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  • Our constitutional crisis is already here


    “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation.”

    — James Madison

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    Note: Article published last year, but the facts haven't changed.

    The United States is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three to four years of incidents of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring red and blue enclaves.

    The warning signs may be obscured by the distractions of politics, the pandemic, the economy and global crises, and by wishful thinking and denial. But about these things there should be no doubt:

    First, Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. The hope and expectation that he would fade in visibility and influence have been delusional. He enjoys mammoth leads in the polls; he is building a massive campaign war chest; and at this moment the Democratic ticket looks vulnerable. Barring health problems, he is running.

    Second, Trump and his Republican allies are actively preparing to ensure his victory by whatever means necessary. Trump’s charges of fraud in the 2020 election are now primarily aimed at establishing the predicate to challenge future election results that do not go his way. Some Republican candidates have already begun preparing to declare fraud in 2022, just as Larry Elder tried meekly to do in the California recall contest.

    Meanwhile, the amateurish “stop the steal” efforts of 2020 have given way to an organized nationwide campaign to ensure that Trump and his supporters will have the control over state and local election officials that they lacked in 2020. Those recalcitrant Republican state officials who effectively saved the country from calamity by refusing to falsely declare fraud or to “find” more votes for Trump are being systematically removed or hounded from office. Republican legislatures are giving themselves greater control over the election certification process. As of this spring, Republicans have proposed or passed measures in at least 16 states that would shift certain election authorities from the purview of the governor, secretary of state or other executive-branch officers to the legislature. An Arizona bill flatly states that the legislature may “revoke the secretary of state’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election” by a simple majority vote. Some state legislatures seek to impose criminal penalties on local election officials alleged to have committed “technical infractions,” including obstructing the view of poll watchers.

    The stage is thus being set for chaos. Imagine weeks of competing mass protests across multiple states as lawmakers from both parties claim victory and charge the other with unconstitutional efforts to take power. Partisans on both sides are likely to be better armed and more willing to inflict harm than they were in 2020. Would governors call out the National Guard? Would President Biden nationalize the Guard and place it under his control, invoke the Insurrection Act, and send troops into Pennsylvania or Texas or Wisconsin to quell violent protests? Deploying federal power in the states would be decried as tyranny. Biden would find himself where other presidents have been — where Andrew Jackson was during the nullification crisis, or where Abraham Lincoln was after the South seceded — navigating without rules or precedents, making his own judgments about what constitutional powers he does and doesn’t have.

    Today’s arguments over the filibuster will seem quaint in three years if the American political system enters a crisis for which the Constitution offers no remedy.

    Most Americans — and all but a handful of politicians — have refused to take this possibility seriously enough to try to prevent it. As has so often been the case in other countries where fascist leaders arise, their would-be opponents are paralyzed in confusion and amazement at this charismatic authoritarian. They have followed the standard model of appeasement, which always begins with underestimation. The political and intellectual establishments in both parties have been underestimating Trump since he emerged on the scene in 2015.

    They underestimated the extent of his popularity and the strength of his hold on his followers; they underestimated his ability to take control of the Republican Party; and then they underestimated how far he was willing to go to retain power. The fact that he failed to overturn the 2020 election has reassured many that the American system remains secure, though it easily could have gone the other way — if Biden had not been safely ahead in all four states where the vote was close; if Trump had been more competent and more in control of the decision-makers in his administration, Congress and the states. As it was, Trump came close to bringing off a coup earlier this year. All that prevented it was a handful of state officials with notable courage and integrity, and the reluctance of two attorneys general and a vice president to obey orders they deemed inappropriate.

    Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...tional-crisis/
    Last edited by L.A. BRONCOS FAN; 04-23-2022, 04:04 AM.

  • #2
    People forget that Hitler and Mussolini were both considered to be comical and absurd characters at the beginning of the rise of fascism in the 20s and 30s. Everybody made fun of them. Caricatures of them were popular entertainment around the world. "Who would believe these bloated, melodramatic idiots?" They were figures of silliness. Their speeches were ludicrously over-the-top. They said outrageous things. Openly lied, and everybody knew they were lying. They promised ridiculous themes like "nationalist purity" and merciless law and order, and "respect for traditions" (of course, as defined by them) and "back to the golden age for 'our' people," you know, the "real" people.

