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[OT] Gerontocracy at Work
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Joe Bernstein
2020-01-15 23:10:53 UTC
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Yesterday, prompted by the withdrawal of Cory Booker, who was at that
point my preferred candidate for the Democratic nomination for
President in the 2020 election, I wrote a post sorting the candidates
by generation, and noting that of four "Silent Generation" candidates,
three were still in the race; of "Baby Boomers", 6/12 (admittedly,
boosted by two late entrants); of "Generation X", after Booker's
withdrawal, 1/9; and of "Millennials", 2/3.

I was surprised to find that the "Silent Generation" had not produced
a US President so far. Major party nominees from that generation, as
tentatively defined at English Wikipedia, include John McCain, John
Kerry, Michael Dukakis and arguably Walter Mondale. This complicates
my basic feeling that damn it, it's time for Gen X, more specifically
time for people born in the 1940s to stop running the country. (All
the remaining "Silent Generation" candidates were born in the 1940s;
Mike Gravel, who dropped out, was born in 1930.)

Historically, it isn't obviously time for Gen X. Many Presidents
have been elected in their later 50s, which presently means the tail
end of the Baby Boom. However, many have also been elected in their
early 50s, and some in their 40s, all of which *does* mean Gen X.
Part of my reason for wanting to hurry my generation along is that
I strongly expect the party out of power in 2024 to nominate a
Millennial, and do not expect a non-Millennial to be first elected
between 2028 and sometime around 2050.

This is partly based on recent history. For almost the first century,
the longest gap between presidential birth years was nine years -
about right for two-term presidencies. The first longer gap was that
between Lincoln, born in 1809, and Grant and Hayes, 1822, but a spell
of reasonable spacing followed that. Another 13-year gap separates
McKinley, born in 1843, from Wilson, 1856 (with Taft and Roosevelt
shortly after), but again normal spacing follows through Eisenhower
in 1890.

Then, however, things get peculiar. All the presidents from 1961
through 1993 were born between 1908 and 1924. No president was born
between 1890 and 1908, and none so far between 1924 and 1946. Three
presidents born in 1946 and one in 1961 complete the story. In other
words, first the "Greatest Generation" and then the Baby Boomers have
basically hogged this job. My fear is that my generation, like the
"Lost" and "Silent" ones, will be eclipsed by demographic powerhouses
on either side, and the Millennials - or more likely, some smaller
cohort of them, like the 1946 bunch among the Baby Boomers - will
do still more hogging.

This fear is partly based on some work I did a month or so ago, in
which I found that only four men born after 1950 have run any branch
of the federal government: Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader 2003-
2007, born 1952; John Roberts, Chief Justice since 2005, born 1955;
Barack Obama, President 2009-2017, born 1961; and Paul Ryan, Speaker
of the House 2015-2019, born 1970. No leader of House Democrats has
been born later than Nancy Pelosi (1941). Reports have circulated
claiming that Congress has in general gotten older recently, and it's
well known that the Supreme Court has, although new justices rather
more famously have gotten younger. But I haven't done any work to
confirm any of that.

One question is, is this creeping gerontocracy, or is it simply the
persistence of the Baby Boomers? In other words, will there be some
future election like those in the early 1970s that radically reduces
the average age in Congress? There'll almost certainly be an
election in which some Millennial replaces a septuagenarian as
President, but one office does not a gerontocracy make. It's just
easier to study quickly.

I'm also not clear on how widely this is going on. Canada hasn't had
any premiers born in 1946, and only two Baby Boomers, Harper and
(briefly) Campbell; its current leader, who was famously "young" when
first elected, is a Gen Xer born in 1971. Mexican presidents going
back before honest elections have been reasonably spaced, including
at least one each from Gen X and the Silents, and several Baby
Boomers, including the present incumbent. British prime ministers
have also been reasonably spaced, Cameron technically Gen X (1966),
Johnson not (1964) by my standards, but yours may differ. French
presidents ditto; Macron is the youngest person so far mentioned in
this post, born in 1977, though *not* famously "young" when first
elected. German chancellors tend to have much longer terms of office,
so haven't reached Gen X yet (Merkel is actually the first Boomer!).
But none of these countries have skipped the Silent Generation, most
have elected Gen Xers, and basically, the whole question I'm worrying
about must look silly to their residents. That said, I know nothing
about the age composition of their respective parliaments, or how
that's changed over time.

A final question: Why does any of this matter? Well, the famous
slowness of the Supreme Court to grasp the existence of the Internet
is a reasonable example. There has to be some sort of compromise
between the energy, *and fitness for current life*, of the young,
and the experience and wisdom of the old, in choosing people to run
things including politics; historically that compromise has focused
on people who enter office in their 50s, or occasionally their 40s,
and it's extraordinary that we're looking at two successive
presidential elections in which people in their 70s are the major
party nominees. I'm conservative enough to view this novelty with
deep suspicion, and if, as I suspect, it's a sign of a deeper
gerontocratic trend in the US, with more concern than that. I also,
of course, have the quasi-self-interested concerns outlined above.

And am not best pleased now to have to decide between Yang (1975) on
the one hand, or Bennet (1964), Delaney (1963) or Klobuchar (1960) on
the other - none of whom has a significant chance of nomination
anyway. Maybe I should stretch my standards a bit and consider
Patrick (1956) or Steyer (1957). (Warren is the other remaining Baby
Boomer. The Silents still in are Biden, Bloomberg and Sanders; the
remaining Millennials Buttigieg and Gabbard.)

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Johnny1A
2020-01-16 03:37:58 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Yesterday, prompted by the withdrawal of Cory Booker, who was at that
point my preferred candidate for the Democratic nomination for
President in the 2020 election, I wrote a post sorting the candidates
by generation, and noting that of four "Silent Generation" candidates,
three were still in the race; of "Baby Boomers", 6/12 (admittedly,
boosted by two late entrants); of "Generation X", after Booker's
withdrawal, 1/9; and of "Millennials", 2/3.
I was surprised to find that the "Silent Generation" had not produced
a US President so far. Major party nominees from that generation, as
tentatively defined at English Wikipedia, include John McCain, John
Kerry, Michael Dukakis and arguably Walter Mondale. This complicates
my basic feeling that damn it, it's time for Gen X, more specifically
time for people born in the 1940s to stop running the country. (All
the remaining "Silent Generation" candidates were born in the 1940s;
Mike Gravel, who dropped out, was born in 1930.)
Historically, it isn't obviously time for Gen X. Many Presidents
have been elected in their later 50s, which presently means the tail
end of the Baby Boom. However, many have also been elected in their
early 50s, and some in their 40s, all of which *does* mean Gen X.
Part of my reason for wanting to hurry my generation along is that
I strongly expect the party out of power in 2024 to nominate a
Millennial, and do not expect a non-Millennial to be first elected
between 2028 and sometime around 2050.
This is partly based on recent history. For almost the first century,
the longest gap between presidential birth years was nine years -
about right for two-term presidencies. The first longer gap was that
between Lincoln, born in 1809, and Grant and Hayes, 1822, but a spell
of reasonable spacing followed that. Another 13-year gap separates
McKinley, born in 1843, from Wilson, 1856 (with Taft and Roosevelt
shortly after), but again normal spacing follows through Eisenhower
in 1890.
Then, however, things get peculiar. All the presidents from 1961
through 1993 were born between 1908 and 1924. No president was born
between 1890 and 1908, and none so far between 1924 and 1946. Three
presidents born in 1946 and one in 1961 complete the story. In other
words, first the "Greatest Generation" and then the Baby Boomers have
basically hogged this job. My fear is that my generation, like the
"Lost" and "Silent" ones, will be eclipsed by demographic powerhouses
on either side, and the Millennials - or more likely, some smaller
cohort of them, like the 1946 bunch among the Baby Boomers - will
do still more hogging.
In the Strauss and Howe generational model, a certain tendency that way is to be expected.
Post by Joe Bernstein
This fear is partly based on some work I did a month or so ago, in
which I found that only four men born after 1950 have run any branch
of the federal government: Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader 2003-
2007, born 1952; John Roberts, Chief Justice since 2005, born 1955;
Barack Obama, President 2009-2017, born 1961; and Paul Ryan, Speaker
of the House 2015-2019, born 1970. No leader of House Democrats has
been born later than Nancy Pelosi (1941). Reports have circulated
claiming that Congress has in general gotten older recently, and it's
well known that the Supreme Court has, although new justices rather
more famously have gotten younger. But I haven't done any work to
confirm any of that.
One question is, is this creeping gerontocracy, or is it simply the
persistence of the Baby Boomers?
To some degree, it's a function of the concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands generally. The same party leaders remain in place year after year because they are backed by various power groups that are invested in them and want them to remain in place, so they spend money to make it happen.

Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House, for ex, in considerable part because she has the backing of the Dem money players. That's why she remained the Dem leader in the House after the GOP regained their majority in 2010. Likewise, the foundation of Boehner and Paul Ryan's hold on their caucus was largely money-driven, yet again.

Same reason, to a large degree, that the bipartisan establishment tried to turn thhe 2016 Presidential election into a choice of...a Bush or a Clinton. _Again._ They were invested in those families, they understood them, they new that either Hillary or Jeb would mean business as usual, more or less, so they tried to restore their dynasties yet again.
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-16 04:23:48 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Reports have circulated
claiming that Congress has in general gotten older recently, and it's
well known that the Supreme Court has, although new justices rather
more famously have gotten younger. But I haven't done any work to
confirm any of that.
One question is, is this creeping gerontocracy, or is it simply the
persistence of the Baby Boomers?
A final question: Why does any of this matter? Well, the famous
slowness of the Supreme Court to grasp the existence of the Internet
is a reasonable example.
OK, I've done some of that work now.

Reports on the composition of Congress, including average ages, seem
to go back to the early 1990s. The <Wall Street Journal> compiled
information back rather farther, but still not past about the mid-
20th century, in an article which the firewall I operate under seems
to allow me to look at, but not actually see properly. Comments in
the biennial reports indicate that recent Congresses are older than
any back to the early 1970s, which, I mean, duh. But this is awkward
for my generational argument, because the average Representative is
now about 58, the average Senator about 62 - meaning lots and lots of
Gen Xers are in both bodies. I doubt I'll carry this any further,
since compiling 535 birth years for each Congress strikes me as a
really boring task.

The Supreme Court is of course much easier to work on, and what I
said turns out to be partly true. Historically, in the early
republic down to about 1820, the average age of a Supreme Court
Justice was actually under 55. But by 1840 it had risen above 60
every year, first reaching the upper 60s in 1858, but not usually
staying there. However, starting in 1917, the upper 60s became the
norm, with the first years at or above 70 being 1935 and 1936, which
probably is not entirely unconnected with Roosevelt's plan to pack
the court, let alone with the solution that was negotiated to that
crisis, a series of retirements. The mid-century presidents all
chose Justices who died or retired soon after appointment; from 1939
to 1971, the average age never got above 65, and for nine of those
years the average was in the 50s. The average went above 65 all of
1978-1990 (breaking 70 in 1985), and has stayed above 65 all but two
years since 2000 (breaking 70 in 2004 and 2016). So the present
largely geriatric court is not a new thing, but is not the norm.

I got one thing altogether wrong: new Justices have only famously
gotten younger in partisan swipes. Kavanaugh was 53 when confirmed;
Gorsuch 49; Kagan 50; Sotomayor 55; Alito 55; Roberts 50; Breyer 55;
Ginsburg 60; Thomas 43. Thomas was a bit younger than usual for
Justices historically; the rest weren't. Most Chief Justices
appointed in the 20th century had been over 60, making Roberts
a sort of throwback to the 19th century; but only four Associate
Justices were appointed over 60 in the entire 20th century. (Two
you've probably heard of, Harry Blackmun and Oliver Wendell Holmes,
and two you probably haven't, Benjamin Cardozo and Horace Harmon
Lurton.)

Anyway. The present Supreme Court is distinctive in a number of ways.
It consists entirely of graduates of two law schools. No member has
won an election; I don't think any member has met a payroll. To a
first approximation, its members are lawyers through and through.
In the present partisan environment, the only way this could change -
the only way I can see to reduce the average age of the Court by
picking someone whose lifelong ambition it *hasn't* been - would be
when the President and the Senate majority were of different parties.
Only Thomas, of the current members, was appointed in that situation,
as were former Justices Souter and Kennedy and additional Supreme
Court careerists chosen by Nixon, so clearly that isn't a cure-all.
But the partisan stakes are too high for any appointment made by a
President facing a friendly Senate to be intentionally of less than
lifelong tenure.

