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joined 2022 September 05 03:59:39 UTC


User ID: 430



6 followers   follows 1 user   joined 2022 September 05 03:59:39 UTC


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User ID: 430

You are quite welcome.

It's not a primary issue per see, because Japan isn't First Past the Post, and so it's not solely one candidate per geographic area. Additionally, the Party isn't so unified to have total control of candidate lists (hence the factions), nor does it control the money to candidates (which is the factions key leverage/reason to align with a faction).

The Japanese system post 1994 reforms is a mix some seats being elected via plurality voting (as in, the most votes even if not a majority), and a party-list proportional voting across 11 regional blocks (voting for the party gives the party the proportion of seats on hand, but the party selects the candidates). The proportional aspect is what favors the LDP as a party, while the plurality system is what favors the factions.

The plurality seats in various regions favor the factions because this is what lets a faction have key relationships with key local players (and donors) to the point that they can be the biggest individual party/faction in an area. Key donors / electoral influencers can enable a faction to win a seat in an area, even if not a majority coalition, and these faction-candidates are thus the influence the party as a whole needs to court/convince the faction to support the government. This is part of the post-1994 reforms dynamic reverted back to LDP dominance, because LDP/former-LDP types already had the key relationships/economic relationships to win pluralities where a FPP system would have required more comprehensive majority coalitions.

The proportional representation party-list is why it's better to be a dissident-faction within the party rather than an opposition party. Part of the political game is the push/pull/negotiation of how much of the LDP's list is aligned with your faction (or, alternatively, who you think might join your faction after being elected). As long as LDP remains dominant, it's better to negotiate/play for a share of the LDP's share than to try and fight for a share outside of the LDP. Naturally, this is a self-reinforcing cycle.

One of the key tools/roles the factions play in this, which is distinct from most other modern democracies post-election phase, is the role of providing financial support for government operations. The public funding allowance provided by the Japanese government to politicians is reportedly far less than what those in the US or European electoral systems expect. This makes party money critical not only for elections (as is the expectation for the US), but also daily operations post election for things like staff and systems to, well, do the job. Except that in the Japanese political context, the critical money isn't necessarily coming from 'the Party'- the LDP as a whole- but also 'the Faction'- the patrons (political and business relationships and donors). You, as a candidate, need someone's patronage if you intend to do things / be influential- or provide patronage yourself- and who you align with can be ideological or mercurial.

This is why the intra-LDP politics can be so dynamic, even as inter-party politics just seem like a LDP monolith. Factions that gain or lose major patronage streams- such as the changing business climate making new winners/losers- may gain or lose the ability to support / attract as many candidates. Personality conflicts between a faction's key leaders may drive off people who were only there for the monetary support, while a particularly charismatic person may be able to bridge ideological divides and create a new power center. Factions are ideology + money, in a framework where it's often still better to be within the LDP than outside it.

As a consequence, though, the LDP/factions lack the sort of party control mechanisms that developed in the US/Europe for maintaining party discipline and control. There isn't the same equivalent of the UK's Leader-control over the party list, which can be used to de-select dissident party members who oppose the leader like. Because plurality-seats, there can be / are 'independent' and politically critical geographically-tied political power centers that tend to be wiped away by pure proportional systems, which weakens national-level party control to enable lower level actors (and factions). And because money comes from factions, not just the national party, there isn't the sort of national party control (by way of controlling funding) that empowers the more centralized US party setups. All of these- plus other cultural/social dynamics- prevent the LDP's current leader from having the sort of ability to discipline the party as a whole that is normal for democratic party-based-systems, or for non-democratic party-states.

While it's not the normally desired way for a national system, in many respects the LDP is it's own political eco-system, within the broader Japanese national eco-system.

The single biggest factor I've heard/been convinced by is that the 1994 reforms didn't go far enough in providing public funding for the operations of the politicians. Faction support is financial not only critical in funding for the election phase (what US political parties serve as), but in the daily operations of the candidate and their staff to, well, work. What the government provides as an operating allowance is often insufficient, and so a faction provides the function for staff and systems and such.

In short, it's a power of the purse issue.

