Patterico's Pontifications

12/17/2020

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 and How Trump Could Use It in a Coup Attempt

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 pm



In the latest episode of the Lawfare podcast, Benjamin Wittes, Molly Reynolds, and Scott R. Anderson discussed potential scenarios for Banana Republicans to override the vote of the American people in the 2020 presidential election. I alluded to this yesterday but thought it deserved a fuller discussion. The bottom line is that, while mischief is possible, a coup is extraordinarily unlikely . . . but only because the House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats and not Republicans.

It all comes down to the application of the Electoral Count Act of 1887. If you want to read up on it, there is a good summary here. Here is the heart of how it works if there is an objection to the slates of electors submitted by the states:

“Objections to individual state returns must be made in writing by at least one Member each of the Senate and House of Representatives. If an objection meets these requirements, the joint session recesses and the two houses separate and debate the question in their respective chambers for a maximum of two hours,” the CRS said. “The two houses then vote separately to accept or reject the objection. They then reassemble in joint session, and announce the results of their respective votes. An objection to a state’s electoral vote must be approved by both houses in order for any contested votes to be excluded.”

Mo Brooks is already on board to object from the House. All he needs is one partisan clown from the GOP Senate to join him in a signed, written objection. In my view, he has a handful of potential fascists to choose from who are likely to be willing to make such an undemocratic move: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson, or Rand Paul, possibly among others. Incredibly, it apparently takes only a majority vote of each body to sustain the objection, in which case Congress can choose an alternate set of electors.

A majority vote of Congress is all it would take to overrule the collective decision of some nearly 150 million voting American citizens.

That will not happen — again, because the House is controlled by Democrats. But what if it weren’t?

By the way, the sort of insanity that could result in an objection on January 6 is not unique to Republicans. It’s not like Democrats are inherently people of better character. It’s just that Republicans happen to be the fascists this time. But students of history will remember that in 2005, Barbara Boxer joined some stooge from the House in raising an objection based on fever-swamp conspiracy theories about Diebold and Ohio. “The House denied the objection in 31-267 vote, and the Senate denied it in a 1-74 vote.”

There are those who will tell you that there is no danger that Congress would rubber-stamp such a theft of the election, and they support their case by pointing to the fact that Mitch McConnell — who congratulated Joe Biden shortly after Vladimir Putin did — has thrown cold water on the notion, and several GOP senators have said they would not engage in such a ploy. How reassuring is that, when we know that Congress is controlled by Democrats? How confident would you feel that they would do the same if they knew that a GOP-controlled House would vote to accept an alternate slate of Trump electors from battleground states?

After watching the impeachment vote, I am not confident at all.

Americans will not have to take to the streets, like Ukranians did in the Orange Revolution of 2004, in a show of force designed to insist that the person they actually elected will be the one who takes office. But the only reason I can say that with any degree of confidence is because Democrats control the House. If Republicans held the House, I worry that these soulless power-grabbing opponents of democracy would actually try to execute a coup.

This statute needs to be amended. The precedent has been set, and future “populists” have a ready-made playbook for a coup: inventing a claim of fraud as a transparent pretext to seize power. All they need is both houses of Congress under their control, and for every member of those bodies to vote on a party line, and the American experiment would be dead.

It’s not that implausible, in the era of Trump. It has to be changed.

89 Responses to “The Electoral Count Act of 1887 and How Trump Could Use It in a Coup Attempt”

  1. This is why I’m not so animated about. It has no chance.

    In the future, whereby BOTH houses are held by the same party… I can certainly see some mischief here using this law.

    I would either repeal it completely… or, at the very least change it so that a MAJORITY in both house to contest slates of electors.

    whembly (c30c83)

  2. That’s what it is now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  3. @2, My mistake, I meant super majority, not simple… like 2/3rd of each house, or whatever the standard is for Constitutional amendments.

    Hell, I’d be happy with the Impeachment in House & Removal in Senate standard (simple in House and 67 needed in Senate).

    But, I can see future shenanigans if BOTH house is controlled by one party with the standard for simply majority in each house and this law must be changed as soon as possible.

    whembly (c30c83)

  4. A majority vote of Congress is all it would take to overrule the collective decision of some nearly 150 million voting American citizens.

    A lot of people who like to say “We don’t want a tiny elite in D.C. controlling our lives!” would applaud this action — as long as it’s their side doing it, and partly because of the weird messianic aura that’s been wrapped around Trump.

    It’s not like Democrats are inherently people of better character. It’s just that Republicans happen to be the fascists this time.

    True. I still believe that major organs of the MSM tend to paint Dems in more flattering hues, and the bias is easiest to see by comparing the qualifiers that are used to describe D’s vs. R’s. (How often do the legacy media outlets label anyone “far left” or “extreme” in that direction?) But that doesn’t mean I need to defend Republicans when they’re behaving badly. And right now, far too many Republicans are displaying a willingness to behave in a profoundly destructive way, if they think they can get away with it.

    Radegunda (b6cc34)

  5. Hey, we really need a strong, tough leader like Donald Trump to defend us from our enemies!

    Radegunda (b6cc34)

  6. After watching the impeachment vote, I am not confident at all.

    Ah yes, the impeachment vote — when Congress can overrule the will of the electorate and we’re glad about it. But, they didn’t this last time only because the Senate is controlled by Republicans.

    “Fascism” only happens when the rules are used in ways we don’t like.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  7. There are lots of things Congress could do, but doesn’t because the electoral backlash would be severe.

    * It can declare war on Canada. Or Botswana.
    * It can retroactively double everyone’s taxes for the last 5 years. Pay up, it’s legal!
    * It can ban internal combustion cars from crossing state lines.
    * It can declare all pain relievers to be Schedule IV drugs. Or invent Schedule V.
    * It can ban soft drinks and the interstate sale of sugar.

