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Marsha Blackburn Continues To Be Rewarded For Screwing Up The Internet

from the rooting-against-your-self-interests dept

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger telecom sector crony than Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn. Blackburn has long made headlines for her support of SOPA, attacks on consumer protections like net neutrality and the FCC's broadband privacy rules. She's also come out in favor of turning ISPs into censors, and has been first in line to support giant ISP-backed protectionist state laws hampering competition. AT&T is routinely one of Blackburn's top donors, and her home state of Tennessee remains one of the least connected states in the nation as a direct result.

Even in our current hyper-tribalistic, post-truth reality, you'd have a hard time arguing that Blackburn has been anything but terrible for the health of the internet and consumer rights. Yet somehow, Blackburn just keeps getting rewarded for giving consumers the tech policy equivalent of a giant middle finger.

Shortly after her attacks on net neutrality (Blackburn absolutely adores the idea of letting the biggest companies buy an unfair market advantage from ISPs) Blackburn was promoted to head the Communications and Technology subcommittee. And this week, Blackburn successfully jumped from the House to the Senate, beating challenger and former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to nab the Senate seat vacated by departing Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. Her win was, unsurprisingly, heralded as a big win for the public welfare by the state's political apparatus:

"Marsha Blackburn demonstrated the type of conservative leadership Tennessee voters want in Washington,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner said in a statement Tuesday evening. “We want to congratulate Senator-elect Blackburn on a hard-fought victory and look forward to her working in the U.S. Senate to confirm conservative judges, push pro-growth reforms and advocate for policies that improve the lives of all Tennesseans."

It's another example where blind partisan fealty tends to trump common sense, resulting in people who can only see in red or blue cheerfully voting against their own best self interests in what winds up being little more than a self-immolating, facts-optional game of team sports. As we've noted constantly, issues like net neutrality really aren't partisan, since an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans support this and other basic checks on monopoly power. ISPs and lawmakers just like to frame such tech issues as partisan, as sowing division hinders consensus and helps stall meaningful change and reform.

Last minute efforts by Taylor Swift apparently didn't help convince Tennessee voters that Blackburn's not their ally. Neither did Consumer groups efforts to educate Tennessee voters about Blackburn's continued tendency to screw them; an effort that at one point involved crowdfunding billboards posted in Blackburn's home district:

With Blackburn how holding a more powerful position in the Senate, Tennessee voters (and the rest of us) can look forward to more of the same. Blackburn is always AT&T's first stop when the company wants to shovel some law its lobbyists wrote into the legislative bloodstream. That was made clear when Blackburn pushed both a fake net neutrality bill and a fake privacy bill, both with only one real goal: to prevent tougher state or federal laws from being passed. As giant ISPs continue their relentless assault on both competition and federal and state oversight, expect Blackburn to play an essential, starring role.

On the plus side, a freshly-reconstituted House filled with more net neutrality supporters should slow any telecom-industry efforts to pass wishlist legislation, while providing something vaguely resembling oversight for the Ajit Pai FCC. Still, it's incredible to watch politicians like Blackburn routinely sell out the majority of her constituents on tech policy, then watch those same constituents happily root against their own best self interests by giving her an endless series of promotions.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 6:28am

    here they come, yo

    -Democrats don't take over the Senate in 2018
    -Republicans lose seats in the House of Representatives
    -both sides claim Russians hacked the 2018 midterms in
    3...2...1

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 6:29am

    Marsha Blackburn Continues To Be Rewarded For Screwing Up The Internet

    ::Checks Mark Zuckerberg's latest compensation package::

    Same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 6:39am

    'those same constituents happily root against their own best self interests'

    this just proves that you cant put sense where there isn't room!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Ed (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 6:54am

    Can't someone post a video of Marsha wiping her chin as she leaves AT&T headquarters?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:06am

    Consumers

    Remember, in a perfect capitalist/libertarian society there is no such thing as "Consumer Protection" regulation. Net Neutrality and other protections are good for people, but bad for businesses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:25am

      Re: Consumers

      Net Neutrality was "bad" only for ISP business in that it prevented them from profiting by screwing their users and the rest of the world. All other businesses with a web presence were harmed by dismantling NN, content providers more than most.

