‘We Are Here To Complain’
[guest post by Dana]
They say if you don’t vote you can’t complain. They’re wrong. Complaining is prior to voting. It is deeper and more powerful than voting. It is the original act of politics. Before there was democracy, there was sitting around the campfire complaining about the way the headman allocated the shares of mastodon meat. Bellyaching about the boss is more than a political right. It is a human right.
And so…we are here to complain. The candidates from the major parties are subpar. They display troubling authoritarian tendencies. Their records in office—one long, one short—are underwhelming and frequently self-contradictory. Their actions consistently fail to match their rhetoric. If they agree on one thing, it is that they have the right, and perhaps even the obligation, to tell you what to do in the bedroom and in the boardroom, in the streets and in the sheets. If they agree on a second thing, it is the necessity of spending ever-larger sums of taxed and borrowed money in pursuit of ever-vaguer goals. They helm parties that are similarly compromised and hypocritical.
The fact that many voters in 2020 believe they must nonetheless actively support one of these two deeply flawed characters is a testament to the brokenness of the system that produced them. The fact that those voters feel like they only have two choices in the first place is a criminal failing in a country with such blooming, buzzing diversity in our commercial, social, and cultural lives.
If you currently find yourself in no-man’s-land because you don’t even recognize your political party or feel at home in either major party, you might enjoy this. We really do need to do better.
Overwhelming.Dana (292df6) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:36 am
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. MenckenTime123 (b0628d) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:42 am
I don’t take responsibility at all.
I blame you for not running, Dana!
🙂Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:44 am
From the article:
Wish I had thought of that metaphor.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:49 am
Of course, some people seem motivated to vote.
That’s from Georgia, where it’s unlikely for Biden to win.Time123 (b0628d) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:50 am
I would hope that all former Republicans go down to their local GOP gettogethers and make their feelings heard once Trump is history.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:53 am
Men go crazy in congregationsDave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:54 am
They only get better one by one.
– Sting, “All This Time”
Just goes to show that there needs to be some sort of realignment during the primary phase of election process, rather than letting the establishment crowd simply dictate things.whembly (c30c83) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:09 pm
I would say the very opposite. The primary system has been taken over by the extreme nutcases in both parties, which leads to rewarding extreme positions and outrageous behavior.
Say what you want about the smoke-filled rooms, but they generally had an eye to the general election. Harry Truman’s presidency is owed to back-room party hacks, and he is generally acknolwedged to have been a good president.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:12 pm
What;s so difficult about that choice? The choice is obvious.
Take the one with the broken seat! ((or would you rather have the one with the broken bowl?)
Correct. Take the one with the broken seat.
Now which one is Biden and which one is Trump?Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:16 pm
We need more candidates. And since the only people who can run easily under current law are billionaires, we need more billionaires.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:18 pm
His point is not which choice is better, it is that it is outrageous that you have such poor choices at all.
The choice is between water on the floor, or splinters in your behind. Neither of which is all that appealing.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:20 pm
And for the record, IMO, Trump is the broken toilet seat, Biden the leaky toilet bowl. Although I understand that others think the reverse.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:21 pm
And since the only people who can run easily under current law are billionaires, we need more billionaires.
Why? Clinton, Bush and Obama were not billionaires. Biden is not one. Neither are Harris or Pence. (Trump pretends to be one.)Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:22 pm
I’m reasonably certain that neither of them even cares what you do in the bedroom, much less both of them wanting to tell you what to do there. Might be a different story with who they hang out with, but they, themselves? Nah.Nic (896fdf) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:25 pm
An “extreme nutcase” has taken over the primary system of a major party exactly once.
Bernie is certainly on the liberal fringe of his party, but it’s debatable whether he really qualifies as a nutcase. And he was defeated twice – at least once fairly – and the other time the party apparatus worked against him and in favor of the less radical establishment candidate.Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:27 pm
I am not talking about the candidates, I am talking about the primary voters, and the positions they force on the candidates.
