History UsefulNotes / AmericanPoliticalSystem

20th May '16 5:42:25 PM gutza1
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Currently, there are three federal office holders elected on third-party tickets, all of them senators. The first is Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont who identifies himself as a socialist, campaigns as an independent but for all intents and purposes caucuses ("hangs out") with the Democrats. He officially registered as a Democrat in 2015 to run in their 2016 presidential primary. The second is Lisa Murkowski of UsefulNotes/{{Alaska}}; initially appointed as a Republican to the seat vacated by her father when he was elected governor, she lost to a Tea Party-backed candidate in the 2010 Republican primary, ran as a write-in candidate, and won; she continues to caucus with the Republicans. The third is Angus King of Maine, who was twice elected governor of Maine as an independent, and subsequently was elected to the Senate in a three-way race where he defeated the Republican and Democratic candidates; he caucuses with the Democrats.

to:

Currently, there are three federal office holders elected on third-party tickets, all of them senators. The first is Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont who identifies himself as a socialist, socialist (in reality, he's more of a standard European-style social democrat stuck in the more right-wing US), campaigns as an independent but for all intents and purposes caucuses ("hangs out") with the Democrats. He officially registered as a Democrat in 2015 to run in their 2016 presidential primary. The second is Lisa Murkowski of UsefulNotes/{{Alaska}}; initially appointed as a Republican to the seat vacated by her father when he was elected governor, she lost to a Tea Party-backed candidate in the 2010 Republican primary, ran as a write-in candidate, and won; she continues to caucus with the Republicans. The third is Angus King of Maine, who was twice elected governor of Maine as an independent, and subsequently was elected to the Senate in a three-way race where he defeated the Republican and Democratic candidates; he caucuses with the Democrats.
10th May '16 8:06:56 AM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists were seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen, limiting their national appeal. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's death in 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.

to:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists were seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen, limiting their national appeal. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's death in 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election election, the Party existed as a national party. Federalists ceased to exist.
10th May '16 8:06:20 AM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists were seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen, limiting their national appeal. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's deathin 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.

to:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists were seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen, limiting their national appeal. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's deathin death in 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.
10th May '16 8:05:59 AM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


While the Democratic Party can more or less trace a direct continuity to Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans, the Republican Party has only existed since 1854, when slavery came to the forefront of American Party. Before the GOP came into existence, the other major parties were:

to:

While the Democratic Party can more or less trace a direct continuity to Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans, the Republican Party has only existed since 1854, when slavery came to the forefront of American Party.politics. Before the GOP came into existence, the other major parties were:
10th May '16 8:05:49 AM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists became seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's deathin 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.

to:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists became were seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen.businessmen, limiting their national appeal. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's deathin 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.
10th May '16 8:05:08 AM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


While the Democratic Party can more or less trace a direct continuity to Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans, the Republican Party has only existed since 1854, when slavery came to the forefront of American Party. Before the GOP came into existence, the other major parties were:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party Federalist Party]]''' existed from 1789 until 1816. Formed by UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton, it argued for a strong central government, free trade and close ties to Great Britain. Though they dominated American politics in the 1790s, electing UsefulNotes/JohnAdams to the presidency in 1796, the Federalists became seen as the party of elitist Northern businessmen. Backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts, the feud between Adams and Hamilton during the 1800 election, Hamilton's deathin 1804 and the lead-in to the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 marginalized the Federalists; by the final years of their existence, they were restricted to New York and New England. After the 1816 election the Party existed as a national party.
* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_%28United_States%29 Whig Party]]''' were the primary opposition party to Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party from the early 1830s to the late 1850s. To vastly oversimplify: on the issue of who should have greater power, the President or the Congress, the Democrats favored the former while the Whigs favored the latter. Managed to win the presidency twice, both times by men who would later die in office: WilliamHenryHarrison in 1840 (succeeded by vice president UsefulNotes/JohnTyler), and then ZacharyTaylor in 1848 (succeeded by vice president MillardFillmore). As slavery became a bigger issue in the late 1850s, the Whig party essentially self-destructed due to internal disagreement on the subject. Most Whigs in the North (such as UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, who had been a Whig congressman from Illinois from 1847-1849) joined the then-fledgling Republican Party, and those in the South gravitated either to the American Party (see below) or the Constitutional Union party.



* The '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_%28United_States%29 Whig Party]]''' were not a third party, but rather the primary opposition party to Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party from the early 1830s to the late 1850s. (Listed here for historical interest.) To vastly oversimplify: on the issue of who should have greater power, the President or the Congress, the Democrats favored the former while the Whigs favored the latter. Managed to win the presidency twice, both times by men who would later die in office: WilliamHenryHarrison in 1840 (succeeded by vice president UsefulNotes/JohnTyler), and then ZacharyTaylor in 1848 (succeeded by vice president MillardFillmore). As slavery became a bigger issue in the late 1850s, the Whig party essentially self-destructed due to internal disagreement on the subject. Most Whigs in the North (such as UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, who had been a Whig congressman from Illinois from 1847-1849) joined the then-fledgling Republican Party, and those in the South gravitated either to the American Party (see below) or the Constitutional Union party.



* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenback_Party Greenback Party]]''', also the Independent Party and Greenback Labor Party, existed from 1874 to 1889. In response to the Panic of 1873, they initially advocated abolishing the gold standard and basing the economy on greenback paper currency, hence their name. Later incarnations of the party emphasized agrarian issues and labor reform. At their peak in the mid-1870s they elected 21 Congressmen and numerous local officeholders; they fielded presidential candidates in the 1876, 1880 and 1884 elections but never seriously contested the Presidency. The Greenback Party dissolved in the late 1880s, many of its leaders joining the Populist Party.

to:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenback_Party Greenback Party]]''', also the Independent Party '''Independent Party''' and Greenback '''Greenback Labor Party, Party''', existed from 1874 to 1889. In response to the Panic of 1873, they initially advocated abolishing the gold standard and basing the economy on greenback paper currency, hence their name. Later incarnations of the party emphasized agrarian issues and labor reform. At their peak in the mid-1870s they elected 21 Congressmen and numerous local officeholders; they fielded presidential candidates in the 1876, 1880 and 1884 elections but never seriously contested the Presidency. The Greenback Party dissolved in the late 1880s, many of its leaders joining the Populist Party.
9th May '16 1:14:29 AM KYCubbie
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The only major-party Vice Presidential candidates since 1948[[note]]The first post-WWII presidential election[[/note]] who had neither served in Congress nor held high-level executive-branch positions were SarahPalin (Governor of UsefulNotes/{{Alaska}}), Spiro Agnew (Governor of Maryland), and Earl Warren (Governor of UsefulNotes/{{California}}). Almost all the rest have been sitting members of Congress (usually Senators); the exceptions are Sargent Shriver[[note]]Held several appointed executive positions and was in private legal practice in DC when nominated.[[/note]], GeorgeHWBush[[note]]A former Congressman from Texas, Ambassador to the UnitedNations, "Ambassador" to the [[RedChina People's Republic of China]] (technically, he was "Chief of the Liaison Office", but this was during the transition period from full US recognition of the ROC to full US recognition of the PRC under Nixon, Ford, and Carter), and [[{{CIA}} Director of Central Intelligence]], and was in private business and academia when nominated.[[/note]], and Dick Cheney[[note]]He had been the Congressman from Wyoming and House Minority Whip, White House Chief of Staff under Ford, and Secretary of Defense under Papa Bush, and was running Halliburton when nominated.[[/note]].\\

to:

The only major-party Vice Presidential candidates since 1948[[note]]The first post-WWII presidential election[[/note]] who had neither served in Congress nor held high-level executive-branch positions were SarahPalin UsefulNotes/SarahPalin (Governor of UsefulNotes/{{Alaska}}), Spiro Agnew (Governor of Maryland), and Earl Warren (Governor of UsefulNotes/{{California}}). Almost all the rest have been sitting members of Congress (usually Senators); the exceptions are Sargent Shriver[[note]]Held several appointed executive positions and was in private legal practice in DC when nominated.nominated; also brother-in-law of Democratic icon UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy.[[/note]], GeorgeHWBush[[note]]A former Congressman from Texas, Ambassador to the UnitedNations, "Ambassador" to the [[RedChina People's Republic of China]] (technically, he was "Chief of the Liaison Office", but this was during the transition period from full US recognition of the ROC to full US recognition of the PRC under Nixon, Ford, and Carter), and [[{{CIA}} Director of Central Intelligence]], and was in private business and academia when nominated.[[/note]], and Dick Cheney[[note]]He had been the Congressman from Wyoming and House Minority Whip, White House Chief of Staff under Ford, and Secretary of Defense under Papa Bush, and was running Halliburton when nominated.[[/note]].\\



The best examples are probably Dick Cheney and AlGore. Regarding the former, [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Dubya]] is well known to have been a bit of a lightweight on some issues, and certainly wasn't a policy wonk. Cheney, on the other hand, had been a Congressman from Wyoming and House Minority Whip, and had also been GeraldFord's Chief of Staff and Bush Sr.'s Secretary of Defense, while the younger Bush had no direct Washington experience. For the latter, UsefulNotes/BillClinton actually was quite wonkish, but he wasn't quite as policy-oriented as Gore. Gore also brought political muscle to the table, as he was a confirmed Washington insider (not only had he been in Congress for ten years when he was elected, his father had been a powerful Senator from Tennessee), while Clinton had only ever been Governor of Arkansas.\\

to:

The best examples are probably Dick Cheney and AlGore.UsefulNotes/AlGore. Regarding the former, [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Dubya]] is well known to have been a bit of a lightweight on some issues, and certainly wasn't a policy wonk. Cheney, on the other hand, had been a Congressman from Wyoming and House Minority Whip, and had also been GeraldFord's UsefulNotes/GeraldFord's Chief of Staff and Bush Sr.'s Secretary of Defense, while the younger Bush had no direct Washington experience. For the latter, UsefulNotes/BillClinton actually was quite wonkish, but he wasn't quite as policy-oriented as Gore. Gore also brought political muscle to the table, as he was a confirmed Washington insider (not only had he been in Congress for ten years when he was elected, his father had been a powerful Senator from Tennessee), while Clinton had only ever been Governor of Arkansas.\\



