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7 minutes ago, Andras said:

To deny the part money plays in the parties themselves? LMFAO. Dude, you sit around here for years talking about the GOP is controlled by the "no new tax" pledge. You do not make it out of that gate without that forced idea.

There is hardly any difference between the parties now. To let them screen which ideas are exchanged on the air will be a final nail in the coffin of that process.

How FOS do you have to be to omit the allegiance to Hillary by Schultz? Of course you don't see a problem with stopping primaries and letting the parties choose. Surely they will clean themselves up and close those loopholes.

BTW, I literally lol'd when I saw you acknowledge the problem of money in politics, while also trying to state there needs to be other parties, while claiming the problem is candidates and not the parties. What prevents additional parties and campaigns? Funding. Without it, you don't get off of the ground. What else? The media. The amount of **** Ron Paul got was pathetic. The amount of **** Perot got was intense. "Just label them as a crazy uncle and move on." The amount of praise your candidate has received by the press is absolutely unwarranted.

What ensures the 2 party system? Giving them more control over which ideas are expressed. Neither of these problems will be solved by the pre-screened establishment candidates. It would be insane to expect them to hunt for their own heads. Would the party's pledged candidates open up the door for additional competition? Absolutely not. That would go against any logical nature.

Don't play the naive game. The corruption is much deeper than just individual candidates. The whole process is flawed.

The tax pledge is a function of outside influence in elections, precisely the problem of money in politics that has hijacked the system.  Without the ability to spend money to primary incumbents, that pledge wouldn't exist.  The pledge has been very harmful to the party and its electoral fortunes, and the Republican Party would love to do away with it.  Norquist isn't an actor within the party, he's an outside influence that threatens incumbents with primary challenges.  One of the many reasons why I'd eliminate primaries altogether.

Any difference between the parties now?  That's empirically false.  The parties are more ideologically polarized than at any time in recent history.  Just look at the trends:

polar_house_means_2014.png

What "loophole" are you talking about with Schultz?  I happen to think that the Democratic process is much better than the GOP one right now.  This is the "process" versus "outcome" problem that I mentioned before.  You don't like the Democratic process because you want Sanders to win.  You want the "correct" outcome and the process be damned.  Look, I'm closer to Sanders on most issues than I am to Clinton.  I like Sanders more than I like Clinton.  And I would absolutely vote for Sanders if I thought he had a chance in h*** to win in November.  But unlike people like you, who only care about getting the outcome you want, I recognize that it means nothing if you lose the general election.  Sanders is a very weak general election candidate and not a good choice for the Democrats.  And that's from somebody who sides with him more than I do with Clinton.  So yeah, the Democrats are on the verge of nominating somebody who has a good chance of winning the election.  Republicans are on the verge of nominating somebody who will struggle greatly to win.  That highlights the wisdom of letting people who have a vested interest in the election - the party leaders - make the choice of nominees.  

You said "your candidate"...who exactly do you think that is?  Also, I didn't say the problem was with the candidates.  I said that the candidates are just as bought as the parties, even more so.  The problem is money in politics, which I've long argued has been a problem.  The money problem is compounded by a primary system where those moneyed interests have outsized influence to choose increasingly ideologically extreme candidates who are beholden to the ideological purists giving this money.  

You should read up on Duverger's law.  What prevents third parties is the geographical basis of seats in Congress and the Electoral College.  But we've had several periods where a party ignored large numbers of its base only to see that base leave and create a new party that beat it in the next election.  That is how the Whigs emerged.  That is also how the Whigs disappeared and were replaced by the Republican Party.  Viable movements can easily get the funding necessary to establish themselves as a party.  The problem with Ron Paul is that libertarianism is not a viable ideology because the majority of Americans oppose it.  To say that it's just a lack of money is ridiculous...it's a lack of public support for those ideas.

Again with a strawman.  If you had been reading my posts over all of these years, you'd know that I've highlighted problems all through the entire system.  To say that I'm just blaming the candidates is laughably simplistic and ignores what I've said in this thread and elsewhere.

