History UsefulNotes / AmericanPoliticalSystem

10th Oct '17 5:21:22 PM nombretomado
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* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Masonic_Party Anti-Masonic Party]]''', as its name suggests, was formed in 1828 in opposition to what they felt was the corrupting influence of Freemasonry, although it would eventually pursue a more general opposition to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonian_democracy Jacksonian democracy]]. It introduced such political traditions as party platforms and nominating conventions, setting an example of single-issue political party. At their height in 1832, they managed to win 7.78% of the popular vote, with their greatest strength in Vermont (who gave them their only electoral college victory) and in New York. The movement would fizzle out and be absorbed into the growing Whig party by 1838 (Freemasonry no longer being that hot of an issue), although not before running future President WilliamHenryHarrison in the 1836 election.

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* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Masonic_Party Anti-Masonic Party]]''', as its name suggests, was formed in 1828 in opposition to what they felt was the corrupting influence of Freemasonry, although it would eventually pursue a more general opposition to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonian_democracy Jacksonian democracy]]. It introduced such political traditions as party platforms and nominating conventions, setting an example of single-issue political party. At their height in 1832, they managed to win 7.78% of the popular vote, with their greatest strength in Vermont (who gave them their only electoral college victory) and in New York. The movement would fizzle out and be absorbed into the growing Whig party by 1838 (Freemasonry no longer being that hot of an issue), although not before running future President WilliamHenryHarrison UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison in the 1836 election.
23rd Jul '17 9:23:19 AM nombretomado
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The Supreme Court is theoretically an apolitical body, though more often than not presidents will appoint a judge whose political opinions agree with their own. [[note]]Likewise, justices prefer to retire when a like-minded President is in office to keep the balance of power from shifting too far to their opponents' side. This kicked up a firestorm in 2016 after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, with the GOP-controlled Senate refusing point blank to even ''consider'' an Obama nominee and holding out for a Republican president to be inaugurated in 2017. It doesn't help that several major decisions are outstanding. Obama's response was to start researching nominees anyway, ultimately nominating Merrick "My Middle Name is Moderate" Garland, an unimpeachably honorable and thoroughly centrist judge whom Republicans had previously cited as an excellent pick for the Court; who will win this standoff is still up in the air.[[/note]] Of course, it's hard to tell how a justice will rule once he's on the bench -- David Souter, a justice appointed by UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush, was commonly considered one of the more liberal-minded justices, and Chief Justice John Roberts, usually a solidly conservative judge, famously crossed the bench and voted to uphold Barack Obama's healthcare reform act. At present, four of the (currently eight; Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February 2016) justices on the bench were appointed by Republican presidents, and the other four by Democratic presidents. Of the eight, three are typically considered "conservative", four "liberal", and one "right-leaning moderate". The fact that Justices serve for life means that they, unlike Congress and the President, are free to issue rulings purely based on their own judgment and conscience, without worrying about the whims of public opinion, party support, or reelection. Supreme Court justices theoretically can be impeached; however, this has only occurred once, in the very early days of the Republic, and the justice in question was acquitted.