      If I got to vote between "more profits for ISPs" and "equal access to the world for everyone" I'd have voted the latter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:41am

      Re: Consumers

      In a __perfect__ capitalist/libertarian society there is no such thing as a corrupt politician, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re: Consumers

        Charles Stross likes to say that he finds both Marxism and Libertarianism fascinating, as they're both complex, internally-consistent ideologies that, in order to function, require you to replace human beings with perfect frictionless spheres.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:57am

      Re: Consumers

      It depends upon what you think is bad.

      Those who view the world thru tainted glass are more prone to bad decisions, likely getting short term gains followed by all sorts of unanticipated losses. Rinse & repeat. Privatized gains and socialized losses.

      Others who view the world from a more broad perspective include real long term planning in their business rather than that window dressing prospectus crap.

      Good thing a perfect capitalist/libertarian society is not achievable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:01am

      Re: Consumers

      in a perfect capitalist/libertarian society there is no such thing as "Consumer Protection" regulation.

      Because in said perfect society the level of business competition and information flow to consumers are so high that such regulations are not necessary, as any businesses which do not do follow them voluntarily are swiftly driven out of business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:12am

        Re: Re: Consumers

        And the flaw in that vision is the amount of knowledge people need to have at their fingertips to make decisions, it exceeds the capacity of a single human mind.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re: Consumers

        LOL - that is ridiculous fantasy

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Consumers

          Maybe you should take a look at countries that actually have competitive broadband markets and require little to no net neutrality regulations.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Consumers

            They have a "perfect society"?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Consumers

            Maybe you should take a look at countries that actually have competitive broadband markets and require little to no net neutrality regulations.

            I think he's saying a market where there is perfect competition and consumers have perfect information is a fantasy.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: Consumers

        Never mind the documented issues with the generation of reputational information (spoiler: the distribution of reputational information isn't a bell curve at all, it's more of a J-shape, which plays merry heck with even sophisticated attempts to reconstruct the actual population distribution of quality levels for a product or service).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 11:40am

      Re: Consumers

      It's good for business.

      It's bad for business.

      It really depends on which business you're looking at.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      cattress (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 4:23am

      Re: Consumers

      This whole shitshow is not an example of capitalism or the libertarian ideology. This is cronyism. The Telecom and cable industries that have become broadband ISP have never been a free market system.
      Libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle and private property rights. Regulations that prevent fraud (theft by deception) or provide recourse for harm are within our beliefs. We oppose rules like licencing because they the only protection they offer is from competition. (Having a medical degree and credentials proving education are not the same as a state issued medical license)
      It's fair to say that libertarians hold foolish utopian ideals that utilities could all be thriving competitive businesses. Seriously, there's only so much physical space to run water, sewer, power, and cable lines, and no return value on redundancy. But it's wrong to blame capitalism for an industry that has never been a free market

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re: Consumers

        That's perfectly reasonable. But it's also something of a No True Scotsman argument.

        The Techdirt comments' other resident Libertarian holds a different, and far dumber, interpretation of the ideology than you do.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:32am

    If she could, she'd get rid of the Internet entirely... well, except for all of the lobbyist money she gets from the industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      They do not want to get rid of it, they want to take control of it.

      They can not stand the free association and communication allowed by such a nefarious tool. Why, people might even find out how much the wealthy have been screwing them all these years and we can not have that now can we?

      Do not ask the Emperor about his new clothes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Giving corporations complete control of the internet is getting rid of it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, I suppose you are correct. It would no longer be the Internet as it would become a non interactive broadcast medium that charges you for the privilege of being spied upon whilst viewing whatever they spew.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nerd bert (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:50am

    The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

    I somehow suspect that Net Neutrality wasn't the only issue in the campaign.