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9 minutes ago, Andras said:

Whether you like it or not, say hello to the dissatisfaction and irrational behavior you're seeing. It is the b@stard child of the current process. It is the result of finding entertainment in radical Trump comparisons. Don't sit around here and blame republicans for appealing to radicals when your "entertaining" rhetoric breeds more confused and angry radicals in response to the labels.

To the bolded part, just because it's a consequence doesn't make it acceptable.  It also doesn't make it any less harmful to the political system.

To the non-bolded part, WTF are you trying to say?  Again you resort to speaking in ambiguous generalities instead of being clear and specific about your point.  Is your last sentence addressing me?  What is my "entertaining rhetoric" that "breads more confused and angry radicals"?  What is the "response to the labels"?  Literally, nothing in that sentence makes any sense.

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What loophole? The loophole Schultz opened back up recently and turning their back on Obama's policy. Also, the loopholes that permit candidates to be influenced by massive lobbyist spending(Citizens United). They will never cut off their own pay day. To expect them to would be illogical and insulting to the intelligence of anyone that pays attention.

Your candidate would logically be the person you sided with 98%(Hillary). I guess you'll claim Kasich. If so, this moves to my next point.

Democrats have been moving right for decades. More polarization would suggest a separation and that is not seen in the policies. Save the charts and stand by your own opinions of the past. The failing ACA(which you viciously defend) is a Republican idea that many here, included you, chuckled about being introduced but rejected by the right. It was highly entertaining to watch Democrats become Republicans to prove a point, wasn't it? Yet, you didn't see the writing on the wall. The Democratic party is now the "moderate republican party." Same foreign policy blunders. Same income disparity. Same incompetent ideas to address domestic issues. Sure, you can sit and complain about the infrastructure and Flint incidents but it is the democratic establishment failing to address the issues. But, I know, just blame the obstructionists. They're an easy scapegoat for failure. When someone tries to address these issues, the typical Democratic candidate(Hillary) attacks it as radical.

I truly do not care if Sanders wins. The country is ****** either way. I just do not want the fake Democrat to win. I would like to see the only true outsider to take office. Call me a radical but I agree with the 80% of the country's population that does not approve of our current crop of reps. Hillary? She's a liar, a hypocrite, a criminal and an all around disgusting human being. I'll smile when a damaged Democratic constituency does not just ignore her faults and vote for her regardless of how much Trump is compared to boogiemen.

You should read up on the reality of this country instead of watching poles and reading about old ideas that no longer apply to this landscape. Citizens United now plays a large role. You can point to your graphs. I point to reality. The proof is in the pudding. We just got 8 more years of Bush. We'll get another 4 with either of the parties typical candidates. But the best trick of it all is to just blame Republicans. Don't get bold, republicans will be mad and sue. Don't act like a leader, it's easier to just publicly scold the other side.

Your posts for years have highlighted the very problems my candidate wants to address and your suggestion of eliminating primaries would eliminate the chances of candidates like him from running. Adding another obstacle to the "exchange of ideas"(it's really just masturbation for people that watch this as an occupation) is not the solution.

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3 minutes ago, Andras said:

What loophole? The loophole Schultz opened back up recently and turning their back on Obama's policy. Also, the loopholes that permit candidates to be influenced by massive lobbyist spending(Citizens United). They will never cut off their own pay day. To expect them to would be illogical and insulting to the intelligence of anyone that pays attention.

Your candidate would logically be the person you sided with 98%(Hillary). I guess you'll claim Kasich. If so, this moves to my next point.

