Who Writes the Rules? – Rules, Part 3 – Extra Politics – #6


When looking at rules in a dynamic system It’s important to note three things first who to the rules govern second who writes the rules third who enforces those rules For tabletop games the rules govern the players they’re written by the game designer and they’re enforced by the players sitting at the table for console games the Rules govern the players they’re written by the designers and are enforced by the computer So what about the rules in politics the rules that affect citizens most directly are written by Congress? Veto checked by the President and then enforced by the courts State and local laws follow similar paths and this system works quite well as it separates the rules Enforcement from the rules writing and it doesn’t allow the citizens to directly rewrite our own rules at whim The rules that affect our politicians though are another matter all-together Let’s start with Congress at the start of every session the House and the Senate get to write their own rules And they are in charge of enforcing those rules upon themselves That might be raising some red flags in your head and for good reason. It’s not a very good system But so saith the Constitution and thus here we are The structure of our political game allows a chamber of Congress to create for themselves Whatever rules they want if they wished they could create a rule declaring that members of the opposing party Must wear bunny ears around the clock It would be silly but they could do it thankfully social norms have thus far? Prevented the most extreme abuses from happening and stopped Congress from going full Calvinball But those norms are getting chipped away at an alarming rate the Senate filibuster is all but gone debate has sometimes been limited to as few as 90 seconds and Legislators are frequently not given enough time to even read a bill before having to vote on it It’s getting pretty shameful out there and the executive branch is even worse The executive branch actually gets to write the rules that govern the FBI Which is the only investigative body that can effectively investigate the executive branch add to that the president’s essentially unlimited power of federal pardons and direct control of our nation’s intelligence agencies and you can see why Structurally, we have all sorts of rules related problems built into our system Even political parties have this problem. There is no mention of political parties in our Constitution And while there is good evidence suggesting that men the founding fathers didn’t want them in our political system We do have them now and they wield tremendous power. Sorry, Hamilton I know you tried the rules governing the internal workings of political parties are wholly written and Enforced by the party itself and the two parties have developed their own sets of rules and dependently This is why you see features like super-delegates in the Democratic Party rules but not so much in the GOP and as you might imagine Allowing these groups to self govern their internal actions has some pretty serious consequences Of course you might reasonably assume that at least when they interact with the rest of the government these groups run into
all of those checks and balances that Keep things from getting out of hand right, and they do Sort of see the rules for how Congress the President and political parties interact when the rest of government comes from the Constitution Or were passed by Congress veto checked by the President and then are enforced by the courts Rules for the courts are mostly defined by the Constitution and previous court rulings and those rules governing the courts are enforced either by Congress through Impeachment or are internally enforced which obviously could have its problems But so far it’s worked out pretty well because the courts have historically been a much more distributed and diverse body than Congress So yay that’s working. The courts will save us good job boys You framed the heck out of that Constitution way to go except here’s the thing in theory Our government is made up of three competing branches which have all sorts of checks and balances against each other That’s the way it was designed to be but in practice we don’t have three competing branches of government We actually have two competing political parties spread out amongst those branches of government and that makes enforcement of the rules unpredictable and very inconsistent for example it’s generally accepted that the high frequency of Investigations into the Clinton presidency was purely a result of partisan politics performed by a GOP held Congress because once President Bush was elected and the White House switched to GOP hands that zeal for investigation suddenly vanished the standards of congressional rule enforcement plummeted and Unfortunately the courts which have often been the final arbiter of rules in our system have become increasingly Partisan as well from elected state judges to the Supreme Court This problem is getting worse not better And this has led us to a reality where when the branches of government are split between parties over enforcement of rules Renders the government unable to act when it needs to and when one party controls all the branches of government Enforcement virtually disappears and that is when the real shenanigans start. So you might hear all of this and ask Why does this matter to you? Well our government system of checks and balances between three co-equal branches is falling apart and that’s gonna have some dire Consequences for all of us if we allow our political parties to act entirely in their own best interest We are doomed to an American system where the social norms of good governance no longer exist, though We do live in a majority rule system the checks and the balances built into that system were designed to protect the minority But those checks are dissolving. I don’t want to do the slippery slope thing But in a very extreme case We could reach a point where members of the minority party are made targets of the state Now that sort of thing has not happened in America before but it has happened in other countries. It’s not science fiction So what can we do about that actually more than you think see politics is a lot like a spectator sport You might not know this but in sports spectators are active participants in the rules writing and enforcement process You want to know why hockey eliminated the two line pass or why basketball adopted the three-point shot or why football? Decided to more tightly enforce existing Rules on illegal hits all of those patches to the rules were not made because the underlying games were broken They were made to make the game better for spectators in democracies We have the built-in ability to make change with our votes, but it doesn’t stop there Thankfully we have the ability to apply pressure all year long not just during voting season We have a well-protected set of freedoms that allow us the ability to apply pressure to our rules writers and our enforcers around the clock We can lobby our officials we can protest we can raise awareness of bad and unenforced rules We can do it all by here’s the tough part and you’ve heard me say it before if you want to make the game better You have to be willing to call fouls on your own team And that’s really hard to do in an environment as partisan As ours has become I know but if we do that and support the social norms that keep our whole system in check It’ll pay great dividends in the long run for everybody. We’ll see you next time