    In fact, I'd lay odds that for most people it wasn't in the top 10 reasons they voted for the candidate they voted for anywhere in this country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nerd bert (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:59am

      Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

      Oh, and speaking of Taylor Swift -- really? If Swift were talking about entertainment that'd be one thing, but she's talking about subjects that are far outside her expertise.

      But the good news for her fans: just wait, she's got more material and you'll get another song about how a man disappointed her.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

        Who cares?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

        I can't stand it when"celebrities" pretend they know more about something than everyone else because... celebrity.

        My position is that they are actors, musicians, sports players or whatever. That's their field of expertise. That's how they should be judged. Are they good at what they do?

        Now if they want to become political pundits then they need to be judged on that as well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:04am

          Re: tl;dr

          My grandma once forwarded me an e-mail ranting about how these Hollywood celebrities should shut up and stay out of politics.

          It closed with a quote by President Reagan.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:36am

          Re: Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

          They let you do it when you're a celebrity.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

          Yeah. Only famous people who (allegedly) don't know fuck-all about some subject on which they expound should shut the fuck up and leave it to anonymous internet comments sections experts. Forfuxake already.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 7:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

          And yet here you are implying you know more than celebrities even though you are presumably not a professional political pundit.

          Most human beings are capable of being informed and knowledgeable about things other than their main profession. Being a celebrity no more excludes you from having a valid opinion than it does make that opinion more valid. It just means more people want to listen.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:24am

          Re: Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

          "I can't stand it when"celebrities" pretend they know more about something than everyone else"

          LOL - Donny the "reality" tv show host who publicly refers to himself as a celebrity also thinks he knows it all while everyone else is a dumbshit loser.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

        Except, honestly, its outside any of our expertise, aside from pundits who are hard to trust. Most political messages you hear are not from 'experts' but deep pockets special interests. Taylor Swift going on a twitter crusade to encourage overall voting, and sharing her opinions on the ballot is what we should expect of everyone. Yes, she has a larger reach, but I found the language she used to be far less aggressive then most political commentary I've seen.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 10:04am

        Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

        Since when does anyone need special expertise to express a political opinion?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

          Well, as politicians don't nobody else needs it either.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:04am

      Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

      This.

      I've been following the Net Neutrality stuff pretty closely, and as near as I can tell, her opponent had the right views on NN, but was kinda terrible about so many other things that it's not clear that he would have been better overall.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:12am

      Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

      Yeah pretty much. Just off the top of my head, the economy, taxes, health care, immigration,and gun control.

      I think ISPs should be just dumb pipes. Not "vertically integrated" providing content. Let the packets flow without favor or hindrance.

      But in the great scheme of things it does kind of take a back seat to other issues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

        Just off the top of my head, the economy, taxes, health care, immigration,and gun control.

        Especially immigration. If I was Tennessee, I wouldn't want people from Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi invading my state either.

        Gotta stop those invaders bringing down the collective IQ of the state! Deploy the military, that's what I say!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      takitus (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 3:15pm

      Re: The Internet isn't everything, nor the only thing

      Indeed. Tech policy was clearly a very low priority for most candidates in the recent election. Case in point: After pestering the leading House candidate in my district for something approaching an Internet policy, I received a sentence about “<J. Random Candidate> believes strongly in modernizing our nation’s military to deal with emerging cyber threats.”