Try running as a pro-life candidate in the Democratic party, or a pro-choice one in the Republican party. Certainly not for president, and increasingly not for anything more important than dog-catcher.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:31 pm
Andrew Clark 🎃
Biden’s having a good day.
🤣Told voters he was running for Senate.
🤣Told voters to go to http://IWill.com/Ohio which is not a real website.
Not sure what ‘leaky toilet seat’ means but something’s leaking.harkin (25433a) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:32 pm
I like this analysis even if you do decide to flip it.
Neither is the cure. If you’re mad at democrats, you aren’t voting for Trump to cure anything. Same for me, a disappointed former republican voting for Biden.
Trump supporters are getting more restless as it becomes clear they’ve been fooled for four years by gateway and breitbart and pjmedia. Even Ace is admitting Trump is losing.
Biden’s competence is a great point for you guys to bring up, but it’s even more important you guys start insisting you were never Trump fans.Dustin (4237e0) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:37 pm
That’s because during the primary, most voters don’t care about this process. Hence why the extremes has some scary pull in that phase of the process.whembly (c30c83) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:38 pm
@4: Those who insist on holding out for a top of the line Japanese toilet with smart technology are going to end up with just a hole in the floor.beer ‘n pretzels (042d67) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:40 pm
but it’s even more important you guys start insisting you were never Trump fans.
Do we get to adduce proof?
For example, I posted here in 2016 (I am sure it could be dug up), that the choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton was like a choice between constipation and diarrhea.* Does that suffice to prove I was never a Trump fan? Enquiring minds want to know.
___________Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:41 pm
*Interesting how these choices lend themselves to bathroom metaphors. The reality is we are all in deep doo-doo.
I see; there’s definitely truth in that.
Both parties’ positions gravitate toward those that excite their most fervent supporters, with only cursory appeals to the center.
Trump, with his iron-willed determination to entertain 40% of the country by trolling the other 60%, has taken this trend to its reductio ad absurdem.
But I wonder to what extent this is really a new phenomenon, or due to the primary system.Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:48 pm
The real problem is that the two major parties restrict ballot access, so minor parties have no chance to establish themselves nationwide. The jungle primaries in California and Louisiana are a prime example. Also, the fact that the electoral system is winner take all, and not proportional (like a parliamentary system) freezes out smaller parties from government.Rip Murdock (a9a78d) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:50 pm
At the Presidential level, sure, the party establishments have still maintained a tenuous grasp on power. But that’s simply not the case at the congressional level, and since the primary purpose of Congress these days is to provide a platform to future Presidential primary candidates the knock-on effects figure to be substantially the same.(Not That) Bill O'Reilly (6bb12a) — 10/12/2020 @ 12:55 pm
Bored Lawyer, you’re clearly not a Trump fan. I apologize if that’s how that came across.
If your last 100 comments are consistent support of a movement or guy, fighting the fight, spinning everything in one way, relaying the little pwn the left or right nonsense out there, that’s different. The folks who have incessantly spun everything like it’s their calling will need to work hard to tell us they were never one those guys.Dustin (4237e0) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:01 pm
Just to be doubly sure I’m understood, there’s no veiled sarcasm in that comment.Dustin (4237e0) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:01 pm
Not sure I follow. The jungle primary puts all candidates, regardless of party, together on the same ballot. It usually splits the major party vote between several Democrats and several Republicans. A minor party candidate with only ~20% of the vote can make it onto the general election ballot.
In parliamentary systems, single-issue and/or extremist parties often hold disproportionate influence.Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:02 pm
@24 It’s cable TV and talk radio and click-based ad revenue websites too. The more extreme they are, the more audience investment they get and more eyes/ears on ads. And politics is easy to talk about. Most audiences are relatively politically credulous, so a pundit/broadcaster/anchor can just babble on about whatever their hobby-horse is and they don’t need investigate or to do research or in depth interview or have facts or anything like that. It’s cheap to produce and doesn’t require a lot of time or effort and gets a big bang. It’s basically the reality television of journalism.Nic (896fdf) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:06 pm
14. I meant besides the limited field we have got. Someone running for president now has got to plan it for close to two years in advance, know how to raise money and they all easily feel forced to drop out.