A case can also be made that Joe Biden was chosen for this reason. While UsefulNotes/BarackObama was a Senator before becoming President, he had only been in DC for four years at time of election, while Biden was a six-term (36-year!) Senator with far more connections, and has been almost as famous for his foreign policy expertise as he is for his gaffes.
* The second kind has historically been the most common: the presidential candidate's running mate would be of a different region or ideological orientation from the candidate himself. So if the Democratic presidential candidate was a Northern liberal, you'd expect the running mate to be a Southern or Western moderate or conservative--or any combination of these terms. The classic example is LyndonJohnson, a pragmatic Protestant Texan specifically chosen to capture the Southern vote that UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy as a liberal Catholic Yankee might not have gotten otherwise.\\

to:

A case can also be made that Joe Biden was chosen for this reason. While UsefulNotes/BarackObama was a Senator before becoming President, he had only been in DC for four years at the time of election, while Biden was a six-term (36-year!) Senator with far more connections, and has been almost as famous for his foreign policy expertise as he is for his gaffes.
* The second kind has historically been the most common: the presidential candidate's running mate would be of a different region or ideological orientation from the candidate himself. So if the Democratic presidential candidate was a Northern liberal, you'd expect the running mate to be a Southern or Western moderate or conservative--or conservative–or any combination of these terms. The classic example is LyndonJohnson, UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson, a pragmatic Protestant Texan specifically chosen to capture the Southern vote that UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy as a liberal Catholic Yankee might not have gotten otherwise.\\



In addition, this was the reasoning behind the choices of the two women who have served as major-party Vice Presidential candidates: Walter Mondale's pick of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and John [=McCain's=] pick of SarahPalin in 2008. Ferraro was added to the Democratic ticket in '84 mainly to build support in the future; it was thought that Mondale's campaign against popular incumbent UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan was hopeless (and it ultimately was), so putting a woman on the ticket would help the Democrats curry favor with female voters in the future. Meanwhile, [=McCain=] was under pressure on both the left and the right. From the right, he had a reputation for being a very moderate Republican, so much so that many conservatives declared that they'd vote for UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton or a third party over him. From the left, [=McCain=] had the misfortune of being a stuffy old white guy running against [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama Barack "Hope and Change" Obama]], who himself had just emerged from a tough campaign against a Democratic rival who also wasn't an old white guy -- the aforementioned Hillary Clinton, who still had a large base of supporters in the party. It was thought that Palin, being both ultra-conservative and a woman, would solve both problems simultaneously.\\

to:

In addition, this was the reasoning behind the choices of the two women who have served as major-party Vice Presidential candidates: Walter Mondale's pick of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and John [=McCain's=] pick of SarahPalin UsefulNotes/SarahPalin in 2008. Ferraro was added to the Democratic ticket in '84 mainly to build support in the future; it was thought that Mondale's campaign against popular incumbent UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan was hopeless (and it ultimately was), so putting a woman on the ticket would help the Democrats curry favor with female voters in the future. Meanwhile, [=McCain=] was under pressure on both the left and the right. From the right, he had a reputation for being a very moderate Republican, so much so that many conservatives declared that they'd vote for UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton or a third party over him. From the left, [=McCain=] had the misfortune of being a stuffy old white guy running against [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama Barack "Hope and Change" Obama]], who himself had just emerged from a tough campaign against a Democratic rival who also wasn't an old white guy -- the aforementioned Hillary Clinton, who still had a large base of supporters in the party. It was thought that Palin, being both ultra-conservative and a woman, would solve both problems simultaneously.\\



* The third kind was more common in the past--someone who ran for President and lost the nomination would be given the running mate's slot to soothe his ego.

to:

* The third kind was more common in the past--someone past—someone who ran for President and lost the nomination would be given the running mate's slot to soothe his ego.



At several points in American history the vice president has been, in effect, the Highest Elected Patsy, and has "taken the fall" for the administration. Since WorldWarII (where HarryTruman didn't know about the Manhattan Project until he took office), the Vice-President has gained more influence, but it varies between administrations -- Dick Cheney was seen as very powerful, Joe Biden less so.

A presidential term lasts four years, and an individual President is limited to two terms, with the total time in office not to exceed ten years--in other words, a Vice President who ascended to the Presidency more than halfway through one four year term could run for re-election twice, as Lyndon Johnson was eligible to do (though he chose not to). Originally a tradition, this was later codified in the Constitution through the 22nd Amendment in 1951, after UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt was elected to four consecutive terms, only leaving office because he died. Presidential elections are held every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

to:

At several points in American history the vice president has been, in effect, the Highest Elected Patsy, and has "taken the fall" for the administration. Since WorldWarII (where HarryTruman UsefulNotes/HarryTruman didn't know about the Manhattan Project until he took office), the Vice-President has gained more influence, but it varies between administrations -- Dick Cheney was seen as very powerful, Joe Biden less so.

