March 17, 2016

"'No hearing for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, McConnell says.'... Caving on this would wreck the party. McConnell seems to realize that."

Says Glenn Reynolds.

I thought the party already got wrecked, what with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but I suppose there's a decent interest in keeping the wreckage in something of a neat pile that might look like a functioning device from a respectful distance.

I could imagine that at some point the Trump-n-Ted damage could get so bad that staging some political theater around Merrick Garland might seem like a way to regain some dignity within the wreckage, especially if it becomes obvious that Hillary will win the election and the prospect of getting someone more conservative than Garland disappears. 

82 comments:

Fandor said...

Hang tough, Mitch and wait for the Trump train.

Mark said...

Orrin Hatch already signaled he is considering a vote during the post election lame duck session.

Already game planning to thwart future President Clinton.

Birkel said...

Fandor seems to know the names of people a future president Trump might nominate. The rest of us, stuck here without the ability to fortune tell, have no idea.

But "better than Obama" is a pretty good bet.

rhhardin said...

They'll have a hearing for him in November if Hillary wins. If not, not.

tola'at sfarim said...

can you explain how cruz has so damaged the republican party?

traditionalguy said...

If McConnell still thinks that Outrageous Trump is a clown and a big joke with no chance to win, like everyone in the Party did until three weeks ago, then he has to confirm this guy ASAP.

So Trump is the next President and McConnell knows that.

The Hillary Dems are about to enter their five stages of grief schedule for Trump's opponents. But McConnell has already reached acceptance stage.

Oso Negro said...

Sigh. Ted Cruz IS a Republican, just not one that is comfortable for Democrats or establishment Republicans. Donald Trump is a one-off and it would have been a lot more interesting if he had run as a Democrat, but his chat with Bill Clinton steered him to the Republican side.

campy said...

How do you wreck a wreck?

Oso Negro said...

@tola'at - She doesn't like the cut of Cruz' jib. It is more comfortable for her to have Republican candidates who are not socially conservative, as she cares most about social issues.

traditionalguy said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but in the event of a Hillary victory, the nomination can be withdrawn by Obama before the Senate has time to vote confirmation.

Birkel said...

Oso Negro:

I think you have the measure of it. However, there is no indication that Cruz would have his religion dictate his policies. So the jump -- from religion in the personal to the political realm -- is assumed.

To some observers, this may indicate bigotry. And I am sure some people in the MSM are bigoted against publicly expressive religious types.

Birkel said...

traditionalguy:

Even if Obama does not withdraw the nominee, or the nominee does not withdraw, Senate Democrats could filibuster.

Brando said...

"Correct me if I am wrong, but in the event of a Hillary victory, the nomination can be withdrawn by Obama before the Senate has time to vote confirmation."

I think it can. So in that case, the question is what the polls are looking like by mid-October. The GOP has to gamble that they can sense a loss sooner than Obama can, and vote on him before Obama withdraws him (though just by scheduling hearings, etc., that may signal to Obama that they know there's a loss coming, and prompt him to withdraw).

Or, Obama may not withdraw and prefer his nominee get in rather than letting Hillary deal with it next year. This way he has more of a mark on the court, and can argue that he did more to change its balance than any president since Nixon.

Oso Negro said...

Birkel, yes, there is the assumed jump. I am an utter non-believer, but evangelical Christianity doesn't alarm me in the least. To the contrary, as I have aged, I worry that it would have been better for the country to maintain religious participation. The things that have crept into Western culture in the face of declining Christianity concern me much more - witness the invasion of Europe by Islam.

Brando said...

"Even if Obama does not withdraw the nominee, or the nominee does not withdraw, Senate Democrats could filibuster."

If the stakes are high enough, the filibuster goes the way of the McDLT (I was going to say "Filet o Fish" for alliteration, but the Filet o Fish is still around).

Hagar said...

Considering the statements already made, McConnell will be obliged to resign as majority leader, and perhaps his senate seat, if his caucus decides to cave now, and I do not think McConnell wishes to go out in that fashion.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

This whole degrees of liberalness argument is kind of meaningless. Certainly, given the chance, Hillary may nominate someone more liberal. In the end, however, Garland will vote with the liberals on every major case. It's what they all do. It's a a distinction without a difference.

Hagar said...

And both parties appear to be well and truly "wrecked" by now.

Birkel said...

Oso Negro:

We cannot have the opiate of the masses competing with the opiates from Canadaian smugglers.