Bill Clinton devoted his whole life to running for president. Bush I slid into the job – he just kept getting promoted. Bush II was his oldest son. Obama had some luck and was, I think, pushed ahead by the Clintons with the idea that he would be a sure loser to Hillary in the primary. McCain got boosted by his 2000 run, and Romney by his 2008 run.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:13 pm
Joe Biden today:
Thinking face Forgot which state he was in. (Tweeted that he was in Pennsylvania when he was actually in Ohio)
Thinking face Forgot Mitt Romney’s name and instead referred to him as “a Mormon.”
Thinking face Forgot which office he was running for.
I mean… c’mon guys.whembly (c30c83) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:22 pm
That’s an excellent point too, Nic. With mass communication by … the masses … it is much easier for people with extreme or crazy ideas to proselytize to a wide audience that would have required owning a newspaper, radio or TV station 50 years ago.
We see it globally with the rise of radical Islam, too.
This amplification of the centrifugal forces in a modern democracy by technology is the Achilles Heel that Putin hopes to use to destroy us.
He may yet succeed…Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:28 pm
National issues – extreme positions or accusations of them – have now made their way into an election fr mayor in Alabama.
On Election Day there was selective enforcement of an incorrect reading of state law – some people, including her grandmother, who wore T-shirts with her name on it were not allowed to vote unless they went home and changed.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:29 pm
He is no worse than Woodrow Wilson was after his stroke.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:30 pm
32. Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:28 pm
according to an Op-ed the New York Times it existed sixty years ago, but President John F. Kennedy used the power of the presidency to suppress them,
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/09/opinion/talk-radio-conservatives-trumpism.htmlSammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:36 pm
In a year where they burn down your business and have to have a display icon lol.Bolivar di griz (7404b5) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:36 pm
he authorized targeted Internal Revenue Service audits and the use of the Federal Communications Commission’s Fairness Doctrine to silence these pesky conservative broadcasters.
Wait, I though it was Republicans who use the power of government to suppress their political adversaries.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:41 pm
31. Not knowing what state he is in, isn’t really anything – he was close. He’s not driving.
Mitt Romney’s name is what they call a senior moment.
Saying that he is running for the Senate is mistake he’s made a few times this year; the music an d old habits probably carries him away.
Biden has also said millions when he should have said thousands.
Now what Trump does when he can’t think of his next thought is repeat himself.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:42 pm
what they call a senior moment
You mean like if Biden says, “I want my tapioca pudding for dessert. I can just press that red button here, and the White House cook will send up some.”
Frightened assistant, “Umm, Mr. President. That’s the button to launch nuclear war. You just started Armageddon.”
Biden: Can I still get my pudding?Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:47 pm
I’m ready to complain about politicians, but I am even more eager to complain about the media. They churn up outrage about an issue — then ignore it.
Corn/ethanol fuel subsidies. BIG FREAKING DEAL during the Iowa caucuses. All presidential wanna-be candidates must go on the record. Anybody following up for the general election?
Net Neutrality. Bump Stocks. Closing Gitmo. Birth Control pills, perhaps with “Plan B” , made available over the counter. Charter Schools. High Stakes testing. Common Core.
How much of a trans-ally is your candidate? Paying for sexual reassignment therapy for federal workers? For federal PRISONERS in penitentiary? For non-citizen residents here for five years and legally eligible for Medicade? DACA kids?
Should we bite the bullet and make cell-phone systems a regulated monopoly like the old copper-wire AT&T phone system? The latest Verizon deals suggest we’re headed that way anyhow?
