Margaret Atwood says the Supreme Court is making The Handmaid's Tale a reality in the U.S

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I would like all those things, and a pony.

Democracy will still be hard. Look at the UK. They check all or most of those boxes. Still have a proto-fascist government undermined by Russian oligarchs.

I hate to break it to you, but the best path to breaking the duopoly is to break the GOP. Splinter it back into its coalition parts. And the best way to accomplish that is for Dems to win the next couple of elections decisively. The only reason the billionaires and bigots work together is when they can succeed electorally.

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Honestly though, they can and do get the power, then do nothing with it. In Obama’s first term they had the house and a supermajority in the senate! They did… nothing. Until the following midterms, they could have passed anything they goddam wanted and they did nothing. Sigh.

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The ACA is not nothing. It’s not all I wanted, but providing for health insurance for an additional 40M Americans is Not Nothing. Especially when you consider major health expenses are the #1 reason Americans lose housing.

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Thanks to lack of MSM coverage, many people get the impression that new legislation has ground to a halt. That is not true:

I wish they would bring more attention to GOP obstruction (especially professional bill-blocker, Rand Paul), and how damaging and self-serving that is:

This is why every news story involving the GOP attacking businesses fills me with hope!

We have very different definitions of nothing…

There’s another view here, with 69 more pages after this one:

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Fair enough, but it’s immensely frustrating that they couldn’t get the public option through. They made the system better, but again, with total control of the entire congress, they could have done anything. Meanwhile Republicans can barely get elected, yet manage to roll back Roe, get Citizen’s United decided in favour of total corruption of the US government, get the VRA overturned, gerrymander the hell out of everything, and on and on. I’m not even American yet it’s still maddening to watch.

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Me, too. Joe Lieberman can rot in hell.

They didn’t, though. They were hamstrung by the centrists, a curse on their middle-of-the-road houses!

It helps if you’re willing to lie, cheat, and steal. But mostly cheat. I would like Dems to get more ruthless, but ultimately if they went as rogue as the Rpubs, we wouldn’t want the Dems, either.

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ETA: Thank you @PsiPhiGrrrl for the links to Obama Admin accomplishments!

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Are you honestly telling me that your state legislature in your blue state is doing nothing?

Because the state legislatures in red states are doing something and it is not good.

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This is absolute horse-shit and is the work of republican strategists to convince you that apathy is a worthwhile goal. They know they won’t ever get you to vote republican, so they’re going for the second best thing, for you to not pay attention to the democrats. They’ve spent billions trying to convince people in blue states that their politicians are doing nothing for them where that’s far from the truth.

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Many years ago, political scientists argued that keeping the AfD out of power-- a laudable goal-- would lead to unexciting, dull politics that rewarded incompetence. Voters wouldn’t be able to vote the centrist coalitions out of power because the alternative was so much worse.

The best way to win is to own both teams.

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McLeod-Skinner is looking like she has a good shot to displace Schrader for the Dems and the redrawn district is favorable to her.

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Meanwhile in the newly formed district six, we have a crypto bro who’s financed by millions of out of state dollars , is pro business and anti environment, didn’t vote in the last five primaries and two elections, and is outspending all the other candidates combined 4 to 1.

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Yeah. That’s fucked up. But I get the impression people see through that. What do you think?

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I think spending a lot of money, getting a lot of boots on the ground and canvassers pressuring voters is going to probably win him the election, and then we’ll see if he’s truly a democrat or has been using the newness of the freshly created district and the lack of knowledge of the newcomers to the political game here to steal a seat for the republicans (with a D after the name, though.) I suspect he’ll caucus with the republicans or outright switch parties post election.

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I don’t think they did. At the beginning of Obama’s first term, there were 55 Democratic Senators, and 2 Independents who caucused with the Democrats. There were 41 Republicans, and 1 vacancy. That’s a strong majority, but it’s definitely not a supermajority. A supermajority, with the filibuster, would be 60. With 41 votes, Republicans could always block any legislation they wanted to. And they did. Also, the Democratic Party has always included some conservatives like Manchin. We’re actually in a good place now where it’s just been two Democrats blocking shit. There used to be a lot more. Democrats have never been as good at falling in line behind the Party leadership as Republicans have been. And that’s both a strength and a weakness. Republicans like Liz Cheney criticize Trump a lot…and then vote for every damn thing he wants. Bill Burr said Trump is absolutely wrong about the 2020 election, basically got fired for that…and yet he says he’ll still vote for Trump if Trump is the nominee in 2024 because anything is better than a Democrat. Democrats just don’t do that. On the one hand, I’m glad we don’t do that, but it’s also why the Party can’t maintain a hold on power, in spite of policy positions that have overwhelming support among voters.

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There is a question which I struggle to phrase. I need to emphasize that I don’t want y’all being pissed off or feeling attacked or something. Please bear with me. This is getting on a meta-communication level.

I honestly have trouble understanding why many fellow mutants are doing what I feel is a piling on on Michael_Lavin.

I read a palpable indignation in many responses I am having a problem with understanding and reacting appropriately to myself.

I’ll try so describe it. Again, please bear with me.
As far as I can read, the user voiced anger and frustration, and some of it might be shared by fellow mutants while other parts are considered to be overemphasized by them.

Personally, I did not read their posts as a “don’t go to the polls” post, but as a crying out “I fucking go to the polls but it doesn’t change anything and I want something better than this” .

So I am confused and slightly irritated.

I can empathize with the poster and still point out that it is in their hands, too, to change this. I wonder why many posters here are, at least in my interpretation, are getting angry with the poster. And I am under the impression that you would like them to be more constructive in their posts, but aren’t really helping them to be.

Please believe me that I don’t want to attack you and the other posters here responding. I just feel uncomfortable with what I interpreted into the posts and I thought that describing my impression could help me understand - and maybe perhaps eventually help the discussion to advance.

I am writing based on my perception and feelings only. I hope this doesn’t derail to much - I realise this topic isn’t about me.

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First, check @PsiPhiGrrrl’s links in this post. Dems have very real accomplishments that have made a tangible difference in people’s lives.

Second, the narrative that Dems are just as bad as Republicans, or that they can’t get things done, is GOP propaganda. Sure, of course we want more progress faster. But giving up doesn’t help that happen. So we need to fight discouragement and we need to fight disunity.

Republicans are close to breaking. That’s why they are pulling out all the stops, all the dirty tricks, and even armed insurrection. Because they are drowning and that’s all that is keeping then from going down for the last time. The closer they are getting, the more desperate they become. We just have to hold on until they do.

So, yeah, I get worked up when someone voices that discouragement. Let’s not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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The thing is, the UK doesn’t check those boxes either . It is also a first past the post system, almost uniquely so along side the US among modern "democracies ". It’s no coincidence in my view that the two countries have gone down a similar path.

That said, of course you are right that extremism is a problem even in more mature voting systems. But two party systems and the politics of “tear down everything the previous government has built” is unique to first past the post.

There’s a reason people in the UK campaigned for years for a change to the voting system, finally got a referendum and got scuppered by the government presenting an obscure and unwieldy form of representation as the only alternative in the referendum and by campaigns like this. And no, this isn’t parody, this was an actual ad campaign at the time.

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