      Techdirt complains rightly that the US Congress is embarassingly (or conveniently) ignorant on most tech issues. But how can the situation be improved when most candidates clearly don’t see any political advantage in knowing, well, anything about these subjects?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    KEVIN FEARS, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:37am

    95% of all the hate in our world is generated solely by dem liberals. most of the VERIFIED, NOT HERESAY LABELING, [in other words, out right lying]has been proven to be theirs as well. while I don't agree with the tactics of anyone who opposes net neutrality, THESE ACTIONS ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF LIBERAL HATE. which can't get past thinking, that crying wolf, and stirring the pot, is the only way to get things done. if you weren't busy digging in the trash, making the mess bigger, and pointing fingers, [look over there. not at me.] people would have fewer distractions and real issues to deal with. but, of course, that's not what you want. right? find some proof. expose it with verifiable facts. then watch your world improve. not just screech like a monkey in mid pitch. if you don't have anything,[but monkey dodo to do] do your job. and find some. PROVE ME WRONG. I'LL back you if that happens. OR OWN THE TITLE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Most of the hate is created by people like you putting people into classes that you can attack.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:50am

      Re:

      ...and pointing fingers...

      Self-awareness isn't one of your strong points.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 8:53am

      Re:

      PROVE ME WRONG.

      Prove you're right. Until then you're just spouting more hate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      Everything you just said is bullshit.

      Prove me wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:44am

      Re:

      Define what you consider to be "hate".
      Now ask several other people not within your political sphere (those who may disagree) the same question.

      The differences may be surprising.


      You bring up lying ... while the President spews lies continuously, it's like he is incapable of anything else. But let's blame everyone else for his short comings.

      I am not the one making outrageous claims that need proof, you however are attempting to side step backing up your claims. Many times this sort of thing is considered to be a lie.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      most of the VERIFIED, NOT HERESAY LABELING, [in other words, out right lying]has been proven to be theirs as well

      Oh, it's been proven? Please, show us the proof.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 10:36am

      Re: ok I’ll prove you wrong

      President Trump

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin Hayden, 8 Nov 2018 @ 9:05am

    Tennessee is so screwed now

    We can't even tell the voters of Tennessee to go screw themselves over this. It appears they already have! Maybe now that she has an even bigger profile, they'll finally see that she's only in this for her and her masters' own interests and vote her out next time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 10:49am

    As someone pointed out, maybe NN is a smaller problem in TN compared to the other problems we are facing right now. 1.2 Million people felt that she was the better person to represent the state. NN is not the only issue out there, yes it is an important issue, and its an issue that may be fixed either with the States suing the FCC or with States passing their own NN Laws. If NN was the only issue then yes my vote would have went with who better represented my view on that, but right now there are things that are more important to me, than just NN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 11:25am

      Re:

      You might be wrong with your priorities, as without net neutrality government and corporations will control your infomation, education and business opportunities.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re:

        Which is an important issue, but if you think it's the most important issue in American politics, then you probably come from a demographic that faces a low likelihood of being deported, shot by police, targeted by white supremacists, or denied medical care, to name a few issues that are literally life-or-death for a lot of people right now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 1:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And with controlled communications media, they cannot get their stories out, or organize themselves to try and change things. The first step to addressing issues is a communications capability, which is why tyrannical governments always try to control the means of communications.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Re:

        No my priorities are not wrong. Maybe they are wrong for you, but that why they are called my priorities. Immigration, Taxes, Amount of Gov spending, Health Care costs, take more of the front seat for me than NN. I already get my Internet from a local co-op so that really puts NN to the back seat for me. As its not controlled by a big corp.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I understand your position but wish you could consider the greater good. OK, your NN situation is fine, how about helping out the 90% of us who cannot say that?

          Appreciate your support.. /s

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      I am sure Blackburn is fucking awesome on so many other issues.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh, Blackburn is a piece of work on a myriad of issues.

        It just happens that most Tennessee voters agree with her on those issues, even if they don't agree with her on NN.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      If NN was the only issue then yes my vote would have went with who better represented my view on that, but right now there are things that are more important to me, than just NN.

