What makes you think you’re the revolutionaries?

Every time you say “both parties are the same” or merely “both parties are equally bad,” I will answer: Those of you who COULD HAVE voted for Democrats, and failed to do so, are just as bad as those who actively vote for Republicans.

Practical effect on the real world is about the same.

But, Bern-outs and other leftier-than-thou pure-gressives? If you must INSIST that the only solution is to let the party of voter suppression keep on making everything shittier until we have no choice but to rise up and smash the system…

…what makes you think your sorry asses won’t be first against the wall?

You want that revolution? Oh, trust me, cupcakes, you’ll get it.

 

No, that’s not how this works.

An argument we sometimes hear in favor of the Electoral College is that if we had a popular vote, each election would be decided by a handful of high-population states, and that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the country.

No. The more-populous states would not decide an election with the popular vote. You’re describing what would happen if we tweaked the Electoral College so that each state’s number of votes reflected its actual percentage of the population.

We’re so used to seeing the Presidential election in terms of states, rather than people, we forget that there’s no state in which 100% of the voting population votes the same way. In each “blue state” there are plenty of folks who vote Republican and in each “red state” there are plenty of folks who vote for Democrats. The Electoral College makes it so those people’s votes don’t count. A popular-vote election would make it so that all of those votes would count.

I think the real complaint is that the more-populated states tend to vote more for Democrats, and that wouldn’t be fair to conservatives.

To which I say: this is my country just as much as yours. You have no moral right to having your vote count for more than mine.

Republicans are the party of voter suppression. Vote for Democrats in November.

Party matters because the system has made it so.

 

For another reason for why all Americans who don’t want this country to go any further down the tubes* should vote blue this November, please see this Twitter thread from Alexandra Erin:

Short version, in my words not hers: the sooner we get a majority-Democrat Senate, the sooner Mitch McConnell loses his position of Majority Leader, and the sooner we can try him for treason and I can smash his turtle-ass face in with a frozen pineapple…sorry, where was I going with this? Right, getting Bitch McCandlehead off his throne is a good enough reason to vote for Democrats even if they are, at best, spineless.

Similar rules apply to the House, but with literally all of them up for re-election now. The system has political-party relevance built in. All roads to un-fucking the country go through empowering the party that doesn’t capitalize on voter suppression.

*I was about to say “all Americans who don’t want this country to go straight down the tubes” but let’s be real, we’re already going down the tubes. We can still do better.

A few hot takes

Hot Take #1: The Electoral College is still evil even if we buy into the idea that it was designed to give the less-populous states better representation in government. Honestly, IDGAF if the rural folk get outvoted by the metro folk. Lots of populations are vulnerable to the tyranny of the majority. Sexual minorities get outvoted. Religious minorities get outvoted. Scientists are only a tiny percentage of the population, and we’d generally be better off if we got the policies they recommended, but the system isn’t built around multiplying their votes. If the less-populous states don’t get to have presidential candidates prioritize them as much as they would like, that’s not our problem.

Hot Take #2: Families who are adopting migrant children are basically participating in genocide. If you’ve recently adopted or are in the process of adopting a kid who may or may not have been gathered from an immigration detention facility, it’s your responsibility to find out where the kid came from. If it turns out the kid was taken away from their parents at the border, you should make every effort to find the parents and when the parents are found, return the kid to the family. Until the parents are found, love and care for that kid as best you can. That’s a way to do good in the world.

Hot Take #3: Also I honestly DGAF if most of the current crop of Democrats are at the beck and call of Wall Street. I mean, I GAF to the extent that we don’t want our elected officials to be building their policies around enabling money-hoarding, but that’s no reason to give up on voting. (Also, for the purposes of the current situation, voting for third-party candidates is effectively the same thing as not voting.) There’s no route to getting the money-hoarders’ grubby mitts off our elected officials that doesn’t go through voting blue. I’m not saying the Democrats are perfect, I’m saying they’re the ones who actually want to govern and they’re the ones who benefit from ending voter suppression.