Ann Althouse said...

"can you explain how cruz has so damaged the republican party?"

It depends on what the meaning of "the party" is.

If the old party is destroyed and another party emerges, you could say it's an improvement. But from the perspective of those who enjoyed the old party — I heard it was grand — what they had is wrecked.

AJ Lynch said...

I think you meant to write "less liberal" than Garland not "more conservative". I doubt he has ever been described as any degree of conservative til now.

EDH said...

Go over to Instapundit and watch "the best Trump ad ever".

It's actually a clip from Showtime's "The Circus" of several GOP establishment type having dinner in a wood panel restaraunt lamenting Trump's rise and their dismay at their crumbling party order.

So amazingly tone deaf.

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/229339/

Robert Cook said...

"Correct me if I am wrong, but in the event of a Hillary victory, the nomination can be withdrawn by Obama before the Senate has time to vote confirmation."

Why would he do that? What makes you think Obama does not fully support his nominee? Do you think he's trying to palm off someone he picked only to get over on the Republicans? Face it, Obama is a centrist, and not the far left socialist/commie fiend who stalks the paranoid fever dreams of right wing cranks.

Paco Wové said...

"a decent interest in keeping the wreckage in something of a neat pile that might look like a functioning device from a respectful distance."

A nice turn of phrase.

Bob Ellison said...

Brando, the filibuster is neither Filet-O-Fish nor McDLT.

It's a McRib. Keeps coming back for a limited time only. You thought it was awful last time, but you'll give it another shot.

machine said...

"...no indication that Cruz would have his religion dictate his policies."

didn't gawd tell his wife to tell him to run for President?

Birkel said...

machine:
Can you tell me which part of that is policy? Your religious bigotry is showing, otherwise.

Robert Cook:
I admire your consistency. Most people are accidentally right every so often. But you manage to avoid any accidents.

Gusty Winds said...

In 2014 they we're given the Senate to push back against Obama and the Dems. He they have the "Biden Rule" laid at their feet as ammunition and justification.

If they can't use that, then the GOP Senate leadership is just a bunch of beta males.

machine said...

all of it...

machine said...

its a mission from gawd...

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook:
I admire your consistency. Most people are accidentally right every so often. But you manage to avoid any accidents."


Birkel, thank you. Yes, you're right, it's no accident: I'm always right on purpose.

As always, thank you for your pertinent and informative comments.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook:
Wrong again. Truly amazing!

machine:
Policy? Do you speak it? (Samuel L. Jackson voice)

Gusty Winds said...

The destruction of the current GOP structure is only beginning. Right now it is simply a revolt by the common folk against comfortable Washington elites. And the arrogance is insulting. I'd like to see someone dress Bill Krystol in a ball gag and a leather speedo.

Let's see what Trump does in the general election. This rift in the GOP could also bleed to the Dems.

Think about the cultural differences between elites in Madison, and the inner city of Milwaukee. It exists all over the nation among Democrats and their exploited voter base. Maybe Trump will crack them in half too.

Brando said...

"It's a McRib. Keeps coming back for a limited time only. You thought it was awful last time, but you'll give it another shot."

Good point--they seem to suspend it only when it's REALLY important to pass something, like Obama's Circuit nominees.

The shame of it was that the GOP was dumb enough to balk from suspending it when the shoe was on the other foot and Bush's nominees were being held up.

Birkel said...

"Yes, you're right, it's no accident..."

Now that would have been, accidentally, right.

But then you avoided breaking your streak with "I'm always right on purpose."

Is your talent on loan from God?

Hagar said...

It is up to McConnell. If the majority leader does not want whatever it is to come up, it won't.
It is the Harry Reid way of running the senate, but so be it.

Static Ping said...

I agree with Bushman. The likelihood that Garland would diverge from the left-wing of the court on a close case is about nil. He's already on the record as anti-gun. He's no centrist. He's just centrist compared to Sotomayor, who is on the left edge of the left-wing of the court. Frankly, if we are going to have the court go left might as well have it go full left. Then they can nullify the First Amendment. That would be interesting rather than the boring slow death. I do prefer the bang to the whimper.

I haven't decided if Trump or Hillary is the bang in the equation. Trump certainly has more bravado but to the best of my knowledge is not an obvious felon.

mikee said...