Don't let the party label fool you. In Asia, democratic parties are much less of 'political parties' in the American or especially European sense, roughly fixed coalitions with a breadth of ideological representation, and far more personality-based coalitions of factions. You don't support the Party, as is the European norm, or even necessarily the Person of a specific geographic area as is the American practice, you support the political faction, which can be substantially more dynamic than in Europe as factions even within the same party maneuver.

In Japan in particular, the Liberal Democratic Party factions are basically parties-within-a-party, such that 'the Liberal Democratic Party' is just the current coalition government of internal LDP factions, whose breadth and diversity can marginalize, co-opt, or subsume parties outside of The Party. If you want a more pro-China Japanese government, you don't need (or want) to start a pro-China party for people to vote for- you're better off just pumping up the current more-pro-China factions so that their factional strength influences the party's internal coalitions and maneuverings. Voting directly affects these, as LDP candidates can run against eachother as much as opposition parties- meaning that instead of a 'here is your only possible candidate from the one-party', you can have as many LDP candidates as opposition candidates running in a slate. Nominally they may be from the same party, but in effect they are each from distinct factions or faction-alliances, meaning that the victory of 'the party' is not synonymous with the status quo.

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is 'one-party' in the same sense that the American 'bipartisan consensus' is 'one party'. There have been many people who feel there's no point in voting because there's no prospect of change and that all the candidates are the same, but they'd be just as wrong in either country.

Not sure if anyone is seriously floating Michelle Obama, but I think Kamala Harris would be an absolute disaster.

Serious in the 'haha just kidding unless' since. No one is 'serious' since no one would 'seriously' try to directly unseat the sitting President, but if Biden were to fall for completely unrelated reasons, Michelle Obama would be one of the most serious contenders in a convention-negotiated candidate.

Among her positives, she has the name-recognition, is broadly associated with positive things/better times, is directly connected with the Obama-wing of the party which remains the dominant institutional actor of the party, and due to her 'inexperience' would be expected to/can credibly offer significant policy influence to the wings of the party in terms of appointments, more so than a more factionally-locked candidate might. She's also- significantly- not in a current position of importance/would not derail political careers/induce risk of election loss by stepping down as an incumbant and possibly open up a meaningful billet for an election loss.

This is all very, very positive in a convention-negotiation scenario, which would be an absolute disaster in general. No one from a back-room convention will be able to claim the mantle of legitimacy from all the state party selections, and in lieu of that it's critically important to have few in-party enemies (Michelle basically has none in the public awareness, unlike Hillary whose factionalism was legendary), have connections with other symbols of legitimacy (her marriage to Obama), have connections across a broad part of the Party (again, her marriage to Obama, who remains a key Democratic influencer), avoid sharing the issues the brought down the previous person and forced the choice (Michelle is young(er) and fit), and finally be able to take the dive gracefully in a way that sets up the next iterative round.

A Michelle election strategy would very likely run on a 'she's above the nastiness' while letting proxies attack, serving as best as possible as a foil rather than a mirror for Trump (where, whatever else one thinks of Biden, he also is easily cast as 'other old white corrupt liar'). It wouldn't necessarily be a bad strategy either- possibly the best from a bad hand- even as it (theoretically) could play to a lot of the Democrat's party interests and must-have coalition members, including the African-American vote, and the general professional female cohort. It's something more likely to help hold the party together in a way that appeals to its current core interests (urbanized professionals and progressive activists) than some of the other possibilities who could drive off the activists or deter the ongoing realignment progress of the national-security never-trump republicans, which has been party target since Hillary.

I'll confess to being a bit surprised, honestly. As far as being a domestic political threat, Navalny was a non-issue, and in some respects he still had value as a bargaining chip vis-a-vis his western supporters in Europe (and, to a lesser degree, the US).

The question that comes to mind in things like this is 'why now?', as opposed to months ago or some time in the future. I'm not particularly tracking any particular context where Navalny would have been domestically relevant to Russian politics... which doesn't mean there isn't, or that you couldn't have a differing view on what 'relevant' entails, but it could also mean there are other considerations in play.

