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Sat Sep 19, 2020, 09:54 PM

Is a new balance coming?

Nate Silver brought up an interesting possible scenario on how this supreme Court fight and election plays out. Let's say McConnell rams through a new justice, therefore making the federal judiciary very conservative. Due to that, the democrats win the white house and Senate, because of democratic anger. The democrats get revenge, not by packing the courts, but by doing away with the filibuster and making DC and Puerto Rico states. And then we would probably settled into a new balance. The addition of DC and Puerto Rico as states means the Dems will have a significant advantage in the Senate, it will add some solid democratic seats in the house, and it will shift the electoral vote in favor of the democrats. So Democrats dominante the presidency, Senate, and to a lesser extent the house. While the Republicans dominate the judiciary. Neither side will then want to make any more moves for fear of losing their new advantage, at least not for quite awhile.

Possible? Likely?

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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is a new balance coming? (Original post)
Dr. Jack Sep 19 OP
idziak4ever1234 Sep 19 #1
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #6
idziak4ever1234 Sep 19 #15
regnaD kciN Sep 19 #17
unblock Sep 19 #2
regnaD kciN Sep 19 #10
unblock Sep 20 #33
regnaD kciN Sep 19 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 19 #32
BannonsLiver Sep 19 #4
Statistical Sep 19 #7
BannonsLiver Sep 19 #16
Statistical Sep 19 #5
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #8
Statistical Sep 19 #13
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #19
Statistical Sep 19 #20
texasfiddler Sep 19 #9
hunter Sep 19 #11
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #14
hunter Sep 19 #26
Sogo Sep 19 #31
Dr. Jack Sep 20 #35
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #12
Statistical Sep 19 #18
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #21
Statistical Sep 19 #22
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #23
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #24
ooky Sep 19 #25
Dr. Jack Sep 19 #27
ooky Sep 19 #30
Disaffected Sep 19 #28
Demsrule86 Sep 20 #37
Disaffected Sep 20 #38
Tribetime Sep 19 #29
Dr. Jack Sep 20 #34
Demsrule86 Sep 20 #36

Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 09:56 PM

1. All Democrats would have to stick together... No sure thing.

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Response to idziak4ever1234 (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:04 PM

6. There is historical precedene

After FDR defeated Hoover, the judiciary was still conservative but the Dems dominated the white house, house, and Senate for 20 years. The Republicans controlled the presidency for most of the 2nd half of the 19th century.

It has happened before. Everything moves towards a balance. The Republicans arent going to just control something as powerful as the federal judiciary without people looking for balance. Americans loathe one party controlling everything and despite fears, Republicans aren't going to set up a dictatorship. So what's the balance? The Dems could stack the courts but then the tit for tat doesn't stop. And long-term they end up fluctuating in power. Instead to maintain power they can take advantage of the situation and get a long term check on the judiciary. They have a way to dominate the legislative branch and presidency, especially if they abolish the electoral vote.

And with more liberal or democratic states in the US. Republicans would have to move to the left to adapt.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:13 PM

15. Truly an intriguing concept.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:14 PM

17. Sorry, but I'm not that "zen"...

Frankly, we've seen plenty of cases in world history where the "balance" was achieved by one side wiping the other out, or forcing them to knuckle under and accept being ruled. It happens over and over, far more often than we see some sort of amicable trade-off. Even the "thesis/antithesis/synthesis" theory of human history, originated by Hegel and admired by Marx, still usually meant that the synthesis was achieved by one of the two sides first defeating the other by force (see the Russian Revolution).

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 09:59 PM

2. Puerto Rico statehood only requires a vote in Congress, afaik

And consent from Puerto Rico, of course.

Statehood for d.c., however, requires a constitutional amendment, so this is much harder to achieve.

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:09 PM

10. That doesn't appear to be the case...

From this article, it would appear that a constitutional amendment would not be required, although it's possible that Maryland might have to give its official permission for the split.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 01:38 AM

33. Makes sense. Basically just redefine the district to be the actual key government properties

Leaving the residents in the rest of the new state

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:02 PM

3. "Neither side would want to make any more moves..."

Tell that to the lifetime-appointed SCOTUS, which would simply proceed to declare unconstitutional whatever we try to do.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 11:33 PM

32. They can't just declare something unconstitutional.

A case has to come before them regarding whatever law.