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The Supreme Court is theoretically an apolitical body, though more often than not presidents will appoint a judge whose political opinions agree with their own. [[note]]Likewise, justices prefer to retire when a like-minded President is in office to keep the balance of power from shifting too far to their opponents' side. This kicked up a firestorm in 2016 after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, with the GOP-controlled Senate refusing point blank to even ''consider'' an Obama nominee and holding out for a Republican president to be inaugurated in 2017. It doesn't help that several major decisions are outstanding. Obama's response was to start researching nominees anyway, ultimately nominating Merrick "My Middle Name is Moderate" Garland, an unimpeachably honorable and thoroughly centrist judge whom Republicans had previously cited as an excellent pick for the Court; who will win this standoff is still up in the air.[[/note]] Of course, it's hard to tell how a justice will rule once he's on the bench -- David Souter, a justice appointed by UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush, was commonly considered one of the more liberal-minded justices, and Chief Justice John Roberts, usually a solidly conservative judge, famously crossed the bench and voted to uphold Barack Obama's healthcare reform act. At present, four five of the (currently eight; Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February 2016) nine justices on the bench were appointed by Republican presidents, and the other four by Democratic presidents. Of the eight, three nine, four are typically considered "conservative", four "liberal", and one "right-leaning moderate". The fact that Justices serve for life means that they, unlike Congress and the President, are free to issue rulings purely based on their own judgment and conscience, without worrying about the whims of public opinion, party support, or reelection. Supreme Court justices theoretically can be impeached; however, this has only occurred once, in the very early days of the Republic, and the justice in question was acquitted.
29th Mar '17 6:11:36 PM nombretomado
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Historically, the president is a White Protestant, though not always. UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy was Catholic, which was a big deal, and current president UsefulNotes/BarackObama has an African father, which is an even ''bigger'' deal. Historically, the President has also always been male, though fiction has delighted in depicting female presidents and the possibility is considered more-or-less inevitable by now. In fact, [[UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton Hillary Clinton]] came ''very'' close to being chosen as the Democratic candidate for president in 2008, was more or less considered a lock for the position until Obama's rise to prominence, and made history (again) by clinching the nomination after a much more successful primary fight in 2016. [[note]]A lot of noise was made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; in the event, though, he lacked Clinton's broad-based appeal, particularly with the African-American and Latino communities that make up so much of the Democratic Party's voting base. Sanders' following is mainly with millennials.[[/note]] Both these generalizations apply equally well to the vice president (twice a woman has been a major party's nomination for veep, the Democrats first picking Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and the Republicans picking Sarah Palin in 2008; Joe Biden is the first Catholic VP; and UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).

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Historically, the president is a White Protestant, though not always. UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy was Catholic, which was a big deal, and current 44th president UsefulNotes/BarackObama has an African father, which is an even ''bigger'' deal. Historically, the President has also always been male, though fiction has delighted in depicting female presidents and the possibility is considered more-or-less inevitable by now. In fact, [[UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton Hillary Clinton]] came ''very'' close to being chosen as the Democratic candidate for president in 2008, was more or less considered a lock for the position until Obama's rise to prominence, and made history (again) by clinching the nomination after a much more successful primary fight in 2016. [[note]]A lot of noise was made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; in the event, though, he lacked Clinton's broad-based appeal, particularly with the African-American and Latino communities that make up so much of the Democratic Party's voting base. Sanders' following is mainly with millennials.[[/note]] Both these generalizations apply equally well to the vice president (twice a woman has been a major party's nomination for veep, the Democrats first picking Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and the Republicans picking Sarah Palin in 2008; Joe Biden is the first Catholic VP; and UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).



* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States) Democratic Party]]''' is traditionally viewed as being center-left, although in most Western countries, they would be considered centrist or tepidly social-democratic. Somewhat socially liberal and fiscally left-wing (although they have a small fiscally conservative contingent, most famously represented by UsefulNotes/BillClinton). Strong in urban areas, the Northeast, and the West Coast, and among minorities, youth, and poor-to-working class voters. They currently hold the [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama Presidency]].
* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States) Republican Party]]''', or the GOP (Grand Old Party, despite being younger than the Democrats), is the center-right party in American politics. Unified by fiscal conservatism, and a lot (but not all) of them are social conservatives. Strong in rural areas and the South, and among evangelical Protestants and middle class-to-affluent voters. They currently hold the House of Representatives and the Senate. Reports of its imminent demise are (probably) greatly exaggerated.

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* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States) Democratic Party]]''' is traditionally viewed as being center-left, although in most Western countries, they would be considered centrist or tepidly social-democratic. Somewhat socially liberal and fiscally left-wing (although they have a small fiscally conservative contingent, most famously represented by UsefulNotes/BillClinton). Strong in urban areas, the Northeast, and the West Coast, and among minorities, youth, and poor-to-working class voters. They currently hold the [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama Presidency]].\n
* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States) Republican Party]]''', or the GOP (Grand Old Party, despite being younger than the Democrats), is the center-right party in American politics. Unified by fiscal conservatism, and a lot (but not all) of them are social conservatives. Strong in rural areas and the South, and among evangelical Protestants and middle class-to-affluent voters. They currently hold the House of Representatives Representatives, Senate, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump the Senate.Presidency]]. Reports of its imminent demise are (probably) greatly exaggerated.
28th Feb '17 7:00:15 PM nombretomado
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On those occasions when a loser of the ''popular'' election gains office through this process -- thankfully rare, but it's happened four times: in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 -- many Americans become confused and outraged. Newspapers and TV news are required to run articles explaining this all again for about two weeks, at which point it is promptly forgotten by Americans who have since moved on to something else outrageously confusing, like why all the rich celebrities are ending up in rehab all the time.

