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ondoho 12-10-2020 03:03 PM

USA Election 2020 - the Sequel (Georgia)
 
"After the election is before the election" someone said.
I thought it was a given that the senate will be mostly republican, but apparently not, and currently there's a run to win the senate election in Georgia, which could tip the scales either way, meaning there's still a chance of a democratic majority in the senate.

This gives Mr Trump another chance to ... erm, whatever you call it he's doing.
Not on the global scale of slackjawed wonder as before, but still in the familiar manner we have come to expect from the one and only Eric Cartman of the White House!

So, how is it going, what are the chances, topics, outcomes, consequences, and please correct me on my rudimentary knowledge of US government.

Let's continue discussing politics in a civilised manner on LQ!

michaelk 12-10-2020 03:51 PM

If both democrats when that would split the Senate at 50-50 with the Veep as the tie breaker. If both Republicans win that would give them control and if the latter happens will see if Senator Mitch McConnell is willing to work with or against the President-elect.

The attacks on Georgia's election process could hurt turn out with Republicans voters so we will have to wait and see what happens.

If your implying that it gives him a chance to steal the election then it is possible. When Congress certifies the vote on 6 Jan there could be a challenge. With the democrats in control of the house and the few Senators that have recognized Biden as the President-Elect it seems unlikely however, anything can happen...

rtmistler 12-10-2020 06:41 PM

This seems difficult with the way you started the thread.
Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194078)
This gives Mr Trump another chance to ... erm, whatever you call it he's doing.
Not on the global scale of slackjawed wonder as before, but still in the familiar manner we have come to expect from the one and only Eric Cartman of the White House!

My statement about how the thread was started is due to your statements here. It seems both clear and unclear. Clear it seems that you have a negative opinion about the current president. Unclear because you imply behavior but do not really define your meaning. Adding to that is your question and statement that you may not be fully versed in the subject of US government.
Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194078)
So, how is it going, what are the chances, topics, outcomes, consequences, and please correct me on my rudimentary knowledge of US government.

If this is true that you have a rudimentary knowledge of US government, then why imply that there's some chance for the president to do anything besides his actual job of his office?

US government is three branches, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government

The executive's term will end in January because they did not get reelected.

There are 100 seats in the senate, 2 per state, and 2 seats remain to be selected by special elections.

The decisions are by voting majority, all "statements" made by anyone about these elections in advance of the results are either campaign statements or personal opinions intended to sway voters' opinions.

In the end, voters have free choice, and as stated, majority rules.
Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194078)
Let's continue discussing politics in a civilised manner on LQ!

How do you feel about the lack of UK trade deal with the EU?

To me it seems that this will cause some inflation which England cannot afford.

What are your thoughts about India being left out of the meeting in the UN about Afghanistan? I feel they should have been represented if this is truly intended to strike a peace accord.

How do you feel about a senior member of the New Zealand parliament stirring up an argument for arguments sake? We had a similar situation recently in the US senate over face masks. Very petty and childish I'd say for leaders, in both situations.

ondoho 12-11-2020 02:51 AM

^ Yes, I have an opinion in these matters. Thank you for pointing it out, although I thought I made it clear many times. I'm not trying to appear impartial in matters of US politics. Let's leave it at that, don't turn this into yet another meta-discussion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by michaelk (Post 6194096)
If your implying that it gives him a chance to steal the election then it is possible. When Congress certifies the vote on 6 Jan there could be a challenge. With the democrats in control of the house and the few Senators that have recognized Biden as the President-Elect it seems unlikely however, anything can happen...

I wasn't implying that; just that he gets another opportunity to fully unfold his obnoxious media personality.
But I did not fully understand what you wrote after that.
I am aware that a republican dominated senate can make life hard for the upcoming democratic government, but actually undo it? How?

rtmistler 12-11-2020 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194245)
I am aware that a republican dominated senate can make life hard for the upcoming democratic government, but actually undo it? How?

This is called a balance of power.

The intentions were never to allow domination of one party over another, unless that actually was the will of the voting public.

The structure of election process is intended to allow the public to revise their decisions at each new election.

Since senators sit for 6 year terms, every 2 years, 1/3 of the senate seats are up for election.

I feel the 2 term limit imposed on the Chief Executive should apply also the the house and senate, but it doesn't and there are no term limits for those persons.

WRT the point about "making life hard for the upcoming democratic government", once again, the structure is not intended to provide clear, unimpeded policy actions by any one self-invested group. Just because there are two dominant parties, does not mean there cannot be more, there have been quite a few more parties over the years, but none have retained the staying power of the democratic and republican parties.

