In Defense of Inoism

No, that is not a typo.

 

There have been plenty of references to this phenomenon over the years, and at least one recently on this site.  Plus many since John McCain passed, of course, since many criticized him for being a Republican “In Name Only”.  Just a little further back, dozens upon dozens of liberals told me that Bernie Sanders shouldn’t have even been running in 2016 as a Democrat, since he was an Independent.

 

I find all of this very limiting, ironically because of the already-limited nature of the system.  What may seem even odder is that I oppose political parties on a conceptual level, and yet I find protest votes to be generally wasteful.

 

As individuals, we can’t change the system.  To us, “it is what it is”, and we can only react as appropriately as possible to it.  Since political parties were allowed to exist in the first place, two of them naturally ate up the vast majority of all political power.  Because of that, a vote for another party (at the very least in a Presidential election) only takes a vote away from one of the two candidates that has any chance of winning.  I would be absolutely thrilled if people could try to support smaller parties without committing their entire vote to that party, but that’s not how it works.

 

Which brings me back to “inoism”.  Since we’re largely reduced to a choice between whatever the two major parties provide, then why would we further limit ourselves to candidates who strictly conform to the policy views of those parties?  If we had a half-dozen viable parties, then this could possibly make sense.  But with two viable parties, we eliminate any room for anyone that goes outside of the collective boundaries.

 

Think about where that leaves us; anyone that has mixed political views has to either try to run as a third-party candidate, or will likely be labeled as a RINO or DINO.  So, why should “INO” be considered as a negative, based solely on the determinations of political parties?  Shouldn’t we want people to be able to take stances on policy based on their own principles, without any consequences for that alone?

 

Of course, this isn’t approval of everyone or even anyone in particular that’s been labeled this way.  But as a matter of principle, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be this consumed by the demands of either “team” that competes for power in our country.

Comments

Flying Junior Added Sep 11, 2018 - 6:08am
You make a strong point.  Perhaps there is no validity to this label.
 
To me, it makes more sense to say that a politician is a DINO.
 
A moderate republican who sometimes agrees with their democratic colleagues is generally viewed as a breath of fresh air.
 
I suppose that it may be true that my own congress critter and Democrat-in-Name-Only, Scott Peterson, is merely a pragmatic politician who did everything that he could do to be elected as a democrat.
 
Yet I would very much have preferred if his opponent, Lori Saldaña, had won the congressional seat.  Now my hometown hero, Lori is officially an independent.  But she still can't win any elections.
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 7:01am
A good point. How can we have democracy when in order to get elected it takes millions. The only people who can raise that kind of money are the big parties. They get funded by wealthy interest groups without who they can't get elected. That puts them in the pocket of those interest groups.
It makes a mockery of democracy.
That is why the two big parties are both establishment parties.
Even A Broken Clock Added Sep 11, 2018 - 9:50am
My tribe's better than your tribe.  Because you are of the other tribe, you are sub-human and deserve to be crushed underneath the heel of my boot. You have no right to be here. If any of my tribe dares to talk to one of your tribe, we will be certain to take them down in the next primary election that they face.
 
And with these attitudes, is it any wonder that it is difficult to forge compromise in our politics?
Brabantio Added Sep 11, 2018 - 10:01am
"If any of my tribe dares to talk to one of your tribe, we will be certain to take them down in the next primary election that they face."
 
An excellent example of the problem, yes.  Especially now, when anyone that challenges Trump gets a threat of being "primaried".  Just in the unlikely situation where we have a President that's wrong about something, shouldn't members of both parties be allowed to say so?  As if we need to shape a political party to fit the nature of whoever leads it, instead of using the party to moderate the leader.
 
This is a large part of why I oppose political parties as a concept.  Everything should be based on issues, not a tribal mindset.
Bill H. Added Sep 11, 2018 - 11:11am
Therein lies the problem. It seems people would rather be told not only what the issues are, but what opinions to have on them. This has gone on thru history. Some early examples were TV commercials telling us about "the heartbreak of psoriasis", or convincing us that we were in pain all of the time, so we should take Anacin daily.
Now it seems that virtually everything is politicized. People are told not to believe in climate change, as it is a byproduct of profits for Big Oil. We are told that agreeing with ideas on healthcare insurance proposed by health insurance companies is a good idea. We are told that the richest people should pay no taxes, or lower taxes than the average Joe.
It seems that politics has become very good at convincing people that what is bad is good, just as the tobacco industry was able to do for many years as depicted in this TV commercial
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2018 - 12:23pm
When things get this tribal all reason goes out the window!
Jeffrey Kelly Added Sep 11, 2018 - 2:05pm
That is the problem now.  Both sides criticize those who actually try and govern by compromise.  That’s how things got done.
 
I’m not going to say it was all perfect but at least in the past compromising enabled government to function.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 11, 2018 - 2:32pm
Ah, yes....tribalism. EABC got it right, the Ts seem to be in "make sure that other tribe gets hurt, THAT TRIBE deserves to get hurt because they aren't 'us.' mode."   Compromise was what made government work, but compromise, now, is supposedly only for "leftists."  Leftist must compromise with rightists, much like TraitorLynn, who would rather start a civil war than compromise anything.  Guess that's part of being an Xtain, gawd always being "on your side."
Dino Manalis Added Sep 11, 2018 - 2:43pm
 In a multiparty  system, we may have elections every couple of years to elect a new president.  There needs to be compromise between Republicans and Democrats to get things done.
Ken Added Sep 11, 2018 - 4:45pm
Dino - there can't be.  Democrats never compromise, first of all.  The only compromise they make is when you move further toward their ideological goal.  On top of that, their ideological goal is incompatible with constitutional law therefore every time you compromise with them you lose a little more constitutional law.  And they always just move the goal posts to get the next item on their agenda.
 
It is like israel giving land for peace.   They have given much land, and yet - their neighbors still don't even acknowledge their right to exist.
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 11, 2018 - 8:14pm
There is NO such thing as a "DINO". Sorry fella, but you are whacked right there. A Leftist is a Leftist is a Leftist. Democrats come in many stripes, but they all vote in lockstep!  All follow PeeCee. 
 
But on the other hand, To be a Conservative is hard. Many so-called Repukes are PeeCee cultists so they are RINO's!  
 
There is NO such thing as a DINO. 
Brabantio Added Sep 11, 2018 - 8:35pm
"Dino - there can't be.  Democrats never compromise, first of all.  The only compromise they make is when you move further toward their ideological goal.  On top of that, their ideological goal is incompatible with constitutional law therefore every time you compromise with them you lose a little more constitutional law."
 
Who believes this partisan drivel?
Bill H. Added Sep 11, 2018 - 11:14pm
Brab - I certainly don't believe it, and anyone with common sense wouldn't, but the ones that come up with this crap sure do.
As you can see, we have inherited some Whacks as of late.
 
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:18am
Interesting after hours how the first 8 replies to this article were all positive and made by the leftists on the site (and over a several hour stretch, not like they were the first to see it, I saw nothing worth of replying to for the most part for hours).  Democrats march in lock step.  Fully qualified supreme court judge they will all reject (and my first big article here was how I was not a fan of Kavenaugh), but he is highly qualified.  last 3 liberals, Kagen, SotoMayor, RBG were all elected by large majorities.  Republicans said "president has the choice as long as qualified, questioning ideology isn't our point"
 
Wanna bet Kavenaugh gets confirmed by 55 or less?  as every democrat not in danger in election will vote against?  The only ones that will vote for are those that need to use it to campaign?
 
The hypocrisy of the left is undeniable and inexcusable.  Even more inexcusable is the inability of the republics to point it out and make people aware of how badly they are being used and unrepresented (but then, the republicans would have to admit as well they weren't representing either)
 
The author doesn't realize it but this is the perfect example of collectivism vs individual liberty.  Republicans don't move in lock step because of individual liberty.  The Democrats do because they believe in the collective.  The drones just follow their leader blindly.
 
There is nothing partisan about what I said, either.  SHOW ME A SINGLE EXAMPLE OF WHEN OBAMA EVER COMPROMISED!
 
I can submit dozen of examples were republicans did, even in the last year.  Trump was willing to legalize and make citizen 1.8 million illegals just to get the wall funded.  Democrats rejected.
 
just one obvious example of dozens if not hundreds.  You on the left are complete hypocrites.
 
You believe in diversity not at all, unless it has to do with skin color.  Diversity of thought is completely unacceptable.
 
You got put 8 white,educated males in a room from different parts of america and get a more diverse opinion than you could from pulling a bunch of left leaning folks from different ethnicities.
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:51am
"Wanna bet Kavenaugh gets confirmed by 55 or less?"
 
Whether you think he's "qualified" or not, the views of a nominee are relevant, as is their behavior.  There are serious questions about his views on Roe and regarding the legal vulnerability of a President.  So, let's not pretend that everyone should vote for him, just because of your opinion.
 
"The author doesn't realize it but this is the perfect example of collectivism vs individual liberty."
 
I'm clearly arguing that not only should there be no political parties at all, but more explicitly that people should not be discouraged from voting their own mind in contrast to the parties that we have.
 
