official 2020 election thread [WHITEHOUSE RAISES ERROR: HTTP 306 - FOR BIDEN]

But both of these factors are no longer true. For one thing - we have many forms of transit that enable the presidential candidates to truly campaign everywhere, as well as instant communication via phones, internet, tv, etc. In addition, the USA is no longer really a federation of states, where states are the main player and retain the vast majority of powers, while presidents pretty much only handle the key "national" issues of international relations and defense. That ceased to be the case a very long time ago, and grows ever more false with each presidency. Congress has over time ceded so much power to the executive branch that it is the President who is now responsible to "take care" that the law is executed and enforced in matters ranging from healthcare to education to environmental protection to infrastructure, etc etc. The election of the president really does impact people's everyday lives in significant fashion, even more so than who the governor or senator of their state is. As such, I don't see how to reconcile this with the best defense of the electoral college. We long ago required that all senators be elected by direct democracy - they used to be elected by state legislatures, similarly to how electors used to be picked. Yet somehow the Presidency has remained caught up in this weird undemocratic institution. It needs to go.
I agree that the legislature has since ceded too much power to the executive. In an ideal government, Congress would focus on making laws (and actually do its job of checking the executive), the executive power of the president would be curtailed, and justices would focus on upholding the law instead of policymaking from the bench. This doesn't change the fact that the Constitution, in multiple places, recognizes states as separate entities with all the rights not explicitly reserved for the federal government. The entire legislature is constructed using states as the basis for representation, so I don't see a problem with states determining the executive either.

there are some valid points in the first paragraph here. it's true that now instead of catering to major population centers, candidates are catering to the swing states since there are some states that will probably always vote blue and some that will always vote red. however, swing states can change year to year, while major population centers almost never will. the recent blue trend of Texas is an example of this. there are also more swing states, generally around 10, which isn't perfect but better than just having 3 or 4 major population centers.

the electoral college itself was not designed to keep slaves in bondage, that was a side effect of the 3/5ths clause, which only directly affected the number of representatives a state had in Congress. by your logic, the House of Representatives is also an institution founded in slavery. the idea that the 3/5ths clause was designed for additional representation rather than increased leverage in national elections is supported if we look at the numbers back in 1790. New York, the largest slave state in the North, had a free population of 320,000, while Virginia, the largest southern slave state, had a free population of 404,000. In other words, they would've had more representation regardless of the compromise. another bit of irony? Abraham Lincoln, the president we credit with ending slavery, only received 40% of the popular vote but won a decisive victory in the electoral college.
 

atomicllamas

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I agree that the legislature has since ceded too much power to the executive. In an ideal government, Congress would focus on making laws (and actually do its job of checking the executive), the executive power of the president would be curtailed, and justices would focus on upholding the law instead of policymaking from the bench. This doesn't change the fact that the Constitution, in multiple places, recognizes states as separate entities with all the rights not explicitly reserved for the federal government. The entire legislature is constructed using states as the basis for representation, so I don't see a problem with states determining the executive either.


there are some valid points in the first paragraph here. it's true that now instead of catering to major population centers, candidates are catering to the swing states since there are some states that will probably always vote blue and some that will always vote red. however, swing states can change year to year, while major population centers almost never will. the recent blue trend of Texas is an example of this. there are also more swing states, generally around 10, which isn't perfect but better than just having 3 or 4 major population centers.

the electoral college itself was not designed to keep slaves in bondage, that was a side effect of the 3/5ths clause, which only directly affected the number of representatives a state had in Congress. by your logic, the House of Representatives is also an institution founded in slavery. the idea that the 3/5ths clause was designed for additional representation rather than increased leverage in national elections is supported if we look at the numbers back in 1790. New York, the largest slave state in the North, had a free population of 320,000, while Virginia, the largest southern slave state, had a free population of 404,000. In other words, they would've had more representation regardless of the compromise. another bit of irony? Abraham Lincoln, the president we credit with ending slavery, only received 40% of the popular vote but won a decisive victory in the electoral college.
Lincoln won the popular vote 40 to 30 to 18 to 12 in a 4 way election so I don’t think that’s an argument for the electoral college.

also you’re ignoring that a popular vote wouldn’t lead to trying to win specific states, it would lead to them trying to appeal to everyone. You just assert popular vote leads to people appealing to only populous states with zero evidence, where as there is current examples of the electoral college doing what you claim it prevents happening right now.
 