    It doesn’t do any of these things because the next election would see an all-new Congress. And it won’t keep Trump in office against the will of the people either.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. I would either repeal it completely… or, at the very least change it so that a MAJORITY in both house to contest slates of electors.

    I assume you mean to even question it, with 2/3rds or more to overturn.

    It’s not a great law, but it’s there because of the election of 1876, where there was no mechanism to sort out competing slates. I think there were four. In the end, a commission was formed and it gave Harrison the win by ONE electoral vote, while agreeing in the smoke-filled room to end Reconstruction and let the South do what it would with the formerly enslaved.

    This law would have allowed Congress to sort it out themselves. Attempting to use it to generate a crisis, rather than solving one, is abuse, to put it lightly.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. Define this word “fascist” that you throw around so freely. If you mean “nasty people I don’t like” fine, but that’s not what it really means.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  10. How often do the legacy media outlets label anyone “far left” or “extreme” in that direction?

    That’s because they think their Social Democrat position is centrist.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. BnP isn’t wrong in #7, except in the detail that impeachment needs a stated charge. Here it’s “We really don’t like the way people voted, so we’re going to claim they didn’t really!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  12. But what about the Safe Harbor of 3 USC 5?

    If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.

    nk (1d9030)

  13. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was on trial in the Senate (stated charges: violating the Tenure of Office Act; actual: opposing Reconstruction and being a southern sympathizer). The GOP had a nearly 3-1 majority in the Senate (about 39-10) and yet did not convict.

    Times today are not as charged. I doubt that impeachment would be used by a Congressional majority simply to undo an election. Just as I doubt that the Electoral Count law would be used outside of a major crisis with the vote.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. nk, of course, but that did not stop the Black Caucus from trying in 2001.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. And Al Gore told Maxine to go “take the waters”, although his basis was that no Senator had signed on to it.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. My money is on Ron Johnson, who has morphed badly these last few years.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. Wisconsin, Johnson’s state, is the only one which (arguably?) missed the Safe Harbor date, and the poser is up for reelection in 2022. He’ll need to do some hard thinking, or inhale a lot of oleander smoke, as to how Wisconsin voters will feel about having been disenfranchised for the sake of a New York sewer rat.

    nk (1d9030)

  18. 12.

    Impeachment is potentially comparable to the quoted operation of the Electoral Count Act when they’re both done in good faith. On Planet Earth in 2020 that isn’t the case. The impeachment was predicated on an array of credible evidence that Trump committed at least one impeachable act. The GOP attempt to overturn last month’s election has no corresponding evidentiary predicate. There’s simply no credible evidence the certified vote tallies were fraudulent, erroneous or otherwise less than valid and accurate within normal parameters.

    The impeachment was a legitimate exercise of a constitutional power as it was envisioned by the framers. The Trumpist GOP plan to overrule the Electoral College is an exercise of pure, anti-democratic bad faith. BnP’s typically BS attempt to equate them is transparently false.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  19. Patterico, your post was specific to the electoral count act of 1887 but I feel it was incomplete not to point out that advisors close to the president (Stone, Flynn, and others) are openly lobbying that he declare martial law. This effort by elected republican officials to steal the election is the less extreme of the two.

    The GOP as a whole is corrupt scum who care nothing about American Democracy. It’s sad when the dem’s are the more patriotic party.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  20. There are lots of things Congress could do, but doesn’t because the electoral backlash would be severe.

    * It can declare war on Canada. Or Botswana.
    * It can retroactively double everyone’s taxes for the last 5 years. Pay up, it’s legal!
    * It can ban internal combustion cars from crossing state lines.
    * It can declare all pain relievers to be Schedule IV drugs. Or invent Schedule V.
    * It can ban soft drinks and the interstate sale of sugar.

    It doesn’t do any of these things because the next election would see an all-new Congress. And it won’t keep Trump in office against the will of the people either.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2020 @ 2:58 pm

    The problem is the leader of the part and the majority of the house is going along with it. That’s part of what makes it more then a temper tantrum.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  21. @2, My mistake, I meant super majority, not simple… like 2/3rd of each house, or whatever the standard is for Constitutional amendments.

    Hell, I’d be happy with the Impeachment in House & Removal in Senate standard (simple in House and 67 needed in Senate).

    But, I can see future shenanigans if BOTH house is controlled by one party with the standard for simply majority in each house and this law must be changed as soon as possible.

    whembly (c30c83) — 12/17/2020 @ 1:51 pm

    When one of the parties finally get’s around to doing this the justification will be that’s it’s legal and therefore OK. It will probably be the Dems’ because it seems like the side that starts something just sets up the other side to go further. The justification will be voter suppression.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  22. Completely agree, including the “Dems are no angels” bit, even though they very much have my sympathies right now.

    And it isn’t even because they aren’t angels, but rather just strategic logic. If this doesn’t get fixed, the second-least-bad thing (from a partisan perspective) to do is use it first.

    I can already hear the pitches.

    john (cd2753)

  23. In my view, he has a handful of potential fascists to choose from who are likely to be willing to make such an undemocratic move: Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson, or Rand Paul, possibly among others.

    I think maybe Marsha Blackburn is a possibility, also maybe Kelly Loeffler. I don’t think Ted Cruz will do that or Ron Johnson (who wants hearings about the election) nor Rand Paul, and probably not Josh Hawley. Mitch McConnell will have some job stopping every single Republican Senator from raiaing an objection.

    His big argument is that you’re going to lose anyway, and it will force many Senators to take a tough vote.

    Without those two arguments it would be even harder, but there is the constitution and the republic, and at least now there isn’t a majority in the Senate for replacing the Electors unjustifiably.

    14. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2020 @ 3:22 pm

    Times today are not as changed. I doubt that impeachment would be used by a Congressional majority simply to undo an election. Just as I doubt that the Electoral Count law would be used outside of a major crisis with the vote.