People disagree, and the larger the group, the more serious the issues, the greater the disagreements sometimes. I feel it is perfectly natural that a sitting president has to exercise diplomacy and fair dealings in order to convince opposing party members to agree with their policies, budget proposals, and etc.

The chief executive can do a lot of things, but they also can NOT unilaterally do a lot of things. For instance Congress can only declare war, but the president can send troops and do something like a Police Action, but the intentions are that there are checks and balances to avoid abuse of this. As with all systems, there are some flaws. Similarly, the creation of a law, first goes through the house and then the senate, and then the president has an opportunity to approve or veto, but those can be challenged.

Technically speaking, President Trump has every right to question the integrity of the election. As can be seen though, every challenge that he's made has been rejected by higher and higher courts. So for instance even though the Supreme Court has more conservative judges in it right now, this does not mean that they fully support the president and all his wishes, they are there to interpret constitutional law, and if a member of any party is incorrect, then they are incorrect and the court's responsibility is to determine this and make a ruling.

Regarding personality and behavior, I fully agree that President Trump has not acted presidential, ever, except enough to get elected in 2016. He showed his true colors the minute he took office and has never stopped doing so, nor will he stop doing so after he leaves office. But, he will leave office, that is the current will of the people.

I treat what he says or attempts at present, as senseless and of no purpose. He's been called a Lame Duck president, and that is truthful.

ondoho 12-11-2020 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rtmistler (Post 6194346)
Since senators sit for 6 year terms, every 2 years, 1/3 of the senate seats are up for election.

I did not know that. Interesting.

hazel 12-12-2020 06:01 AM

Well, I'm gobsmacked! The Trump team engineered a suit by the State of Texas against four other states that voted for Biden (Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan), because interstate lawsuits automatically go straight to the Supreme Court. And of course he has carefully packed the Supreme Court with conservative Republicans. Remember how the last one went in just before the election?

But the court decided to bite the hand that fed them. They said that Texas "lacks standing" in the case. In other words, it's none of Texas's business how Pennsylvania votes. I must say, I had assumed that Trump had a tame Supreme Court at his disposal but I was wrong.

eight.bit.al 12-12-2020 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6194644)
Well, I'm gobsmacked!

It had a snowflake's chance in hell from the start. Texasí attorney general, Ken Paxton, who brought the suit, is in big legal trouble of his own and was looking to please Dear Leader in hopes of a pardon for his (alleged) crimes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...9be_story.html
"Democrats and Paxtonís critics say his entering the fray of Trumpís election battle is one of two things: an effort to seek a presidential pardon or to shore up his conservative credentials to hold off an expected reelection challenge in 2022 from George P. Bush, son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush."

8bit

ondoho 12-12-2020 01:16 PM

^ All sorts of turkeys seeking Trumps pardon before the end of the year...

It seems USA senate elections are too complicated for a pampered European like me ("We Americans like our Democracy unfiltered, with all the grit accumalulated in two-and-a-half centuries!").
But I heard on the news that Georgia could turn the senate's majority in January. I would welcome that, but not without concern.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6194644)
I must say, I had assumed that Trump had a tame Supreme Court at his disposal but I was wrong.

I hadn't, but nevertheless.
Some article somewhere saying "Trump cannot fire Barrett" ...

obobskivich 12-12-2020 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hazel (Post 6194644)
Well, I'm gobsmacked! The Trump team engineered a suit by the State of Texas against four other states that voted for Biden (Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan), because interstate lawsuits automatically go straight to the Supreme Court.

From what I've seen in the news this isn't *quite* how this happened - the Texas AG brought this suit 'independently' (in quotes because at least officially that's true) and was then later joined by the Trump campaign (and a handful of other state AGs), and there's no hijinks with interstate disputes going straight to SCOTUS (that's things work as designed). The court was also very likely to reject this lawsuit (and they did) because Texas' request was borderline absurd (they were essentially asking the Court to apply Texas law to non-Texas elections, or something along those lines, which isn't possible). Keep in mind another reason this kind of thing 'makes sense' (or 'keeps happening') is because while the national-level AG is an appointed position, most state AGs are separately elected officials, so they're more likely to respond to the whims/will of their electorate (and this is why you see more US States engaging in 'political' lawsuits like this - the person bringing them was elected to do exactly that).

