In short - voting machines are being systematically rigged to turn votes for Democrats to Republican.
Here in Wisconsin Scott Walker has made far more enemies than allies. So, how does this guy win a recall election then another gubernatorial race against a very strong opponent? He didn't. Both were stolen. Richard Chernin (an election statistician with impeccable credentials), dedicated an entire chapter of his new book proving statistical impossibility for Walker to have won these elections. In recent history it was standard procedure to follow exit polls for determining election outcomes. Now, polls are adjusted to match election results. Senator Russ Feingold also lost his seat to Tea Party candidate RonJohnson, due to rigged voting equipment.
For all the excellent fact telling from Mr. Lofgren, whom I respect and admire. It comes down to the simple truth of the easily corrupted voting machine - keeping us under the thumb of the GOP horror show.
If you haven't read it yet, please google Mike Lofgren's article 'Goodbye to All That - Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.' Mr. Lofgren, who has no affection for the Democrats made it clear that; although the left has it's share of nutcases, nothing comes close to today's GOP.
Yeah, like the buffoon, Donald Trump is leading in the GOP polls! Trump claims he is a business genius, but lies about having been given "only" a million $ by his father but fails to mention he was left around $125,000,000.00 in real esate.
What Will come to replace Bernie Sanders Will be general national unrest and riots over inadequate pay scales and housing with dislocation from water shortages and failing infrastructure. The pillaging of America will continue as long as shortsighted and foolish men such as those being presented by the GOP as reasonable presidential material are found in our national legislature and state houses.
The Electoral College, new Amendments etc are not going to happen if you expect Congress to make the changes. What about asking the poeple? What if someone, anyone, really, draafted a new constitutin and then circulated it for comment.
Go ahead and bash Democrats, but are you aware that Democrats are responsible for every single piece of social welfare legislation passed starting with the New Deal?
- Social Security
- Expanding Social Security to spouses and dependents
- Unemployment insurance
- Disability insurance
- A minimum wage
- The ACA
- Expanding Medicaid under the ACA (in states controlled by Republicans this has not happened).
Republicans opposed every single social welfare program listed above.
Republicans should listen to the words of the very conservative German Chancellor Bismarck: "Either the government will enact social welfare legislation or the socialists will take over the government."