I thought it would be easy to name people who could usefully
diversify the Court, in particular making it less careerist, but I've
only managed to come up with one example - Barack Obama. (He's
Protestant and has won elections, but is still Harvard Law.) I was
tempted by John Yoo for a Republican example, but I'm not sure he
isn't a lawyer through and through, and he's still Yale Law; in
general, I just don't know enough about Republicans to come up with
examples. But presumably both parties could look to prosecutors
(Sandra Day O'Connor, the last election-winning Supreme Court Justice,
was one) and such, or to their deep benches of former presidential
candidates. Surely we can do better!

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Kevrob
2020-01-16 07:09:48 UTC
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... Surely we can do better!
I'd nominate AZ Supreme Court Associate Justice Clint Bolick,
for some diversity of _thought_. Law professor Randy Barnett
hasn't been a judge, but I like him, too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Bolick

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Barnett

I would have loved to have seen Richard Epstein on SCOTUS, but he's
now 76. During the Thomas hearings, Biden waved his book "Takings"
around as if it were the Necronomicon, and demanded the nominee's
opinions about it. Worst thing a potential nominee can do, in the
hyper-partisan environment: write a book, which helped tank Bork.

Bork thought the 9th Amendment an "inkblot." Barnett wrote
that "it means what it says."

https://web.archive.org/web/20191216205746/http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1850&context=facpub

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Epstein

Kevin R
Kevrob
2020-01-16 19:11:32 UTC
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I'm guessing you put Bolick first at least partly because you knew
I'd like him.
I didn't know that. His work w/IJ makes him what is sometimes
called a "bleeding heart libertarian," and the Institute has gone
to bat for people without money and power.

We also haven't had a justice whose last job was sitting on
a state high court since, IMS, Sandra Day O'Connor, also
from Arizona's Supreme Court.
He represents the kind of cool Libertarians I've
sometimes voted for. He will turn 63 before the next Inauguration;
while this is hella old for a Supreme Court nominee - only Lurton
has been nominated older - he's the only one of these three who
*wouldn't* break Lurton's record. I don't know his religion,
I wish people wouldn't bring that up.

US constitution, article VI:

"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under the United States."

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/art6.asp

That doesn't apply to private actors, but partisans
bring it up, assuming "Jews will be liberal, Catholics
will vote against abortion..." etc.
but he's lost an election, he may have met a payroll at the Landmark
Center for Civil Rights and/or the Landmark Legal Foundation, and
he went to the University of California - Davis law school, which
is about as far from Harvard and Yale as you can reasonably get. He
does seem to be a lawyer through and through, but he doesn't seem to
have lived his life so as to qualify for the Supreme Court, and it's
conceivable that he'd give a seat up before he died. In other words,
for my purposes he's just about ideal.
I also owe him a personal debt of gratitude. The Institute for
Justice, which he co-founded, after his time there fought a case
against the IRS, which was trying to guild the tax preparation
industry. Their victory in that case enabled me to work one or two
more seasons, the last regular job I've had to date.
IJ regularly fights against barriers to entry for self-employment
and entrepreneurship for people at the low end of the income
and wealth curves.
Meanwhile, you need some younger Libertarian lawyers to bring up in
future bull sessions.
If they are trying to maintain "eligibility" to sit on the bench,
those younger lawyers may be downplaying their anti-statist ideals.

I really like the idea of a political libertarian
as a compromise between "conservatives" and "liberals."
IRL they would probably both disqualify Bolick. :(

Kevin R
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-16 22:39:15 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
I'm guessing you put Bolick first at least partly because you knew
I'd like him.
I didn't know that. His work w/IJ makes him what is sometimes
called a "bleeding heart libertarian," and the Institute has gone
to bat for people without money and power.
I went mostly by English Wikipedia. His page there emphasises not
just the IJ but a lot of his talk and apparently action about both
rights and specifically what we call "civil rights". He seems to
have a lifelong pattern of focusing on these things, and they seem to
be the context for his more famous work on "school choice". That's
the reason my scenario pictured RBG - longtime ACLU lawyer, women's
rights crusader - picking him.
Post by Kevrob
We also haven't had a justice whose last job was sitting on
a state high court since, IMS, Sandra Day O'Connor, also
from Arizona's Supreme Court.
"last job" is a weird way of putting it. Souter spent longer on the
New Hampshire Court (7 years) than on a federal appeals court (< 1).

Is your point that you wish people wouldn't see appeals court tenure
as a necessary qualification for the Court? Wow. Of the current
Court, *only* Kagan *didn't* have an appeals court as the last prior
job, and she'd been nominated for one.

Another example of the current court's narrowness, occupationally...
Post by Kevrob
I don't know his religion,
I wish people wouldn't bring that up.
That doesn't apply to private actors, but partisans
bring it up, assuming "Jews will be liberal, Catholics
will vote against abortion..." etc.
Um, my reason for bringing it up is this exotic situation where the
country's majority religion was unrepresented on the court for years,
or maybe still is (you can be Episcopalian, as Gorsuch certainly is,
without being Protestant, and indeed while being Catholic). While
trying to fix other weirdnesses in the Supreme Court's makeup, I
figure it's worth trying to fix that one.
Post by Kevrob
I also owe him a personal debt of gratitude. The Institute for
Justice, which he co-founded, after his time there fought a case
against the IRS, which was trying to guild the tax preparation
industry. Their victory in that case enabled me to work one or two
more seasons, the last regular job I've had to date.
IJ regularly fights against barriers to entry for self-employment
and entrepreneurship for people at the low end of the income
and wealth curves.
Well, for me it was just employment, but anyway, that's part of the
reason I owe him, and not just the lawyers who actually worked on the
case. He set the pattern they followed.
Post by Kevrob
Meanwhile, you need some younger Libertarian lawyers to bring up in
future bull sessions.
If they are trying to maintain "eligibility" to sit on the bench,
those younger lawyers may be downplaying their anti-statist ideals.
I really like the idea of a political libertarian
as a compromise between "conservatives" and "liberals."
IRL they would probably both disqualify Bolick. :(
That's why I needed a really weird scenario for him to get a chance.

Sorry.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Kevrob
2020-01-17 01:13:15 UTC
Reply
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Kevrob
I'm guessing you put Bolick first at least partly because you knew
I'd like him.
I didn't know that. His work w/IJ makes him what is sometimes
called a "bleeding heart libertarian," and the Institute has gone
to bat for people without money and power.
I went mostly by English Wikipedia. His page there emphasises not
just the IJ but a lot of his talk and apparently action about both
rights and specifically what we call "civil rights". He seems to
have a lifelong pattern of focusing on these things, and they seem to
be the context for his more famous work on "school choice". That's
the reason my scenario pictured RBG - longtime ACLU lawyer, women's
rights crusader - picking him.
Post by Kevrob
We also haven't had a justice whose last job was sitting on
a state high court since, IMS, Sandra Day O'Connor, also
from Arizona's Supreme Court.
"last job" is a weird way of putting it. Souter spent longer on the
New Hampshire Court (7 years) than on a federal appeals court (< 1).
The only appeal from a stare high court is SCOTUS. In that way the job
is similar to a Federal appeals court/circuit court seat. It is
more like the US Supreme court if cases are decided based on a state constitution, in cases where the federal constitution does not provide
a basis for appeal. That makes the state court the one of last resort.
For example, some state school choice laws have been upheld by SCOTUS,
while others have been struck down or limited by interpretation of
the state constitution.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Is your point that you wish people wouldn't see appeals court tenure
as a necessary qualification for the Court? Wow.
What's "wow" about it? State supreme court justices hear
appeals.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Of the current Court, *only* Kagan *didn't* have an appeals court
as the last prior job, and she'd been nominated for one.
Another example of the current court's narrowness, occupationally...
Post by Kevrob
I don't know his religion,
I wish people wouldn't bring that up.
That doesn't apply to private actors, but partisans
bring it up, assuming "Jews will be liberal, Catholics
will vote against abortion..." etc.
Um, my reason for bringing it up is this exotic situation where the
country's majority religion was unrepresented on the court for years,
Appointed judges and don't represent constituencies. They aren't,
or shouldn't be. legislators. They are supposed to discover what
the law means.
Post by Joe Bernstein
or maybe still is (you can be Episcopalian, as Gorsuch certainly is,
without being Protestant, and indeed while being Catholic).
Make that "catholic" with a small "c." The count of "Catholic
justices" normally means "in communion with Rome." Now, had
Mario Cuomo been appointed to the Court, some traditional Catholics
would have disowned him for his opinions on abortion.
Post by Joe Bernstein
While trying to fix other weirdnesses in the Supreme Court's makeup, I
figure it's worth trying to fix that one.
How about appointing some "nones?" That's a fifth of the populace.

https://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Kevrob
I also owe him a personal debt of gratitude. The Institute for
Justice, which he co-founded, after his time there fought a case
against the IRS, which was trying to guild the tax preparation
industry. Their victory in that case enabled me to work one or two
more seasons, the last regular job I've had to date.
IJ regularly fights against barriers to entry for self-employment
and entrepreneurship for people at the low end of the income
and wealth curves.
Well, for me it was just employment, but anyway, that's part of the
reason I owe him, and not just the lawyers who actually worked on the
case. He set the pattern they followed.
Post by Kevrob
Meanwhile, you need some younger Libertarian lawyers to bring up in
future bull sessions.
If they are trying to maintain "eligibility" to sit on the bench,
those younger lawyers may be downplaying their anti-statist ideals.
I really like the idea of a political libertarian
as a compromise between "conservatives" and "liberals."
IRL they would probably both disqualify Bolick. :(
That's why I needed a really weird scenario for him to get a chance.
Sorry.
No need to apologize. To be SFnal, extrapolating changes in religious
affiliation is complicated by things like differing birthrates for
different demographic groups, changes in immigration trends, etc.

At some points nominal Muslims might outnumber nominal Jews in the
US, but "rates of assimilation" may vary. Very religious Orthodox
Jews have more children than secular Jews, for example. Straight
extrapolation is almost always wrong, anyway.

Kevin R
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-17 03:09:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Kevrob
We also haven't had a justice whose last job was sitting on
a state high court since, IMS, Sandra Day O'Connor, also
from Arizona's Supreme Court.
[snip]
Post by Kevrob
Post by Joe Bernstein
Is your point that you wish people wouldn't see appeals court tenure
as a necessary qualification for the Court? Wow.
What's "wow" about it? State supreme court justices hear
appeals.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Of the current Court, *only* Kagan *didn't* have an appeals court
as the last prior job, and she'd been nominated for one.
Another example of the current court's narrowness, occupationally...
What's "wow" about it is that all nine of the current Supreme Court
justices have been nominated to federal appeals courts, and the only
one who didn't serve on one didn't because of politics. I mean, the
evidence continues to accumulate that we have a Stepford Court here.
(The "wow", in other words, connects with what follows it, not with
what precedes it.)

[religion of Supreme Court justices]
Post by Kevrob
How about appointing some "nones?" That's a fifth of the populace.
https://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landsca
pe/
Since I'm one myself, I have no objection, but given that they can't
even get any Protestants onto there, I figure someone like me has no
chance. :-)
Post by Kevrob
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Kevrob
I really like the idea of a political libertarian
as a compromise between "conservatives" and "liberals."
IRL they would probably both disqualify Bolick. :(
That's why I needed a really weird scenario for him to get a chance.
Sorry.
No need to apologize.
Oh, it wasn't an apology, just an expression of sympathy.
Post by Kevrob
To be SFnal, extrapolating changes in religious
affiliation is complicated by things like differing birthrates for
different demographic groups, changes in immigration trends, etc.
At some points nominal Muslims might outnumber nominal Jews in the
US, but "rates of assimilation" may vary. Very religious Orthodox
Jews have more children than secular Jews, for example. Straight
extrapolation is almost always wrong, anyway.
Well, a Muslim would be a tougher sell than an atheist, but probably
not that much harder. At some point, obviously, representation
breaks down in such a small body; it's just that the no-Protestants
thing was/is so flagrantly *un*-representative as to draw attention.
(And, let's face it, both Jews and Catholics are way over-represented.)

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Lynn McGuire
2020-01-16 23:01:46 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
... Surely we can do better!
I'd nominate AZ Supreme Court Associate Justice Clint Bolick,
for some diversity of _thought_. Law professor Randy Barnett
hasn't been a judge, but I like him, too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Bolick
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Barnett
I would have loved to have seen Richard Epstein on SCOTUS, but he's
now 76. During the Thomas hearings, Biden waved his book "Takings"
around as if it were the Necronomicon, and demanded the nominee's
opinions about it. Worst thing a potential nominee can do, in the
hyper-partisan environment: write a book, which helped tank Bork.
that "it means what it says."
https://web.archive.org/web/20191216205746/http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1850&context=facpub
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Epstein
Kevin R
The next SCOTUS nominee will probably be Amy Coney Barrett:

https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/07/potential-nominee-profile-amy-coney-barrett/

Lynn
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-18 22:19:41 UTC
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Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Kevrob
... Surely we can do better!
I'd nominate AZ Supreme Court Associate Justice Clint Bolick,
for some diversity of _thought_. Law professor Randy Barnett
hasn't been a judge, but I like him, too.
[snip]
Post by Lynn McGuire
https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/07/potential-nominee-profile-amy-coney-
barrett/
Read, and I also read the article on her in English Wikipedia.

