Rest in peace Ruth. I hope if there's an after you and Antonin are living it up.
Maybe there's some sort of new "non-denominational creed" we could all sign up for.
We may not agree but I will always listen to you.
I will always consider your opinion with respect and will endeavour to understand your reasoning.
My views are not set - my goal is to listen to arguments to come to an informed position, I can honestly take forward
As I typed that, I could hear the happy-clappy sounds of some mocking-utopia ringing in my ears - but goddamnit, it doesn't sound too hard for us to each put it into action.
I'm as guilty as the next person, but I'm going to try going forward.
but it's also about not simply giving in to the outlandish because you want to create a safe space. that means calling someone out for what is usually some form of aggression without alienating or offending, putting real social capital on the line, and requiring self-restraint, courage, a bit of charisma, and more.
and then you have media organizations like npr itself, nytimes, and twitter actively trying to play both sides, instigating while also trying to claim the moral high ground, feeding divisiveness.
it's hard, and takes active, willful effort from (nearly) everyone.
more to the point, i just heard a real example of the kind of empathy and compassion we need by nba hall-of-famer isaiah thomas on tnt's "the arena" airing right now, of all places.
it was in relation to LA county sheriff alex villanueva calling out lebron james to put up money for the recent shooting of two sheriff deputies in compton. this is a powder-keg issue here in LA right now. the knee-jerk reaction would have been to put down the sheriff for an unreasonable emotional outburst, but isaiah basically extended his hand and narrated how he understood where the sheriff was coming from, even if the demand was not exactly well thought out.
that's really hard to do in the moment, and my respect for isaiah just rose significantly because of it.
Point being, what you saw sells ads better than if Walker Cronkite reported it because it's emotionally charged. All this really kicked into gear with Rush Limbaugh because he was allowed to sit there and just rant for 3 hours and get people riled up. When you consume any news, look for clues that they are trying to get you riled up. Look for emotional words like "obliterated," "destroyed," etc. particularly in the headline (which reporters don't control). News is a business and are bound by the same profit/loss laws as any other business.
it's not meant to be fact-rich/low-opinion news, and they make that obvious by not mimicking a news format, unlike many other "news"-like shows, which is entirely acceptable. there is room for a few opinion shows in the mix. but it's the opinion shows disguised as news shows that are insidiously problematic, and that's increasingly all of them.
we're entirely in agreement that the profit motive drives news and news-like organizations in a race to the bottom toward attention-grabbing infotainment rather than staid factual news.
it's almost as if we need to break off high-value, low-engagement news organizations into fully independent non-profits that are funded by a pool of income from the infotainment industry for the right to continue delivering low-value, high-engagement infotainment, rather than intermixing the two.
>it's almost as if we need to break off high-value, low-engagement news organizations into fully independent non-profits that are funded by a pool of income from the infotainment industry for the right to continue delivering low-value, high-engagement infotainment, rather than intermixing the two.
We absolutely do, and I think there is a demand for it, just not sure how it would ever get funded because the investors would always want the higher return the anger-tainment style would bring. I try to focus on individual / independent journalism when available. I'm just starting to (audio)read Woodward's new book, and it seems pretty fair so far. I thought his last book seemed fair also. The difference of the new book is quite stark compared to the media's take on it recently.
I remember early in his presidency, watching a Trump speech. A short while later I saw news coverage on that same speech and it was like they weren't even talking about the same event.
I long for the good ole Walter Cronkite news casts. (I didn't mention fox commentators because that's beyond the beyond, they're way worse).
Is this because you disagree politically or because they’re “beyond the beyond, they’re way worse” or whatever thoughtless, meaningless comment Was typed?
Polarization has been increasing in the US for longer than that. Many of these tendrils stretch all the way back to the founding days of the US, but I think the real uptick of this modern flavor is hate started with Newt Gingrich:
My judgement may not move the conversation any further. I'm too emotionally wound up. I could do without the personal experience of the community which spawned this artificial divide. But then again, it's all I have, so I might as well use the hard lessons as well as the good times.
Never been in the same room as the founder of the (so-called) Christian Coalition. I hope. Grew up in Athens Georgia around that time, it was considered a small town. It wasn't all bad, but it took thousands of miles and decades of years before I could enter a Christian Church without wanting to run away.
Not because he was bad - he wasn't. He was an honorable man. So honorable he got rid of earmarks, the allocation of funding to particular projects.
The result of this being that there is very little reason for people to cross the aisle. Previously, you had to keep working with the other party to keep the gravy train on schedule. Now?
For bonus points, ask if the cost of gridlock are higher or lower than the cost of the earmarks.
Perhaps Newt was a catalyst in Washington, but I think the broader cultural change was less related. Even as a lifelong liberal, I recall the 2000s as being a period of liberal snark toward conservatives, especially in the media and on the emerging Internet (I know some will argue that conservative policies are horrible so they deserved to be treated this way, but such arguments miss the point of civility: you debate bad ideas; you don’t attack people). It wasn’t the sort of ruthless display we see today, but it was relentless and it went on for more than a decade. Conservatives generally maintained decorum, but eventually the dam burst and the resentment cascaded over and Trump arrived on the scene to personify the middle finger that many on the right wanted to give to those they felt mistreated them for so long.
None of this is meant to impute blame or innocence on anyone, but to serve as a framework for understanding how we got here as that is prerequisite for getting black to a healthier state.
The ironic part is that you allow a partial pass due to bad conservative policies, but during the time period to which you refer, the liberals were anti-gay marriage (DOMA anyone?) and ramming through “tough on crime” laws that they now decry as racist.
Like, I get it, it's ironic- he opposed a climate change and wildfire bill and his house burned down. What really scared me though was realizing I don't think the reaction would have been much different if he himself had burned to death in the fire.
That, more than anything else, has contributed to the coarseness of the discourse. Well, that and the 4chanisation of everything. Maybe the right could rein in the "libtard" and "cuck" discourse a bit too? Oh, and the death threats that prominent women get.
There's at least one a month that makes international news? And several thousand demonstrators in the streets for hundreds of days that think they're not justified? And it turns out that the police lie about events unless there's footage, and sometimes even then?
Here's the latest one: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/police-shooting...
Even basic statistics knowledge should make this obvious.
It doesn’t matter that people are rioting. It turns out they routinely lie about events until there is footage too. Crowds riot about dumb/wrong things all the time. Sports games come to mind.
You just linked to an example where a wanted violent criminal was reported to police for violating a restraining order against a woman he previously allegedly raped, who then disregarded the cops orders, decided to fight with them and put them in a headlock, refused to comply again after being shot with tasers, refused to comply again when the gun was drawn, and instead reached for a deadly weapon while in lethal striking distance of an officer. I think you proved my point, not yours.
What you are missing is that you also make mistakes as a human being, and when you have terrible consequences of that happen, it might be nice if people on some opposite side of a political spectrum don’t laugh at you about it and say you deserved it, but stay quiet because they also know they are fallible and make mistakes.
I am truly shocked you are ok with someone dying because of some mistaken political point of view. This tbh has no place in a supposedly civil place like HN (or America? Or the world??)
This is the language and thought pattern that is the problem. It is not okay to use this kind of language.
The 2000s were absolutely not a decade of decorum, for conservatives or anyone in politics. The 2004 election was a massive turning point toward where we are today, and the 2008 election meltdown culminated the Republican party turning itself inside out in ways Gingrich really did directly catalyze a decade and a half prior.
We wound up with the Tea Party at the end of the 2000s and American political discourse went from an already slippery slope to a freefall.
I didn't understand this at the time, but everything I saw or read supported this worldview. Newspapers, magazines, schools, academics. Since I was left of them generally, I thought the world was too conservative. When conservatives complained about the mainstream media, it was always in context of mainstream journalists mocking them. For me, I saw it as conservatives mocking their extremists.
Fast forward to today, and I cannot imagine how frustrating it must have been to be a conservative then. That idea, that conservatives are bad, evil or crazy, was pervasive and all encompassing and smug.
Nowadays, for me, it's not about agreeing, but about listening. Hearing what people actually say rather than what a journalist says they say is quite enlightening.
I think this explains a big chunk of the Trump vote. Many voters saw in him someone who would not take the smug mockery without a fight.
It's also why there is such a disconnect with respect to the Russian collusion allegations. To those inclined to trust the mainstream media, it is a settled question: of course Trump colluded, and anyone who can't see that is crazy, evil or dumb.
Those who feel misrepresented by the mainstream media, don't see how that allegation isn't just more of the same egregious lying they have experienced first-hand for decades
It is such a wide gap in outlook
I hope that one day the US can come to agree on the facts. But many situations seem to be like Scott Adams says: two people watch the same movie and see two different narratives.
Look at where it's got them - conspiracy theories about pedophile pizza parlours. I'm struggling to frame the events of the last two decades as "the story of how we realized that conservatives were reasonable people after all".
Ongoimg anti-racist riots for example: are they a long overdue correction to a deeply flawed and misguided nation that oppresses a large fraction of its own citizens? Or are they a symptom of post-modernist moral relativism run amok, whereby political leaders have abandoned their responsibility to maintain public safety and order? Or perhaps they are a minor local dust up, blown out of proportion by a greedy, cynical media? Perhaps some combination of those?