A presidential term lasts four years, and an individual President is limited to two terms, with the total time in office not to exceed ten years--in years—in other words, a Vice President who ascended to the Presidency more than halfway through one four year four-year term could run for re-election twice, as Lyndon Johnson was eligible to do (though he chose not to). Originally a tradition, this was later codified in the Constitution through the 22nd Amendment in 1951, after UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt was elected to four consecutive terms, only leaving office because he died. Presidential elections are held every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.



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, 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 is all but a lock for the Democratic nomination in 2016.[[note]]A lot of noise has been made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; common wisdom has it that though he'll put up a good fight, he lacks 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.[[/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 HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).

Article 2, clause 5 of the Constitution doesn't really go into race or gender, probably because in 1787 it was assumed that candidates would always be white men, but it does have some qualifications:

to:

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, 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 is all but a lock for the Democratic nomination in 2016.[[note]]A lot of noise has been made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; common wisdom has it that though he'll put up a good fight, he lacks 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. Also, a significant minority of Democratic convention delegates are so-called "superdelegates", essentially party insiders who are not bound by their states' voting results; an overwhelming majority of those individuals publicly announced support for Clinton.[[/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 HerbertHoover's UsefulNotes/HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).

Article 2, clause 5 of the Constitution doesn't really go into race or gender, sex, probably because in 1787 it was assumed that candidates would always be white men, but it does have some qualifications:



* Natural born citizen (read: US citizen by birth, rather than by naturalization) OR citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. The latter was necessary because at the time of the Constitution's adoption, the United States had only existed for 7 years, meaning that the election of 1812 was the first in which it was mathematically possible for a natural born citizen to meet the 35 years of age requirement, and going for more than 20 years without a President was obviously not an option.

to:

* Natural born Natural-born citizen (read: US citizen by birth, rather than by naturalization) OR citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. The latter was necessary because at the time of the Constitution's adoption, the United States had only existed for 7 years, meaning that the election of 1812 was the first in which it was mathematically possible for a natural born natural-born citizen to meet the 35 years of age requirement, and going for more than 20 years without a President was obviously not an option.



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 OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)

to:

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 OsamaBinLaden UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (DonaldTrump (UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)



The 25th Amendment also allows a President to ''temporarily'' relinquish the office due to incapacitation. So far this has only been used when the President has to undergo some medical procedure that requires anesthetization, so that if something truly terrible happens while the President is knocked out, there will be an acting President who can take action immediately without provoking a Constitutional conflict. It's never happened and probably never will, but why take the risk?

to:

The 25th Amendment also allows a President to ''temporarily'' relinquish the office due to incapacitation. So far this has only been used when the President has to undergo some medical procedure that requires anesthetization, anesthesia, so that if something truly terrible happens while the President is knocked out, there will be an acting President who can take action immediately without provoking a Constitutional conflict. It's never happened and probably never will, but why take the risk?



The Constitution itself lets Congress decide what happens if both President an Vice-President of the United States are gone. Currently, this falls under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. It goes from President, to Vice President, to Speaker of the House, to President ''pro tempore'' of the Senate, to the Cabinet members in order of the Cabinet post's longevity. Since the US hasn't gone past 'vice president' yet on the list, the fact that it ends at the Cabinet hasn't been tested. A person in the line of succession must satisfy the constitutional eligibility requirement--A foreign-born cabinet officer (e.g., Bush 43's Taiwan-born Labor Secretary Elaine Chao)[[note]]German-born Henry Kissinger, who as Nixon's Secretary of State would have gotten as close as third in line if not for the natural-born citizen requirement, is an even better example[[/note]] would be passed over.

to:

The Constitution itself lets Congress decide what happens if both President an Vice-President of the United States are gone. Currently, this falls under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. It goes from President, to Vice President, to Speaker of the House, to President ''pro tempore'' of the Senate, to the Cabinet members in order of the Cabinet post's longevity. Since the US hasn't gone past 'vice president' yet on the list, the fact that it ends at the Cabinet hasn't been tested. A person in the line of succession must satisfy the constitutional eligibility requirement--A requirement—a foreign-born cabinet officer (e.g., Bush 43's Taiwan-born Labor Secretary Elaine Chao)[[note]]German-born Henry Kissinger, who as Nixon's Secretary of State would have gotten as close as third in line if not for the natural-born citizen requirement, is an even better example[[/note]] would be passed over.



The average American (excluding the editors of the [[http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN U.S. Government Manual]] & [[http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CDIR the Congressional Directory]], and maybe Creator/TomClancy) has heard of maybe two or three of these guys, maybe four if they keep up enough with current events or teach political science, usually taken from the ''big four'' quartet: the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and the Attorney General. The Cabinet typically also includes the Vice President, the President’s Chief of Staff, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Unlike in many other countries, the cabinet meetings are not the avenue where major policy decisions are made in foreign and military affairs: that takes place in the National Security Council where only the relevant officials, such as the President, Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense participates (The Secretary of Education, for instance, doesn’t need to know of diplomatic talks with a crazy playboy dictator, weapons sales to {{Israel}} or of the invasion plans of the next Middle Eastern Oil State waiting in line).