    The 2005 attempt lost overwhelmingly, but I notice that a lot of members of Congress didn’t vote. One quarter of the Senate, and 31.5% of the House. Maybe a majority of the minority party, but a majority of one party is not enough to carry a proposition.

    Congress is getting more and more partisan. It’s almost like 1877. But not quite. And whether something is wrong, and how wrong, makes a difference.

    To start off with, you’ve got Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Ben Sasse. In the end, I don’t even think Mike Pence would go along, if it came to that, although that would break his personal relationship with Donald Trump. But does he need it past his term of office?

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  24. Define this word “fascist” that you throw around so freely. If you mean “nasty people I don’t like” fine, but that’s not what it really means.

    Are you talking to beer n pretzels or me?

    If me, I think the definition in the first sentence of the Wikipedia article is serviceable:

    Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy

    The far-right ultranationalists supporting Trump’s using a blatantly manufactured pretext to hold onto power, despite his having been voted out in a free and fair election, are authoritarians who support the subversion of democracy and the rejection of the will of the people. And you think I’m the one being flippant? Get real. The term is accurate. What the hell would *you* call it?

    If you were talking to bnp then never mind.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  25. I think Communist s more appropriate because fascists openly argue against elections while Communists claim they won them. But Banana Republicans is best because that’s also pretense but without any particular ideology..

    The thing is the military is not corrupted, and if it would start to get corrupted, you’d get civil war. The The 82nd Airborne vs. the 101st Airborne. The Navy vs the Air Force. The Ohio National Guard vs the White House police.

    The fact that nobody is analyzing things to this point, or using civil war as an argument for not doing this, indicates that the prospects of an Electoral Count Act coup being tried is minimal.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  26. If they can do all that, they can make a deliberate mistake in arithmetic too.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  27. What I think all the butt gerbils in both Chambers need to do is calculate whether Trump will make them proud in the next two years (when the voters will speak again), and I’m pretty sure that they have already thought of that themselves, and will come to the conclusion that it’s safer for them politically to bury him while praising him.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. What I think all the butt gerbils in both Chambers need to do is calculate whether Trump will make them proud in the next two years (when the voters will speak again), and I’m pretty sure that they have already thought of that themselves, and will come to the conclusion that it’s safer for them politically to bury him while praising him.

    We ought not to have to worry about all that, nk.

    But what about the Safe Harbor of 3 USC 5?

    What about it? Yes, if Congress decided to follow statutory law and its own rules, then we’re all good. But for a Congress that is hellbent on ignoring the will of the American people, do you think they are going to let a little thing like the safe harbor stop them? Yes, it presents an impediment, but once the rules no longer matter, any impediment can be overcome. All the safe harbor rule does is 1) add a little extra shame to an already shameful act, and 2) provide a little extra cover for the Supreme Court if they decide to step in . . . which they might not.

    After all, nk, are you saying you are going to let a state that met the safe harbor rule THROUGH FRAUD manipulate the system and have its votes count??? My God, you truly are no patriot! Why . . . why, you might even be a TRAITOR!

    As for the Supreme Court, yeah, they could declare Congress’s rejection of the People’s will to be null and void, but as Clint Eastwood said in that movie (you know the one): “you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

    How confident are you in the Supreme Court in that scenario?

    Fascists, man. I’m telling you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  29. Fascists.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  30. BnP isn’t wrong in #7

    Of course he is.

    Conviction of Trump by the senate would not have made Hillary Clinton president.

    Dave (1bb933)

  31. I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court would find it a political question, non-justiciable.

    (I know, I know, but it was one thing to find a State has a legitimate interest in meeting its Safe Harbor day in Bush v. Gore, and another to apply the law itself on Congress.)

    nk (1d9030)

  32. Joe Biden did an interview with Stephen Colbert (which is always half serious or maybe three quarters, in which he discusses Hunter Biden (and undoubtedly other things) It was mentioned on the CBS Evening News this night. After 11:30 pm on CBS

    By the way he tested negative for coronavirus the other day. Said he has a cold. The test is probably so accurate that t won’t test positive for one of the cowpox versions of this disease, which amount to around one fourth of all colds. It’s probably not running around now, anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  33. As for amending the Electoral Count Act of 1887, I support the threshold for sustaining objections to validations of the certified state EC vote be raised at from a simple majority to at least a 3/5ths supermajority(261 House of Reps & 60 Senators) in both chambers of Congress, if not higher. The last time either party had a majority of 260 plus in the House of Reps was in 1991(102nd Congress), where Democrats had 267 House seats. It was also a very different time, as the political parties were far more ideologically diverse and less polarized(A lot of liberal Republicans and conservative Blue Dog Democrats in those days) than now. If a Trumpean #StoptheSteal hypothetical attempt at electoral larceny ended up being instigated by a defeated Dem president then, it would’ve been swatted away even more decisively than in 2005, when the objections of Ohio Dem Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Barbara Boxer of counting the certified EC votes of Ohio was rejected.

    HCI (92ea66)

  34. I don’t see that statute law fixes this no matter what the statute says.

    Each house is the final arbiter of its rules, this particular act tries to codify one of those rules but I believe the courts would defer to Congress if it were to go through with this insanity.

    All it would take would be for a majority of both houses to declare that the actual rule is something other than what the written rule says and goodbye republic.

    And good luck trying to get an amendment ratified that specifies how counts are to be performed etc.

    Soronel Haetir (58e8b7)

  35. The impeachment was predicated on an array of credible evidence that Trump committed at least one impeachable act.

    The impeachment was a farce, with none of the charges sufficient to cause any change in Trump’s support. Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution, it is a political act saying “Is this sufficient to remove ____ from office.”

    Instead of inside-baseball process charges, which Pelosi knew would not work — the public yawned — charging him with being too stupid, unpredictable or clinically insane to hold the job might have worked. Let Tillerson testify, among others.

    But Pelossi only wanted to shut up AOC and the Squad. She was happy with Trump bumbling around in the Oval as he was a loser in 2020.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy

    Hmmm. That is a partial definition, clearly tailored to bashing the Right, but it is a narrow view that does not really cover it at all.