One thing is the Russian state's medium-term view. There are a number of indications in the annual budgetting and such that Russia is more or less counting on the Ukraine war ending in the next two years or so, with a massive up-front but long-term-unsustainable surge of economic focus on trying to keep the pressure on and present a picture of strength leading up to the next US presidential term, and for some time for negotiations afterwards. In that context, removing Navalny now would let it subside by that point, while negating some potential implications if outsiders thought they could just out-wait Putin and see Navalny in the wings.

Which is another possibility. There are rumors in diplomatic/foreign affairs circles that Putin may not be as healthy as he presents, and that he has some form of old man disease where his tenure may be measured in years, not decades. If this were true, then killing Navalny could be seen as Putin 'cleaning house' so that, when he passes, there's no obvious pro-western potential successor to rise from the inevitable power struggle. It's not a matter of Navalny as a political threat now, but in the future.

Cheers, and concurrence. Please keep on keeping on.

I'm not trying to wade into this particular fight, but since I have a followed it for its many years, I am confused by this statement. Are you saying that @ymeshkout claims as a general statement that electoral corruption does not happen in American electoral politics, that he has made specific claims about it not happening in particular instances, or that other people have claimed it doesn't happen?

The later, as part of a counter-argument by negation by demonstrating the heuristic is not a rebuttal when it can simply be reversed to press to the opposite conclusion.

I think you're being uncharitable here too. While calling @HlynkaCG a "hallucinating liar" would be a bit harsh, he quoted something @HlynkaCG accused him of saying which he claims he did not. Either he did in fact say that (in which case @ymeskhout is either lying or suffering from faulty memory) or he didn't (in which case @HlynkaCG is either lying, misremembering, or mistaken).

I would disagree, as the structural argument is broader motte and bailey. The claim is not a specific instance of Hlynka, but a broader position.

If I seem like I am coming down on @ymeskhout's side here, it's because from personal experience I can't help sympathizing with someone who gets accused of saying things he didn't and then gets further attacked when he objects to this. FWIW I think both of you would do well to maybe speak a little more directly (and charitably) instead of using long circumlocutory paragraphs to say "You're a lying liar who lies" as verbosely as possible.

Speaking more plainly is what has gotten mod action in the past, and I wasn't intending to go into it after letting it sit for a night, but since you asked I'll try to make it as direct as necessary and consider this exchange in the thread done. (I have tried to not let arguments carry on past a day and intend to ignore/not make further public posts on this topic today, but if you'd like to PM, I will respond later.)

Among ymeshkout's bad faith habits is that you can provide him effort posts with the citations or examples he requests, and then he will lie in later arguments- or even in the same discussion threads- and deny such examples were provided to him, and use the argument of absence to claim a further point. When pressed sometimes he will deflect on personal-subjective grounds, sometimes he will do so on grounds of gish-gallop refusal, and sometimes he will simply not acknowledge... and then in the next iteration, he will repeat the claims of absence, and challenge for the same points previously provided, and repeat the same cycle. In the process he will regularly mis-represent other people's positions, even when directly corrected, and will affect incomprehension.

My position- which he used to directly link downthread of in the old-reddit- is that this is lying. That mis-representing other people's stated and elaborated positions despite direct clarification is lying. That claiming that no explanation or sources were offered is lying. That making broad insinuations that the only conclusion he can come to about his opponents no longer engage him to the detail he insists is because they are irrational and capricious is lying. And that, having disregarded the posts and positions offered to him only to claim that none were offered to him, that he is owed no such effort or citations in the future. Because, per the position, he would simply ignore the points made anyway and later claim weren't provided, while continuing to make claims and profer links which misrepresent the person's engagements. (Which he continues to do.)

I think if there's a bunch of specific cases that turn out to be unfounded, then it's justified to presumptively downgrade the broader claim only as a heuristic.

Fortunately this is simple hueristic to meet for the position you oppose. There are a lot of specific claims that electoral corruption does not happen in American electoral politics, and there are plenty of historical findings to the contrary.

I don't believe I've ever used a specific election fraud case to disprove the broader election fraud claim, but if I did then I disavow it now because that's not a valid argument. This would be akin to saying "Michael Richards never killed someone" as a way to establish that no Seinfeld cast member has ever killed someone.