Democrats have been moving right for decades. More polarization would suggest a separation and that is not seen in the policies. Save the charts and stand by your own opinions of the past. The failing ACA(which you viciously defend) is a Republican idea that many here, included you, chuckled about being introduced but rejected by the right. It was highly entertaining to watch Democrats become Republicans to prove a point, wasn't it? Yet, you didn't see the writing on the wall. The Democratic party is now the "moderate republican party." Same foreign policy blunders. Same income disparity. Same incompetent ideas to address domestic issues. Sure, you can sit and complain about the infrastructure and Flint incidents but it is the democratic establishment failing to address the issues. But, I know, just blame the obstructionists. They're an easy scapegoat for failure. When someone tries to address these issues, the typical Democratic candidate(Hillary) attacks it as radical.

I truly do not care if Sanders wins. The country is ****** either way. I just do not want the fake Democrat to win. I would like to see the only true outsider to take office. Call me a radical but I agree with the 80% of the country's population that does not approve of our current crop of reps. Hillary? She's a liar, a hypocrite, a criminal and an all around disgusting human being. I'll smile when a damaged Democratic constituency does not just ignore her faults and vote for her regardless of how much Trump is compared to boogiemen.

You should read up on the reality of this country instead of watching poles and reading about old ideas that no longer apply to this landscape. Citizens United now plays a large role. You can point to your graphs. I point to reality. The proof is in the pudding. We just got 8 more years of Bush. We'll get another 4 with either of the parties typical candidates. But the best trick of it all is to just blame Republicans. Don't get bold, republicans will be mad and sue. Don't act like a leader, it's easier to just publicly scold the other side.

What loophole? The loophole Schultz opened back up recently and turning their back on Obama's policy. Also, the loopholes that permit candidates to be influenced by massive lobbyist spending(Citizens United). They will never cut off their own pay day. To expect them to would be illogical and insulting to the intelligence of anyone that pays attention.

You just repeated the "loophole" claim without explaining it.  Also, so now Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is responsible for Citizens United?  :huh:

Your candidate would logically be the person you sided with 98%(Hillary). I guess you'll claim Kasich. If so, this moves to my next point.

So you think that I'm in the tank for Clinton.  That's pretty laughable and explains your reactions in this thread.  I'll vote for Clinton in the general against most of the Republicans...probably all of them now.  But I'm not in the tank for Clinton.  You are in the tank for Sanders.  You don't seem able to respond to my specific points, so you keep falling back on this "your candidate" nonsense.

Democrats have been moving right for decades. More polarization would suggest a separation and that is not seen in the policies. Save the charts and stand by your own opinions of the past. The failing ACA(which you viciously defend) is a Republican idea that many here, included you, chuckled about being introduced but rejected by the right. It was highly entertaining to watch Democrats become Republicans to prove a point, wasn't it? Yet, you didn't see the writing on the wall. The Democratic party is now the "moderate republican party." Same foreign policy blunders. Same income disparity. Same incompetent ideas to address domestic issues. Sure, you can sit and complain about the infrastructure and Flint incidents but it is the democratic establishment failing to address the issues. But, I know, just blame the obstructionists. They're an easy scapegoat for failure. When someone tries to address these issues, the typical Democratic candidate(Hillary) attacks it as radical.

I provided empirical evidence that demonstrates this claim is false.  Democrats have moved to the left, not the right.  You also have seriously misread my comments about the ACA.  Against the knuckleheads on the boards who whine about "socialism" and made outlandish predictions about the ACA, yeah I have laughed at that.  I support a system much closer to the Japanese one where insurance companies are legally banned from making a profit.  You would have known that too, had you actually been reading my posts all of these years.  But again, your claim that Democrats have been moving to the right is empirically false.

I truly do not care if Sanders wins. The country is ****** either way. I just do not want the fake Democrat to win. I would like to see the only true outsider to take office. Call me a radical but I agree with the 80% of the country's population that does not approve of our current crop of reps. Hillary? She's a liar, a hypocrite, a criminal and an all around disgusting human being. I'll smile when a damaged Democratic constituency does not just ignore her faults and vote for her regardless of how much Trump is compared to boogiemen.

I haven't called you anything.  Can't tell if this is just a strawman argument or if it's a martyr syndrome, but you're once again claiming I said things that I never said.