If one skews left, one will be inclined to dismiss the concerns of the right as unreasonable, perhaps even hypocritical. Do that habitually enough, and conservatives will come off as entirely out of touch; and so will you, to them.
I recommend really striving to understand the point of view of your political opponents, not by reading leftist think-pieces about what the right thinks for example, but reading reasonable presentations of conservative arguments. So, more National Review and less Breitbart, for example. Less focus on "qanon pedo-pizza" who are the black block anarchists of the right, and more on people who makes sense even if you ultimately disagree.
I'm sorry, but I just don't think this is a helpful or accurate framework. Liberals spent 8 years snarking about conservatives because Bush was president, doing all his Bushy things. What about the following 8 years, when Obama was president? Can you specify at what point exactly you think conservatives lost their sense of decorum?
I mean christ, Trump _still_ brings up Vince Foster.
Or, say, I'm a disabled person and someone tells me they think social services should be cut so people like me can die off for the good of humanity. It may be actively emotionally harmful for marginalized people to be listening to toxic opinions that they are worth nothing.
(EDIT: To be clear I think listening to opinions I disagree with in good faith is a good thing that we need more of in society. However, I also believe marginalized voices are, by sake of being marginalized, are forced to engage in a significantly higher volume of significantly more emotionally taxing opinions, and therefore may need to protect themselves, and that isn't wrong.)
Justice Ginsburg and Justice Scalia disagreed on just about all of these issues and got along fine. I don't think that's because they didn't care about their respective principles and about the issues that were at stake. I think it's because, as a point of fact, we have to live in a society with each other regardless of our differences. And most of those differences are genuinely rooted in good or at least understandable intentions in the first place.
As supreme court justices we can assume that they had a basic foundation of psychological and material security - a position of prestige, a job for life, healthcare and so on.
I believe it is a lot easier to summon the "higher thoughts" necessary to be civil when ones personal position is more secure, so to achieve a more civil society it may help to work to make more insecure people secure.
It is so hard to accept others and let them articulate their view.
As a general principle, sure.
I don't think it is reasonable to expect anyone to peacefully tolerate fundamental values that fundamentally challenge their right to exist.
We may admire genuine saintliness, but expecting it (and taking people to task when they don't measure up) is a bridge too far.
You may have the right to say that you think I and my extended family should be exterminated, but I damn well have the right to — at the very least — get in your face about it.
After all, the solution to bad speech is more speech, right?
 Note that one can be non-violent without being peaceful.
My reservation is that most of the time this kind of argument is made, it’s because someone wants to take the most extreme cases and use them to construct some dubiously over-generalized argument. For instance, over a hundred years ago the Supreme Court themselves did this, notoriously stating “but certainly there isn’t the freedom of speech to shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater!” and then using that to construct an argument to justify throwing someone into prison for distributing pamphlets about resisting the draft.
In the here and now, there is a far bigger problem with people taking normal political disagreements and catastrophizing them into excuses to break friendships and disown family members than there is with people literally advocating for genocide.
This is literally the opposite of the original claim which is to try and understand where people are coming from and to listen to them as if they’re reasonable actors. You are doing the exact shit you’re accusing others of- assuming bad faith in their intentions and arguing against the bad faith intentions in a discussion about how to take good faith intent in arguments.
Because webmaven's comment was slightly ambiguous. While I don't think he meant to imply the specific connotations that I have concerns with, this is a public forum where it's possible that the audience could certainly infer those connotations, which makes it relevant to address them. Especially because it's a central part to the issues that we're discussing.
I tried to be conscientious about this and went out of my way to strongly imply that I didn't think webmaven meant to imply these connotations. Note, for instance, how I transition from using the second-person pronoun in the first paragraph ("If you are just making that point...to introduce nuance...", "I think I can agree with everything you said") to the passive voice and third person in the second paragraph ("most of the time this kind of argument is made", "someone wants to take the most extreme edge cases"). Maybe I should have been more clear about it, but that's what I was going for.
> Why ask if I read the first paragraph and not assume in good faith I read the whole post and respond to relevant portions I have a response to, just like any other reasonable human being?
You have contributed nothing to the discussion other than to make personal accusations that I am "not really listening at all here" or "doing the exact shit you’re accusing others of". In that light, I am assuming good faith by assuming that you're sinking to that level not because you're a troll or a jerk, but because you're genuinely misunderstanding me. That's why I asked if you read the first paragraph--because I thought that if you understood what I was trying to convey with it and read the rest of my comment with it in context, that would clear up your misunderstanding. Apparently that wasn't enough. I hope this comment is.
I'm not saying we haven't achieved anything... wide-spread recognition of basic human rights, near abolishment of slavery, valuing democracy and self-determination have all been taking to new heights over the last few generations. But at the moment all this is looking pretty fragile.
And personally, RBG's death today left me feeling more than ever that we're on a knife's edge, and that we could fall right back into those millennia-old patterns that are only occasionally interrupted by a century or so of "relative peace". Or worse.
And I'm not even an American nor live in the US!
Over time I've come to realize that usually there's a legitimate reason why someone believes what they do. Often they are either optimizing for different things, or view the matter differently.
If listening to someone's opinion is actively causing emotional harm, then sure, don't listen to them. But I worry very much about the rise in offense-taking. Perhaps it's an illusion but I've felt it's become incredibly difficult to talk to people with different [political, etc] opinions than my own: not because of me, but because of their attitude towards dissent.
I think that might be the most important time to listen to them. If merely hearing an opinion threatens your model, that’s probably a warning sign indicating that your own ideas are fragile and unsustainable, and they need to be exposed to ideas that challenge them. Engage with painful ideas, break your own models down and reformulate them into something more robust. I think the unwillingness to do this is what leads to the problems you mention.
I’m reminded of “The Coddling of the American Mind”
This doesn't strike me as a universal truth. It's good as a general principle to test your ideas against ones that challenge them and make sure they're as robust as possible -- but if that "challenging idea" is "your group has no right to exist," then it's not reasonable to argue "if merely hearing that you have no right to exist threatens your model, that's a warning sign that your own ideas are fragile and unsustainable," is it?
My point was more like, if person X really does feel that way, then sure they can retract themselves from discussion. But they should do so knowing it’s their own failing/weakness and not blame it on the other person being “toxic”.
That’s not the opinion though. That’s exactly what the parent is referring to. You need to listen, understand, and empathize before assuming that people who don’t agree with you must be racist.
"white silence is violence"
Still no idea how that could be applied to my post - but I am most definitely white, and after a bit of introspection, can't think of anything I've constructively done to address racism outside of late-night internet posts.
So whilst I'd like to think I was "non-racist" - I do now feel a bit shitty that I entertain the cognitive-dissonance of being "anti-racist" and "not having ever done anything that was anti-racist"
Then if I cookie-cutter myself out to everybody else - I now see how racism flourishes, whilst the majority tut-tuts.
Was that your point?
The idea is that ineffectual discourse without actual efforts towards reform is a method of signalling that one wants change while benefiting from the status quo of oppression.
Discussion is great, but the discussion is supposed to result in change, not a vortex of words which have no connection to reality.
When people advocate for lofty civility above all else when the status quo is violent, aggressive, demeaning and unjust, it shows that the priority is not justice; it is the maintenance of the current order.
Is this position accurate? I don't know. There's obviously countervailing concerns regarding having a chilling effect on the market of ideas, but like all tough questions, it's likely a difficult situation with no clear cut answer and two virtues being traded-off against each other. This seems to be borne out by the fairly dramatic spectrum of positions adopted on the issue across the globe.
So question comes down to, did I have the moral obligation to act?
Personally I lean towards yes, but can at least understand where the people who say no might be coming from.
While I agree that silence is violence at its face is literally false, that's the general principal it's meant to invoke, that injustice can only be stopped when bystanders cease to tolerate it. The victim cannot stop it, and the perpetrator won't. Thus those who tut tut and move on with their day become complicit in allowing it to continue.
That is what the commenter is feeling vaguely guilty about, and it's a healthy thing to feel. I know I have guilt in my past where I have failed to help someone when I had the opportunity, and that guilt that comes from recognition of that has driven me to be less of a bystander later in life.
You could debate what the morally correct thing is or isn’t if you want, but you can’t debate that you committed an act of violence.
Kudos to you for leading by example.
But genuinely do appreciate your reply - makes that little voice in my head feel "less alone"
What was interesting/depressing was my "how about a creed" post was getting a few up-votes, then the moment I replied below saying maybe I was a "crap anti-rascist", my OP started to get down-votes.
Text hadn't changed, but by putting some context around it, it was read differently.
It could be just a reflexive thing to seeing a given username show up too often. I wouldn’t presume it was any deeper than that.
In my OP I very deliberately stuck to abstracts that I'd hoped "nobody could disagree with".
And nobody seemed to - until I put more words beneath it.
You're right though - engaging with your own posts is perceived as negative. People read the platitude and hit 'like' - the more you put beneath it, the greater the opportunity for something to annoy somebody (and scroll up to try to kill the thread)
We may not agree but I will always listen to you. I will always consider your opinion with respect and will endeavor to understand your reasoning. My views are not set - my goal is to listen to arguments to come to an informed position, I can honestly take forward
I was trying to explain that because the internet has increased the visibility of ones opinions to a global scale, and a recent increase in the use of both public shaming as well as punitive financial measures (fired from job, boycott) it could be dangerous to opine about anything.
