Friday, September 27, 2013
A Grand Coalition
Gerard N. Magliocca
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, won the most votes in the recent German election. Her party fell short of a majority, though, so she is negotiating a grand coalition with the main opposition party. This sort of thing occurs in parliamentary systems either because there is an emergency (the "National Unity" government in World War II between Churchill and the Labour Party) or because there is no other way to govern effectively until the next election.
" It allows a small minority (probably 20% at most) to block anything."
Mathematically, the Hastart rule, that the majority leaders will permit nothing to reach the floor unless supported by a majority of the majority must require over 25% to block anything, because if a majority of the majority were less than that percentage of the House, how could the majority BE a majority?
Sobbin' John's tiny problem is his Party is being held hostage by the far right. Well, that and he's lost control.
He's not an idiot and probably does see acceptable compromises. He lacks the power to forge them.
No doubt he sees compromises that are acceptable to him. His problem is that they're very likely not acceptable to the people who elected him, either to his seat, or to his leadership position.
True Brett. Boehner is administering the rule as if he needs a nearly unified caucus to go forward.
A one-quarter minority veto is normally reserved for states and constitutional amendments.
I don't think that Boehner can get away with this. He would still need some Republican votes, and obviously the tea party would target any Republican who voted for a bipartisan speaker (along with Boehner himself) for primary challenges.
I suspect this dance is basically going to go on until the demographic changes in the electorate render the tea party irrelevant, which is going to take a couple of more election cycles. At that point, and not before, the Republican establishment will take a step back and start making the sorts of moves the Democrats made under Clinton. And the tea party members, despite the fantasies about third parties or staying home on election day, will be forced to vote for Republicans anyway because they hate the Democrats so much. The left-wing base still votes for Clinton and Obama too.
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There is no need for a coalition. The GOP leadership has a plan:
Mind, Dilan, it's just barely possible that political views aren't genetically determined, and so demographics aren't destiny.
The Tea Party view of this would be that the current generation of Republican leadership are terrible salesmen for conservative views, because they aren't actually conservatives. That you can't be a forceful, persuasive advocate for a political philosophy you don't actually hold, but only reluctantly claim to hold because you had the misfortune to start your career in a conservative district, and can't be elected without pretending to be one.
It's quite possible they're fooling themselves, and a generation of pols who actually believe in conservative views would be no more effective at selling them to "swarthy" people than a bunch of blowhard fakes who only believe in graft. But I don't think the question can be considered proven one way or the other until it's been tried.
Wow, that is some industrial strength delusion you've got going on, Brett. Apparently your leaders are really crappy at selling conservatism, but they're really good at selling stupid hicks on the idea that they're conservatives?
Meanwhile, brilliant conservative intellects like you could not get elected even if you crapped out Reagan shaped poop.
That is a real conundrum...
I didn't say that political votes are genetically determined. That isn't what makes demography destiny.
What actually makes demography destiny is that the Republicans, right now, have positioned themselves as the party of White Male Christian Nationalism, and the party of the rich. That's what it means to "fuse" economic and social conservativism.
The thing is, as the electorate gets less and less white, male, and Christian, White Male Christian Nationalism is simply less successful as an electoral formula.
Note that what I am saying is not an overarching critique of all conservativism. I don't believe, for instance, that opposing government spending or high taxes is particularly deadly for conservativism (although opposing ONLY spending on the poor and taxation on the rich certainly is). But the positions that the Republican Party takes on social and especially racial and ethnic issues are. Being the party that talks about legitimate rape, being the party who thinks that religious nuts should be able to make it harder for women to get birth control, being the party who wants to keep gays from marrying or having equal rights, being the party who constantly trashes blacks and hispanics and takes the white person's side in every discussion about race, THAT stuff is totally deadly long term.
Not because voters of color are "genetically" predisposed to vote for liberals, but because voters of color are generally never going to favor the party that constantly makes explicit racial appeals to white male Christians.
In the long term, the Republican Party is going to have to be more inclusive of minorities, more inclusive of non-Christians, more inclusive of sexually active unmarried women, and more inclusive of gays. If it does those things, it can still remain the more conservative of the two parties, the party of tax cuts, and the party of limits on government spending. But until it does do those things, the demographics are going to slowly crush it. The tea party's vision of electoral success is a fantasy.