What, exactly, do you have to show that's somehow "hypocritical"?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 12, 2018 - 9:55am
You leftists ought to love Kavanagh because he's no friend of the 2nd ammendment.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:06am
Compromise with liberals means only to do things their way or else. Like getting in a kiddie pool with a crocodile and working out the terms of which part of your body he's going to bite off first. 
Jeffrey Kelly Added Sep 12, 2018 - 11:17am
That’s funny, TBH.  I say the same about the Tea Party whackadoodles.
Bill H. Added Sep 12, 2018 - 11:27am
There is much, much more to be concerned with in life other than guns and abortion laws, but apparently to some it is all they think about when it comes to judging political candidates.
Go figure.
Steve Ford Added Sep 12, 2018 - 12:31pm
Brabantio: Everything should be based on issues, not a tribal mindset.
Absolutely!
Several things (e.g. big money) support the tribal intransigence... but something else contributing to this problem, and I haven't heard anyone mention it, is the nature of the legislature "rules" which give the party with a majority (even a very small majority) total control over legislation. We need a system that somehow mandates compromise. Nothing is more important to them than protection their jobs and power. Few of them see themselves as servants of anyone except those that keep them in power.
Koshersalaami Added Sep 12, 2018 - 1:31pm
Name you one thing Obama ever compromised on?
 
Sure. Health care. When he proposed a health care solution, he went for the most conciliatory proposal possible: It was written by the Heritage Foundation, field tested by a Republican governor, and found to work. 
 
I can’t help it if Obama won a second term in 2012 by getting Romney to run against his own successful proposal. Obama literally won because by selecting Romney’s plan he gave it Obama Cooties. The Republican Party took a proposal written by the Heritage Foundation and treated it as though Mao had written it. That wasn’t based on a lack of moderation on Obama’s part. 
 
INOism? It’s a lousy way to address people but it’s one way to express a complaint that an election between two parties doesn’t give as much of an issue choice as the electorate would like. But mainly INO is snark. 
Koshersalaami Added Sep 12, 2018 - 1:37pm
Bill H:
One problem with the way elections work is the nature of the electorate itself: It’s almost impossible to find an issue where the right stand will get one voted for but really easy to find an issue where the wrong stand will get one voted against. Hot button issues are typically not even the issues that affect the most people. What the existence of such issues does is encourage candidates to keep most of their views to themselves because issues function like land mines in elections. 
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 1:49pm
"Health care. When he proposed a health care solution, he went for the most conciliatory proposal possible: It was written by the Heritage Foundation, field tested by a Republican governor, and found to work."
 
That came to mind for me as well, but you brought up an excellent point about it; the ACA was essentially the Republican response to the Clinton health care initiative, so it was their attempt at compromise.  But when Obama presents it, then supposedly it's hardcore liberalism that isn't subject to compromise.
 
I'm really not sure why it wouldn't still count as "compromise", since it was Republicans that came up with it.  Obama could have just brought the Clinton plan back, and then accepted the Heritage Foundation proposal instead.  How could they have complained about that?
wsucram15 Added Sep 12, 2018 - 2:42pm
No one agrees because one party has run on a platform of destroy Obamacare..since 2009, then they stalled all legislation down to 1-2%. Its Congressional record. They got the house, Senate and Presidency and are still at only 3%.
That is a long way from the productivity we used to have from our Congress..and to be honest, that isnt saying much since it was still under 10%, even with bi-partisan troopers.
Should we eliminate blue and red? Nice idea but the mindset is already there and the problems now arent coming from the parties.
The problems are coming from the lack of conviction to party ideals and yes, willingness to work as a team for the people which it is their sworn duty to do.
We are not an autocratic system...and on this the people who stringently support Trump and the rest of us will continue to disagree. They support one person and all he says and does.  Others do not by over double now.
Even Trump himself is backing off on some issues for this cycle, it wont work..too little too late. Congress should have term limits and be wiped clean moving forward, the entire legislative branch is a mess.
 
Spartacus Added Sep 12, 2018 - 2:58pm
 Since political parties were allowed to exist in the first place, two of them naturally ate up the vast majority of all political power.
 
That is a really dumb statement IMO ("imoism") -- particularly the "allowed" word.  WTF ("wtfism") are you talking about?  Are you an American that believes the federal government only "allows" freedom?  I'd say you know little about what Liberty really means.
 
Ok.  Another article that introduces a term (inoism) for something few Americans really care about . . . but makes the "coiner" look like they really know their politics.
You also raised questions which have been asked for at least a hundred years and you never post any solution.   You could have at least had the forethought to state the academic solution which has also been known equally for just as long . . . cap war-chests.
 
If the federal gov capped campaign war-chests you would see all kinds of political parties, of many different flavors, spring up and be able to compete in elections.  As it is, a candidate may win, not on merit, but win because they have better funding -- a bastardization of American founding fathers intentions.  These mega political parties only exist because they are well-funded and as you say, "ate up the vast majority of all political power".
If you think capping war-chests is too extreme perhaps another -- kill corporate campaign donations.
 
You see the real problem is people like you who want your cake and eat it too.  You lefties want the political power but condemn the very system which enables it in the first place.
TexasLynn Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:18pm
I might agree with the contention of your post if not for one political reality. The RINOs (I won't speak for the DINOs) are rarely honest about their differences up front during the election. They're conservative candidates but "moderate" legislators. It's always a bait and switch; a question of honesty.
 
Granted... fool me once shame on you, fool me again and again and again, am I &&%#ing nuts? But that's often how we're stuck with RINO "moderates".
 
A moderate is one who pauses in the middle lane (often with his/her right blinker on) before studiously, deliberately, and invariably... turning left.
 
Be a "maverick". Wear the label with pride. But wear the label all the time... not just when it suits your purpose.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:22pm
When we vote for someone, do we want them to assert their own personal views or do we want them to represent views as compatible with our own as possible?  Are we voting for dictators or public-servant representatives?  If the latter, then political parties are a necessity to collectivize an aggregated set of positions and views that may be selected by voters as most closely representing their own values and interests.  Our political system is a representative republic.  Voters must therefore be able to rely on their candidate's adherence to their party's platform.  A candidate who bears the name and support of a party but does not actually bear allegiance to its collective values represents that party In Name Only but not in reality.  Such a candidate is not truly a representative but is instead an untrustworthy fraud, unworthy of support.  This is why the "-INO" label is such a seriously negative and meaningful charge.
 
Political parties are the means for ensuring discipline and responsibility in candidates.  Now, there is lattitude in primary elections to test the voters' preference or tolerance for one or another variation regarding how to represent a party's collective platform, and the perceived quality of a given candidate.  And the selection of a winning primary candidate influences the party platform, shifting it to conform with the popularity of the winning candidate's views.  But in the general election it is imperative that the electorate must be able to rely on the quality of a candidate's representation of the values collected and codified and ratified in the platform of the party being voted for.  The candidate is no longer an individual, but rather is a responsible accountable representative of the collection of voters who supported his or her party.  If that representative later becomes convinced that the party's view of some issue should change, he or she may press for an alternative view at the party's convention or during a primary election campaign.  If the alternative receives sufficient popular support, it will likely be incorporated into the platform which is to be represented in the next term of service.  In this manner a representative remains responsible to the electorate and to the party for his or her term of service, and does not merit the accusation of "INO" untrustworthiness.
 
How well do candidates conform with this standard?  How careful are we the voters to insist that they do so when they seek re-election?  Do the media aid this process to demand that such standards be upheld?  The answers to these questions hold the key to many of the complaints that are presented about a given administration, whether national, regional/state, or local.  Hence I assert that "INO-ism" is indefensible and that there are alternative methods for seeking adjustments to political policy.
Carole McKee Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:28pm
To say someone is a Republican "in name only" means what? I don't think a party affiliation has anything to do with a person being decent, logical, understanding, kind, caring, or nice. It shouldn't, anyway. It does seem as though the GOP members are none of the above, with the exception of John McCain. He has a good man.
 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 12, 2018 - 3:36pm
You're right, Carole, that party affiliation is a different matter from personal character qualities.  Party affiliation is a matter of political positions and views about policy development and administration.  The answer to your question about a Republican In Name Only (or any "-INO") must be sought in a comparison between their public statements of their views, their voting record, and their party's ideological platform.  If either of the first two deviate from the third, you may have an "-INO", depending, perhaps, on the severity and frequency of the deviance.
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 4:11pm
"Are you an American that believes the federal government only "allows" freedom?  I'd say you know little about what Liberty really means."
 
No.  What does that have to do with what I said at all?  Political parties aren't necessary, and they aren't conducive to reasonable dialogue.  There was no reason that they needed to be allowed when our government was formed.  I have no idea what you're reacting to there.
 
"You see the real problem is people like you who want your cake and eat it too.  You lefties want the political power but condemn the very system which enables it in the first place."
 
I want our decisions based on reasonable discussion, as implied both above and in the article.  Taking the enormous influence of money out of the system is also something that I'd like to see, but I didn't see it as being necessary to the point about how we talk about people that don't conform to their parties.
 
Perhaps you should read the article again.  Your criticisms don't match up with anything that I said.
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 4:15pm
"The RINOs (I won't speak for the DINOs) are rarely honest about their differences up front during the election. They're conservative candidates but "moderate" legislators."
 
Which fits in with the choice that I mentioned, yes.  The only alternative is to run third-party, or else you run the risk of being rejected by the party itself and its loyalists.  If people disagree with specific policies, that's one thing, but simply opposing moderates because they don't conform seems inappropriate to me.
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 5:03pm
"Are we voting for dictators or public-servant representatives?  If the latter, then political parties are a necessity to collectivize an aggregated set of positions and views that may be selected by voters as most closely representing their own values and interests."
 
