ChrisWeigant.com

Should Prisoners Be Allowed To Vote?

[ Posted Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 – 16:51 UTC ]

Monday night, Bernie Sanders appeared on a CNN town hall, and was asked a rather unusual question. An audience member asked whether Bernie supported enfranchising prisoners such as the Boston Marathon bomber or people convicted of sexual assault. Bernie's answer was surprising to many, because he spoke not only in favor of incarcerated prisoners voting, but cut to the heart of the matter: to Bernie, it's a question of basic rights.

Here was Bernie's answer to the question:

I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, "That guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that, not going to let that person vote," you're running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they're paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.

Bernie's answer made a splash in the news, but most of the stories failed to mention that his home state of Vermont already allows prisoners to vote. It is one of two states which do so (Maine is the other). So while Bernie's answer may sound radical to many, it's not actually all that radical a position for a senator from Vermont to take.

Because Bernie's answer made news, other Democratic presidential candidates were also asked about it:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who also appeared on a CNN town hall Monday night, said he believes states should re-enfranchise felons, but only after they're released from prison.

"Part of the punishment when you are convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights; you lose your freedom," Buttigieg said. "And I think during that period, it does not make sense to have an exception for the right to vote."

In her own CNN appearance, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) said she felt strongly about re-enfranchising released felons, and was willing to "have a conversation" about people casting ballots from prison, a sentiment similar to that expressed by another Democratic candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), at a March forum in Storm Lake, Iowa.

"Right now, I think the fight should be over felony re-enfranchisement," Warren said. "While they're still incarcerated, I think that's a different question, and I think that's something we can have more conversation about."

One of the Democratic candidates, Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), has made voting rights especially central to his campaign. He spent several days last week in Georgia talking about voting issues, including his support for ending partisan gerrymandering, implementing universal voter registration and allowing convicted felons to vote. But he has not said anything publicly about voting by felons still inside America's prisons.

Like many Americans living outside of Vermont and Maine, I don't feel all that strongly about enfranchising incarcerated prisoners. I agree wholeheartedly with Elizabeth Warren (even if she did kind of punt the question at the end) -- that the main fight Democrats should be concerned with at the moment is re-enfranchising felons who have completed their sentences. That is a much more important issue, at least to me, than whether prisoners in jail should be able to cast ballots.

Bernie makes good points about it being a question of rights, and how it is indeed a slippery slope to disenfranchise any American citizen. But Pete Buttigieg also makes a good point, about losing the right to vote being just one of many freedoms people lose when they are locked up. If losing the right to vote is part of your sentence, then that's just the way it goes, in other words. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

The history of voting rights shows how important an issue it can be to the American public. More constitutional amendments have dealt with the right to vote than any other one subject, in fact. In this particular case, there is a very ugly history as well, because part of the Jim Crow laws were designed to disenfranchise as many black people as possible. One way of doing this was to permanently disenfranchise any felon. Once you were convicted of a felony, in many Southern states, you could never vote again. Over time, this disproportionately affected the black community, for obvious reasons (it was the Deep South, after all). This ugly legacy still remains in part, as it was only last year that Florida passed (by voter initiative) a law reinstating the right to vote to felons who had fully served their sentence.

This, as Warren pointed out, is really where the current political battles are being fought. Overturning this ugly legacy should be the main focus of Democratic efforts right now, because it is the most urgent and most unfair.

As Bernie sees it, voting should be an "unalienable right" -- it should never be allowed to be taken away, it should instead be seen as a birthright. But should it really be considered as such? Or should there be limits to this freedom?

I could see some middle way of looking at it, a lot closer to Bernie's position than things stand today. Perhaps convicted felons should be stripped of their right to vote as part of their sentence only when it is appropriate to their crimes. A person who stuffs ballot boxes or throws away legitimate ballots or otherwise directly commits election fraud would seem to be the prime example of someone who should lose their right to vote during their sentence. If you commit a crime against the integrity of the elections system in this country, then you probably should forfeit your right to participate in that system. That would seem to be entirely justified, at least to me. But maybe Bernie's right and maybe all other non-election-related crimes shouldn't have the loss of the franchise as part of the sentence.