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electoral college or not, mao told us long ago the truth about where political power grows from. it holds true as much now as it did when he said it. republicans have known this for a long time, and its been absolutely infuriating that democrats have seemingly not understood this for the vast majority of my adult life even one iota, whether it be purposeful ignorance or not, i cannot really tell.
 

Myzozoa

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pure and utter nonsense, Lincoln's 40% was the plurality of the popular vote, no one won more and his name wasn't even on the ballot in the south. the reason they introduced the electoral college is because slaves and women don't vote so a popular vote favored the north. They even counted slaves towards electoral college delegates.

James Madison responded that such a system (the popular vote) would prove unacceptable to the South: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.”

this is pathetic revisionism
 
Lincoln won the popular vote 40 to 30 to 18 to 12 in a 4 way election so I don’t think that’s an argument for the electoral college.

also you’re ignoring that a popular vote wouldn’t lead to trying to win specific states, it would lead to them trying to appeal to everyone. You just assert popular vote leads to people appealing to only populous states with zero evidence, where as there is current examples of the electoral college doing what you claim it prevents happening right now.
it is if you consider that without the electoral college, there would be far more third party candidates where a much smaller plurality would have the potential to decide the election. it'd be a failure of democracy if someone with only 20% of the popular vote (but a plurality!) was elected to represent all of America.

when there's limited time to campaign and you can become president by just winning 9 cities, I think it's reasonable to assume candidates would focus on the areas with the highest population. the electoral college system isn't perfect in this regard, but I'd argue it's better to be focusing on states where opinion is strongly divided than focusing on states simply because they have a higher population density.

pure and utter nonsense, Lincoln's 40% was the plurality of the popular vote, no one won more and his name wasn't even on the ballot in the south. the reason they introduced the electoral college is because slaves and women don't vote so a popular vote favored the north. They even counted slaves towards electoral college delegates.

James Madison responded that such a system (the popular vote) would prove unacceptable to the South: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.”

this is pathetic revisionism
the original reasons for the idea of an electoral college (an intermediary between a national popular vote and having Congress pick the president) are separate from how the electors are actually chosen, which seems to be what you take issue with. you're welcome to explain why you think one of the other options would be preferred if that's your stance
 

Bughouse

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so you mean like how you can already become governor or senator with a plurality, not a majority, of the vote?

The solution to that isn't the undemocratic electoral college. It's just ranked-choice voting.

Also lmao that 9 cities argument... That's not remotely true. The top 9 cities in the US (which isn't even the list that guy mentioned) add up to less than 10% of the US population. Even if you expand to metro areas, the top 9 (again not the same list of 9) add up to less than a third of the US population. (and these metro areas cover 10s of thousands of square miles, hardly just "cities" but rather tons of suburbs and exurbs)
 
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That goes back to the thing with the us being a federation of states. obviously for individual states it would make more sense to choose politicians based on a simple popular vote.

Admittedly, the wording in the article is pretty poor. what he means is that 9 cities would have decided the vote in 2016 based on the number of overall people who voted. But regardless, it's pretty clear there would be a large focus on the high population urban areas.
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
Admittedly, the wording in the article is pretty poor. what he means is that 9 cities would have decided the vote in 2016 based on the number of overall people who voted. But regardless, it's pretty clear there would be a large focus on the high population urban areas.
thats not an article bud, thats a letter to the editor. lol.
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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It's not like he's being discharged to a regular old house... he'll still continue to get special care at the white house, I'm sure. But it's less of an image issue for him. This is likely more of a political decision than a medical one.