Quote:

And of course he has carefully packed the Supreme Court with conservative Republicans.
The court was not 'packed' - Trump did not expand the size of SCOTUS. Also to note: SCOTUS justices do not have party affiliations, and the conservative/liberal balance of the court (if such a metric can be thought to make sense) has changed very little with Trump's apointees. Historically, 'packing the court' generally refers to expanding the size of SCOTUS in hopes of diluting an existing power base/creating a rubber-stamp court - FDR threatened to do this at the start of the New Deal (but never did - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judici...m_Bill_of_1937), and there has been talk in the last few election cycles of potential presidents doing it, but even if SCOTUS were expanded there's no gurantee they'd just be puppets for the executive or populist rule (in fact, there's a lot of historical precdent that they'd do the exact opposite, and operate independently - this case included).


Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194759)
It seems USA senate elections are too complicated for a pampered European like me ("We Americans like our Democracy unfiltered, with all the grit accumalulated in two-and-a-half centuries!").

Orginally Senators were appointed by state legislatures, but that changed in 1913 with the 17th amendment which allowed popular election of US Senators.

Georgia's specific election system is also somewhat unique, where Senators do the 'instant primary' at the vote - the reason there is another vote in January is because none of the candidates in November met the threshold to be elected. The reason 'both' are being elected at once is also unique - normally that will never happen, but in this case a Senator in a different election class (different 'sequence' of 6 year terms) retired before his term ended, and is being replaced by special election (which was ALSO held in November, and where ALSO none of the candidates cross the threshold for election). Specifically Georgia is holding its 'normal' Class II election (for a term that will run 2020-2026) and the 'special' Class III election (for a term that will run 2020-2022), so Georgians will be voting again for that seat in 2022.

Quote:

But I heard on the news that Georgia could turn the senate's majority in January. I would welcome that, but not without concern.
It would not 'turn the majority' - if both DNC candidates win in Georgia it would create a dead split (50/50) with a few caveats. Specifically, it would actually be a 48-50-2 arrangement because there are two Independents in the US Senate, but they generally caucus with the Democrats (they are Angus King and Bernie Sanders), and the 'create a majority' assumes all votes are entirely partisan (they aren't), and that the incoming DNC VP would always side with the DNC caucus, and therefore all votes would always be 51-50. That's a very partisan way to look at the Senate - it would probably 'work out that way' for certain policy initiatives or TV grandstanding (just as it did with the GOP a few times in the last 4 years), but there would also be a lot of 'business as usual' where things work as designed and not all votes are exactly partisan (and keep in mind - the GOP did control both the House and Senate, and the Presidency, coming out of 2016, and yet all of their policy planks did not become law, so it's not quite so clear-cut - my point is: Congress does not exist to be a rubber-stamp for the executive, and no matter what modern electioneers would have people believe: Americans do not elect a king). Also consider that 51-50 is only 'simple majority' - some votes require a 2/3 majority.

Quote:

I hadn't, but nevertheless.
Some article somewhere saying "Trump cannot fire Barrett" ...
SCOTUS justices do not work for the executive or legislature - they are appointed by the executive and confirmed by the legislature for a lifetime term. They are, by design, independent and co-equal. The idea that Trump's nominees somehow must 'work for him' or 'be loyal to him' is laughable - they have the highest job security of probably anyone on earth (except maybe a few surviving monarchs), and can thus be pretty independent. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that they are not, therefore, being a rubber-stamp for the executive (because again, Americans do not elect a king). This same outcome should be expected 'the other way' too - if Biden decided to 'pack the court' that's no gurantee things would go the way the executive wants (because they are the apexes of co-equal branches).

SCOTUS justices can be impeached, which requires an act of congress - it has been done once in US history (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Chase) and just like the handful of Presidents who have been impeached, he was not convicted by the Senate. The idea here is that the 'people' ultimately hold the power - don't like the president, or a supreme court justice? Vote in new representatives and have them impeached!

ondoho 12-13-2020 03:27 AM

Thank you for the explanation & insight, obobskivich.
I wish the Orange Baby was as well informed on these matters as you are.

Even so:
Quote:

Originally Posted by obobskivich (Post 6194814)
Also to note: SCOTUS justices do not have party affiliations, and the conservative/liberal balance of the court (if such a metric can be thought to make sense) has changed very little with Trump's apointees.

Sorry but even I know this not to be true.
The first half is naÔve, the second half - well I still remember what a big thing it was for DT to put in a "known republican" so hastily, before the election, to tip the party-political balance of the supreme court, etc., yadda yadda, it was all on the news for weeks just a couple of months ago.

But really, we should start focusing our attention away from the seemingly non-stop tantrum-throwing toddler to the president elect.