It would be a terrible argument, and yet relying on weakmen arguments is something you have done repeatedly in the past, are charged with doing in the present, and are fully expected to do in the future. As such, your offer of refutation is not accepted, or believed.

It is a very characteristic part of your hobby horse, and is not expected to change.

Can you cite a specific example of my evasion/obstinance?


This thread is one of them.

Can you cite a specific example of an allusion or insinuation that you believe I've made in a surreptitious manner?

Yes, assuming you are using surreptitious is the common vernacular (as a synonym of sly, as in cunning), rather than an attempt at adding a qualifier for a different definition (as in 'secretely') that can never be met by virtue of being an openly visible word, and thus not a secret, while smuggling the connotation of the other without committing to either.

If explicitly disavowing an argument is insufficient for you, is there anything I can say that could possibly militate against the mind-reading?

This would be another example an insinuation, as the argument presents the accusation as based on mind-reading, rather than observation of iterative behavior. The insinuation furthers a further implication to the audience, as opposed to the other party, that no reasonable defense could be made against such and thus the accusation is unreasonable.

The reasonable defense against reoccuring bad behavior is to not conduct the bad behavior, though by its nature this requires controlling one's conduct before, rather than after, the bad habits re-occur. However, you enjoy your snipes too much to not, as you have with your post-posting edit here.

I'm often accused of holding positions I either never made or explicitly disavowed, and at some point I have to conclude that the reason people fabricate and refute arguments I've never made is borne out of frustration at apparently being unable to respond what I actually said. This post from @HlynkaCG remains the best example of this bizarre trend, where he's either lying about or hallucinating something I've never come close to saying.

While it is certainly flattering to conclude your doubters are hallucinating liars who make up their basis for distrusting you, you are not forced into that conclusion.

Sure, I have an admitted interest in the overall 2020 election claims.

I believe the British would characterize this as a modest understatement.

Edit: I'm mindful that we've discussed many of these same issues a year ago almost to the day. I appreciate that you've tempered your accusations somewhat, and I nevertheless would be eager for specifics to support your claims.

Specifics have been provided, as they have been provided in the past, as you have denied being provided them in the past, and as you will continue to not link to as part of the denial.

And with that, have a good night.

I guess I missed the weeks when the compelling evidence was provided, and so did TTP.

There were literally years ago, so it's easily forgiven (and forgotten). They're not of much interest to anyone anymore.

But see broadening the discussion to any old theory put forth gets very messy very fast and makes it easier for shoddy claims and poor evidence to survive scrutiny.

Time and censoring effects also make it harder for true claims and relevant evidence to be re-resurrected well after the fact, especially when contrary to significant media interests and the effects of the already-difficult nature of web indexing. Multiple deliberate efforts have taken course over the last several years to suppress information declared as disinformation by authorities who regularly had incentives, and occasionally were even caught, pursuing said incentives for information shaping.

The lawyerly approach is about the best one possible in an area of competing sides and contested evidence, and our local lawyer’s approach is even better in that he’s not going to win here on some technicality or strange legal theory.

Frank disagreement. The lawyerly approach is not the best possible approach to revealing truth in an area of competing sides and contesting evidence, as the lawyerly approach is to declare certain forms and sources of evidence as off-limits for consideration regardless of veracity, and then to declare the absence of evidence a victory for lack of contestation rather than address reasons why evidence might not have been presented (or accepted). The lawyerly approach also often favors demands for selectively applied processes, violations of which are invitation for censure, to the degree that even the defense against which can widely be recognized as arbitrary harassment, i.e. the process is the punishment.

The lawyerly approach is generally a preferable approach to settling disputes, but settling disputes is tangential to addressing the truth of a matter, and the truth may or may not be of active hinderence to the lawyerly process.

“Who cares about these guys they’re not the real case” seems a bit convenient when they’ve been so prominent in their field.

Truths are often convenient. Such as the truth that the TTT is not particularly prominent, because the constellation of reasons for skeptics has been far too diverse for any singular party, but specific parties have been signal boosted by those who like to utilize them.