Under the auspices of the Secretaries and the Attorney General are the various government agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration, for example, reports to the Secretary of Transportation and the [[{{FBI}} Federal Bureau of Investigation]] reports to the Attorney General. Some agencies may be (or were) in counter-intuitive departments. The Secret Service (originally founded to combat counterfeiting) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ([=ATF=]) reported to the Secretary of the Treasury before the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2003.

The ''Department of Defense'' ([=DoD=]), in the vernacular known as ThePentagon (named after the geometrical shape of its headquarters building), is so freaking large in comparison with the other departments that almost 80 percent of the federal workforce gets their paycheck from it, and that the Department of Defense is considered the single largest employer in the US (right ahead of Wal-Mart and [=McDonald's=].) The Office of the Secretary of Defense is the mainly civilian staff of the Secretary of Defense, and apart from the Honorable Mr. or Madam Secretary (who by the way must be a civilian to maintain the alibi of civilian control), there is 1 Deputy Secretary of Defense, 5 Under Secretaries of Defense, 14 Assistant Secretaries of Defense (all appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate); and a myriad of senior civil servants with titles like Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for whatever..., and Deputy Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for whichever…

to:

The average American (excluding the editors of the [[http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN U.S. Government Manual]] & [[http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=CDIR the Congressional Directory]], and maybe Creator/TomClancy) has heard of maybe two or three of these guys, maybe four if they keep up enough with current events or teach political science, usually taken from the ''big four'' quartet: the Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and the Attorney General. The Cabinet typically also includes the Vice President, the President’s Chief of Staff, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Unlike in many other countries, the cabinet meetings are not the avenue where major policy decisions are made in foreign and military affairs: that takes place in the National Security Council where only the relevant officials, such as the President, Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense participates (The Secretary of Education, for instance, doesn’t need to know of diplomatic talks with a crazy playboy dictator, weapons sales to {{Israel}} UsefulNotes/{{Israel|isWithInfraredMissiles}} or of the invasion plans of the next Middle Eastern Oil State waiting in line).

Under the auspices of the Secretaries and the Attorney General are the various government agencies: the Federal Aviation Administration, for example, reports to the Secretary of Transportation and the [[{{FBI}} Federal Bureau of Investigation]] reports to the Attorney General. Some agencies may be (or were) in counter-intuitive departments. The Secret Service (originally founded to combat counterfeiting) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ([=ATF=]) and Explosives (usually called ATF; "Explosives" was added to the title relatively recently) reported to the Secretary of the Treasury before the Department of Homeland Security was created in 2003.

The ''Department of Defense'' ([=DoD=]), in the vernacular known as ThePentagon (named after the geometrical shape of its headquarters building), is so freaking large in comparison with the other departments that almost 80 percent of the federal workforce gets their paycheck from it, and that the Department of Defense is considered the single largest employer in the US (right ahead of Wal-Mart UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} and [=McDonald's=].UsefulNotes/McDonalds.) The Office of the Secretary of Defense is the mainly civilian staff of the Secretary of Defense, and apart from the Honorable Mr. or Madam Secretary (who by the way must be a civilian to maintain the alibi of civilian control), there is 1 Deputy Secretary of Defense, 5 Under Secretaries of Defense, 14 Assistant Secretaries of Defense (all appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate); and a myriad of senior civil servants with titles like Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for whatever..., and Deputy Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for whichever…



Furthermore, Defense includes several large joint organizations (meaning that civilians and military personnel from all services participate) such as the [[{{NSA}} National Security Agency]] (the people who know that you’re reading this article), the National Reconnaissance Office (the people whose satellites can spot insects on your lawn), The Defense Logistics Agency (big bloated defense bureaucracy in action) and DARPA (mad scientists studying brain implants). For more on the stiff but nevertheless crazy world of the U.S. military see YanksWithTanks.

to:

Furthermore, Defense includes several large joint organizations (meaning that civilians and military personnel from all services participate) such as the [[{{NSA}} National Security Agency]] (the people who know that you’re reading this article), the National Reconnaissance Office (the people whose satellites can spot insects on your lawn), The the Defense Logistics Agency (big bloated defense bureaucracy in action) and DARPA (mad scientists studying brain implants). For more on the stiff but nevertheless crazy world of the U.S. military see YanksWithTanks.



The Supreme Court consists of a number of judges, called justices, who are appointed by the president subject to Senate confirmation, and who serve "during good behavior", which, barring conviction or impeachment, means a lifetime tenure. The number of Supreme Court justices is not set by the Constitution, but a tradition has developed in the last 60 some-odd years that nine is a good number. The President appoints the Supreme Court justices, albeit with the advice and consent of the Senate. Interestingly, Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to pack the Supreme Court with judges that would be inclined to rule his way and was talked out of it[[note]]he wound up doing it by default anyway; since he was elected to four terms, by the time he died 7 of the 9 sitting justices had been appointed by him ... though some of his appointees turned out to be at least as likely to rule against his wishes[[/note]]. The court stuck at nine members at that point in time and has stayed there ever since.

to:

The Supreme Court (often called SCOTUS, from its full title of Supreme Court of the United States) consists of a number of judges, called justices, who are appointed by the president subject to Senate confirmation, and who serve "during good behavior", which, barring conviction or impeachment, means a lifetime tenure. The number of Supreme Court justices is not set by the Constitution, but a tradition has developed in the last 60 some-odd years that nine is a good number. The President appoints the Supreme Court justices, albeit with the advice and consent of the Senate. Interestingly, Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to pack the Supreme Court with judges that would be inclined to rule his way and was talked out of it[[note]]he wound up doing it by default anyway; since he was elected to four terms, by the time he died 7 of the 9 sitting justices had been appointed by him ... though some of his appointees turned out to be at least as likely to rule against his wishes[[/note]]. The court stuck at nine members at that point in time and has stayed there ever since.