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz aren't the ones who wrecked the GOP. They are trying to pick up the broken pieces after the GOP ran itself aground. Handed both houses of Congress, the GOP failed to enact promised corrections to Obamacare and caved to every demand of the Democrats. Why not vote for one of the two people who might, maybe, just for the hell of it, do what they said they'd do, after they are elected?

And the McRib is f**king awesome.

damikesc said...

I could imagine that at some point the Trump-n-Ted damage could get so bad that staging some political theater around Merrick Garland might seem like a way to regain some dignity within the wreckage, especially if it becomes obvious that Hillary will win the election and the prospect of getting someone more conservative than Garland disappears.

The remaining members who aren't lobbyists or consultants would then abandon the party, if they brought him up for a vote.

The shame of it was that the GOP was dumb enough to balk from suspending it when the shoe was on the other foot and Bush's nominees were being held up.

I also suspect lessons haven't been learned

MayBee said...

ha! Harry Reid on tv right now following the script (or creating it): Republicans turning down Garland because Obama nominated him, and Republicans have been treating Obama horribly since day 1.

Poor Obama!!!!

Pookie Number 2 said...

Cook is either a normal person pretending to illustrate the paranoid fever of left wing cranks, or is a real-live left wing crank subject to paranoid feverishness.

He's (admirably) sincere, and (less admirably) completely uninterested in learning anything that could challenge his dopey world-view, and doesn't mind if people suffer, as long as he can claim purity of intention.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

We know that the inside the beltway is populated by corrupt people such as politicians, government workers but now it seems to me that people like Jonah Goldberg, NR and a lot of the elite opinion-makers have also been exposed as small-minded frauds by the Trump phenomenon

Brando said...

One element in this is Garland's age--at 63, he may have 20 years on the Court (which used to seem like a long tenure, but now 30-40 years is becoming the norm). If the Left got their wish-list, they'd pick a reliably Leftist (as in more reliable than Breyer or Kagan), check boxes (which demographic groups do we want to please), and most importantly--YOUNG candidate. One thing that distinguishes Ginsburg from Sotomayor is Ginsburg has been on the court 23 years but having been nominated in her 60s is expected to retire any day now and is probably only holding on until Hillary and a Democratic Senate can ensure that no squishy moderates get picked. Sotomayor, nominated in her 40s, could realistically spend over four decades making wise Latina decisions.

So I can see why some leftists see Garland as half a loaf, and why compared with what Hillary plus a Democratic Senate could produce, he may be worth a shot from the Republicans. Holding out will be a gamble, and the way the elections are shaping up this year it's not looking like a great bet.

Bruce Hayden said...

At first, this guy looked somewhat safe, older, white guy with a JD from Harvard (which, itself, is problematic - last thing we need is another Harvard or Yale JD on the Supreme Ct). But, he is now radioactive on the Republican side, given his 2nd Amdt. votes and actions while on the bench. My prediction, as I said yesterday, is that the only way his nomination gets voted on in this Congress is if Hillary wins the Presidency, and the Dems win the Senate. Then, a fast vote is a real possibility, to try to beat either Obama or the nominee withdrawing his nomination.

The Biden Rule, Harry Reid blowing up judicial filibusters, etc., are all meaningless here, except as justifications. The only thing really relevant is that Scalia was a critical voice in keeping firearms legal in this country, and replacing him with a 2nd Amdt. opponent is the sort of thing that will doom the political careers of most of any Republicans that would vote for his nomination, or even in the Senate Leadership, merely allowing the nomination to come to a vote.

Bruce Hayden said...

Why is the 2nd Amdt. so critical for so many people in the country? Because, for well over 200 years now, it has been black letter law for a large segment of the country. And, now, we have the Heller and McDonald cases that effectively debunked, using historical records and the like, the idea that the 2nd Amdt. was not an individual right, and that the prefatory militia clause did anything beyond justifying and amplifying the operative clause. For those on the left who don't think that this is that big of a deal - consider your views if one of your sacred rights were repealed by the Supreme Court. For example, what if a future Supreme Court said that emanations and penumbras are not enough for defining a fundamental right, so there is no free right of abortion (or private sex in the bedroom - dooming Laurence)? The difference is that the 2nd Amdt. right to keep and bear arms is pretty ambiguously in black and white in our Constitution. It is an enumerated right, second only in importance according to our founders to the fundamental rights of free speech and free practice of religion. Eliminating the enumerated fundamental right to keep and bear arms would essentially blow up the Constitution, which would be blowing up the social contract that we all live under.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, a bit of a tweak:

The difference is that the 2nd Amdt. right to keep and bear arms is pretty unambiguously in black and white in our Constitution.