Comments
  1. Our government’s system of checks and balances between 3 co-equal branches is falling apart. Instead, we have competition between two major political parties fighting for their personal interests, and that’s gonna have dire consequences for all of us.

  2. Love this one. Tried expressing this once to friends on both sides. Response from both sides was that I don't know what I was saying or why are you siding with them?

  3. 5:10 Our friend has successfully become a running gag. Now we just need extra credits to roll out the chess puncher merch.

  4. Voting season? You mean the few month until you get to vote on the next policys? Damm i'me glad that i live in Switzerland.

  5. So this whole series has been pretty moderate, until this episode. Red = bad, Blue = good. Seriously watch through it and notice red shirts vs blue shirts and how their portrayed.
    The checks and balances are not falling apart, the left pushed the pendulum so hard the past eight years that it was bound to swing back in the other direction and it just did. Also ultimately the rules are not enforced by the courts but by the citizenry in the form of the vote. The two parties have been in existence for a very long time and have always been at each others throats, they are a natural result of multiple groups banding together with common interests to amplify their power.

  6. > rules for the courts are mostly defined by the constitution.

    Er… Article 3 of the US constitution is pretty darn short. Y'all should check out John & Hank Green's new channel Complexly for a video series on the US court system.

  7. One correction to your video. The Judicial branch does not enforce law, it's interprets law. It simply determines if a law is constitutional or not. The President is charged with enforcing the law and it says so right in the oath to preserve, protect and defend The Constitution. It's also why the President oversees the FBI and not Congress through the Attorney General, a Presidential appointment. Congress makes law, the Judiciary interprets law, the President enforces law. Otherwise, very good episode.

  8. The courts don’t enforce the law, the executive branch does that. That is why the police force is always under the executive branch’s jurisdiction. The courts interpret and apply the law, most often for clarification.

  9. Reminder that political parties (in the US) are private, organic, and not formally part of the government. They have no legal authority. You can literally start or end a party any time. They're pretty much just ways for like-minded people to work in concert; the fact the US have 2 (useful at the National level) is a discovered mechanic of the 'first past the post' election system, which makes a binary set of coalitions most useful. These then break into various caucuses once in power, effectively representing a far more diverse set of initiatives.

  10. Part of the problem is that this system that allows spectators to affect the rules has been used to cause this partisanship. Republican voters saw Congress' refusal to act during Obama's term as heroic, and Democratic voters are now viewing it the same way. One of the fundamental requirements for a democracy is that the parties not in power accept that there will be some things done during their term that they don't like.

  11. The reason for the division and the erosion of the American system all comes down to one problem; we have all stopped trying to have real dialogues with opposing ideologies. Instead, we conjure up caricatures of one another; conservatives have conjured up the liberal pink-haired genders study student SJW while liberals conjured up the conservative evil, patriarchal, racist, sexist, all-oppressing white Christian heterosexual male. These are merely caricatures, only a very small percentage of the populace. Though both sides had avoided a decisive confrontation for some decades, it will come down to a head in the future, perhaps very, very soon. The outcome of that confrontation, however; is very hard to foresee.

  12. "If you want to make the game better you have to be willing to call fouls on your own team". This could sum up most (but not all) of the Extra Politics series up to this point. I like it.