The systems and histories in place we battle with are much bigger, and much older, than we are. Unless your explicit goal is to set out to change the world (which frankly is a shitty goal and usually leads to some kind of genocide), literally the best advice is "think globally, act locally", as "outdated" as that saying I suppose now is.
Except that it is especially true when what you want is positive social change. Think about the implications of someone who first implements your initial original post ("just stop and think for a sec"), and then also implements your second ("is there anything I can do here?"). That's enough. Literally that, when applied on a large scale, would change the world, in a way far more positive than riots and social justice movements.
See, humans are really terrible creatures. We have a bad habit of overcorrecting and, you know, killing millions of people in the name of an ideal. We've done it what, dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of times.
It's the difference between water carving a river, and a nuke carving a crater. The first one takes longer but is alot less destructive.
Then I lost your thread.
Then I agreed with you, "we're terrible"
We should do what we can do, what fate and hard work have placed in front of us.
"Change the world" as a cause in and of itself has killed far too many people to be considered a valid goal. We all believe our vision for the world is the right or best one, except it seems we're actually pretty bad at forcing the world to look like us.
You were berating yourself for believing in anti-racism, while not actually physically doing anything about it. My point was this: These are not contradictory things, and don't let emotional blackmailers convince you otherwise. You do what is in front of you to do, and only that. If there's not actually anything in front of you to do, that's it. Is there or isn't there? That's 100% up to you. I can't say there is or there isn't. But it is important to question even the statement that there is something to do because otherwise you get caught in a Kafka trap of never actually living in a just world (tilting at smaller and smaller windmills until you're swinging at air).
I think speech can definitely lead to violence - and speech can also counteract it. Neither directly, but the delta has real-world repercussions.
Or to look at it the other way - can you come up with an example of violence, that wasn't preceded by rhetoric?
I don't disagree with you on that. We can say "A can lead to B" and "A can counteract B".
I'm lost at the leap to "A is B" and "NOT(A) by COLOR = B".
I could speak or not speak, and even do so out of negligence or spite. My choices may have effects and consequences, but violence does not mean "anything with effects and consequences".
It feels too much like the missing piece is "this is what we say the word means now, QED". It's all too convenient that a conversation can be shut down by calling it violence. Implicating people is divisive. By it's own logic, redefining violence to include speech is itself a form of violent speech because it causes conflict.
That's me! I'm in that creed.
People associating their identity with their politics is when trouble starts. That's when it becomes really threatening for them to even consider alternate perspectives, because if they change their mind, they will change who they are and who they can be friends with.
It's possible to separate the two, whereby an idea on how society should be organized is just that: an idea, to be considered, adopted, discussed, and abandoned as new information becomes available.
One really poisonous idea I see circulating is "either you are for <some thing> or you are a <bad person>" Either you support riots or you are a fascist Either you punch Nazis or you are one Related, just as terrible, "Time for discussion is over. If you're on the fence at this point, you are <bad person>" These kinds of memes increase polarization, and stop discussion. A person who says something like that can no longer have a calm exchange of ideas with their grandma
One thing that strikes me as key to this polarization is how pervasive are some generalizations we make today and how the individual is lost when we make them. I've seen racists make the comment "Black people are ...." (won't repeat that here) but then I see activist say "Black people are (ex. disadvantaged.)" Are there no quite privileged black people? (millionaires, billionaires, etc) Don't lower class people face a pretty similar set of challenges no matter their skin tone? When you look at it, both arguments are generalizing equally as aggressive. My question then is: are all generalizations wrong or only some?
I think this process of grouping people has ome currents of thought tend to generalize two aspects to it, people who group other people when making statements and people who in some search of uniqueness, group themselves into it? As a non-American, coming from a very heterogeneous country I find it hard to follow how many people will self-identify so readily with a group and in the process lose some of their individuality. Maybe I speak from "privilege" as someone who due to upbringing and origin, felt a quite distinct individual, so I cannot say for sure. I just think this currents of thought harm more by dividing into groups and with many individuals satisfying their need of identity there.
As for generalizations, the English language has an unfortunate construction that allows speakers to be ambiguous about their intent when making a generalizing statement. For example, "Men are violent" is a misleadingly meaningless statement. Does it refer to some men? To all men? Is it referring to the fact that men tend to be more violent, statistically, as a group? That assertion is ambiguous, but the always-truthful qualification "some" sits uncomfortably close to the always-unfair and bigoted "all". Bigots of all stripes rely on this ambiguity.
I don't think generalizations are bad necessarily, but to honor the dignity and diversity of individuals, it's vital to avoid this ambiguity, and to always be explicit about the generalization that you're making, and then your statement can be evaluated for what it is, pro or con. E.g. Instead of a Men are violent say what is meant, clearly: Some men are violent. In general men are violent. Most men are violent. All men are violent. Now at least we have a statement that can be agreed with or disputed, instead of motte-and-baileyed
The political discourse across the globe has taken a sharp turn away from this over the last 40 years in particular. There was a brief window between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 where many had hope this was going to be the new normal. I remember feeling that sliver of optimism as I entered adulthood. No more.
Vote for people who are called "flip-floppers", by their opponents. Change your own opinions when the data changes. Be the change you want to see.
I’m afraid you do not understand the fire with which you are playing.
“Why would I listen to these whiners? I already know what I want.”
I'm curious to know how frequently you have encountered one of your liberal friends debating with an educated conservative. Likewise, I'm curious to know how frequently you've encountered one of your conservative friends debating with an educated liberal. Over the past couple of years, I've run into a number of people who simply couldn't believe that an educated liberal/conservative existed, primarily because they grew up in an area where there weren't many people with differing political views. It's a dangerous trap to fall into, because it allows you to categorize the other political party based on only the rhetoric of elected officials and on the interpretation from media. I have yet to meet a conservative or progressive who matches the caricature of either portrayed by politicians or entertainers.
One would hope that it'd be orthogonal to conservatism/liberalism or any other political spectrum, but I suspect it's not.
When I was growing up, there was no Fox News channel nor any of the cable news channels (I remember when MSNBC was a brand new thing). News was something you watched for 1 hour in the evening.
24 hours news + trench digging/tribalism have done a horrible number on modern discourse.
Thing is, I think that that's because before, there WAS no discourse, not really. It was slower. Most of the conversation was had by those you watched on TV. Alot fewer people participated. The internet DID democratize that, with frankly predictable results.
Not saying we should have done differently but I do think we need to come to terms with what that means (e.g. realizing it's forcing us into zero-sum thinking and consciously choosing something else).
Don't forget that well before Fox News there was a AM radio, and Rush Limbaugh was national in the 80's. I definitely remember how his talking point impacted my high school's debate team's rhetoric.
Agree that zero-sum thinking is a net-negative.
I thought that was remarkable in a positive sense as well
Now that I feel secure, I can see where you're coming from when you call it a game though.
I'm not going for the nazi reference, he wasn't that evil but Scalia was literally trying to drag the United States back to the 1950s if not even further, decision after decision he never found an expanding right he didn't want to slaughter
That isn't a very fun vision of life on the bench - and any system is imperfect - so I don't really advocate that. But the idea that these people are asserting their preferences over 300 million people and then getting all chummy in their spare time isn't a good thing. It is unavoidable though.
The inability to disagree in a mature way is why we have such a mess of identity politics, name calling and all sorts of division in many counties IMO.
How many people have you seen converted from dangerous beliefs by isolating them away from dissimilar thinkers?
This strategy single handedly abolished more KKK members than anything else. Contrast to the extremists of today like BLM who are having the opposite effect and pushing more people to racism. We’re going backwards. Then again, it’s not like BLM is actually motivated by their clever branding, so this is unsurprising.
Obviously this is not true.
To correctly say it is untrue, you must show another strategy actually converted at least hundreds of KKK members (perhaps more, as it's possible people beyond just Daryl got results from this strategy).
Are people born racist? Does education an outreach not work? I really don’t see why you’d be so certain.
I have seen no evidence whatsoever that refusing to interact with people deradicalizes them. The filter bubble phenomenon suggests the opposite.
I'll take a strategy that's known to work with unclear scalability over a scalable one with no evidence it works, every time.
Would you mind explaining further?
It seems obvious to me that deplatforming them will further radicalize them. It fits perfectly into their narrative as I understand it.
Engaging them as (deeply flawed, very wrong) humans and having a good-faith debate seems to have worked shockingly well for Daryl. I suspect it could for others, too (though Daryl is obviously a rare breed).
Every vote for that party in our zeitgeist is motivated in no small part by active malignancy. It's the defining characteristic of their leader, unavoidable and undeniable, and as of the convention the party literally has no platform except to serve and support his whims. So there is absolutely a right and a wrong side to things right now.
Friendship is an even stronger signal of tacit endorsement and there are situations, positions where it's inappropriate, even morally unjustifiable, to deploy. Scalia would certainly qualify for me.