The topic was diversity on the Supreme Court, which is now notably un-
diverse in several important areas:

All its members went to Harvard or Yale Law Schools. Barrett would
break this pattern; she went to Notre Dame Law School.

None of its members has won an election, or even fought one. Neither
has Barrett.

None of its members, AFAIR, has met a payroll. Doesn't look like
Barrett has either.

All of its members were federal appeals court justices when
nominated, except Kagan, whose nomination to an appeals court was
blocked. Barrett would fit right in.

(I thought she'd be typical too in her work as a law professor, but
I hadn't paid enough attention; only Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito and
Kagan, of the current court, have significant teaching experience.)

Oh, and she's Catholic. Frankly, if it weren't unconstitutional,
there should be a moratorium on Catholics and Jews being nominated
to that court for the next decade.

None of this deals with the probability you assert; I'm not privy to
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's medical records or private thoughts, and I
doubt you are either.

Given the opinions she's written to date, I find her a relatively
appealing example of a possible Republican nominee. I'd like to know
more about her views on things like executive power, corporations'
liabilities, and such, but I doubt her appeals court work offers much
scope for that kind of thing. She seems more small-l libertarian
than I'd think Trump would be comfortable with.

But simply considered as a source of diversity on the Supreme Court,
Barrett wouldn't be useless, but she wouldn't do much.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Johnny1A
2020-01-20 05:25:42 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Kevrob
... Surely we can do better!
I'd nominate AZ Supreme Court Associate Justice Clint Bolick,
for some diversity of _thought_. Law professor Randy Barnett
hasn't been a judge, but I like him, too.
[snip]
Post by Lynn McGuire
https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/07/potential-nominee-profile-amy-coney-
barrett/
Read, and I also read the article on her in English Wikipedia.
The topic was diversity on the Supreme Court, which is now notably un-
All its members went to Harvard or Yale Law Schools. Barrett would
break this pattern; she went to Notre Dame Law School.
None of its members has won an election, or even fought one. Neither
has Barrett.
None of its members, AFAIR, has met a payroll. Doesn't look like
Barrett has either.
All of its members were federal appeals court justices when
nominated, except Kagan, whose nomination to an appeals court was
blocked. Barrett would fit right in.
(I thought she'd be typical too in her work as a law professor, but
I hadn't paid enough attention; only Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito and
Kagan, of the current court, have significant teaching experience.)
Oh, and she's Catholic. Frankly, if it weren't unconstitutional,
there should be a moratorium on Catholics and Jews being nominated
to that court for the next decade.
It's _not_ unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and for that matter all Federal Courts) are appointed by the President with Senatorial consent. They can apply whatever restrictions or standards they want to that task. The President can simply refuse to nominate members of whatever group he thinks is overrepresented, or the Senate can refuse to confirm likewise, and that power is plenary in each case.

There are pretty much no Constitutional requirements or barriers on who can be a Federal judge. You don't even _have_ to be a lawyer, if you can convince the POTUS to appoint you and the Senate to confirm it.
Kevrob
2020-01-20 06:47:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Kevrob
... Surely we can do better!
I'd nominate AZ Supreme Court Associate Justice Clint Bolick,
for some diversity of _thought_. Law professor Randy Barnett
hasn't been a judge, but I like him, too.
[snip]
Post by Lynn McGuire
https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/07/potential-nominee-profile-amy-coney-
barrett/
Read, and I also read the article on her in English Wikipedia.
The topic was diversity on the Supreme Court, which is now notably un-
All its members went to Harvard or Yale Law Schools. Barrett would
break this pattern; she went to Notre Dame Law School.
None of its members has won an election, or even fought one. Neither
has Barrett.
None of its members, AFAIR, has met a payroll. Doesn't look like
Barrett has either.
All of its members were federal appeals court justices when
nominated, except Kagan, whose nomination to an appeals court was
blocked. Barrett would fit right in.
(I thought she'd be typical too in her work as a law professor, but
I hadn't paid enough attention; only Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito and
Kagan, of the current court, have significant teaching experience.)
Oh, and she's Catholic. Frankly, if it weren't unconstitutional,
there should be a moratorium on Catholics and Jews being nominated
to that court for the next decade.
It's _not_ unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and for that matter all Federal Courts) are appointed by the President with Senatorial consent. They can apply whatever restrictions or standards they want to that task. The President can simply refuse to nominate members of whatever group he thinks is overrepresented, or the Senate can refuse to confirm likewise, and that power is plenary in each case.
Any President or Senator who said out loud or wrote down
that "X is not able to be nominated because he's a Catholic/
Jew/Muslim/None/" would be violating his oath of office, IMO.

US constitution, article VI:

"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under the United States."

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/art6.asp

Now, should a Prez or sen think that way, keep his mouth shut
about it and use neither pen nor keyboard to record the thought,
we'd never know. We might guess, but not know.
Post by Johnny1A
There are pretty much no Constitutional requirements or barriers
on who can be a Federal judge. You don't even _have_ to be a
lawyer, if you can convince the POTUS to appoint you and the
Senate to confirm it.
True, yet going back to John Jay, no non-lawyer has been appointed
and confirmed for a SCOTUS seat. It has almost become part of the
"unwritten Constitution," in the English sense.

Kevin R
Paul S Person
2020-01-20 17:56:09 UTC
Reply
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<snippo>
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
It's _not_ unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and for that matter all Federal Courts) are appointed by the President with Senatorial consent. They can apply whatever restrictions or standards they want to that task. The President can simply refuse to nominate members of whatever group he thinks is overrepresented, or the Senate can refuse to confirm likewise, and that power is plenary in each case.
Any President or Senator who said out loud or wrote down
that "X is not able to be nominated because he's a Catholic/
Jew/Muslim/None/" would be violating his oath of office, IMO.
"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under the United States."
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/art6.asp
Now, should a Prez or sen think that way, keep his mouth shut
about it and use neither pen nor keyboard to record the thought,
we'd never know. We might guess, but not know.
And yet, Roman Catholics /do/ seem to be a bit ... over-represented.

Well, at present, anyway.
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."
Kevrob
2020-01-20 22:16:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Paul S Person
<snippo>
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
It's _not_ unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and for that matter all Federal Courts) are appointed by the President with Senatorial consent. They can apply whatever restrictions or standards they want to that task. The President can simply refuse to nominate members of whatever group he thinks is overrepresented, or the Senate can refuse to confirm likewise, and that power is plenary in each case.
Any President or Senator who said out loud or wrote down
that "X is not able to be nominated because he's a Catholic/
Jew/Muslim/None/" would be violating his oath of office, IMO.
"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under the United States."
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/art6.asp
Now, should a Prez or sen think that way, keep his mouth shut
about it and use neither pen nor keyboard to record the thought,
we'd never know. We might guess, but not know.
And yet, Roman Catholics /do/ seem to be a bit ... over-represented.
Well, at present, anyway.
That's because GOP presidents want to be rock sure that their
nominee is solid on abortion issues. It's about policy disposition,
not representing faith. Sotomayor is probaly only "culturally
Catholic," and a solid vote to uphold Roe v Wade.

[quote]

The Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, a Jesuit priest and the former president of
Fordham University, who came to know Judge Sotomayor when they both served
on the New York City Campaign Finance Board in the 1980s, said: "I just
don’t think Sonia would fit in with Roberts, exactly, and certainly not
Scalia. I think they’re very different Catholics."

[/quote]

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/us/politics/31catholics.html

I grew up in an Irish-American Catholic family, was in grammar school
when the Vatican II reforms started, was an altar boy for years, then a
lector, educated from 1st grade to my B.A. in Catholic institutions, and
have been a libertarian and an atheist since the late 1970s. I've been
on both sides of the true believer/cultural fence. The only church
functions I attend are weddings and funerals, though I might take in a
parish festival for the food. One "Catholic" justice doesn't represent
all Catholics, by a long shot.

Judges and justices aren't supposed to represent constituencies, anyway,
especially ones appointed for life and not subject to facing an electorate,
ever.

There's, apparently, strong self-selection by educated Catholics towards
the legal profession.

[quote]

Historically, Catholics have chosen law as a career with greater
frequency than have other religious groups. Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.

[/quote]

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/07/18/why-do-catholics-make-majority-supreme-court

Do you want to be in this company?

[quote]

If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of
the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.

Is this the Democrats' idea of diversity?

[/quote] - Pat Buchanan, 13 May, 2010

https://www.wnd.com/2010/05/153417/

"Jewish lawyer" is a stereotype for a reason. There are
a lot of them, and they have excelled. Good for them.
Mastering America secular law as self-defense against
bigots was wise.

Kevin R
Quadibloc
2020-01-21 02:31:34 UTC
Reply
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Post by Kevrob
Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.
Given that going to college costs a lot of money, of course ordinary people are
going to learn something there that will help them get a better job. Only the
children of the wealthy can afford the luxury of less practical studies.

So I view such criticism as profoundly unfair.

John Savard
David Johnston
2020-01-21 02:48:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Paul S Person
<snippo>
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
It's _not_ unconstitutional. The SCOTUS (and for that matter all Federal Courts) are appointed by the President with Senatorial consent. They can apply whatever restrictions or standards they want to that task. The President can simply refuse to nominate members of whatever group he thinks is overrepresented, or the Senate can refuse to confirm likewise, and that power is plenary in each case.
Any President or Senator who said out loud or wrote down
that "X is not able to be nominated because he's a Catholic/
Jew/Muslim/None/" would be violating his oath of office, IMO.
"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification
to any office or public trust under the United States."
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/art6.asp
Now, should a Prez or sen think that way, keep his mouth shut
about it and use neither pen nor keyboard to record the thought,
we'd never know. We might guess, but not know.
And yet, Roman Catholics /do/ seem to be a bit ... over-represented.
Well, at present, anyway.
That's because GOP presidents want to be rock sure that their
nominee is solid on abortion issues. It's about policy disposition,
not representing faith. Sotomayor is probaly only "culturally
Catholic," and a solid vote to uphold Roe v Wade.
[quote]
The Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, a Jesuit priest and the former president of
Fordham University, who came to know Judge Sotomayor when they both served
on the New York City Campaign Finance Board in the 1980s, said: "I just
don’t think Sonia would fit in with Roberts, exactly, and certainly not
Scalia. I think they’re very different Catholics."
[/quote]
https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/us/politics/31catholics.html
I grew up in an Irish-American Catholic family, was in grammar school
when the Vatican II reforms started, was an altar boy for years, then a
lector, educated from 1st grade to my B.A. in Catholic institutions, and
have been a libertarian and an atheist since the late 1970s. I've been
on both sides of the true believer/cultural fence. The only church
functions I attend are weddings and funerals, though I might take in a
parish festival for the food. One "Catholic" justice doesn't represent
all Catholics, by a long shot.
Judges and justices aren't supposed to represent constituencies, anyway,
especially ones appointed for life and not subject to facing an electorate,
ever.
There's, apparently, strong self-selection by educated Catholics towards
the legal profession.
[quote]
Historically, Catholics have chosen law as a career with greater
frequency than have other religious groups. Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.
[/quote]
Having just skimmed it, no he didn't. He criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward business degrees or to
eschew post-secondary education at all. He was certainly in favour of a
law degree as a stepping stone to a career in politics.
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-21 04:02:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Kevrob
There's, apparently, strong self-selection by educated Catholics
towards the legal profession.
[quote]
Historically, Catholics have chosen law as a career with greater
frequency than have other religious groups. Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.
[/quote]
Having just skimmed it, no he didn't. He criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward business degrees or to
eschew post-secondary education at all. He was certainly in favour of
a law degree as a stepping stone to a career in politics.
I don't see any support for that last sentence in the essay (which I
read in full, though I didn't make a point of concentrating on the
bibliographic parts of the notes). He doesn't *criticise* the strong
representation of Catholic university graduates in law and medical
schools, but offers only limited praise without mentioning any
implications, near as I can see. Did I miss something?

