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Old 10-29-2018, 02:32 PM   #401
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yea, i have neither the time nor the desire to look up actual figures right now, but at first glance that just sounds like some dogwhistling bullshit to me.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:51 PM   #402
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What’s your take on things?

I’m freaking out too.


I am trying to come to terms with this, perhaps in the way most Americans have tried after 2016 (although this wasn't as sudden, you could see the train crash coming from a mile away). As an expat, it's particularly depressing to have to deal with this twice in two years, once in my home country and once in my currently adopted country.

Here are some collected and probably not very coherent thoughts, but that hopefully can provide some additional context for people who are not as familiar with the country:

- Brazilian society has historically had a unique mix of economic liberalism (in the American sense of the word, i.e. supporting a welfare state) and social conservatism, including among its educated elite. Such social conservatism often manifests itself in how racism, misogyny and homophobia remain deeply entrenched. Women's/gay rights have advanced more slowly than in most other democracies.

- Partly (but far from entirely) linked to the above, the role of religion in Brazilian society has also been relevant for many years. Whereas it used to be the Catholic church's prominence that would explain something link the lack of abortion rights, there has been a major shift towards evangelical religions over the last 2 decades, which I think have further reinforced conservatism in various parts of the country.

- Brazil is one of the most violent places in the world. 63,880 people were murdered in Brazil in 2017, a trend that has deteriorated in the last few years. This has only emboldened those "law and order"/"blue lives matter" voices in the conservative movement (Bolsonaro's famous remarks that "a good criminal is a dead criminal" resonate in this context). Worth noting that over 5,000 people were killed by the police.

- The left and center-left in Brazil have self-destructed over the last 10 years. It used to be the case post-military dictatorship that Brazil did not have viable right-wing parties. All presidential elections since 1994 featured the Workers' Party (PT) against the Social Democratic Party (PSDB). PT loved to frame the latter as representing "neoliberal" interests, but they were center-left on the vast majority of issues (except perhaps on some aspects of economic policy).

- The undermining of democratic institutions did not start with Bolsonaro's rise (or Dilma Roussef's impeachment, as many in the PT will argue), but with some of the governing practices that PT adopted during its 13 years in power. Particularly vicious for democracy was the use of the "powers of the state" not simply for nefarious personal enrichment, but for keeping the party in power (for example, providing using state-run companies as a source of illegal campaign contributions to the party fund, amidst a myriad of other crimes).

- PT's narrative when its various corruption schemes came to fore was to say that corruption was not exclusively done by PT, but by all political parties in Brazil. They were correct, of course. Corruption is endemic in the country. But when the narrative from the party in power is that all political parties are equally bad, it is not a surprise that the response from voters would be to elect someone who portrays himself as an "outsider".

- Now, as is usually the case with fascists and neo-fascists, Bolsonaro was able to rely on the list of atrocious thing he had said or done (mostly said, he was a mediocre congressman for many years without managing to put forward a single piece of legislation) in order to portray himself as the outsider who is coming to fix all the nation's problems.

- Of course, given how fragmented the Brazilian political system really is, the President's power are quite diminished. And to deliver on any major legislation, he will have to feed the rent-seeking parties that occupy a large portion of Congress. So an outsider he will not be, and he may find himself very soon engaging on the kind of corrupt practices his predecessors did. As Trump has shown, those who denounce the swamp are often the first ones to use it for their benefit (notably, Bolsonaro also has children that are politically active - and awful in their own right).


- Lastly: Trump has also shown that elections have consequences, and if you said terrible things you are likely to do terrible things as President. Which is what I expect from Bolsonaro in Brazil. Minorities, poor people and democracy-loving people in Brazil should be very afraid.

Sorry, this is way too long.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:55 PM   #403
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The Brazil election is interesting in the sense that the gender gap there in terms of the votes is enormous. Very, very few women voted for this guy. But he appears to draw well from all manner of men - not just the poorly educated, but the upper middle class types and also has the male youth vote down.

I'm not familiar enough with Brazil to know what their immigration policy is, but he seems to have a strong anti-immigration stance in a place that I hadn't previously thought would be a particularly desirable destination.
On your first point: Bolsonaro's support was directly linked to wealth. He had his highest share of votes in the southern states, which is quite striking. Huge gender gap, but there's still quite a share of white middle and upper class women supporting this guy.

Immigration policies were not a big part of the election cycle. Yes, there were some discussions regarding the Venezuelan refugees, but Brazil as a country is pretty insular and the number of migrants is really small compared to your typical Western country. This doesn't mean that Bolsonaro's crowd isn't xenophobic - just that they were looking elsewhere to spill their hatred.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:11 PM   #404
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There's a reason why despite all the shit going on, the bad numbers for GOP, the bad press....



They aren't really freaking out over midterms.



It's rigged.



We need the largest voter turnout in the history of this country to overcome the bullshit that's going on. The suppression, the machine errors, and whatever else is going to occur in the next week.


I was talking about this nightmare unfolding in Brazil. Someone who makes Trump look like Mr. Rogers.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:14 PM   #405
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Thanks for the info on everything going on in Brazil, gump. You really helped make it clearer how they got to that point.