If you didn’t know this or chose to ignore it, your model is incomplete and you don’t understand one side.
"It's time to stop arresting these filth only to have them released the next day and start just putting them down"
--seen literally yesterday in a popular politics IRC chatroom, to general agreement. I think many people don't entirely realize how bad it's gotten.
They're also fully in support of the immigration policies that have led to things like the very well-documented child separation.
In what ways are those not denying someone's humanity?
The idea that one ought not fraternize with those who disagree with one’s opinion is unproductive and leads to unnecessary division and ultimately a weaker system. Ultimately it is a brutish and uncivilized idea.
I wish your post wasn’t downvoted. Bad ideas require discussion to be understood. And they can’t be discussed if they are removed from discourse.
If anybody from ycombinator is reading - it seems insane what a post can be down-voted into grey and then the void, whilst it has active commentary beneath it.
"Posts" can have a status applied to them, but the far more important thing is the "thread" where different views collide.
Pulling posts, breaks the thread.
Using me as an anecdotal example, I have acquaintances and a few (loose) friends that are fiscally conservative. I have exactly zero (known) acquaintances or friends that are conservative/regressive with regards to social issues. After all I‘ve seen and experienced in my life I just cannot emphasize with someone that can justify denying women health care or discriminate against race or sexual orientation, for example.
I suppose you could start solving these entrenchments by having millions of desert islands in order to force small groups of people with diametrically opposed viewpoints to endure hardships on them.
On the internet there is no chance. Without seeing the actual person and talking with them for hours it wouldn‘t work. The problem with this method is that it‘s terribly inefficient.
What we need is a sort of enlightened six sense for empathy that makes large groups of people feel the state of mind of other large groups. But barring large scale psychedelic treatments I don‘t see that happening.
I’d like to change your mind one day though. My friendship with Scott was instructive here. He was a former HN mod. I looked to him as a mentor and a friend, though I’m not sure it went both ways. Regardless, we worked together on Lumen for years. When I was banned for a year from HN, he never once allowed our friendship (such as it was) to affect his duty to the site. The decision wasn’t his, and he wasn’t going to pull strings internally just because we occasionally wrote code together.
I get what you’re saying. And I agree that in the long term, it’s extremely important to set up incentive structures in the right way. But friendship — a word quite hard to define, if you think about it — is a part of the human experience.
The point here is that there are people with integrity. They do exist. And they can be friends regardless of other duties — sometimes unpleasant ones.
Now, my little story isn’t quite related. I wasn’t an adversarial peer, which is what you’re talking about. But your reasoning seems to be: if the incentive structure permits friendship, it compromises integrity. It’s a reasonable concern, especially over the course of decades. But the word “professional” reflects the fact that business comes before friendship.
It’s a fundamental truth that people will try to form friendships regardless of their occupation. Rather than change the incentive structure, as you propose, shouldn’t we recognize that truth?
The reason I related to your comment so much is, for a time, I felt exactly the same way: if business was any indication, it was a web of insider deals, “friendships”, and favors behind closed doors. I wanted nothing to do with that world. But two people with integrity can sidestep all of those concerns and simply... be friends. Even in the highest court of the land, which determines our fate.
(As a sidenote, you seem like an interesting person. If you happen to want a friend, or to debate hypothetical political structures, feel free to DM me on Twitter.)
Sure. There are fantastic individuals out there.
The key to fair systems is to structure the system in such a way that does not rely on the recruitment of extraordinary individuals who are filled to the brim with integrity.
The key is to create a system of checks and balances that disallows obvious unfairness by means of liability isolation and personal separation, etc.
I'm glad your friendship with whoever Scott is worked out despite whatever problems on HN, but all the example tells me is that Scott (and to a smaller degree, yourself) have some level of personal integrity; but facts and statistics generally say that systems that can be gamed, will be -- and that's without a motivating factor other than a personal win; include motivation like money and power and the scales tip much more radically against those with integrity.
For every 'Scott' there are 10 folks without any integrity that'd have gladly re-instantiated their friends' accounts that had been banned AS LONG AS it didn't mean hurting their own position.
That's exactly why 'fair' systems are generally built in such an isolated fashion so as to reduce inclusion of bias and personal feelings.
But, after watching Scalia, how can you not like him?
He was witty, charming, and a master orator. So when people hear "can't have a friendship with Scalia, even though you work with him," it's kind of like "can't breathe, even though you're human." It's a logical contradiction. And it's not even a well-defined problem: what is a "friendship," anyway?
I think this is probably true in legislative bodies and in government agencies - for the same reason: both promote deal making because there's something to be gained.
One of the reasons the SC Justices are seated for life is precisely to blunt that effect. They can be friends without needing to make deals because they really don't get anything out of a deal - and one hopes they fully appreciate the gravity of their position.
The Court is a sort of unique entity in that it doesn't need (I don't think) to be confrontational in order to be effective. It is the one place where one would think, true wisdom reigns. And by and large, that is what I see from SCOTUS' decisions.
It's a sign of an intelligent, mature mind to be able to contain contradictory ideas without losing your identity. Being friends with someone on the other side of the political aisle, in a group as small as the supreme court, I would think has the effect of improving the quality of their deliberations and little else.
A competent rhetorician is only "hard to hate" when you don't look at what they do. Keeping one's eye on the ball is not that difficult when you have a set of principles.
If you disagree with that, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. It was sort of incredible that Scalia basically straight-up says "You gave me the power to decide whether abortion is permitted nationwide? Really? Who thought this was a good idea?" (Not an actual quote; the talk is quite good.)
Apparently it wasn't always so, and Scalia explains the history too. The concept of the constitution as a "living document" was manufactured, along with the idea that morals mature over time. "Societies only mature, they never rot! /s"
What you're talking about is a matter of business. There are certainly some individuals that it would be quite difficult to be friends with in spite of what they've done. But if Scalia is one of them, well... Everyone has their preferences, I guess.
Antonin Scalia's entire worldview was built because he knew he was a rear-guard for regressive thought and maybe, just maybe, a broken country with an impotent federal government could allow people like him to continue to kick the shit out of the weak a little longer. He was never going to get to punish women with an abortion ban (and today, would never get to fuck over trans people) nationally--so the natural outgrowth of this is to punish women and fuck of trans people where they can. All in the name of "letting people choose", so they can choose to vote on the basic humanity of others.
I reject the idea that one can "be friends" with the people who want to bring the long dark back. They will break civil society on the anvil of a supremacism that exists to benefit me, and I refuse it.
What may seem natural for you isn't for others.
Thus system are designed considering that.
The entire world would be a better place if they do not follow the argument presented here.
The whole thing was clearly created on a principle of opposing friendships between powerful forces.
But that being said, have you seen how many decisions are 5-4? Or 6-3, 7-2? It does not appear that whatever friendship that existed between Scalia and Ginsburg impacted their rulings and dissents on the matters before the Court.
It's completely possible—and I say preferable—to hold starkly contrasting political or legal views, but still like one another. We need more of that. It's how we stay one cohesive nation, instead of warring factions.
Most cases tend to be unanimous or nearly so (0-1 dissenters), and only about ⅓ of cases are contentious (5-4/6-3/5-3). This has been decently stable over the past few decades.
I guess my point is that their friendship didn’t seem to have impaired either justice’s ability to do their job with faith to their respective judicial philosophies.
I get confused with all the sailing terms in common vernacular, but generally the sayings go
"I like the cut of your jib"
"That gybes well with me"
Noting that none of them make sense, I think leeway is possibly the worst
I had never seen the "gybes" spelling before. Is it like tire/tyre? Looks Welsh to me!
SC justices are appointed for life for the very reason to help ensure they are not political but instead apply the standards of legality.
It's not perfect, but it's less politics than when people campaign for constant election/re-election to a position.
The system is confrontational; it's shaped this way so as to reduce the chance of buddy-buddy underdealings and negotiation.
The system is confrontational so as to promote fairness and prevent bias.
Creating yet another environment by which the judges can exert control over the law by winning personal favors among each other must be avoided. That's exactly why things are set up such way within the US government, Supreme Court not-withstanding.
All that said : I have never considered the supreme court to be fair and unbiased. Compromising for the sake of cooperation, sure. Effective, definitely.
> It does not appear that whatever friendship that existed between Scalia and Ginsburg impacted their rulings and dissents on the matters before the Court.
You'd never really know. That's why it should probably be well avoided.
This works as long as both sides are acting in good faith, and everyone involved (i.e. everyone in a society) is on more or less equal footing. If either of those conditions don't exist, fixing them is more important than maintaining the civil discourse. That's true for many reasons, and one important reason is that in those situations, insisting on the equality of reasonable political positions with unreasonable ones is an effective defense of the status quo, which makes the problems harder to fix.
Neither of these conditions exist in the USA right now, for the record.
The Supreme Court isn't a coffee club. The justices being on their toes and constantly being challenged by opposing ideas will lead to better outcomes. Friendship is a process of synchronisation, it sits in opposition to the best outcome for the system.
And yes, I pay a lot of attention to Supreme Court decisions.
If your position is right, doesn't that contradict the continued existence of the United States? What's "United" about the US if it breaks down into a bunch of hostile warring tribes?