False choice, for starters.  We can choose people that generally represent an ideology, and political parties aren't necessary to dictate positions.  Voters can choose among candidates based on their positions on issues, not based on a label which is supposed to represent a set of positions.
 
"But in the general election it is imperative that the electorate must be able to rely on the quality of a candidate's representation of the values collected and codified and ratified in the platform of the party being voted for."
 
If the party platform shifts to fit the candidate, then how is that a problem?
 
Further, let's say you've been in Congress for ten years.  You have someone from the same party that becomes President, who varies from the positions that have been acceptable for the last ten years.  Now, your "label" suddenly means something else, and you are "in name only" because the party platform has shifted under your feet.
 
Why are you obligated to change your position based on such a thing?  Shouldn't those in power have principles, instead of marching in lockstep?
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 12, 2018 - 5:58pm
Party discipline that ensures the voters of representative reliability is not the same as "lockstep" marching. A party platform doesn't change on merely one candidate's popularity, but on a broader constituency. If a longstanding representative finds that the aggregated views of his party have shifted from his own, or vice versa, he may try to shift them again his way in his next primary bid for re-election or in a party convention. If the electorate agrees with him, perhaps the party platform will shift also.  If not, he can resign because he can no longer represent his party and constituents adequately. More likely, his bid for re-election will fail in favor of someone more representative. The key to democracy is representation of one's constituency as perceived by the electorate. 
Brabantio Added Sep 12, 2018 - 6:24pm
"If the electorate agrees with him, perhaps the party platform will shift also.  If not, he can resign because he can no longer represent his party and constituents adequately."
 
What asserts that a party's platform represents the constituents adequately?  The party can shift and simply give people to either go along or vote for the opposition.  Also, notice that your construct still means that people should march in lockstep, you're merely saying that one person might be able to influence the platform.
 
No matter how you cut it, you're not allowing for principled representation.
wsucram15 Added Sep 12, 2018 - 7:04pm
Lynn I disagree with your statement about right blinkers then turning left or whatever you said about moderates.
Look a moderate such as myself, has beliefs in both parties but does not agree with an extreme on either side.  I cant be a liberal because ideologically I dont agree with everything they stand for, especially the far left.
The same goes with the Republican party..I cant agree with everything they stand for, especially the far right. 
I have never found an independent party that was slightly realistic so I vote the best way i can depending on the platform and political history of the candidates.
I will say that I have worked more Republican campaigns than Democrat, and have no favor to either party whatsoever.  I like what I like and dislike what I dislike.
 But some people always have to find a place somewhere for things they cant classify or understand. 
I will say this though..in ALL of my votes but ONE  will be democratic this midterm, even against my Republican governor I again campaigned for..not this time guy.  Perhaps in 2020 we will have a better group of people.
 
 
Bill H. Added Sep 12, 2018 - 8:36pm
Jeanne - even though we both consider ourselves "moderates", with this group, anything a bit left of "Far Right" is considered "Liberal Progressive Commie Left Wing Pinko Socialist".
We got us some "doozies" out here! 
Spartacus Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:12pm
Perhaps you should read the article again.  Your criticisms don't match up with anything that I said.
 
You are bitching about a two-party system and ask questions about why individual politicians often do not match either party's policies.  You offer no solutions . . . just questions and ridiculous memes.
 
But as a matter of principle, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be this consumed by the demands of either “team” that competes for power in our country.
 
Perhaps if you gave an example of just how we "shouldn't allow ourselves to be consumed by the demands" of either party, that would be a huge leap forward in an essay that could have been written by the average 14-year-old.
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:15pm
Whether you think he's "qualified" or not, the views of a nominee are relevant, as is their behavior.
 
Only as far as the left RBG was almost unanimously put in place. Kagen by a large majority, Sotomayor less so as there was a large discussion about her being very underqualified. Republicans are of the mind "elections have consequences. The president gets the benefit of the doubt, as long as they are qualified, that is what matters".  Historically Democrats were like this as well Until it came Reagan nominees.
 
Views shouldn't matter.  As a constitutionalist, they shouldn't be ruling on personal views but on the constitution.  This is a very recent and very democrat change.
 
If the legal vulnerability of a president was so important, why was that never asked of Obama appointees?  I personally hope that question goes before the supreme court because the constitution and the DOJ in briefs written by democrat and republicans at different times assert that while in office, the president cannot be prosecuted.
 
This is only important because of the "Get Trump" rhetoric.
 
Your entire comment is hypocritical because you would never assert any of these things against a democrat nominee.  It is all because it is a nominee that will help slow down the anti-constitutional progressive agenda.
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:19pm
That’s funny, TBH.  I say the same about the Tea Party whackadoodles.
 
Explain Jeffry.  What Tea Party Whackadoodle has done a single thing threatening?  In fact, name a single one that has ever even been arrested at a protest?  They are in fact, well known for leaving their protests actually cleaner than when they came.  They are always respectful.  Your hyperpartisanship is atrocious.  Clearly you don't know a thing about the TEA party as you continue to disseminate incorrect misinformation about who they are and what they do.
 
They also have no power, they are just citizen protestors.  That is very different than democrats making laws and approving judges.
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:32pm

Sure. Health care. When he proposed a health care solution, he went for the most conciliatory proposal possible: It was written by the Heritage Foundation, field tested by a Republican governor, and found to work. 
 
That is all false.  he "compromised" so much he get exactly ZERO republican votes.  A majority of americans didn't want it.  Democrats ran it through in the middle of the night on christmas eve not allowing any amendments.  It was written by the Tides Foundation - a George Soros funded foundation.  The Heritage foundation was furious when they were credited with the 1993 health care plan, but that had nothing to do with Obama Care.  The Massachusetts health care plan was legal at a state level and very much unlike ObamaCare it was not "field tested", in fact most democrats never even knew what was in the bill they voted for before voting for it as admitted in the infamous quote by Nancy Pelosi "We have to pass the bill to know what is in the bill"
 
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:40pm
When we vote for someone, do we want them to assert their own personal views or do we want them to represent views as compatible with our own as possible? 
 
We want both of those, they aren't incompatible.  That is the entire idea of our representative republic.  I want someone who represents my values and I vote for the person running that most closely does while I know they won't always agree with them.
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:42pm

To say someone is a Republican "in name only" means what?
 
Each party has a platform of principles.  a Republican in name only is a member of the party who doesn't conform to that platform in the way they vote.
Ken Added Sep 12, 2018 - 10:47pm
What asserts that a party's platform represents the constituents adequately? 
 
That is set every 4 years by the delegates elected by the voters to go to the national convention.  Platforms regularly change and less frequently politicians change parties because they feel more affiliation with the principles of the other party.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:26am
@Brabantio -- While our last exchange has now been succeeded by a flurry of other posts, allow me to return to my emphasis that "principled representation" is not representation of the voters' will, but of the personal will of one elected. That is contrary to democracy. The highest principle for an elected representative must be to represent the voters. The voters are not selecting a king or even a petty tyrant, regardless of how clever he or she may be. They are selecting someone to carry their aggregate voice. There is an inherent limit to a public servant's freedom to innovate or depart from the platform on which they were elected, and the public should demand justification for any such attempt. Only if they accept such explanation, and agree collectively to re-elect, may a public servant continue to represent them. That's how a democratic republic system is supposed to work. 
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:49am
"You are bitching about a two-party system and ask questions about why individual politicians often do not match either party's policies."
 
No, I'm saying that variation from the party shouldn't be grounds for criticism in and of itself, specifically because we have a two-party system.
 
"Perhaps if you gave an example of just how we "shouldn't allow ourselves to be consumed by the demands" of either party, that would be a huge leap forward in an essay that could have been written by the average 14-year-old."
 
By accepting variations from the party line, which was obviously the entire point.
 
That was easy.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:56am
"Republicans are of the mind "elections have consequences. The president gets the benefit of the doubt, as long as they are qualified, that is what matters"."
 
I take it that you were up in arms about Republicans blocking any SCOTUS pick in 2016, then.  Yes, that's sarcasm.
 
"Views shouldn't matter.  As a constitutionalist, they shouldn't be ruling on personal views but on the constitution."
 
The nominee's views.  Kavanaugh's views matter when evaluating him for a seat on the highest court.  Good lord.
 
"If the legal vulnerability of a president was so important, why was that never asked of Obama appointees?"
 
Because there were no major investigations and no discussion of impeachment, obviously.
 
"Your entire comment is hypocritical because you would never assert any of these things against a democrat nominee."
 
No, if a Democrat were embroiled in a scandal of this nature and this magnitude, I think it's fair to ask that Democrat's SCOTUS nominee their views about potential consequences.  I would say "nice try", but it wasn't.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:12am
"While our last exchange has now been succeeded by a flurry of other posts, allow me to return to my emphasis that "principled representation" is not representation of the voters' will, but of the personal will of one elected."
 
This is, in fact, the only purpose to having representation at all.  If we're supposed to have people's opinions be the unfiltered source of all decisions, then there's really no need to elect anyone to convey that; a direct vote would suffice.
 
"The voters are not selecting a king or even a petty tyrant, regardless of how clever he or she may be."
 
Right, but they aren't a king because they're accountable in elections.  That doesn't mean that they need to be a puppet.
 