That said - if it does actually get worse again and they think they have to take him back, he'll lose even more face. Not that he has much left to lose at this point.
 
Herman Cain/coronavirus timeline:
6/24: Attends Trump rally, maskless
7/2: Tests positive for Covid-19
7/10: Says he’s improving
7/15: Says his doctors seem happy
7/27: Says he’s really getting better
7/30: Dies
8/31: Tweets that the virus isn't as deadly as the media says.

from the way Trump was wheezing yesterday, someone needs to knock some sense into him
 
I've been trying to stay less attached to politics, but I do have some thoughts that have been building up for a while from the presidential debate and now the VP debate.

If you know me you'll know that I lean conservative but try to listen to what the other side of the isle is saying. I was looking forward to the first debate, because I was interested in seeing both Trump having to defend is own poor choices and Biden having to go an hour and a half with no media protection.

As far as the first debate goes, Trump was "winning" on the issues until the end of the debate. He dealt with Biden's attacks about the pandemic and the economy, and won on the supreme court. But he shot himself in the foot in two ways and did in fact lose the debate. Firstly, the debate very quickly became a mess. It didn't feel like anyone got to make any progress because of the disorder, but we all knew that Trump's behavior was the root of the problem. Trump may have been on the right side of many issues, but he tried too hard to control the speaking time; any victory he had was undermined by him not wanting to give his opponent a fair shake. Secondly, Trump botched basically everything at the end of the debate. I've given Trump the benefit of the doubt, but I was utterly unpersuaded by his reaction to the 'racism and condemnation' questioning segment. Then he made a dangerous stink about election legitimacy, another absolute nono. Trump has done the republican party such disservice compared to what basically any other republican nominee had to offer. I don't see Trump making a comeback unless Biden falls over on stage or something dramatic.

Leading up the the VP debate, my expectations were that it wouldn't matter in the discussion but that Pence would win big on policy. Harris definitely didn't start strong, though she warmed up pretty early on. From the beginning I was watching eagerly to see if the debate would devolve into looking like the presidential one, so I was paying attention and looking out for any interruptions. Harris actually interjected first, with some minor and forgivable verbal reactions during Pence's time early on. Not too long afterwards Pence had a similar moment, and Harris jumped on him with her "I'm speaking" line that she used a couple of times. Obviously part of prepping for the debate involved being prepared for this sort of thing. Most of the debate had a similar dynamic; Harris would shoot for the President, Pence would deflect and shoot back at Biden. Neither candidate was really interested in answering the questions as asked - for example, when the moderator asked, 'have you talked with your running mate about the possibility of having to transition into becoming President', neither side would want to answer affirmatively to give legitimacy to the possibility that their running mate's life could be at risk, but neither side would want to sound unprepared by saying that there had been no such talk. A similar dynamic could be applied to most questions throughout the night. Harris got the last speaking segment most of the time (which is an advantage, as any debater would know), but Pence knew well enough to use his time to address previous segments that he wasn't given an opportunity for. Pence did push his time a bit too much a couple of times and got into one notable scrape where the moderator and Harris were both jumping in - the moderator made an interesting comment that Pence had had 'most of the speaking time' at that points. Some people have said that Harris got three whole minutes extra, but CNN is saying that they went almost even with slightly more time for Pence. I'm keeping this on my radar, but it isn't the biggest deal to me. Harris had a good optics moment when she did the whole 'Honest Abe said it wasn't right', and Pence landed a similar hit with his questioning about court packing, especially when he invoked Harris' own standard and said 'the people should know if you are going to pack the court before they vote', to which Harris floundered. Harris' Honest Abe line also doesn't stand up very well to a quick google search, and so I think it's pretty clear that Pence landed the singularly biggest hit of the night. I thought Pence edged out Harris for most of the rest of the night as well, but it wasn't to an extent that the Dems felt it, so this debate can't be said to have been a clear Pence win the way the 2016 VP debate was.