    What rational people would ever support such childishly vague divisive themes? They didn't even talk about the pressing political issues of the day, instead relying on these cultural dog whistles, scapegoats and fear mongering. Who would fall for that?
    Last edited by Roh; 04-23-2022, 12:53 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

      Most Americans — and all but a handful of politicians — have refused to take this possibility seriously enough to try to prevent it. As has so often been the case in other countries where fascist leaders arise, their would-be opponents are paralyzed in confusion and amazement at this charismatic authoritarian. They have followed the standard model of appeasement, which always begins with underestimation. The political and intellectual establishments in both parties have been underestimating Trump since he emerged on the scene in 2015.

      They underestimated the extent of his popularity and the strength of his hold on his followers; they underestimated his ability to take control of the Republican Party; and then they underestimated how far he was willing to go to retain power. The fact that he failed to overturn the 2020 election has reassured many that the American system remains secure, though it easily could have gone the other way — if Biden had not been safely ahead in all four states where the vote was close; if Trump had been more competent and more in control of the decision-makers in his administration, Congress and the states. As it was, Trump came close to bringing off a coup earlier this year. All that prevented it was a handful of state officials with notable courage and integrity, and the reluctance of two attorneys general and a vice president to obey orders they deemed inappropriate.
      This is the key thing in all of this. So many people won’t and don’t take it seriously. And by the time they do it will be too late.

      Comment


      • #4
        We’ll have to abandon the hardest progressive left and the authoritarian holy war right… unfortunately there isn’t any legitimate options other than D and R…

        Desantis’ political retribution on Disney is a significant turning point imo…. It won’t go unnoticed by other politicians when there is no backlash for the behavior… that is a very slippery slope that should scare any American…

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        • #5
          Originally posted by B-Large View Post
          We’ll have to abandon the hardest progressive left and the authoritarian holy war right… unfortunately there isn’t any legitimate options other than D and R…

          Desantis’ political retribution on Disney is a significant turning point imo…. It won’t go unnoticed by other politicians when there is no backlash for the behavior… that is a very slippery slope that should scare any American…
          Symbolically, going after Mickey Mouse is a declaration that "anybody" can become the target in a culture war.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Roh View Post

            Symbolically, going after Mickey Mouse is a declaration that "anybody" can become the target in a culture war.
            Hadn’t thought of that. Malice against a quintessential piece of Americana… nothing will be out of bounds, soon…

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Roh View Post

              Symbolically, going after Mickey Mouse is a declaration that "anybody" can become the target in a culture war.
              It’s the fascists saying “we’re going to turn the calendar back to 1939 - whether you like it or not.”

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              • #8

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                • #9


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                  • #10
                    Once Trump gets back in the WH, the first they'll do is take down presidential term limitations.

                    “He’s (Xi's) now president for life, president for life. And he’s great,” Trump said, according to audio of excerpts of Trump’s remarks at a closed-door fundraiser in Florida aired by CNN. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said to cheers and applause from supporters.
                    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-t...-idUSKCN1GG015



                    We won't be able to argue that the fall of democracy came upon us by surprise. It's been happening right in front of our faces, right out in the open.
                    Last edited by Roh; 04-24-2022, 10:41 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So far, according to Trump, Chairman Xi is "great," Putin is a "genius," and he "...fell in love" with Kim.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roh View Post
                        So far, according to Trump, Chairman Xi is "great," Putin is a "genius," and he "...fell in love" with Kim.
                        A CEO has a lot more in common with an autocratic dictator than POTUS.

                        This country needs to get past the idiotic notions that government ought to be run as a business and that company leaders make good Presidents.

                        Both are very untrue.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mozzafiato View Post
                          Yep.

                          The Trumpublicans couldn't care less that their agenda is unpopular and opposed by the majority.

                          They've decided that if the votes aren't there then they'll simply ram their agenda down our throats.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by W*GS View Post

                            A CEO has a lot more in common with an autocratic dictator than POTUS.

                            This country needs to get past the idiotic notions that government ought to be run as a business and that company leaders make good Presidents.