I think it's more like, they're never going to abandon the party that makes explicit appeals to people "of color"; There's a political party in this country which supports explicit racial discrimination in public policy, and it's the Democratic party. You went straight from being the party of racial discrimination, to being the party of racial discrimination. You just swapped clients.
Hard to compete with that, when you keep the racial hatred stoked up. But I don't think it's an absolute forgone conclusion that blacks will continue to prefer living as perpetually dependent on government favors. Perhaps I'm just being too optimistic here, and the government model of impoverishing a majority, and then buying their votes with taxes collected from a minority, is unbeatable.
Brett, you did this on the debt ceiling issue too. When cornered, you try to change the subject from what is going to happen to whether what is going to happen is legitimate.
If voters of color want to vote for the party that they feel is more responsive to their concerns, that is their right. You standing on the sidelines condemning them as just voting for racial spoils isn't going to stop them from doing it. Indeed, if anything, it's going to encourage more of them to do it, because that's exactly the sort of White Male Nationalist Christian viewpoint that is killing the Republicans' brand with voters of color.
Basically, it's not impossible for conservatives to get the votes of non-white voters. But to get enough of them, they need to stop doing what you just did in your comment. Stop accusing these voters of wanting a handout. Stop accusing these voters of wanting the government to tip the scales in their favor. They have to tell the people in their base who don't have the highest opinion of voters of color to shut up and take their medicine.
Pretty soon, you aren't going to win many elections in this country unless you accept the legitimacy of the claims of voters of color. If you'd rather have a rump White Male Nationalist Christian party where you can say how terrible voters of color are, but you have zero power, that choice is available to you. I suspect, however, the leaders of your party know better than you do about this.
If I have to assist in the destruction of the country to win the votes of large numbers of blacks, I don't want them. Better to at least not be complicit when you bring the whole thing crashing down.
Brett, I would like to thank you for your ongoing efforts at encouraging people to vote for Democrats. Don't listen to Dilan. You just need to keep on being you.
A new survey by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that Republican voters trust Cruz more than both Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The GOP establishment is playing with fire by caving repeatedly to the Democrat establishment. If it went into open alliance as Gerard suggests, the GOP justifiably goes the way of the Whigs and we will form a new party.
Our SALADISTA is trying to sell "CRUZ-I-FICTION." Actually it's "CRUZ-I-FRACTION." It's our SALADISTA who is playing with matches.
And Brett's 9:48 PM comment confirms his "anarcho-libertarian" agenda as well as his fear of changing demographics reflecting Sen. Lindsey Graham's (Cracker, SCar) observation during the 2012 presidential election that there weren't enough angry white men. (Apparently there were enoughhappy white men to add to Obama's significant wib in 2012, happy to please their wives, perhaps.)
" ... to win the votes of large numbers of blacks, ..."
says it all in showing his racist views once again. Brett neglected to point to the votes of large numbers of women of all races favoring Obama.
Ideally, yes, Bart, but the political system was, in that respect anyway, considerably freer in those days. Today the two major parties have erected considerable barriers to the advance of third parties, well beyond the simple effects of first past the post.
It's not in the interests of the Democratic party that an ineffectual GOP be replaced by a new party that's actually effective. And with things like campaign finance laws and ballot access rules, they unfortunately would be in a position to prevent it. If I thought otherwise I'd still be in the Libertarian party.
I'm afraid that taking over the GOP really is the only option remaining.
Oh, and Shag? Hard to come up with an appropriate reply to that rant which doesn't violate even generous standards of civility.
Of course Graham shares your view of the GOP; He's one of the RINOs we need to get rid of.
"If I thought otherwise I'd still be in the Libertarian party."
suggests that he may cruise with the "Anarcho-Libertarian" party unless he and his ilk can take over the GOP. Now for a chorus of "Stout-Hearted [While] Men" as Brett leads them to and over the cliff.
Brett reveals his ambition to be the Great White Hunter in his pursuit of RINOs to cull from and purify the GOP specie. How many RINOs are there that he would target? While Brett believes vociferously in an absolutist Second Amendment, I assume his culling would be by the means of the First Amendment, speaking not so softly while carrying the big schtick in his arsenal.
Seriously, Graham is too cute to be a RINO; he's more of a Rhinestone Cowboy.