Enfranchising every prisoner in this country would not likely change many elections. In the first place, even if given the chance to fill out a ballot while incarcerated, not every prisoner will bother to. The ones that do vote wouldn't be all that big a percentage of the population as a whole, meaning the prison vote would only really matter if the race were extremely close. However, I could see this being a problem in some rural districts that have large prisons. If a town with a huge prison next to it had to give prisoners the right to vote in local elections, the prisoners might actually elect someone the free citizens of the town didn't want to lead them. This could be a problem in local or state races, but probably wouldn't affect national races all that much. There may be a few House districts with a very high percentage of prisoners, but there can't be that many. So perhaps prisoners should be given the right to vote only in federal elections.

Of course, the Republicans see all of this as a giant gift. They have already begun using it as yet another reason why Democrats are scary and radical. Here was the chair of the Republican National Committee's response: "If you had any doubt about how radical the Democrat [sic] Party has become, their 2020 front-runner wants to let terrorists convicted of murdering American citizens vote from prison. It's beyond extreme."

Sanders himself knows how the other side will use it. When CNN moderator Chris Cuomo pointed out that his position would likely lead to some attack ads, Sanders answered: "Well, Chris, I think I have written many 30-second opposition ads throughout my life. This will be just another one."

How many other Democrats are that willing to take such heat? Few Democrats running for president are likely to get fully behind Bernie on this one. They know it's a rabbit hole of an issue which only serves to minimize the real fight they'd prefer to be having -- about re-enfranchising felons after they've fully served their time. Their argument is easy to see: Let's move the conversation back to that key issue rather than ponder the voting rights of people currently in jail.

Context is crucial in this story, so that's where I'll end today. Bernie Sanders is from a state where incarcerated prisoners already have the right to vote. Vermont is a small, rural state, but so far there has been no evidence that their political system has been in any way overwhelmed by "the prisoner vote." In other words, in both Vermont and Maine the sky hasn't exactly fallen or anything. So it's not all that unexpected that a senator from one of these states might support what his state is already doing. Whether the rest of the country would support it, or whether it is all that vital an issue in the Democratic primary race are separate questions, but it really shouldn't be all that surprising that Bernie would take this position.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

63 Comments on “Should Prisoners Be Allowed To Vote?”

  1. [1] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Pretty much agree that prisoners should only be stripped of voting rights for screwing with the electoral process.

    The only thing I would add is that rural prisons probably get prisoners from all over the state/county. So let them vote by absentee ballot for where they lived when they were sentenced to keep the prisoners from overwhelming a small community with a prison.

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    As Bernie sees it, voting should be an "unalienable right" -- it should never be allowed to be taken away, it should instead be seen as a birthright. But should it really be considered as such?

    Not only "no" but "hell no"!

    Or should there be limits to this freedom?

    Is this a trick question? I can list several reasons this freedom should be limited:

    -- Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski - Unabomber
    -- Eric Rudolph - Olympic Park Bomber
    -- Terry Nichols - Oklahoma City bomber
    -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - Boston Bomber
    -- Faisal Shahzad - Times Square Bomber
    -- Robert Hanssen - FBI "salesman"
    -- Walter Kendall Myers - great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell
    -- James "Jim" Nicholson - CIA double agent
    -- James Marcello
    -- James "Jimmy" Sabatino

    Unlimited freedom to vote!? The inmates at ADX Florence are "all in" and are dying to know: Why stop there while we're at it!? Why not just declare all our freedoms and constitutional rights to be unlimited!? What could possibly go wrong!?

    It wasn't even all that long ago that Bernie Sanders referred to the millionaires in Congress as "immoral," but he thinks felons should be allowed to vote!

    After a person has paid their debt to society, sure... give them a path to obtain back some of their freedoms, but this idea to allow felons the right to vote is a special kind of stupid that just boggles my mind and should be disqualifying for any candidate who agrees with it regardless of Party affiliation. Full stop.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not only "no" but "hell no"!

    Agreed.. 1000% solidly and completely agreed..

    After a person has paid their debt to society, sure... give them a path to obtain back some of their freedoms, but this idea to allow felons the right to vote is a special kind of stupid that just boggles my mind and should be disqualifying for any candidate who agrees with it regardless of Party affiliation. Full stop.

    Ditto..

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not only "no" but "hell no"!