Taking to twitter to hear what people thought immediately during and afterwards, the Reps were saying that 'Pence won on the issues' and 'ew Hillary Clinton 2', while the Dems were saying 'Pence didn't answer questions' and 'look at this white man not backing down' and doing the 'PREACH QUEEN' routine every time she said 'I'm speaking' or did a condescending glance or something. Obviously I agree that Pence won on the issues, but that isn't the opinion that I think would be productive to talk about. A lot of Reps feel really disgusted with some of Harris' behavior; I still remember Harris coming off like a venomous snake while being brutally dishonest about evidence that she never showed during the Kavanaugh hearings. I don't think Harris came off that way in this debate, though. There isn't anything wrong with her voice, she didn't seem desperate or angry and can't really be compared to Clinton. There will always be people saying that politicians are coming off as unpalatable, but Harris didn't. I saw a lot of tweets during the debate about Pence not answering questions. Pence definitely didn't answer as many directly as Harris, but there wasn't a huge difference and this talking point seemed to die after Harris got cooked for not answering about court packing. It seems that the Dems didn't really have a narrative about the debate until past midnight. When I woke up the twitter left was talking about how #HarrisWonTheDebate for no reason other than a black woman and a white man had a debate and the man had a moment of being told by the moderator to stop talking. I'm definitely not buying it - interruptions were a mutual part of the debate, and you can't really read sexism into a politician wanting to refute another politician.

So that's my overall impressions. I kind of just want to see some discussion now to balance out my perspective.
 
I've been trying to stay less attached to politics, but I do have some thoughts that have been building up for a while from the presidential debate and now the VP debate.

If you know me you'll know that I lean conservative but try to listen to what the other side of the isle is saying. I was looking forward to the first debate, because I was interested in seeing both Trump having to defend is own poor choices and Biden having to go an hour and a half with no media protection.

As far as the first debate goes, Trump was "winning" on the issues until the end of the debate. He dealt with Biden's attacks about the pandemic and the economy, and won on the supreme court. But he shot himself in the foot in two ways and did in fact lose the debate. Firstly, the debate very quickly became a mess. It didn't feel like anyone got to make any progress because of the disorder, but we all knew that Trump's behavior was the root of the problem. Trump may have been on the right side of many issues, but he tried too hard to control the speaking time; any victory he had was undermined by him not wanting to give his opponent a fair shake. Secondly, Trump botched basically everything at the end of the debate. I've given Trump the benefit of the doubt, but I was utterly unpersuaded by his reaction to the 'racism and condemnation' questioning segment. Then he made a dangerous stink about election legitimacy, another absolute nono. Trump has done the republican party such disservice compared to what basically any other republican nominee had to offer. I don't see Trump making a comeback unless Biden falls over on stage or something dramatic.

Leading up the the VP debate, my expectations were that it wouldn't matter in the discussion but that Pence would win big on policy. Harris definitely didn't start strong, though she warmed up pretty early on. From the beginning I was watching eagerly to see if the debate would devolve into looking like the presidential one, so I was paying attention and looking out for any interruptions. Harris actually interjected first, with some minor and forgivable verbal reactions during Pence's time early on. Not too long afterwards Pence had a similar moment, and Harris jumped on him with her "I'm speaking" line that she used a couple of times. Obviously part of prepping for the debate involved being prepared for this sort of thing. Most of the debate had a similar dynamic; Harris would shoot for the President, Pence would deflect and shoot back at Biden. Neither candidate was really interested in answering the questions as asked - for example, when the moderator asked, 'have you talked with your running mate about the possibility of having to transition into becoming President', neither side would want to answer affirmatively to give legitimacy to the possibility that their running mate's life could be at risk, but neither side would want to sound unprepared by saying that there had been no such talk. A similar dynamic could be applied to most questions throughout the night. Harris got the last speaking segment most of the time (which is an advantage, as any debater would know), but Pence knew well enough to use his time to address previous segments that he wasn't given an opportunity for. Pence did push his time a bit too much a couple of times and got into one notable scrape where the moderator and Harris were both jumping in - the moderator made an interesting comment that Pence had had 'most of the speaking time' at that points. Some people have said that Harris got three whole minutes extra, but CNN is saying that they went almost even with slightly more time for Pence. I'm keeping this on my radar, but it isn't the biggest deal to me. Harris had a good optics moment when she did the whole 'Honest Abe said it wasn't right', and Pence landed a similar hit with his questioning about court packing, especially when he invoked Harris' own standard and said 'the people should know if you are going to pack the court before they vote', to which Harris floundered. Harris' Honest Abe line also doesn't stand up very well to a quick google search, and so I think it's pretty clear that Pence landed the singularly biggest hit of the night. I thought Pence edged out Harris for most of the rest of the night as well, but it wasn't to an extent that the Dems felt it, so this debate can't be said to have been a clear Pence win the way the 2016 VP debate was.