You should read up on the reality of this country instead of watching poles and reading about old ideas that no longer apply to this landscape. Citizens United now plays a large role. You can point to your graphs. I point to reality. The proof is in the pudding. We just got 8 more years of Bush. We'll get another 4 with either of the parties typical candidates. But the best trick of it all is to just blame Republicans. Don't get bold, republicans will be mad and sue. Don't act like a leader, it's easier to just publicly scold the other side.

Ooooohhhh...nice comeback.  "You should read up about this political science theory that correctly predicts the party system of virtually every country in the world."  "Oh yeah, you should read up on REALITY and learn the TRUTH, man."  

"You can point to your statistics, but I can point to REALITY.  It's the TRUTH, man."  Ridiculous.

The empirical evidence demonstrates reality.  Saying something is reality is not demonstrating it.  That's another problem with this discussion...reality for you is what you think it is, regardless of what the facts and evidence says.

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Voters on both the left and the right often claim that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, and of course that isn’t true. There’s a big difference between Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia, for one thing. But there may be more to this argument than you think.

Democrats now depend as much on affluent voters as on low-income voters. Democrats represent a majority of the richest congressional districts, and the party’s elected officials are more responsive to the policy agenda of the well-to-do than to average voters. The party and its candidates have come to rely on the elite 0.01 percent of the voting age population for a quarter of their financial backing and on large donors for another quarter.

The gulf between the two parties on socially fraught issues like abortion, immigration, same-sex marriage and voting rights remains vast. On economic issues, however, the Democratic Party has inched closer to the policy positions of conservatives, stepping back from championing the needs of working men and women, of the unemployed and of the so-called underclass.

In this respect, the Democratic Party and its elected officials have come to resemble their Republican counterparts far more than the public focus on polarization would lead you to expect. The current popularity of Bernie Sanders and his presidential candidacy notwithstanding, the mainstream of the Democratic Party supports centrist positions ranging from expanded free trade to stricter control of the government budget to time limits on welfare for the poor.

“Both Republicans and many Democrats have experienced an ideological shift toward acceptance of a form of free market capitalism which, among other characteristics, offers less support for government provision of transfers, lower marginal tax rates for those with high incomes, and deregulation of a number of industries,” the political scientists Adam Bonica, Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal write in a 2014 essay titled “Why Hasn’t Democracy Slowed Rising Inequality?”

The authors, from Stanford, Princeton, the University of Georgia and N.Y.U., respectively, go on to note that

the Democratic agenda has shifted away from general social welfare to policies that target ascriptive identities of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/07/opinion/how-did-the-democrats-become-favorites-of-the-rich.html?_r=0

 

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10 minutes ago, Billy Ocean said:

Great read, thanks for posting.  I'll point out that the Bonica et al. study doesn't support Andras' claim that "the Democratic Party has been moving right".  The data still shows that Democratic economic policy positions are more liberal today than they were in the 1980s.  In fact, the DW-NOMINATE graph that I posted just a few posts ago was created by Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal...three of the authors of the study cited in your article.  

 

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Just now, Leon Troutsky said:

Okay.  But I don't think that I've changed very much, myself.

Yeah? I guess the trickle up costs of the ACA for the middle class is sustainable? Very polarizing economic outlook for a Republican healthcare bill. Wait, aren't you the resident ACA supporter?

I guess arguing about climate change for years and detailing how republicans are just bought by big oil couldn't be relevant to a typical Democratic candidate that accepts money from frackers. Very polarizing.

The days of you accepting civil unrest as a consequence of failing systems/economies are gone. Now, we have to believe that the candidates are indirectly responsible and should take charge. Nevermind the lessons of history.

I could go on but we know who is paying the candidates' bills. Those very same candidates have connections up and down the party, so yeah, let's let them choose the candidates. I'm sure they will cut themselves off from the tit.

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So I just saw a clip of the Democratic town hall meeting and Sanders said outright that he doesn't condone or encourage people disrupting events.  He said that people have the right to protest, but he doesn't believe disruption is correct.