The desire to remain control of the conversation is a substantial part of why the lawyer guy's broader position continues to lack the consensus he regularly tries to build. By denying previously provided compelling evidence of misconduct warrinting doubt as compelling, and then insisting later that only uncompelling arguments were ever offered, not only does the presenter lose credibility regarding the root argument, but lose credibility as an interlocuter in subsequent repetititions. It's not that a negative needs to be proved, it's that repeat iterations have demonstrated that there's no point in further engaging with positives that will be inevitably denied/diminished/claimed in the future were never provided.

This is without the acknowledgement that the lawlerly systemic approach isn't an approached to uncover truth, but to win a legal argument in a court of law- but coming in the context where only around 1-in-5 people trust lawyers. Unlike more respectable professions, which rely on public trust for deference, lawyers are owed no such deference due to the lack of trust.

It is his form of fun, however, so he'll enjoy his otherwise quiet night none the less.

Edit: I forgot I should've mentioned this, but it would be really helpful if responses avoided motte-and-bailey diversions. This post is about TTV and their efforts specifically, and though I believe stolen election claims are very poor quality in general, I'm not making the argument that "TTV is lying, ergo other stolen election claims are also bullshit". I think there are some related questions worth contemplating (namely why TTV got so much attention and credulity from broader conservative movement if TTV were indeed lying) but changing the subject isn't responsive to a topic about TTV. If anyone insists on wanting to talk about something else, it would be helpful if there's an acknowledgement about TTV's claims specifically. For example, it can take the format of "Yes, it does appear that TTV is indeed lying but..."

Boring night before the long weekend? Fair enough, I suppose

In that case, I decline to defer your attempted gerrymander on grounds of being a motte and bailey diversion by a repeated-iteration commentator.

To say this is not the first time you have posted on the subject of the 2020 election would be an understatement, and in those times you have regularly sought to use specific cases as a broader disproof to concerns or condemnations or malbehavior of the 2020 elections as unfounded/unjustified/'very poor quality in general', while not ignoring and or acknowledging (unless when forced, to the bare minimum as forced) said issues. You likewise have a pattern of then later referring to those selectively narrow motte-arguments in serve of more expansive baileys, such as claiming no substantive or well-founded issues were raised in previous iterations, or otherwise minimizing the existence or legitimacy of counter-positions, generally expressed by claimed befuddlement on how people could believe a broader topic despite numerous presentations to you.

Then there's the point that someone claiming they are not making an argument is not the same as not making the argument. Arguments do not have to be explicitly made to be made- this is the purpose of metaphor, as well as allusion, or comparison, and especially insinuation, which are techniques you have used in previous iterations of your reoccurring hobby horse pasting and examples can be found here. It's also the defining characteristic of a motte and bailey argument- a denial that the argument is the expansive claim, but really only the narrower one.

As your utilization of narrative techniques is retained, and your practice of referring to previous arguments is appropriate meta-knowledge for how you present arguments, your previous positions are a legitimate basis for understanding and interpreting your raising of a familiar topic. Said topic, the hobby horse you yourself acknowledge indulging in, is not TTP specifically, but 2020 election doubt more broadly. While asking people to refrain from acknowledging the bailey is indeed a form of motte defense, it still remains a motte and bailey argument of familiar form and purpose.

As such, it remains appropriately helpful for anyone wishing to contest the background argument to ignore the bailey, which is raised to defend the motte.

That might be a narrative reason in isolation, in the same way that the 5-man-ban trope really tends to support 2-siblings (so that 3 outsiders can be added), but that also doesn't really change that it's not terribly hard to find counter-examples in American media of sibling-ensemble casts. Swiss Family Robinson, Little House on the Prairie, Bradey Bunch, the Cosby Show, Boxcar Children. If you're willing to go animated, the Incredibles, Brave, Brother Bear, the Aristocats, Peter Pan, or the Simpsons. Even Disney's Coco and Encanto- which I'd consider far more 'conservative' than 'progressive' in theme- carry on with large families, albeit maybe in an ethnic stereotype fashion.

Not having families of 3 or more is a narrative choice, not a narrative constraint.

Yes. Frequently. Regularly, even.