    Agreed.. 1000% solidly and completely agreed..

    I am especially surprised because allowing prisoners to vote would be a HUGE boon for the Democrat Party..

    It's going to be VERY interesting to who here in Weigantia will go on the record as being for or against allowing prisoners to vote...

    but this idea to allow felons the right to vote is a special kind of stupid that just boggles my mind and should be disqualifying for any candidate who agrees with it regardless of Party affiliation. Full stop.

    Kamala Harris supported the idea. After the predictable backlash, she walked back her support and claimed "What I meant was, we need to have a conversation about it"

    Which is mealy-mouthed "support" but with an "out"..

    I gather from your comments that we don't even need to have a conversation about it..

    It's a clear and emphatic BAD idea...

    Would that be an accurate assessment??

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I could see some middle way of looking at it, a lot closer to Bernie's position than things stand today. Perhaps convicted felons should be stripped of their right to vote as part of their sentence only when it is appropriate to their crimes.

    A person who stuffs ballot boxes or throws away legitimate ballots or otherwise directly commits election fraud would seem to be the prime example of someone who should lose their right to vote during their sentence. If you commit a crime against the integrity of the elections system in this country, then you probably should forfeit your right to participate in that system. That would seem to be entirely justified, at least to me. But maybe Bernie's right and maybe all other non-election-related crimes shouldn't have the loss of the franchise as part of the sentence.

    I have to disagree..

    Should an imprisoned terrorist have a say in US Foreign Policy by having a vote who our next President is??

    Should an imprisoned child molester have a vote in a school/bond issue??

    Should a Brad Dunn be allowed to vote on the establishment of a Kari's Law??*

    Should a Casey Anthony be allowed to vote on the establishment of a Caylee's Law??**

    Losing the right to vote ONLY for voting related crimes leaves a whole plethora of outrages unaddressed..

    * Kari's Law, a law that makes in mandatory for mulit-line phone systems such as those found in motels to have a way for a user to direct dial emergency numbers IE 911, was signed into law by none other than President Donald Trump.

    ** I know Casey Anthony was never convicted. My analogy pre-supposes that a Casey Anthony-esque criminal would have been convicted..

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speaking of voting...

    Jessica Levinson Supreme Court's census decision could hand control of the Electoral College to Republicans

    Hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funding hang in the balance — as well as the outcome of many federal elections from 2022 until 2030.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/supreme-court-s-census-decision-could-hand-control-electoral-college-ncna997841

    Democrats just can't catch a break these days..

    One is ALMOST tempted to feel sorry for them.. :D

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, Biden has officially entered the race..

    And polls show him beating President Trump..

    While I concede the possibility, I don't believe Biden will be given a chance..

    With all the lip service that Democrats are paying to identity politics, it simply is inconceivable that the Democrat Party will nominate an old white guy to be their champion..

    And, if by some miracle, Biden is the nominee, 2/3rds of the Dem Party will be so dis-illusioned and demoralized that they will likely stay home on Election Day.

    Barring some huge misstep by President Trump (always a possibility) Democrats simply do not have a path to the White House in 2020...

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It could be, Michale, that Democratic voters decide that this time around it is far more important to beat Trump.

    If that is the case, Biden will win the nomination.

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    8

    It could be, Michale, that Democratic voters decide that this time around it is far more important to beat Trump.

    That happens to be Democratic voters number one concern this election.

    If that is the case, Biden will win the nomination.

    He sure has a solid chance, EM. Biden/Abrams or Biden/Harris could definitely give Trump a run for his filthy and laundered money.

    Joe Biden is one of several candidates I'll support with a monetary contribution, which I'll be sending today. Go Joe! He needs to come out swinging and take it directly to Trump... avoid the stupid apologizing for his past, and full steam ahead. :)

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    It could be, Michale, that Democratic voters decide that this time around it is far more important to beat Trump.

    Yes, that could happen.. It could happen IF Democrats are willing to forgo Party purity for the sake of the win..

    It COULD happen. But the odds are against it...

    If Democrats nominate an old white guy as their champion, the hypocrisy of the Party will be put on display for all to see..

    If that is the case, Biden will win the nomination.

    Yes.. *IF* that happens..

    But it's a pretty big *IF* and the action is not pre-ordained... As I am sure you will agree...