The media seems to be more interested in candidates’ skin-colors than policy preferences. They report poll numbers by identity group but NOT broken down by industry or profession. (Do doctors, nurses, and “essential medical workers” poll leaning D or R? Do Farmers? We know which way college professors lean, of course…)
It’s a daily aggravation of ignorance, incompetence, and evil intent, and I see it getting no better under EITHER party.pouncer (b0e023) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:51 pm
… and Putin smiled.DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:58 pm
right the 300 mercs that got waxed in syria, the missiles that were delivered to the ukraine,bolivar de gris (7404b5) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:01 pm
And who was it who cratered the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ and championed a deregulated cable industry in the ’80s??
Reaganomics; Reaganoptics; Reaganaurics.DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:01 pm
GOP sets up illegal “Official Ballot Drop Boxes” in California
These boxes do not meet the requirements of the state’s “ballot harvesting” law. Violations are punishable by a sentence of up to four years in prison.Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:02 pm
@31. Wilson was a better dresser; he wore a tie. 😉DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:03 pm
@44. Republican Dirty Tricks?????
Pshaw! Paging Donald Segretti.DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:04 pm
So you’d prefer Reagan kept the Fairness Doctrine and used it to club his political opponents, as Kennedy did. Got your position.Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:06 pm
@47. So you oppose the Fairness Doctrine– which worked well BTW. Got your position. Can’t win fairly w/ideas– so change the rules. GOP 101.
Actually, I’d have preferred Reagan stayed in LA– and he would have if AMPAS had awarded him an Oscar for Kings Row. Blame Hollywood. 😉DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:14 pm
John Kennedy good
Barry Goldwater bad
George Wallace good
Ronald Reagan bad
Donald Trump good
Joe Biden bad
The rest is fatuous banality.Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:16 pm
Speaking of voting republican party in california caught setting up phony mail in ballot drop boxes in democrat areas of orange county to surpress democrat votes to save the county for republicans party! (orange county register)asset (061ab9) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:20 pm
I posted a link six comments above yours…
It appears Republicans are determined to prove Trump right about mail-in ballot fraud, even if they have to commit it themselves…Dave (1bb933) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:26 pm
So you oppose the Fairness Doctrine– which worked well BTW.
No, it did not work well. It allowed the government to suppress ideas, and the MSM to give a biased view under a patina of neutrality.
Can’t win fairly w/ideas– so change the rules.
Yes, the “rules” that allow a central committee to decide what’s fair should and were changed.
Tell me, under the current system, who exactly has difficulty in getting out their message? Are left-wing and even radical views suppressed? By whom?
So what is not “fair” about the current system? (I am not considering places like universities, whose problems have nothing to do with the Fairness Doctrine.)Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:28 pm
Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 1:41 pm
Nixon complained about this during Watergate bt couldn;t get any traction. Nixon himsekf had been audited in the early 1960s. (there was also some IRS auditing of left wing groups during the Eisehower Administration.
Nixon talked about using the IRS against his political opponents in a conversation with John Dean on September 15, 1972 but he never did it. Instead it was Nixon himself who got audited by his opponents in Congress.
Here is more on the IRS and the Kennedys from the Wall Street Journal in 1997. Even 30 years later there was trouble getting the facts:
Some lieral or left wing groups got audited, and something as mainstream as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith got put on a target list.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:30 pm
@52. =yawn= Except it did.DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:31 pm
@ 49. FIFY:
John Kennedy youngDCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:33 pm
Barry Goldwater nut bag
George Wallace redneck
Ronald Reagan dunce
Donald Trump spawn of dunce
Joe Biden Swamp Creature
I didn’t quote:
Here’s the book Professor John Andrew eventually wriote:
If you want to buy it and help Patterico you the tool rather than the link.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:34 pm
As the government’s depth and breadth grows, it becomes a bigger more profitable business. Both parties know this and do their best to control the levers of government, allowing them to enrich themselves and their friends.
We no longer have politicians interested in good governance. We have businessmen chasing a dollar.
