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Jim Lane

Profile Information

Name: Jim Lane
Gender: Male
Hometown: Jersey City
Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 10:22 AM
Number of posts: 9,867

About Me

I spend most of my online time on Wikipedia, where we desperately need more people to help counter right-wing bias. Please PM me whenever you want help with a Wikipedia-related issue. (Remember that Wikipedia material must be neutral, but we can and should include facts that conservatives would prefer to suppress.)

Journal Archives

Bernie Sanders supported the ACA. His support was crucial.

Bernie has long supported single payer. When the ACA was being debated in Congress, many single-payer supporters urged that it be voted down. Their argument (which has some merit to it) was that enactment of the ACA would further entrench the role of the big for-profit private insurance companies, and make getting to single payer that much harder.

If Bernie had agreed with them, he could easily have said, "I want single payer, I won't settle for anything less, and on that basis I'm voting Nay on invoking cloture to end the GOP filibuster of President Obama's bill."

On December 23, 2009, the vote on cloture was 60-39. Cloture requires a minimum of 60 affirmative votes. The bill just barely scraped by. If Bernie had voted Nay he would have strangled the ACA in its cradle.

This has been a message from the Department of Looking at the Actual Goddamn Record. We now return you to your regularly scheduled flame war.

Question about the 2020 race

My question is about rules and procedures, not a specific candidate, although it’s triggered by some DUers’ animosity toward Bernie Sanders.

A frequently recurring view on DU is that the DNC shouldn’t have let Bernie run in 2016, because he’s not a Democrat, and should bar him in 2020. This seems to assume that there was a DNC vote to allow him, but I never read about anything like that.

It’s my impression that primaries are governed by the states. Each state with a primary has its own laws about ballot access (filing fee, petition signatures, whatever). The DNC doesn’t control those laws.

The DNC could conceivably decide to play hardball: “We demand that every state adopt legislation to exclude from its primary ballot anyone who’s not a registered Democrat. If any state fails to comply, we won’t seat delegates from that state at the 2020 convention.” That would be seen by many as excessive. Furthermore, in Republican-controlled states like Texas or Ohio, the GOP would be delighted to defy this rule. Then, in races up and down the ballot, the Republican candidates would be saying, “The Democratic Party wouldn’t even admit our state’s representatives at their convention.” That would hurt a lot of downticket Democrats.

There’s also a real question about whether, if push came to shove, the DNC would be willing to punish an entire state. Note that, in 2008, Florida and Michigan violated DNC rules about the scheduling of the primary. The DNC ruled that their delegates would not be seated, then it sort of relented and seated them with half a vote each, then it ultimately caved completely and imposed no penalty.

There are some technical questions about how a no-non-Democrats policy could be enforced. What about candidates from states (like, ahem, Vermont) that don’t have partisan registration? What if a group of registered Democrats want to run for delegate slots as “Unpledged” while letting it be known that they like Bernie or some other candidate whom the DNC regards as unclean? How would caucuses, as opposed to primaries, be affected?

The important issue, though, is whether the DNC could actually do what some DUers keep calling for. Frankly, it seems to me that people are vindictively lashing out at Bernie without thinking through what they propose. Am I missing something? I’d be glad to be enlightened about the mechanics of this idea.

The hypocrisy of the latest round of Bernie-bashing

In almost all American elections, only two candidates – the Democrat and the Republican – have any realistic chance of winning. A thoughtful citizen will usually have disagreements with each of them on one or more issues. Some people take the pragmatic course of supporting the candidate who’s better overall, even if not perfect. Others say “the lesser evil is still evil”; refusing to vote for a candidate with whom they disagree, they stay home or vote for a no-hoper minor-party candidate.

Bernie Sanders faced this situation. He came down on the side of the pragmatists. He voiced his support for the Democratic nominee because he looked at the Republican and said, “We’ve got to keep that guy out.”

Did he do the right thing?

Well, here’s where the hypocrisy comes in. Some of the loudest pro-Hillary people on this board are now spewing vitriol at Bernie because he’s supporting a Democratic nominee with whom he’s not in complete agreement, while ignoring that he did exactly the same thing by supporting Hillary last fall.

The hypocrisy is compounded with intellectual dishonesty, as they pretend that support for the Democratic nominee means deprecating the issue of reproductive rights. My view, and I think Bernie’s view, is that reproductive rights are important. So are issues of war and peace, international trade, economic inequality, etc. That all these issues are important doesn’t change the problem I described in the first paragraph: Sometimes, the choice is between two candidates, neither of whom is perfect on all important issues, but one of whom is better than the other overall.

People like Bernie and me voted for Hillary despite our major disagreements with her. That doesn’t mean that we suddenly decided those issues were unimportant. It means only that the Democrat was better than the Republican.

Does an alerter see the results of the alert?

I've alerted only a few times, but my recollection is that I was told of the disposition -- at least once it was that someone else had already alerted so my alert was a nullity, and at least once I was sent all the jurors' votes and comments.

I alerted this week but I've heard nothing. Has the procedure of notifying an alerter been changed?

Donald Frederickovich Trump

We have been disrespectful to our esteemed President by not using his correct name. The Russian style is to use, as a man's middle name, the patronymic, referring to his father. Thus, the dictator's father was also named Vladimir, so the dictator's full name is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, while his brother Viktor, who died during the Siege of Leningrad, was Viktor Vladimirovich Putin.

Frederick Trump was the President's biological father and is also the only reason he has any money. (It's widely believed that if Donald had just taken his inheritance, bought some mutual funds, and spent his time golfing and molesting women, he'd be richer than he actually is.)

The correct name of Donald Frederickovich Trump honors both his father and his current allegiance.




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