Thank you for providing positive reinforcement.

I am honestly trying to recall recent major progressive-themed media where having three kids was presented as any such cultural ideal, particularly without one of the kids being cast as a negative influence (i.e. mentally divergent / physically impaired / morally lacking).

who think the smelly hippies are a bigger threat than the handmaid’s tale.

Is this supposed to insinuate that they're wrong?

If you're ballot harvesting the votes of illegal migrants, what's the difference between doing so and just making up names?

Aside from noting that you're changing the basis of your objection, facilitating a political machine coalition. Illegal voters can still be engaged and mobilized in mass politics; fake voters can't.

Why do you need a real life illegal immigrant to register to vote illegally when, by definition, the illegal alien won't have a legitimate SSN, won't have a legitimate birth certificate and so won't have a legitimate (non AB60 or equivalent) license?

Why do you think you need a legitimate SSN, legitimate birth certificate, or legitimate license, to vote remotely in the sort of localities which have facilitated mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting?

Especially when you note that good-enough fakes are available to many?

Of course many have fakes of the above, but if you're just registering fake voters

If an illegal migrant has fake documentation that enables them to vote, you're not registering fake voters, you're registering real voters. After all, they have real-fake documentation- and who are you to say otherwise? Or that the vote-registering person knew otherwise?

Separating the steps of fraud between different actors is a pretty basic way to facilitate fraud. In the same way that you don't have to know the criminal source of money to launder money, and thus the main money launderers are notoriously incurious about verifying income sources, you don't need to know that a voter is invalid to register/facilitate an illegal voter. As long as root systems exist to facilitate the documentation that enables legal voting, the presumption by the persons interfacing with the illegal voters can simply be that anyone with the nominal documentation is a legal voter. At which point, it largely falls on the voter to identify themselves as illegal, or else the presumption can be that they are legal.

(In fact, if you want to get very cynical, the illegal migrant registering that they are NOT a legal voter is putting themselves at risk by openly identifying why they can't vote, and the fraudulent nature of any documentation that says otherwise. At which point, it's in their own interest to go ahead and lie that they're totally legal, they're totally willing to do what they're allowed to do, and thus keep their heads down.)

This, in turn, creates yet more barriers against positively identifying any crime, as even if you identified that a particular ballot was tied to a particular individual (which is almost impossible, because that's rather the point of anonymous voting), it's also going to be nearly impossible to prove that the person facilitating the vote knew they were illegal (because they don't need to know that).

for such a ballot harvesting scheme the illegals themselves are unnecessary in that case.

Unnecessary to conduct fraud in general =/= not beneficial to facilitate fraud in a specific way.

A significant point of ballot harvesting is to shape and influence the vote (nominally to just have the vote occur and be delivered, but also potentially to shape the decision and delivery in partisan favor), while leading people to actively vote builds buy-in for the system and the party that facilitates the harvesting (voting as a ritual, familial party affiliation, and so on). Moreover, a common point of complicity-collaboration schemes is that mutual effort / complicity creates coalitions that stick together. On the legal side this includes things like hazing rituals, while on blatantly illegal sides this can include things like 'force someone to cross a line of no return' so that they can't back out.

And that's when there are meaningful risks. In credible forms of illegal migrant voter fraud, as the risks of detection are incredibly minute, the risk of mutual incrimination are virtually non-existent (because the harvestor doesn't need to know that the illegal voter was voting illegally), and the partisan faction most able to establish a system enabling illegal voting is also the least likely to acknowledge or prosecute the avenue.

From a partisan perspective, facilitating illegal voter fraud from the illegal migrant population is a way to draw them into the political machine. Political machines aren't just voting block devices, but jobs programs, friends in high places, and bodies-on-streets mobilizers. The relevance of a political machine to immigrant communities is a matter of historical records, as much as the familial/tribal nature of dependent voting blocks.

A non-existent voter doesn't do nearly as much for a political machine as a real voter, even- or especially- illegal voters. The voters will identify their interests with the machine that is most likely to benefit them/least likely to expose them, there is complicity that pressures them against defecting, and best of all said complicity doesn't have to be mutual for mutual incrimination, because the political machine aparatus can be willfully (and genuinely) ignorant of the legal-status of the voters that the machine facilitate.