Good on him for saying that and shame on me for not knowing he had denounced the disruptive behavior the other night.

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The proof is in the pudding.

Through Democratic leadership there has been wall street deregulation, stagnant wages and the income gap, Republican healthcare proposals(that were a last resort because of a more conservative democrat congress), more disgusting foreign policy, same old spying, same old support of Israel, same old destabilization of the Middle East, big talk about domestic spending with little action, same old war on drugs that was escalated by a Democratic President's crime bill. The result is a well-stocked private prison industry that just coincidentally gives campaign funds to the current leading democratic candidate. So different!

There is what they say they stand for and then there is what they actually do. Keep buying into the words. It supports the claim that they are different. What you get is another story.

34 minutes ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

The rich on both sides rule the roost.  Lest anyone think different is being bamboozled.  

Yep. 2 parties serving the same master. Surely allowing them to choose their own candidates will fix it. Surely, more of the same will please the public. They just need someone to tell them to calm down cause that works.

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11 hours ago, Leon Troutsky said:

The tax pledge is a function of outside influence in elections, precisely the problem of money in politics that has hijacked the system.  Without the ability to spend money to primary incumbents, that pledge wouldn't exist.  The pledge has been very harmful to the party and its electoral fortunes, and the Republican Party would love to do away with it.  Norquist isn't an actor within the party, he's an outside influence that threatens incumbents with primary challenges.  One of the many reasons why I'd eliminate primaries altogether.

Any difference between the parties now?  That's empirically false.  The parties are more ideologically polarized than at any time in recent history.  Just look at the trends:

polar_house_means_2014.png

What "loophole" are you talking about with Schultz?  I happen to think that the Democratic process is much better than the GOP one right now.  This is the "process" versus "outcome" problem that I mentioned before.  You don't like the Democratic process because you want Sanders to win.  You want the "correct" outcome and the process be damned.  Look, I'm closer to Sanders on most issues than I am to Clinton.  I like Sanders more than I like Clinton.  And I would absolutely vote for Sanders if I thought he had a chance in h*** to win in November.  But unlike people like you, who only care about getting the outcome you want, I recognize that it means nothing if you lose the general election.  Sanders is a very weak general election candidate and not a good choice for the Democrats.  And that's from somebody who sides with him more than I do with Clinton.  So yeah, the Democrats are on the verge of nominating somebody who has a good chance of winning the election.  Republicans are on the verge of nominating somebody who will struggle greatly to win.  That highlights the wisdom of letting people who have a vested interest in the election - the party leaders - make the choice of nominees.  

Out of curiosity, you say Andras wants the correct outcome and process be damned, but it seems to me that the very process you espouse is designed not to reflect the will of the people, but to get the "correct" outcome (i.e., a candidate who, so says the ruling class, can "win" in the general).

I agree Sanders is a weak general election candidate.  I agree Trump is as well.  And I agree the process will be blown up by having third party bids on both sides if they are the candidates for the two respective parties.  Where I think I disagree is this -- if the "process" (read: the party machinery) is choosing the outcome, then there is nothing democratic about the Democratic process.  You seem to think it would be a terrible thing if we had 4 candidates fighting for the presidency.  I happen to think that would seal a Sanders victory and therefore give you the outcome you say you would prefer.

My question is, what's wrong with that?  Your words appear to prefer oligarchy to democracy.

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2 hours ago, JDaveG said:

Out of curiosity, you say Andras wants the correct outcome and process be damned, but it seems to me that the very process you espouse is designed not to reflect the will of the people, but to get the "correct" outcome (i.e., a candidate who, so says the ruling class, can "win" in the general).

I agree Sanders is a weak general election candidate.  I agree Trump is as well.  And I agree the process will be blown up by having third party bids on both sides if they are the candidates for the two respective parties.  Where I think I disagree is this -- if the "process" (read: the party machinery) is choosing the outcome, then there is nothing democratic about the Democratic process.  You seem to think it would be a terrible thing if we had 4 candidates fighting for the presidency.  I happen to think that would seal a Sanders victory and therefore give you the outcome you say you would prefer.