  11. [11] 
    John M wrote:

    [4] Michale

    "I am especially surprised because allowing prisoners to vote would be a HUGE boon for the Democrat Party.."

    Why do you assume that??? Aren't most white collar felony criminals convicted of financial related crimes REPUBLICANS?

    :-D

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do you assume that??? Aren't most white collar felony criminals convicted of financial related crimes REPUBLICANS?

    YOu would have a point if ALL prisoners were white collar criminals.

    But aren't you Democrats always yelling and screaming about how the vast majority of prisoners are black and hispanic in for drug crimes???

    As much as you would want to, you can't have it both ways...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, irregardless of all that..

    What's your take??

    You want to go on record with a Sherman, as Kick has done??

  14. [14] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    7

    With all the lip service that Democrats are paying to identity politics, it simply is inconceivable that the Democrat Party will nominate an old white guy to be their champion..

    You keep whining about identity politics as if "white male grievance" identify politics is not basically the entire platform of Your Orange Worship. *laughs*

    And, if by some miracle, Biden is the nominee, 2/3rds of the Dem Party will be so dis-illusioned and demoralized that they will likely stay home on Election Day.

    Just like you predicted they would stay home on election day in 2018. Nope. If Donald Trump is still the nominee of the White Male Grievance Party in 2020, the turnout will be spectacular. Count on it.

    Barring some huge misstep by President Trump (always a possibility) Democrats simply do not have a path to the White House in 2020...

    Oh, I've got really got bad news for you. That "huge misstep" happened long ago... a series of huge missteps that span a period of multiple years, and the simple reason Trump keeps whining about "fake news" and moving the goalposts all the way from the lie that "nobody in my campaign met with any Russians" to the total nonsensical bullshit he's spewing every day now on his Twitter feed is because he needs the sheeple to keep believing the lies... because he's well aware what he's done. :)

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    You keep whining about identity politics as if "white male grievance" identify politics is not basically the entire platform of Your Orange Worship. *laughs*

    It isn't.. But I know you are convinced it is and won't listen to any facts that contradict your beliefs.. It's like trying to prove to a devout christian that god doesn't exist.

    It makes no sense to even try..

    Just like you predicted they would stay home on election day in 2018. Nope. If Donald Trump is still the nominee of the White Male Grievance Party in 2020, the turnout will be spectacular. Count on it.

    Just like the turnout would be spectacular in 2016?? :D

    We each have a loss under our belts.. Wanna compare notes on 4 NOV as we did on 9 Nov 2016? :D

    Oh, I've got really got bad news for you. That "huge misstep" happened long ago... a series of huge missteps that span a period of multiple years, and the simple reason Trump keeps whining about "fake news" and moving the goalposts all the way from the lie that "nobody in my campaign met with any Russians" to the total nonsensical bullshit he's spewing every day now on his Twitter feed is because he needs the sheeple to keep believing the lies... because he's well aware what he's done. :)

    As I said.. I know you believe this...

    But reality has proven your predictions wrong time and time again.. :D

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary
    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/440573-seven-big-decisions-facing-biden-in-2020-primary

    Biden has his work cut out for him...

    I honestly don't think he can do it...

    It will be surprising if he wins the Primary...

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    15

    It isn't.. But I know you are convinced it is and won't listen to any facts that contradict your beliefs.. It's like trying to prove to a devout christian that god doesn't exist.

    It makes no sense to even try..

    Irrelevant straw man argument. Try harder. Also, anyone who presumes to tell anyone else that he knows God doesn't exist is just as ignorant as anyone who insists that He does... and probably more so.

    Just like the turnout would be spectacular in 2016?? :D

    The turnout could definitely have been better for Democrats, but setting aside U.S. election laws, if I was a Benedict Donald supporter who got millions of less votes than another candidate, I can assure you that I wouldn't be making an issue out of "turnout."

    We each have a loss under our belts.. Wanna compare notes on 4 NOV as we did on 9 Nov 2016? :D

    It doesn't matter what I want. You'll spin it however you want, regardless. Gaslighting, fake quotes, and revisionist history are your thing.

    As I said.. I know you believe this...

    You know nothing, Jon Snow!