Justice Antonin Scalia died in February of 2016, a replacement was nominated in March of 2016, and because Scalia's seat had become vacant during an election year, the Senate would not even consider a nomination from the president .
What happened with Garland had happened numerous times before:
> In short: There have been ten vacancies resulting in a presidential election-year or post-election nomination when the president and Senate were from opposite parties. In six of the ten cases, a nomination was made before Election Day. Only one of those, Chief Justice Melville Fuller’s nomination by Grover Cleveland in 1888, was confirmed before the election.
By contrast, if Trump doesn’t put up a nominee, it will be literally unprecedented.
In any case, the refusal was a further erosion of any semblance of working towards the good of the country with people of opposing ideologies. The same goes for the increased frequency of government shutdown threats and occurrences.
Really, if those practices had stood for so long on norms, they should have been codified into law already. But the Congress, regardless of party, doesn’t like to cede any power. It’s equally unlikely that if the Democrats take control they’ll do anything about it either. I’m vague on what it would entail—it’s been a while since I read up on it—but another hurdle might be that it would take an amendment rather than a law. Regulating what the Congress does is explicitly harder than making laws for the rest of us.
Which isn't to say that there's no point in purporting to do so: you may hope to require a politically costly public vote (avoidance of which was a significant feature of the Garland no-hearing: with nobody else "on the record," outrage focused solely on the politically-safe McConnell). How effective this is isn't really clear though: voters seem to usually want "their side" to take full, uncompromising advantage when they are on top, and increased polarization means that the fear of alienating independents/moderates isn't as much of an issue, because there aren't any of them left.
Rules and procedures such as the filibuster are weaker still, as they require only a majority of a single house, and no cooperation from the President. We've seen that borne out as the parties out of power became more likely to use the Senate's procedures to stall the party in power, and the fairly quick recent dismantling of those procedures in a bipartisan fashion.
Constitutional amendments can do all sorts of things and their high barriers to passage make them solidly entrenched, but it's very difficult to imagine any issue commanding the necessary supermajorities to pass an amendment on any subject in today's America.
As for Democrats or Republicans in power after the election curbing this kind of partisanship, I wouldn't bet on it. There may be some pushes to try to codify
Of course, I'm splitting hairs between "refused to consider" and "voted against". But it's similarly splitting hairs to say that the party of the president makes meaningful difference as well.
Frankly, there's no good faith interpretation of McConnell's stance here as anything other than (ab)using his power to shape the judiciary.
Of course it does! The Constitution splits the nomination/confirmation process between two political branches. The process is supposed to be political!
He will do whatever it takes to hold on to his minority power. He did it with Obama and has already hinted ~2 hours after RBG died he'll happily do a 180 on his previous position this time around when he has the chance.
But the argument that "it's OK for us to do it, because they would" seems a bit thin.
It's OK to loot this store because if I don't someone else will...
And it's OK to do anything I like as long as I can point a finger and say "but he'd do it too"
So, yeah, this is a textbook case of hipocrasy, but being hipocratic doesn't matter as long as we win.
The reality of the situation is that in the US one party constantly pushes boundaries and test limits. The other party then adjusts to attempt to counteract that. Yet it’s sold as “both sides are just as bad as each other”
Court expansion hasn't happened yet, but if it does:
1. Them's the rules; sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. (Or: Live by the rules, die by the rules.) (Or: Karma's a bitch, ain't it?)
2. What you call the "structural features of our government and institutions" are meant to serve the people, not vice versa. It's idolatry to put those features on a pedestal and declare them to be immutable. Presuming adequate protection of genuine minority rights, it's not illegitimate for a democratically-elected government to use lawful means to try to restructure existing institutions in pursuit of the majority's felt political needs.
In this case, the left is marching forward with all sorts of new policies—often ostensibly to deal with a societal problem, but causing more problems because the policy does not derive from first principles.
The founders explicitly said that they didn't intend the system to be partisan, and indeed warned against the dangers of partisanship.
Of course they themselves formed parties a few years later. They weren't as wise as everyone seems to think.
I see a common irrational theme of "let's change the rules because they didn't work out in my favor this time". I don't understand the logic behind this.
If anything, governors should have less power, not more. Decisions should be made on a smaller scale, states are too big for a one-size-fits-all model. And I certainly wouldn't want governors hand picking our senators.
 - https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/09/14/pennsylvania-j...
As an aside, Breitbart is one of the least trustworthy sources, and citing it does not help your argument.
Details on why you don't like the judge and which media outlet I referenced (i honestly just googled the story and grabbed the first one I saw) digresses from my point. And fyi once you digress from the main topic and shift to sub-aspects (without actually addressing the main point), it usually means you're arguing in bad faith, or your cognitive dissonance is kicking in. It's a mechanism used by closed-minded and stubborn people...Food for thought.
My own opinion is that the orders are constitutional.
IMO they didn't work out in anyone's favor. Our country is a mess, and the majority of people dislike both of the 2 major ruling parties.
I can read. I was referring to "The process is supposed to be political!" And by political, the implication is partisan, because otherwise it would be true by definition, and thus an uninteresting claim not worthy of ending in an exclamation point.
They did. The danger to the country is actually when they agree.
What happened here is that the Senate refused to compromise, and simply put the government in a holding pattern until they could get a more "agreeable" executive in office. Is that the way separation of powers was intended to work? I think not.
1) Going back to the 1800s is routine in the legal world to understand what is accepted practice in our system. After all, the relevant rules haven’t changed since 1789. Aren’t examples from people who created this system particularly relevant to understanding how it’s supposed to work?
2) The SCOTUSblog article goes through the exact same examples as the National Review article for the 20th century. The only difference is that the National Review article looks at whether different parties control the Presidency/Senate. What is “propaganda” about that? The Senate and Presidency are political branches that are supposed to be at odds, potentially. Is there any reason to assert that this political rivalry shouldn’t extend to Supreme Court appointments? Is it “propaganda” to even posit the idea?
Moreover, stopping a vote entirely? That's unprecedented. Had there been a vote on Garland, he almost certainly would have been appointed. Many of the moderate Republicans in the senate, facing elections, would not have been able to justify voting him down to their constituents.
For the National Review to leave those pieces out is dishonest. I'm also not just referring to that article. The National Review has been dishonest propaganda for a while, making dishonest arguments that manipulate the facts (usually by omission or careful selections as here, but occasionally outright lying) to justify the actions of what has become a fascist party.
> In a 1986 New York Times op-ed (3/18/86), Buckley urged that ‘everyone detected with AIDS should be tattooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.”
For some perspective, there were only 31 states at the time.
And the response is to demand something that actually would be unprecedented: packing the senate? Which only Democrats have done before, under circumstances where it was obviously to coerce the Supreme Court into deciding cases differently. Acting like Democrats hold the moral high ground here is utterly absurd.
The idea that a Supreme Court opening should never be filled when the President and Senate are opposing parties is utterly absurd.
It's true that the Constitution wasn't written like Ethereum to preclude all attempts to undermine it with bullshittery like refusing to even put matters up to a vote. That doesn't mean it's at all moral to ignore it.
Also, was "Packing the Senate" a typo? FDR threatened but did not pack the Court.
"Packing the Senate" is a Republican tradition (not that the parties mean much consistently, going back centuries), which even a blatant partisan couldn't avoid admitting:
And slaveholders (the spiritual inspiration of modern Republicans) had manipulated the Court to themselves since the beginning:
There is this notion that the parties "flipped" sometime in the mid 1960s that's simply false. Republicans were from the inception the party of religious wackadoodles and capitalists. Democrats, at least since right before the civil war, were the party opposed to big business, banks, etc. The segregationists weren't just Democrats. They were New Dealers. They were New Dealers because the south was agrarian and at odds with big business (over tariffs) and banks (over monetary policy and debt). When Wallace broke off in 1968 to run on a segregationist ticket, he touted his pro-labor background. And as a result of that coalition, the New Deal and related programs were inextricably tied up with segregation: excluding most Black people from social security, creating redlining through the FHA, etc. See: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/06/rothstein-segregation-color-o... ("Walker’s second point overlooks that the New Deal did not merely concede to private bigotry but pursued independent racial policies that did much to create a segregated landscape that persists today.")
The South didn't really flip until Clinton. (Reagan won it, but he won everything.) Carter decisively won a bunch of southern counties that were 95% white. And ultimately it did so not because of the "southern strategy" but because southern states industrialized, and Republican ideas of low regulation and low taxes were great for attracting jobs and industries from northern states.
There are a number of highly concerning posts you've made attempting to normalize a flagrant attack on the rule of law across this thread, but this post in particular is extremely difficult to reconcile with the principle of charity.
Sophistry is overlooking by handwaving about the "Southern Strategy."
It's tremendously difficult to believe someone could live in the states and not have any idea this was going on.
Even former RNC chair Melhman was fairly straight to the point on the issue in 2005: "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization." Nothing has changed since then.
The Roberts Court disenfranchised millions of Democratic voters by gutting the Civil Rights Act. The fight over the Supreme Court's composition is a fight over pure electoral power.
It shouldn't be this way, but it is.
There are lots of things to argue but that isn't one of them.
Further, there’s this: https://thehill.com/regulation/454463-ginsburg-dismisses-cou...
