Our Three Party Democracy

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29 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Eliminate the filibuster maybe. Revamp comittees sure! But while we’re dreaming I’d like a pony.Report

  2. Democrats could strengthen their coalition and not have to blame their lack of success on the Right if they would actually pay attention to the rural voices that got them the majority in the first place. Conservative-leaning rural Democrats are the ones that brought the Democrats into power and they are mostly ignored by an urban president and Speaker of the House. They are also the ones that are going to get sacked next year, through no fault of their own, and Democrats will still be blaming it on the wrong people.

    Democrats fail to head rural voices at their own peril.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller says:

      Since when do “conservative leaning rural Democrats” not constitute the right?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        When they’re being counted as evidence that “the left” has a mandate.Report

        • Avatar Ryan says:

          I’m sorry. Did I miss the part of the election where Obama wasn’t running on a platform of universal health care? If winning a landslide election isn’t a mandate for the set of things you prominently said you were going to attempt to do once elected, I’m not sure the word “mandate” has any meaning at all.

          Also, could someone *please* provide some evidence that conservative-leaning rural Democrats (as opposed to their Blue Dog representatives) are actually opposed to anything Obama is trying to do. They support health care reform, they supported the stimulus… so what’s the point? What I see is a lot of conservatives and libertarians imputing beliefs to people that they don’t actually have.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            He also ran on a platform of “net tax cut”.

            He said a buncha stuff. Pick the line out of the speech that was your favorite and explain that people voted for him because they wanted that line in the speech to come true.

            When people explain that, maybe, the American people might have also been engaged in some light “throwing the bums out”, wave them away.Report

            • Avatar Ryan says:

              Oddly, that argument will take you to any conclusion you want. Apparently no one ever wins elections because voters want them to. It’s always a complete accident that whoever is President at any given moment happens to be President.

              And, if I’m not mistaken, he has in fact delivered on the tax cut promise.Report

    • Avatar Ryan says:

      Crocodile tears. Conservative-leaning rural Democrats (according to most polling) are very likely to support the public option, which is the one thing the “urban” liberals are most often accused to trying to force down peoples’ throats. Democrats aren’t ignoring rural voters; they just don’t have the luxury Republicans do to demagogue everything. It’s tough when you’re actually trying to govern a country instead of throwing a temper tantrum.

      Also, let’s be clear: 79% of Americans live in urban areas, according to the Census. It’s a mark of how deeply deranged our political system is that we have to talk as if rural voters are the motive force in our politics.Report

      • If they aren’t important then Democrats won’t miss those seats next year. Right?

        Dems can’t get their agenda passed with a 60-vote majority. How are they going to fare when they are down 4-5 seats?

        What the statistic you pointed out doesn’t revela Ryan is all the people who live in the suburbs, many of whom identify heavily with rural areas, especially in the South. Health reform is not going over well in some of those areas. You would have us believe that the voters love the Obama plan and their elected officials are just gumming up the works. I disagree.Report

        • Avatar Ryan says:

          I don’t think they “love” anything. And there’s no such thing as “the Obama plan”, at least not yet. But polling indicates that these folks want some kind of reform, and it also indicates pretty strong-to-overwhelming support for a public option.

          I didn’t say they’re not important. I said the fact that they are shows how deranged our system is.Report

          • ‘Reform’ could mean they want o have a smaller deductable on their glasses or for insurance to cover their kids’ braces. My wife and I would like it if our flexible spending account was a bit larger.

            Those are the kinds of ‘reforms’ that people want out in suburbia… but certainly not the kinds of things that liberals are talking about.Report

            • Avatar Ryan says:

              There is a pretty strong consensus around universal coverage, eliminating discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions, and a public option competing against private insurance. Unless we take the radical position that polls are incapable of determining public preference, these are things we already know.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Consensus among whom? The lobbyists writing the bill?Report

              • Avatar Ryan says:

                Come on, dude. Time poll:

                – 63% support universal coverage with subsidies
                – 56% support public option
                – 80% support ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions

                SurveyUSA found 77% support for public option. Rasmussen: 57% oppose the plan if it *doesn’t* include a public option.

                And so on, and so forth. I’m not making this stuff up. It’s what people say they want.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And yet… the public option was removed, was it not?

                While I appreciate the fact that The People want stuff, that appreciation is tempered by what is likely to be voted upon at the end of the day.

                I’m of the opinion that that which is likely to be voted upon will not be worth writing home about, except to complain.

                And that’s not even getting into the whole “people want tons of stuff” issue.Report

              • Avatar Ryan says:

                This is, of course, a very good argument for my position that what people want and what their representatives say they want aren’t the same thing. Which was my point in the first place.Report

              • Just as a point of fact: It’s not discrimination to deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions. It’s good business practice. If people want insurers to accept all customers then it should A) Not be called ‘insurance’ anymore and B) They need to make health insurance mandatory.Report

              • Avatar Ryan says:

                Well, it’s discrimination in the pure sense of the word (as in “discriminating tastes”), and it may also be good business practice. In fact, I don’t think anyone really disagrees that it makes economic sense to refuse to cover such people. It’s just abhorrent.

                I am indifferent to A (shocking, I’m sure, but I don’t think the words we call things are nearly as important as the things themselves) and I am fully on-board for B.Report

              • Why should health insurers be forced to cover those who will cost them more than they can every hope to pay in? Isn’t that a forced give-away? We don’t force car insurers to cover high-rick drivers…why health insurers?Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Was it only four years ago that the Republicans were talking about a permanent Republican majority?

    Good times.Report

  4. Avatar Bryan Pick says:

    “the conservative movement’s staunchly anti-government approach has left us with a Republican Party as hyper-ideological as it is lacking in policy expertise.”
    The Republican Party discovered “just saying no” to government the second they lost the majority, and no earlier. They certainly didn’t govern as anti-government hyper-ideologues: they spent gobs of money and grew the government. They just spent money a bit differently than Democrats do.

    The Republicans aren’t a singular, unified party either. At the height of their power, they too couldn’t get ill-defined entitlement reform past the country’s wary seniors. What would have been your reaction if they accused Democrats of not being “good-faith governing partners” at that time? The Right argued that reform was necessary, sooner not later, and if their idea of reform would help the Republican Party long-term, well, nothing wrong with that. Now that power has switched hands, so have the arguments, but now it’s Dems pushing health insurance instead of Reps pushing SocSec reform.

    Now the Republicans have been relegated to a desperate minority where defection comes at a very high cost with almost no benefit. Should we expect them to roll over and help the Dems pass an orgy of spending and regulation, when the Dems clearly expect this to entrench their political gains?Report

    • Avatar Bryan Pick says:

      I should amend this: “They just spent money a bit differently than Democrats do.” Republicans did grow the government slower than today’s Democrats are. But they certainly never shrank the government, as one would expect hyper-ideological anti-government types to do.Report

  5. This is good stuff, Jamelle. This should give me the push I needed to finish up a related post I’ve had in the queue for a few days. I tend to think that the idea of a three party system has been true for awhile, it’s just that this is the first time in a long while where the third party all has one letter next to their names. The trouble is that this party has held sway for a very long time and represents a particular form of centrism that is anathema to responsive government. More on this when I finish my post, though.Report

  6. Avatar Kyle says:

    While you’re talking about making the legislature better…how about enlarging it?Report