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Metaphorical

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Name: Kurt Cagle
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cascadia
Member since: Sat Dec 3, 2016, 02:02 AM
Number of posts: 1,085

About Me

Contributing Writer, Forbes Magazine

Journal Archives

Is this the end of the imperial presidency?

One of the things I've watched over the last few decades has been the increasing power that the executive branch wields compared to Congress or the Courts. We've seen the logical conclusion of this: had Trump succeeded yesterday, he would have been, in effect a King with unlimited powers. Republicans have pushed for this shift in power because that hierarchy would have ensconced them in permanent power as well.

Moving forward I think the Democrats are going to have to do some serious thinking about how to limit the power of the President, now and in the future. Trump basically exploited every potential loophole in his attempt to regain control, and in the process has laid out a roadmap showing precisely where the weak points are. This is going to be an interesting balancing act, because Biden is likely going to need to step outside of the system periodically to help repair it, and this is going to have to be managed carefully.

When new Senate formally sits

Begin removal hearings.

Get this fucker out of office NOW!

How Long Will Mitch McConnell stay in the Senate as Minority Leader?

I'm giving it four months. The knives will be out after this, and once deposed from even a minority leadership position McConnell will retire to his turtle pond.

Distrustful Republican Voters Spawning New Election Integrity Movement

https://www.laprogressive.com/new-election-integrity-movement/

Personally, I am happy to see this. I think there are systemic problems with the touchscreen voting machines, and the more that the rank and filel Republican gets exposed to the same issues that Democrats have been pointing out for years, the ones that are genuinely interest in electoral reform may come to understand why we have these concerns. There are a lot of ignorant people out there - not stupid, just dealing with a great deal of misinformation with no way of filtering it out, and any kind of education can only help to reduce that ignorance.

McConnell is in a far weaker position than most people realize

There is at least a 25% chance that the Democrats will take control of the Senate in 2021, if boh Orsoff and Warnock win, and as much as the GOP is spending in Trump's frivolous lawsuits, this is going to keep spending to support the GOP Georgian candidates down considerably. However, there is a 50% chance that at least one of the two candidates will be elected. At that point, the new Senate is 49/51 Dem/GOP. Worse-case scenario, the Dems are down two.

A lot of people are worried that McConnell will be obstructionist, but the reality in the second scenario is that he can't. He cannot afford a single defection in the ranks. He can't give Collins or Murkowski a "vote in conscience" without losing votes, and the chances that he can retain the fillibuster are now slim. He's also going to have to worry about someone in the GOP ranks choosing to caucus with the Democrats if crossed too many times.

What this means is that for the first time in a while, the GOP is going to have to do something they collectively hate - they are going to have to compromise in the Senate. Also keep in mind that Romney is waiting in the wings. He may end up going for the Presidency in 2024, but he may also decide that he may want to be Senate Majority Leader instead. I don't like Romney, but I think he is far more likely to build a moderate caucus in the process to undermine McConnell, and I think of the two, he is the more principled.

So, while not ideal for the Democrats, I don't think the situation is near as bad as some have portrayed it.

Has anyone noticed odd behavior with the Internet?

I'm seeing major domains suddenly throwing up DNS security errors - are we in the midst of a hack attack?

Why Hillary Clinton WON'T be on the Cabinet (nor should she be)

Most organizations that have been around for any length of time begin to develop a small pool of Elders, and this is as true in politics as anywhere else. Ben Franklin was an elder statesman, as an example - he was essentially an at large ambassador, a member of the government without actually formally being a part of the government.

Hillary Clinton is an Elder, as are the Obamas, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, one or two others. Such elders play a very important role - because of the gravitas of their station, they are well respected and have the actual authority to speak for the United States without having the formal authority or official sanction. They are often used in diplomatic roles where the US doesn't want to be seen as being committed but nonetheless has a vested interest.