My question is, what's wrong with that?  Your words appear to prefer oligarchy to democracy.

Fair questions.  First of all, the public weighs in during the general election, not during the nominations.  A candidate that can win in the general election will, by definition, be the one that is most appealing to the public.  Ironically, what we have now is precisely what Andras is concerned about regarding "forced choice".  The candidates who can win the nominations (not just presidency) are typically more extreme and ideologically rigid than the general public would like.  So the general public gets a "forced choice" of left and right wing extremists instead of more moderate and pragmatic candidates that appeal to them.  That's because the people choosing the party's nominees are the most ideologically rigid and extreme group of citizens.  By allowing the party leaders to choose, we are more likely to get candidates that are more appealing to the general public instead of the ideologically extreme activists who vote in the primaries.  

The reason why the process that I outlined would not result in oligarchy is because the party leaders are forced to think about the will of the public.  If they ignore the broader public and pick a candidate they like but is despised by the public, they lose the election and with it their ability to influence policy.  Again, I would point out that this is the same system we had until the 1970s, and I don't consider the period between the 1930s and 1970s to be oligarchical.  

The other reason why ending primaries is important has to do with party control over people once they get into office.  What allows Ted Cruz to get by with calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor of the house and with orchestrating a shutdown that harmed the GOP brand?  The leadership certainly opposed that, but how could they stop him?  Right now, there is virtually zero ability to impose party discipline.  Ted Cruz does not need the leadership to give him campaign resources...he hires his own consultants and raises his own money and campaigns his own way.  He doesn't need the leadership to win a primary election.  If anything, but attacking the leadership and "fighting for his principles", he is demonstrating "true conservatism" that the ideological purists who vote in primaries like.  There is literally not a single incentive that would lead Ted Cruz to work with the leadership, let alone Democrats, to pass legislation.  And there are tons of electoral incentives for him to fight against them on everything.  Those incentives against compromise and passing legislation are baked into the primary system.  Without the primaries, Cruz would be completely reliant on the leadership for his seat in the Senate.  If he caused trouble and pulled those antics, they would remove him as the nominee in the next election and the party would pick another person to run in his place.  

Going back to the democratic process, elections mean nothing if the party that is selected to govern doesn't get a chance to govern.  And the polarization and disincentives at serious policy-making that is a direct consequence of primaries makes it difficult for the majority party to pass the agenda it was elected to enact.  So if Republicans are elected the majority in Congress, yet they have to deal with a Democratic President in order to pass budgets and other necessary legislation, they also have to deal with a large number of senators and house members (see, for example, the House Freedom Caucus) who have every incentive to reject everything proposed by the president and their own leadership.  Because they don't fear a general election defeat - their districts and states are safely Republican.  The only thing that can get them kicked out of office is a primary challenge from the right.  So they have to be obstructionist in order to maintain their seats, and that means pandering to the extreme right in their district/state by obstructing their own leadership as well.

Primaries (along with a few other things) created the polarization that we have now, and that polarization has created deep dysfunction in the political system that makes it almost impossible to govern.  

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Considering the current polls of who favors better against republican candidates, it isn't Hillary. That's a whole bunch of opinion without substance behind it.

You can keep claiming polarization by defaulting to another's opinion but what are the facts behind the actual policies we receive? Left or right, it's the same ******* thing. The funny thing is you say this while insinuating that the public won't support the supposed fringe left candidate. That undermines the claim of massive polarization.

It looks like the fringe on the right have given empty talking heads the ground to claim that we don't have two parties serving the same causes.

Through Democratic leadership there has been wall street deregulation, stagnant wages and the income gap, Republican healthcare proposals(that were a last resort because of a more conservative democrat congress), more disgusting foreign policy, same old spying, same old support of Israel, same old destabilization of the Middle East, big talk about domestic spending with little action, same old war on drugs that was escalated by a Democratic President's crime bill. The result is a well-stocked private prison industry that just coincidentally gives campaign funds to the current leading democratic candidate. So different!