<https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/mission/pdf1/cu25.pdf>

"While it is gratifying to learn that so many of the graduates of
Catholic institutions pursue their studies beyond college by fitting
themselves for the legal and medical professions, "
p. 27; note 57 on p. 41 is cited in relation to this, a little before
this quote.
.
note 57 says "Knapp & Goodrich noted the relatively high number of
graduates of Catholic colleges who go on for law, which led them to
remark, "So far as we can judge, it appears that the Catholic
institutions as a group are dedicated to training primarily in the
nonscientific fields. Ineed, Kunkel's study...suggests that the
production of lawyers from Catholic institutions is as phenomenally
high as their production of scientists is low" (op cit. p. 51)"

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
David Johnston
2020-01-21 06:48:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by David Johnston
Post by Kevrob
There's, apparently, strong self-selection by educated Catholics
towards the legal profession.
[quote]
Historically, Catholics have chosen law as a career with greater
frequency than have other religious groups. Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.
[/quote]
Having just skimmed it, no he didn't. He criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward business degrees or to
eschew post-secondary education at all. He was certainly in favour of
a law degree as a stepping stone to a career in politics.
I don't see any support for that last sentence in the essay (which I
read in full, though I didn't make a point of concentrating on the
bibliographic parts of the notes). He doesn't *criticise* the strong
representation of Catholic university graduates in law and medical
schools, but offers only limited praise without mentioning any
implications, near as I can see. Did I miss something?
He complained that not enough Catholics were putting themselves in
positions of power. A law degree just as a way of making money wouldn't
be what he wants to see more of, but Catholic judges and politicians are
another matter.
Kevrob
2020-01-21 04:24:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Kevrob
There's, apparently, strong self-selection by educated Catholics towards
the legal profession.
[quote]
Historically, Catholics have chosen law as a career with greater
frequency than have other religious groups. Indeed, in 1955,
Catholic scholar John Tracy Ellis, in his essay, "American Catholics
and the Intellectual Life," sharply criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward practical careers
like the law or medicine, rather than humanities or the arts.
[/quote]
Having just skimmed it, no he didn't. He criticized American Catholic
culture for steering its young people toward business degrees or to
eschew post-secondary education at all. He was certainly in favour of a
law degree as a stepping stone to a career in politics.
Good catch. In the 50s, in New York, there were "Catholic law firms"
and "Jewish firms" as a result of lawyers with those backgrounds being
shut out by WASP partners at the premier firms. That started to break
down in the 1960s. As a New York Mets fan, I am aware of the history
of the merger of a prominent catholic firm wit a prominent Jewish firm,
to create:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_%26_Gould

Bill Shea had the baseball stadium in Queens named after him,
that the Mets moved to in 1964.

By "having skimmed it.." did you mean the AMERICA article by
Allyson Escobar or Ellis' 1955 paper, found here? I assume the former.

https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/mission/pdf1/cu25.pdf

Kevin R
James Nicoll
2020-01-16 15:03:33 UTC
Reply
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The easiest way to phase out gerontocracy is simply to bar members of the government
from medical care, aside from second-amendment-based self-care.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My tor pieces at https://www.tor.com/author/james-davis-nicoll/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-19 00:18:42 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Reports on the composition of Congress, including average ages, seem
to go back to the early 1990s. [snip] I doubt I'll carry this any
further, since compiling 535 birth years for each Congress strikes
me as a really boring task.
Yeah, well. I decided maybe the Senate wasn't undoable, partly
because of long terms, partly because of limited seats. So far I've
done Delaware and Pennsylvania, which are two of the eleven longest-
time states in the union; things should start going faster once I get
to places that joined after the Civil War, partly because Senate
terms have averaged noticeably *longer* since popular election came
in. No conclusions can yet be drawn, but maybe once I've done all
eleven I'll have something to say - that's a reasonable sample, if
not geographically representative.

-- JLB
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-31 20:00:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Joe Bernstein
Reports on the composition of Congress, including average ages, seem
to go back to the early 1990s. [snip] I doubt I'll carry this any
further, since compiling 535 birth years for each Congress strikes
me as a really boring task.
Yeah, well. I decided maybe the Senate wasn't undoable, partly
because of long terms, partly because of limited seats. So far I've
done Delaware and Pennsylvania, which are two of the eleven longest-
time states in the union; things should start going faster once I get
to places that joined after the Civil War, partly because Senate
terms have averaged noticeably *longer* since popular election came
in.
Actually, I did today two states that joined in 1836 and 1837,
Arkansas and Michigan, and they're already considerably faster than
the first thirteen were. In the first few Congresses there was
roughly one senatorial vacancy every three seconds. Things slowed
down quite a bit in about the 1840s.

Arkansas was state #25, so I'm halfway through the states, which
means considerably more than halfway through the senators. However,
I'm mainly interested in the popularly elected subset, and I'm only a
little more than halfway through those.
Post by Joe Bernstein
No conclusions can yet be drawn, but maybe once I've done all
eleven I'll have something to say - that's a reasonable sample, if
not geographically representative.
No. I'm still seeing the averages change noticeably state by state;
for example, today when I started the averages for the past couple of
years were a record-breaking 66, but now they're a significantly more
ordinary 65. (Three of the current senators from Arkansas and
Michigan are ordinarily old, so this is primarily an effect of Tom
Cotton, who at 42 is *way* young for the present Senate.) So I'd
rather just finish the states before saying much. On the current
schedule that should be two weeks from now.

Also, because the senatorial term is the longest we elect people to,
in any American election known to me, a number of effects make the
average age less useful for testing hypotheses. My explanations for
the known fact that the average age of the Senate has increased since
the early 1970s are a) greedy Baby Boomers or b) gradual rise of
gerontocracy; neither is well captured by average age, however.
So I want to look at the elections, congress by congress (i.e.
grouping them in two-year spans), looking at two things in each:
average age of newly elected senators; and odds of re-election for
senators trying for it. Popular election of US senators began in
Oregon in 1906 with the election of Jonathan Bourne, Jr,, Republican;
it became mandatory in all states with the passage of the 17th
Amendment in 1913. So this is 57 electoral cycles, and will not be
fast.

I'm already pretty sure, though, just from what I've seen so far,
that hypothesis a) is wrong. Many of the long-term senators of the
late 20th century were older than the Baby Boomers; in a nutshell, in
probably most seats of the Senate, Baby Boomers *still* haven't had
time to *get* greedy.

Gradual rise of gerontocracy, on the other hand, seems a very safe
bet. Many newly elected senators in the decade of the 2010s - most,
in the first 26 states - were in their 60s. That's far from
historical norms, but I think it's farther from the 1910s than from
the 1990s.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Garrett Wollman
2020-01-31 20:36:59 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Also, because the senatorial term is the longest we elect people to,
in any American election known to me, a number of effects make the
average age less useful for testing hypotheses.
I believe there are a number of states which have elected judgeships
that run longer, like 10 to 14 years.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-01 21:37:34 UTC
Reply
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Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Joe Bernstein
Also, because the senatorial term is the longest we elect people to,
in any American election known to me, a number of effects make the
average age less useful for testing hypotheses.
I believe there are a number of states which have elected judgeships
that run longer, like 10 to 14 years.
Stupid me. Turns out the supreme courts of both Wisconsin and
Illinois have ten-year terms, and I've lived in both states for at
least ten years, so you'd think I'd have noticed. Sheesh. (In
Illinois appellate judges also have ten-year terms, but I'm prepared
to forgive myself for forgetting *that*.)

In Washington, where I live now, supreme court terms are six years,
as are appellate terms in both Washington and Wisconsin.

I was thinking only of legislative and executive elections, and for
those I'm still pretty sure I was right, but I didn't *write* that,
so stupid me.

-- JLB
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-06 04:08:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Joe Bernstein
Post by Joe Bernstein
Reports on the composition of Congress, including average ages, seem
to go back to the early 1990s. [snip] I doubt I'll carry this any
further, since compiling 535 birth years for each Congress strikes
me as a really boring task.
Yeah, well. I decided maybe the Senate wasn't undoable, partly
because of long terms, partly because of limited seats.
No conclusions can yet be drawn, but maybe once I've done all
eleven I'll have something to say - that's a reasonable sample, if
not geographically representative.
No. I'm still seeing the averages change noticeably state by state;
So I'd
rather just finish the states before saying much. On the current
schedule that should be two weeks from now.
Once I reached the shorter lists, I decided to speed up, and finished
Hawaii a little while ago.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Also, because the senatorial term is the longest we elect people to,
in any American election known to me, a number of effects make the
average age less useful for testing hypotheses.
So I want to look at the elections, congress by congress (i.e.
average age of newly elected senators; and odds of re-election for
senators trying for it. ... 57 electoral cycles, and will not be
fast.
No, it won't, but that's for later. For now, I have the average ages.

Mind, these are peculiar averages. I'm pretty sure the ones now put
out more or less officially actually take each day into account. I
may have an idea how to make my software do that, but chose to go
with a much simpler setup: one age per year per senatorial seat.
Since my hypothesis was gerontocracy, I picked the *lowest* age any
holder of the seat during that year was, as of December 31 of the
year. This had the effect of erasing a bunch of short-term senators'
ages entirely, among other distortions.

Also, English Wikipedia was almost entirely my only source. (It
doesn't know the birth year of one of Indiana's first senators; I
found it at findagrave.com.) The vast majority of the articles I
looked at looked credible to me, with reasonably consistent formats,
but I intend to use more authoritative sources for the election work.
(My main sources thus far:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Lists_of_United_States_senators_by_state>.)

Finally, I did this by hand, and probably made mistakes.

If you want the spreadsheet despite all these liabilities, let me
know.

That said.

The first years of the republic have the lowest average ages. 1794,
with an average of exactly 45, is 8th-lowest; 1800, averaging exactly
46, was 14th; of the other twelve to that point, six years were in
the 1790s, two in the 1800s, and four in the 1810s. (However, 1789
and 1790, the 1st Congress, were way higher, averages near 47.5.)

1862 has an average of exactly 50. Of the sixty-four years with
averages in the 40s, only 1867 is later than that. This means
averages in the 40s for 63 of the 73 years 1789-1861, and *no
averages in the 40s after 1867*.

The lowest average in the entire elective era (1907-present) is
1981's, just above 53; unsurprisingly, that's also the lowest average
in the 20th-21st centuries. The Republican takeover of the Senate
that year was the real change, unlike the House, for which Baby
Boomers' arrival after Watergate is described as the watershed. But
notice that 1981-53=1928. Baby Boomers have only arrived in the
Senate in force, frankly, in this century.

Only once in the 21st century has the average dropped below 60, in
2001, by about a third of a year. All 20 years with averages above
60 are in the 21st century (well, for those of us who consider 2000
21st-century, anyhow). The three highest are 2020 (64.5), 2019, and
2018; next after that is 2008 (63.5).

So my hypothesis of creeping gerontocracy gets some support even from
this crude measure.

Several senators have been seated at age 29, despite the minimum age
of 30. It's been a long time; the last time the issue came up was
when Joe Biden was elected at that age, and he waited until his 30th
birthday. The youngest senator now is Josh Hawley, Republican of
Missouri, who's 40; he was born on the last day I account to Gen X,
New Year's Eve 1979. Tom Cotton, already mentioned, Republican of
Arkansas, is next. Ten of the fourteen who are in their 40s are
Republican, as are three of the six who were, like me, born in the
second half of the 1960s. In general, ever since the election of
1980 or perhaps a bit before that, Republicans have been considerably
more comfortable with middle-aged senators than Democrats have. The
first Millennial senator by my reckoning will probably be elected
soonish (but at least a decade later than the first Millennials
qualified), and will probably be a Republican.

The eldest senators are more equal. Feinstein edges out Grassley by
a few months. The other three in their 80s are all Republican, but
five of the nine born in the early 1940s are Democrats (or at least
caucus with them).

That leaves sixty-six Baby Boomer senators now, by my reckoning.
Surprise! Thirty-four were born 1946-1954 [1], which means
"Generation Jones" has almost as many.

(I could've used my spreadsheet for this, but actually used:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_United_States_senators>.)

When I finish going through the 57 elections I'll be back, but
that'll probably be months; I want to get back to the K-dramas my
e-mail address is based on. If anyone replies to this, I may
answer back, but don't expect more data from me anytime soon.