Hot Take #4: Bern-outs can take a fucking seat for all eternity. Still bleating “Bernie would’ve won” and acting like the DNC fucked everything up by not handing the nomination to Sanders on a silver platter? What’s more likely: that the DNC actively sold the nomination to the less-effective candidate, or that more primary voters liked Hillary than Bernie? Bern-outs ain’t the political majority they think they deserve, and they can fucking own that, or they can fucking move to Russia. The troll-runners who hacked our election will be so happy to see them.

53% of white women…who showed up to the polls…

About that oft-cited statistic in progressive discourse that “53% of white women voted for Trump”? I don’t like it. 53% of white women did not vote for Trump. 53% of white women, of those who bothered to show up to the polls, voted for Trump.

It’s not that I object to calling out white women for letting Trumpty Numpty squat in the White House. Of course we should be called out. My objection is that the 53% statistic is burying the lede. I have a very, very hard time believing that any non-trivial number of American white women voted for Obama in 2012 and then voted for Trump in 2016. The problem is more in those who didn’t vote at all in 2016.

(For the purposes of this argument, voting for third-party candidates is the same thing as not voting at all. If you could’ve voted for Hillary, and didn’t, you’re part of the problem.)

The rhetorical distinction matters because there are so fucking many progressive Americans who go around thinking inaction equals blamelessness. So they hear the “53% of white women voted for Trump” line and they think it isn’t about them because they voted for no one. Bullshit. The problem is in the number of progressive Americans who were eligible to vote in 2016 and did not vote for Hillary. Whether they voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or wrote in the name of whatever inconsequential no-name putz Susan Sarandon told them to, or just stayed home and didn’t vote at all, that’s the number we should be talking about.

We made the Russian trolls’ job too easy

I am so LOL-ing at the memory of hearing from those Bern-outs right after the 2016 election who were so happy to believe the DNC had unfairly rigged the primaries in Hillary’s favor, but actively sneered at the idea that the Russian government had meddled in the general election. Oh, no, we needed to focus on the REAL problem, which is that Bernie would’ve won.

Yeah, of course, so many progressive Americans found it so much easier to believe the DNC had sabotaged itself (nah) by unfairly stacking the deck (nope) in favor of the weaker candidate (uh-uh), than that a hostile foreign power had fucked with our election to favor the Kremlin-approved candidate.

Of course, part of the Kremlin’s propaganda used to fuck with our election was convincing a lot of progressive Americans that Hillary had scored the nomination illegitimately.

Which means, not only were the Bern-outs wrong in where the actual sabotage was, they were, in fact, a symptom of the sabotage. All’a y’all acting like Hillary got the nomination by some means other than getting more Democratic primary voters on her side? Congratulations, you’ve bought into Russian propaganda. And the sooner y’all admit you’ve been had, the sooner we can clean up this mess.

 

Batten down the hatches, comrades.

Okay, so, it seems Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring this summer.

Well…Bitch McCandlehead has already established that the Senate can sabotage the president’s ability to appoint a Supreme Court judge if some of them don’t like the president, so I see no reason why we must accept Trumpty Numpty’s idea of a new justice simply because Justice Kennedy has had enough. Trumpty Numpty isn’t really a president, anyway. The US currently has no president. This is not 45, this is the missing administration. Trumpty Numpty and his cronies are squatting in the White House. So he shouldn’t have the privilege of filling a SCOTUS seat.

So…everyone with Republican Senators, lobby the fuck outta them to deny a hearing to any of the non-president’s choices for the new SCOTUS justice. And in November, we vote for Dems and make both houses of Congress super-extra-blue. When the Senate is majority-Democrat, Bitch McCandlehead can no longer be Senate Majority Leader. And then we lobby the fuck outta the new Senate to hold up a giant middle finger at any of the non-president’s choices for the SCOTUS seat. Keep on holding up a giant middle finger until the non-president accidentally pukes up the name of a liberal judge or until he’s no longer squatting in the White House.

The new Congress doesn’t have to impeach Trumpty Numpty. It’s cool if they do, but that doesn’t need to be our goal in this November’s elections. They just need to stonewall the non-president until 2020.

In 2020, we can make a fresh effort to elect a real president, and meanwhile Bitch McCandlehead can be sent home to cry in his wife’s lap following the unceremonious end of his career in public office.