  13. Pretty sure the judicial branch has mainly been politicized by the left. The right wants the supreme court to interpret the laws as written and the left was to courts to forward social change.

  14. Of course you'd go against your own party members if they go too far, it's important to keep a good face after all. But would you go against your own "family"? Apparently it's called "political families" and they easily get ties with other families. Add Freemasonry and "secret" clubs (which most certainly exist) into the mist… well, let's just say if you're good with them… you could potentially get away with breaking a few rules.

    In short; modern democracy is not for the people.

  15. Washington: Don't throw any parties while I'm gone!

    Washington leaves

    Hamilton and Jefferson: Quick he's gone let's do this

  16. Can't mention DEM rules without mentioning Henry A Wallace, the guy who was locked out of a landslide primary in 1944 by the party bosses with several deafening recordings of "We Want Wallace" indicating to the populace that he shouldn't even be on the ticket.

  17. You forgot people who were members of the communist party, it may have not been a relevant party but they most certainly were targeted by the state in this country.

  18. Burn it all down. Shred the Constitution and start over. It is a failure of a document for the modern era.

  19. 5:50 this is an inaccurate statement Extra Credits! We have absolutely had periods of history in the US where members of a minority party are targeted by the government. Just remember McCarthy.

  20. Calling "fouls in your own team" works only if one of the basic principles of that team and their followers isn't Machiavellianism. If, deep down, you, your team and your supporters believe that anything goes as long as you get what you want (For The Greater Good(tm)), there's no point in arguing about rule enforcement. If a team is all about not believing in a fair system, you are not going to convince them that we should all employ fair play. They will want everyone else to play fair, sure, but they will shamelessly fight dirty if advantageous. What's worse, this type of Machiavellic thought spreads like wildfire. Once a group begins to gain significant power by ignoring social rules, only those who are willing to do anything to get to power will prevail. Rules are a hindrance if you are the only one who cares about them.

  21. very well done. I'd like to say I am optimistic and that things will change for the better because more people are realizing what you're saying regardless of party is true. But I fear our two parties have grown into tribes and tribes thrive through distinction. no one wants to see their tribe die out through war or marriage. Most of us are still very primitive like that.

  22. This video was quite good until you got to the part of the hyperparstianship part. You offer no evidence that this is happening and rely on recent events and fear-mongering of trump of to push this point. Aside from that, the video and especially this series has been extremely great. Please give me more high quality content like you’ve been doing for years! I really do love all that this channel has to offer.

  23. This is exactly why Citizens United needs to be repealed.

    Corporations are not people and should not be allowed the freedoms afforded to citizens. We still have the ability to apply pressure through social norms as individuals (Scott Pruitt, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Sanders, and a bunch of others are feeling this lately), but when these representatives are being given a cumulative $4.1 million by the NRA, it's clear who they are beholden to. We need to fix campaign finance laws so the balance of power in elections is restored, and I really think that'll do the most legwork in recovering democratic principles and the proper function of our branches of government..

  24. Don't worry about the slippery slope fallacy. I can honestly see that, too. Honestly, I have already seen just plain ol' citizens of a certain party deem politicians and supporters of the other party as mentally ill, as criminals and as traitors. It's only a matter of time before the politicians start acting this way as well.

  25. As much as I'm interested in flaws of the American government, wouldn't a more general topic be better? There are viewers from all around the world!

  26. 5:56
    False, it has happend in America, multiple times.
    Both communists and anarchists have experienced persecution in the US multiple times, heck, a few years ago a coffee, cookies and crocket party with a group of elderly unarmed anarchists debating politics where raided for no good reason, at least non that I'm aware of.

    For the record, anarchist in this context does not mean violent or no rule (something that the upper classes managed to make a synonym with the word in the english language), but rather the anarchist ideology where "anarchist" means no king/ruler and is all about moving societys power over to those being ruled instead of to a small elite class of rulers.
    Democracy itself was the first form of anarchy and every step towards liberalization and making society more free for the individual to govern themselves more and be less governed by others is a continuation of this ideology and trend.

    As for the communists…
    McCarthyism is a clear case of this.
    Believing in communist ideology, values etc where persecuted regardless of how much or little someone had to do with the country that supposedly where benefitting from the "treason" they where accused of.