Interestingly, the one thing that most people assume the Supreme Court is supposed to do - "interpret" the Constitution - is a power that is NOT given in the Constitution. Life rarely being that simple, the S.C. gradually got in the habit of doing exactly that, and by the time most people noticed, it was a ''fait accompli''.

to:

Interestingly, the one thing that most people assume the Supreme Court is supposed to do - "interpret" the Constitution - is a power that is NOT given in the Constitution. Life rarely being that simple, the S.C. SCOTUS gradually got in the habit of doing exactly that, and by the time most people noticed, it was a ''fait accompli''.



# Unlike [[BritishCourts English courts]] and most other common-law courts, the Supreme Court is allowed to overturn its previous decisions in cases regarding statutes and the Constitution, on the grounds that the old interpretation was wrong; the most famous case of this is ''Brown'' v. ''Board of Education'' (1954), which declared state-sponsored segregation based on race unconstitutional, overturning ''Plessy'' v. ''Ferguson'' (1896), which had previously allowed it. A complete overturn of a previous decision is rare, however.[[note]]After ''Brown'', the next most important overturning is probably ''United States'' v. ''Darby'' (1941), in which the Court overturned the decision in ''Hammer'' v. ''Dagenhart'' (1918), which vastly expanded the ability of Congress to use the Commerce Clause. For non-lawyers/legal wonks: this is why Congress today can do half of what it does, from regulating labor relations (including banning child labor) to regulating health insurance.[[/note]]

to:

# Unlike [[BritishCourts [[UsefulNotes/BritishCourts English courts]] and most other common-law courts, the Supreme Court is allowed to overturn its previous decisions in cases regarding statutes and the Constitution, on the grounds that the old interpretation was wrong; the most famous case of this is ''Brown'' ''Brown v. ''Board Board of Education'' (1954), which declared state-sponsored segregation based on race unconstitutional, overturning ''Plessy'' ''Plessy v. ''Ferguson'' Ferguson'' (1896), which had previously allowed it. A complete overturn of a previous decision is rare, however.[[note]]After ''Brown'', the next most important overturning is probably ''United States'' States v. ''Darby'' Darby'' (1941), in which the Court overturned the decision in ''Hammer'' ''Hammer v. ''Dagenhart'' Dagenhart'' (1918), which vastly expanded the ability of Congress to use the Commerce Clause. For non-lawyers/legal wonks: this is why Congress today can do half of what it does, from regulating labor relations (including banning child labor) to regulating health insurance.[[/note]]



The Court is led by the Chief Justice (currently John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush in 2005), a position that has the duties of chairing any meeting of the Court for both selection of cases to review and ruling on said cases. However, he or she does not have more power in any actual vote, although he ''does'' have a cooler robe. The Chief Justice also has the Constitutional duty of presiding over any impeachments of the President or Vice President (but not other officers), and traditionally administers the Oath of Office to new presidents and Supreme Court Justices (including his or her successor) unless unavailable (Calvin Coolidge was sworn in by his father, a notary public, after learning of WarrenHarding's death, and LyndonJohnson was sworn in by a federal district court judge, on-board UsefulNotes/AirForceOne in Dallas, shortly after Kennedy's assassination). The Chief Justice is also administrator of the Federal Court system, making his position the technical equivalent of a cabinet secretary. WilliamHowardTaft is the only person to have ever served both as President and as Chief Justice.

to:

The Court is led by the Chief Justice (currently John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush in 2005), a position that has the duties of chairing any meeting of the Court for both selection of cases to review and ruling on said cases. However, he or she does not have more power in any actual vote, although he ''does'' have a cooler robe. The Chief Justice also has the Constitutional duty of presiding over any impeachments of the President or Vice President (but not other officers), and traditionally administers the Oath of Office to new presidents and Supreme Court Justices (including his or her successor) unless unavailable (Calvin Coolidge (UsefulNotes/CalvinCoolidge was sworn in by his father, a notary public, after learning of WarrenHarding's UsefulNotes/WarrenHarding's death, and LyndonJohnson UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson was sworn in by a federal district court judge, on-board UsefulNotes/AirForceOne in Dallas, shortly after Kennedy's assassination). The Chief Justice is also administrator of the Federal Court system, making his position the technical equivalent of a cabinet secretary. WilliamHowardTaft UsefulNotes/WilliamHowardTaft is the only person to have ever served both as President and as Chief Justice.



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]]This kicked up a firestorm in 2016 after the death of 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; who will win this standoff is 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 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.

to:

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]]This kicked up a firestorm in 2016 after the death of 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; who will win this standoff is 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 GeorgeHWBush, 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.



