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U-S-A! The American Politics Thread. (Read 404608 times)

edshakey

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We should be aware that our right wing looks to America for guidance.

Last month, The Times published an article in support of overturning Roe.

This is the kind of fight our right wing will look to have once they overturn the Human Rights Act

For sure, it does. And we should definitely all be wary for the future of our laws on similar matters.

I can only see the free initial part of that article but it seems to support the view Bradders raised above, that the right to abortion should protected explicitly in modern law, as opposed to in an ambiguous interpretation of a 250 year old document. But maybe you read it differently.

One redeeming note for the UK is that we don't have nearly the same level of mobilised opposition to abortion. There are definitely people who want to fight it, but they aren't as organised and vocal as across the pond. That could change, but it's got some way to go.

Bradders

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Wherever you stand on the issue (and I am 100% pro choice), pushing major changes to society via undemocratic back door means was never going to end well.

This current court - in terms of representation - and this decision - in terms of public opinion - are both profoundly anti-democratic.

I don't agree with that at all. The original Roe v Wade decision was completely undemocratic, essentially forcing abortion rights federally without a democratic mandate. This decision has corrected that wrong, and put the matter into the hands of the elected representatives of each state. That is fundamentally democratic.

abarro81

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What you said doesn't actually disagree with anything andy wrote as far as I can tell

Bradders

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He said the decision is anti-democratic, I think it is democratic  :shrug:

Or, to put it another way, it allows for a democratic settlement of the issue.

spidermonkey09

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It depends if you think the way the supreme Court has been loaded with Conservative judges to be democratic or not, considering that Trump didn't win a majority of votes in 2016, and that across the US the population are strongly in favour of choice when it comes to abortion. I think its perfectly coherent to argue that given the extremely slim electoral college victory of Trump and the fact he lost the popular vote made the stacking of the SC undemocratic. On top of that, its also perfectly coherent to argue that even with a Conservative majority of judges, it is undemocratic to overturn Roe when public opinion still shows strong support for it. We haven't even got into the fact that the newer justices all said they had no problem with the precedent of Roe in their preliminary hearings...

I think it misses the point. This is a matter of human rights. We don't put fundamentals of human rights to popular vote, or at least we shouldn't. That way lies total chaos and all sorts of horrible outcomes. Having a referendum on the death penalty in the UK would be democratic, it would also be profoundly wrong. That's why I think falling back on the "it's democratic" line is a bit weak, its not what responsible government and responsible lawmakers do.


dr_botnik

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He said the decision is anti-democratic, I think it is democratic  :shrug:

Or, to put it another way, it allows for a democratic settlement of the issue.

Errrrrrr, I don't think democracy extends to removing people's right to healthcare? Like, should we have a vote on which genders can access cancer treatment???

spidermonkey09

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It will be interesting to see the view of the Times and other right wing papers on this decision. I found that editorial from a month ago profoundly chilling, I did a double take over my cereal! Couldn't believe what I was reading.

abarro81

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He said the decision is anti-democratic, I think it is democratic  :shrug:

He said
"This current court - in terms of representation - and this decision - in terms of public opinion - are both profoundly anti-democratic." - bold is my addition. Both statements seems pretty solid to me, even if you can argue that the position of lawmakers having the power to decide is also democratic

andy popp

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Or, to put it another way, it allows for a democratic settlement of the issue.

That would be fair enough if there weren't also serious concerns about the health of democracy in many of these states - those states eager to reinstate abortion bans (or, indeed, have already done so since yesterday's decision) also often being those most zealous in trying to systematically disenfranchise segments of their populations. In any case, I wasn't trying to argue that the original decision was more democratic, only that any argument that this decision is notably more democratic is on very thin ice. Basically, I think its just a mistaken premise.

In any case, Pence was already arguing yesterday in favour of a federal ban on abortion. As it was with slavery, states' rights is really just a figleaf.

What comes next? Kavanaugh has said this ruling has no implications beyond abortion but anyone who trusts him is a fool. He, Gorsuch, and Coney-Barrett all vowed that they viewed Roe vs. Wade as settled law during their (recent) confirmation hearings. Thomas' opinion yesterday explicitly pointed to Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell, protecting in turn rights to contraception, same sex sex, and marriage equality. They will be the next targets. Interestingly, he didn't mention Loving, protecting interracial marriage. Obviously, Thomas is himself in an interracial marriage (to a lunatic).

Anyway, I have a teenage American daughter who is beginning to think about college - she will not be going to college in a red state.

andy popp

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Further: this same court's decision on Thursday removed the right of the state of New York to impose certain conditions on carrying guns. The concern for states' rights is extremely selective.

Bradders

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It depends if you think the way the supreme Court has been loaded with Conservative judges to be democratic or not, considering that Trump didn't win a majority of votes in 2016, and that across the US the population are strongly in favour of choice when it comes to abortion. I think its perfectly coherent to argue that given the extremely slim electoral college victory of Trump and the fact he lost the popular vote made the stacking of the SC undemocratic. On top of that, its also perfectly coherent to argue that even with a Conservative majority of judges, it is undemocratic to overturn Roe when public opinion still shows strong support for it. We haven't even got into the fact that the newer justices all said they had no problem with the precedent of Roe in their preliminary hearings...