Taking to twitter to hear what people thought immediately during and afterwards, the Reps were saying that 'Pence won on the issues' and 'ew Hillary Clinton 2', while the Dems were saying 'Pence didn't answer questions' and 'look at this white man not backing down' and doing the 'PREACH QUEEN' routine every time she said 'I'm speaking' or did a condescending glance or something. Obviously I agree that Pence won on the issues, but that isn't the opinion that I think would be productive to talk about. A lot of Reps feel really disgusted with some of Harris' behavior; I still remember Harris coming off like a venomous snake while being brutally dishonest about evidence that she never showed during the Kavanaugh hearings. I don't think Harris came off that way in this debate, though. There isn't anything wrong with her voice, she didn't seem desperate or angry and can't really be compared to Clinton. There will always be people saying that politicians are coming off as unpalatable, but Harris didn't. I saw a lot of tweets during the debate about Pence not answering questions. Pence definitely didn't answer as many directly as Harris, but there wasn't a huge difference and this talking point seemed to die after Harris got cooked for not answering about court packing. It seems that the Dems didn't really have a narrative about the debate until past midnight. When I woke up the twitter left was talking about how #HarrisWonTheDebate for no reason other than a black woman and a white man had a debate and the man had a moment of being told by the moderator to stop talking. I'm definitely not buying it - interruptions were a mutual part of the debate, and you can't really read sexism into a politician wanting to refute another politician.

So that's my overall impressions. I kind of just want to see some discussion now to balance out my perspective.
Thanks for the long and honest analysis.

Like most here, I am left and will be supporting Biden. What is frustrating is the same two common refrains from conservatives:

1) Trump / Pence “win” on policy
Which policy specifically?

-COVID-19 has killed 210,000 Americans. The USA has 4% of the global population and 20% of the deaths.

-The economy had unprecedented 2.5 years of consecutive job growth going into the inauguration 2017, now its in shambles

-Tax cuts went almost exclusively to the 1% and large multinational corporations.

-The West and Gulf states have been battered due to extreme natural disasters, yet we’re still gutting environmental regulations.

-Months of protests in the streets due to systemic racism and violence against Americans of color yet this administration won’t admit it is a problem, let alone do anything about it.

Fuck Abortion. Which policies are conservatives “winning” on?

2) Trump is a bad guy but... (I’m going to vote for him anyway)


-Allegedly has raped over two dozen women, and has admitted to sexual assault (“Grab em by the pussy”)

-Won’t denounce White Supremacists

-Doesn’t respect the outcome of election unless he wins (wanna be dictator)

-Cheats on his taxes, and will likely go to prison for tax fraud

-Doesn’t attend church (but somehow wins the religious vote)

-Cheated on his wife with a porn star

-Is flat broke to the tune of owing $421 million

-Is a serial draft dodger (calls the military suckers and losers)

There’s many more that I didn’t even touch on. How can you overlook all these major character faults for “policy?

Everyone knows you wouldn’t accept if Obama, Biden, Hillary, AOC, or anything Democrat had even one of these flaws. Republicans impeached Bill Clinton over a consensual blowjob.

Conservatives can you see why we don’t think you have any intellectual credibility?
 
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