Here's a perfectly straightforward question for you: do you ever think that there's a situation where taxes should be raised?  Assuming that the answer is "yes", now think about people voluntarily saying that they want their taxes raised.  Does that seem likely to you?  And if your answer to the first question is "no", then that's an even better demonstration of the problem with a lack of principled representation, since that would suggest that at some point, we probably wouldn't have taxation at all in order to attend to local issues such as road repair, or to pay our military, etc.
 
Essentially, the whole idea of a representative democracy is to select people that can govern us.  It's a bit like parenting.  From a child's perspective a parent may be unfair because the child can't stay up until midnight on a school night, but then when the children all grow up and have children of their own, they get it.  We should try to pick people that have better judgement and critical thinking skills than the average citizen, not a mirror image of that citizen.
 
Wouldn't that sometimes involve people that don't always reflect our will?  And, again, that may cost that representative at the voting booth later, so they have to pick their battles and do their best to justify their decisions to the constituents.
 
Is that unreasonable, really?
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:12am
I take it that you were up in arms about Republicans blocking any SCOTUS pick in 2016, then.  Yes, that's sarcasm.
 
That is a completely disingenuous and false narrative.  No president in over 100 years has nominated someone in the final lame duck year of a presidency.  Obama is the only one.  They never questioned any nomination EXCEPT for that specific one.  Even with what has become known as "the Biden rule" that his Vice president created in 1992 stating that no president should do that and that any nominee would be rejected in the final year and the voters should decide who they want on the bench in the election.
 
Of course, this probably escapes you as you are clearly posting your agenda
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:24am
Because there were no major investigations and no discussion of impeachment, obviously.
 
"Your entire comment is hypocritical because you would never assert any of these things against a democrat nominee."
 
No, if a Democrat were embroiled in a scandal of this nature and this magnitude, I think it's fair to ask that Democrat's SCOTUS nominee their views about potential consequences.  I would say "nice try", but it wasn't.
 
This absolutely proves your intellectual dishonesty that others have asserted in my article  about the democrat attempt to destroy the electoral college.
 
You clearly are not uninformed, you simply are twisting to your ideological belief.  Obama is being revealed to have perpetrated the greatest political scandal in American history, The greatest abuse of power, and the entire investigation against Trump is clearly being proven to be a complete sham if not a total coup.
 
What authentic "impeachment" call is there?  what high crime or misdemeanor (and I clearly defined elsewhere misdemeanor of the founders wasn't as we define a misdemeanor today)?  Maxine Waters constant calls to "impeach 45"?  the fact that they have been calling for impeachment from the night his win was declared before he even was inaugurated?
 
You are entirely disingenuous and just a leftist "useful idiot".  You disguise your partisanship in "why do we have parties" - but you should read Washington's Farewell Address. 222 years ago he was warning America against specifically someone like you.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:32am
"No president in over 100 years has nominated someone in the final lame duck year of a presidency.  Obama is the only one."
 
Reagan was awfully close with the Kennedy pick.  Is there an official cutoff date?
 
"They never questioned any nomination EXCEPT for that specific one."
 
So what?
 
"Even with what has become known as "the Biden rule" that his Vice president created in 1992 stating that no president should do that and that any nominee would be rejected in the final year and the voters should decide who they want on the bench in the election."
 
Speaking of "disingenuous and false narrative", let's take a look at yours: https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/mar/17/context-biden-rule-supreme-court-nominations/
 
So, Biden not only did not create any "rule", but he was saying that the confirmation process shouldn't begin until after the election.  He absolutely did not say that Congress should refuse to have hearings for any nominee from Bush.  Further, even if Biden did say anything of the sort, that would be a gigantic tu quoque argument; it doesn't speak to the merits of the idea, it only claims hypocrisy.  And even beyond that, how do "final lame duck year of a presidency" and "1992" coexist in your brain?  Do you know who was running in the general election as a Republican in 1992?  How would a comment on that situation automatically carry over to 2016, since the circumstances were different?
 
I have no idea how you thought you were going to get that one past me.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:39am
"Obama is being revealed to have perpetrated the greatest political scandal in American history, The greatest abuse of power, and the entire investigation against Trump is clearly being proven to be a complete sham if not a total coup."
 
Your wild-eyed ranting aside, you're talking about things that we've only talked about after his time in office.  Now look at what you quoted.
 
"What authentic "impeachment" call is there?  what high crime or misdemeanor (and I clearly defined elsewhere misdemeanor of the founders wasn't as we define a misdemeanor today)?"
 
Most Democrats aren't calling for impeachment yet, but the investigation at hand could obviously yield impeachable results.  That's true whether you like it or not, and supposedly you aren't a fan of Trump to begin with.
 
"You disguise your partisanship in "why do we have parties" - but you should read target="_blank">Washington's Farewell Address. 222 years ago he was warning America against specifically someone like you."
 
No, I genuinely oppose the very concept of political parties.  Thank you for the attempt at a mind-reading demonstration, but you've failed.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:30am
Reagan was awfully close with the Kennedy pick.  Is there an official cutoff date?
 
yet another lie.  Bork was first choice, then Ginsberg, and finally Kennedy.  Bork was nominated in year 7, and was sabotaged, primarily by Ted Kennedy (an actual  russian collaborator).
 
But of course , in your disingenuous, dishonest nature, you ignore that fact.
 
Lol, you argue "the Biden rule" isn't a rule because it wasn't "official" again, a disingenuous lie.  It has been referred to over the past 30 years, pointing out that his comment which was simply named "the Biden rule" even though it wasn't official, played into effect.  Funny how he ignored that in 2016 when berating republicans for refusing to vote on the judge.
 
Actually most democrats WERE, but they have been asked to quiet themselves for the midterms by Shumer and Pelosi.  If the democrats take a majority in the house, there is 100% chance Trump will be impeached for nothing, just as Andrew Johnson was in 1867.  He had 12 articles of impeachment drafted against him, all of which were faulty because of unconstitutional laws drafted that he vetoed but he had senate and hose super majorities against him.  The only reason he wasn't convicted in the senate was 1 senator who was willing to destroy his senate career wouldn't convict on simply due to party.  He knew it was a travesty.  After 3 separate votes, Johnson (who I don't hold in high respect in general and think was one of our worst presidents0, was allowed to stay in office because of a single vote from a senator who had a conscience and knew what was right.
 
Apparently you don't, and don't care, as long as it you can run with your ideology, and force it, you are good.
 
You are completely intellectually dishonest
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 13, 2018 - 4:04am
It seems to me, Brabantio, that you're ignoring nuances that distinguish, for example, between responsible representation and puppethood.  The purposes of representation are not limited to "filtering" popular opinion, but include also the compilation and evaluation of complex information that a single individual may manage more efficiently than can an entire electorate grouping.  It is out of such information that Occasional hard decisions might need to be made apart from specific instructions from the public via a referendum or similar mechanism.  Election are not the sole form of accountability for a public servant, but only a gross external one.  Much more important are personal character and an overriding sense of responsibility to comply with the electorate's aggregate wishes, as best they can be discerned.

Your analogy comparing an elected official's behavior with the parenting of children is condescending and literally paternalistic.  That is not how the founding fathers viewed the electorate that consisted of responsible adult citizens.  Those citizens deserve to be represented accurately, and not dismissed as children who can't control themselves -- which is to say that they really can't govern themselves.  That is the attitude that leads to tyranny.  A responsible adult representative must be mature enough to set aside personal wishes in favor of those he has agreed to represent.  The goal is for a representative to help us to govern ourselves, not to govern us despite ourselves.

However, it is not out of occasional hard decisions that an "-INO" is made.  It is rather a consistent ideological departure from the aggregate agreements that are represented by party platforms.  An "-INO" is not just a maverick, and not merely someone whose responsibility to his or her local constituency requires them to prioritize some issues more or less than others and differently from the party as a whole.  At issue here is a matter of the principles which characterize a political outlook, and whether an elected representative will act responsibly to represent them.  If not, they are being dishonest with their party, their constituency, or both.

You may note, in my several posts here, that I have upheld the value of political parties.  To me, they represent yet another mechanism by which the electorate is represented.  Voters are elected popularly as representatives to the party conventions where party platform issues are debated and ratified.  Thus is codified an aggregate representation of the public will and values relative to a general political outlook and ideology.  This becomes a means and standard by which to guide and to evaluate the performance of other elected representatives, who themselves also participate in the formulation or adjustment of the party platform.  The existence of such standards is another means to ensure accurate representation of public will.  It helps to keep the power of government in the hands of the people who are governed rather than in the whims of elected governors.

Hence, I will turn your own question back to you: "Is that unreasonable, really?"
Flying Junior Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:12am
Ken,
 
I know that you republicans will never admit it or may not even understand it.  You will trot out the famous vote for the PPACA as being passed by a straight divide between democrats and republicans.
 
But the truth is that this bill was crafted to win support from moderate republicans from day one.  Who knows what might have happened if Traitor Joe Lieberman had not sided with the republican senators in filibustering the Senate bill which included a public option.
 
But this bill was hammered out to appeal to moderate republicans in hopes of passage from day one.  Who can really say why the one lone voice of sanity amongst the republican senators, Olympia Snowe, ultimately voted with the wicked republicans.  But the bill had many compromises that were very centrist.  It very much resembled the state model passed by Massachusetts.  It favored maintaining the relationship between insurance companies and healthcare providers as the foundation of medical care in the U.S.
 
In retrospect that was clearly a mistake as the vicious republicans have fought to cripple the historic measure ever since it was passed.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:29am
"It is out of such information that Occasional hard decisions might need to be made apart from specific instructions from the public via a referendum or similar mechanism."
 
