Politics

Twitter Drops the Democracy

Blue on Blue: With California Republicans seemingly stuck in permanent minority status, unable to even block laws requiring a supermajority, the future of the state depends on debates within the Democratic party, notes Ben Boychuk.  School choice and pension reform are the obvious issues pitting special interests and elements of the left against what Boychuk calls “conventional liberal and business-friendly Democrats.” (No neoliberals?) At this point the smartest thing for California Republicans to do might be to become Democrats. Then at least the moderate factions within the governing party would have more troops. …

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Rise of the Certifitocracy: A formal class system has come to the previously socially-equalizing forum of Twitter. Celebrity users who are “certified” will now be able to click a button and see only comments from other “certified” users. I hope and suspect this approach is doomed.  Do Twitter users really want to watch celebrity tweeters interact with each other, or do they want to be able to join in and maybe get the occasional response from, say, Alyssa Milano?  … The new Twitter model resonates most obviously with The Atlantic‘s failed attempts to divide the world into elite conversants and powerless observers–an approach that resulted in the fabled Worst Party Ever, in which celebrity invitees mingled on a stage while non-celebrities were allowed to sit in chairs and watch from a distance. … Did Twitter hire away Justin Smith while I wasn’t looking? …. P.S.: Or did Twitter simply run out of manpower to quietly sanitize celebrities Twitter comments with its own staffers, per this theory of several years ago? (Note the total non-denial from Twitter founder “ev”.) For myself, I prefer even a slightly fake democracy to an official aristocracy.  The new policy seems almost British, like those parties where some guests are instructed not to come before 9:00 PM and others are invited for 10:00 PM. ….

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The Case for Pique: Salon‘s Brian Beutler argues

If Republicans think an immigration bill should become law, it’s wrong of them to block it because of hard feelings, just as it’s wrong for John Boehner to kill legislation he supports in the abstract for member management purposes, or the self-interest of his own speakership.

Beutler’s point would be more convincing if the core of immigration reformer’s pitch to Congressional Republicans weren’t precisely an appeal for them to place their self interest–’You’ve got to ‘get right’ with Hispanics’ or, even more annoyingly, ‘get on the right side of history’–over their grave doubts about the wisdom of  the policy in question (putting immediate legalization before enforcement). In that situation, they should feel free to go ahead and block it because of hard feelings. …

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Pence Scam Still Scam! I note that Indiana’s Mike Pence, touted by my colleague Matt Lewis for the presidency, has been the main proponent of a fake immigration reform compromise–the “touch back” plan– that would reward illegal workers by allowing them to return to their home countries only to immediately be readmitted. … See here and here [Search for "Pence"] …

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