I'm trying to think of a plausible vehicle for arguing that if the Senate refuses to vote on a nomination within a reasonable time, then that refusal (i) constitutes a waiver of the right to withhold consent and therefore (ii) is deemed consent.
(Not saying you're wrong. If I repeat something, I like to have direct sources)
He’s basically that the partisan makeup of the Senate as of the most recent election should be the controlling factor.
It has the veneer of a neutral rule, and that’s all they need.
There's always another election coming up.
Obama was not a lame duck when Scalia died. McConnell et al redefined the term to suit their needs. As they will no doubt redefine it now.
They’ve shown up at elections, they’ve shown up for local elections, they’ve worked for every single advantage in power they could get. I mean these are the chaps who suffered a massive electoral defeat to Obama the first time and found their mettle by saying “one term president” like a mantra. They converted that into a fight for every micro meter.
Eventually anyone m would also realize that “winning” (at all costs) is the strategy that works and adopt it. The best strategies get adopted by market players.
The media environment for the past many decades now ensures that bipartisanship won’t work either.
Maybe it’s an incorrect cultural reading on my part,
>in the last 4 years
I’m talking 30 years. The last 4 years are just end results of other forces.
Also - america has never produced an event like the trump presidency. Does that feature when we discuss abuse of power in the last 4 years?
I know of no Democrat action that is comparable.
Not saying this is only the last 4 years. I agree, at least 30 years. But no, it is not the action of a single party.
I don't think anybody can argue in good faith that it is equally incumbent upon the Democrats to act in a manner consistent with principles argued for and precedents set by Mitch McConnell.
I am more annoyed by the fact that the supreme court has become a political arena. Making laws should be the responsibility of the elected legislator. A court, any court, should merely arbitrate on the conformity of legal disputes to these laws. If they acted that way, no one would really care who gets nominated to the supreme court. It is because the supreme court has taken the habit of ruling on matters that should be left to the legislator and effectively to make new laws that it has become a bitter fight for nominations.
I see the same power grab happening in Europe and am equally worried about it. No power should be given without accountability.
That's a weird way of saying "nominated a candidate via the regular process".
How could this be done? Political issues are in front of the court every day and minute. This makes it immensely political. How could then those mere arbitrators be non-political?
It was always political. It will always be.
> It is because the supreme court has taken the habit of ruling on matters that should be left to the legislator and effectively to make new laws that it has become a bitter fight for nominations.
Uhm. You know this is also something that has been going on forever, especially in every "common law" system.
And in the majority of those cases the SC does only instruct the lower court on that specific case, refraining from creating new law as much as possible.
France is a "civil law" country. Courts there cannot "make new laws", they can only invalidate them. (And as far as I know this applies in general to all civil law countries.)
The German Supreme Court has, on two occasions, declared new constitutional rights: the right to informational self-determination (when deliberating a census process law) and the right to integrity of data processing systems (when outlaying voting computers). I don't know if that counts though since technically they argued that other constitutional rights implied these rights (but weren't mentioned explicitly because the German Basic Law was drafted in 1949).
The reality is that if we had a Democratic President and Senate, nobody on the left would be arguing that we have to hold off until the election. Chuck Schumer would no doubt be insisting that the Senate "do [its] job", as he did in 2016. 
It's hard to fault McConnell for doing precisely what he was elected to do -- confirm conservative judges and justices.
Now if you think that political appointments are a moral matter rather than a balance of power within the constitution matter, it's not a bridge that I have to sell you, it's a planet.
1. Don't impeach a president in an election year.
2. If dems wanted their adversaries to respect unwritten norms, maybe they should have refrained from baselessly accusing the nominees of gang rape (Justice Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas).
3. A SC Judge vote needs BOTH WH and Senate. That was not the case in 2016 regardless of who said what. That is the case this time. It's the President's prerogative to nominate, and the Senate's prerogative to confirm.
4. This time, it would also most likely be a contested election. So not having a full supreme count will be a disaster.
Btw, I am NOT a fan of McConnell. But this case is very different.
> Asked what he would do in circumstances like these, McConnell said: "Oh, we'd fill it." [the supreme court seat]
This is not a normal government.
I don't think anyone misunderstands the situation - McConnell is going to do whatever is most expedient to get a Supreme Court composition that he likes. Any specific justification is mostly cosmetic - Senate has the power, and the controller of the Senate uses the power.
Power grabbing is the game.
I believe the first time a SC nominee was blocked was Roger Taney in 1835. This is politics and happens, as a general principle, regularly by both parties.
Because McConnell didn't care a bit about the people expressing the next Justice, he was more simply scared as fuck of losing that vote despite theoretically having a majority.
Since this is HN I will paraphrase Bryan Cantrill: "Do not fall into the trap of trying to anthropomorphize McConnell. You need to think of him the way you think of a lawnmower".
The narrative that Garland would have been confirmed if only he’d gotten a vote assumes that McConnell didn’t have the support of his caucus in what he did. That’s an incorrect assumption. They could have removed him and done what they wanted to do if there was some groundswell of support for Garland in the Republican Party. There wasn’t, they supported McConnell, and Garland wasn’t brought to a vote. That’s just how politics works.
If you're trying to be thorough, though, you should probably mention that Reagan's first selection for that seat was controversial because of his involvement in the the post-Watergate "Saturday Night Massacre," as well as the general suspicion that he would try to reverse Roe v. Wade and other civil rights-related rulings of preceding decades. Reagan's second selection withdrew his name from consideration before even being nominated, so I'm not sure why he's even relevant here.
I get that you're trying to make a political point, but there's simply no evidence that Democrats would have behaved like McConnell's GOP (perhaps more aptly described as the post-Gingrich GOP) did in 2016.
There is ample evidence that Democrats would have behaved like McConnell did. For example, their threats to pack the Supreme Court in 2019. (After their threats to pack the Supreme Court under FDR gutted large parts of the constitution.) The fact is that Democrats don’t perceive conservatives as legitimate players in the political process. That’s why they continually raise alarm about conservative Supreme Court nominees, even though in 40 years of a conservative majority on the court, not a single major liberal precedent has been overturned.
Democratic “threats” made in 2019, post-Merrick Garland, have zero bearing on their hypothetical behavior in 2016, pre-Merrick Garland and the shattering of norms that his (non)hearings represented.
I’m not a Democrat, but, from the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem like they have a real problem with right-leaning politicians or judges. I can understand why they might not view those who seem to be pursuing a return to the pre-Civil Rights era as wholly legitimate, but they’ve adopted plenty of relatively conservative positions over the years (just look at the record of their current presidential candidate!). The American Left has only recently begun to show its face again, for example, after decades of absence, and the Democratic Party has long seemed to harbor more resentment toward that group than moderate conservatives.
I’m also not a demographer, but I don’t think many would consider a potential 6-3 conservative majority on the SC to be at all representative of the US population. To me, that seems like the real legitimacy crisis here, not whether Democrats think of conservatives as legitimate political actors (spoiler alert: I think it’s safe to say they view conservatives about as favorably as conservatives view them).
You’re wrong to say that Republicans hate democrats as much as democrats hate republicans. There is pretty much no liberal opinion you could say that would get you personally attacked at a federalist society meeting. There are a wide range of mainstream conservative views you’d best not say in a similar context among liberals.
I think this behavior could very possibly be caused by there being more conservative justices. If there were 6 liberal justices and 3 conservative ones you'd probably see the 3 vote as a block and the 6 break rank.
The supreme court is going to mostly issue opinions that are close to it's median member. And the more liberal or conservative justices on the supreme court the more liberal or conservative that viewpoint will be. And thus the more likely the more moderate members will be to break rank.
Constrain the operational gamut of law enforcement (aka “defund the police”).
Abortion is a medical health issue and a woman’s right to choose.
I dunno, there’s plenty that will get be undue attention at a Federalist meeting, and some things I could say that would put my life on the line (remembering home invasions, fire bombings and an assassination of a surgeon involved in abortions).
Just last night I had to walk away from a conversation because the other party got so heated just because I suggested it's very likely the new supreme court won't overturn roe v wade.
What was your reasoning for your side of the argument? Were you arguing based on the GOP history of not successfully overturning RvW, or were you challenging the other side's assumptions about GOP wanting to overturn RvW? Were you playing the ball or the player?
Which is basically two fold. Roe vs wade is very popular. Last pre research poll I found said even among Republicans less people wanted to overturn it than not overturn it. 49 to 48.
If the Republican justices fall along these same lines it won't get overturned.
Which brings us to our next argument Which is basically the supreme court is very reluctant to overturn major constitutional court cases that have stood for almost half a century.
So will the supreme court throw out 50 years of precedence to overturn an issue that 70-80% of the population and 50% of Republicans disagree with overturning?
It's not impossible but doesn't seem likely.
That explains a lot :)
You must have some very interesting "ordinary" friends. You're also trying to compare the federalist society, a high-brow legal organization composed of highly educated lawyers, with ordinary, likely much less educated people. Try going to a Trump rally and holding up a black lives matter sign. I'm sure you'll have plenty of intellectually stimulating conversation.
Whereas Mitch's philosophy is "no candidate will be entertained as being possibly acceptable or suitable".