Then you agree that our representatives might need to make decisions which the public may disagree with?
 
"Those citizens deserve to be represented accurately, and not dismissed as children who can't control themselves -- which is to say that they really can't govern themselves."
 
I didn't say anything like "dismissing" anyone.  The people govern themselves by selecting wiser people to do it, but there's no purpose to being controlled by the constituents.  How do you compromise like that?
 
"That is the attitude that leads to tyranny.  A responsible adult representative must be mature enough to set aside personal wishes in favor of those he has agreed to represent."
 
Then, again, you're not allowing for representatives to have principles.  And it's not tyranny since there's accountability.
 
"Thus is codified an aggregate representation of the public will and values relative to a general political outlook and ideology."
 
Still not a requirement at all, since candidates can run on their own principles.  Let the people decide what they like instead of trying to "codify" a set of beliefs for everyone to follow.
 
"It helps to keep the power of government in the hands of the people who are governed rather than in the whims of elected governors."
 
The people have the same power either way.  So, yes, I don't really see the reason in that argument.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:42am
"yet another lie.  Bork was first choice, then Ginsberg, and finally Kennedy."
 
And Kennedy was confirmed in 1988.  Bork was a poor choice, so that's not the fault of Democrats.  Sorry.  Ginsberg didn't even make it to the hearing, if I recall correctly.
 
"Lol, you argue "the Biden rule" isn't a rule because it wasn't "official" again, a disingenuous lie."
 
Because it's not a rule, and the circumstances were different anyway.
 
"It has been referred to over the past 30 years, pointing out that his comment which was simply named "the Biden rule" even though it wasn't official, played into effect."
 
Who cares if people "referred" to it?  If it's not a rule, then nobody's obligated to adhere to it.  What are you smoking?
 
"Apparently you don't, and don't care, as long as it you can run with your ideology, and force it, you are good."
 
What are you babbling about?  I specified the investigation, so impeachment should rely on those findings.  How is that "partisan" in any way?
 
You lied, you got caught.  Go cry somewhere else.
Flying Junior Added Sep 13, 2018 - 5:57am
omyfuckingawd
 
So we have that idiot Biden to blame for Gorsuch?
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 13, 2018 - 7:33am
Are you hearing your own words, Brabantio?

//The people govern themselves by selecting wiser people to do it, but there's no purpose to being controlled by the constituents.//

Since when are elected officials wiser than their constituents?  Do you not hear your paternalism and snobbery and baseless presumption of superiority?  These officials are no better than those who elect them, and sometimes they are not anywhere near being as wise.  Do you not hear your dismissal of the wisdom of the people who do the voting, who are to be presumed to be just as responsible as those whom they select to represent them?

I put it to you that any officials who fall prey to the notion that they are somehow superior to the people who placed them into their offices, and thereby set aside the values and wishes of those voters, have become petty tyrants.  They may feel that they have the best of motives, and the well-being of their constituents at heart.  They may have become "benign" dictators.  But they have despised the democracy that gave them power; they have rejected the subtle accountability of self-discipline that places the wishes of their constituents first.  Of course they are to be "controlled by the constituents"!  That is the definition of a democracy, and its primary purpose.

Responsible compliance with the voters' wishes should not be deemed contrary to an official's application of whatever political wisdom he or she may possess and apply to accomplish the job for which the voters sent them.  It does not prevent reasonable compromise; though it should constrain some kinds of compromise that are inimical to the values of their constituency.

Candidates do not run on their own principles, nor on just any old set of principles.  They promise to uphold the Constitution and other laws.  They do not campaign on deviation from their party's platform principles unless they have some clear indication that a significant majority of their constituents prefer their alternative principle.  A Republican candidate does not campaign on Democratic Party principles, and vice versa.  If he or she wishes to campaign on principles independently of a particular party, they must create a new party unless some existing party will allow them to use their name for such independent self-representation.

Autocrats do not make good representatives.  They are not team players.  They represent only themselves, or their own ideology -- rather than that of the people whom they are supposed to represent.  That is why Independents are virtually never elected to major office.  Even an iconoclast like Donald Trump had to conform to the Republican Party platform constraints and processes sufficiently to receive their support.  And the only hope that he may be re-elected is if he can demonstrate that his maverick policies are sufficiently beneficial to a sufficient number of voters.  These are the people he may claim legitimately to represent.  On the other hand, Obama acted as a presumably benign dictator when he decided to force governmental healthcare into law in the middle of the night.  That trainwreck is still not cleaned up; and many people have lost their former healthcare choices because of it, because government programs deal with groups and collectives rather than with individual needs and choices.  Healthcare, unlike government, is not an aggregate service; it is an individual one.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:43am
And Kennedy was confirmed in 1988.  Bork was a poor choice, so that's not the fault of Democrats.  Sorry.  Ginsberg didn't even make it to the hearing, if I recall correctly.
 
Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 because 2 choices in 1987 were rejected.  Bork wasn't a poor choice.  He was one of the finest legal minds of the 20th century.  He was targeted and submarined by Ted Kennedy who tried to do the same thing with Clarence Thomas but failed.  It is astounding how you twist the truth to fit your talking points constantly.
 
How were the circumstances different?  There wasn't even a seat open, but in 1992 Biden said they would confirm no nominee in the final year of the presidency.  The only difference in circumstance is that the party is different and there actually was a vacancy.
 
The senate has the responsibility to advise and consent.  They chose not to consent to Obama's choice and let the voters decide.
 
You have an astounding ability to twist facts, take any nuance out of what people say and then argue against it if it doesn't fit your world view.  That is called lying.
 
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:48am
I put it to you that any officials who fall prey to the notion that they are somehow superior to the people who placed them into their offices, and thereby set aside the values and wishes of those voters, have become petty tyrants.
 
This nails it and is one of the biggest issues we have in our currently bloated government.  They don't govern us, they rule us now.  They make laws that we are subject to but then exempt themselves.  They enrich themselves in their positions - very few come out of congress that aren't multi-millionaires, and most didn't go in as much.  They are enriching themselves at our expense, and much of it is not about representing us, but gathering power.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 11:55am
FJ - you are so wrong and just being ideological.  When you say Olympia Snowe - who was a democrat with an R next to her name was the only reasonable of the (your characterization) "evil republicans"  you show absolutely no objectivity.  during the entire process there was never less than 60% of America AGAINST it, so those darn evil republicans representing their constituents, huh?  I would argue it is the EVIL DEMOCRATS who were not representing the interests of their constituents.  Over 80% of Americans were happy with their current health care.  Millions of them have no lost that. 
 
Name the "moderate republicans" that you say helped draft it?  It was written almost entirely by 2-3 democrat think tanks, primarily the Tides foundation.  It was written to fail and break down and bankrupt the private health care system so we would be forced to go to single payer (government run) health care.  they have admitted as much since it was passed, and it was passed off to Americans through multiple series of flagrant lies - in fact the primary author of it spoke proudly in a speech about how they lied because the American people are too stupid.
 
Amazing how you rewrite history.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:05pm
RINO has specific meaning where elected officials tend to vote across party lines. It is a negative label. 
 
I am not a DINO.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 12:55pm
"Since when are elected officials wiser than their constituents?  Do you not hear your paternalism and snobbery and baseless presumption of superiority?"
 
I'm not seeing the problem with saying that we're supposed to elect people that know how to govern, as opposed to the average person.  Are you saying that it's wrong to say that some people are better suited to a job than others?
 
"I put it to you that any officials who fall prey to the notion that they are somehow superior to the people who placed them into their offices, and thereby set aside the values and wishes of those voters, have become petty tyrants."
 
Essentially, you're advocating for direct democracy.  If the people want something that runs against the Constitution, should representatives follow their lead?  Or should they point out that it is, you know, against the Constitution?  There has to be some line here, but I'm not seeing it.
 
"It does not prevent reasonable compromise; though it should constrain some kinds of compromise that are inimical to the values of their constituency."
 
How do you compromise on behalf of someone else without asserting your own judgement?
 
"They promise to uphold the Constitution and other laws."
 
Now you're becoming delusional.  There is nothing inconsistent between principles and the Constitution.
 
"If he or she wishes to campaign on principles independently of a particular party, they must create a new party unless some existing party will allow them to use their name for such independent self-representation."
 
Which requires lockstep, as noted.
 
"They are not team players."
 
People with their own principles are team players, they just don't conform to the type of team that you like.
 
"On the other hand, Obama acted as a presumably benign dictator when he decided to force governmental healthcare into law in the middle of the night."
 
Are you trying to say that the constituents of Democrats didn't want governmental healthcare?  Really?
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:00pm
""They promise to uphold the Constitution and other laws.""
 
And, they lie about this as well. 
 
Vote   out the left.
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:03pm
"Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 because 2 choices in 1987 were rejected."
 
Too bad.  Congress wasn't obligated to approve Bork.  Again, I'm quite sure that Ginsberg dropped out on his own, so he wasn't "rejected".
 
"It is astounding how you twist the truth to fit your talking points constantly."
 
Your opinion is not "truth".
 
"How were the circumstances different?  There wasn't even a seat open, but in 1992 Biden said they would confirm no nominee in the final year of the presidency."
 