Another question from a dumb European:
What do y'all think, if the senate's balance tips towards the elected government, that will mean easier going for the upcoming government, yes?
Is this generally considered a good thing or rather not, what are the implications?
All hypothetical of course.

rtmistler 12-13-2020 09:24 AM

@ondoho,

Perhaps you should review this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fede..._United_States to learn about the actual organization of the US government.

obobskivich's statement about the Supreme Court is not absurd.

It is naive to subscribe to news stories as a 100% valid truth, many are opinion based.

I'm not a defender of Trump, however I do not choose to call him names, nor generalize about the intelligence of Europeans, which does degrade this discussion, as you so wish that not to happen.

Trump as a sitting president does have the authority to make a nomination to the Supreme Court. Congress can approve this or not, they have approved all nominations. All the political opinions that it shouldn't have been done are 'opinions'. Once again, the trio of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches is an important point you should pay attention to. There also are no guarantees that dice have a memory, so just because a congress largely weighed towards one party can exist, this does not mean that all members vote along party lines, in fact they regularly do have members who vote contrary to the rest of their party.

I believe the world around, there's nothing new if the press doesn't like you, they make sure they print adverse stories about you.

The more pressing matters which I find to be concerning and non-presidential, include: Allowing and encouraging racism and divisiveness in the country, ignoring a global pandemic, using social media on an everyday basis with inflammatory statements, obvious aggressive behavior with all persons who hold a different opinion, complete ignorance of environmental matters, divisiveness with nearly every other country, and the obvious non-professional behavior regarding election results.

Tomorrow morning the formal Electoral votes will be cast. Historically this has been a perfunctory action, with very valid meaning, but trivial ceremony and reporting. This year that will be different. I'm disappointed that this is so, however glad with the result.

jsbjsb001 12-13-2020 10:01 AM

It will be interesting to me to see exactly how many Republicans are "just trying to ride out the storm", and start acting normally again once trump's takeover of the Republican party comes to an end, and/or trump leaves office. I doubt politics will ever be the same again though, in the US and elsewhere, that said. It will also be interesting to see if the Republicans continue with "Trumpism" to keep loyal trump supporters on side, or they ditch "Trumpism" and split their own base, as it will be the Democrats that will be the net winners out of it either way. As it's important to understand that a lot of trump supporters themselves will tell you that they support trump first and foremost, and at least a certain percentage of them will also tell you that they couldn't give a rats ass about the Republican party, they support trump, full stop, period.

So I'd hate to be a "moderate republican" right now, no thanks...

Turbocapitalist 12-13-2020 10:04 AM

The timeline has the 14th, tomorrow, as the date that the electoral college casts its votes. Then after that the votes are collected on the 23rd and, before Jan 3rd, are archived. Then on the 6th of January those votes are tallied and on the 20th the new president is sworn in.

The GOP has flirted with sedition a lot in recent decades, one of the clear cut but unprosecuted cases centered around Grover Norquist. However, over a 120 GOP congress members have gone on the record with more than flirting with sedition. At this point it can be actionable as they have become ineligble to serve in congress. The 14th amendment, section 3, if actually enforced, forbids them from taking office now.

Infighting while the country spirals out the bottom end of a recession into a full out depression benefits almost no one, not even the politicians involved.

obobskivich 12-13-2020 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ondoho (Post 6194936)
Even so:Sorry but even I know this not to be true.
The first half is naÔve, the second half - well I still remember what a big thing it was for DT to put in a "known republican" so hastily, before the election, to tip the party-political balance of the supreme court, etc., yadda yadda, it was all on the news for weeks just a couple of months ago.

What I mean in that statement is, judges at the SCOTUS level are not appointed based on a party affiliation, and do not 'caucus' or otherwise work in response to a party - they are not like Senators in that regard. Trump got 3 appointments to the Supreme Court in his first term - two of the seats being replaced were previously held by 'conservative' justices (Scalia and Kennedy) and replaced with two more 'conservatives' (Gorsuch and Kavanaugh), and one was 'liberal' (Ginsburg) and replaced with a 'conservative' (Barrett). But 'conservative' and 'liberal' often mean different things for a justice than for a legislator or executive (that is, they have almost no relationship to populist ideas because they're not elected officials). Even if you subscribe to a partisan view of the court, and assume that they always split along 'conservative' vs 'liberal' lines (which they do not, historically) and that any 'conservative' justice is interchangable for any other 'conservative' justice (which they are not, historically) the only real 'shift' has been '+1 conservative.' What that will mean 'long term' is impossible to predict, however, and that composition is also not written in stone - it is likely that Biden (and whoever comes after Biden) will be nominating at least one justice as well (every President back to Reagan has had to fill at least one vacancy). Also remember that the court cannot just arbitrarily decide to un-write existing precedent/case-law, and can only decide on future cases in their context, so its generally impossible to predict what the overall impact of SCOTUS will be 'in the future' as a result (because unlike lower courts, SCOTUS is an appellate court).