There are, at present, 50 states in the Union. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are called Commonwealths in their full names, but are still states. There is also the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which are possessions of the United States, and not states at all. Clear as mud so far? Good, because it gets more interesting as we go along.

to:

There are, at present, 50 states in the Union. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are called Commonwealths in their full names, but are still states. There is are also the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which are possessions of the United States, and not states at all. Clear as mud so far? Good, because it gets more interesting as we go along.



New states may be admitted to the Union upon Congressional approval. States may not raise their own armies (they are required by law to maintain an organized militia in the form of the Army and Air National Guards, and may raise a optional militia for in state use only), sign treaties (but with permission of Congress they may enter into a ''Compact'' with other states), or coin money on their own, and when a conflict between state and federal law arises, federal law wins out. Except when it doesn't. Basically, Federal law only has supremacy when it is Constitutional. Familiar with the phrase; "Can open, worms all over the ground"? Well, when THAT particular argument comes up, things get wormy.

to:

New states may be admitted to the Union upon Congressional approval. States may not raise their own armies (they are required by law to maintain an organized militia in the form of the Army and Air National Guards, and may raise a optional militia for in state in-state use only), sign treaties (but with permission of Congress they may enter into a ''Compact'' with other states), or coin money on their own, and when a conflict between state and federal law arises, federal law wins out. Except when it doesn't. Basically, Federal law only has supremacy when it is Constitutional. Familiar with the phrase; "Can open, worms all over the ground"? Well, when THAT particular argument comes up, things get wormy.



Size doesn't matter, nor does population. The least populous county is in the second largest state, Loving County, Texas, and at last count had 69 people. Los Angeles County in California, the most populous in the country, has nearly 10 million people, making it more populous than all but eight states in the US. Number doesn't matter: Texas has 250 counties, Delaware has 3. Some states have laws that set minimum sizes on counties, or prohibit adding more counties. The smallest county is Arlington County, Virginia at 26 square miles. The largest (aside from the Alaskan boroughs) is California's San Bernadino County, which is bigger than each of the nine smallest states.

to:

In addition to these, four states have so-called "independent cities", which are cities that do not have a county government at all and deal directly with their state government. These can be found in Maryland (UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}), Missouri (UsefulNotes/StLouis), Nevada (Carson City), and Virginia (a total of 38). Under Virginia's constitution, any community that is incorporated as a "city" is completely separate from any county—even though a fair number of these communities also serve as county seats.[[note]]For example, Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia, is both an independent city and the seat of surrounding Albemarle County.[[/note]] This differs from cases such as UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}, and UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, in which the city and county (or, in the case of New Orleans, parish) both nominally exist even though the governments are merged.

Size doesn't matter, nor does population. The least populous county is in the second largest state, Loving County, Texas, and at last count had 69 people. Los Angeles County in California, the most populous in the country, has nearly 10 million people, making it more populous than all but eight states in the US. Number doesn't matter: Texas has 250 counties, Delaware has 3. Some states have laws that set minimum sizes on counties, or prohibit adding more counties. The smallest county is Arlington County, Virginia at 26 square miles; the smallest county-equivalent unit by area is the city of Falls Church, Virginia, at a hair over 2 square miles. The largest (aside from the Alaskan boroughs) is California's San Bernadino Bernardino County, which is bigger than each of the nine smallest states.



Cities can be combined with a county (like Denver and UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco), cross county lines (like Dallas, in five different counties), exist outside any county (like Baltimore, St. Louis, and all 'cities' in Virginia), or take up entire counties and merge with the county governments (UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity's five boroughs are five separate counties, none of which has an independent government). Many metropolitan areas cross state boundaries, but cities are always in the same state (Kansas City Missouri/Kansas is actually two separate cities, and Portland, [=OR=] forms a coterminous metropolitan area with Vancouver, [=WA=]).

to:

Cities can be combined with a county (like Denver UsefulNotes/{{Denver}} and UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco), cross county lines (like [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas, in five different counties), counties]]), exist outside any county (like Baltimore, St. Louis, and all 38 'cities' in Virginia), or take up entire counties and merge with the county governments (UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity's five boroughs are five separate counties, none of which has an independent government). Many metropolitan areas cross state boundaries, but cities are always in the same state (Kansas City (UsefulNotes/KansasCity Missouri/Kansas is actually two separate cities, and [[UsefulNotes/{{Portland}} Portland, [=OR=] Oregon]] forms a coterminous metropolitan area with Vancouver, [=WA=]).
Washington).



In short, then, the membership of all the elected committees in American government -- federal, state, county, and municipal -- is north of 60,000. In a country where getting five friends to agree on where to have dinner can result in fist-fights.

to:

In short, then, the membership of all the elected committees in American government -- federal, state, county, and municipal -- is north of 60,000. In a country where getting five friends to agree on where to have dinner can result in fist-fights.
fistfights.