You might as well have your own citizen activists register or vote as dead people, vote multiple times, impersonate others etc. which hugely minimizes the risk of the plot getting out.

I disagree that there is a risk to hugely minimize, because the risk is already hugely minimal to nonexistent, and there doesn't need to be plot, just structural enabling and incentives.

My take on this is that it has less to do about museums, and more a general decline in the US-American cultural/social reelvance of the Native American groups.

From an admittedly distant view, even as the sort of progressive/SJW criticisms of problematic Native American cultural references and caricatures increased in the 2000s/2010s, my sense is that rather than replace these with 'better' alternative symbols, there's been a broader trend of simply stripping Native American references entirely, with no indian cultural identifier left. Whether it's a butter company removing an iconic native american from branding, or the (American) football team Washington Redskins changing to the Washington Commanders following years of activist pressure, 'you can't have bad things- change it' isn't the same as 'do better things.'

If you’re running an operation in which people show up at polling stations,

If you wanted to use illegal migrants in a voting scheme, why would you ever bring them to a polling station?

Ballot harvesting has far fewer oversight and procedural control mechanisms.

What would be a better way to try to equalize presidential influence over the court, do you think?

Not trying to, and not trusting anyone who pushes for it with any degree of power.

'Equalizing' presidential influence is not a good goal for the same reason equity-driven politics are bad for treating people equally, as it's a non-standard extremely open to abuse and manipulation as any President whose coalition is not politically dominant on the court can claim that they are not yet equal, and thus entitled to further reshape the court to their influence. It's a license for un-equal influence in the name of establishing an outcome, not a consistent process, with the state of said outcome being defined by the people in power with all the opportunities for bias and self-interest it implies in self-justifying why they should get away with more.

By and large* I am not a fan of having executive- or party-controlled replace their predecessors, and while I am also not a fan of the executive having no influence whatsoever, the modern movement to equalize presidential influence of the court is part of a more banal effort to establish partisan control of the courts by a political party that for decades has viewed itself in historically determinist terms as the inevitable majoritarian ruling party, and more recently the only legitimate party of governance. Said party's think-piece networks and partisans openly muses other efforts to gain partisan dominance of the courts, ranging from explicit court packing to pressure campaigns to create new vacancies, with enough variations that I have no faith of any broad sincere desire to equalize presidential influence over the courts, only to equalize their influence on the courts on the way to re-establishing partisan dominance and deference previously enjoyed.

*One of the few exceptions I tend to have is for court systems established by external/illegitimate powers (such as occupation authorities, colonial authorities, or coups) and/or which self-select their own successors without executive and/or legislative input (which creates insular captured-interest blocks of whoever dominates the internal replacement process). Even then, I'd far prefer that a new administration allocate a share of new appointments with the opposition, and not grant themselves direct majorities. Yes, I am aware this basically never happens.

Currently it seems a bit too based on luck, whether people die on the job while your party controls the Senate.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is your reminder that Joe Biden was one of the specific leaders who introduced 'Borking' to the American lexicon, and that Democratic federal and Supreme Court politics have only escalated since then.

Adversarial court politics was not always the way, and it did not have to be the way, but it was the result of choices, specifically of the Democratic Senate leadership generation deliberately deciding to employ and normalize character assassination, appointment allocation, and other techniques to try and shape court composition. From Borking and other slander campaigns to the Bush-era Federal appointment stonewalling to arranging protests outside of judges houses or inside the Senate working areas, if there is a lack of goodwill to appointing Democratic judges, I'd wager it has some slight thing to do with Democratic conduct toward their peers on the topic.

None of your proposal address this very contemporary and living history, nor is there a reason why- in the face of very real and very earned distrust- a 'reform' that hyper-concentrates the ability to abuse judicial appointments in the hands of a party with a contemporary history of defecting on judicial norms that expects to be the primary beneficiary of the reform would be a beneficial thing at a constitutional level.

You're conflating federal policy with House of Representatives party politics.