Joe Bernstein

[1] For some reason no current senator was born in 1945.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
m***@sky.com
2020-01-16 05:38:47 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
Yesterday, prompted by the withdrawal of Cory Booker, who was at that
point my preferred candidate for the Democratic nomination for
President in the 2020 election, I wrote a post sorting the candidates
by generation, and noting that of four "Silent Generation" candidates,
three were still in the race; of "Baby Boomers", 6/12 (admittedly,
boosted by two late entrants); of "Generation X", after Booker's
withdrawal, 1/9; and of "Millennials", 2/3.
(trimmed)
I think at least some of this is a reflection of a gerontocracy in congress, fueled by incumbent advantage and seniority rules. There seems to be a contrast between the number of people who are prepared to leak horror stories of the Trump administration, and to remote-diagnose his mental state, and the total silence about any impact of age on congress, when we see congresscritters dying of illnesses which are far from sudden while still in office, and perhaps just days from their last appearance in the House or Senate. There must at least be good comedy material in the back office of a congresscritter rushing around madly to preserve the appearance of a dynamic and capable incumbent whose last fully informed action was during the previous millennium. Perhaps the lack of such stories shows that, competent or not, such people retain real power.
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-17 02:53:04 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
I think at least some of this is a reflection of a gerontocracy in
congress, fueled by incumbent advantage and seniority rules. There
seems to be a contrast between the number of people who are prepared
to leak horror stories of the Trump administration, and to
remote-diagnose his mental state, and the total silence about any
impact of age on congress, when we see congresscritters dying of
illnesses which are far from sudden while still in office, and perhaps
just days from their last appearance in the House or Senate. There
must at least be good comedy material in the back office of a
congresscritter rushing around madly to preserve the appearance of a
dynamic and capable incumbent whose last fully informed action was
during the previous millennium. Perhaps the lack of such stories shows
that, competent or not, such people retain real power.
I thought at first this was a jab specifically at John McCain, but it
turns out not to fit him very well. So I wondered who it *was* aimed
at. Conveniently, English Wikipedia has a series of articles like my
source below:

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Congress_members_who_died_in_office_(2000%E2%80%93)>

It lists thirty-one members of Congress who've died in office since
the beginning of 2000. In the interest of brevity, and in a tip of
the hat to another thread, I'll consider only the twelve who died
2010-2019.

Elijah Cummings, Democrat of the 7th District of Maryland, born 1951,
elected 1996-2018. Diagnosed with thymic carcinoma, which normally
has a poor survival rate, in 1994. Had surgery on his aortic valve
in 2017, resulting in an infection that returned him to the hospital
later that year. Died of "complications concerning longstanding
health challenges" 17 October 2019. Not sure when he last worked,
but he was involved in the impeachment investigation.

Walter Jones, Republican of the 3rd District of North Carolina, born
1943, elected 1994-2018. Started to miss votes due to illness in
July 2018; given leave of absence to the end of the 115th Congress in
December 2018. Sworn in to the 116th Congress from home. In January
2019 broke his hip, and was admitted to hospice. Died 10 February
2019. Had ALS in his last months.

John McCain, Republican Senator from Arisona, born 1936, elected 1986-
2016. Glioblastoma, a kind of brain cancer with a poor survival rate,
accidentally discovered 14 July 2017. Returned to the Senate 25 July.
Did not appear on the Senate floor from December 2017. Treatment of
the cancer stopped 24 August; he died 25 August 2018.

Louise Slaughter, Democrat of the 25th District of New York, born
1929, elected 1986-2016. Fell in her Washington home and got a
concussion; admitted to hospital 14 March and died 16 March 2018.

Mark Takai, Democrat of the 1st District of Hawaii, born 1967,
elected 2014. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer October 2015. 19 May
2016, announced that his cancer had spread, that he would not seek re-
election, but that he would try to complete his term. Died 20 July
2016.

Alan Nunnelee, Republican of the 1st District of Mississippi, born
1958, elected 2010-2014. Brain tumor discovered May 2014, leading to
surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and physical therapy. Died 6
February 2015.

Bill Young, Republican of the 13th District of Florida, born 1930,
elected 1970-2012. Apparently already diagnosed with multiple
myeloma, a blood cancer with a moderate survival rate, when in
October 2013 he was hospitalised for a broken hip and fractured
pelvis, and the myeloma, which makes bones brittle, prevented surgery.
Died 18 October 2013.

Frank Lautenberg, Democratic Senator from New Jersey, born 1924,
elected 1982-1994 and 2002-2008. Hospitalised following a fall in
February 2010; this led to discovery of large b-cell lymphoma, a
curable blood cancer; announced that he was cancer-free 26 June 2010.
Died 3 June 2013 of viral pneumonia.

Daniel Inouye, Democratic Senator from Hawaii, born 1924, elected
1962-2010. Shot in the stomach and lost his right arm in a battle
in Italy, April 1945. In 2012 began using a wheelchair "to preserve
his knees", and an oxygen concentrator. Treated for a cut resulting
from a fall in November 2012. Hospitalised 6 December 2012 for
better control of his oxygen intake; died 17 December 2012.

Donald Payne, Democrat of the 10th District of New Jersey, born 1934,
elected 1988-2010. Announced colon cancer 10 February 2012. Flown
back to New Jersey 2 March; died 6 March 2012.

Robert Byrd, Democratic Senator from West Virginia, born 1917,
elected 1958-2006. In poor enough health in 2008 to be hospitalised
several times. Hospitalised for an infection leading to a fever 18
March-30 June, 2009. Hospitalised again 27 June, died 28 June 2010.

John Murtha, Democrat of the 12th District of Pennsylvania, born 1932,
elected 1974-2008. Hospitalised for gall bladder problems, December
2009, and had surgery 28 January 2010. This is routine surgery, but
an infection resulted, sending him back to the hospital 30 January;
he died 8 February 2010.

It appears possible that Cummings' entire congressional career was
conducted while he knew of the illness that would eventually kill him.
I don't see this as culpable. Jones and Nunnelee evidently did know
of the illnesses that killed them during their last races; you could
call this brave, or culpable, or neither. I don't see evidence that
any of the rest could've foreseen their deaths at the time of their
final elections, although one could argue that Byrd should've known
better than to run for Senate at 89 (mutatis mutandis for Inouye,
Lautenberg, and arguably others).

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Quadibloc
2020-01-17 20:55:19 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
So I wondered who it *was* aimed
at.
It's possible there are no sitting Congressmen of the last two decades to whom
it remotely applies.

But back in the days when Robert Byrd was serving, and before, it was folk
legend that this sort of thing happened frequently in Congress. Pork-barrel
politics means that it's very advantageous for a district to re-elect the same
Congressman if his seniority has placed him on a committee with power to direct
appropriations. So whatever the truth, it seemed like a reasonable expectation
that this would be the case.

John Savard
m***@sky.com
2020-01-18 05:33:50 UTC
Reply
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Joe Bernstein
So I wondered who it *was* aimed
at.
It's possible there are no sitting Congressmen of the last two decades to whom
it remotely applies.
But back in the days when Robert Byrd was serving, and before, it was folk
legend that this sort of thing happened frequently in Congress. Pork-barrel
politics means that it's very advantageous for a district to re-elect the same
Congressman if his seniority has placed him on a committee with power to direct
appropriations. So whatever the truth, it seemed like a reasonable expectation
that this would be the case.
John Savard
While I was aware of McCain and Cummings, I was not motivated by them in particular. I was more motivated by looking at people, my parents included, who I have seen socially and at work over periods of twenty years or more. I observe decreases most obviously in stamina and vigor, and also in ability. Looking on the web I see that both cardio-vascular disease and chemotherapy are associated with cognitive problems, as are various less common treatments, such as Prednisone. It seems to me that a system which encourages the employment of people well past the usual retirement age is unlikely to be employing the very best.

(As to myself, I notice mostly a continuing deterioration in my vision, which at the moment affects me mostly by limiting my driving, but if my job required me to understand read and understand a large body of material at short notice - such as a Bill placed before Congress - I dare say that I would be less effective than I would have been twenty years ago)
Garrett Wollman
2020-01-18 05:54:12 UTC
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Post by m***@sky.com
(As to myself, I notice mostly a continuing deterioration in my vision,
which at the moment affects me mostly by limiting my driving, but if my
job required me to understand read and understand a large body of
material at short notice - such as a Bill placed before Congress
The members don't; they have staff for that.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
D B Davis
2020-01-18 16:40:01 UTC
Reply
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Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by m***@sky.com
(As to myself, I notice mostly a continuing deterioration in my vision,
which at the moment affects me mostly by limiting my driving, but if my
job required me to understand read and understand a large body of
material at short notice - such as a Bill placed before Congress
The members don't; they have staff for that.
Pols delegate to staff so that pols can spend more time on their primary
mission: telemarketing!

Call Time For Congress Shows How Fundraising Dominates Bleak Work Life

WASHINGTON -- Welcome to town, new members of Congress. Now hit the
phones.

For an incoming member of Congress still basking in the glow of
electoral victory, it's a message that hits those in both parties hard
-- the most direct indication that time in the people's chamber will be
a bit different from the version taught in civics classes.

For new Democrats, that message was delivered on Nov. 16, barely a week
after the election, at an incoming-member orientation held by the House
campaign arm.

The amount of time that members of Congress in both parties spend
fundraising is widely known to take up an obscene portion of a typical
day -- whether it's "call time" spent on the phone with potential
donors, or in person at fundraisers in Washington or back home. Seeing
it spelled out in black and white, however, can be a jarring experience
for a new member, as related by some who attended the November
orientation.

A PowerPoint presentation to incoming freshmen by the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee, obtained by The Huffington Post, lays
out the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers. The daily
schedule prescribed by the Democratic leadership contemplates a nine or
10-hour day while in Washington. Of that, four hours are to be spent in
"call time" and another hour is blocked off for "strategic outreach,"
which includes fundraisers and press work. An hour is walled off to
"recharge," and three to four hours are designated for the actual work
of being a member of Congress -- hearings, votes, and meetings with
constituents. If the constituents are donors, all the better.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/call-time-congressional-fundraising_n_2427291



Thank you,
--
Don.......My cat's )\._.,--....,'``.
telltale tall tail /, _.. \ _\ (`._ ,.
tells tall tales.. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Quadibloc
2020-01-16 15:12:40 UTC
Reply
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Post by Joe Bernstein
My fear is that my generation, like the
"Lost" and "Silent" ones, will be eclipsed by demographic powerhouses
on either side,
Unfortunately, it is indeed very likely that this is exactly what will happen;
at the moment, people in political office are getting older, and this can't
continue indefinitely barring advances in gerontology - and so it is likely to
end with a transition to the next demographic powerhouse.

Unless the gap is too large to be crossed in one leap. So I'm not giving up hope
of Joe Biden becoming President.

John Savard
Quadibloc
2020-01-16 15:26:57 UTC
Reply
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Joe Bernstein
My fear is that my generation, like the
"Lost" and "Silent" ones, will be eclipsed by demographic powerhouses
on either side,
Unfortunately, it is indeed very likely that this is exactly what will happen;
at the moment, people in political office are getting older, and this can't
continue indefinitely barring advances in gerontology - and so it is likely to
end with a transition to the next demographic powerhouse.
Unless the gap is too large to be crossed in one leap. So I'm not giving up hope
of Joe Biden becoming President.
Also: I ended up going to Wikipedia in order to make sense of your post:

Lost Generation 1883-1900
Greatest Generation 1901-1927
Silent Generation 1928-1945
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Generation X 1965-1980
Millenials 1981-1996
Generation Z 1997-

Also, I see that it is both the "Silent Generation" and "Generation X" that are
associated with a slump in birth rates, one centered in 1935, and the other
centered in 1975; the graph I'm using doesn't extend far enough back to show the
"Lost Generation".

John Savard
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-16 23:14:05 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Lost Generation 1883-1900
Greatest Generation 1901-1927
Silent Generation 1928-1945
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Generation X 1965-1980
Millenials 1981-1996
Generation Z 1997-
Also, I see that it is both the "Silent Generation" and "Generation X"
that are associated with a slump in birth rates, one centered in 1935,
and the other centered in 1975; the graph I'm using doesn't extend far
enough back to show the "Lost Generation".
Well, I mis-spoke about that generation. Truman was born in 1884,
Eisenhower in 1890. They were the last normally-spaced presidents;
the gap between Eisenhower and Johnson, though the biggest to its
time, happens not to coincide with a Wikipedia generation.

I had some qualms about talking about generations at all. I do
identify, personally, with Generation X, but my own elder siblings,
one born as early as 1959, deny that they're Baby Boomers. I have
difficulties with most of the dividing lines offered at Wikipedia.
These difficulties get stronger further back; for example, I can see
the logic of 1996 as opposed to my 1999 - with 1996, they can all
remember 9/11 - but similar logic doesn't work for 1927/1928 - on
both sides of that line, their first memories are of the Depression;
this is probably even true of Carter and the elder Bush, born in 1924
[1]. So I took my original, heavily generational, post and turned it
into one which used generations some, but tried to privilege simple
gaps between birth years.