      For me the issue is not specifically her position on NN. It's that, when I look at her relationship with telecom, I see blatant corruption. On that alone, I wouldn't vote for her even if I agreed with every point on her platform.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re:

        If you look close enough at any politician you're very likely to find corruption. Since writing in a spotless candidate is as good as not voting at all your choice, as for everyone else, is to choose the lesser of the evils. The things each politician stands for are more important than where they get their money. As shitty as that is.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some are more corrupt than others.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 2:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As much as I wish this wasn't true, it's sad that this is the truth. It all comes down to which candidate best represents the priorities that matter to you. As much as I dislike some of the things she has done in the past, until there is a better candidate she will get voted in. Look at Diane Black, she thought she was a shoe in for TN Gov, (and I was afraid that she would be the popular one to get it as much as I disliked her) but it seems enough people didnt like the way she did things in the primary and enough people chose a better candidate. Oh and look its another non career politician that was voted in.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      Then maybe Tennessee voters should tell her to stop messing with the internet and focus on what they care about. She's tried to cause more damage to the internet than most other politicians.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 3:00pm

    If you look close enough at any politician you're very likely to find corruption

    Perhaps, but even so there is a difference between hiring your nephew for a staff position (for example) and being completely in someone's pocket.

    choose the lesser of the evils

    As long as the majority of the people think that, nothing is going to change.

    The things each politician stands for are more important than where they get their money.

    And what happens when you have a politician whose "things they stand for" are defined by where they get their money? Even if you agree with their platform and vote for them, how can you trust that they won't change their positions later if the other side makes a bigger contribution? "...After giving the matter considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that my views on <ISSUE> were ill-advised. It is now clear to me that..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2018 @ 3:50pm

      Re:

      As long as the majority of the people think that, nothing is going to change.

      So what would you suggest? We can't effectively pick candidates that are not on offer on the ballot. We can only choose between Douche Canoe and Crap Sandwich.

      And what happens when you have a politician whose "things they stand for" are defined by where they get their money? Even if you agree with their platform and vote for them, how can you trust that they won't change their positions later if the other side makes a bigger contribution? "...After giving the matter considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that my views on <ISSUE> were ill-advised. It is now clear to me that..."

      That's possible regardless of their platform or where they get their money. We can't trust any of them but as I said, we can only choose from the choices we're given.

      Unless we're all going to run for office I don't see how we stand any chance of changing anything. This is the hand we're dealt and the government we're stuck with. Either spawn a revolution or shut up and vote as well as you can.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 8 Nov 2018 @ 3:52pm

      Re: tl;dr

      As long as the majority of the people think that, nothing is going to change.

      What people think has nothing to do with it; a two-party system is the inevitable result of first-past-the-post elections. This is called Duverger's Law. You can't overcome math with the power of positive thinking.

      In instances where independent or third-party candidates get elected, it still devolves to a two-person race. Take a look at Tuesday's election results: yes, two independents won in the Senate -- but both those independents caucus with Democrats. Bernie Sanders ran against a Republican, with no other candidate in the race; Angus King ran against a Republican, with a Democratic candidate coming in a distant third with around 10% of the vote.

      There are only two times in US history that a third party has become successful -- and both those times, we didn't wind up with a new multi-party system, we just ended up with a different two-party system than the one we had before. The Republican Party displaced the Whigs; the Whigs displaced the Federalists. Always two there are; no more, no less.

      You want to change the two-party system? Great. So do I. We can't do it with the Power of Positive Thinking; we need to advocate for electoral reform.

      I believe the best solution is ranked choice voting, which I've been talking about a bit over the past couple of days (see posts I wrote yesterday and today).

      I think there are very good arguments for RCV regardless of your political affiliation. And I'd really like to see more of a push for it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 4:04am

    Tennessee is very Republican state. The Antebellum South is pretty much Republican, though a Democrat could elected governor in Georgia, if there is a runoff election, and there could be.

    Rednecks, like those in Tenneeses, tend to vote straight Republican down the line.

    And I know about rednecks, because both of my parents were rednecks, one from Montana, and the other born to parents from Georgia who always voted straight Republican down the line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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