    5:38
    Heh, while the intention might be to protect the minority the US election systems ruleset does anything but…
    If you genuinly want the minority to be protected you kind of need a proportional system where no one party is able to become the majority on its own in my view.

  27. The mention of legislators not being able to read bills is actually bigger than you say. The recent tax overhaul, if it's the one I'm remembering, was written and passed in such a hurry portions of the bill were hand-written in the margins to the point where not even the author fully knew what was in them since they were kind of illegible.
    The problem with calling fouls on your own team is that it only works when the other guys are willing to do it too. When someone starts policing themselves and the other guys don't, they wind up with all the cards in their hands and can do pretty much whatever they want because they're unrestrained by their own cops. If one person in a fight decides to not go for the cheapshot and the other guy immediately kicks him square in the dick, he wins because he was willing and able to do what the other guy couldn't. As long as one party doesn't police their own, the party that does will always lose out to the ones that are willing to do whatever it takes. If one party is unwilling to, say, use foreign help to fuck with the elections and guarantee their victory but the other is, the party that is will win and then will write the rules dictating that they can do it again as much as they want.
    I really like these videos you're doing here and I'm looking forward to the next one.

  28. "There are no political parties in our Constitution". That's because it was written before the concept even existed…or if it DID exist, then according to a tidbit I think I remember accurately from history class, George Washington specifically warned AGAINST the forming of such (as he called them) "factions". But, the moment the second president swore into office, the warning was discarded and the factions magically spawned. I think this whole episode, in summary, is all about why George Washington specifically warned about forming the "factions" we call "political parties".

  29. Watches Video, remembers I'm not American so this doesn't apply to me "Dammit, this isn't useful! For me anyway…"

  30. There is a reason that the Roman Republic fell. One man was ambiguous and broke the norms, and a dictatorship formed up. We need to fix this

  31. I mean this is great, though I do remember we had slavery here, and genocide of the indigenous people… but this is mostly very well done

  32. I really appreciate the objective take to our governing system. Instead of pouring hope and votes into a broken system, you guys admit its broken. You admit that the checks-and-balances we depend on arent acting as such. Its refreshing to hear

  33. I don't think it is a good idea to hope for social norms to save everything.
    If there are social norms one thinks are good, maybe they should be made formal rules in this context at least.

  34. Actually, for certain minority parties participants have been made targets of the state before. The House Un-American Activities Committee explicitly targeted the Communist Party at large. To ignore that block of time when discussing rules violations and party targetting is … strange.

  35. Wait, in the USA p.parties are not in the constitution!?!?!? last time i heard about that was the weimmar republic… that didn't end well

  36. Not happened in america?
    So america has not had internment camps of its own citizens signaled out as a specific minority?

  37. I it SCARES me how often people are able to look at the way the parties run themselves in the US and dismiss any critique of their actions because of their own party identity.

    And if you're thinking that's not true about MY party. then You're either a member of a smaller third party… or just dead wrong and exactly the type of person I'm worried about.

  38. This one of the series is remarkably curate. I am very happy with the outcome of this and that you guys are endeavoring to make such a series.

  39. I wonder if you guys can do some episodes about the greek government system ,

    and maybe why the greeks can not govern themselves without going bankrupt

  40. However, one issue with calling foul on ones own team is that it does not work if only one team does so, and the other uses this honesty against its opponents. This issue have become quite distinct this year.
    The Me2 movement is one example. The Democrats got rid of some rather skilled politicians for acting inexcusably towards women, and rightly so, while the Republicans did not. If they had, the current US president would be somone else.

  41. "If you want to make the game better, you have to be willing to call fouls on your own team." I can guarantee your audience will flat out ignore what you just suggested. I can and do 100% guarantee they ignored the hell out of it and I can prove it. Wait for one of them to make the argument: "The other team wont and thats why doing so to ourselves will harm our side." or even worse: "We can gain the advantage if the other side is foolish enough to do so while we dont.". If somehow any of them manage to read my text block long enough to look past themselves, I still expect it to have minimal impact because too few intelligent people exist to affect change.

  42. Wait, did you say that the state has never targeted members of a minority party? Can we get an Extra History on the Red Scare?