You noted the corruption in the parties, so if/when Bolsonaro gets involved in a scandal of that sort, will it be as easy for the government to kick him out, the way they did the previous leader? If he plans to bring back a military-style government, I'm guessing that's going to make any attempts to fight him a lot harder in many ways, but are there options that can give the people at least some hope going forward?

Whatever happens, I really do feel for the people of that country. I hope, for their sake, that Bolsonaro's reign will be as short as possible.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:21 PM   #406
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US PolitiX -Angry Left Wing Mob Edition

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Originally Posted by gump View Post
I am trying to come to terms with this, perhaps in the way most Americans have tried after 2016 (although this wasn't as sudden, you could see the train crash coming from a mile away). As an expat, it's particularly depressing to have to deal with this twice in two years, once in my home country and once in my currently adopted country.

Here are some collected and probably not very coherent thoughts, but that hopefully can provide some additional context for people who are not as familiar with the country:

- Brazilian society has historically had a unique mix of economic liberalism (in the American sense of the word, i.e. supporting a welfare state) and social conservatism, including among its educated elite. Such social conservatism often manifests itself in how racism, misogyny and homophobia remain deeply entrenched. Women's/gay rights have advanced more slowly than in most other democracies.

- Partly (but far from entirely) linked to the above, the role of religion in Brazilian society has also been relevant for many years. Whereas it used to be the Catholic church's prominence that would explain something link the lack of abortion rights, there has been a major shift towards evangelical religions over the last 2 decades, which I think have further reinforced conservatism in various parts of the country.

- Brazil is one of the most violent places in the world. 63,880 people were murdered in Brazil in 2017, a trend that has deteriorated in the last few years. This has only emboldened those "law and order"/"blue lives matter" voices in the conservative movement (Bolsonaro's famous remarks that "a good criminal is a dead criminal" resonate in this context). Worth noting that over 5,000 people were killed by the police.

- The left and center-left in Brazil have self-destructed over the last 10 years. It used to be the case post-military dictatorship that Brazil did not have viable right-wing parties. All presidential elections since 1994 featured the Workers' Party (PT) against the Social Democratic Party (PSDB). PT loved to frame the latter as representing "neoliberal" interests, but they were center-left on the vast majority of issues (except perhaps on some aspects of economic policy).

- The undermining of democratic institutions did not start with Bolsonaro's rise (or Dilma Roussef's impeachment, as many in the PT will argue), but with some of the governing practices that PT adopted during its 13 years in power. Particularly vicious for democracy was the use of the "powers of the state" not simply for nefarious personal enrichment, but for keeping the party in power (for example, providing using state-run companies as a source of illegal campaign contributions to the party fund, amidst a myriad of other crimes).

- PT's narrative when its various corruption schemes came to fore was to say that corruption was not exclusively done by PT, but by all political parties in Brazil. They were correct, of course. Corruption is endemic in the country. But when the narrative from the party in power is that all political parties are equally bad, it is not a surprise that the response from voters would be to elect someone who portrays himself as an "outsider".

- Now, as is usually the case with fascists and neo-fascists, Bolsonaro was able to rely on the list of atrocious thing he had said or done (mostly said, he was a mediocre congressman for many years without managing to put forward a single piece of legislation) in order to portray himself as the outsider who is coming to fix all the nation's problems.

- Of course, given how fragmented the Brazilian political system really is, the President's power are quite diminished. And to deliver on any major legislation, he will have to feed the rent-seeking parties that occupy a large portion of Congress. So an outsider he will not be, and he may find himself very soon engaging on the kind of corrupt practices his predecessors did. As Trump has shown, those who denounce the swamp are often the first ones to use it for their benefit (notably, Bolsonaro also has children that are politically active - and awful in their own right).


- Lastly: Trump has also shown that elections have consequences, and if you said terrible things you are likely to do terrible things as President. Which is what I expect from Bolsonaro in Brazil. Minorities, poor people and democracy-loving people in Brazil should be very afraid.

Sorry, this is way too long.


Thank you for this. I learned a lot. And I wish you luck. As an outsider, aside from his comments on gays and women, his environmental policies seem terrifying to me. The Brazilians I know are (basically) all women and gay men, and they are deeply worried as well.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:27 PM   #407
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so apparently hillary clinton refuses to rule out running again in 2020.

if there was ever a way to guarantee a second term for donald trump, that's it right there.

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Old 10-29-2018, 04:30 PM   #408
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Thanks gump, that’s really helpful.

There is no way Hillary will have the $ backing to run again.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:36 PM   #409
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so apparently hillary clinton refuses to rule out running again in 2020.

if there was ever a way to guarantee a second term for donald trump, that's it right there.

Meh... not actually what she said.


But hey, it got my former employer in the news so what the hell.
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:50 PM   #410
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well okay, she didn't actually say "i refuse to rule out running again in 2020". she said she doesn't *want* to run again but then when pressed on that statement said "well, i want to be president". so that sounds like she's at least giving it some consideration.

the democrats would be absolutely asinine to run yet another candidate from the clinton/sanders/biden generation, which more or less guarantees that we're going to see at least one of those on the ticket in two years.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:01 PM   #411
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so apparently hillary clinton refuses to rule out running again in 2020.

if there was ever a way to guarantee a second term for donald trump, that's it right there.