Quote:

Another question from a dumb European:
What do y'all think, if the senate's balance tips towards the elected government, that will mean easier going for the upcoming government, yes?
Is this generally considered a good thing or rather not, what are the implications?
All hypothetical of course.
The reasoning goes that if one party 'controls' both houses and the exective, they can achieve whatever policy plank positions their hearts desire (because the executive can act as a rubber stamp for the congress and vice versa, at least in theory). Note that this isn't quite the same as a parlimentary system where a whole new government is being 'formed' - these are separate and co-equal branches, and it seems that historically neither side wants to be a rubber-stamp. That said, their interests (viz party-wide interests or electoral interests) often align (that is, they share things in common, at least in theory), but that doesn't mean they just go along together. Look at the recent re-authorization of the NDAA as an example, or SCOTUS rejecting Trump's challenges to the election - both of these are examples of co-equal checks and balances in action.

Also keep in mind, even if the DNC wins both seats in Georgia, they are only left with a simple majority - that doesn't mean they can just steamroll the GOP as a result, because not all votes can be won with simple majority (this is also why, when the GOP did win both houses of the legislature + the presidency in 2016 they could not just steamroll the DNC).

'Good' or 'Bad' here are matters of opinion - for partisans its 'good' if 'their side' is winning, or 'bad' if 'their side' is losing. For the actual functioning of the US Federal Gov't I'm not sure there's a clear argument either way, especially for day-to-day things (because I think there's way more context needed beyond simple GOP vs DNC).

Quote:

Originally Posted by rtmistler (Post 6195014)

Trump as a sitting president does have the authority to make a nomination to the Supreme Court. Congress can approve this or not, they have approved all nominations. All the political opinions that it shouldn't have been done are 'opinions'. Once again, the trio of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches is an important point you should pay attention to. There also are no guarantees that dice have a memory, so just because a congress largely weighed towards one party can exist, this does not mean that all members vote along party lines, in fact they regularly do have members who vote contrary to the rest of their party.

I'd agree with this very much, especially the 'breaking with the party' bit - remember that the US is made up of 50 states, and while going as far as saying there are 50 completely separate cultures may be a stretch, there certainly are regional cultures at work, and legislators are absolutely elected by regional voters.

Quote:

I believe the world around, there's nothing new if the press doesn't like you, they make sure they print adverse stories about you.
More bluntly than this, its whatever sells papers.

Quote:

The more pressing matters which I find to be concerning and non-presidential, include: Allowing and encouraging racism and divisiveness in the country, ignoring a global pandemic, using social media on an everyday basis with inflammatory statements, obvious aggressive behavior with all persons who hold a different opinion, complete ignorance of environmental matters, divisiveness with nearly every other country, and the obvious non-professional behavior regarding election results.
This is something I've found interesting about the Trump presidency - on one hand a lot of voters seemed taken with the idea of a 'non-presidential President' or a 'norm-busting President' but on the other, a lot of voters/people in general seem to dislike the actual execution. It will be interesting to see what historians make of this in 30-40 years (they're just now starting to wrestle with Ronald Reagan seriously, so I figure that ETA probably isn't too far off).

Quote:

Tomorrow morning the formal Electoral votes will be cast. Historically this has been a perfunctory action, with very valid meaning, but trivial ceremony and reporting. This year that will be different. I'm disappointed that this is so, however glad with the result.
What I wonder is how much 'actual difference' is there really - this isn't the first contested election of the 21st century, the first time congress members have threatened to challenge EC results, the first time SCOTUS has been asked to weigh in on an election, in fact all of those things are 'pretty normal' if you just look at 21st century elections. I get the sense at least part of this is probably a newscycle that knows it can sell more papers by covering every little procedural step in detail, and a viewing public that on some level believes things are "moving too slow" (I may be editorializing too much here but it really seems like the "instant gratification" thing is a factor here). I'm not trying to say 'nothing has changed over time' but I'm wondering where the 'real' needle is on change - I think all of the histrionics about 'its an attempted coup' and 'there will be a second civil war this is exactly like 1860' is probably a bit overblown, but to say everything here is wholly unique and never-before-seen is also probably a bit overblown (and I'm not saying you are saying this personally, just thinking aloud).


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