advertisement
Forums

 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the 'Friendly' Political Ranting forum
"The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: October 11, 2018 05:00PM
[slate.com]

Quote

We’re 27 days from Election Day, and the most likely outcome is that Democrats will take control of the House but not the Senate. Democrats who’ve white-knuckled their way through the difficult 2018 Senate map, then, are counting the minutes until all this will be over, and the party can make its Senate comeback in the 2020 cycle. After all, that’s how it usually works: In 2014, Republicans picked up nine Senate seats in their response to the 2008 Obama wave; in 2016, Democrats clawed back a couple of the seats Republicans won in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Republicans this cycle are trying to unseat all of the Obama coattail-riders from his 2012 re-election. By the laws of our alternate-turn politics, it should come full circle in 2020 when Democrats avenge that 2014 Republican wave.

But the next cycle is the one where the harsh reality of the Senate’s structural bias towards smaller, less dense states truly begins to sink in for Democrats. All those seats that Democrats lost in 2014? Good luck taking them back.

As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein observed earlier this week, the Democrats’ numerical advantage in opportunities—Republicans will be defending 22 seats, Democrats just 12—masks the number of actual opportunities the party will have.
- - - - - -
So why is the map so limited? The vague notion that 2020 should present so many more pickup opportunities for Democrats stems from the seesaw feeling we’ve become inured to over the last few Senate cycles. What this misses, and what should be so frightening for Democrats looking at their Senate prospects down the road, is how many of those 2014 Republican pickups Democrats have no chance of taking back.

Republicans picked up four seats in 2014 from retiring Democrats: South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds won Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat, West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito won Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s seat, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst won Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat, and Montana Sen. Steve Daines won Sen. Max Baucus’ seat. (Baucus had given up his seat to serve in the Obama administration; his appointed replacement, John Walsh, dropped out of the race over a plagiarism scandal.) These Republicans aren’t going anywhere. Once the senior Democrats that had held those seats for decades retired, they were Republicans’ for the taking—and the keeping.

Incumbent Democrats were also defeated in 2014 in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alaska by Republicans who will not lose those seats in 2020.

Rather than a pendulum shift in Democrats’ favor, the 2020 Senate election is shaping up to be the moment when the organic Republican majority within the Senate falls into place. Trump won 46 percent of the popular vote in 2016 but 60 percent of states, and states like Idaho and Wyoming get just as many senators as California. Unless a whole bunch of red states suddenly turn blue, Democrats will be stuck where they are: in the minority.

If Republicans get a lock on control of the Senate because of the "two senators for each state no matter how big the population disparity", they will be able to thwart a tremendous amount of the agenda that Democrats/liberals would want to happen if the Democrats controlled both the House and the Presidency. And with indefinite control of the Senate, the Republicans could keep the federal courts leaning more conservative whether there was a Republican president or not (Mitch has shown the way).

I hope the thesis in the Slate article is wrong, but it feels right. Of course, there is always the possibility of something major - like an economic downturn on the scale of the Great Depression - that could shake up the dynamic, but short of that, I'm afraid that a Republican lock on the Senate might be the future for some time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2018 05:03PM by Ted King.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 11, 2018 05:47PM
Yes, we will be paying the price for the 2010 election for a generation.

We need to take the long view, take back state legislatures while we can.

Get the House and the White House, sandwich the Senate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 11, 2018 09:15PM
The article is not even looking further down the road 20 years when the racist south and the small population Midwestern and mountain states will be solid red and remain so for a hundred years barring the usual Republican economic and criminal screw ups. So we need to win the rust belt states and Florida and maybe Texas as well as Arizona and Nevada.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: AllGold
Date: October 11, 2018 10:22PM
Part of the problem is too many voters are nincompoops. For example, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst won Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat. Ernst isn't fit to be secretary of the local PTA let alone a U.S. Senator.

And the biggest priority should be getting rid of Mitch McConnell. It doesn't make sense since so many of the people in Kentucky are poor yet he keeps getting reelected.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: October 11, 2018 10:37PM

Your GOP masters act for the good of America
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: max
Date: October 11, 2018 11:21PM
Quote
Ted King
... because of the "two senators for each state no matter how big the population disparity",
Another example of being unclear of the concept, advocating removal one of the few protections a minority has against dictatorship by the majority...




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution;
one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship."
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 12, 2018 04:57AM
Quote
max
Quote
Ted King
... because of the "two senators for each state no matter how big the population disparity",
Another example of being unclear of the concept, advocating removal one of the few protections a minority has against dictatorship by the majority...

What minority is that?