    Fascism is indeed an authoritarian regime, characterized by suppression of dissent, but “strong regimentation of society and of the economy” is hardly reserved to the Right*. Nor is the usual privileged class the rich or economically powerful. ALL of this could be said of the Soviet Union, for example. Or Zimbabwe. Or Iran.

    ————–
    *nor is it present in the current administration; far from it actually. Trump has no control over his own government, let alone labor or industry.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. *Nor is the usual privileged class always the rich or economically powerful

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. Get real. The term is accurate. What the hell would *you* call it?

    A clown car.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. And I think this is the difference here in our reaction to this. I see Trump and far too many Republicans beclowning themselves in a stupid and pointless tantrum. You see an existential threat, but sorry, I do not, at least not to anyone outside the GOP.

    “What if both Houses were controlled by the Republicans?” (and very nearly, they are).

    Still a clown car that has no hope of executing this “coup.” Among other reasons, to actually succeed would win them any number of violent responses, from assassination to insurrection to secession to military intervention. Those officers have taken an oath to the Constitution that includes “enemies foreign and domestic.” Some of them would act.

    The “victory” would be one of ashes and destruction. Maybe that’s Putin’s plan, but Trump would likely not survive and the GOP would be gone with the wind. I think at least some of them know that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. A better question: If Ron Johnson or some worse fool sides with the idiots in the House, what would you expe3ct the Senate vote to be? I’m thinking 3-95, and those 3 might get their asses expelled.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  41. Also, if this was indeed a dictatorial government, Trump would have been re-elected by a huge margin and NO ONE would complain.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. Kevin M – the reason I think this is an existential threat is that there’s an army of people who will lap up anything Trump tells them, more or less, and the army will still be there on Jan. 21, waiting for the next guy — the guy who doesn’t have Trump’s character flaws — to grab them and lead them.

    While i’ve always viewed Trump as a con man and argued that he was doing substantial damage to the country, i’ve also always said he’s the *symptom*, not the disease. His *army* is the problem, and what he’s doing now is substantially altering them in a way that is teeing them up to the perfect support for a *real* dictator.

    We’re a severely damaged society. We have been for a while. These antics are undermining systemic legitimacy for a large chunk of the population, which is causing a real risk that we’re in the process of moving from severely damaged to fatally damaged.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  43. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that the current Republican party leadership wouldn’t sign off on a coup because they thought they could use it to guarantee that they stayed in real power with him as a figurehead. Their behavior is strongly consistent with that model, and I cannot imagine why most of them would draw the line between where they are now and the destination I just described.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  44. @40 My concern is that it isn’t only the clowns out there who are involved in this. Mainstream people in political power have signed on. Cruz, McConnell, et al. If it were just the crazies, it would be one thing, but it isn’t just the crazies, it’s also the people we should be able to trust to steer the ship and instead of steering, they are fighting so that they can run the ship aground.

    Nic (896fdf)

  45. The impeachment was a farce, with none of the charges sufficient to cause any change in Trump’s support.

    I wish they’d impeached Trump for at least the most blatant obstructions of justice in the Mueller Report, but if the recent and current attempts to overthrow a free and fair election have taught us anything, it’s that nothing he could have been charged with would have cost him meaningful support in the Vichy GOP. You have your theory about what motivated Pelosi, I have mine, but either way it’s just more deflection. The failure to bring additional counts for any reason doesn’t de-legitimate the well-supported ones they did, so you’re no closer to any sort of plausible equivalence between the impeachment and the anti-democratic attempt to invalidate the election.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  46. *nor is it present in the current administration; far from it actually. Trump has no control over his own government, let alone labor or industry.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2020 @ 11:38 pm

    I fully endorse the bold (mine) portion of this comment, and associate myself with it. It is the plain truth, succinctly expressed.

    felipe (630e0b)

  47. aphrael (4c4719) — 12/18/2020 @ 12:16 am

    You make very good points, aphrael, Kevin does concede the existence of an existential threat with:

    You see an existential threat, but sorry, I do not, at least not to anyone outside the GOP.”

    The question is to whom are these actions an existential threat? I see only a difference of two well-stated opinions. I am confidant that the two of you will come to the same truth, by different paths.

    felipe (630e0b)

  48. “confidant” heh! auto-mistake got me. Of course I meant “confident.”

    felipe (630e0b)

  49. the guy who doesn’t have Trump’s character flaws — to grab them and lead them.

    Without those character flaws, why is it an existential danger? Is “leadership” now a bad word, or are these, um, Deplorables unworthy of a political home? They have the same right to petition for redress of their grievances as anyone, even if I don’t much care for their particular gripes.

    I have a brother who’s a real jerk, but it’s possible that his last 20 years of unemployment was a cause, not an effect. Look at who is supporting Trump and you will see the folks who were harmed and ignored by both parties during globalization.

    Don’t they have a right to seek a political champion? They won’t all be Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. Donald Trump has only had six weeks to undermine the results of the November election. He already has the support of a majority of Republican house members and a number of Senators. He has Rush Limbaugh talking about secession and Mike Flynn suggesting martial law. Do not think this cannot happen. As some have suggested, they’re “Banana Republicans”.

    He calls them socialists and communists and accuses them of fraud. Trump has demonized the opposition with his lies to the point where his supporters will do anything to stop them. They will even refuse to abide by elections.

    noel (9fead1)

  51. We’re a severely damaged society. We have been for a while. These antics are undermining systemic legitimacy for a large chunk of the population

    Both parties have been playing “Anything Goes!” for a while now. Nuclear options, contesting every close election (IA-2 is being contested by the Democrat despite the state’s certification after several recounts), extreme political vitriol (“Obama’s a Muslim!” “Romney wants to put you all back in chains”, “Lock her up!”) and a general lack of comity or seeking consensus.