In the meantime, I will ready my couch for women visiting from out of state to get abortions in Maryland.

The Electoral College is worse than useless.

One of the tall tales we were told in Civics class is that the Electoral College was created as a sort of escape switch in case a clearly unfit candidate manages to win the popular vote.

Which is malarkey. The EC was developed for the benefit of slaveowners, by emphasizing the number of residents per state over the number of votes per state. Basically, it allowed slaveowners’ votes to count for themselves and for all the human beings they owned. Post-slavery, it accommodates low voter turnout and thus incentivizes voter suppression.

But anyway, what they told us in school was that we needed the Electoral College to protect us from ourselves in case we voted for a Presidential candidate who had absolutely no business in the Oval Office. The people get hoodwinked by a dumpster fire in a suit, and the Electoral College says nah, we’re going with someone who isn’t terrible. That’s what we’re supposed to believe about the EC.

And what happened to us in 2016?

The popular vote went to the candidate who would have made a totally decent President, and the Electoral College went to the incompetent fascist puppet of a hostile foreign power. There were even some faithless EC voters who added to the incompetent fascist puppet’s electoral count. They were expected to vote for Hillary, and instead they chose Trumpty Numpty.

So…more than half the voters said, “We want the smart lady who knows her way around and knows what she’s talking about.”

And the Electoral College said, “Nah, you’re getting the crooked racist/rapist who talks about his dick on stage, picks schoolyard fights with North Korea on Twitter, and has all his strings attached to the Russian government.”

The EC is anti-democratic AND untrustworthy. Time to let it go.

 

Vote Those Choads Out: Action Plan

If there’s a single issue we should be voting on for the foreseeable future of US politics, it’s voting rights. This goes for conservatives as well as liberals. Do you care about democracy? Then you should care about voting rights. If you care about voting rights, whether liberal or conservative, then you should be voting for Democrats. Not forever! But for the next several years. Hear me out.

When voter turnout is high, Democrats do better in elections. When voter turnout is low, Republicans do better. This is because the demographics that favor Republicans are more reliable about voting. BUT ALSO the demographics that favor Democrats are more vulnerable to voter suppression.

I’m not saying the Democratic party is perfect. I’m just saying they’re the party that is actually interested in governing. It doesn’t have to be that way forever. That’s how it is now. Furthermore, since their candidates have better outcomes when voter turnout is higher, the Democrats are the party with a built-in incentive to maximize voter turnout and abolish voter suppression.

For the foreseeable future, the US democratic process depends on Democratic politicians.

There’s a reason why Trumpty Numpty recently disbanded his Voter Fraud Commission. It’s because even when they were utterly determined to find evidence of voter fraud, they couldn’t find it. The US does not have a problem of people voting fraudulently. It simply isn’t happening. We do, however, have a problem of people being unfairly kept from voting, and it will continue to be a problem as long as Republicans are in power. This is not a moral judgment, it’s a question of incentives. When more people are kept from voting, Republicans have an easier time winning. Thus, Republicans have no reason to address voter suppression.

For an example of how this happens: voter ID laws. Ostensibly, the purpose of a voter ID law is to make sure nobody votes more than once, or in the wrong district, or without the legal right to vote. However. If the voter ID law were actually intended to make sure every vote is valid, then the same jurisdictions instituting voter ID laws would also be making it much easier for all citizens to get state-issued IDs. The demographics that are mostly likely not to have state-issued IDs are also some of the demographics that most reliably vote Democratic. Not limited to, but especially including African-Americans. Many don’t have state-issued ID, but they do have the legal right to vote. Realistically, the way these laws work out is that a state says everyone needs to show ID at the polling place, and then the same politicians in the same jurisdictions also start cutting DMV hours in the areas with the highest concentration of African-Americans. Shorter DMV hours means it’s much harder for someone who doesn’t already have an ID to get one. That’s because the real purpose of these laws is not to prevent fraud, it’s to make it harder for certain populations to vote.

Again, this cannot be overstated: the US does not have a voting fraud problem. You could round up every single person in the US who votes fraudulently per election cycle, and you could bus them all to my house, and I could take them out to lunch at one of our local restaurants. They’d fit. I could afford to pay the bill.