Trying to drawn parallels between the two is grasping at best, disingenuous at worst.
That's called compromise, and it is how a government should function, but Republicans have lost all ability to do that and so we have stalemate after stalemate, no covid stimulus, no attempt to compromise on anything. Democrats are fine with compromise, to a point, but the republicans have to meet in the middle, not take their ball and go home like they always fucking do.
People are upset because the media played it up as such a miscarriage of justice, but the truth is the senate wouldn’t have confirmed him and so they didn’t vote for a hearing.
The Democrats of course can and obviously will do the same the next time they have opposition in the senate - and would have done the same, I’d bet, if the situation was flipped then.
I actually think many don’t understand this as it was really propagandized on Twitter, etc as some massive deal, but having the hearing wouldn’t have changed anything.
This is not necessarily true. McConnell does this to protect his fellow senators from having to decide between party and state, potentially hurting their re-election chances if they side with the party. Majority leaders regularly stop things going to vote not because they wouldn't pass, but rather because it can create strife and bad feelings within the party.
People keep trying to argue that McConnell isn't being a hypocrite, he's just following precedent. But for that to be true, we need to (a) find a time before 2016 when the Senate prevented a Supreme Court nominee from even getting a vote on the Senate floor in an election year, and (b) the Senate needs to specifically cite the upcoming election as a reason. So far, no one seems to be able to point to that supposedly precedent-setting case. And that's before we throw in McConnell's new claim as of yesterday that such a precedent only applies when the Senate majority and the President are from two different parties, a condition which, it's worth noting, was never mentioned by him or any of his supporters in 2016.
In strictly legal terms, McConnell gets to do what he wants. But the claim that he was following some previously established norm by denying Garland a vote in 2016 but not denying a new nominee a vote in 2020 is simply a lie.
And that was my point.
I read about it extensively at the time from many on the right, and the left - that was the entire grounds for it happening. That McConnel himself may not have explicitly called out the Senate majority in his prominent press interviews was because it was totally obvious to anyone even remotely familiar with politics why, and therefore why beyond saying “it’s an electron year” would he need to keep clarifying? He just wasn’t assuming the insane amount of bad faith everyone would give him, incl. people like yourself.
So no, you don’t have some subtle understanding that no one else besides you and “your side” is getting at all.
Again, let me reiterate, because it seems you’re really trying to find something here: it was discussed on the right extensively, explicitly mentioning the Senate majority factor at the time, in 2016, and was generally well understood on the right. In fact the rights news writers were sort of flabbergasted and writing about how it’s being propagandized to look super bad when in fact it was not. I can’t even believe you’re trying to argue that wasn’t the case - talk about a straw-man.
Avoiding the vote altogether as opposed to having it and rejecting it was indeed unique, but not hypocritical. Simply put, he had the power to do that as the majority in the Senate. You can be upset about it, but I suspect you’re really just upset because your side lost or you have some gut revulsion towards McConnel, not because it was some grand betrayal - because it didn’t change a single thing in terms of outcomes, not even in terms of slippery slopes. The Democrats are totally free to do the same the next time this situation comes up, and they will and are expected to, and that too wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m sure some idiot Republicans will whine about it as well...that’s politics.
Would have played out the exact same way if political tables were turned.
Or just gonna stop there since that's what you'd like to believe?
If there was an instance where the other party did this the GOP would be slapping them around the ears with it. So since they’re not doing that, I assume there’s no instance they can use.
There are no principles, just power struggles.
If HRC was president, McConnell would follow his 2016 policy. With Trump president he'll make a new policy.
There are no repercussions for bringing home the bacon to your constituents at any cost.
Let's say that Biden wins, then Trump runs against him again in 2024. Somebody dies or retires right before the election, do you think the democrats would seriously wait and risk allowing the nomination to be done by Trump?
None of these people are in any way signaling their actual virtues. It's all just slogans. Also: the Democrats didn't grant this to the Republicans over Scalia. The Republicans were in power in the Senate at the time and used this power to their advantage.
Yeah, this is all terrible: this is the world you get when our politics seem to be regulated by twitter. If you want this to change, get rid of cable news talk shows, and get rid of twitter. Until then, this is what you're going to have.
If you're asking whether Democrats would have placed themselves in a similar position in 2016 if the roles were reversed, then the answer is no. I'd expect them to consider the nominee, and quite likely vote against - but they wouldn't stonewall until election.
You can't compare the senate majority leader with a random anonymous twitter account.
"We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court, We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that." is...not.
Even still, your argument doesn't follow. Reacting to someone doing a thing you disapprove of isn't the same as instigating the thing. Your argument is that since Democrats disapprove of what Republicans did, and are considering taking action to undo and action they disapprove of, that they would have also done the act. That is very strange reasoning.
That's also a huge taboo, and for good reason. It prevents voters from making politically informed decisions because their representatives don't have actions on which to judge.
[Edit: I missed lame-duck Millard Filmore in 1852 the first time around also]
Prior to that you had John Tyler in 1844, who had two vacancies in the court open up in his election year. He made 9 proposals of 5 different people, one (John C. Spencer) was rejected and then later re-proposed and withdrawn, one (Reuben Walworth) was proposed 3 times, withdrawn once and postponed or lapsed twice. One was confirmed. Another was proposed twice. So this whole thing was a complete circus, but even still congress did their duty and confirmed one of Tyler's picks.
Prior to that there was John Quincey Adams who, also as a lame-duck, proposed a nominee who was tabled. In 1828.
So the precedent, insofar as there is one, is that when an election has already happened, the other party can table it. Except that more often than not, that doesn't happen. In fact, it's really only happened twice, in 1828, and 1852, and then not in 1880 despite similar circumstances. And then 2016.
And again those cases were different: Adams had already lost the election, when he made the nomination. Fillmore is maybe the closest, even though it happened later in the year the election hadn't happened yet, but Fillmore also failed to be re-nominated, so in a sense he'd lost the election in the primary.
[To be extra clear, in most of the cases where a nomination expired, the same president had a nominee confirmed later (Eisenhower, Harding, Cleveland), so it wasn't a flat out refusal to entertain candidates.
It might be more constructive to speak with precision about a claim of such import.
I don’t think what we know he did deserved the punishment, especially the picture where he was pretend groping. Nobody would have batted an eye at it at the time.
The move is to have everything set and ready to go during the lame duck and push hard then if you lose or wait until Jan if you win. Removes the election math from the process.
Also, if it isn't consistent, that's because we only see a portion of what gets posted here, often rather randomly. If you see a post that ought to have been moderated but hasn't been, the likeliest explanation is that we didn't see it. You can help by flagging it or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's apocalypse for the democrats.
The looming court seat was a very effective driver of votes for Trump in the previous election, at least that's the conventional wisdom. So have a go at seeing if that will work again. You can also spin it as being respectful, serious, and considered by waiting.
Even if you end up losing the Presidency, and even the Senate, you're still in power for enough time afterward to make an appointment.
The only things I could think of working against that would be: the idea that you just make the appointment immediately and tout it as another success to your base, or perhaps a fear that since it's Ginsburg's seat that's vacant, having it open is actually a more mobilizing force for Democrats. There's also, I suppose, the possibility that you make the move right away on the theory that this upcoming election is likely to be contested and could reach the Supreme Court.
The risk of not winning either is too much. They'd rather get the "win" and campaign on the win.
But this is also exactly why this gambit doesn't really work - because the voters know that whatever happens at the polls, the end result is the same. They could hold voters hostage to the Supreme Court nomination back in 2016 because there was a split between the president and the Senate that blocked either side from getting what they really wanted until the next term.
I don't think it's possible to remove the election math, though. Whatever he does, it could influence voter turnout for both sides.
There's also the possibility that something about the election will be disputed and go to the Supreme Court (as happened with vote counting with Bush v. Gore in 2000). So Trump might decide he wants his appointee to already be serving before election day if he thinks that would be more in his favor.
American politics right now is full-on us-versus-them, and who has the biggest numbers. McConnell is in Kentucky and ahead in the polls, and he’s smart enough not to full-on troll the left with a flat-out fascist.
The left will respond as if he did anyway, but they’ll have a lot less success in convincing conservatives it’s a bad move if the judge is not beyond what most conservatives will support. That line has shifted far to the right (or, to the far right) over the past 30 years.
I guess I’m saying that opinions on an “inoffensive conservative justice” is a bimodal distribution, and McConnell’s right hump is higher.
Among voters, but Trump would/did(?) throw the GOP under the bus to get elected.
I mean I can believe both of those sets of people exist, but hardly that they're numerous enough to dictate the election strategy.
I don’t think libertarians realize where we are in 2020. Lots of culture war stuff from the last few decades where libertarians sided with liberals (abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage) has now flipped and then battleground is keeping the government from forcing people to participate in those things: Catholics being forced to perform elective abortions, nuns being forced to pay for contraception, people being forced to participate in same-sex weddings as bakers (and presumably caterers, etc.)
Nearly all EU countries recognize such conscience rights. Eliminating them would put the U.S. squarely outside the mainstream on this issue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_objection_to_abo... ("Conscientious objection is granted in 22 member states of the European Union plus the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland.").