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On those occasions when a loser of the ''popular'' election gains office through this process -- thankfully rare, but it's happened four five times: in 1824, 1876, 1888 and 1888, 2000 and 2016 -- many Americans become confused and outraged. Newspapers and TV news are required to run articles explaining this all again for about two weeks, at which point it is promptly forgotten by Americans who have since moved on to something else outrageously confusing, like why all the rich celebrities are ending up in rehab all the time.
9th Feb '17 4:40:51 PM Madrugada
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The only two Presidents that have actually been challenged in any way under the terms of eligibility to date are Barack Obama and Chester A. Arthur. Challengers to Obama claim that he was actually born in Kenya, and that his Hawaiian birth certificate and newspaper birth announcements were forgeries, no doubt by the same people who orchestrated the Area 51 coverup.[[note]]Even if it were true, he would still be a natural-born US citizen on account of his mother being one, and while he was born after that law took effect, under the statutes of the time he was born he only needed to live in the US for a few years to be considered a natural-born US citizen, which his academic record more than verifies.[[/note]] It didn't help the issue that in some (but by no means all, or even half) of the 50 states, it is illegal to access someone's birth certificate (other than one's own or in the case of a legal guardian) without a court order, and Hawaii is one of them. President Obama originally chose to ignore the allegations, likely perceiving them of beneath his attention, but eventually got so annoyed that he released his long-form birth certificate, then splashed it on a mug with the slogan "Made in the USA" and killed UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)

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The only two Presidents that have actually been challenged in any way under the terms of eligibility to date are Barack Obama and Chester A. Arthur. Challengers to Obama claim that he was actually born in Kenya, and that his Hawaiian birth certificate and newspaper birth announcements were forgeries, no doubt by the same people who orchestrated the Area 51 coverup.[[note]]Even if it were true, he would still be a natural-born US citizen on account of his mother being one, and while he was born after that law took effect, under the statutes of the time he was born he only needed to live in the US for a few years to be considered a natural-born US citizen, which his academic record more than verifies.[[/note]] It didn't help the issue that in some (but by no means all, or even half) of the 50 states, it is illegal to access someone's birth certificate (other than one's own or in the case of a legal guardian) without a court order, and Hawaii is one of them. President Obama originally chose to ignore the allegations, likely perceiving them of beneath his attention, but eventually got so annoyed that he released his long-form birth certificate, then splashed it on a mug with the slogan "Made in the USA" and killed UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)
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17th Jan '17 5:18:26 PM nombretomado
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* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Party_(United_States) Reform Party]]''' was a populist third party established in the wake of Texas billionaire Ross Perot's 1992 independent Presidential run, which won 19% of the popular vote and became the first Presidential campaign since 1912 that was seen as having been capable of winning an election. The Reform Party had its greatest success in 1998 when JesseVentura was elected governor of Minnesota, but it soon fell prey to infighting between three groups: the "old guard" Perot faction, the libertarian Ventura faction, and a Christian conservative wing led by former Republican candidate and pundit Pat Buchanan. The party collapsed in the wake of the 2000 election, where its nomination was won by Buchanan, and while there is still a national organization, the party no longer meaningfully exists as a national entity.

