Yessss!

Switched on CNN an hour ago and just now heard the great news. It gave me goosebumps, I can not express how great the relief is!

What a chiller it’s been and it’s not over yet because Donald Trump will not go silently into the night. He will be removed, though, despite his unfounded claims of fraud, one way or the other, I am sure of that. The end of the 4 year Trump presidency shitshow is in sight and I am so so happy! Now I can breathe again, along with, I believe, the majority of the world.

Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and to America!

53 thoughts on “Yessss!

      1. I voted absentee ballot in late September then got anxiety that it would get lost
        The first hurdle is now over. The next hurdle will the Orange clown leave voluntarily. Biden chose wisely in Harris for many reasons
        Thank you for caring about America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Well she’s smart and the future for Democrats, moderates, minorities, and women!!! Although I just found out my sil voted for Trump and got into a screaming match w my sis when my sis proudly announced Biden won!! Sil despised Hilary πŸ™„πŸ˜‘

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh Esther she’s a narcissist like Trump those people are never accountable for their actions against others. I feel sorry for my nieces who live in their bubble
                I really hope to go on Inauguration Day downtown DC kn95 mask and American flag in hand!! β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ€—

                Liked by 1 person

        1. Servetus

          Just a note on this article — it’s customary for all cabinet officers to submit their resignations at this point. This allows Congress to start the work of confirming their successors. She’s not wrong that Esper did draft a resignation letter and that this particular resignation has been much discussed; in fact as of fifteen minutes ago Esper had been fired. But cabinet level resignations at this point are a standard move in a normal transition process.

          I also think she way overstates the brand liability associated with the name Trump.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. She’s definitely not subjective on this…
            just read about Esper on tagesschau news. I didn’t know that the resignations traditionally start coming in from this point. So maybe it’s not a case of rodents and sinking vessels…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Servetus

              The pundits were predicting Esper, Wray (FBI), Haspel (CIA) and Fauci to be fired. Esper was a particular stone in Trump’s shoe due to his statements about not using the military to put down internal (BLM) protests. I thought it was interesting that Fauci was not named as part of Biden’s coronavirus response team (I’m guessing he may join after Jan 20, or that he’s consulting clandestinely). But yeah, this is normal. All the foreign ambassadors who were political appointees submit their resignations pro forma at this point, too.

              It’s pretty typical that the Senate would try to confirm the most important officials toward the end of the year. But I imagine that won’t happen this sequence. Trump won’t concede and McConnell will stall everything he can.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Servetus

                Mr. “I never said that”? Someone needed to tell him that the ambassador isn’t supposed to make up racist news about the country he’s supposedly liaising with. I guess he didn’t read that memo. On the whole, Trump’s ambassadorial choices have been pretty disastrous. Germany’s probably ready to get rid of its ambassador as well, and the ambassador to the EU got caught up in the whole Ukraine thing and then got fired after admitting it.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Yep, him. He’s meddling in Dutch politics too and attending far-right party conferences as speaker. I never knew who the US ambassador was but we do hear from this guy now and again and not in a good way. He’s a mini Trump.

                Like

              3. There must be a reason why the founding fathers decided on such a long hand-over phase? In this particular electoral cycle it seems as if it is not very handy… Is this something that needs reform, in your opinion?

                Liked by 1 person

              4. Servetus

                It actually used to be longer (until the first week of March). The current date was set by the Twentieth Amendment in 1933 (although the need to shorten a lame duck period had been obvious since the first Lincoln election). Which suggests to me that the initial reason was logistical. Before trains, it was hard for people to move themselves and their stuff all that quickly.

                Liked by 1 person

              5. Servetus

                I don’t disagree, but amending the Constitution is a horrendous process. You need a 2/3 vote of both houses of Congress in favor and then 3/4 of state legislatures must ratify it. In the current atmosphere, it’s hard to see how that would happen for any proposal. It can also be initiated from the side of the states if (I think) 2/3 of them call a convention to do it.

                But if I were trying to amend the Constitution I would probably attack the electoral college first. I was a defender until relatively recently, but teaching American National Government this summer has changed my mind on that.

                Liked by 1 person

              6. Servetus

                There was a new book about it this summer, which I learned about by listening to this:

                https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/08/05/should-the-electoral-college-exist

                (Note that I think the person defending the EC in this piece is pretty much a straw man; there are better defenses available. It’s probably hard to get radio guests in August, though.)

