Thursday, December 13, 2018

The stupidest thing I've read in a while

Man, oh man. In the last couple of days I have seen some spectacularly stupid nonsense come across my Twitter feed. And not form random weirdos either. From people with actual platforms and followings. people like Matthew Yglesias:

Seriously? No. For so many reasons. Well, two anyway. I love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (not in a romantic way, Shmoopie.) She's awesome. But she has never held any elected office. What happened the last time a political neophyte became president? Gosh, I remember it like it was yesterday, some blowhard with no political experience got himself accidentally elected President. . . how did that work out again?
Also, the Constitution is perfectly clear on this point. There is a minimum age for the presidency. And you could certainly make a good case for changing that rule, but the rule is pretty much set in stone. The court would absolutely rule 9-0 against her. All you'd be doing is provoking a completely unnecessary constitutional crisis and that seems like the last thing we need about now.

So let's see what the logic is here:

It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president

Immigrants, young people, and everyone else should be allowed to run.

Okay, no argument here. But that's like saying that it's ridiculous that I'm not allowed to buy a kilo of coke. You might have a point, but if I decide to go out and buy the coke, I'm gonna go to prison. (Because, let's face it, there's no way I wouldn't get caught.)

Okay, so he talks about how AOC is a rising star in the Democratic party and how maybe having a doddering, senile old syphilitic in the Oval Office isn't such a hot idea either, and he's right on both counts, but so fucking what? The law is still the law.

Then he gets into why he thinks that AOC should defy the Constitution and run for the highest office in the land even though she is constitutionally ineligible to hold that office.

AOC should run for president

One good sign that AOC should run for president is that she has a nickname — AOC.

Louis CK face palm GIF

I know, I know, but I love this gif.

A nickname.

I got nothing. How do you even respond to a statement like that?

A House Democratic staffer told me the other day that “ACO” was a good example of something, and I knew exactly who she meant despite the error because there aren’t any other members of Congress who have widely recognized nicknames that you would just drop into casual conversation.

Well, Robert O'Rourke does. Maybe you've noticed people referring to him as "Beto?"

Is having a nickname a sign that you would exercise good judgment in the Oval Office? Absolutely not. But it’s proof positive that she’s an honest-to-goodness political superstar, and it’s clear that’s what many Democrats are looking for in 2020. They are seeking an antidote to Trump’s magnetic stage presence and ability to command attention, and she has that in greater quantities than anyone else in the field — certainly more so than Beto O’Rourke, a similarly experience-light candidate whom many Democratic operatives are pushing in a quest to capture some Bright Young Thing magic.

Wait, Beto O'Rourke is "similarly experience-light?" What do you think the word "similarly" means? O'Rourke is a three-term Congressman. AOC has exactly zero office-holding experience. It's  two completely different situations.

 Of course, she’s too left-wing for some and would need to demonstrate an ability to staff up and run a big operation while getting up to speed on the dozens of random issues that get tossed your way over the course of a national campaign. But that’s what campaigns are for!

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NO. That's what spending a couple terms in the House, maybe a little time in the Senate is for. To "get up to speed" on the myriad of complex issues that would confront a President. You can't just pick that up WHILE running a Presidential campaign.

It’s silly to arbitrarily rule out one of the most talented players due to age, and tragically non-obvious that political star power can actually last for years and years without dimming. 

Wait. Are you trying to say that it IS obvious that star power can NOT last for years without dimming? "Cuz it looks like that's what you're trying to say, but that is NOT what you're saying. You're saying that political star power CAN  actually last for years and years without dimming, but that fact is not obvious. Are there editors at Vox?

We should fix the Constitution ASAP

Not so long ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger cut a kind of vaguely Trumpish figure in California politics.
He was a Republican in the sense of stridently opposing the course the Democratic Party had taken the state on, but not a loyalist member of the conservative movement. 

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No. He was not "a Republican in the sense of . . ." He was a Republican. He was a Republican in the sense of he was a member of the Republican Party (Probably still is.) He was a Republican before he left Austria. He famously told the story of seeing Nixon on TV, asking what party Nixon belonged to and then decalaring "then I am a Rrepublican."  Just because he isn't a goddamm lunatic doesn't mean he's not a Republican.

Had he run for president in 2012, he probably would have lost badly in the primaries on the grounds of not being right-wing enough.

Okay, couple of things. First of all, he would never have run for president in 2012 because he has some respect for the Constitution. And who did win the Republican primary that year? Mitt Romney. Hardly a rabid fire-breathing right-winger. He instituted Obamacare in Massachussetts, for God's sake. Schwarzenegger would have lost the primary because he would have been ineligible to hold the office.
Also, by 2012, he had a track record and you really weren't hearing"Amend it for Arnold" so much anymore.

But, of course, he didn’t run and we never got a glimpse of what a run would look like because immigrants, like 20-somethings, are constitutionally barred from serving. At the time this was in the news, almost nobody actually defended the prohibition (because it’s ridiculous), but nobody in politics lifted a finger to do anything about it. In part, that was laziness, but in part, it was too clear any change would specifically benefit Schwarzenegger — something neither Democrats nor right-wingers really wanted to do.

Seriously? Laziness? No one lifetd a finger to change this provision because a: we are a deeply jingoistic country, and b: no one was excited about Arnold anymore.
And by the way, amending the Constitution is absurdly difficult. We couldn't even get enough states to ratify an amendment stating that women should not be second-class citizens. You think the Bible-belt rubes who fought that are going to go along with throwing open the White House doors to some dang furriner? I mean, next thing you know, you'd have some dude being President who was born in Kenya or some shit.

That simply illustrates the cost of waiting to fix a constitutional problem until it’s “relevant” — once it’s relevant, people have a way of finding reasons to stick by even bad principles. The process of amending the Constitution is extremely cumbersome, requiring both supermajorities in Congress and ratification by a staggering 75 percent of the states. But there’s no time like the present to start working to abolish arbitrary qualifications and letting any eligible voter run for president any time he or she wants to.

Wait that's it? That's the end of the article? I mean, you laid out  your case ( a weak, silly case, but a case nonetheless) for changing the Constitution to allow AOC to run, but you've presented nothing to support the idea that even though she is Constitutionally ineligible to serve as President, she should run anyway and "dare the Supreme Court to stop her." Not a single word about how that would even work. Nothing to suggest that it would even be possible. Just your wish that the rules were different. What a waste of time!

Speaking of time, I was going to write about a couple other extremely stupid things I saw these last couple of days, but this one took too long. I'll try to remember to get to them tomorrow.