  43. I personally think the biggest thing we need to do is redesign our voting system to cripple, or at least weaken, major parties. Right now, if you agree with most of the core ideals of one of the two parties in America, you're pretty much that party's bitch. Your only options are to vote for your own corrupt party or vote for another party which is also corrupt AND disagrees with you on major issues. There's very few people on-the-fence enough to be swung by one party acting less corrupt, so it's usually not in their best interests to clean up their act.
    If we had a system like approval voting, the effects of third parties would be helpful rather than disruptive, so third parties would be able to actually have an influence and even win elections, giving voters the power to shop around, and encourage competition. The problem with your analogy is that the driving forces of politics are parties that want to win, rather than entertainers who arrange the competing teams and want to put on a good show.

  44. 7:03–7:06
    This is probably the most important thing I have ever heard.
    The Left never admits the wrongs they say and commit and parts of the right are not always willing to be on offense and would rather stay neutral and barely give much of a fight for what they believe in.
    Personally, I think these problems are what is ruining both parties.

  45. Great video as usual, but one somewhat misleading point you made does need addressing:

    While neither of the two most prominent parties have ever been made targets of the state, members of a political party have.

    During the McArthy era a law was passed banning membership of the communist party. While likely to be uninforcable today IIRC it is still on the books, and targeting via blacklisting etc was prevalent.

  46. I personally don't believe in political parties at all. George Washington himself warned against parties, and while political parties may seem built into our system, the system was actually never designed to have parties. The whole idea of having to be on one side or the other, of each side having a specific set of beliefs is flawed. For example, Republicans are generally against abortion and for gun rights, and Democrats are generally for abortion and for gun control. But what if someone was for abortion and for gun rights? Or against abortion and for gun control? Why is it that we have to be for one side or the other? How can we truly pick the best ideas when too sides are so obsessed with opposing each other? The constant red vs. blue fight also promotes team mentality, a dangerous concept in politics. Almost like rooting for football teams, many people will vote for their chosen side no matter what. Like it was mentioned in an earlier episode, sadly many voters are simply uninformed. I personally know people who will vote for their side in every election, either by being taught by their parents that their side is correct, or by watching biased news sources. If parties didn't exist, then there would be no default side to pick in every election, and these uninformed people would either have to do more research, or not vote at all. As time goes on, I feel like this war between sides is getting worse and worse. Every time a new side is in control, massive layoffs in the government happen, often getting rid of qualified and experienced people because their not on the same side. Parties becoming a part of the checks and balances system means that instead of each branch of the government double checking the other's work and ensuring that what is happening is for the best for our country, two entities are fighting for the best of their parties. If one side was to ever gain complete control, it would be disastrous, as the checks and balances would essentially become useless. I know that in a perfect world, each president would have their own ideas and would stand on their own merits, instead of working for the whims of a party. However, its clear that parties are not going away anytime soon. If parties are here to stay, then I would hope that more parties would appear. We technically have more than two parties right now, but they are practically nonexistent and don't provide a threat to the major parties. I would love for a third or even a fourth party to join the big league and help even things out a bit. Not only would it make behaviors such as laying everyone but your party off and holding a position empty until you can hire someone from your party more difficult, but it would also mean that parties can no longer direct all of their hate towards one single party. More parties would also help encourage fair play. When one party messes up or breaks unwritten rules, the other parties will socially punish them, shaming them, ostracizing them, etc. Instead of an environment where one side will hate the other whether they break the rules or not, multiple parties will provide an environment where parties want to look as good as possible, especially due to the abundance of competition: voters will have more options when choosing parties, with many parties offering more mixed views that can be a combination of democratic and republican viewpoints. Sadly I see no signs of either a government with no parties or a government with more parties and our system is falling apart because of it. I can only hope that things will be fixed before it is too late.

  47. "Dearie me, the Senate filibuster is under attack." Excuse me, but when I was being educated the "liberals" around me told us that the filibuster was a detestable "relic" used by those awful, awful SOUTHERN conservatives to block "progressive" laws which "everybody" agreed were desirable. For the last twenty years I have watched liberals flipflop on the filibuster depending on which party controlled the Senate. If you are serious about fair rules and consistency, you can't say "This feature is Good when Our Side uses it, but Bad when the Other Side uses it."