Of course, there will be plenty of Republicans who will try to make such claims.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:02 PM

4. I'm unclear on the process for DC and PR being made states?

If this required anything like a 2/3 state majority itíll never happen. Everyone on this forum no matter how young they are will be worm food before our constitution is ever amended.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:05 PM

7. It does not. It only requires legislation. Simple majority in both houses and signed by the Pres.

Now will the Democratic leadership have the balls to actually make that play if they win back the Presidency and Senate is another question.

Three powerful things which can be accomplished by simple legislation
* Open a territory to statehood
* Expand the size of the House (see Wyoming rule)
* Expand the size of the Supreme Court

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Response to Statistical (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:13 PM

16. Thank you.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:04 PM

5. While adding PR & DC are good ideas the SCOTUS is incredibly powerful

Allowing it to remain a 6-3 split will cripple attempts to make any meaningful progressive reforms for decades to come. As an example there is a case coming before the Supreme Court on ACA. Even if Robert votes in favor of the ACA that would be a 4-4 decision. With Trump's new abomination on the bench it would be 5-4 and significant provisions of the ACA die.

The Supreme Court especially a corrupt broken ideolog one is incredibly powerful it is the ultimate trump card.


Side note adding PR & DC to the Senate would shift the balance a bit towards Democrats but Republicans would still be heavily favored to control it in most election years. Less than they are now but even 4 additional left leaning votes isn't enough to dominate the Senate.

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Response to Statistical (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:07 PM

8. But everything trends towards balance

Maybe the best way to get balance again is for the Dems to concede the judiciary and instead take over the presidency and legislative branch. Sure the right wing Court would still stuff down but not everything. And if the Dems control the other two branches, more laws get through. Some would be struck down but some would prevail. It's not perfect but the Dems are not going to just take over the entire federal government somehow.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:12 PM

13. I don't think you realize how powerful a one sided supreme court is.

Pass single payer - unconstitutional
Pass $15 minimum wage increase - unconstitutional
Someone sues over paying benefits to a married gay couple - court rules non hetero marriage is unconstitutional

Any existing law/benefit/protection can be struck down. Any future legislation can be struck down.

Also the Democrats won't dominate government. The Senate will still favor conservatives just by less so from time to time they will win the Senate and indirectly through the EC the Presidency. Maybe less often than they do now but it will happen. The one thing they will have an absolute lock on for years to come will be the Supreme Court.

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Response to Statistical (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:15 PM

19. But then the Dems could go nuclear if the Republican supreme Court gets too aggressive

The threat alone would keep them from being too uncooperative since they would immediately lose an advantage they have. The Dems would just have to say they will stack the courts unless the Republicans are fair.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #19)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:17 PM

20. If you can do that then just do it.

Why wait and let them control the Supreme Court and just stop them if they get too fascist. Remove that power instead of threatening to remove that power.

Expand the court. Hell even if Mitch didn't pull this stunt I say we should expand the court. With more justices they will on average be replaced more frequently meaning each replacement is less of a doomsday scenario.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:08 PM

9. I can guarantee that if an island group

Full of white evangelicals wanted statehood, Republicans would have already made it so. Democrats donít see the low hanging fruit in terms of retaining power. We could learn a thing or two from our competition

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:09 PM

11. I don't want a "new balance."

The world will be a much better place without the Republican Party.

There is no good left in them.

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Response to hunter (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:13 PM

14. But how do you eliminate a party that has the support of 40% of the population?

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:32 PM

26. You mean deplorable U.S.A.?

Can't fix stupid, but you can distract it.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 11:14 PM

31. You find a way to stop that minority from prevailing....

i.e., 40% should not be ruling the country.

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Response to Sogo (Reply #31)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 01:09 PM

35. But swing voters exist

The Republicans arent just winning elections with 40% of the vote. In 2014 they didn't get 40% of the vote but take back the Senate. In 2010 they didn't get 40% of the vote but retake the house anyway. When they win they are largely convincing independents that in that moment they are the best choice and are getting more votes, usually. They have the undying loyalty of 40% but softer support that in times and instances gets them well about 50%.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:10 PM

12. Yes a Republican controlled supreme Court would be powerful but...

...if the dems control the Senate and Presidency, more or less, they could always use the threat of going nuclear and packing the courts if the Republican court gets too aggressive with striking things down.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:14 PM

18. if we can do it then why not just do it. Why suffer under a Republican controlled Supreme Court ...

if not necessary. Republicans wouldn't. Republicans will take any and all power they can get. They play to win. Under no scenario would accepting a Republican dominate SCOTUS help Democrats or the people of the nation.