It's one reason why any talk like that will go nowhere, especially with someone as seasoned as Biden (who essentially came out of retirement to run for president and was also an Elder). I don't think Biden ran because of ego. He ran because he realized it was necessary. I suspect that after he retired in 2016, he assumed that he was done with his political life, and would have been just as happy not doing it. That's what separates good people from bad ones. They do what they do because they see it as needing to be done. That was Trump's biggest failure - he looked upon the presidency as a means to enrich himself, to gain more power for himself.

Legitimacy

Something's happening today, around the world. The balance of power is shifting.

Donald Trump brought the air of a Mafia Don to the White House, and with it the projection of how America was to be perceived. He ruled using fear and venom as his tools. Our allies came to realize, quickly, that America under Trump couldn't be trusted. It had gone fascist. The news was filled with cities on fires, protesters becoming vandals, an army of biker gangs openly threatened elected officials, supported by the President of the United States. Children were put into cages and separated from their families. Corruption had become the only currency, the rule of law no longer enforced. America had become infected not only with Covid-19 but also a creeping virulence, fear for the future, fear of association, fear of neighbors who had suddenly become enemies.

Power can be stolen. The problem with stolen power is that it does not confer legitimacy. This is an important concept but one that's difficult to put into words. Legitimacy is the idea that power was justly earned, and the belief that its wielder will use that power for the good of the country, not for his or her enrichment. It's the idea that a ruler has the support of all of the people in his demesne, not just the ones who adulate him or her. It also is a contract that says that a leader acknowledges that he is to be leader of everyone, not simply those who agree with him.

Donald Trump as president was illegitimacy personified. He was a narcissist who surrounded himself with sycophants, who use the power of his office to silence his critics, who "won" by rigging the rules while failing to gain the support of the majority of Americans. He installed his family into positions of power in a show of blatant nepotism, and then turned the instruments of power, from the immigration police to the Department of Justice, into his own praetariat and personal lawyers. As an illegitimate president, he subverted the Rule of Law.

The media in this country have a very odd role. They inform, the persuade, the coerce, and it can be argued that, like so much else, their privilege needs to be better kept in check. However, there is also something that they do every election cycle. They announce. The ballots have been cast and counted, the numbers have come in, but it isn't until the media calls the results of those numbers that a candidate is given legitimacy, or has legitimacy taken away.

Today, the mantle has been passed. Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris. You have been granted legitimacy.

Many will sigh in relief, from our allies to the millions of people who have watched this descent into madness take its toll on them and their families. Others will curse and plot and scheme, but will do so under cover of darkness, very much like their illegitimate leader, Donald Trump.

Perdue has slipped below 50%, here:

https://www.270towin.com/2020-election-results-live/state/georgia

So it's looking likely that GA Senate will result in a run-off in January.

On the other GA Senate Race:
Raphael Warnock (Democratic) 1,589,353 32.8%
✓ *Kelly Loeffler (Republican) 1,262,182 26.0%
Doug Collins (Republican) 972,254 20.0%
Deborah Jackson (Democratic) 317,975 6.6%
Matt Lieberman (Democratic) 134,302 2.8%
Tamara Johnson-Shealey (Democratic) 104,756 2.2%
Jamesia James (Democratic) 92,392 1.9%
Derrick Grayson (Republican) 50,910 1.0%

If Ds and Rs are considered as a block: Rs at 47%, Ds at 46.3% -- We're not dead yet w/ Warnock either.

Trump was never ahead - in his entire term, he was a loser

Unsaid but significant - during this election cycle, Trump was never ahead of Biden after March. He never broke 50%, was underwater in ratings throughout his presidency, was never ahead or even tied with Biden for electoral votes or popular totals. Yes, he was (and still is) ahead in individual states), but never to a point where he could claim that he was winning. He did, of course, election night, but I cannot remember a politician in the last forty years who was so arrogant and clueless as to claim he was the winner when he was losing badly.
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