Another way to think about this is that Boehner could just start making more exceptions to the Hastert Rule and call the bluff of the Tea Party faction. After all, who else can they elect as Speaker?
I know this is a strange concept during all of this fixation with the politics of our ruling class, but Boehner could simply do as his constituents want or instead be fired in the next election opening up the position of Speaker.
" ... but Boehner could simply do as his constituents want or instead be fired in the next election opening up the position of Speaker."
suggests that our SALADISTA knows what Boehner's constituents want. How many registered voters are in his district? Do a majority want a government shutdown? What is the polling evidence that our SALADISTA has?
Of course, representative governance does not subject an elected official to do what constituents want if such were detrimental to the nation's interests.
If Boehner declines to shut down the government, he might just be removed as Speaker by GOP (Tea Party) House members before his constituents can vote if Boehner were to decide to run for reelection; he might not want another term filled with turmoil similar to the recent "Cruz" off the Italian coast. Boehner just might, on principle, put the nation's interests ahead of his personal political ambitions.
The OP's solution is open to debate but it does suggest that Prof. Levinson blames the Constitution at times for what in fact is current policy. The policy is influenced by constitutional limitations, but only so much.
Perhaps, the problem is at times that the Constitution allows too much flexibility here. For instance, the filibuster is not required by the text but it is allowed. At least, I think that is a reasonable interpretation, one some do disagree with.
Isn't that exactly what Democrats are doing to the health care financing system at this very moment? Destroying it, so that you'll have the opportunity to build single payer on the ruins?
90% of "new" jobs are part time, because of all the formerly full time employees getting their hours cut, and having to find a second job to make ends meet. Waivers and delays all over the place. The exchanges are never going online on time, the IT infrastructure for them is months behind schedule at best.
There might have been some doubt about this being a deliberate attack on the health care financing system when it was first rammed through, but persisting in it in the face off all the damage it's doing? I think it's got to be deliberate at this point: You really think that if you break the existing system completely enough, you'll have the opportunity to design a new one from scratch.
"A person who thinks public accommodation anti-discrimination law is akin to slavery"
When you declare a PERSON to be a "public accommodation"? Tell them they have to work for somebody they don't want to work for, or be penalized? Damn straight it's "akin" to slavery. With massive fines instead of horse whipping, sure, that's an improvement. But the fundamental character, that you don't get to say "no" to doing somebody's work? Obviously there.
The whole slavery thing is really non-germane really. I'm sorry I brought it up.
Anyway, Prof. Dorf has an interesting post similar to this one and suggests a "deal" for the Dems that heck sounds intriguing:
This also calls to mind voting by preference -- your first preference might be a third party, e.g., but your second could be let's say one of the top two.
Here, Dems have a preference for let's say Lady Pelosi, but if forced to choose, will pick Sir Boehner as the least bad option. Realistically, that is often what politics involves anyway.
Blacks vote over 90% at times for the Democratic Party for a reason, that being reasonable self-interest based on reality. Once a upon a time, they saw the Republican Party as best there.
It is quite possible for this to change some, though by now the level of earned distrust is great. If there wasn't so much baggage, simply on moral issues they would get many blacks.
"Isn't that exactly what Democrats are doing to the health care financing system at this very moment? Destroying it, so that you'll have the opportunity to build single payer on the ruins?"
Personally, I can only wish that were true. Sadly, Obama and others actually believe market-based systems will work better.
The apocalyptic qualities of providing health insurance to those who lack it escape me, even though I'd prefer something better. It's all the more laughable given that the Republican Party has spent 30 years trying its level best to destroy the country and now seems determined to inflict more *actual* damage in order to avoid the mere prospect of *future* damage. Epistemic closure, indeed.
Gerard N. Magliocca said...If people miss one Social Security Check, they will be screaming at Boehner in parking lots.
More likely, Republicans will blame Democrats, vis versa and the Indis will blame both.
The elderly are heavily Republican.
If Brett and his ilk take over the GOP it will be known as the "Grand Ofay Party."
"The elderly are heavily Republican."
may cover the obese elderly but not us lean, mean ones, who like the Tea Party insist: "Don't mess with my Medicare" or "Social Security."
Most of the "mean" New Deal generation like you have died off and the current boomers taking your place are the folks who elected Reagan.