As democrats we need her just to do a graceful retreat, let somebody else lead. Can we pay her off to just hang out in an isolated ranch in Jackson Hole or Aspen? No phones. Interviews. Book tours. Until the day after the 2020 election?
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:07 PM   #412
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Yeah, I wasn't thinking in terms of passing laws, because I know that would be either hard or flat out impossible to do. I was thinking more along the lines of somebody keeping closer tabs on him or something to that effect, or a strong recommendation that he back off with holding rallies, at least until 2020 (not that he'd listen, mind, but still).
I appreciate you clarifying.

And I agree the president walking around with a phone without the very best encryption the govt can buy would be extremely reckless and dangerous.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:31 PM   #413
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Thanks for the info on everything going on in Brazil, gump. You really helped make it clearer how they got to that point.

You noted the corruption in the parties, so if/when Bolsonaro gets involved in a scandal of that sort, will it be as easy for the government to kick him out, the way they did the previous leader? If he plans to bring back a military-style government, I'm guessing that's going to make any attempts to fight him a lot harder in many ways, but are there options that can give the people at least some hope going forward?

Whatever happens, I really do feel for the people of that country. I hope, for their sake, that Bolsonaro's reign will be as short as possible.
I really don't know. It's concerning that of all the presidents democratically elected in Brazil during my lifetime, only two finished their term, one of whom is currently in prison for crimes committed in office. There are long-term institutional costs to impeaching a president (Bolsonaro's election being clear-cut evidence of the costs of impeaching Roussef).

I don't necessarily see a possibility of bringing the military into politics - the military themselves are quite reluctant to play such a role (Bolsonaro belonged to a pretty extreme strand of the military, which is not endorsed by the armed forces as a whole).

My main concern at this stage is how he will approach the Judiciary - his sons have openly threatened the Supreme Court, and he has played with the idea of proposing to increase the number of seats to pack the Court with his supporters (which in itself would be a constitutional issue on which the Court would have a say). In a nutshell, there's a real possibility of a constitutional crisis if he refuses to accept the validity of judicial decisions (much like Trump has signaled here in the US).

My best case scenario at this point is to hope that he proves to be very inept in adopting any significant legislation, particularly on social issues, given the divided Congress he will face. And that the Judiciary will continue to put checks on the Executive. And that in 4 years people realize how foolish it would be.

A big (positive) difference in Brazil is that we do not have a Fox News type of channel. The media is in general pretty non-partisan and credible. Social media has been the main culprit of disinformation. If Jack, Zuckeberg and co can stop burying their heads in the sand, this would be a fixable issue.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:40 PM   #414
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Tweet from @JuddLegum: BREAKING: A civil RICO suit has been brought against The Trump Organization, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump in United States District Court for their participation in a pyramid scheme https://t.co/darYdHc7j9
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:37 AM   #415
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well okay, she didn't actually say "i refuse to rule out running again in 2020". she said she doesn't *want* to run again but then when pressed on that statement said "well, i want to be president". so that sounds like she's at least giving it some consideration.

the democrats would be absolutely asinine to run yet another candidate from the clinton/sanders/biden generation, which more or less guarantees that we're going to see at least one of those on the ticket in two years.


Honestly though, it would be a pretty solid show of defiance. Republicans elected our worst nightmare. If only we could make Hillary Clinton black 🤭
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:51 AM   #416
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no. it would be the exact opposite of a show of defiance.

a show of defiance would be getting the next generation of progressives and socialists elected and moving on triumphantly into the future.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:56 AM   #417
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no. it would be the exact opposite of a show of defiance.

a show of defiance would be getting the next generation of progressives and socialists elected and moving on triumphantly into the future.
I'm not saying no - I'm saying to accomplish this - getting a non centrist Democrat elected - would require young voters to, ya know, vote.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:57 AM   #418
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Meanwhile in things that would normally be horrifying but in our new reality is just Tuesday

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President Trump is planning to sign an executive order that would seek to end the right to U.S. citizenship for children of noncitizens born on U.S. soil, he said in a television interview taped on Monday.

The move, which many legal experts say runs afoul of the Constitution, would be the boldest yet by a president elected to office pledging to take a hard line on immigration, an issue he has revived in advance of next week’s midterm elections.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said during an interview with Axios scheduled to air as part of a new HBO series starting this weekend. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

Trump, who has long decried “anchor babies,” said he has discussed the move with his legal counsel and believes it can be accomplished with executive action, a view at odds with the opinions of many legal scholars.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump told Axios.

When told that view is disputed, Trump asserted: “You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

“It’s in the process. It’ll happen . . . with an executive order,” he said, without offering a time frame.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:06 AM   #419
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And get ready for more tent cities!
https://us.yahoo.com/news/trump-says...033359911.html
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:40 AM   #420
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The fucking caravan.

THERE IS NO FUCKING CARAVAN.
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