Joe Bernstein

[1] 1927/1928 is probably based on the end of World War II, and the
draft. Bush served in that war; Carter could have; Mondale, born in
1928, was too young.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Garrett Wollman
2020-01-16 23:41:53 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
[1] 1927/1928 is probably based on the end of World War II, and the
draft. Bush served in that war; Carter could have; Mondale, born in
1928, was too young.
Strauss & Howe, my usual reference in things generational, defined
generations according to experiences shared in "rising adulthood" --
roughly ages 16-32 IIRC -- and so back in the days of a conscript army
the generations generally coincided with who either was drafted, or
was afraid of being drafted, or who had a brother/boyfriend/husband
who was drafted. They define the Boom generation by something they
called the "Boom Awakening", which led them to use a somewhat earlier
start year (1943 or 1944) than the demographic Baby Boom.

They did not use Coupland's horrible "generation x" moniker;
Coupland's book wasn't published at the time they were doing the
research for /Generations/ (1992). They put the "13th generation"
birth cohort as 1963 to 1982 -- if you were born in 1963, you turned
16 during the Second Oil Shock, and would not have much connection
with Nixon or the draft. You could quibble about the tail end of
that; I think there's a good argument for putting the cutoff year
closer to 1978.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Kevrob
2020-01-17 03:49:03 UTC
Reply
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Post by Garrett Wollman
They did not use Coupland's horrible "generation x" moniker;
Coupland's book wasn't published at the time they were doing the
research for /Generations/ (1992). They put the "13th generation"
birth cohort as 1963 to 1982 -- if you were born in 1963, you turned
16 during the Second Oil Shock, and would not have much connection
with Nixon or the draft. You could quibble about the tail end of
that; I think there's a good argument for putting the cutoff year
closer to 1978.
Strauss & Howe divided the Boom from their 13th Fen at 1960/61.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory#Timing_of_generations_and_turnings

1964 is the more common final year of the Boom.

GenX was a band. the members of which, including front man
William "Billy Idol" Broad, were all boomers. Fun fact: Billy
and I moved to the same Long Island village in our pre-school days.
Idol moved elsewhere on LI, then back to England, so we never met.

Followed by "13th Gen" or "Xers," I think 1960 is a better cut-off
for the Boom, culturally, than 1964. If you were in high school in
1974-1978 you were living in the midst of the disco era, overlappimg
the rise and crash of punk rock, and the emergence of New Wave.
"Jaws" (1975) heralds the "summer movie blockbuster" phenomenon.
"Saturday Night Live" was 1975, and "Saturday Night Fever" 1977.
Nik Cohn's "New Yorker" article about the trend was a year earlier.*
`77 also gave us "Star Wars," and IASFM. GALAXY sputtered to a sad
end, with only 1 ish in 1980.

HBO started in 1972, ESPN in 1978, and by the end of the 7th decade
16 million homes had cable. 1977 saw the US's first video rental stores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_Video

The US was out of Viet Nam by 1975, and teens were no longer
in danger of being drafted. We didn't think that way when I
was 15! Nixon resigned in August 1974.

* The story was a fraud. I remember reading
it, borrowing a dorm-mate's sub copy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribal_Rites_of_the_New_Saturday_Night

1974: Altair 8800. By the time the "class of `78" has graduated
HS the personal computer revolution was in full swing. Apple IIs,
TRS-80s and Commodores abounded. By 1980 a younger buddy of mine
bought a Times-branded Sinclair for $100 at the supermarket and
taught himself to program. When I went back to school in the early
80s, I took a couple of programming courses, the way I'd taken
a couple of semesters of Spanish in the mid-70s. Knowledge of
computers had changed from an esoteric pursuit to a part of the
"core curriculum."

Hip hop music starts in the early 70s and becomes a genre that
sells records by late in the decade.

I'm a late boomer, and that's OK.

Kevin R
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-17 05:15:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Joe Bernstein
[1] 1927/1928 is probably based on the end of World War II, and the
draft. Bush served in that war; Carter could have; Mondale, born in
1928, was too young.
Strauss & Howe, my usual reference in things generational, defined
generations according to experiences shared in "rising adulthood" --
roughly ages 16-32 IIRC -- and so back in the days of a conscript army
the generations generally coincided with who either was drafted, or
was afraid of being drafted, or who had a brother/boyfriend/husband
who was drafted.
Well, even before the draft proper, who fought or was marked by not
having fought.
Post by Garrett Wollman
They did not use Coupland's horrible "generation x" moniker;
Coupland's book wasn't published at the time they were doing the
research for /Generations/ (1992).
That's certainly possible, given publishing timelines in those days,
but <Generation X> was published in 1991, and became pretty famous
pretty quickly. Coupland himself was born in 1961, so it's always
been kind of awkward to link him to the concept, which he's
repeatedly repudiated for reasons not having much to do with
generational thinking.
Post by Garrett Wollman
They put the "13th generation"
birth cohort as 1963 to 1982 -- if you were born in 1963, you turned
16 during the Second Oil Shock, and would not have much connection
with Nixon or the draft. You could quibble about the tail end of
that; I think there's a good argument for putting the cutoff year
closer to 1978.
See, one thing I've found doing this thread is that thinking in terms
of named generations like this is fuzzy thinking. What do I mean by
saying the Baby Boom is 1945-1964, Gen X 1965-1979, Millennials 1980-
1999, and whatever's next after that? Thanks to the grades I skipped
(long embarrassing story having nothing to do with my scholastic
prowess) I was in high school in the leading edge of Gen X so defined,
1979-1983. So I was a freshman the year I'd have the last Gen Xers
born. My 16-32 is 1983-1999; theirs is 1995-2011. Those overlap in
the years I think of as more or less the peak of my adulthood, but I
doubt they'd see those years the same way. During all of their 16-32
the Internet is well known in America; this is hardly true of mine.
Possibly the end of the expectation that most young men will fight is
the cause of this, or possibly not; the Civil War seems to have
spanned several generations, in the 19th century.

Generation talk is a convenient way to summarise things, but to do
this thread properly I had to retreat to talk about birth years and
gaps between them instead. So put it this way: The following
decades since the 1730s have seen the births of no US Presidents:
1810s (between Lincoln and Grant), 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s, and
nobody younger has yet qualified. If you push the 0 years backward,
it becomes 1810s, 1890s (between Eisenhower and Johnson), 1930s,
1950s, 1970s, 1980s. Either way, this shows something distinctive
about recent times, but it doesn't mean I should reify decades any
more than I now want to reify generations.

One of several reasons I've thought about generations recently is
trying to summarise what I know about the ages of the Korean singers
I'm interested in. These group pretty conveniently into the
generations as defined above; but those borderlines have nothing at
all to do with how Koreans themselves define generations. Rather,
the grouping is more or less an effect of which dramas I've watched
(exposing me to singers) and the history of the Korean pop music
industry and of its relationships with dramas.

I suppose I should actually read Strauss and Howe, and see their
counter-arguments, but my reading is pretty constrained these days,
so I'm making no promises.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Garrett Wollman
2020-01-17 05:34:28 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
I suppose I should actually read Strauss and Howe, and see their
counter-arguments, but my reading is pretty constrained these days,
so I'm making no promises.
To be fair, it's a pretty old book, and not much respected by
historians. They wanted to develop a theory of history, so they are
really talking about statistical expectations and general tendencies,
but what they actually came up with was more a theory of white
American male history. (In a later book they tried to extend it back
into British history; I haven't read this book.)

That said, in the part of /Generations/ where they actually were
trying to make predictions, I think they got it spot on, from the
election of Bill Clinton to the general character of the Millennial
generation, despite not really having a good grasp on how the future
would actually unfold. That's in large part because their model
relies on cycles: people tend to be socially and ideologically
distinct from their parents and grandparents, but rarely change the
attitudes they adopted early adulthood, so there ought to be a natural
clock that keeps pace with biological generations in any sufficiently
homogenous community.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Kevrob
2020-01-17 13:02:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Joe Bernstein
I suppose I should actually read Strauss and Howe, and see their
counter-arguments, but my reading is pretty constrained these days,
so I'm making no promises.
To be fair, it's a pretty old book, and not much respected by
historians. They wanted to develop a theory of history, so they are
really talking about statistical expectations and general tendencies,
but what they actually came up with was more a theory of white
American male history. (In a later book they tried to extend it back
into British history; I haven't read this book.)
That said, in the part of /Generations/ where they actually were
trying to make predictions, I think they got it spot on, from the
election of Bill Clinton to the general character of the Millennial
generation, despite not really having a good grasp on how the future
would actually unfold. That's in large part because their model
relies on cycles: people tend to be socially and ideologically
distinct from their parents and grandparents, but rarely change the
attitudes they adopted early adulthood, so there ought to be a natural
clock that keeps pace with biological generations in any sufficiently
homogenous community.
I read it when it was brand new. I mat have read it in galley or
ARC, as I was working for a bookstore at the time. I may have
reviewed it in the store newsletter.

It is as much pop psych or amateur sociology as it is history.

I am amused to find that may be of "Generation Jpnes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones

My father was a WWII vet, having been drafted BEFORE Pearl
Harbor. He was on the service for the entirety of the USA's
involvement in The Big One.

The Wiki says:

"Key characteristics assigned to members are pessimism, ..."

I'd say realism, as I try not to be too optimistic nor to pessimistic,

"...distrust of government,..." Oh, yeah.

"... and general cynicism." appropriate skepticism, I hope.

aka, a "cusper."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusper

I had 4 older siblings, the oldest of whom was born in 1952.
There were 4 more "boom" years after I was born, 8 if you extend
the generation to 1964. I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, the
Beatles live on Sullivan, and the birth of my beloved New York Mets,
back in `62. I think I was interested early in topics germane to
Boomers the way an "oldest child" or "only child" classmate of mine
might not have been, just by osmosis.

OTOH, I had a 5-year break in my education due to illness and lack
of funds, so I got my BA on the "ten year plan." So my graduating
class was full of 13er/GenXers. Perhaps that has helped me "think younger"
over the years.

The first Presidential election I voted in was 1976., [Carter v
Ford v others.] My birth year had the last draft lottery, but
nobody had to report for a physical. I had a draft card, but we were
all "1-H." Before I became a licensed driver, I used it to get into
bars. I also have 4 younger siblings, all born before 1960 had
ended, so if I'm not a "GenJoneser" a few of them are.

The other Social Science theory "Generations" resonated with for
me was political realignment and/or dealignment.* In 1991, after
big Republican comeback aka the "Reagan Revolution" where
the GOP took the Senate for 6 years and a Republican/Southern
Democrat coalition managed to get significant chunks of RWR's
agenda passed. By 1994, the Democrats lost the House for the
first time in 4 decades, and the idea that the New Deal/Great
Society juggernaut was no longer the natural majority party of
the US was being discussed. One idea was that when a party system
ended, and was replaced by a new one, new voters played an important
part. Who would they side with, and would they be loyal to that
candidate's party over the years?

[quote]

Events at age 18 are about three times as powerful as those at
age 40, according to the model.

[/quote]

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/08/upshot/how-the-year-you-were-born-influences-your-politics.html

* In my political science studies I read people like James
Sundquist on the subject.

https://www.brookings.edu/book/dynamics-of-the-party-system/

--
Kevin R
a.a #2310
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-19 00:38:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I am amused to find that [I?] may be of "Generation Jpnes."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones
I'm pretty sure I'd read the account of <Generation X> I cited
before, which would mean encountering this term before, but I
don't remember it at all. Alternative generationing, oh my.
"Key characteristics assigned to members are pessimism, ..."
I'd say realism, as I try not to be too optimistic nor to pessimistic,
"...distrust of government,..." Oh, yeah.
"... and general cynicism." appropriate skepticism, I hope.
You do realise all these are well-known personality traits assigned
to Gen X at early ages?

So basically, English Wikipedia is asserting that two successive
generations thought alike. Strauss and Howe indeed.

(Strictly speaking, EW isn't asserting that. It seems to have found
some study claiming Gen Xers are now quite optimistic, which, um,
surprises me. Couldn't this have anything to do with our now, for
the first time, having reached ages at which many of us actually
have personal power?)
The other Social Science theory "Generations" resonated with for
me was political realignment and/or dealignment.* In 1991, after
big Republican comeback aka the "Reagan Revolution" where
the GOP took the Senate for 6 years and a Republican/Southern
Democrat coalition managed to get significant chunks of RWR's
agenda passed. By 1994, the Democrats lost the House for the
first time in 4 decades, and the idea that the New Deal/Great
Society juggernaut was no longer the natural majority party of
the US was being discussed. One idea was that when a party system
ended, and was replaced by a new one, new voters played an important
part. Who would they side with, and would they be loyal to that
candidate's party over the years?
Realignment is a real poli sci thing I learned about in high school
(i.e., before Strauss and Howe said anything at all).