                And I sort of realized that I had been defending it on the basis of “rights it protected” without thinking about the question of the effect of the system on political culture. I.e., it’s probably the case that the electoral college substantially contributes to non-participation, particularly among younger voters, and the feeling that the main political question upon which *any* voter in the US wants to express an opinion (as participation in non-presidential elections is extremely low) is out of his/her hands.

                The presidential election is the quintessential situation in which everyone could say “my vote doesn’t matter” because in fact we aren’t voting for a president but for an “elector.” In practice, the electors vote as they are directed 98% of the time (and a US Supreme Court decision this summer strengthened the law behind that norm to make it legal to punish “faithless electors”). But in the current situation, the GOP attempt to win the election for Trump now seems to be focusing on states where GOP state legislatures could seat the wrong electors. It’s unlikely this will happen but it would be legal. And if we had a national popular vote, that kind of trick would also be made much more difficult.

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              7. I agree that the EC feels like a barrier between the people and the elected official. A little tired this evening, but I may try that podcast you posted tomorrow or so.

                It always feels strange to me that in a way a person’s vote doesn’t always really count in a ‘the winner takes all’ system, whether that is in the US or the UK. I mean, if you live in South Dakota, even if you vote Democrat, it will always be outshone by Republican votes and it feels like your vote doesn’t matter so much there. Over here, in a coalition system, your one vote goes into the party pot and that party can then form a coalition or go into opposition, but you always feel like you actually voted for the candidate of your choice and something can be achieved with that vote. Not sure if I explain it correctly, but over here it feels more like 1 person, 1 vote. The US system seems like a vote in a certain state can count for more than in other states and that doesn’t feel fair.

                My husband and I were talking the other day about how an Electoral College (if it can’t be dismantled) can at least maybe feel more fair, feel more like your one vote does really count. We were thinking that maybe a proportional giving out of votes by the electoral college could be an answer? For instance, a state now has, say 10 electoral votes. When the election in that state is won by 60% for the president to 40% for the opponent, 6 of the votes could go towards the president and 4 could go to his or her opponent, or something like that. That way, even if you voted Democrat in a red state, your vote would still count for some electoral college votes. I may be rambling, Would that make sense? Sorry if I’m rambling, it’s been a busy day full of meetings…

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              8. Servetus

                Not sure how deep you want to get into the technical level of this question, so I’ll try not to get too geeky here.

                I don’t think the systems are directly comparable, first because a lot of what happens during the “building a government” phase in European parliamentary democracies (Germany is the case I am most familiar with) happens before the election in the US system, in the process of negotiating a party platform. So instead of (e.g.) CDU/CSU and FDP coming up with a list of principles upon which they agree to govern after it is clear they have a majority together, the GOP comes up with a list of principles — that are themselves a compromise resulting from negotiation between their different constituencies — that are being voted up (or down) in the election. Due to the lack of a way under the US Constitution of doing what European countries call “dissolving a government” — the administration always continues in power until its term ends and Congresspeople remain seated until the end of the legislative term — there has to be some way to ensure that business still gets done. (This is particularly critical in the US’ current debt situation, imo: a situation like that in Belgium in 2010 or the German state of Hesse in 2008, or the repeated coalition building failures in the fairly recent German national elections would in practical terms render the US government incapable of paying its bills.)

                The second issue is voting culture — it’s fairly clear, as you say, that (most of the time) people in European parliamentary systems are voting for their party’s program. This makes sense because the programs are more modest and more specific and (see above) they *don’t* have to negotiate in too much detail about their stances. If you have a minority opinion, yes, you *are* voting for a list of candidates whom you support, but you also know that your party will never govern under normal circumstances. (So it’s maybe not that different from South Dakota — you vote for what you support but you’re still not going to get it represented in government most of the time. This gets to the history of how third party votes influence US politics, but in general, third party voters are important in the US because they move the major parties in one direction or another. E.g., all of the far Left progressives who voted Democratic in this last election are now pointing out that they will need their payback — there was an interesting interview with AOC this weekend on this topic that I think sort of shocked the Democratic leadership. It was in the NYT but it’s linked here: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/11/aoc-interview-slams-democratic-establishment.html ) But I don’t think American voters are (usually) voting on issues in the same way that Europeans do. There’s a lot more identity voting, and/or voting on the specific candidate. Chris Christie said something interesting about 2016 this weekend — he said essentially that the Dems voted a candidate who could not win, no matter how attractive their platform. It’s hard to imagine (say) big swatches of the membership of the CDU voting SPD because they don’t like AKK, but that is one explanation of what happened in the US in 2016.

