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  #41  
Old 07 December 2017, 08:28 PM
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I think it will help because it contributes to existing narratives about the sexist GOP and enlightened DNC.
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  #42  
Old 07 December 2017, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
But if Democrats show that they're morally no better than Republicans, how would that improve their chances of winning?
As erwins pretty much said, it isn't that him not resigning will get him more votes next election, it is that him being an incumbent will get him more votes that resigning would get his potential successor.

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Originally Posted by NobleHunter View Post
I think it will help because it contributes to existing narratives about the sexist GOP and enlightened DNC.
Which will be hijacked all of one nanosecond later by the narrative that all the resignations are proof of the corrupt and sexist nature of the Democrat party and the non-resignations of the Republican party are proof that their party is pure and the accusations are just smear tactics.

ETA: This is far from the ideal strategy or one that I'd prefer. But when your opponent is undertaking a massive and systematic project to disenfranchise millions of voter to keep them in power, g-you are going to have to bend a bit.
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  #43  
Old 07 December 2017, 09:16 PM
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Is there any evidence that attempting to show moral superiority in that way does improve their chances of winning?

Particularly compared to incumbency?
I don't know if it does or not. But it seems like failing to do so would be an overall loss from the perspective of the Democrats moving further towards being Republican-lite.
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  #44  
Old 07 December 2017, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
ETA: This is far from the ideal strategy or one that I'd prefer. But when your opponent is undertaking a massive and systematic project to disenfranchise millions of voter to keep them in power, g-you are going to have to bend a bit.
Suckering your opponent into doing something will make them increasingly toxic to half the country seems like a good way to counteract disenfranchisement.
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  #45  
Old 07 December 2017, 09:28 PM
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"For what is a man profited, if he shall keep his own soul, and lose the whole world?"

The way I see it is the Democrats and Republicans were engaged in an informal boxing match with no referee. But then the Republicans started punching below the belt, headbutting, biting, and kicking. The Democrats can stick with the Marquess of Queensberry and lose, or they can loosen up and fight back. Not suggesting they ditch rules altogether, but maybe go with London Prize Ring instead.

ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NobleHunter View Post
Suckering your opponent into doing something will make them increasingly toxic to half the country seems like a good way to counteract disenfranchisement.
Large chunks of the country are lost already. The way to fight back is to remain in power as much as possible, not concede and hope your gallantry inspires future voters.
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  #46  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:02 PM
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Doing something that hurts but is the right thing for numerous reasons does not mean conceding the election. It means it will be harder. They need to find a better, and better-vetted, candidate, and will have to work harder at getting them elected.

Which is important in actually being better.
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  #47  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:02 PM
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This article by Dahlia Lithwick examines the dilemma of the uneven playing field. It was written before Franken's resignation was announced, but when it seemed highly likely:

Quote:
Al Franken, many argue, should now resign. He should resign immediately because there are credible accusers (another emerged Wednesday), and because the behavior alleged is sufficiently abhorrent that there is simply no basis to defend him. In this parade of unilateral disarmament, Trump stays, Conyers goes, Moore stays, Franken goes.

Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve.
But she doesn't really come up with a solution, or a point where the line can be drawn between behavior that is "wrong but tolerable" and that which is completely unacceptable. And I don't know where it is, either.
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  #48  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Large chunks of the country are lost already. The way to fight back is to remain in power as much as possible, not concede and hope your gallantry inspires future voters.
They aren't lost. How many of those regions would stay Red if the GOP's share of white women dropped precipitously? The DNC isn't conceding Franken's seat. They're trading a local advantage to try and gain a national one.

ETA: If the idea of the GOP being the sexual harassment party sticks (and they certainly seem to be trying their best to make it happen), that could be as significant as labeling them the anti-black party. The best was to do that is to make clear distinctions in the way each party reacts to sexual harassment.

Last edited by NobleHunter; 07 December 2017 at 10:12 PM.
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  #49  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:08 PM
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We've probably seen the end of "admission and apology" as a strategy. Even a "no comment" sets up a different dynamic.
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  #50  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:09 PM
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If everything the Republicans try (and do) against women has not turned women against them by now, Franken resigning is not going to persuade them that they might have picked the wrong party before.
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  #51  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:09 PM
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The other thing about keeping someone like Franken in until his term is up is that he's really burned most of his credibility and political capital thanks to these allegations. Replacing him with a different person who doesn't have a history of inappropriate behavior makes it easier to actually get things done. It prevents his female coworkers of having to do the problematic calculus of trying to figure out whether to work with him or oppose him. And they don't have to wonder about whether or not he might do something inappropriate to them, either.
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  #52  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHunter View Post
They aren't lost. How many of those regions would stay Red if the GOP's share of white women dropped precipitously? The DNC isn't conceding Franken's seat. They're trading a local advantage to try and gain a national one.
Why would you think the GOP's support among white women would drop precipitously? The Trump sexual assault allegations already did a pretty strong sorting of women on that issue. If you look at the discussions right wing women are having about this, I guarantee that they are a) saying the Dems resigned because they did it, and the Rs deny it and they believe them, b) the accusations are either politically motivated lies, or complaints by delicate SJW libt**d snowflakes that can't take a joke/handle a real man/etc., or c) something about how much ISIS and/or Bill Clinton sexually assaults women.