    But reality has proven your predictions wrong time and time again.. :D

    Speaking of predictions: You better pray there is no God. :D

  18. [18] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    You NEED to oppose prisoner voting rights. There are damn near enough of Trumps cohort of corrupt 'hangers-on' in jail to re-elect him in 2020!

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Irrelevant straw man argument.

    Actually I wasn't making ANY argument.

    I was pointing out the futility of making an argument with someone who is devout..

    The turnout could definitely have been better for Democrats, but setting aside U.S. election laws, if I was a Benedict Donald supporter who got millions of less votes than another candidate, I can assure you that I wouldn't be making an issue out of "turnout."

    It wasn't me who made an issue of turnout, it was you..

    I simply pointed out (and you agreed) that someone who's candidate lost shouldn't be making an issue of turnout..

    Speaking of predictions: You better pray there is no God. :D

    I don't have to pray. I know their isn't..

    Like I said.. Let's compare notes on 4 Nov 2020..

    Here's a preview...

    "Michale was right about Florida. :) Ewwwwww."
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2016/11/08/get-out-and-vote/#comments

    :^*

  20. [20] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    18

    You NEED to oppose prisoner voting rights.

    Stucki, you NEED to support education of your ignorance or at the very least stop posting it; prisoners have very little voting rights in the majority of the United States. Besides... I live in Texas where we execute people.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    With so many norms being thrown out the window over the last few years but also given that it is too early to really ask this question, I will ask anyway...

    What are the chances, do you surmise, that there coulod be one party control over the WH and both houses of Congress, meaning total Democratic control, of course?

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” –Mark Twain

    Not only do these mostly white un-collared criminals get to vote, they get to make the laws!

    Twain can make your head hurt.

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    19

    Actually I wasn't making ANY argument.

    Actually, your statement: "It isn't.. But I know you are convinced it is and won't listen to any facts that contradict your beliefs.. " is definitely an argument.

    I was pointing out the futility of making an argument with someone who is devout..

    You actually made your argument that I was wrong and then introduced a false equivalence to bolster your claim, a straw man and fallacy of inconsistency where two completely opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when in fact they are not.

    It wasn't me who made an issue of turnout, it was you..

    You don't have to introduce an issue in order to make an issue out of it. For instance, I introduced the issue of your lousy prediction regarding the turnout in 2018. You responded by further making an issue out of the turnout in 2016, to which I responded that I wouldn't make an issue of turnout if my candidate received millions of fewer votes.

    So to recap: You made an issue out of turnout in 2016.

    I don't have to pray. I know their isn't..

    No, you actually don't know there isn't, and your insistence that you know there isn't ranks right up there with those who insist that they know He does exist, and everyone who reads the forum knows how you feel about them.

    By all means, provide your proof that God doesn't exist. I'll wait. :)

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    EM
    21

    What are the chances, do you surmise, that there coulod be one party control over the WH and both houses of Congress, meaning total Democratic control, of course?

    Considering the makeup of the Senate seats that are up for reelection in 2020, I would say there is a very small chance... not impossible but not at all likely.

    Good question, EM. :)

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    I live in Texas where we execute people.

    "While other states are abolishing the death penalty, my state of Texas created an EXPRESS LANE!!"
    -Ron White

    :D

    By all means, provide your proof that God doesn't exist. I'll wait. :)

    Of course, you DO understand that no one can prove a negative... :D

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    What are the chances, do you surmise, that there coulod be one party control over the WH and both houses of Congress, meaning total Democratic control, of course?

    Generally speaking, it's possible.. It happened in 2009..

    If you are asking if it can happen in 2020???

    Something about pigs and flying come to mind.. :D

    Considering how Democrats were royally scroo'ed by their TrumpSlayer, Mueller and refuse to even concede the points that Mueller made??

    I can say with complete honesty and sincerity, there is NO WAY in hell that Democrats can keep the House and take back the Senate and the White House..

    Dems will be lucky if they can just keep the House..

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    22

    Heh.

    Not only do these mostly white un-collared criminals get to vote, they get to make the laws!