    The Democrats plan, should they get both those GA seats, to push major “reforms” through Congress 222-212 in the House, 51-50 in the Senate (after nuking the rest of the filibuster). How can this fail to pour kerosene on the fire? And if they don’t get it, you can be sure that some appointments will be delayed.

    I don’t see what Trump is doing to be anything but an extension of the last 20 years. It’s unfortunate, stupid, unworkable and wrong, but it is just an escalation in the continuing oneupmanship that started when Reid began trashing precedent and rules.

    I fervently hope that Trump is given enough rope.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that the current Republican party leadership wouldn’t sign off on a coup because they thought they could use it to guarantee that they stayed in real power with him as a figurehead.

    I would like to believe they are not that stupid. Were Trump to take the oath on Jan 20th, the country would disintegrate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. Kevin, Trump is both an authoritarian and a lazy incompetent. He wants to steal the election. But he lacked the leadership skills to set himself up to be able to do so.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  54. @46: Were I Pelosi, I’d impeach him again, for seditious conspiracy. But Gods, man, impeachment (how many times does this have to be said!) is not a legal battle. If the charges don’t piss off the public — meaning they find the charges beyond the pale in a President — there will be no conviction.

    Nixon using the IRS to go after enemies, or tapping the DNC phones, hit a nerve. Trying to get leniency for an underling on a charge the public viewed as meaningless didn’t reach the bar, no matter how many lawyers it offended.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Kevin, Trump is both an authoritarian and a lazy incompetent. He wants to steal the election

    No, he’s a wannabe authoritarian who has been rebuffed at every turn by a system designed to thwart scoundrels like him. Be happy he’s incompetent. Any rational Democrat would see their luck there.

    One of the enduring mysteries to me is why the GOP would go to the wall for this guy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. aphrael wrote:

    We’re a severely damaged society. We have been for a while. These antics are undermining systemic legitimacy for a large chunk of the population, which is causing a real risk that we’re in the process of moving from severely damaged to fatally damaged.

    Heh! Trump’s supporters agree with you.

    I disagree. As a Stalin Democrat, I think we are a corrupted society, heading towards decadence, living off the scraps that fall off the tables of Wall Street and distracted by the entertainments of Hollywood, and if were to forced to diagnose the corruption, it would be the liberal faux egalitarianism and social engineering of the last 60 years, which, I’m afraid, puts you and me at odds, my friend.

    nk (1d9030)

  57. This has never happened before. He wasn’t challenging the vote in one county or even one state. He was asking the courts to throw out the votes in five or six states. Without evidence.

    He asks the governors to overturn the votes. He pressures the legislatures to send alternative electors. Now he wants Congress to hand him the election.

    He is installing sycophants at the Justice and Defense departments. All of this was impossible to imagine a few short years ago. If we do not stand up to this, it may be the last time it isn’t successful.

    noel (9fead1)

  58. Autocrats only have to win once.

    noel (9fead1)

  59. He was asking the courts to throw out the votes in five or six states. Without evidence.

    Fail. When Republican-appointed judges are asked, they say NO.

    He asks the governors to overturn the votes.

    Fail. When Republican governors are asked, they say NO.

    He pressures the legislatures to send alternative electors.

    Fail. When Republican legislatures are asked, they say NO.

    Now he wants Congress to hand him the election.

    Fail. They will say NO, too.

    I dislike how many are humoring his base and I think they’d be better off with a clean break, but then I wanted the 2016 Convention to shaft him, too. His base has the power to break any GOP candidate by withholding their votes, but not to elect anyone on their own. So everyone tries to make nice, Never mind the base is irrational and will gladly bite the hand that feeds it.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. Evidence. Few fault Trump for looking at recounts where allowed, but the problem is all of these lawsuits without a lick of credible evidence. All they do is rile up low information voters who are easily manipulated by outrageous conspiracy theories and baseless accusations. The GOP needs an actual agenda that goes beyond carrying water for Trump. Who will actually rise up and have something productive to say?

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  61. You’d think Trump’s latest despicable attack on war hero, patriot McCain would garner focus from the MSM in a “see there, what a jerk” sort of way. Such low hanging fruit. But, the usual suspects are taking a pass, particularly CNN. I wonder why.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  62. One of the enduring mysteries to me is why the GOP would go to the wall for this guy.

    Because they want it to work. That’s why someone like me finds little comfort in the fact that it isn’t working.

    Yes, you’re right that Republican legislatures and governors in individual states are not going along with it. That’s all great….for now. But if Trump and his fans get his way, in five to ten years maybe those legislatures are full of Trumpbots who will clear the way for Trump or whomever he gives his blessing to someday down the line.

    JohnnyAgreeable (c49787)

  63. #62

    1. I believe everything in that Daily Mail story was already known, so it’s not news.

    2. Trump is on a treadmill to oblivion. Why interrupt the journey by giving him attention?

    Appalled (1a17de)

  64. Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that the current Republican party leadership wouldn’t sign off on a coup because they thought they could use it to guarantee that they stayed in real power with him as a figurehead.

    I would like to believe they are not that stupid. Were Trump to take the oath on Jan 20th, the country would disintegrate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/18/2020 @ 5:50 am

    I think there are enough Republicans in the House and Senate that would ensure such a coup wouldn’t happen. I’m just concerned that the numbers of GOP congresscritters who would support objecting on Jan 6, is large enough to where it can’t be ignored.

    HCI (92ea66)

  65. 35. Soronel Haetir (58e8b7) — 12/17/2020 @ 8:47 pm

    Each house is the final arbiter of its rules, this particular act tries to codify one of those rules

    A piece of legislation can set a House rule, but the House of Congress can change that rule, but it often doesn’t.

    There are rules about how you change the rules. But you can bypass those rules. The Senate got rid of the filibuster for the up and down vote on nominations, (first excluding Supreme Court justices) by appealing a ruling from the Parliamentarian, I think.