So, again, we have one party that is actually interested in governing and which benefits from higher voter turnout. And we have another party which is more interested in fucking everything up, which benefits from voter suppression, and which paved the way for Trumpty Numpty to squat in the White House. At this point, a one-party system would be better.

So here’s the plan I propose for fixing the democratic process:

  1. Vote for Democrats in 2018. Paint the House bright blue. For those Senators up for reelection in 2018, turn their seats blue. This part alone is simply damage control. We should not expect Congress to accomplish anything major as long as Putin’s Pup and his enablers have their paws on the Executive Branch. The purpose of Congress, between the 2018 elections and whenever we evict Trumpty Numpty (hopefully no later than 2020) should be to refuse to give the Commander-in-Cheeto what he wants.
  2. Vote for Dems again in 2020, for both houses of Congress, and also for POTUS. Send Bitch McConnell home to cry in his wife’s lap. After all the shit he’s pulled as Senate Majority Leader, he should not have a career.
  3. Once the Dems are in control of Congress and the White House, we start lobbying the fuck outta them to fix voting rights. Such measures would include, but not be limited to:
    1. Abolish voter ID laws. Fuck that noise.
    2. Abolish gerrymandering. Set up a bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw the districts to be compact and contiguous.
    3. Enable weighted voting. This is where you can vote for first, second and third choices of candidates, rather than just choosing one. This is the sort of thing that would allow third parties to get some traction.
    4. Abolish the Electoral College. Please note that I’m not suggesting this because it would mean more Democratic presidents. For instance, Clinton won his second term despite losing the popular vote. We need to chuck out the Electoral College because it gives states a disincentive to maximize voter turnout. Whether a state has 90% of its eligible population vote, or 9% (or less!), it gets the same degree of electoral power. This is a problem.
    5. Make sure all districts have lots of polling places, so voting is easy. The longer people have to stand in line, the more people end up not voting. The districts that tend to get fewer polling places tend to be—surprise!—areas whose populations favor Democrats. Ergo, the Democratic party is the one with the incentive to fix the problem.
    6. Require all states to restore voting rights for ex-convicts. You finish your prison sentence, you should regain the rights of citizenship.
  4. Once we have our electoral shit together, the Republicans are going to lose again. This is fine.
  5. They should keep on losing until they change their platform and their attitude in such a way that a majority of the population can actually be convinced to vote for them. How many years the Democrats have a monopoly on the government depends on how many years it takes for the Republicans to get their heads out of their asses.
  6. Once we get to a place where Republicans can get elected without undermining the democratic process, then the Democrats will have to change their attitude to something more productive than just “You don’t want THOSE assholes to win, do you?” This will be a good thing for everyone.

 

We let this happen.

There’s an excerpt at NY Mag from Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

So…this is what happens when we let a reality-TV star go straight to a Presidential nomination with no prior political experience. I feel like we’re living in a satirical dystopian novel.

Even though the numbers in a few key states had appeared to be changing to Trump’s advantage, neither Conway nor Trump himself nor his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — the effective head of the campaign — ­wavered in their certainty: Their unexpected adventure would soon be over. Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.

As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. “I can be the most famous man in the world,” he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.

“This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,” he told Ailes a week before the election. “I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”

And then as soon as the electoral victory actually went to him, Trumpty Numpty started thinking he totally deserved to be President. Not that he became any more interested in doing the work of running the country. Just thinking he’s entitled to have that power.

Seven Hells.

I think “political malpractice” should be a working concept. I think the Congressional GOP is continuing to perpetrate malpractice on us by giving Trumpty Numpty what he wants.

The way I see this administration is, we don’t really have a President. Trumpty Numpty is squatting in the White House. The Executive Branch is basically treading water now.

While I still can’t say for sure that impeachment would be a good thing, I must admit that I’m making my calculations differently since reading this excerpt. I’m open to discussion of whether letting Mike Pence be President until 2020 would be better than letting Trumpty Numpty keep on squatting until then.

Either way: vote more Democrats into Congress in 2018. Vote even more Democrats into the Senate in 2020. Vote the entire cast of this goddamn reality show to oblivion in 2020. Vote those sorry choads out.