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Response to Statistical (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:17 PM

21. But then the Republicans have something to run on

Too much democratic controls then they get back power, pack the courts even more, maybe push for more states to balance out power. It would be a tit for tat that would prolong our current instability and the issues of radicalism on the right.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #21)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:22 PM

22. Republicans will do that regardless.

Republicans don't threaten they just take power whenever and wherever possible. Doing that has net them one Supreme Court justice and likely in a couple months a second one.

Threats are silly. Sure you can threaten and then maybe you lose control of the Senate and your threat is useless. If you can do it then do it. Secure power for the here and now.

Republicans have minority support from the country and totally dominate the government because they act aggressively when there is an opening to expand power. Not they are utter shitstains but they don't play pattycake and say you can keep a packed SCOTUS if you let us have this. Republicans aren't going to say "ok good deal" they will keep their packed SCOTUS and then retake the Senate and use it to block all legislation and run on how bad the Democrats are and use that to retake the Senate and god forbid if when that happens another liberal justice dies they will make the court even redder.

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Response to Statistical (Reply #22)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:24 PM

23. Sure but it would be more convincing to more people if the Dems...

...make a ton of power grabs. Without that to scream about, fewer people vote for Republicans, Dems stay powerful

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:28 PM

24. Keep in mind, it's not all about what we want

I'm not saying "would this be cool with everyone here?" because that wouldnt be how any of that would work. Instead it's whether the Democrats and Republicans finally dig in to potential significant advantages. I'm not saying there would be some kind of agreement either. Just that is how things might naturally evolve. It really depends on which direction the Dems take at this point but politics is all about strategy and diplomacy, whether we believe it or not. The Republicans arent going to just go on a full blown total war against the democrats and the democrats aren't going to either. Neither party is that powerful. The Republicans now very well being in control of the judiciary. That's a huge shift in the balance of power and as physics says, there will be an equal and opposite reaction on the part of the Dems to restore the balance. There is always going to be a balance. Both parties are, in the grand scheme, roughly 50% of the country each. Ones not going to eliminate the other. One isn't going to just control everything. How the Dems restore the balance is yet to be seen but the DC, Puerto Rico state hood and eliminating the filibuster might be the best route.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:29 PM

25. We have a problem with the Court because of the justice that was appointed

unconstitutionally because of Mitch McConnell. While it would be great to sweep the election, I won't feel the proper balance of government has been restored until the problem on the Court has been rightfully and properly rectified. It seems that expanding the court with two justices appointed by our party's President is the proper way to do that, and fully justifiable.

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Response to ooky (Reply #25)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:38 PM

27. That would be nice but it's not about what we "want"

It makes little difference whether you or I want that to happen. And the Democrats don't have unlimited power or the ability to just eliminate the Republican party. And same with the Republicans. Eventually this will all balance out regardless of whether those of us agree for here want it or not.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 11:00 PM

30. Not "want", balance is a state of being. You either have it or you don't and we

won't have that with a 6-3 Court. It has to be a priority to fix that to achieve a state of balance. The SCOTUS is too powerful.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:48 PM

28. Perhaps a better new balance could be found

in switching to a Parliamentary system (not that such would have the slightest chance in hell of ever happening).

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Response to Disaffected (Reply #28)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 01:13 PM

37. No. Look at the UK...not good and also we can't change our form of government.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #37)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 04:36 PM

38. With respect (and regret),

I don't think the UK system of government is in nearly the difficulty the US is (Brexit notwithstanding).

You can change your form of government or at least improve it, can you not, thru constitutional amendments? Whether or not that could be accomplished in a practical sense is, I grant you quite, another thing.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sat Sep 19, 2020, 10:56 PM

29. Pack the courts..make D.C. and Puerto Rico states also

Screw trying to work with those truly evil people.

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Response to Tribetime (Reply #29)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 01:05 PM

34. But are the Democrats powerful enough to do that

And to hold onto their majorities in the other two branches? If they can't hold on for years and years, which would be very unlikely if they go with that many huge power grabs at once (Republicans will get super riled up in that case) and in 2022 or 2024 they might very well be annoyed enough to overcome any dem advantages in the Senate and electoral vote. By 2024 we could have a Republican Senate and presidency again that could then ram through a ton of extra justices, which there would now be precedence for, and then where are we? In 5 years, Republicans controlling everything and adding people like Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton to the supreme Court at will and in the American publics mind, they might be justified in doing so. The Dems will have done it first. Is that tit for tat over the next 10-20 years going to be good for the country?

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Sun Sep 20, 2020, 01:11 PM

36. No, with a right wing court, they would still dictate policy instead of voters.

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