    The budget bill which allows the Senate to pass a bill (called reconciliation) without a possibility of a filibuster is an example of such a rule that got included in a piece of legislation.

    All it would take would be for a majority of both houses to declare that the actual rule is something other than what the written rule says and goodbye republic.

    Well, here maybe the courts would rule, (to save the republic) and this would give the police or the armed forces, not to mention state governments, courage to act – and they would act on one side because otherwise it’s civil war. Public perception of what is legal really matters. t mattered even in the Soviet Union Russia in August 1991. (Gorbachev had recently created a new center of power, in the government of Russia, headed by Yeltsin and the coup plotters did not include arrested him or disabling his communications in their plot.)

    In 1975, in India there was this provision of a state of emergency, which made what Indira Gandhi did, and if she hadn’t revoked it in 1977 I don’t know what kind of country and government India would be now. That is one reason the late Senator McCain was against having any kind of emergency provisions in the U.S. constitution or in law – in a real emergency, people would act outside of law, and it would be accepted.

    In the United States residual emergency powers are at the state level and usually delegated to the states’s governor, and it hasn’t been abused for political reasons (not that stupid or arbitrary things haven’t been done, but it hasn’t been abused for political reasons) because it can’t be.

    And even there the courts have started to get involved. There are kinds of checks and balances, some almost hidden.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  66. Voting irregularities (if any) will be addressed after Biden is safely esconced in the WH.
    The FBI won’t say much until then due to their hands off around election rules.

    PS: That idiot Krebs who was supposed to stop places like the Nuclear stockpile from getting hacked deserved to be fired. There is an outside chance that he was fired for the reason, but anyway overwrought tweets about Biden rehiring him now seem off.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  67. 36. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2020 @ 11:30 pm

    charging him with being too stupid, unpredictable or clinically insane to hold the job might have worked. Let Tillerson testify, among others.

    I think it has to be a character flaw. Not incompetence. Although if a president was dangerously incompetent, people might distort the law. But we also have the 25th amendment (which requires, among other things, the concurrence of the vice president)

    It would have helped the impeachment effort had the charges been true. But they weren’t. Trump never illegally held Ukrainian hostage to anything. He just illegally withheld Ukrainian aid (that is, it would have become illegal on Sept 30, 2019, the end of the fiscal year without any formal request for recission) for no reason at all. Except that he seems to have bought into Russian propaganda that he got through Giuliani and he didn’t even know Giuliani had managed to prevent the “bad” people close to Zelensky from getting positions in his new government. Some of Trump’s subordinates attempted to get the aid restored by getting the Ukrainian government to do this or that, and that didn’t happen until September because the Ukrainian government wasn’t even told that the aid was on hold until that time. They knew there was a problem but they hadn’t been told and they didn’t know why. The attempted tradeoff was all done without input from Trump. When it was put to him, he said, no, no, no, he wasn’t interested in a quid pro quo.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  68. Fascism is a philosophy that justifies autocracy, without any principle of legitimacy, such as heredity.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  69. 52. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/18/2020 @ 5:48 am

    I fervently hope that Trump is given enough rope.

    I think that would help.

    A Senate vote wouldn’t be 3-97 but more like 7-87 (with 6 avoiding voting)

    We’ve seen so far Republican officeholders siding with only when it doesn’t matter

    Otherwise:

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/joe-biden-speech-after-electoral-college-vote-transcript-december-14

    …One of the extraordinary things we saw this year was that every day Americans, our friends and our neighbors, often volunteers, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, demonstrating absolute courage, they showed a deep and unwavering faith in and a commitment to the law. They did their duty in the face of the pandemic. And then they could not and would not give credence to what they knew was not true. They knew this election was overseen, was overseen by them. It was honest, it was free and it was fair.

    They saw it with their own eyes and they wouldn’t be bullied into saying anything different. It was truly remarkable because so many of these patriotic Americans are subject to so much, enormous political pressure, verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence. While we all wish that our fellow Americans in these positions will always show such courage and commitment to free and fair elections, it is my sincere hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. It’s simply unconscionable. We owe these public servants a debt of gratitude. They didn’t seek the spotlight, and our democracy survived because of them, which is proof once more that it’s everyday America and infused with honor, character and decency that is the heart of this nation….

    … The Trump campaign brought dozens and dozens and dozens of legal challenges to test the result. They were heard again and again, and each of the time they were heard, they were found to be without merit….

    …And yet none of this has stopped baseless claims about the legitimacy of the results.
    Joe Biden : (09:12)
    Even more stunning, 17 Republican Attorneys General, and 126 Republican members of the Congress, actually, they actually signed onto a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas. That lawsuit asked the United States Supreme Court to reject the certified vote counts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials and one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million Americans in other states. And to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote, and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse.

    Joe Biden : (10:04)

    It’s a position so extreme, we’ve never seen it before. And position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution. Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort….

    …President Trump was denied no course of action he wanted to take. He took his case to Republican governors and Republican Secretary of State as he criticized many of them, to Republican state legislature, to Republican appointed judges at every level….Even President Trump’s own cybersecurity chief, overseeing our elections, said it was the most secure election in American history, and summarily is let go. Let me say it again. His own cybersecurity chief overseeing this election said it was the most secure in American history….You know, respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even we find those results hard to accept. But that’s the obligation of those who’ve taken on a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution.

    Four years ago, when I was a sitting Vice President of the United States, it was my responsibility to announce the tally of the Electoral College votes of the joint session of Congress, had voted to elect Donald Trump. I did my job. And I’m pleased but not surprised by the number of my former Republican colleagues in the Senate who have acknowledged already the results of the Electoral College. I thank them.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  70. Why don’t we ask the man who invented Fascism?

    “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

    “The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative.”

    “The Liberal State is a mask behind which there is no face; it is a scaffolding behind which there is no building.”

