The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Election Discussion Open Thread

I don’t cover US elections real time any more, but for those who want to talk about it, this is the place.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 6, 2022


The Great Favor the West Is Doing China by Banning Equipment Needed to Make Chips


  1. bruce wilder

    I don’t even vote anymore, let alone take a rooting interest. What’s to discuss really? How the Dems of my idle fantasizing would sweep to power doing something popular in some counterfacual universe where they were not spineless reactionaries building the surveillance state, marching to WWIII, determined to build back a better Ukraine — just like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, New Orleans, Akron and Detroit? Maybe in a world that honored civic republicanism, government could stop robo-calls to my cell or contain multiplying variants of pandemic COVID or protect the right of baristas to unionize. I am not sure LA County treats the vote count as anything but a first, rough draft of the official results.

  2. Sam

    “What’s to discuss really? ”

    Sadly true. I looked at the ballot but couldn’t find the lesser evil. Both options were of the “greater” variety so I skipped it.

  3. different clue

    When State-Legal marijuana was on the ballot in Michigan, I voted for State-Legal marijuana. Enough other people voted the same that we now have State-legal marijuana in Michigan . . . including the State-level legalization of growing 12 personal plants for personal use entirely outside the market economy. So there’s a difference voting made.

    State-Constitution-guaranteed legal regulated abortion is on the ballot in Michigan this time. If enough people vote for making “legal abortion access” a matter of State Constitution Ammendment guarantee, then “legal abortion access” will be in the Michigan State Constitution. If they don’t, then it won’t, and abortion will become very illegal in Michigan as per the decades-old law. So once again, voting will make a difference one way or another.

    But that’s Michigan. Self government may already be a long-dead letter in California, in which case “not voting” is a defensible response in California.

  4. NR

    Well there was certainly no red wave last night, as a lot of pundits and media figures were predicting. There was also no blue wave, which I had also seen predicted, albeit by far fewer people. It looks like it will be, at most, a 1 seat swing in the Senate and just a handful of seats in the House.

    Dems may keep the Senate or it may come down to a runoff in Georgia again. Rs will probably take the House, though that’s not certain right now either. If the Rs do take the House it will be by a very slim margin, 218-219 seats probably. And given how insane their caucus has become, it’s hard to see how they can even run the chamber. Paul Ryan had trouble running the House in 2015-2018, and he had a bigger majority and a less insane caucus.

    We may be in for quite the spectacle in the months ahead.

  5. different clue

    While the Naked Capitalism blog remains useful for many things, a rising number of people over there are becoming closet Trump supporters. The fact that the Democrats did not lose as badly as Naked Capitalism hoped they would will have these closet Trump supporters gnashing their teeth so hard that they will be audible from inside their closets.

    Here is an example from today’s Water Cooler . . .

    “Democracy was on the ballot, and won. From the head of the Council on Foreign Relations:” . . .

    ( then they show this tweet which I will give a link to . . . ) . . .

    and then . . .
    ” Allow me to translate: Now the Democrats can return to fomenting war with nuclear powers, normalizing pandemics, and union-busting. Friends, there’s good news tonight! ”

    As election 2024 gets closer and closer, the closet Trump supporters at Naked Capitalism will have a choice, to either try keeping their support for Trump or DeSantis or whomever the Republican nominee turns out to be a closeted secret and hope their ultimate desires don’t quite show through in their expressed hopes that the Democrats lose all three branches in 2024 ( which I confidently predict they will express) . . . or come out of the closet and support Trump or DeSantis or whomever overtly and openly and decide to openly do what they can to get Trump or DeSantis or whomever elected. ( There is not that much a blog can do, but they will do what they can).

    Eventually a number of legacy readers will decide that Naked Capitalism has gone ” A Sheep Too Far”, but they will always get new readers. And if the valuable things remain valuable, legacy readers will stay for the remaining value outside the world of closet Trump-support.

  6. Ché Pasa

    The level of absolute disinterest in this election’s outcome is remarkable. Well, it would be if the electorate and observers hadn’t noticed the repeated 50/50 split and the relative sameness (near status quo) no matter which team wins the pennant.

    The myth is that “half the country” wants one team; “half” wants the other. But that isn’t even remotely true. Dems almost always significantly out-poll Rs on a whole-of-the-country basis. Gerrymandering and overt/covert voter suppression as well as heavy weighting against urban voters tend to cancel out the advantage Dem voters would have in a equitable electoral system. Layer on the Electoral College, and it’s something of a miracle that Dems manage to win presidential elections at all.

    Would it be better if we had more equitable electoral system. Hard to say. I’d be reluctant to say yes give the extraordinary levels of corruption endemic to both parties at every level, the persistence of warmongering no matter which holds power, and the utter inability of either party to raise up leadership on behalf of the People.

    But is the status quo the best the System can do? I’d say it’s designed to do exactly that. No matter the hoo-hah and political entertainment we see on the teevee and throughout the Twitterverse.

    Tony Wikrent advocates tirelessly for ‘civic republicanism.’ Fundamental changes in our attitudes toward elections as well as in Systems themselve — indeed, revolutionary changes — would be required. Instead, the status quo is moving ever farther away, and not just in the USofA. How we get from where we are and where we’re going to where Tony wants us to be is a continuing myster, no?

  7. someofparts

    The Duran is going to have Robert Barnes on next week to talk about the elections.
    Should be pretty good.

  8. Jorge

    Interesting theory I saw: gerrymanderers gerrymandered based on the 2020 Census, which was obsoleted by Covid. Some carefully crafted districts are not what they were supposed to be.

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