    Besides Congress, the biggest criminal of them all currently occupies the seat of the head of the Executive Branch. Anyone who values our system of governance and checks and balances best be paying attention and "clue in" to the fact that our democracy is at stake... and vote accordingly, of course. :)

  28. [28] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    25

    Of course, you DO understand that no one can prove a negative... :D

    On the contrary, you are living proof of a negative. :)

    But seriously, I can prove there is no Loch Ness monster by draining the loch. Thus, I can prove a negative.

    Any more questions? :)

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    But seriously, I can prove there is no Loch Ness monster by draining the loch. Thus, I can prove a negative.

    You can't drain the loch, ergo you can't prove that there is no Loch Ness monster..

  30. [30] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    29

    You can't drain the loch, ergo you can't prove that there is no Loch Ness monster..

    The loch can definitely be drained, and it could be proven that the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist. While I'd definitely need help and approval to do it, that "negative" nevertheless could be proven. Anyone arguing otherwise is just full of BS and demonstrable ignorance.

    I await your proof that God doesn't exist. You are free to provide it at any time. :)

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    The loch can definitely be drained,

    That's not what you said..

    "But seriously, I can prove there is no Loch Ness monster by draining the loch."

    YOU can't drain the loch so you CAN'T prove there is no Loch Ness monster..

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    Anyone with approval and lots of help could drain the loch, including me and a consortium of people. Are you seriously this ignorant?

    A negative can be proven.

    I await your proof that God doesn't exist. :)

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-30

    You can't prove a negative, but you can sure as Hell shift the burden of proof by draining the lake and find no Nessies. Some might argue the Nessies crept away during the night, maybe they have burrowed deep into the muck, maybe they are really, really good at camouflage. Right........

    At a certain point, the positive proposition looks ridiculously improbable to anybody but a Crank or a Troll.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    VIDEO: Students appalled by footage of 'creepy' Joe Biden touching women

    Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his bid for president of the United States.

    In light of the announcement, Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips traveled to the University of Iowa.

    Phillips specifically asked students to react to videos of what appears to be Biden touching women and girls inappropriately.
    https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=12141

    Yep.. Biden surely has an uphill battle..

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    You can't prove a negative,

    Exactly.. Thank you...

  36. [36] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    33

    You can't prove a negative,

    I beg to differ, my good man. I can prove my own existence. Using the exact same reasoning and double negation, I can actually prove that I'm not nonexistent, and then I've just proven a negative, and honestly, I can do it with anything:

    Prove A is true and then prove A is not false.

    but you can sure as Hell shift the burden of proof by draining the lake and find no Nessies. Some might argue the Nessies crept away during the night, maybe they have burrowed deep into the muck, maybe they are really, really good at camouflage. Right........

    Might as well try to prove God doesn't exist. ;)

    At a certain point, the positive proposition looks ridiculously improbable to anybody but a Crank or a Troll.

    Amen, brother. :)

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale

    Did it perchance occur to you even once today that you're undercutting your own insistence that God doesn't exist?

    Thank you for making yourself look ridiculous. :)

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Okay, Kick, as much as this is going to hurt, I have to stuff my eggs in the 'no god' basket.

    And there is no argument that would make me change my mind. That train left the station years ago.

    Sorry to hurt your rant.

  39. [39] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    And, by the way, it's ridiculous for candidates to discuss prisoner voting, because it's all over the map.

    Pre-debate = silly season

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Okay, Kick, as much as this is going to hurt, I have to stuff my eggs in the 'no god' basket.

    And there is no argument that would make me change my mind. That train left the station years ago.

    Yea....

  41. [41] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    So you can see that, as long as most god-fearing folk tend to lean right, and most NON-god-fearing folk tend to lean to the left, there are enough in the middle to mess that all up. As it should be.

  42. [42] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Y'know, though, there are certain facets of prisoner voting that look attractive. Ought to look into it.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Y'know, though, there are certain facets of prisoner voting that look attractive.

    For example???

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden's sloppy launch may cost him
    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/440603-bidens-sloppy-launch-may-cost-him

    Biden's launch was not very Biden-esque....

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    38

    Okay, Kick, as much as this is going to hurt, I have to stuff my eggs in the 'no god' basket.

    That basket is getting fuller by the day; I partially blame the GOP hijacking of religion in order to achieve political means via exercise of blatant hypocrisy.

    And there is no argument that would make me change my mind. That train left the station years ago.