I said here, during George W. Bush's term, that every president
elected 1928-1972 was a liberal, and every president elected 1976 to
the then present was a conservative. I expected a lot more
disagreement than I got. Of course, neither Hoover nor Carter
represented realignment; that came with their more famously extreme
successors - but Hoover was definitely a left-wing Republican, and
Carter a right-wing Democrat. (Both became more typical of their
parties, and even moved to those parties' opposite extremes, after
leaving office.)

Obama was clearly *not* a conservative, though not as liberal as a
bunch of people on the right who'd never seen a liberal president
before said he was. Still no realignment. Trump (*as president*) is
no kind of liberal at all, but I'm hoping he's the same kind of
failed president Hoover and Carter were, in which case a realignment
should be in the offing. We'll see.

Oh dear. The obvious new alignment is technocratic states vs
populist ones. How unpleasant.

Joe Bernstein
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Johnny1A
2020-01-20 05:32:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
I am amused to find that [I?] may be of "Generation Jpnes."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Jones
I'm pretty sure I'd read the account of <Generation X> I cited
before, which would mean encountering this term before, but I
don't remember it at all. Alternative generationing, oh my.
"Key characteristics assigned to members are pessimism, ..."
I'd say realism, as I try not to be too optimistic nor to pessimistic,
"...distrust of government,..." Oh, yeah.
"... and general cynicism." appropriate skepticism, I hope.
You do realise all these are well-known personality traits assigned
to Gen X at early ages?
So basically, English Wikipedia is asserting that two successive
generations thought alike. Strauss and Howe indeed.
(Strictly speaking, EW isn't asserting that. It seems to have found
some study claiming Gen Xers are now quite optimistic, which, um,
surprises me. Couldn't this have anything to do with our now, for
the first time, having reached ages at which many of us actually
have personal power?)
The other Social Science theory "Generations" resonated with for
me was political realignment and/or dealignment.* In 1991, after
big Republican comeback aka the "Reagan Revolution" where
the GOP took the Senate for 6 years and a Republican/Southern
Democrat coalition managed to get significant chunks of RWR's
agenda passed. By 1994, the Democrats lost the House for the
first time in 4 decades, and the idea that the New Deal/Great
Society juggernaut was no longer the natural majority party of
the US was being discussed. One idea was that when a party system
ended, and was replaced by a new one, new voters played an important
part. Who would they side with, and would they be loyal to that
candidate's party over the years?
Realignment is a real poli sci thing I learned about in high school
(i.e., before Strauss and Howe said anything at all).
I said here, during George W. Bush's term, that every president
elected 1928-1972 was a liberal, and every president elected 1976 to
the then present was a conservative. I expected a lot more
disagreement than I got. Of course, neither Hoover nor Carter
represented realignment; that came with their more famously extreme
successors - but Hoover was definitely a left-wing Republican, and
Carter a right-wing Democrat. (Both became more typical of their
parties, and even moved to those parties' opposite extremes, after
leaving office.)
It depends on _which_ 'right' and 'left' of their parties. Mapping everything onto one single left/right axis produces nonsense. There's at least one economic axis, and at least one cultural axis, and they only tangentially overlap. There's also a nationalist/globalist axis that overlaps to some degree with each but entirely with neither. The so-called 'populist upheaval' happening all over the West right now straddles 'left' and 'right' precisely because huge numbers of voters were effectively disenfranchised by the former status quo.

That's part of why Mitch McConnell got booed at the _GOP_ convention in 2016 and a lot of Dems now regard Hillary as a closet conservative.
Kevrob
2020-01-20 06:30:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Joe Bernstein
Realignment is a real poli sci thing I learned about in high school
(i.e., before Strauss and Howe said anything at all).
I said here, during George W. Bush's term, that every president
elected 1928-1972 was a liberal, and every president elected 1976 to
the then present was a conservative. I expected a lot more
disagreement than I got. Of course, neither Hoover nor Carter
represented realignment; that came with their more famously extreme
successors - but Hoover was definitely a left-wing Republican, and
Carter a right-wing Democrat. (Both became more typical of their
parties, and even moved to those parties' opposite extremes, after
leaving office.)
It depends on _which_ 'right' and 'left' of their parties. Mapping everything onto one single left/right axis produces nonsense. There's at least one economic axis, and at least one cultural axis, and they only tangentially overlap. There's also a nationalist/globalist axis that overlaps to some degree with each but entirely with neither. The so-called 'populist upheaval' happening all over the West right now straddles 'left' and 'right' precisely because huge numbers of voters were effectively disenfranchised by the former status quo.
Oh, yes. I'm a 2-axis "Nolan Chart" kind of guy, except when
I add a z-axis for foreign policy. Nolan Cube? I would
choose interventionist/non-interventionist over nationalist/
globalist, as that is about policy, not attitude. Add enough
issue cleavages and one can map opinion as n-dimensional
hypercubes. :)
Post by Johnny1A
That's part of why Mitch McConnell got booed at the _GOP_ convention
in 2016 and a lot of Dems now regard Hillary as a closet conservative.
There is an overhang of Cold Warrior/internationalist thought in
both major parties. The ideological descendants of the anti-war
movement of the 60s and the 70s perhaps feel a bit betrayed that
the likes of he Clintons, once in high office, acted more like
the Scoop Jacksons than Gene McCarthys.

Kevin R
Johnny1A
2020-01-21 18:35:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Joe Bernstein
Realignment is a real poli sci thing I learned about in high school
(i.e., before Strauss and Howe said anything at all).
I said here, during George W. Bush's term, that every president
elected 1928-1972 was a liberal, and every president elected 1976 to
the then present was a conservative. I expected a lot more
disagreement than I got. Of course, neither Hoover nor Carter
represented realignment; that came with their more famously extreme
successors - but Hoover was definitely a left-wing Republican, and
Carter a right-wing Democrat. (Both became more typical of their
parties, and even moved to those parties' opposite extremes, after
leaving office.)
It depends on _which_ 'right' and 'left' of their parties. Mapping everything onto one single left/right axis produces nonsense. There's at least one economic axis, and at least one cultural axis, and they only tangentially overlap. There's also a nationalist/globalist axis that overlaps to some degree with each but entirely with neither. The so-called 'populist upheaval' happening all over the West right now straddles 'left' and 'right' precisely because huge numbers of voters were effectively disenfranchised by the former status quo.
Oh, yes. I'm a 2-axis "Nolan Chart" kind of guy, except when
I add a z-axis for foreign policy. Nolan Cube? I would
choose interventionist/non-interventionist over nationalist/
globalist, as that is about policy, not attitude. Add enough
issue cleavages and one can map opinion as n-dimensional
hypercubes. :)
Post by Johnny1A
That's part of why Mitch McConnell got booed at the _GOP_ convention
in 2016 and a lot of Dems now regard Hillary as a closet conservative.
There is an overhang of Cold Warrior/internationalist thought in
both major parties. The ideological descendants of the anti-war
movement of the 60s and the 70s perhaps feel a bit betrayed that
the likes of he Clintons, once in high office, acted more like
the Scoop Jacksons than Gene McCarthys.
Kevin R
Also, notice that there has emerged a peculiar parallel in both parties where the street level voters are angry at the corporate/business connections at the top of both. On this issue, the Bernie Bros and the Trumpists soundly oddly alike, and for similar reasons.

When the Cold War ended, an elite-level alliance emerged between Dem social liberals (mostly white, mostly highly educated and upper income) and GOP business advocates (mostly white, highly educated, and upper income), it emerged under Bush the Elder and jelled under Clinton, and remained dominant until 2016.

These groups might or might not personally like each other, but they share many short term political and economic interests. Both favor unlimited immigration, the GOP elite because they want cheap labor and to import customers, the Dem elites because they want to import voters. Both are (privately on the GOP side) mostly pro-abortion, for or indifferent to gay issues, the end to be intensely secular. Culturally, they are increasingly from the same background and more or less the same social class.

As a result, increasingly policy stayed the same no matter which party won the election. Bush I was succeeded by Clinton, who maintained most of the same policies. Clinton was succeeded by Bush II, who maintained most of the same policies in practice. Oh, the details varied, and they talked a different game, but policy varied only slightly.

Don't like Democrat free trade policy? Vote in the GOP and get...the same policy. Don't like GOP immigration amnesty? Vote in the Dems who want...immigration amnesty. Don't like Dem social policy? Vote in the GOP who will...ignore it and focus on the business agenda. Want that business agenda blocked? Vote the Dems back in and watch them continue the business policies and focus on their social agenda.

This went on cycle after cycle, until 2016, when it all finally blew up. "We hear you! Here's the less-conservative Bush brother and another Clinton to choose from!" Result: Donald freaking Trump becomes President of the USA.

The same thing happened in broad in the UK, and it blew up in 2016 there, too, with Brexit. In both America and the UK, afterward the establishment has tried with utter desperation to somehow undo that result, by hook or by crook, and so far failed.

Similar dynamics are appearing all over the Western nations, with the bipartisan establishhments trying desperately to suppress it.

(See Germany, for one ex, where the traditional big parties keep recreating their loathed coalition in order to keep rebels down.)
Scott Lurndal
2020-01-21 18:56:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
There is an overhang of Cold Warrior/internationalist thought in
both major parties. The ideological descendants of the anti-war
movement of the 60s and the 70s perhaps feel a bit betrayed that
the likes of he Clintons, once in high office, acted more like
the Scoop Jacksons than Gene McCarthys.=20
=20
Kevin R
Also, notice that there has emerged a peculiar parallel in both parties whe=
re the street level voters are angry at the corporate/business connections =
at the top of both. On this issue, the Bernie Bros and the Trumpists sound=
ly oddly alike, and for similar reasons.
When the Cold War ended, an elite-level alliance emerged between Dem social=
liberals (mostly white, mostly highly educated and upper income) and GOP b=
usiness advocates (mostly white, highly educated, and upper income), it eme=
rged under Bush the Elder and jelled under Clinton, and remained dominant u=
ntil 2016.
These groups might or might not personally like each other, but they share =
many short term political and economic interests. Both favor unlimited imm=
igration,
Nonsense.

?the GOP elite because they want cheap labor and to import custome=
rs, the Dem elites because they want to import voters.
More nonsense.
Quadibloc
2020-01-21 22:09:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
?the GOP elite because they want cheap labor and to import custome=
Post by Johnny1A
rs, the Dem elites because they want to import voters.
More nonsense.
Maybe "the GOP elite" is the wrong phrase.

But yes, there is a big chunk of the Republican party who are pro-business and
not socially-conservative. So they favor easier immigration just like Democrats,
who instead favor it for... let us say, moral reasons - how dare you be cruel to
poor people who want a better life.

So it's not nonsense at all, it's the simple truth. Voters didn't have a choice,
so a populist had an opportunity.

Unfortunately, Trump isn't the man who will achieve the goals he pretended to be
interested in.

John Savard
Johnny1A
2020-01-22 06:47:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Scott Lurndal
?the GOP elite because they want cheap labor and to import custome=
Post by Johnny1A
rs, the Dem elites because they want to import voters.
More nonsense.
Maybe "the GOP elite" is the wrong phrase.
But yes, there is a big chunk of the Republican party who are pro-business and
not socially-conservative. So they favor easier immigration just like Democrats,
who instead favor it for... let us say, moral reasons - how dare you be cruel to
poor people who want a better life.
You're giving the politicians too much credit. They believe they're importing new Democratic _voters_.

It's an old political trope, the old big city machines were built on the same principle. It's why Teddy Kennedy pushed for Hart-Cellar back in the mid-60s, and his fingerprints were on most of the subsequent immigration bills, right up to being one of the prime movers in the amnesty bills in 2006 and 2007, along with McCain and Bush Jr.

For that matter, even later, it was his support of the 2013 'gang of 8' immigration amnesty that lost Marco Rubio the support of his TEA party voters.
Johnny1A
2020-01-22 06:43:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Kevrob
There is an overhang of Cold Warrior/internationalist thought in
both major parties. The ideological descendants of the anti-war
movement of the 60s and the 70s perhaps feel a bit betrayed that
the likes of he Clintons, once in high office, acted more like
the Scoop Jacksons than Gene McCarthys.=20
=20
Kevin R
Also, notice that there has emerged a peculiar parallel in both parties whe=
re the street level voters are angry at the corporate/business connections =
at the top of both. On this issue, the Bernie Bros and the Trumpists sound=
ly oddly alike, and for similar reasons.
When the Cold War ended, an elite-level alliance emerged between Dem social=
liberals (mostly white, mostly highly educated and upper income) and GOP b=
usiness advocates (mostly white, highly educated, and upper income), it eme=
rged under Bush the Elder and jelled under Clinton, and remained dominant u=
ntil 2016.
These groups might or might not personally like each other, but they share =
many short term political and economic interests. Both favor unlimited imm=
igration,
Nonsense.
?the GOP elite because they want cheap labor and to import custome=
rs, the Dem elites because they want to import voters.
More nonsense.
No, self-evident fact. That's been the story of the last 15 years in American politics. The Dems support unlimited immigration because they know they're changing the composition of the electorate, the corporate GOP supports it because they want to keep wages low and maintain demand (which would otherwise be suffering due to low fertility rates).

