A puzzle on US politics

One of the striking features of US politics over the past fifteen years is the rise of partisan feeling. The blogosphere reflects this, and has helped to accelerate it. Whereas US political discussion used to be dominated by appeals to bipartisanship there now seems to be more party-specific rancour than, for example, in Australia.

On the other hand, there’s a lot of commentary about the absence of competitive races and the increasing advantage of incumbency.

These two trends seem inconsistent to me. Of course, with strong partisan loyalties you expect a fair number of safe seats for either party, but the discussion of incumbency is mostly about the strength of individual incumbents. And even with many safe seats, there ought also to be a large number of marginals.

Has anyone attempted to reconcile these conflicting trends?

30 thoughts on “A puzzle on US politics

  1. There has never been a USSC case to decide a US presidency. Bush vs Gore was not “does Bush win or does Gore win”.

    The vortes were counted SEVERAL times.

    If you have any evidence of anyone being prevented from voting or waiting in line 12 hours to vote, I’ll look at it. So far, no one has produced any such evidence. Considering how few Americans vote at all, it’s not believable that anyone waited 12 hours to do so.

  2. Some votes in Florida were counted several times. Many were never counted at all.

    The statement: “There has never been a USSC case to decide a US presidency. Bush vs Gore was not “does Bush win or does Gore winâ€?.” is pure sophistry. Everybody was well aware of what was at issue.

    Sorry, I was not there to collect the evidence but there are an abundance of reports from people who were there.

    Perhaps international observers should be sent in next time?

  3. “Some votes in Florida were counted several times. Many were never counted at all.”

    No, but I know that’s a good soundbite.

    “The statement: “There has never been a USSC case to decide a US presidency. Bush vs Gore was not “does Bush win or does Gore winâ€?.â€? is pure sophistry.”

    A lot of people haven’t a clue what Bush vs. Gore was about. If you think it was either brought to decide the presidency or that it did, you’re one of them. Review the opinion.

    “Sorry, I was not there to collect the evidence but there are an abundance of reports from people who were there.”

    Then names should surely be available, no?

    “Perhaps international observers should be sent in next time?”

    you’ll have no trouble finding observers to agree to come. Maybe some Cubans? Congolese? Mexicans? Sudanese? Palestinians? Russians? The problem would be, how do we then get them to go home?

  4. My final response to Milano803
    1. There was widespread media reporting at the time of all the Florida antics both preceeding the ballot (culling the electoral roll of likely Democrats) and after the ballot to prevent votes being counted to retain a possibly fluke Bush majority. Try the archives of any major US newspaper.
    2. Whatever the technical contest in Bush vs Gore, everyone knew at the time, and knows now, that the practical effect was to hand the election to Bush. Except it seems Milano803 and a few other hard core denialists.
    3. International observers? Great debating technique setting up a straw man like you have. Try Western European, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand for a start.

  5. 1. Then names should not be a problem.

    2. The USSC doesn’t “hand” elections to anyone.

    3. I’d be delighted to have international observers. You pick the country. And then round em up and make sure they leave.

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