    While I understand there is no argument this side of life that would make you change your mind, perhaps there is proof in another. At least you didn't have the ridiculous bad sense to make the claim that you knew He doesn't exist.

    Sorry to hurt your rant.

    You didn't hurt my rant, darling. I never declared one way or the other my beliefs regarding "Our Heavenly Father;" I just solidly reiterated to Michale that his claim that he knows God doesn't exist was no more grounded in fact that those who maintain that God does. :)

  46. [46] 
    Kick wrote:

    A judge has ordered that the GOP redraw the heavily gerrymandered districts in Michigan. That worked out so great for the GOP in Pennsylvania. :)

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    The GOP-heavy legislature isn't going to write themselves out of existence. You're right, it's Pennsylvania all over again!

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Why are you so mean-spirited?

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Balthsar,

    I just solidly reiterated to Michale that his claim that he knows God doesn't exist was no more grounded in fact that those who maintain that God does. :)

    Knowing that you can't PROVE a negative, do you know for an absolute fact that there is no god??

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why are you so mean-spirited?

    Whaa?? Where??

    Saying there is no god???

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    The GOP-heavy legislature isn't going to write themselves out of existence. You're right, it's Pennsylvania all over again!

    Yea. I do believe that was the growing consensus amongst the Left in the run-up to 2016...

    But THIS TIME, I am sure your prediction will come true.. :eyeroll:

  52. [52] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I fully support former prisoners being given back their voting rights, but do not support voting for those serving a prison sentence.

    For it to make sense to allow prisoners to vote, they would need to be allowed to be “informed” voters — which would mean giving prisoners far more access to information from the outside world than they are currently allowed. Prisons will not be able to keep inmates informed, and the last thing we should be pushing for are MORE UNINFORMED voters in this country!

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TS

    You can't prove a negative, but you can sure as Hell shift the burden of proof by draining the lake and find no Nessies.

    If you can’t prove a negative, does that mean that a double negative will prove itself?

    Michale [34],

    So they are showing video clips without offering any context to what was occurring to get people turned off to Biden? The RNC must wreak of urine if they are this scared of Biden. Stay classy, GOP!

  54. [54] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    49

    Knowing that you can't PROVE a negative, do you know for an absolute fact that there is no god??

    Don't listen to Michale, Balthy; I obviously just did prove a negative in [36] above and also showed everyone how it can be done repeatedly. Good luck proving I didn't not prove that anyone can prove a negative.

    And there you have it; :)

  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    47

    The GOP-heavy legislature isn't going to write themselves out of existence. You're right, it's Pennsylvania all over again!

    I love you for that. :)

  56. [56] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    51

    Yea. I do believe that was the growing consensus amongst the Left in the run-up to 2016...

    Wrong. The election after the redistricting of Pennsylvania was in 2018. Therefore, any deflection to any other election not 2018 proves nothing more than one's propensity to deflect to unrelated topics.

    In your deflection, you've solidly lost the argument. Bad form. Point to Balthasar and whomever brought up the subject of Pennsylvania. It was a one-two knockout. You lose.

    Speaking of Pennsylvania... Joe Biden. :)

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    52

    If not is not the gospel truth, I don't know what is.

    Exactly this at [52]. Every word of it. Amen, brother. :)

  58. [58] 
    Kick wrote:

    So I meant If that is not the gospel truth, etc. etc.

    Too many glasses of wine for me. Been giving myself wine since Balthy told me too. ;)

  59. [59] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    53

    If you can’t prove a negative, does that mean that a double negative will prove itself?

    Three lefts make a right, and this man is exactly right. :)

  60. [60] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick,LTWYH

    For brevity I used "negative" in the same sense that M did, shorthand for "does not exist" as opposed to "does exist." This is common practice in casual philosophical discussions of existence (think dorm room or bar) but it is sloppy use of terminology.

    Mea culpa.

    Absence of evidence for the existence of X does not prove that X does not exist. It does shift the burden of proof.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, everyone, what's your favourite Biden 'gaffe'?

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, try not to use the google - there must be a favourite that you don't need to look up ...

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    I fully support former prisoners being given back their voting rights, but do not support voting for those serving a prison sentence.

    Now THAT's a Sherman..

    Would that we could see a lot more of this kind of thing around here..

    :D

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