                            Both are very untrue.
                            We changed the laws that took us from stakeholder corporations to shareholder corporations. We can change them back. I agree with the Founders' take, the only corporations that exist should those that can prove they are a public good.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mozzafiato View Post
                              they want a white, male dominated theocracy…. It’s poisonous combination of faith and imperialism… it’s been seen over centuries, always ends bad.

                              I believe this creates and opportunity for the Democratic Party to broaden their appeal to conservatives who are done with the GOP, and independents….

                              but they will have to find a leader who can appeal to those voters, and have a platform that does too… that won’t be easy…

                              my gut feeling is nationally we get through this patch, most people will come to the senses. Certain states/ areas will go so backwards the people who voted for it will end up wondering how they got there, and economically and socially those places will become downtrodden.

                              strange times

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                they want a white, male dominated theocracy…. It’s poisonous combination of faith and imperialism… it’s been seen over centuries, always ends bad.

                                I believe this creates and opportunity for the Democratic Party to broaden their appeal to conservatives who are done with the GOP, and independents….

                                but they will have to find a leader who can appeal to those voters, and have a platform that does too… that won’t be easy…

                                my gut feeling is nationally we get through this patch, most people will come to the senses. Certain states/ areas will go so backwards the people who voted for it will end up wondering how they got there, and economically and socially those places will become downtrodden.

                                strange times
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

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                                  True. Extremists were invited into the party under Lee Atwater. Now they ARE the party.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN View Post

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                                    Voters no longer chose their Politicians in certain districts, Politician’s pick their voters. This is incredibly dangerous because the system will no longer be responsive to a majority will of the voters… is it any wonder why issues such as immigration, where most Americans agree on what needs to be done, can never be addressed?

                                    good on the States who have recently implemented plans to address gerrymandering, and making voting more equitable and fair.

                                    federally we’re heading the wrong way…

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                      Voters no longer chose their Politicians in certain districts, Politician’s pick their voters.
                                      No offense, but this has really never been less true.

                                      The old machine that brought in people the party could work with in DC is gone. The open primary process is now held hostage by a fringe contingent of each electorate leading to more and more extreme candidates making their way to DC.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                        Voters no longer chose their Politicians in certain districts, Politician’s pick their voters. This is incredibly dangerous because the system will no longer be responsive to a majority will of the voters… is it any wonder why issues such as immigration, where most Americans agree on what needs to be done, can never be addressed?

                                        good on the States who have recently implemented plans to address gerrymandering, and making voting more equitable and fair.

                                        federally we’re heading the wrong way…
                                        It would literally take almost nothing to create a computer program that takes into account all the demographic data for a state and creates fair districts in accordance with Constitutional law, completely removed from politics.

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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post

                                          No offense, but this has really never been less true.

                                          The old machine that brought in people the party could work with in DC is gone. The open primary process is now held hostage by a fringe contingent of each electorate leading to more and more extreme candidates making their way to DC.
                                          It’s the very definition of gerrymandering… creating districts to further ensure your power…

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                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Roh View Post

                                            It would literally take almost nothing to create a computer program that takes into account all the demographic data for a state and creates fair districts in accordance with Constitutional law, completely removed from politics.
                                            its so simple, so fair, so healthy for a democracy…

                                            it has absolutely no chance to happen!

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                                            • #23
                                              Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                              its so simple, so fair, so healthy for a democracy…

                                              it has absolutely no chance to happen!
                                              Our main political quandary today: How do you clean out the trough if you can't move the pigs?

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                                              • #24
                                                Originally posted by B-Large View Post

                                                It’s the very definition of gerrymandering… creating districts to further ensure your power…
                                                Well yeah. But that doesn't actually put candidates on ballots. It ensures they have the right letter after their name. But the central party has less control over who emerges in those districts than ever. Which is a big reason why a movement like Trump's can suddenly emerge mostly against the wishes of the old guard.

                                                https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-e...106-story.html

                                                Our political parties have never been weaker

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                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by BroncoBeavis View Post

                                                  Well yeah. But that doesn't actually put candidates on ballots. It ensures they have the right letter after their name. But the central party has less control over who emerges in those districts than ever. Which is a big reason why a movement like Trump's can suddenly emerge mostly against the wishes of the old guard.

                                                  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-e...106-story.html

                                                  Our political parties have never been weaker
                                                  ah, that’s a good point. I think I missed your point, but that is very true now that you’ve clarified… 👍

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