First hint: 1992 was not a "lame duck" year (as I already pointed out).  I've also debunked your claim; Biden said no such thing.  He specifically said that there should not be a hearing until after the election, not that Bush couldn't nominate someone nor that the nominee wouldn't be confirmed before the next presidential term.  For the love of all that's holy, quit lying about this.
 
"The senate has the responsibility to advise and consent.  They chose not to consent to Obama's choice and let the voters decide."
 
No, they refused to hear any choice.  They didn't reject Garland out of hand and say "pick someone else".  They flatly refused to hear any nominee, even though "elections have consequences", as you said Republicans believed.
 
They could do what they did without breaking any rules, but don't pretend that it was justifiable, or that Republicans respect the role of the President in picking a justice.
 
Anything else?
Carole McKee Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:18pm
Ya know, if I had professioal speech writers writing my posts, you would all think I was a freaking genius. Truth is, very few politicians are all that intelligent. They get elected because they have charm, charisma, bullshit, and professioal writers. There are exceptions, but very few.
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:40pm
  He specifically said that there should not be a hearing until after the election, not that Bush couldn't nominate someone nor that the nominee wouldn't be confirmed before the next presidential term
 
This again shows your complete inability to understand nuance (or simply your lack of willingness so you can argue for argument's sake.   You seem disinterested in legitimate discussion and only interested in "winning" your side
 
How will anyone be confirmed if there is no hearing?  I also never said the president couldn't nominate someone
Brabantio Added Sep 13, 2018 - 1:45pm
"How will anyone be confirmed if there is no hearing?"
 
There would be a hearing, after the election.
 
"I also never said the president couldn't nominate someone"
 
Meaning that there wouldn't be a hearing at all, obviously.  It's entirely nonsensical to say "you can nominate someone, but we're not going to ever have a hearing".  There would be no purpose to the nomination that way.  Can you grasp that nuance?
 
You made a ridiculous comment, lied about what Biden said, and I called you out on it.  If you don't like that, then don't make absurdly partisan arguments that you should know don't hold water.
 
All that you're doing is projecting your failures onto me.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:01pm
Noisy sour grapes on the Garland and Brett Kavanaugh issues!
 
I suppose the lefties forgot about the Bork and Thomas trials by Dems. Their conduct was pristine in those two instances. 
 
We need to pack the court!!
Ken Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:10pm
the sad thing Ryck is that Garland and Kavenaugh agreed in the majority opinion 93% of the time.  They both served on the same district court in Washington, DC
 
Brabantio - your nuance argument is ridiculous. a paraphrased the spirit of what he said, I didn't go look up the exact quote, nor did i ever state it was an exact quote.  Whether it is meaningless to nominate someone or not, I never said they couldn't nominate.  You are ismply incapable or unwilling  of understanding nuance and are trying to get it leterally said to you in minute detail.  You are simply doing that to get into the weeds and try and trip up the conversation so you can find a point to jump on and "win".  pathetic.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 13, 2018 - 2:40pm
My esteemed Brabantio -- I never said that it's wrong to say that some people are better suited to a job than others.  I would, however, suggest that for this particular kind of job as a people's representative an average, reasonably intelligent individual is better qualified to "represent" the public than, say, an elite class of professional politicians or wannabe tyrants.  Think of Jimmy Stewart in the film "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" as a model.

Once again, I am *not* advocating for direct democracy or mob rule; I am advocating for responsible representation.  You present a straw-man in suggesting that the people might demand something unconstitutional and a representative might have to restrain them or inform them that it is so.  You neglect that the electorate is not monolithic and that it does not consist of ignorant dummies, by and large.  In fact, it includes more than a few lawyers who could just as easily comment on any grassroots effort to subvert the Constitution.  The media wouldn't ignore such a thing either.

//How do you compromise on behalf of someone else without asserting your own judgement?//

Another straw-man.  The answer is simply to limit and nuance any required compromise by weighing the wishes of the represented constituency.  I never said that a representative wouldn't be required or allowed to use judgment.  I said that they could not ignore the wishes of those they must represent.

I also said that they do not campaign on just any old principles or their own select favorites.  I didn't say that principles and the Constitution are naturally inconsistent; but a candidates principles must be consistent with the constraints of the law and of the people they must represent, which includes the expression of them in the platform of the party by which the selection of a candidate is accomplished.  You exaggerate out of proportion by invoking the term "lockstep", which is not at all the same as respectful conformity with the principles that form a basis for one's election.

Such a basis defines the type of "team" on which a candidate commits himself or herself to play by accepting nomination.  Candidates who cannot conform with such a commitment are *not* team players; and if they try to play according to some other team's principles, or any other principles that are inconsistent with the party they represent, they have betrayed the trust and commitment on which they campaigned or achieved election.
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 1:11am
"a paraphrased the spirit of what he said, I didn't go look up the exact quote, nor did i ever state it was an exact quote."
 
You: "Even with what has become known as "the Biden rule" that his Vice president created in 1992 stating that no president should do that and that any nominee would be rejected in the final year and the voters should decide who they want on the bench in the election."
 
Your paraphrasing was utterly inaccurate, since Biden's suggestion didn't involve voters deciding anything.  Even if I take your story at face value, you were still "talking out of your ass", as I believe your phrasing went on another article.
 
Learn a lesson here.  Please.
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 1:20am
"I never said that it's wrong to say that some people are better suited to a job than others."
 
Then you should have no problem with what I said.
 
"You present a straw-man in suggesting that the people might demand something unconstitutional and a representative might have to restrain them or inform them that it is so."
 
A question about your views can't be a strawman, by definition.
 
"You neglect that the electorate is not monolithic and that it does not consist of ignorant dummies, by and large."
 
No, I'm well aware that the electorate is not monolithic; that's one of my reasons for disagreeing with the bundling of issues by a party that isn't supposed to be disobeyed.
 
"I said that they could not ignore the wishes of those they must represent."
 
It's still not clear how any variation from the "wishes" is acceptable.  How would one know how far to compromise?  Also, refer to my point about how a question can't be a strawman, again.
 
"You exaggerate out of proportion by invoking the term "lockstep", which is not at all the same as respectful conformity with the principles that form a basis for one's election."
 
I'm not exaggerating in the slightest, since you said that anyone varying from the platform should run as third-party or resign.  That is demanding lockstep, clearly.
 
"Candidates who cannot conform with such a commitment are *not* team players; and if they try to play according to some other team's principles, or any other principles that are inconsistent with the party they represent, they have betrayed the trust and commitment on which they campaigned or achieved election."
 
Which proves my directly previous point quite well.  Thank you.
 
Where is your answer about governmental healthcare?
Ken Added Sep 14, 2018 - 2:20am
 Your paraphrasing was utterly inaccurate, since Biden's suggestion didn't involve voters deciding anything.  Even if I take your story at face value, you were still "talking out of your ass", as I believe your phrasing went on another article.
 
again your complete lack of nuance ability.  or just your insistence to try and make a point assuming others have it.If Biden's suggestion didn't involve the voters deciding anything, why did he insist on waiting until after the election...you know, that thing voters do?
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 3:31am
"If Biden's suggestion didn't involve the voters deciding anything, why did he insist on waiting until after the election...you know, that thing voters do?"
 
Because it would be Bush's pick.  The hearing would just be after the election.  Do you see the difference between Bush still getting a hearing for his nominee and Obama not getting a hearing for his nominee?  It's very subtle, I know.
 
Read the link that I gave you.  This is not complicated.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 14, 2018 - 9:08am
Jeanne
 
Here in Europe you would find a party which corresponds with your opinions I guess. They're called social democrats. NOT what the US defines as socialists.
 
Multiparty systems come closer to fair governing than 2 parties which are essentially the same representants of the economy.
 
They require consensus. The art of compromise.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:03am
The "fairness" of multiparty coalition governing systems doesn't of itself indicate how well the system actually represents the voters, nor whether the voters select individual candidates directly or whether the party selects them internally by some internal rating system, insulating them from the voters who then only select a party as a whole ideological unit.  Both of these options are possible, and systems vary.  I'm not sure how many variations may exist in Europe, and there is sometimes a bit of a mixture of the two above in the Israeli system.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:46am
A straw-man, Brabantio, is an argument, assertion or question that is unrealistic and cannot stand on its own merits.  Yours to me was about a scenario that I explained couldn't actually happen, and therefore was inappropriate to raise as if it could be an issue.

//It's still not clear how any variation from the "wishes" is acceptable.  How would one know how far to compromise?//

It seems to me that you are ignoring or not actually understanding the notion of "responsible representation", or responsiveness to the previously-expressed wishes of constituents as codified partly in a selected party platform.  You correctly noted the need for the use of personal judgment which is the character trait of perspicacity.  An elected representative must then be evaluated on the patterns evidenced by the history of their decisions in office.  The trend toward "-INO-ism" is gradual, progressive or cumulative, and relative.  It is rarely an all-or-nothing state justified by a single decision.  A representative whose judgment was occasionally faulty may owe his or her constituents an apology or two for misrepresenting them, via excessive compromise, perhaps.  A representative who frequently deviates from constituent wishes may be faulted for actual betrayal of his or her commitment to them.  This is where a change of party or resignation may be appropriate.

This isn't too nuanced for you, is it?  Do you now see the distinction between a hard-and-fast "lockstep" constraint or straitjacket and the notion of responsible commitment to general compliance with pre-defined voter expectations?  I'm not sure which "previous point" you felt I was confirming; but the term "lockstep" is not applicable to playing with a team and by its rules.