I think it is possible that it could help build numbers with women, but it will not be precipitous.
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  #53  
Old 07 December 2017, 10:28 PM
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I'm naive enough to believe that doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do still has merit. A whole lot of terrible things have been done throughout history based on someone's idea of the ends justifying the means. I do not want to throw my support behind a party that routinely engages in that kind of cynical gamesmanship.

I teach in what has traditionally been a Republican stronghold of a town (and still is, at the local level), but I would say that the vast majority of my students are thoroughly disgusted by the way in which the right pandered to the worst parts of human nature to secure their last round of electoral victories. If we can keep this world afloat for a few more years, there just might be some hope.
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  #54  
Old 08 December 2017, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Why would you think the GOP's support among white women would drop precipitously? The Trump sexual assault allegations already did a pretty strong sorting of women on that issue. If you look at the discussions right wing women are having about this, I guarantee that they are a) saying the Dems resigned because they did it, and the Rs deny it and they believe them, b) the accusations are either politically motivated lies, or complaints by delicate SJW libt**d snowflakes that can't take a joke/handle a real man/etc., or c) something about how much ISIS and/or Bill Clinton sexually assaults women.
I suspect there's also an element of "Oh, all men are like that...or would be if they could get away with it," i.e., if they had money/fame/power. So you might as well vote for the one who you agree with politically. (It's the same sort of belief that Nixon wasn't really that different from other politicians, except that he got caught.)

It's been said, too, that one common feature of many conservatives/Republicans/Trump supporters is an admiration of "strength" and a comfort with the idea of patriarchy -- that a strong "father" should be the one in charge. So they may not exactly admire or endorse Trump's treatment of or attitude towards women -- but the fact that he in fact can get away with such behavior is somehow a sign of his "strength."

(What with Charles Manson recently dying, I've just been re-reading Helter Skelter, and one of the things that some of the female Family members admired about Charlie was that he was a "total man" who would not tolerate any back-talk from a woman. I think there are a significant number of women out there who are still looking for that kind of "strong" man who takes charge and doesn't defer to them, except in trivial ways like holding doors for them. It may not always be a conscious desire, and it may well be in conflict with her desire to be in control of her own life, but just look at our entertainment, and how often it celebrates the uncompromising, "my way of the highway" hero. Even if a woman reacts negatively to this idea, I think there's still a vague societal message that this is how things are supposed to be, and which perniciously affects both male and female psychology and behavior.)
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  #55  
Old 08 December 2017, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Why would you think the GOP's support among white women would drop precipitously? The Trump sexual assault allegations already did a pretty strong sorting of women on that issue. If you look at the discussions right wing women are having about this, I guarantee that they are a) saying the Dems resigned because they did it, and the Rs deny it and they believe them, b) the accusations are either politically motivated lies, or complaints by delicate SJW libt**d snowflakes that can't take a joke/handle a real man/etc., or c) something about how much ISIS and/or Bill Clinton sexually assaults women.

I think it is possible that it could help build numbers with women, but it will not be precipitous.
Remember last year how much reporting there was on voter fatigue, which was listed as one of the reasons Dump got nominated and elected? Dropping Franken for this could be a step in convincing at least some voters that the Democrats do have some actual integrity on issues and aren't just going after Moore as part of empty tribalism from a group that's no more moral than its opponent.

I don't expect it to instantly win a whole bunch of new people, but it's a step in the right direction.
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  #56  
Old 08 December 2017, 08:55 AM
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Yes, and as I said, it could help build numbers with women. Or it could help in general, but, also as I said, it will be incremental, not precipitous. Any big moves on these issues have already happened. To get a precipitous change would take a new issue, I think.
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  #57  
Old 08 December 2017, 02:48 PM
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erwins, you might be right. But I think that what often happens is that people's minds change bit by bit, in the back of the head, but the change may become obvious in a fashion that appears to be all at once. People aren't, for instance, actually vehemently opposed to gay marriage in 1999 and in favor of it in 2009 because they changed their minds on a specific Tuesday; though it may be on a specific Tuesday that they're willing to say so out loud. But some portion of their minds has been working at the idea for years. And for opinions deeply embedded, it may take years.

The idea that 'hey, maybe we don't have to put up with this crap after all' may similarly be working in the minds of a lot of people who've been assuming that this is just normal behavior; especially right now, when quite a few people have loudly and publicly passed their own specific Tuesdays and are saying so out loud.
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  #58  
Old 08 December 2017, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
A whole lot of terrible things have been done throughout history based on someone's idea of the ends justifying the means.
Not that you are doing this, just jumping off.

"The ends don't justify the means" is way overused and often not true. What is should say is that the ends don't always (or automatically) justify any means. Because means are justified by the end [goal] lots of times. For example, an unconscious person is taken to the emergency room and without the patient's knowledge or approval, the doctor amputates both the patient's legs. But if the end is saving the patient from imminent death by septic shock, the otherwise horrible means are justified.
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  #59  
Old 09 December 2017, 05:19 AM
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I agree completely with that, GenYus. But I also agree with your earlier quotation, and am dismayed to see so many of my liberal friends on social media saying, essentially, "So what? What the other guys did is worse, and they're not backing down, so..." Yes, it seems like claiming the moral high ground is something of a Pyrrhic victory these days, but I'm not ready to thrown in the towel on good behavior just yet.
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  #60  
Old 09 December 2017, 06:30 AM
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Yeah, in something that could be cross-posted with the Things You Shouldn't Have To Tell People, "but it's a lesser crime than the one the other guy committed" is not taking the moral high ground.
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