Perhaps our SALADISTA doesn't recognize that these boomers recently and soon to retire want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare - and Social Security - especially since these boomers are aware of the failures of the Bush/Cheney 8 years that led to and ended with their 2007-8 Great Recession, impacting financially their retirements. And the 2007-8 Bush/Cheney Great Recession also impacted the children of these boomers with losses of potential inheritances and even having to move back with the boomers because of financial problems making it on their own. And even - especially - boomers understand that beginning with Reagan inequality started to boom with their boomers' incomes stagnating. And not all of these boomers are angry white men there were not enough of in 2012. As to Reagan, shall we open up that 8 year can of worms, including all the tax increases enacted, not to mention some foreign policy hanky-panky that required presidential pardons?
Looks like the majority leader found a way to partially cave; He's switched from entirely defunding Obamacare, to delaying implementation until after the next election.
Ignoring veto threat, House votes to avert government shutdown and delay Obamacare a year
As a starting point, it wouldn't have been bad. As a fallback point, it signals Boehner's willingness to compromise. In the middle of a game of chicken, he's just shifted his car over to one side, instead of the middle of the lane. Democrats will now proceed to force him entirely off the road.
This was the "compromise" position that had been floated by multiple members and Sen. Manchin before the initial defunding bill. I suspected the House GOP was going there.
I now suspect that the end deal will be a nearly complete collapse to a year delay in the individual mandate.
We will see.
In any case, time for a new Speaker.
I have to agree with Brett on this. The House threatens to shut down the whole government, and the cause is ... contraception?
The mountain labored and brought forth a mouse.
If "contraception" fails to shut down the government when the rubber meets the road, will Viagra and Cialis be next? Of course that would make some angry white men even angrier.
Mark: How the hell is the House threatening to shut down anything by passing continuing resolutions? I would think it's the Senate leadership and President making the threats at this point.
C'mon Brett. They want to shut down the government over contraception. You can't seriously believe that that's a legitimate negotiating tactic. Can the Dems shut down the government unless the House passes single payer? Impeaches Roberts?
That's not taking seriously the business of actually governing.
I happen to think automatically capitulating to Democrats doesn't look much like governing, either.
But the fact remains, the House has now sent the Senate TWO, count 'em, TWO continuing resolutions to keep the government running. If the government shuts down, it won't be because the House refused to pass a continuing resolution, it will be because the Senate preferred a shutdown to going along with that resolution.
I simply, flatly, refuse to privilege Democratic preferences in this. I've only got one baseline for spending: Zero. Everything above and beyond that is fit to be negotiated.
The thing is, if government is going to work at all, then the nuclear option can't be on the table unless the stakes are, well, nuclear. That's because a democratic system provides other chances to negotiate.
As it is, there probably isn't even a majority in the House against a clear CR. I'm sure there are 20 or so squishes on the R side. Thus, you have a minority in one branch threatening to blow up the whole system. That's intolerable at any time.
Brett is an "anarcho-libertarian." Blowing up things, figuratively to be clear, is going to be more acceptable to him.
So, if the nuclear option is supposed to be off the table, why are Democrats deploying it? Hell, the President has announced he'd veto a continuing resolution if it has ANY amendments to it, even ones supported by a majority of Democrats. And that's not threatening default in your book?
I repeat, the House has now produced two continuing resolutions. Reid's Senate didn't even bother convening Sunday, let alone vote on that second.
You've either got massive nerve, or a conceptual block the size of a largish asteroid, to think that Reid isn't as guilty of playing chicken as the Republicans.
Here's Brett's "anarcho-libertarian" tantrum:
"I simply, flatly, refuse to privilege Democratic preferences in this. I've only got one baseline for spending: Zero. Everything above and beyond that is fit to be negotiated."
It should be noted that "anarcho-libertarians" run outside the baselines of normal. But Bwana Brett is a harmless GWH* as he plans to cull RINOs from the GOP herd via the First Amendment (Brett knowing well that NSA has him in its sights), all the while displaying his narcissism. Bwana Brett swings and misses again and again so there is no baseline for him to run (assuming the catcher doesn't drop the ball). So Bwana Brett threatens to take his ball field home if he doesn't get his way.
I continue to think that Shag might actually have the processing power available to think about the subjects being discussed, were it not all devoted to generating cutesy nicknames and acronyms.
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