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Thread: Erdogan Just Committed Political Suicide

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    Erdogan Just Committed Political Suicide

    Erdogan Just Committed Political Suicide

    By overturning an election in Istanbul, he may have triggered a Turkish Spring.

    On March 31, Turkey’s Supreme Election Council annulled the Istanbul municipal elections in which the opposition had defeated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The decision was not a surprise. For more than a month, AKP stalwarts as well as the Turkish press, which is almost completely dominated by Erdogan, had been laying the groundwork for this reversal by claiming irregularities and alleging all kinds of mischief by ballot handlers. And this is not the first time that the AKP has resorted to chicanery to get the electoral results it wanted. In the 2017 constitutional referendum, which replaced a parliamentary system with the current presidential one, Erdogan managed to reverse a defeat at the polls through last-minute ballot stuffing and other means of cheating.

    But there is something different about this intervention. Unlike in 2017, it took more than one month of intense public pressure from Erdogan for the election council to overturn a perfectly legitimate election—it was a process for all to see, AKP supporters and opponents alike.

    ...

    By canceling the results, Erdogan is compounding the strategic error of inserting himself into the local elections in the first place. He essentially transformed the election into a vote of confidence in his own leadership. The country was inundated with pictures of Erdogan, and nearly all of his speeches—in which he indulged in deliberately polarizing rhetoric pitting “us” against traitors—were aired live on television, even as the opposition was mostly ignored by the national media. The results thus became a personal disaster for Erdogan, as his party lost some of the country’s most important municipalities, including Ankara, Adana, Mersin, and Izmir.

    He is now doubling down on that first mistake. Erdogan risks a tremendous backlash from an electorate that will deem the action as unfair and may deliver him another humiliating defeat despite the fact that he and his party will mobilize to cheat and effectively try to guarantee success à la 2017. Even if he wins, it will be a Pyrrhic victory; it will be viewed by a very large segment of the population as an illegitimate and tarnished result. He will also have created a formidable and popular new opponent in Imamoglu, who had already captured the imagination of large numbers of citizens. Imamoglu will likely parlay his victim status to the national leadership of his party.
    It takes some time to rub out the last vestiges of democracy.

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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    Overturning a valid election is political suicide?

    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    It takes some time to rub out the last vestiges of democracy.
    There has been a debate for a long time over whether a free people can vote their rights away and still be free. Even in America we have candidates for president whose promises are contrary to the Constitution. Buttigieg alone needs to rip four sections out of the Constitution to undo the Electoral College, to change the way Justices are appointed, to take away the right to keep and bear arms, to further stomp the First Amendment rights of speech and association.
    I'm thinking that once, in 1953, a group of interesting people just happened to be in a coffee shop at the same time and a great discussion of issues, ideas, and the meaning of life occurred. Since then we have been waiting at Starbucks for Lawrence Ferlinghetti to say something heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Overturning a valid election is political suicide?

    Yes. He will hold on to power, but as an authoritarian, not as a politician. He is abandoning the pretense of popular consent that makes politics a meaningful exercise.

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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    I don't think a despot much cares how he holds on to power. And besides, for all the terror he inflicts, he'll always be surrounded by a claque of desperately enthusiastic supporters, all of whom endorse his benevolence and wisdom.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    I don't think a despot much cares how he holds on to power. And besides, for all the terror he inflicts, he'll always be surrounded by a claque of desperately enthusiastic supporters, all of whom endorse his benevolence and wisdom.
    If you think the article is an appeal to Erdogan's sense of caring, you've really missed the point. When a strongman rolls back the apparatus of democracy, it's pretty much assumed they are beyond caring.

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    I don't think a despot much cares how he holds on to power. And besides, for all the terror he inflicts, he'll always be surrounded by a claque of desperately enthusiastic supporters, all of whom endorse his benevolence and wisdom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    If you think the article is an appeal to Erdogan's sense of caring, you've really missed the point. When a strongman rolls back the apparatus of democracy, it's pretty much assumed they are beyond caring.
    I merely refer to your reference to consent:

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    Yes. He will hold on to power, but as an authoritarian, not as a politician. He is abandoning the pretense of popular consent that makes politics a meaningful exercise.
    "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." —CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
    Yes. He will hold on to power, but as an authoritarian, not as a politician. He is abandoning the pretense of popular consent that makes politics a meaningful exercise.
    Interesting. I can't quite remember where else I have seen that happening lately....
    Leftists have unquestionably demonstrated their hatred for due process, and Democrats have undeniably obstructed justice for, and thoroughly victim-shamed and smeared, Karen Monahan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    I merely refer to your reference to consent:
    Yeah, well I wasn't pretending that Erdogan cares. I was writing for other people, who presumably do care.

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Interesting. I can't quite remember where else I have seen that happening lately....
    Hungary?

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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