I will set aside any further discussion of governmental healthcare as too far off-topic here, and perhaps too complex to be given any more attention here than as the passing example for which I cited it.
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 10:56am
"A straw-man, Brabantio, is an argument, assertion or question that is unrealistic and cannot stand on its own merits."
 
Utterly false.  A strawman is a misrepresentation of what someone has said in order to create an easy argument to beat.  A question can not be a strawman, because it invites you to clarify your position instead of making an assertion about it.  This is logic class day one material.
 
"The trend toward "-INO-ism" is gradual, progressive or cumulative, and relative."
 
Then you don't have a problem with our representatives using their own judgement instead of adhering to the party platform.
 
"I'm not sure which "previous point" you felt I was confirming; but the term "lockstep" is not applicable to playing with a team and by its rules."
 
It certainly is.  If you deviate from their position, then you're not playing "with" them and you're violating their "rules".  But now, that's allowed to some degree, as opposed to your previous comments and the one that I quoted directly above.
 
"I will set aside any further discussion of governmental healthcare as too far off-topic here, and perhaps too complex to be given any more attention here than as the passing example for which I cited it."
 
The question posed to you was quite simple and straightforward: are you claiming that Democrats didn't want governmental healthcare?  There is no reason for you to dodge that.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:24am
I don't believe there is a yes or no answer to your healthcare question, Brabantio, so I will not engage its complexity here.

A question that poses a false premise that meets my stated criteria is most certainly a straw-man; and I agree with you that this is a matter of basic logic.

I do have a problem with you setting an "instead of" dichotomy between the use of judgment and compliance with a party platform as if they were mutually exclusive.

And once again I will take issue with your use of the term "lockstep", and illustrate its falsity by comparison with common team sports such as football (American or European) or basketball.  Players are running all over the field or court, certainly not in any kind of "locked steps"; but they are, every one of them, adhering to the same rules, each for the benefit of their team.  If they do not, they are penalized or even ejected from the game.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:36am
straw man

ˌstrô ˈman/

noun
noun: strawman




1.


an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument.
 








2.


a person regarded as having no substance or integrity.
 
https://www.google.com/search?q=define+strawman&oq=def+straw&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.7973j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8







Stone-Eater Added Sep 14, 2018 - 11:42am
PL
 
The "fairness" of multiparty coalition governing systems doesn't of itself indicate how well the system actually represents the voters,
 
The fact that it's a MULTIparty system tells by itself that it can represent more voters than a 2-party-system. Black and White are two, you mix them, what do you get ?
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 12:00pm
"I don't believe there is a yes or no answer to your healthcare question, Brabantio, so I will not engage its complexity here."
 
You don't think that there's a yes or no answer to whether or not there was support for governmental healthcare among Democrats?  Give me a break.
 
"A question that poses a false premise that meets my stated criteria is most certainly a straw-man; and I agree with you that this is a matter of basic logic."
 
I didn't ask a question that required you to accept any false premise.  Please, take a class on this subject.
 
"I do have a problem with you setting an "instead of" dichotomy between the use of judgment and compliance with a party platform as if they were mutually exclusive."
 
They are mutually exclusive.  If you're adhering to a predetermined set of views, then you're not exercising your own sense of judgement.
 
"Players are running all over the field or court, certainly not in any kind of "locked steps"; but they are, every one of them, adhering to the same rules, each for the benefit of their team."
 
Those would be people with a common goal.  That would apply to the entire platform, obviously.  What a horrible analogy.
Brabantio Added Sep 14, 2018 - 12:01pm
"an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument. "
 
Thank you for proving my point.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 14, 2018 - 12:24pm
Well, Stone-Eater, even the US system is a multiparty system, particularly in the primary elections, but even in the final general elections.  It is only that, in the final runoff, practicality reduces the choice to only two that are likely to collect a sufficient number of votes to be in realistic contention for the victory.  Hence US voters who wish their vote actually to contribute toward someone's victory constrain themselves to one of the two that perennially collect a sufficient number of votes to meet a meaningful threshold.  Occasionally a third party appears to be sufficiently favored that it might succeed; but third party candidates have almost never succeeded at the highest levels of government.  They do better at more local levels.
 
Even multiparty coalition systems set minimum thresholds that a party must meet if it is to participate in any coalition.  The difference is that coalitions mitigate the notion of "winner takes all", though that the largest coalition becomes such a winner and appoints the Prime Minister and the cabinet and a number of other controlling positions.  They are, nonetheless, susceptible to deadlock or blackmail by the threat that a coalition partner may withdraw from the coalition over some pet issue.  And it is the parties rather than the voters who determine such matters.  So I'm not convinced that dividing the voters into smaller blocks by giving them more ideological choices of party actually succeeds to represent them any better.  The quality of representation is still dependent on the character of elected officials and their willingness to conform with party platforms.
 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 14, 2018 - 12:58pm
Your question *did* present a false premise, Brabantio, in that the notion of an electorate demanding of their representative to violate the Constitution unless he were somehow the only responsible adult available to restrain their madness is so unrealistic that it cannot stand as a justification for your suggested paternalism.
 
Obviously we disagree about there being any mutual exclusivity between judgment and respect for constituent's pre-determined views or values.  I say that both are in play together and in balance both are required.  Judgment about how best to implement those views or values is not the same as condemnation of those views and values by substituting something else in their place.
 
//people with a common goal//  Yes, one common goal for all elected representatives ought to be to represent one's own party and constituency and "team" to the best of one's ability.  Disdaining them by substituting alternative views they did not ratify is dishonest, underhanded, deplorable, and contrary to the notion of a common goal.
 
 
Brabantio Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:44am
"Your question *did* present a false premise, Brabantio, in that the notion of an electorate demanding of their representative to violate the Constitution unless he were somehow the only responsible adult available to restrain their madness is so unrealistic that it cannot stand as a justification for your suggested paternalism."
 
Please look up the word "hypothetical".  Holy mercy.  It wasn't "justification" for anything; I was trying to find out where you draw boundaries.
 
"I say that both are in play together and in balance both are required."
 
Right.  You: "Voters must therefore be able to rely on their candidate's adherence to their party's platform.  A candidate who bears the name and support of a party but does not actually bear allegiance to its collective values represents that party In Name Only but not in reality.  Such a candidate is not truly a representative but is instead an untrustworthy fraud, unworthy of support.  This is why the "-INO" label is such a seriously negative and meaningful charge."
 
I really don't see how you think your position is consistent.  What you're saying now is that adherence isn't required, but there's some threshold where suddenly "fraud" is established.
 
And then there's this: "If a longstanding representative finds that the aggregated views of his party have shifted from his own, or vice versa, he may try to shift them again his way in his next primary bid for re-election or in a party convention. If the electorate agrees with him, perhaps the party platform will shift also.  If not, he can resign because he can no longer represent his party and constituents adequately."
 
So, someone that maintains their principles while their party changes should resign.  And, at the same time, there's a balance which includes "judgement".  How does that work?  You're trying to use dramatic rhetoric to advocate for conformity, even forcing representatives to change their positions, but then the same representatives should be using their own judgement.  Utterly bizarre.
 
"Yes, one common goal for all elected representatives ought to be to represent one's own party and constituency and "team" to the best of one's ability."
 
And yet, you find Democrats advocating for governmental health care to be somehow inappropriate.  How odd.  One would think that as long as their constituents favored such a plan, you would say that they would be required to fight for it.
 
Even if I were to believe the dubious notion that all of this really makes sense to you, I've made my philosophical disagreement clear in great detail.  Taking for granted that political parties are abiding by the wishes of the people is a massive article of faith.  And people should not be discouraged - ever - from acting on principle.  Even if someone's views are only 51% consistent with those of their chosen party, then they should be free to maintain those views.  If it's going to hurt them with the voters, then naturally a smart politician will pick their battles.  But demanding that people change their views based on those of others within the party is not justifiable; the individual should have control over his own positions.
 
Your opinion is noted, but not particularly compelling to those that support individual thought.
Johnny Fever Added Sep 15, 2018 - 5:32am
“I would be absolutely thrilled if people could try to support smaller parties without committing their entire vote to that party”
 
The math would still work the same.  Currently if you do that 100% of your vote becomes a wasted vote.  As a result, of the two major parties, the candidate you preferred most, would have a harder time winning the election.  Under the system you just outlined, instead of wasting 100% of your vote, you would simply waste a smaller percentage.
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 15, 2018 - 8:01am
Not all hypothetical scenarios are neutral, Brabantio; and some hypotheses cannot be pursued because thay are based in false premises.  As for hard and fast boundaries, I wasn't drawing any.  I was laying out a principle, whereby an electee truly "respresents" those who did the electing, and uses best judgment to do that very thing and not to judge that something else -- such as personal preferences -- would be better to substitute in its place.  It's not merely the use of judgment for its own sake; it's the use of judgment by a public *servant* to accomplish a goal on behalf of others.  Note, please, the emphasis.  A public servant sets aside their own views in order to serve the public.  If their own views diverge from the aggregate of views in the electorate they serve, they must sublimate their own views because those views represent only one individual who has, effectively, been outvoted by the majority that this individual agreed to serve.