I guess it’s the libertarian thing. Your right to swing your arm ends at my nose.
And, of course, since the doctor is also an active participant in killing the fetus, it’s not the “doctor imposing morals in the patient.”
so the solution is to ban abortions, contraceptives, and same-sex marriage altogether?
Look at the political debates likely to come up over the next 10 years and tell me where libertarians are aligned with liberals. Apart from the things I mentioned above, cases that will come up may include the constitutionality of a wealth tax, changes to equal protection to allow discrimination in favor of particular groups, firearms confiscation, etc. (I’m not saying all of these will happen, I’m pointing out what the next legal battlegrounds will be.)
The difference is that—unlike racial justice, women's rights, and gay rights—in this case abortion was a mistake and so the step forward would be to reverse it. If you go back far enough, society has successfully reversed actions that were at the time considered forward progress.
Also, I think most of the "right libertarians" are already Trump votes out of sheer disgust and exasperation. Libertarians (of any stripe) are probably the least likely to get hot and bothered by Trump's antics.
Each party is a coalition of interests whether it's a particular minority, class, etc. They have to at least pander to every part of their coalition, otherwise they don't show up to vote. If nothing gets done, they can simply flail their arms, yell, scream and blame the other party. The important thing is making it look like they are trying.
Each party also has a coalition of large donors who expect a lot more for their money than mere pandering and aren't fooled by the tactics used for the previously mentioned coalitions. Parties without donors die, so this is a existential requirement.
This is essentially why voters never get what they want and donors always do.
And that really, truly, only takes a 6-3 majority. If Barrett replaced Ginsburg in July, the ruling would have gone the other way. And consternation states well continue to violate the law in an effort to get it changed.
Restrictions that eliminated every provider in a state likely would violate Roe itself, as would things like heartbeat laws. Yes, one imagines a 6-3 court would uphold more restrictions than today. But things like mandatory counseling, waiting periods, parental consent periods, 12 week limits, etc., exist in more conservative European countries like Germany, Italy, etc. Even insofar as Roe recognizes a right to bodily autonomy that precludes banning abortion entirely, why shouldn’t the most conservative states in the most religious developed country in the world be able to decide that they’re going to do the minimum required to protect that right, as opposed to something behind that one right.
One reason is that the most conservative states in the country are still mostly polarized between rural and urban districts, with urban districts housing large majorities of people who want access to reproductive health services, but are denied that by a coalition of mostly rural conservatives to whom the welfare of urban denizens are an externality.
That is to say, the state legislatures aren't really speaking for Jackson or Birmingham or Little Rock (you can look up the demographics if you want). Even in Mississippi, the most conservative state in the county, the spread between Espy and Hyde-Smith in 2018 was just 7 points.
If (say) Kansas City could somehow secede from Kansas, leaving two states --- Rural and Urban Kansas --- I think the principled argument here would be stronger.
If clinics were common and accessible, having counseling and waiting periods might be more palatable. The problems arise when that counseling is structure to guilt women into not having abortions, or when the waiting periods make it de facto impossible for people to access a medical procedure. I take a very pragmatic view of the law in this regard. That is, someone should not have to lose their job to get an abortion. I recognize that there are other medical procedures where the same thing could happen (and I argue that we should have stronger protections for those cases too!), but it's more egregious when the law is constructed to take advantage of our lack of social safety to make it more difficult to access rights. There's a strong parallel with voter ID laws here.
Also, I don't believe there are prohibitions on counseling, waiting periods, parental consent periods at the federal level in the US. Mississippi has laws requiring all of those, as well as ultrasound, and necessary requirements about the facility. So I don't see how that's relevant. States certainly can, and do, already put into practice those limitations. Russo went further.
Secondly, I personally take issue with religious justification for laws. Even indirectly, especially since we live in a country that claims to provide religious freedom I recognize that this isn't really legally tenable, but when there's a clear religious justification for a law, in my opinion, we should apply stricter scrutiny to that law.
Third, and this perhaps combines some elements of the first two, as well as tptacek's comments: there's a tyranny of the majority (or perhaps plurality) situation that arises. Restrictions on how someone can exercise a legally protected right are dangerous, and should only, be done with very compelling reasons. Most abortion restrictions aren't very compelling.
I also don't see that adding additional legal restrictions is "the minimum to protect that right". Meddling with a right to make it more difficult to exercise isn't doing the minimum, it's something else entirely. Instituting a new law cannot be the minimum. To give an example, the 15th amendment did the minimum in regards to giving black people the right to vote in the US. States that instituted poll taxes and literacy tests were not doing the minimum, they were abridging the right. At a state level, "the minimum" might have been to do nothing to prevent voter intimidation which also happened some. So to return to the modern example, "doing the minimum" might be, like, not instituting buffer zone laws.
Also what happens if the election is contested and needs to be decided by the Supreme Court? Can't have a Supreme Court without a justice till January 20th.
Strangely enough that same Supreme Court spent most of 2016 without a justice with no issue.
Also, in what world the Supreme Court deciding on the validity of an election with a deciding member having been appointed to it just before that same election by one of the participants does not consist of a massive conflict of interest?
> History supports Republicans filling the seat. Doing so would not be in any way inconsistent with Senate Republicans’ holding open the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. The reason is simple, and was explained by Mitch McConnell at the time. Historically, throughout American history, when their party controls the Senate, presidents get to fill Supreme Court vacancies at any time — even in a presidential election year, even in a lame-duck session after the election, even after defeat. Historically, when the opposite party controls the Senate, the Senate gets to block Supreme Court nominees sent up in a presidential election year, and hold the seat open for the winner. Both of those precedents are settled by experience as old as the republic.
The linked article actually goes on to describe every situation where there was an election year Supreme Court vacancy. Please read.
Then you're back in the 1800s. But we routinely look back to the 1800s to establish what is accepted practice in our government.
The number of qualifications needed in order to establish this "precedent" should tip you off that it's manufactured expressly to gain a political advantage.
Correct, no one is actually surprised that Mitch McConnell abandoned the flimsy justification for his power grab the instant it outlived its use to him.
Alternatively, McConnell could have called the vote and the Republican majority in the Senate could have just voted it down.
Pre-nuclear option (an actual example of a power grab) even a minority of Senators could stop a nominee from getting through. The Republicans had a majority.
It can't be assumed that there wouldn't be Republican defections on a Garland confirmation. This is exactly the reason the majority leader refused to allow a vote. Even now, a number of Republican Senators have already "defected" and declared they won't vote on a nominee before the 2021 inauguration.
This sounds a lot like "originalism", which is controversial at best.
So no, I won't cite something else.
The National Review article links to the source data, data from CRS and data from senate.gov. CRS is the Congressional Research Service.
Think of it as a trial. Liberal leaning media is the prosecutor and conservative media is the defendant. Depending on the topic, these roles are reversed.
If things weren’t so polarized, they absolutely should spare no time in replacing the seat, as is their duty. But we know it’ll be yet another cynical and dishonest process as it was last time.
Let's see just how long it takes him to release a public statement going back on that one...
EDIT: And again, just over an hour ago, McConnell promised that he would have a vote on a new justice within a week of receiving the nomination.
Meanwhile, Murkowski of Alaska announced she would not support confirmation hearings until after the election.
And in other related news, Senate Democrats have promised to add seats to the Supreme Court if they win the Presidency and Senate in November and McConnell goes ahead with his plans...
The next few months are going to be exciting.
The progressives will rage on Twitter, but on the day he goes back on what he said in 2016, Mitch is going to have a pleasant dinner with company that will agree with him, and he's going to fall asleep just fine, because he's convinced (or twisted the truth to convince himself) he's doing the right thing, and those who disagree with him are the ones who are un-American...
Edit: Fwiw, the RBG movie about her is on Hulu now.
All that stuff is held up in congress - they need the senate judiciary committee and the senate to approve a judge. That's it.
People are downvoting because they're unhappy with the situation but my stating it gives them a target. But on the other hand, I'm not super worried about internet points.
There's a possibility of a block of republicans who are anti trump (romney, collins, murkowski at least) might try to spike it, but McConnell has already said Trump's nominee will get a vote. I guess we'll see if they can cooperate enough to push it through.
Grassley, Murkowski, Collins, and Graham have said they oppose a vote, but that might be lip service and there's a difference between "opposing a vote" and not voting. And pence gets a tie breaker if its a tie.
Honest curiosity and debate is tricky business here.
But I think Trump will nominate someone and they'll be approved by Senate, perhaps making Trump the most impactful president in terms of the judiciary in recent history.
Three supreme Court judges, roughly a quurter of all federal judges(194) of which 50 something are appeals court judges,and a hundred something district judges (that's not that many). They're fairly young for judges as well.
It's dark times for democrats as a conservative judiciary is going to be around for a while now.
If Trump wins another term and they republicans hold the Senate conservative judges being appointed will continue for another 4 years.
It's specifically her dying wish. IMO she's giving Senators who still support democracy something they can say to the press when they decline to vote to fill her seat.
I say this as a completely dejected person knowing that the Republicans will fill that seat with another solidly conservative judge, not out of glee.
Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
Republicans have a majority of the Senate judiciary committee and the Senate. They have it if they want it without involving stimulus or anything to do with Congress.