    “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.”

    nk (1d9030)

  71. The principle of fascism is Il Duce – the leader.

    Now that didn’t stop the Fascist Grans Council from removing Mussolini from power in 1943 and locking him up. (May a similar thing happen in China)

    https://media.proquest.com/media/hms/PFT/1/2y9hH?_s=F3A5QMEaLcxXmSKBFYZ%2BylK%2BGHo%3D

    Abstract: The twenty-fifth of July 1943 Benito Mussolini lost the support of his most trusted men during a night that will be remembered as “the Grand Council Night”. Starting from that moment, thousands of words have been written asking hoe and how come the Duce fell. Military or monarchy golpe? Violent death or natural death of the regime? The essay supports the hypothesis
    of the regime’s crisis due to external causes, mainly the negative outcome of the conflict.

    I didn’t know that there was any question that the invasion of Sicily had something to do with it.

    They attempted to surrender to the Allies, but got invaded by Nazi Germany when they did. Kurt Waldheim was involved in the Nazi takeover of Italy.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  72. This has never happened before.

    Not only has it happened, it was worse last time. The election of 1876 had actual competing slates, with no real way to sort it out. Thankfully there wasn’t a 24-hour news cycle.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  73. It never happened that a presidential candidate tried this on his own, and not a political party

    Sammy Finkelman (3915d0)

  74. Why don’t we ask the man who invented Fascism?

    The three fasces: state, business, labor. All bound together in one Leader. The only national leader we have ever had who attempted that was FDR with the National Industrial Recovery Act and the National Recovery Administration.

    The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was a prime agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal of the administration was to eliminate “cut throat competition” by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of “fair practices” and set prices. The NRA was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and allowed industries to get together and write “codes of fair competition.” The codes intended both to reduce “destructive competition” and help workers to set minimum wages and maximum weekly hours, as well as minimum prices at which products could be sold. The NRA also had a two-year renewal charter and was set to expire in June 1935 if not renewed.

    The NRA, symbolized by the Blue Eagle, was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages, though they did not always go along with the regulations entailed. Though membership of the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem mandatory for survival to many.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  75. The only national leader we have ever had who attempted that was FDR

    Wilson.

    Dave (dbda34)

  76. #67

    PPS: Krebs putting “Trump fired me because I would NOT say voting was hacked” on his resume is a surefire hit. Principles Forward!
    Putting the real story “I was fired because from my post because we let the National Nuclear Repository be hacked” on the resume es lo peor.

    His credibilty seems um…. tarnished.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  77. NK, at 57: i’m not sure what it means to be corrupted, and i think you and i are likely to disagree on what *is* corruption, in the sense that you mean it. And, while I think you and I are at odds on some things, I think there are other things where we aren’t, and I am glad of that. 🙂

    aphrael (4c4719)

  78. Wilson.

    He should sue Mussolini for plagiarism.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  79. His *army* is the problem, and what he’s doing now is substantially altering them in a way that is teeing them up to the perfect support for a *real* dictator.

    If you honestly think this “army” is or ever has been the actual problem, you are even more tribal and narrow-minded than I imagined. I’ve seen more echoes of fascism (the *real* kind, not the intellectually lazy false dichotomy given to us in middle school that put fascism on the opposite political side as communism) in recent months by state governors arbitrarily shutting down small “non-essential” businesses, at the recommendation of federal officials and local bureaucrats, all while granting special favors to connected global megacorps and industries. The kind of arbitrary edicts that destroy lives and livelihoods of the average person, while the connected Eloi elite remain sheltered from such trivialities, and emotionally manipulate the Morlocks to suck it up, in their typical patronizing tones.

    A lot of people here are mired in a La Brea tar pit of a post-Cold War political paradigm, and it shows. Neither the “classical liberal” Reagan Republicans, the Kristolite-Goldberg neocons, nor the Clintonite Democrats seem to get that it’s not 1989 or even 2005 anymore. Even the “army” that you’re wringing your hands about is a symptom. So are the BLM riots and the transformation of the Democrats into one of woke corporatism.

    The Atlantic had an article recently that featured Peter Turchin and his mathematical analyses of human civilization. What should concern people is that his predictions thus far appear to be following the same trajectory of collapse that other complex societies endure. That doesn’t make him a prophet, and he’s kidding himself that he’s not one of the elites that he’s analyzed, but he seems to be far more aware of the forest than the trees the pundits continue to hone in on.

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  80. Factory Working Orphan — I am certainly not saying, nor do I mean to say, that the large number of angry Trumpists who are convinced that the election was stolen (despite the lack of evidence) (and who are also increasingly convinced that it’s justified to do anything necessary in order to prevent the election theft) are the *only* problem. They’re not.

    But they are the *specific* *proximate* problem which causes the current situation to be an existential threat to the Republic. You’re right that they, like Trump, are a symptom. But they’e the symptom which is currently closest to killing the patient.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  81. You’d think Trump’s latest despicable attack on war hero, patriot McCain would garner focus from the MSM in a “see there, what a jerk” sort of way. Such low hanging fruit. But, the usual suspects are taking a pass, particularly CNN. I wonder why.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67) — 12/18/2020 @ 7:30 am

    The press loved McCain when he was swiping at Republicans. When he had a chance at the big chair against a guy the press had all but anointed as a future President prior to that guy’s 2004 convention speech, they turned on him instantly.

    All I have to do to find out what Democrats actually thought of McCain is read what they said about him in 2008 after he gained the Republican nomination.

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  82. But they are the *specific* *proximate* problem which causes the current situation to be an existential threat to the Republic. You’re right that they, like Trump, are a symptom. But they’e the symptom which is currently closest to killing the patient.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 12/18/2020 @ 3:14 pm

    There appears to be this assumption that the patient wouldn’t be expiring if we could just get these icky people out of the way. I’ve read several op-eds by Democrats in regards to 2016 that they seriously, unironically thought that the emerging hyper-partisanship would just “go away” after Hillary won. That “healing” could take place (funny how the pretense of “healing” only goes in one direction–when Democrats win and they can start dreaming of “40 more years” of unfettered Democratic government control). It’s like they’ve been asleep for the last 15-20 years.