  48. But lets be honest here, really. We all get up in the morning and put on our pants one leg at a time. But who makes those pant? That's right Americans, unless of course those pants were made overseas, which is where some of our ancestors came from. So really when we say immigrants, who are really talked about? Us all of us who work eight, ten, thirteen hour days to feed our- Hey Gerald, I see you falling asleep in the back there! God, you do this everytime I get up here. It's like no~~~v do you not respect me, but you ~~~ pretend to in front of all of your co~~~o, no! I'm not accepting an apology! That's fine why don't I tell everyone "take the lasagna out of the work fridge" Maybe then you'll…

    -An inspirational speech about the migrant debt crisis

  49. 2:40 Did He? Did he really? Hamilton was a HUGE federalist and did a Lot of things to spite Jefferson and his Democratic Republicans. Madison and Washington were more opponents of political infighting.

  50. I just found this channel 2 weeks ago AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS CHANNEL 😀 everything about this channel is perfect, to the intro song to the design, to the workers to the stories it’s perfect.

  51. For all of those who asked for it – the tabletop game based on this series is now on Kickstarter. Check it out! http://kck.st/2wbtCQY

  52. You might have mentioned that our press has become a powerful '4th estate' that can influence politics and can act as a form of enforcement, but often acts in a very partisan manner, ignoring rule issues on one side, while aggressively criticizing rule issues on the other.

    You forgot two other ways that people can/could influence things:
    1) They could get involved with their political party and work to make it, at least, better
    2) They can be informed, so they're information, know what to pressure about, AND can call the press if they note the press 'cheating' in a way that affects our political system.

  53. There is 1 main actor missing from this discussion: the press. The press is both an additional check and balance on the government, the whole "watchdogs of democracy" stuff, which unfortunately no longer seem to be true in today's environment as well as a major source of pressure on our politicians. The issue is that the press itself is also incredibly partisan, which brings us the same issues you talked about regarding the 3 branches of government. Sure, there are still some honest journalists around that are sincerely trying to fulfill their role as watchdogs of democracy, however they're getting fewer and fewer(for a variety of reasons) and are receiving more and more flak from upstairs(ultimately the network owners who are pushing their own political agendas on their own networks).

  54. At least here we have a second version of congress that does that. Direct representation is based on the first and second chamber. The second is somewhat similar to congress. It could work for the US as well if you make the states sent individual representatives. You can skip voting for them and just have the states decide for themselves who to sent.
    They don't have much power as they can only oversee laws and block things during election.

  55. Parties having their own internal rules seems fine to me. As long as those rules remain internal.

    Our socialist party has a maximum fortune law.

  56. I call it out on the black and white fallacy that we perpetuate in our country. The Two party system that is.

    There can be voices in this country that say "yes to taxes."
    There can also be voices in a country that say "no"

    There can be people who regulate, because we do need regulations.
    There can also be people who deregulate. Because let's face it, there is such a thing as too much regulation.

    There have to be those who appeal to the poor man, but also help the rich man do business so poor men can have a job to begin with.

    There have to be voices that that stand up for peace, and those who stand up for war. Especially if you plan on Congress being able to officially declare war.

    What works for the city, doesn't work for the countryside on a local scale even, how do you expect it to work as an entire nation? This nation is in fact also ran by those who give regular Americans a job. Like Walmart. Also mom and pop shops and small business aspirations, some of which came from nothing and became wealthy. Allow states to make their suggestions, to see a better way to better facilitate law fairly as well. It's time for America to work for all American lives and I do believe we can see a better day when we talk about common ground. Not opposing sides.

    My point is this, we need to understand the difference between unity and uniformity, because our misinterpretation of that is what is really killing us all.

    Unity mean we can be different, and have different ideas, and still get along. Uniformity means we all think the same exact way.

    What can fix that? Truly TRULY fix that.

    Vote and run independent.

  57. 0:41 "And then enforced by the courts". No. The rules in the U.S. are enforced by the executive branch, headed by the president. The court interprets the rules. If the court interpreted the rules in a way the immensely hurt the president, it's possible that the executive would refuse to enforce the court's ruling. It's happened before.

  58. "…members of the minority party are made targets of the state…"
    "…that sort of thing has not happened in American before…"
    Ever heard of McCarthyism?

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