Separate from the states are several US territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, that are also under American sovereignty. Thirty one states were territories (or part of a territory) at one point, but these in particular have for various reasons never received statehood -- Puerto Rico in particular has had several referenda on the matter, all of which have been voted down by its citizens until the 2012 election, where a 61% majority voted in favor of statehood. Their citizens also receive United States citizenship, meaning that if they choose to "emigrate" to any of the states, they have no legal problems, with the exception of American Samoa who are considered "American Nationals". Unlike states, territories do not have voting representation in Congress; however, they also pay fewer federal taxes, so many would argue they got the better deal.

to:

Separate from the states are several US territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, that are also under American sovereignty. Thirty one Thirty-one states were territories (or part of a territory) at one point, but these in particular have for various reasons never received statehood -- Puerto Rico in particular has had several referenda on the matter, all of which have been voted down by its citizens until the 2012 election, where a 61% majority voted in favor of statehood. Their citizens also receive United States citizenship, meaning that if they choose to "emigrate" to any of the states, they have no legal problems, with the exception of American Samoa who are considered "American Nationals". Unlike states, territories do not have voting representation in Congress; however, they also pay fewer federal taxes, so many would argue they got the better deal.



For example, the Democratic Party had a primary election in 2008 to decide if UsefulNotes/BarackObama or UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton would be their candidate for President. One might think that the party would simply have all members vote for who they want and which ever one gets the most votes would win. This is not how it works. The leaders of the Democratic Party, who are not elected, can choose any method they want to decide who their candidate is. The current method involves having the vote of the members choose most of the "delegates" (who themselves are chosen by the party), while the remaining delegates are high ranking party members ("superdelegates"). Depending on state law and state party rules, the delegates who were voted for might or might not be required to support the candidate they were elected to [[note]] The logic behind this system is that the appointed "superdelegates" may be able to influence the nomination if a candidate does something monumentally stupid or embarrassing after the popular votes have been cast. Absent such an event, superdelegates generally vote with the national plurality.[[/note]]

to:

For example, the Democratic Party had a primary election in 2008 to decide if UsefulNotes/BarackObama or UsefulNotes/HillaryRodhamClinton would be their candidate for President. One might think that the party would simply have all members vote for who they want and which ever one gets the most votes would win. This is not how it works. The leaders of the Democratic Party, who are not elected, can choose any method they want to decide who their candidate is. The current method involves having the vote of the members choose most of the "delegates" (who themselves are chosen by the party), while the remaining delegates are high ranking party members ("superdelegates"). Depending on state law and state party rules, the delegates who were voted for might or might not be required to support the candidate they were elected to to.[[note]] The logic behind this system is that the appointed "superdelegates" may be able to influence the nomination if a candidate does something monumentally stupid or embarrassing after the popular votes have been cast. Absent such an event, superdelegates generally vote with the national plurality.[[/note]]
3rd May '16 8:29:50 PM RoseAndHeather
Is there an issue? Send a Message


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, 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 is the Democratic front-runner for the nomination in 2016.[[note]]A lot of noise has been made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; common wisdom has it that though he'll put up a good fight, he lacks 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.[[/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 HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).

to:

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, 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 is all but a lock for the Democratic front-runner for the nomination in 2016.[[note]]A lot of noise has been made about Bernie Sanders' candidacy; common wisdom has it that though he'll put up a good fight, he lacks 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.[[/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 HerbertHoover's VP Charles Curtis was 3/8ths Native American).



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 statures 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 OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)

to:

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 statures 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 OsamaBinLaden about two days later, which effectively shut up all but the noisiest of the "birther theorists." (DonaldTrump was not among those shut up, which is highly entertaining to pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him.)



* 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.

to:

* 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.
Senate. Reports of its imminent demise are (probably) greatly exaggerated.
1st May '16 2:27:29 PM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Union_Party_(United_States) Constitutional Union Party]]''' existed solely for the 1860 presidential election, nominating Tennessee Senator John Bell. An ad hoc organization of moderate Democrats, former Whigs and Know-Nothings, they tried to offer a compromise between the antislavery Republicans and proslavery Democrats on the eve of the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar, hoping to make slavery and Western expansion a nonissue. Bell put in a respectable showing, winning three border states (Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky), but came in a distant third in the Electoral College behind UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and Southern Democrat John Breckinridge. The Party dissolved with the outbreak of the Civil War.

to:

* The '''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Union_Party_(United_States) Constitutional Union Party]]''' existed solely for the 1860 presidential election, nominating Tennessee Senator John Bell. An ad hoc organization of moderate Democrats, former Southern Whigs and Northern Know-Nothings, they tried to offer a compromise between the antislavery Republicans and proslavery Democrats on the eve of the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar, hoping to make slavery and Western expansion a nonissue.emphasizing America's continued union more important than arguments over slavery. Bell put in a respectable showing, winning three border states (Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky), but came in a distant third in the Electoral College behind UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and Southern Democrat John Breckinridge. The Party dissolved with the outbreak of the Civil War.
1st May '16 2:25:42 PM AllenbysEyes88
Is there an issue? Send a Message


On those occasions when a loser of the ''popular'' election gains office through this process -- thankfully a rare occasion, but the most recent case was in 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.

to:

On those occasions when a loser of the ''popular'' election gains office through this process -- thankfully a rare occasion, rare, but the most recent case was 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.
This list shows the last 10 events of 396. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.AmericanPoliticalSystem