Saturday, August 17, 2013


A couple of my commenters have made note of something Ed Kilgore wrote about attempts by Republicans to purify their presidential debates:
If there was some way for conservatives to restrict viewership of candidate debates to fellow-conservatives, I'm sure they’d be all for that, too.
Leslie Galen wrote this in comments:
If Kilgore is right, they really don't want anyone to see a debate at all. I can't imagine how they think this will help their cause. Maybe they've decided to go full-on black ops, massive voter fraud, blackmail, whatever, rather than present their arguments to America.
I don't think that's all that far from the truth.

Chris Taylor is a Democratic state legislator from Wisconsin; she recently attended the annual ALEC conference, then wrote about what she learned for The Progressive. Taylor subsequently gave an interview to the Bill Moyers Web site, in which she said something I think is relevant:
One guy I was talking to, who was from one of these right wing think tanks was saying we need to curb Obama's reckless power with these administrative regulations, and he wanted a federal constitutional amendment saying Congress has to approve federal regulations. I said, I don't think most people are going to want to amend the Constitution for that. I don't think that ignites people. Maybe it does on the far right, but most people don't really care about that. And he said, "Oh, well, you really don't need people to do this. You just need control over the legislature and you need money, and we have both."

That sentiment was underscored so many times to me, that they don't want people involved in the political process, or in the policy process. And that seems to be the intent in a lot of ways: You have a think tank in every state and all they do is come up with these very, very regressive policies, you have corporations who are going to benefit so they fund it all, and then you have the legislators as your foot soldiers to carry out the tasks.
I know that the group of Republicans who want to purify the debates doesn't overlap exactly with ALEC and its pals (the ALEC crowd would surely prefer President Scott Walker to president Rand Paul), but I'm starting to suspect that the thinking is roughly the same. I think elements of the right don't really care all that much about winning over swing voters -- they think suppression of the Democratic vote (an ALEC cause) plus the banning of all limits on campaign spending plus a few selected hot-button issues will turn out jut enough suburban, exurban, and rural whites (and turn away just enough non-whites and students) to put Republicans in control, certainly in many states, and possibly at the federal level. I think the plan is to forget the reboot of the GOP, ignore swing voters, and just keep the base so angry (in part by preventing any real improvement of the economy from ever taking root) that Republicans can eke out wins in even more states and at the national level.

And then democracy is moot -- all the legislation is pre-written, and all the Republicans will vote yes on everything. Who needs popular support?

(Moyers interview via Raw Story.


aimai said...

Well sure, they absolutely would do away with the voter entirely, if they could. First they'd just like to do away with our (democratic) voters and then they'd just as son be shot of their own tea party and other wings. Those people are just a means to an end.

So: they would do away with the primaries if they could go back to backroom dealing. But they can't because the one thing that pulls voters out of their houses for the general election is a feeling like they were heard during the primary.

Joseph Nobles said...

Mark Levin wants a state-called constitutional convention. To do that, they'd need 34 states on board and then 38 to pass the amendments.

So they need 38 state governments in their pockets, and then they can take great huge whacks at the Constitution - I mean, restore it to its former glory. Is that at all doable?

Victor said...

I suppose splitting the nation in two will be too difficult and messy, huh?

If this was strictly along the old Mason-Dixon line, it might be easier to even think of doing something like that.

But, with states like WI, OH, and PA, in the control of Republican Governors and state legislatures (at least for now), the Conservative appear to have their own "Domino Theory" in our "Cold Civil War."

The North won The Civil War, after 4 years, 148 years ago.

The South is winning The Cold Civil War - especially over the last 45 years.

And FSM help us, if they win.

And the one who scares me most, isn't Walker or Rubio or Paul. It's Ted Cruz-ader.

As I said, we are on horrendous domestic terrorist attack, and/or another major economic downturn, away from President Ted Cruz-ader.

Victor said...


I can't delete!

Ten Bears said...

Historians will mark the appointment by an ideologically stacked activist court of a dynastic scion of little intelligence, limited education and no practical experience who was AWOL from the National Guard while I and many like me did our Tour of Duty to the highest office of the land as The End of America. We are where we are at today on momentum.

It came wrapped in a flag, praising jesus.

No fear.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Historians will note that in the 20th and 21st Centuries the Democrats used mendacity on the federal courts far more successfully than the Republicans to frustrate democracy in pursuit of unpopular aspects of their agenda.

Though, to be fair, they were also more successful in evading the constitution in pursuit of popular aspects of their agenda, and in those respects to enhance democracy.

On both sides, few respect the process, the constitution, or the legitimate requirements of democracy.

On both sides, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

On both sides, it's no holds barred and victory at any cost.

And that's the outlook of those who DON'T go in for actual violence.

So, please, no crocodile tears about democracy. OK?

Philo Vaihinger said...

@JN, you seem confident a constitutional convention would serve the turn of the right more than of the left.

How come?

Much of the stuff Democratic courts forced on the country via constitutional dishonesty is actually very popular, now.

And people could be led to support well-crafted and clear amendments whose purpose would be to legitimate those impositions.

For one example, a clear and short amendment could replace the dishonest incorporation doctrine and provide clear warrant for regarding rights guaranteed against the federal government in the constitution as also limiting the states.

For another, an amendment could explicitly create and protect the right to privacy the courts invented to justify currently popular and entrenched aspects of the sexual revolution.

And yet another might be an amendment to provide a solid footing for the welfare state and the regulatory state, both currently rather hanging in the wind.

Solidifying and protecting Social Security, Medicare, the FDA, and OSHA, to name a few, are far more popular than libertarian/fiscal conservative commitments to get rid of them.

Heck, you might even get rid of that stupid 2nd Amendment that never did America a bit of good and has arguably done much harm by making, er, a federal case of the firearms issue.

Gerald Parks said...

The Republicans ARE ALREADY leaving out the voters!

Michigan comes to mind!

Not to mention the draconian anti-abortion laws, voter suppression, etc.

The only real question is "What is the Democratic Party doing to stop it and/or reverse this trend?"