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* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Party_(United_States) Reform Party]]''' was a populist third party established in the wake of Texas billionaire Ross Perot's 1992 independent Presidential run, which won 19% of the popular vote and became the first Presidential campaign since 1912 that was seen as having been capable of winning an election. The Reform Party had its greatest success in 1998 when JesseVentura Wrestling/JesseVentura was elected governor of Minnesota, but it soon fell prey to infighting between three groups: the "old guard" Perot faction, the libertarian Ventura faction, and a Christian conservative wing led by former Republican candidate and pundit Pat Buchanan. The party collapsed in the wake of the 2000 election, where its nomination was won by Buchanan, and while there is still a national organization, the party no longer meaningfully exists as a national entity.
3rd Jan '17 12:58:47 PM nombretomado
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Seniority among an incoming class -- i.e. a group of newly elected Senators sworn in on the same day -- is determined first by length of prior service in the Senate, then by length of prior service in the House of Representatives, then by length of prior service as a governor, then by length of prior service in the state legislature, then by the state's overall population ranking. So of two Senators sworn in on the same day, both without any prior governmental service, the senator from the more populous state would be the senior. Whew!

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Seniority among an incoming class -- i.e. a group of newly elected Senators sworn in on the same day -- is determined first by length of prior former service in the Senate, then by length of prior service in the order as senator, vice president, House of Representatives, then by length of prior service as a member, cabinet secretary, governor, and then by length of prior service in the state legislature, then by the state's overall population ranking.population. So of two Senators sworn in on the same day, both without any prior governmental service, the senator from the more populous state would be the senior. Whew!
29th Dec '16 2:59:12 AM SeptimusHeap
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Just to mention, the Republican Party's rules are pretty much the same as far as this goes. The main differences are that they make far less use of caucuses and allocate delegates by winner-takes-all or by congressional district for many states, not proportionally to popular vote, and do not use the "superdelegate" system. There was once a time when Democrats didn't use superdelegates either, but after George [=McGovern=]'s disastrous run in 1972 -- in which he picked Sam Eagleton, who proved to have had psychiatric issues in the past (as well as later having been found to have made some controversial remarks about [=McGovern=] to the press), as his running mate -- and UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter's loss to UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan in 1980, they added this feature as a safeguard.

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Just to mention, the Republican Party's rules are pretty much the same as far as this goes. The main differences are that they make far less use of caucuses and allocate delegates by winner-takes-all or by congressional district for many states, not proportionally to popular vote, and do not use the "superdelegate" system. There was once a time when Democrats didn't use superdelegates either, but after George [=McGovern=]'s disastrous run in 1972 -- in which he picked Sam Thomas Eagleton, who proved to have had psychiatric issues in the past (as well as later having been found to have made some controversial remarks about [=McGovern=] to the press), as his running mate -- and UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter's loss to UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan in 1980, they added this feature as a safeguard.
11th Aug '16 11:16:44 PM TomWalpertac2
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** Joe Biden might also have been picked for this reason, as despite his serious case of foot-in-mouth disease, he had run two (kind of half-hearted) campaigns for President (in 1988 and 2008) and was seen as something of an elder statesman in the Democratic Party.

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** Joe Biden might also have been picked for this reason, as despite his serious case of [[OpenMouthInsertFoot foot-in-mouth disease, disease]], he had run two (kind of half-hearted) campaigns for President (in 1988 and 2008) and was seen as something of an elder statesman in the Democratic Party.
11th Aug '16 11:01:31 PM TomWalpertac2
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The Vice President, in contrast, has little authority and more often functions as a government spokesman. He has the cushiest job in the world because he has ''absolutely nothing to do'' unless one of two things fails: the President's heartbeat, and the Senate. To be more precise, he officially has two jobs. The first is basically to sit around and wait for the President of the United States to drop dead; the second is to act as President of the Senate with nothing to do and no right to vote, except cast a tie-breaking vote if there is a deadlock.

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The Vice President, in contrast, has little authority and more often functions as a government spokesman. He has the cushiest job in the world because he has ''absolutely nothing to do'' unless one of two things fails: the President's heartbeat, and the Senate. To be more precise, he officially has two jobs. The first is basically to sit around and wait for the President of the United States to drop dead; dead (or otherwise become incapable of carrying out the duties of the office of president); the second is to act as President of the Senate with nothing to do and no right to vote, except cast a tie-breaking vote if there is a deadlock.
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