                Details:
                -it’s correct to say that the EC negates one person one vote. I think I read that this year a vote in Wyoming has 3.6x the value of a vote in New York state (don’t quote me on that).
                -there are two states that have (different) proportional systems of EC vote distribution: Nebraska and Maine (both systems split their votes this year)
                -there’s also a movement afloat called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which attempts to game the EC by forcing states to award their EC votes to the winner of the national popular votes once states with 270 votes total agree. (I’ve got a link, but I’ll put it in a different post so as not to hang this up in moderation.) Of course, it’s mainly the most populous states that have agreed so far.

                Liked by 1 person

              9. Yes, you tend to vote here for party politics more than identity although in national elections the identities of those who head the party lists do play a role (but not as much as in the US) and the winning party will provide the prime minister. I have voted tactically before where my favourite party was too small to make a real difference and I voted for the largest left wing option in the hope of getting them into government.
                Also, I agree that in a multi-party system like ours, forming a government can be difficult, although it has never been as difficult for us here as, say, in Belgium where besides differences between the parties, cultural differences between the 3 language groups play into it all as well.

                The building a government before elections in the US is something I’ve never quite realized before until you mentioned it so explicitly here.

                Yes, we noticed the Nebraska and Maine proportional votes and then wondered if that could also be something that should be applied to all states.

                Thank you for your ever patient explanations. πŸ™‚

                Like

              10. Servetus

                You know, I have a pathological need to share information.

                I’ve often wondered what would happen if the US had a true parliamentary system — if we wouldn’t essentially dissolve the government every six months or so. When you consider the extreme variations within either US party, it’s hard to see what would happen if each of those groups had its own party: the GOP at the very least would be split up into a white evangelical party, a pro-life party, a big business party, a “Tea Party” party, and a libertarian group. Would they govern together better if they could constantly sabotage each other as opposed to being forced by the party system to cooperate? Good question.

                I don’t know a lot about why Nebraska and Maine instituted different systems for allotting electoral votes (I only know that each state is allowed to decide that for itself via its legislature). There would be certain advantages of it in terms of mood. We very much have the feeling in Wisconsin that “the people in Milwaukee and Madison decide for the whole state” (even if that is not true all the time) and perhaps a different system would make people in the northern / western parts of the state feel less hostility to the urban areas of the state. I do know that Maine also has ranked choice voting in a number of state races. I find that intriguing, but if the voters don’t do the informational work, it doesn’t seem to me that it’s all that much better as a system.

                Liked by 1 person

              11. Servetus

                Well, that’s kind of my question. Would Americans behave as Europeans do if they had a European-like system? Given the background of parties in the US (they emerge in opposition to the Constitution rather than as an organic piece of it — they were initially considered an aberrant political practice here), the extremely different political culture, and the sheer size of the electorate, I suspect they wouldn’t. But I am not a political scientist by trade, so perhaps I am wrong.

                Liked by 1 person

              12. Servetus

                I think it’s also a factor that we have a candidate system where actual individuals are voted in or out. It’s not like in England where, assuming the government changes hands, the people who occupy Number 10 have other offices available to them because they are still in Parliament, just not in government, and now they sit on the other side of the room. Not to say moving a family out of Number 10 over night isn’t a lot of work but it’s still limited; it’s not a wholesale changeover in the same way that a US election is.

                Liked by 1 person

  1. Servetus

    What a relief. It’s going to be a slog, and even past January legislatively, but at least we will have a leader who models calm, rational, kind behavior and civility in public, and someone who actually believes in the basic facts about virus transmission and medical science.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I just learned another new word from you, had no idea what a ‘bomber of beer’ was until just now! The Belgian Bernardus Abt beer I am familar with, albeit by name (my husband is more of a beer drinker than I am). It’s the perfect night to enjoy it, hope it was good!

          Liked by 1 person

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