I think it misses the point. This is a matter of human rights. We don't put fundamentals of human rights to popular vote, or at least we shouldn't. That way lies total chaos and all sorts of horrible outcomes. Having a referendum on the death penalty in the UK would be democratic, it would also be profoundly wrong. That's why I think falling back on the "it's democratic" line is a bit weak, its not what responsible government and responsible lawmakers do.

Well I think the fundamental problem, notwithstanding that I agree completely around the current make up of the court, Trump, etc., is that on so many of these issues the court has essentially ended up making the law and that is not what it is there for. They are not legislators, but in interpreting that the constitution affords rights that didn't exist when it was written they become so. This is why I think it is democratic for the decision to be returned to the elected legislators.

Further: this same court's decision on Thursday removed the right of the state of New York to impose certain conditions on carrying guns. The concern for states' rights is extremely selective.

You're absolutely right, but I'd also point to the gun control bill which has just passed through Congress and will now become law:

BBC News - Congress passes first gun control bill in decades
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-61919752

My hope, and maybe I'm being too optimistic, is that in the long term this all pushes people to sort it out properly. Given the clear popular support for abortion rights in the US I don't think that's naive. The tragedy is it will take time and people will suffer in the meantime.

RE example of a referendum on the death penalty; it would be wrong in your opinion! Responsible governments and lawmakers are beholden to their citizens. If they are elected on a manifesto commitment to implement capital punishment then that is what they should do. We absolutely do put human rights to a popular vote; those rights didn't appear out of thin air!

He said the decision is anti-democratic, I think it is democratic  :shrug:

Or, to put it another way, it allows for a democratic settlement of the issue.

Errrrrrr, I don't think democracy extends to removing people's right to healthcare? Like, should we have a vote on which genders can access cancer treatment???

Well this is why abortion is such a desperately contentious issue. Millions of people believe that, far from it being healthcare like treatment of disease, it is nothing other than state sponsored infanticide. Spidermonkey is absolutely right that this is a question of fundamental human rights; your view of whether abortion is right or wrong comes down to whether and at what point the human rights of the fetus take precedent over the human rights of the mother.

TobyD

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BBC News - January 6 hearings: Trump urged armed supporters to storm Capitol - aide
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-61971428

I don't know why any of this account surprises me,  but its pretty shocking behaviour from any grown man,  let alone one who is president.

andy popp

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Well, that was wild!


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#2514 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
September 01, 2022, 09:45:16 pm
As an Alaskan, I think the BIG change here is the introduction of ranked-choice voting.  This allowed many people to vote moderate and still have their vote count.

teestub

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#2515 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
September 02, 2022, 07:53:56 am
Man it would be lovely to get some of that ranked choice or proportion representation over here!

SA Chris

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#2516 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
September 02, 2022, 08:09:18 am
That boat sailed back in 2011. It sank with Clegg tied to the mast.

TobyD

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#2517 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
September 02, 2022, 08:49:30 am
Is this too soon for hope?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/democrats-sarah-palin-mary-peltola-alaska-special-election

Itd be great to think that the midterms will go well for the Democrats,  but I think that the Guardian's coverage is usually over optimistic about politics from their point of view,  but I'd like to be proved wrong. 

andy popp

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#2518 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
September 02, 2022, 10:29:12 am
Is this too soon for hope?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/democrats-sarah-palin-mary-peltola-alaska-special-election

Itd be great to think that the midterms will go well for the Democrats,  but I think that the Guardian's coverage is usually over optimistic about politics from their point of view,  but I'd like to be proved wrong.

I'm definitely less pessimistic than I was a couple of months ago.

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#2519 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 12:12:39 am
Much less optimism right now. Fingers crossed I'm wrong.

andy popp

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#2520 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 05:25:36 am
Much less optimism right now. Fingers crossed I'm wrong.

Mixed (and far from complete) picture so far this morning. No signs of huge wave Republican wave yet, even if they might well still take House and/or Senate.

andy popp

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#2521 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 06:25:28 am
Republican gains definitely much more limited than projected and some unexpected Dem gains. Two very good results in PA.

TobyD

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#2522 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 09:01:37 am
I believe Fetterman won in PA? Definitely seems like a good thing that the Democrats have done better than expected,  but, unfortunately not well enough to deter Trump from having another run, and not badly enough to deter Biden either.  I think a rerun of Biden vs Trump would go the wrong way next time,  hopefully I'm wrong though. 

SA Chris

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#2523 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 09:06:18 am
Please no MAGAA.

Surely there is someone else the Republicans would rather have lead them?

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#2524 Re: U-S-A! The American Politics Thread.
November 09, 2022, 09:15:41 am
I remain in the situation I was last night. However well the Democrats have defied expectations it's not good enough if they lose the House majority. The Republicans just need 5 extra wins. State adjustment of house seat boundaries have gifted Republicans additional victories, especially in Florida. The Republicans could go slightly backwards in votes for house seats compared to 2018 and still win a house majority.

 

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