I did not lay out any threshold where "suddenly" fraud occurs.  I wrote of a pattern or trend, of official positions taken in the conduct of elected office, that can be evaluated with some perspective to make such a determination and complaint.  And, yes, I did posit the case where a long-standing elected representative recognizes, or it is determined by others, that he or she holds positions that do not fit with the party they supposedly represent.  It has certainly happened before that someone switches their allegiance from one party to another.  It could be because their own views have shifted, or because party views have shifted, or even because a new party has been created that is more suited to their own views.  In any case, they ought to be consistent about what they wish to represent.  They should assiduously avoid the position of "-INO".  Like a good lawyer who does not feel they can properly represent a given client or their case, one should recuse oneself.

Note also, please, that the principle of honest, thoughtful representation that I have been describing is an entirely separate matter from the problem of an electoral subdemographic or party whose principles are subject to criticism, on whatever grounds.  An elected representative may be doing an excellent job of serving their constituency and their party, and yet by doing so they may be damnably *wrong*.  However, their wrongness is not their fault; they are not wrong for refusing to be an "-INO"; it is the fault of their party or their constituency or both, whose views or values are wrong in some manner or degree.  If they feel that this is their unfortunate position, they can leave the party with which they disagree and join another that they feel is more "right" for them personally, subjectively, or even more "right" in absolute objective terms.

Consequently, Brabantio, though undoubtedly you have discerned my leaning all along, my position invalidates the notion of "-INO-ism", contrary to your title and essay above that would defend it.
Koshersalaami Added Sep 15, 2018 - 10:50am
Aside from specific examples such as confirmations of Supreme Court Justices (or refusals to even vet nominees, which I think is unprecedented), this INO discussion seems to come down to two overarching issues:
1. The size of the tent. I would assume that most of you are old enough to remember when Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace belonged to the same political party. Or Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller. Insisting that the tent be tiny is not in and of itself a case. Even if we accept that the parties are less ideologically diverse than they used to be, as far as INO’s go, I’m curious how many examples anyone can come up with of people who belong to one party but whose issue stands belong primarily in the other party. I don’t mean on one issue, I mean across the board. 
 
2. The nature of representation. Representatives are really elected for two purposes:
  a. To represent the views of their constituents
  b. To do the most good for their constituents and the larger entity they represent (in Congress, their country)
 
Where I part ways with Proclaim Liberty in this part of the discussion is his overwhelming emphasis on “a.” That doesn’t always work for the simple reason that representatives gain expertise in governance because that’s what they do for a living. Representatives often see consequences their constituents don’t. 
 
I’ll set up a hypothetical. Let’s say a representative and their constituents share views on two issues. One expectation would be to vote by issue in each case. But what happens if the horsetrading works out such that if the representative votes against their views on one issue they get their way on the other but if they vote for their views on both issues they get their way on neither? According to Proclaim Liberty, they should vote by issue. I’d call that irresponsible governing because it ignores results. What is the representative’s job? To represent views or to accomplish the most possible for constituents - even by their own definition? 
 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 15, 2018 - 12:56pm
Well, Kosher, I'd consider 'b' as a subset of 'a', since one of the values  a representative should support is the closest approach to the overall achievement of constituent goals and well-being.  A representative might be forgiven a bit of horsetrading (they usually are) if it can be demonstrated to have advanced some other measure of the party's aims.  There is, however, some limit to how long constituents might be willing to defer action in their favor even on the traded issue.  Thus, when you bring in "realpolitic" considerations on top of the basic principle I outlined, some lattitude is required -- though explanations will also be required -- in the overall evaluation of a representative's performance pattern.  Individual issue tradeoffs and temporary deferrals do not an "-INO" make.  It is more a matter of trustworthyness and ideological leaning as demonstrated in the overall pattern and perhaps its outcomes.  It is also a matter of priorities.  Purported horsetrading on a hot high-priority issue could be deemed tantamount to defection or betrayal.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 15, 2018 - 2:03pm
Kosher
 
"2. The nature of representation. Representatives are really elected for two purposes:
  a. To represent the views of their constituents"
 
2a is not straight forward in any measure. Suppose the constituents on some vital issue demand his vote on their side but the Rep votes or argues for his party thus ignoring some of his  constituents. 
 
Such a vote might force a valiant grass-roots attempt to get this Rep defeated at the next election cycle so, using strategic voting, that Rep might vote against his own party  ["Purported horsetrading on a hot high-priority issue"--from Proclaim's post]to save his seat. This might soon happen in the Senate over the newest SCOTUS nomination. 
 
Representative democracy is full of such  problems. Thus, a given vote might not be in the best interests of the nation or his or her party or even a majority of constituents registered in his or her state.
 
Mike Castle was an example of this as he was a RINO for having a 50% voting approval with the far left and for being %100 green. 
 
Democracy has never worked very well since Athens. 
 
There is no way to fix this. 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 15, 2018 - 2:42pm
You may recall, rycK, the quote attributed to Winston Churchill:

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

I'm afraid it's not the form of government that's at fault.  It's those pesky people who try to participate in it in one way or another.  That's where the fixin's gotta start.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Sep 16, 2018 - 12:41pm
Proclaim Liberty
 
Then, that gets us back to Plato's Philosopher-king?!
Koshersalaami Added Sep 16, 2018 - 2:33pm
rycK,
No way to fix it all the way. Campaign finance reform would help some. But fixing it part way is still useful. 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 16, 2018 - 2:54pm
No, rycK, I suspect the Philosopher-king would be just as flawed a human being as any other, just as much in need of "fixin'".  I'll stick with Churchill's view, but suggest that perhaps a repentant "kingdom of kings and priests" would constitute a better electorate and their representatives.  Maybe I'm being too much influenced by the run-up at this season to Yom haKippurim, but I seem to have developed an image of an improved class of citizenry.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 17, 2018 - 12:11pm
Left Jackboot crushing my throat GOOOOOOOOOOOD!
 
Right Jackboot crushing my throat EEEEEEEVILLLLLLLLLLL! 
 
How about we just open the damn door to all parties, no funding, no campaigning, just limited televised debates. 
 
Until you get someone in there who wants to serve the people and does not go in with the expectation of being able to be their "leader" we are all buggered. 
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 17, 2018 - 1:11pm
I'm with ya', Ward, on vetting candidates to find those who actually want to serve rather than to rule or "lead", but I think you're a bit naïve or shortsighted about those televised debates.  Who do you think should pay for *them*?  It costs money to pay the staff that operates the machinery to televise an event or a series of them.  And how are voters to become aware of the candidates' positions on issues, in order to make informed choices?  A few questions in a televised debate won't cover a full range of issues.  Disseminating such information also costs money, and somebody has to pay for it.  That's what campaigning is all about.  The purpose of a debate is to focus on key issues where the candidates' views and approaches to problem-solving may be particularly different.  Campaigning is broader than that.

Now, about opening the door to all parties -- Is some sort of threshold of support needed to validate a party, that it doesn't represent merely three wackos holed up in someone's basement?  Without some sort of qualifying criteria by which to vet the validity of each party, hundreds of them could clamor to participate in the televised debates.  Even if it were handled like a telethon, with volunteers at a bank of telephones registering public response, much time would be required trying to disqualify various parties in order to make the ultimate election (and the length of a readable ballot) manageable.

There is something to be said for internet technology as a means to make candidate positions available to the public, though it requires that everyone become trained to use the technology and that there is some means to ensure that everyone has access to it for at least some minimum number of hours.  It might thus also be possible to collect preliminary public opinion to indicate which few parties seem to collect enough interest to be worthy of participating in televised debate.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 18, 2018 - 1:06am
It was not mean as an all-inclusive solution, merely as an opening for an actual debate to take place. 
 
And a few spots on television would eat up the networks, but would be cheaper to the taxpayer than the current follies that pass as elections ... choice? You don't need no stinkin' choice! (To paraphrase Mel Brooks of course)
Proclaim Liberty Added Sep 18, 2018 - 1:56am
Well, Ward, if minimizing the expenses is a serious goal (and I wouldn't argue that it shouldn't be), then perhaps each candidate should be given a set of questions collected per some poll that determines interests of greatest concern, and each should make a simple YouTube video of their response, limited to a finite period such as three or five minutes.  Each could likewise be allowed a three-minute response to at most two selected other candidates' initial assertions, in a subsequent video.  Internet viewers could be given opportunity to indicate thumbs-up or -down regarding each presentation, depending on how convincing it seemed to them.  It might then take a day or so to collate and analyze the results, which could provide that preliminary indication about which candidates and parties should make the final cut.  This process would work for primary elections to narrow the field, as well as to prepare for ultimate general elections, when official polling would have to be either physical as is done currently, or electronically but surrounded with all sorts of cyber-security procedures and codes.
 
Overall, this could reduce costs; and it could still admit of some intriguing television broadcasts summarizing, discussing, and analyzing the responses.  Note that the process I just described would be in addition to each candidate's own website on which they could address innumerable issues in depth with no time limitations, in writing, with videos, or both.  Thus anyone looking for greater detail or clarity about a candidate's position on any subject, especially after viewing debate responses, could analyze it as much as desired.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 18, 2018 - 7:09am
Interesting idea ... not holding my breath for any of the mid level managers we call politicians to step aside for a change ... but I do like the concept. We may need a different platform than YouTube (or universities for that matter these days?) so half the videos (or more?) do not get censored under the guise of "offensive materials" LOL
 
I am still waiting personally for even a single candidate, when asked what they think or believe about something, to remind everyone there in no uncertain terms that it is not about what they think or believe, but about the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold and defend ... but I think perhaps that is another hapless (and pointless) dreamworld fantasy on my part.