If you're suggesting any of that isn't true, the burden of proof is on you.
Joe Bernstein
2020-01-21 21:51:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Apologies if this is a more or less duplicate post. I could swear I
posted the first version, but it isn't at my server or Google Groups;
anyway, this one is better focused, I think.
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
Post by Joe Bernstein
Realignment is a real poli sci thing I learned about in high school
(i.e., before Strauss and Howe said anything at all).
I said here, during George W. Bush's term, that every president
elected 1928-1972 was a liberal, and every president elected 1976
to the then present was a conservative. I expected a lot more
disagreement than I got. Of course, neither Hoover nor Carter
represented realignment; that came with their more famously extreme
successors - but Hoover was definitely a left-wing Republican, and
Carter a right-wing Democrat. (Both became more typical of their
parties, and even moved to those parties' opposite extremes, after
leaving office.)
It depends on _which_ 'right' and 'left' of their parties. Mapping
every thing onto one single left/right axis produces nonsense.
There's at least one economic axis, and at least one cultural axis,
and they only tangentially overlap. There's also a nationalist/
globalist axis that overlaps to some degree with each but entirely
with neither. The so-called 'populist upheaval' happening all over
the West right now straddles 'left' and 'right' precisely because
huge numbers of voters were effectively disenfranchised by the
former status quo.
Oh, yes. I'm a 2-axis "Nolan Chart" kind of guy, except when
I add a z-axis for foreign policy. Nolan Cube? I would
choose interventionist/non-interventionist over nationalist/
globalist, as that is about policy, not attitude. Add enough
issue cleavages and one can map opinion as n-dimensional
hypercubes. :)
Which is why practical politicians prefer a simple single-axis
approach. I'm also suspicious of the Nolan chart: Libertarian
devises analysis of politics by which three popular positions are on
the same level as ... Libertarianism! What a surprise!

Hoover and Carter both had strong principles that they spent their
lives trying to reconcile with reality. I think the parenthetical
above is actually true, now that I've looked a bit more closely, but
the routes they took differ slightly.

History has, I think, a leftward bias, in that conservatism is
fundamentally about not changing, but change is inevitable. This
doesn't mean any particular view identified as leftist at a given
time is going to win, but does mean that many particular views, if
correctly identified as conservative, are going to lose. (For
example, gay marriage winning was not inevitable, but the situation
on gay rights obtaining in the 2000s, say, was unlikely to remain
stable. We could, for example, have had a pogrom instead, which
might have been identified as left- or right-wing but would hardly be
conservative.)

Hoover's principles mainly concerned what one of you calls an
economic axis. Soon after his presidency, the Republican Party moved
left on this axis, which had the effect of putting him in its
mainstream. But the major issues of the rest of his life were on
this axis (with the notable exception of civil rights, neither
strictly economic nor strictly cultural, but not of much interest to
Hoover), and to these issues his answers were more or less constant;
as a result, even among Republicans and certainly over all, he became
right wing.

Carter's principles mainly concern what the same poster calls a
cultural axis. Those principles are a mixture seen from the left-
right spectrum; they resemble, but are not the same as, the positions
of the US Catholic bishops, and like those are based on faith. About
a decade after his presidency, the Democratic Party as a whole moved
right on both cultural *and* economic axes, moreso the latter. This
had the effect of putting Carter into the mainstream of his party.
However, throughout the time after his presidency, the major issues
were along the cultural axis, or whatever axis civil rights belonged
on. Some of Carter's answers along this axis were left-wing by the
standards of the time; others were more or less ignored. Meanwhile I
think he really has moved left on the economic axis, less important
to him; he opposed Ted Kennedy in 1980, but voted for Bernie Sanders
in 2016.

(I think I prefer the non-libertarian economic axis and the
libertarian personal freedom one, actually, for analysing the past
century's American politics. Civil rights and most of the "cultural"
issues of the past half century clearly fit under personal freedom,
but economic freedom is a blunt instrument for grasping the economic
issues of the previous half century. NB, not all personal freedom
issues are left wing in current American politics - gun rights,
freedom of conscience on topics ranging from abortions to gay
weddings - but the biggest are. With the widespread Catholicisation
of American health care, also, freedom of conscience issues are
becoming a left-wing concern too.)
Post by Kevrob
Post by Johnny1A
That's part of why Mitch McConnell got booed at the _GOP_ convention
in 2016 and a lot of Dems now regard Hillary as a closet
conservative.
I doubt any significant number of Democrats seriously put Hillary
Clinton into the same bucket as, say, Mike Pence. But we've [1]
known since the 1990s that, while she was a liberal, as her husband
was not, she wasn't a leftist - or, in the now fashionable term, a
"progressive". It's just that there are more people now for whom,
personally, liberals like her or Barack Obama are to the right, and
some of those people have much louder megaphones than any of us had
in the 1990s.
Post by Kevrob
There is an overhang of Cold Warrior/internationalist thought in
both major parties. The ideological descendants of the anti-war
movement of the 60s and the 70s perhaps feel a bit betrayed that
the likes of he Clintons, once in high office, acted more like
the Scoop Jacksons than Gene McCarthys.
Anti-war people aren't all populists, but there's considerable
congruence all the same between the interventionist / isolationist
spectrum and the technocratic / populist one. Both Clintons and
Obama, despite political disagreements, are extreme technocrats, and
technocrats tend to be just as sure they know what they're doing
internationally as they are domestically. Whereas American populists
have always leaned strongly isolationist, so it's no surprise from
this point of view that Carter (not an isolationist, but certainly
not an interventionist) voted for Sanders.

Flipside, I'm not sure how many active Republicans really belong to
the overhang any more. Trump has made it a kind of mission to get
rid of this element, and a bunch have left the party, some even
becoming Democrats. Are there enough keeping their heads down to
revive, say, neocon as a viable Republican tendency after Trump?

Two weirdos:

George W. Bush was no technocrat domestically, but he handed his
foreign policy over to technocrats.

Elizabeth Warren is a technocratic populist. If she were elected, I
have no idea what she'd do internationally, except stop embarrassing
us. I'm worried that she doesn't have any idea either.

Joe Bernstein

[1] I consider myself a radical conservative leftist. I imprinted on
the counterculture of the 1970s, and that's what I want to preserve
or revive.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Garrett Wollman
2020-01-22 03:10:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
I doubt any significant number of Democrats seriously put Hillary
Clinton into the same bucket as, say, Mike Pence. But we've [1]
known since the 1990s that, while she was a liberal, as her husband
was not, she wasn't a leftist - or, in the now fashionable term, a
"progressive".
Historically, in the American usage, a liberal was a left-of-center
anti-communist. A progressive was a left-of-center person who was, if
not a fellow traveler, at least not inclined to see the world at
mid-century as a pitched battle between communists and capitalists.
One group read The Nation, one group read The New Republic. (These
groups have since changed magazines, I think prompted more than
anything by TNR's long steady drift to the right, especially under
former publisher Marty Peretz.)

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Johnny1A
2020-01-20 05:34:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
Oh dear. The obvious new alignment is technocratic states vs
populist ones. How unpleasant.
Joe Bernstein
That does appear to be one aspect of the emerging 'new normal'.
Quadibloc
2020-01-17 21:12:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Joe Bernstein
but my own elder siblings,
one born as early as 1959, deny that they're Baby Boomers.
Well, the situation of Baby Boomers born in the _latter_ part of the Baby Boom
is similar to that of people in Generation X: it's the ones in the early part of
the Baby Boom that had the opportunity to move rapidly up the career ladder in
an expanding economy, while those in the latter part found the good spots filled
in a contracting economy.
And some people do pretty much identify "Baby Boomers" with the characteristics
of the early Boomers, not the late ones. So people will say that they're not
Boomers, when what they really mean is that they're not early Boomers.
Instead of 1946-1964, another source defines the Baby Boom as 1943-1960, based on different criteria than just the number of births.

Two sources I've found show the early boom as ending in 1954, and the late boom
as starting in 1955, with people born in 1955 or later starting careers in the
lean years of 1972 and later. So it's not at all surprising that a sibling of
yours born in 1959, who is definitely not an _early_ Boomer, doesn't think of
himself or herself as a Baby Boomer as the popular image of the Baby Boomers is
defined by the early Boomers.

John Savard
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-16 18:42:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Joe Bernstein
My fear is that my generation, like the
"Lost" and "Silent" ones, will be eclipsed by demographic powerhouses
on either side,
Unfortunately, it is indeed very likely that this is exactly what will happen;
at the moment, people in political office are getting older, and this can't
continue indefinitely barring advances in gerontology - and so it is likely to
end with a transition to the next demographic powerhouse.
Unless the gap is too large to be crossed in one leap. So I'm not giving up hope
of Joe Biden becoming President.
In Larry Niven's novel _World of Ptavs_, ARMsman Lucas Garner is a member
of the Struldbrugs Club, whose minimum age limit goes up by one year
for each calendar year that passes.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
Jack Bohn
2020-01-16 19:28:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
In Larry Niven's novel _World of Ptavs_, ARMsman Lucas Garner is a member 
of the Struldbrugs Club, whose minimum age limit goes up by one year 
for each calendar year that passes. 
One for two, I think. Otherwise it would be easier to specify the year of birth, and the membership would eventually (it is supposed) die out.

Or was it two-for-one? That would be a secret sieve for finding Heinlein's The Families.
--
-Jack
p***@hotmail.com
2020-01-17 00:28:16 UTC
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Post by Jack Bohn
In Larry Niven's novel _World of Ptavs_, ARMsman Lucas Garner is a member 
of the Struldbrugs Club, whose minimum age limit goes up by one year 
for each calendar year that passes. 
One for two, I think. Otherwise it would be easier to specify the year of birth, and the membership would eventually (it is supposed) die out.
Or was it two-for-one? That would be a secret sieve for finding Heinlein's The Families.
You are correct; the age limit went up one year for each TWO calendar
years that passed.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
Joe Bernstein
2020-02-21 19:39:31 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
of four "Silent Generation" candidates,
three were still in the race; of "Baby Boomers", 6/12 (admittedly,
boosted by two late entrants); of "Generation X", after Booker's
withdrawal, 1/9; and of "Millennials", 2/3.
Four of the twelve then in the running no longer are, so it's sorta
time for an update. Also, I today found a useful set of articles on
six of the eight remaining.

Scorecard now [1]:

Silent Generation (sometime in the 1920s-1944): Biden, Bloomberg and
Sanders still in; Gravel still out.

Baby Boom (1945-1964): Klobuchar, Steyer and Warren still in; Bennet,
Delaney and Patrick newly out; de Blasio, Harris, Hickenlooper,
Inslee, Sestak and Williamson still out.

Generation X (1965-1979): Yang newly out; Booker, Bullock, Castro,
Gillibrand, Messam, Moulton, O'Rourke and Ryan still out.

Millennial (1980-sometime in the 1990s): Buttigieg and Gabbard still
in; Swalwell still out.

<Vox> has been running articles on candidates who've gotten over "10
percent in the national polling averages", by which criterion they've
excluded Steyer and Gabbard. Each article's writer tries to make the
best case possible for the candidate; each article is long and
detailed. All take for granted that they're being read by Democrats
who'll care about certain causes, and focus primarily not on issue
stands but on abilities to win and to do the job. The first, for
Sanders, came out January 7, the latest, for Klobuchar, today, which
is what led to my finding out about the series.

"The best argument for each of the Democratic 2020 frontrunners"

<https://www.vox.com/2020/2/12/21132260/who-vote-for-biden-sanders-warren-buttigieg-bloomberg-klobuchar>

Joe Bernstein

[1] Objections to these dividing lines have been raised, including by
me, so here's an alternative scorecard:
1930s - Gravel still out.
1940s - Biden, Bloomberg, Sanders and Warren still in.
1950s - Steyer still in; Patrick newly out; Hickenlooper, Inslee,
Sestak and Williamson still out.
1960s - Klobuchar still in; Bennet and Delaney newly out; Booker,
Bullock, de Blasio, Gillibrand and Harris still out.
1970s - Yang newly out; Castro, Messam, Moulton, O'Rourke, Ryan still
out.
1980s - Buttigieg and Gabbard still in; Swalwell still out.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
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