What is said does not match up to what is done. Period.

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23 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Fair questions.  First of all, the public weighs in during the general election, not during the nominations.  A candidate that can win in the general election will, by definition, be the one that is most appealing to the public.  Ironically, what we have now is precisely what Andras is concerned about regarding "forced choice".  The candidates who can win the nominations (not just presidency) are typically more extreme and ideologically rigid than the general public would like.  So the general public gets a "forced choice" of left and right wing extremists instead of more moderate and pragmatic candidates that appeal to them.  That's because the people choosing the party's nominees are the most ideologically rigid and extreme group of citizens.  By allowing the party leaders to choose, we are more likely to get candidates that are more appealing to the general public instead of the ideologically extreme activists who vote in the primaries.  

The reason why the process that I outlined would not result in oligarchy is because the party leaders are forced to think about the will of the public.  If they ignore the broader public and pick a candidate they like but is despised by the public, they lose the election and with it their ability to influence policy.  Again, I would point out that this is the same system we had until the 1970s, and I don't consider the period between the 1930s and 1970s to be oligarchical.  

The other reason why ending primaries is important has to do with party control over people once they get into office.  What allows Ted Cruz to get by with calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor of the house and with orchestrating a shutdown that harmed the GOP brand?  The leadership certainly opposed that, but how could they stop him?  Right now, there is virtually zero ability to impose party discipline.  Ted Cruz does not need the leadership to give him campaign resources...he hires his own consultants and raises his own money and campaigns his own way.  He doesn't need the leadership to win a primary election.  If anything, but attacking the leadership and "fighting for his principles", he is demonstrating "true conservatism" that the ideological purists who vote in primaries like.  There is literally not a single incentive that would lead Ted Cruz to work with the leadership, let alone Democrats, to pass legislation.  And there are tons of electoral incentives for him to fight against them on everything.  Those incentives against compromise and passing legislation are baked into the primary system.  Without the primaries, Cruz would be completely reliant on the leadership for his seat in the Senate.  If he caused trouble and pulled those antics, they would remove him as the nominee in the next election and the party would pick another person to run in his place.  

Going back to the democratic process, elections mean nothing if the party that is selected to govern doesn't get a chance to govern.  And the polarization and disincentives at serious policy-making that is a direct consequence of primaries makes it difficult for the majority party to pass the agenda it was elected to enact.  So if Republicans are elected the majority in Congress, yet they have to deal with a Democratic President in order to pass budgets and other necessary legislation, they also have to deal with a large number of senators and house members (see, for example, the House Freedom Caucus) who have every incentive to reject everything proposed by the president and their own leadership.  Because they don't fear a general election defeat - their districts and states are safely Republican.  The only thing that can get them kicked out of office is a primary challenge from the right.  So they have to be obstructionist in order to maintain their seats, and that means pandering to the extreme right in their district/state by obstructing their own leadership as well.

Primaries (along with a few other things) created the polarization that we have now, and that polarization has created deep dysfunction in the political system that makes it almost impossible to govern.  

Did it just take 240 years, or what do you think caused the polarization now that didn't cause it before?

I'm not so sure other systems are better, for what it's worth.  For one, I'm not sure letting the majority party pass whatever agenda it perceives it was elected to pass is helpful when that agenda might adversely affect the minority voters.  They ought to have a voice too, which is why the framers built in checks and balances.  They saw gridlock as a reasonable consequence of checks and balances, as opposed to reducing the ability to have checks and balances in order to foster greater efficiency.

Further, unless you go to a straight parliamentary system, you have to deal with divided government. The Congress is always going to be more polarizing than the Executive, because the entire country votes for the President and Vice President, but each local district or state votes for their Representative or Senator.  With divided government, efficiency is nearly impossible.  

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