This is why both parties suck, at least to me.Hoi Polloi (92d467) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:49 pm
A protest vote is still a vote, and it’s what I’ll do.Paul Montagu (77c694) — 10/12/2020 @ 3:22 pm
We’ve had a two-party system since our nation’s birth, but it’s let us down in 2016 and 2020. I wish I had some brilliant ideas, but I’m becoming a little more envious of parliamentary systems. British Columbia is only 80 minutes from my house and it sure looks nice there.
Say what you want about the smoke-filled rooms
Nearly any choice would have been better than Trump. Looking back on years previous, the back-room guys would have chosen every GOP contender back to Nixon. Goldwater would not have happened.
Rockefeller in ’64 (who also would have lost, but not so badly). Then Nixon, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Reagan, Bush, Bush, Dole, W, W, McCain, Romney and probably Jeb! or Rubio.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:10 pm
I don’t thnk much of any of the third parties, since they all succumb to “purer-than-thou” disease. None of them has any interest in being a center-? mass party.
Not sure where the GOP heads after Trump; its past positions, particularly on trade, have been exploded.
If I were designing a new party it would aim at devolving federal power to the states. One size does not fit all, and states should be encouraged to be different enough that a mobile population can find somewhere that fits. This is increasingly harder as the national parties try to make everything over in their perfect image.
The central government would be strong in the areas it needed to be and weak or non-existent in the others. Maybe we could call it the Federalist Party.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:18 pm
A protest vote is still a vote, and it’s what I’ll do.
Indeed. When you vote for the lesser of two evils, the politicians assume you like that evil.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:20 pm
and probably Jeb!
Does Jeb have an exclamation point as part of his name now? Kind of like the Artist Formerly Known as Prince?Bored Lawyer (7b72ec) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:35 pm
It appears Republicans are determined to prove Trump right about mail-in ballot fraud, even if they have to commit it themselves…
State Senator Melissa Melendez (R – East Riverside County) disagrees with you and with my old friend Secretary of State Alex Padilla as to whether or not the GOP’s efforts are illegal.JVW (ee64e4) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:37 pm
But, Dave, you’ve got Michael Hiltzik on your side!JVW (ee64e4) — 10/12/2020 @ 4:39 pm
@31. Terrifying. Frightening.
And sad. Getting old is just sad.
What color is his lawn jockey?DCSCA (797bc0) — 10/12/2020 @ 6:15 pm
I thought Scott Walker was 2016’s presumptive coronee, or at least the compromise between the establishment and the deplorables.urbanleftbehind (94df8a) — 10/12/2020 @ 6:21 pm
Ooh la la. Rod Stewart and the Corrs. The woman who plays the pipe is particularly hot.Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1) — 10/12/2020 @ 8:57 pm
“State Senator Melissa Melendez (R – East Riverside County) disagrees with you and with my old friend Secretary of State Alex Padilla as to whether or not the GOP’s efforts are illegal.”
I’m not sure she’s correct. The relevant law says:
However everything she’s citing in her tweets applies to “ballot harvesters”, not “mail ballot dropoff locations”, which have an additional set of regulations elsewhere.Davethulhu (1ebef9) — 10/12/2020 @ 11:15 pm
I’m dismayed that you’d defend setting up fake drop boxes falsely labeled “official” to deceive voters.Dave (1bb933) — 10/13/2020 @ 2:42 am
56. Actually, his widow had to finish the book. Which, I suppose could maybe raise a question or two, But maybe that;s something likethe anthropic prinnciple: The reason I never heard of this before is that he died.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/13/2020 @ 3:33 am
39. It doesn’t really work that way.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/13/2020 @ 3:35 am
40. Two issues that did not come up during the two debates so far: Gun control and immigration.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/13/2020 @ 3:37 am
50. asset (061ab9) — 10/12/2020 @ 2:20 pm
Was it in fact in Democratic areas? Did the drop boxes look like the real drop boxes? The Republican officials say it was to collect Republican votes (and that’s who they were advertising them too) But they may have been pretending they were approved.
Ballot harvesting is legal in California but apparently has to be done in person. Ballots can’t be left unwatched. Or so I would interpret the news articles.Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 10/13/2020 @ 3:44 am