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

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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There are several things that the user in question said that are simply, patently untrue.

First, “The Democrats seem happy to do nothing.” This is untrue in two ways: the Democrats are doing a lot at the state level and are clearly trying to do a lot at the national level, only to be thwarted by the Republicans and a small minority (2/50) of Democrats in the Senate.

Second, “the Democrats are the same. They want to investigate but never bring charges or jail anyone.” This is also untrue in two ways: the Democrats are investigating January 6, but they cannot bring charges or jail anyone. That has to be done by independent prosecutors.

In other words, we share this user’s frustration with the state of politics, but find his/her/their anger misplaced. And that misplaced anger is a common refrain in US politics that all too often takes anger away from the fascists who deserve it.

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Thank you and @DukeTrout for your explanations. Especially this:

This is a very important point, I think.

Acknowledging the frustrations and still asking for a more realistic and nuanced view of the matter in question, and working towards a target-oriented action while avoiding mental shortcuts and dangerous narratives is very much what I like about this community.

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The initial anti-party stance of the Framers and the Constitution led to it. We do not have a parliamentary system, and when a new party gains a chance at real power it’s only because one of the old duopoly parties completely collapsed when faced with a major crisis.

I’d love to see some form of ranked-choice voting introduced across the board, but it’s not going to break the duopoly system. Where ranked-choice would make a difference in the short term is in the Democratic primaries. That’s something individual voters and participants in state and local politics can push for and effect. Perhaps you should channel your frustration there rather than resigning yourself to apathy.

This is patently untrue. Russia has several sham opposition parties in its nominally multi-party system, but none of their candidates have any hope (or really intent) of getting into to power and putting their polcies into effect. You could add ranked-choice to that autocratic mess (I hesitate to even call it an illiberal democracy) and it still wouldn’t make a difference.

Meanwhile, as others here have noted, the Dems do win elections and do put their policies into effect. They certainly aren’t as radically maximalist as their GOP counterparts in that regard, but it’s not all rearguard and defensive actions either. Even if it were, voting against a party that’s been taken over by fascists is worth the fight.

You won’t find many people here who don’t want to see all of these very problems addressed with extreme prejudice. Most of us would additionally point to the sclerotic complacency of the Dem party establishment as an issue. None of that makes the U.S. the political equivalent of Putin’s Russia.

Democracy – even our diluted version – is hard, which is precisely why voting is more than an empty ritual in the U.S.

There are signs of hope, with politicians like Ocasio-Cortez and Porter and Fetterman who understand that the GOP is always dealing in bad faith and are willing to fight back (without fighting fire with fire). The core question is whether time and demographics allow the more dynamic and younger progressives and fighting liberals to replace the current elderly Third Way leadership in time to address the threats that the republic and the economy and the planet faces. As with any such close and high-stakes race it is frustrating to watch and wait for the resolution.

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In the November 2008 elections, the Democratic Party increased its majorities in both chambers (including - when factoring in the two Democratic caucusing independents - a brief filibuster-proof 60-40 supermajority in the Senate),

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You’re right…technically. So according to that article, the filibuster-proof supermajority didn’t last long. 72 working days. While that might have technically been long enough to pass single-payer universal healthcare and get rid of the filibuster, it’s unrealistic to expect major legislation like that to happen in 72 days. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize the Democrats for not taking advantage of a supermajority when it lasted less than 100 working days.

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“Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to preindustrial America, when only white male property owners could vote.”
~ Hunter S. Thompson

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Meanwhile, when someone actually does the research:

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My Brother’s father in law did this study decades ago. Born Unwanted: Developmental Effects of Denied Abortion: David, Henry Philip: 9780826160805: Books: Amazon.com
There is even a follow up paper 35 years after the original came out, but Henry died before it was published.

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