    This isn’t going away. Biden’s mouthing a bunch of platitudes about “coming together,” but the Democrat party’s base isn’t buying it, much less the Republican base. The Dem/Rep Boomer and early-stage Gen-X party establishment all just want to go back to the halycon days of the 1990s, when business was booming, immigration wasn’t a political football, NYC was becoming a tourist trap rather than a crime-ridden cesspool, Russia was a broken adversary trying to keep the lights on, China was welcoming our factories with open arms, the culture war had been pushed to the back burner with the Religious Right marginalized, and the only thing the Republicans cared about all that much was tax cuts.

    The late-stage Gen-Xers and Millennials don’t nearly care that much about “coming together.” They’ve seen politics treated as a zero-sum game for a little over 20 years now, and combined with the generally soft, indulgent way most of them have been raised, their expectation is that “winner takes all.”

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  83. All I have to do to find out what Democrats actually thought of McCain is read what they said about him in 2008

    That may not be a great way to find out what someone thinks of someone else. People say worse things about their competition when actively competing, than they really think about a person.

    the pretense of “healing” only goes in one direction–when Democrats win

    I don’t recall Trump having been big on healing? Or unity? Or being president of the entire country?

    Nic (896fdf)

  84. I don’t see Trump as a dictator; he can’t even get his own Attorney General to jail someone. I think he wants government to work the way the Trump Organization works (utterly subservient to him) aand is too lazy to find out how it does work.

    In the end, he’s a comic-opera dictator missing only the fancy uniform.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. > There appears to be this assumption that the patient wouldn’t be expiring if we could just get these icky people out of the way.

    i think you’re doing a very good job of reading your assumptions into what i’m saying rather than listening to what i’m saying.

    in particular, i don’t think i’ve referred to trumpists as “icky people” or talked about getting them “out of the way”.

    I am saying in the short-to-medium term the way they have been radicalized during the Trump presidency causes them to present the single biggest short-term threat to the existence of the republic, and they present the *only* real threat to the existence of the republic in my lifetime.

    > The late-stage Gen-Xers and Millennials don’t nearly care that much about “coming together.”

    I *am* a late-stage Xer, or at least not an early one (I was born in ’73 and am therefore right in the middle), and most of my friends are Millenials. You are not describing either me or my friends when you say this — you’re generalizing a little bit too broadly.

    You’re absolutely right that there’s a huge percentage of Millenials who are not concerned with coming together, because coming together means compromising with the enemy and that’s more harmful than simply winning would be. They are *wrong*, and they are another symptom which is causing damage to the republic.

    But honestly they’re less of a problem, from what I can see, than the radiclaized Boomers and GenXers who were responsible for this situation developing, and they’re the ones that are going to build the society that emerges from this catastrophe.

    > Biden’s mouthing a bunch of platitudes about “coming together,”

    Biden actually believes it, I think. So did Obama. Hopefully his administration is able to get people to dial it down a bit and, if nothing else, *restore the legitimacy of the government*. Because if he can’t do that, then we’re doomed.

    And everyone who doesn’t want this to end badly should be helping.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  86. People say worse things about their competition when actively competing, than they really think about a person.

    So you’re saying they lied about what they really thought of him? How is that better?

    I don’t recall Trump having been big on healing? Or unity? Or being president of the entire country?

    Nic (896fdf) — 12/18/2020 @ 5:53 pm

    Well, he WAS President of the entire country. But at least he and the people who voted for him never pretended that they desired “healing” on the condition that they be given political control.

    Did he ever present that pretense? At least he didn’t act

    I am saying in the short-to-medium term the way they have been radicalized during the Trump presidency causes them to present the single biggest short-term threat to the existence of the republic, and they present the *only* real threat to the existence of the republic in my lifetime.

    That’s not fundamentally different than what I wrote, your post-hoc qualifications aside.

    Biden actually believes it, I think. So did Obama.

    Do you think their base actually believes it? Because that’s ultimately who matters, if your pejorative about Trump’s supposed “army” is accurate.

    I *am* a late-stage Xer, or at least not an early one (I was born in ’73 and am therefore right in the middle), and most of my friends are Millenials. You are not describing either me or my friends when you say this — you’re generalizing a little bit too broadly.

    I’m one as well, and I’m acquainted with plenty who are like this, from people whom I grew up with to those that I see at academic conferences, and they become increasingly radicalized every year. The city I graduated high school from got a bunch of DSA-affiliated members from this generational cohort into the city council a couple of years ago (guess who “inspired” them to run?), and the council immediately fell into warring factions upon their arrival–something that hadn’t been an issue in the decades prior, despite both Republicans and Democrats being on the council.

    Factory Working Orphan (f2abc6)

  87. @87 Oh for the love of Pete, that is not an honest assessment of what I said and you know it. So are you being dishonest, or are you in the heat of competition?

    Also, Biden, for his entire career in the Senate, showed a willingness to work in a bipartisan way and has maintained positive relationships with people who didn’t agree with him. Why would you think he’s lying about wanting Unity?

    Nic (896fdf)

  88. 75.

    The NRA was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and allowed industries to get together and write “codes of fair competition.”

    A large part of the early New Deal was an attempt to push up prices.

    Thus has been long abandoned exceppt when it comes to some farming commodities,

    And in another way, housing.

    Pushing up tuition may be some lobbyists secret intention, but it is not policy. Same with medical costs. All these last three are not paid out of current income but in different ways. Housing, with down payment and long term borrowing that can get usually paid back over 30 years or when property is sold; tuition with borrowing not necessarily paid back and medical costs with insurance.

    Of therse three, only with housing is it really an openly stated goal of government policy to keep prices high.

    Sammy Finkelman (3915d0)


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