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: max
Date: October 12, 2018 08:03AM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
max
Quote
Ted King
... because of the "two senators for each state no matter how big the population disparity",
Another example of being unclear of the concept, advocating removal one of the few protections a minority has against dictatorship by the majority...

What minority is that?

Your pick:...
Quote

Potentially, through tyranny of the majority, a disliked or unfavored ethnic, religious, political, social, or racial group may be deliberately targeted for oppression by the majority element acting through the democratic process

For the PC fascists unclear on the concept ....
[en.wikipedia.org]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 12, 2018 09:59AM
Can you define the disliked or unfavored ethnic, religious, political, social, or racial group that the Senate is protecting? And put it on the scale of minority persecution through history so we can fully appreciate the horror of the injustice being perpetrated?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: October 12, 2018 10:13AM
Quote
Acer
Can you define the disliked or unfavored ethnic, religious, political, social, or racial group that the Senate is protecting? And put it on the scale of minority persecution through history so we can fully appreciate the horror of the injustice being perpetrated?

Unfavored social group? The Plutocrats perhaps? They might think so.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: $tevie
Date: October 12, 2018 01:04PM
Well, I can remember when the GOP was not going to regain the White House for 100 years. And that was said in 2008. In other words, predictions like these aren't all that trustworthy.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: hal
Date: October 12, 2018 03:08PM
Quote
$tevie
Well, I can remember when the GOP was not going to regain the White House for 100 years. And that was said in 2008. In other words, predictions like these aren't all that trustworthy.

I agree - I think that the idea that the repubs are locking themselves into power FOREVER is just plain silly.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 12, 2018 03:31PM
I recall cheerful forecasts about juggernaut Democratic demographics for the foreseeable future during the 2016 election. It didn't work out so well that year, but those trends still exist.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: J Marston
Date: October 13, 2018 06:14PM
Norm Ornstein said that by 2040, 70% of the population will live in 15 states. That means that 30% of the population will elect 70 senators, and those states will be whiter, more rural, more agricultural, and more conservative than the other 15.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Ted King
Date: October 14, 2018 10:51AM
Interesting article on Vox that analyzes the history of the language of the Constitution with respect to the Senate and comes to the assessment that "States as states do need representation in the federal government. Under the Constitution, they have far too much." Whether you agree with that conclusion or not, I think you will find that it is a well reasoned article.

Excerpt:

Quote

Hopkins devotes an entire chapter to the question of whether people think of themselves as Americans or as citizens of their states. Across a wide range of measures, he shows that Americans see themselves as Americans first, citizens of their states second. As he puts it: “Compared to their attachment to the nation as a whole, their place-based attachment is markedly weaker. What is more, the content of state-level identities is typically divorced from politics.”

That finding doesn’t mesh well with the idea of people being represented in government through their states. And citizens, politicians and parties have all long realized that. Political strategies for all national offices involve coordination across geography. If you live in a deep red state, you can donate to a candidate running in a purple one. If your district is safe for the Democrats, you can travel to canvass for a candidate in a swing district.

It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money to a US electoral campaign. It is neither illegal nor uncommon for citizens to contribute to electoral campaigns in other states. Some candidates receive sizable portions of their resources from out of their own state.

When Americans are hacking the Constitution to get around the geographic nature of our representation, that should be a red flag.

Of course, the Constitution does not only allow for the representation of states. The central debate at the constitutional convention was over precisely this balance. Doesn’t the House address that problem?

Yes, but poorly.

For one, because every state must have at least one member in the House, there are still distortions. But even aside from that, single-member districts means we’re still representing territory instead of people. These districts are almost impossible to draw so that the politicians elected reflect the balance of preferences across the entire country.

Right now, that means a bias toward Republicans. Democratic candidates could outpoll Republicans by up to five points and still not be favored to take control of the House. It doesn’t matter whether this is due to conscious gerrymandering or because Democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas. The problem is single-member districts in the first place.

I don’t know of any research to prove it, but I am pretty sure very few Americans think of themselves as first and foremost citizens of their congressional district.

Even the president, for whom at least citizens across the country can vote, is elected through the Electoral College, which in turn filters votes through the states.

In short, the supposed balance between state interests and individual citizen interests that the Framers struck isn’t much balance at all. Some Framers observed exactly that at the time. And as the country has evolved, the value of having such strong representation for geography seems to have only waned.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2018 01:18PM by Ted King.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: "The Senate Is Drifting Away From Democrats Indefinitely"
Posted by: Acer
Date: October 14, 2018 12:31PM
Thesis: The failure of the Articles of Confederacy is evidence that thinking of America is a collection of small nations is not viable. Discuss.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 279
Record Number of Users: 52 on November 20, 2014
Record Number of Guests: 847 on February 04, 2015