In American federal political terms, both California and Alabama are equally irrelevant, not important, because neither are particularly competitive in presidential campaigns. Presidents don't disproportionately consider the views of states that will go for them regardless, but rather for the states they need to woo to win.

Similarly, the Senate is infamously a body which gives disproportionate favor to smaller states. Flat voting weight regardless of population lets small states like Alabama extort larger states if the larger states want agreement- or at least a non-fillibuster- of their interests. The Senate is where most of the extortion-pork in budgets comes from, because it's the Senators who must be appeased.

In the House, disproportionate weight doesn't come from the voting strength (which is proportional), but rather the number of committe seats. Large states- particularly large mono-party states- can leverage their strength as a voting block to vote their members into key positions that mutually reinforce. What makes California so central in the House is the point that the California Democrats have so many of the votes not just in the Congress, but within the party.

The size of the Supreme Court shall be permanently fixed at 9 members. All Presidents are guaranteed one appointment per term. If there is no vacancy during the term, then the President may vacate any single judge to create a vacancy at the conclusion of the Presidential term. If there is more than one vacancy, the President may appoint additional interim justices who will automatically be vacated at the start of the next Presidential term. [EDIT] The Senate may veto permanent appointments by a two-thirds majority. Interim appointments may not be vetoed.

This would be a huge centralization of judicial power in the Executive, and would be an immediate red-flag legal reform for a court-packing scheme in democratic backsliding countries. Any sort of coherent party or dynasty state would easily be able to exploit this to establish executive control over the judiciary.

Just on the veto side, the legislative break is a joke of a check or balance. Any president to win the American system has such a broad geographic coalition that they'd have more than a 1/3rd presence in the Senate, and thus basic party discipline would bar all but the most outrageous picks. This leaves nearly all the power in the President's hands.

Just on the presidential appointment side, just two concurrent Presidents of the same party/dynasty would be able to create almost overwhelming shifts in court composition. An incredibly hostile 7-2 court would easily become a 5-4 near-even split in just two elections, and would completely flip if, say, the President 'resigned' right before the 'transition,' thus elevating their vice-president to president, and letting said president get their own appointment for a 3-judge shift in 2 elections. Because there's no obligation to wait until the end of a term to replace a judge, any Presidential office worth it's salt would immediately reshape the court as their first act in office, while exploiting any absences for more.

The interim appointment without veto is also incredibly prone to abuse, as it directly encourages the ruling party to run intimidation- or elimination- campaigns against the judiciary. Just from the start, since any judge can be replaced, and because the natural incentive for the President is to replace the most hostile/opposing party judges, the incentive for any judge to not lose their seat for -insert personal reason here- is to comply with Presidential pressure and not stick out. If they do stick out and are removed- on pretext, for actual reason, resign 'under pressure', whatever- the President can immediately appoint a party loyalty. It wouldn't matter that the next president can appoint their own judge from the 'vacated' judges- that just means they can re-appoint loyalists, who can easily be counted on to make letter-if-not-spirit of the rule considerations. (Like, say, not counting an interim-replacement against the once-a-term appointment, letting pro-forma Vice President ascents appoint further judges, letting the same President make an additional replacement per time they assume the presidency, and so on.)

This would easily enable a system of court packing political loyalists and removing independent judiciary elements from the top court.

I believe the semi-official position once upon a time was 'better a bad leftist poster than no leftist poster,' or something along the lines as a balance-of-ideology argument.

The awareness is for the members, not the moderators. The moderators are aware of Darwin's years of bad faith polemics and cheap shots, just as they are aware he will continue to continue them again after repeat offense whatever double or triple warning it is after triple or quadruple digit reports by now.

It's other posters who need to be aware of Darwin's well-worn character to best avoid engaging and responding in ways that provoke moderator punishments against them, as has more than occasionally happened in the last. Darwin is one of the classic cases of evaporative cooling, where bad-faith actors who tend to get more people who engaged with them riled and moderated than they themselves do. Per the failure state, the best way to mitigate the heat by such people is to warn others to not engage, and why, so they do not engage and get emotional in the face of bad faith.

The most succinct warning is what was given: guesswho aka Darwin is a progressive who is here to wage the culture war, and the level of quality has been characteristic.