Writ Small said...

Reactions.

1) Reynolds wants to attribute McConnell and Ryan's position to yielding to pressure from an army of disaffected as opposed simply admitting it's sound political strategy.

2) It's politically smart and helpful to the likes of Ted Cruz who anyone can see would nominate the most reliable conservatives to the Court. Even if you think Trump is going to overcome his current deficit to Hillary, the Donald once suggested he would nominate his sister who is a well-known abortion rights supporter.

3) Althouse wants to push the idea that Ted and Trump are together part of wrecking the Party. Is this to make Trump seem more reasonable by putting him into the same category as Cruz? To me that is a silly comparison as the worst thing I have seen Cruz do is be self-promoting at the expense of some in his party and break rules of Senate decorum. No one paying attention should doubt his convictions or intellect. Trump's disqualifying statements, on the other hand, are legion.

4) To paraphrase Adam Smith badly, there is a great deal of ruin in a major political party. Even if the ascent of Trump marks the fracturing and the beginning of the end for the party, why would you want the current leaders to act as if that were the case and surrender to Democrats? Ridiculous.

machine said...

kind of awesome that a Joe Biden remark becomes a rule the gop must follow...

bow to your sensei!

Hagar said...

It is an outgrowth of making the Supreme Court into a super-legislature.
Fairness, etc. is irrelevant.
This is war!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If the Republicans were smart (I know, stop laughing) they'd work it out like this:
Hold a press conference and say "We appreciate that President Obama has nominated someone like this who has a decent chance of passing. We take our responsibility seriously and we hope the President does, too. We're asking him to publicly commit to not withdraw this nominee this year. If we have that commitment we're willing to schedule hearings and seriously consider this nomination. If the President won't make that commitment we'll know this isn't a serious nomination. We look forward to working with the President for the good of the nation for the remainder of his time in office."

Make Obama commit, then schedule hearings for late October. See who gets elected, and then vote. If Hillary wins then schedule a vote and confirm the guy the next day. If Non-Hillary wins then free everyone up to vote their conscience and if he's rejected, he's rejected.

It's a walk-back of their prior position, sure, but it could be sold as doing "the right thing" and as far as I can tell it's the tactic that has the best outcome in expected-value (taking into account risk) for the Republicans.
As a side note it was probably a mistake to guarantee there won't be hearings! It would have been smarter to allow some strategic ambiguity around that--something like "it's an unusual situation and I doubt we'll hold hearings, but we'll look at who the President nominates and discuss with our members before making a final decision."

Achilles said...

machine said...
"its a mission from gawd..."

I think machine is a pathetically failed AI experiment.

Achilles said...

I think people who do not think Cruz and Trump made and still have a deal on the table are going to be in for a surprise.

holdfast said...

The thing is, Heller itself only struck down a very extreme gun ban in DC, and replaced it with a regime that is still quite onerous. It didn't really change the actual status quo very much. But the fear on the right (well founded in my view) is that if Heller is stuck down, the left will go hog-wild with gun bans and restrictions in blue and purple states - even blue rustbelt states where gun laws have historically been quite relaxed. Any momentary majority will be used to ram through the most restrictive laws possible.

As long as the GOP holds at least one house of Congress, the action will be in the states. If the GOP loses the House, then we're looking at a full on "assault weapons" ban, but without the loopholes of the last one - basically it's Australia and semi-auto weapons would be illegal. And then we're looking at an armed insurgency, which I think we can all agree would be even worse than a Trump Presidency.

Brando said...

HoodlumDoodlum--your plan is exactly what I would advise if I were in the Senate. Publicly puts the onus on Obama to keep the nomination open, and gives them time to see how the "swing seats" are looking and Trump v. Hillary plays out.

If Obama balks about waiting so long to hold hearings, they could hold the hearings now and just drag them out for months, and schedule the vote for the day after the election--the argument being that so many Senators are out campaigning and getting them back to DC in time is such a headache!

But I'm guessing McConnell doesn't have the imagination. That, and if he tried anything clever like this he'd be excoriated by his critics on the Right who think he's always selling out. He may not have the wiggle room to pull this off.

Which could mean, worst of all possible worlds--the Scalia seat gets replaced with a Hillary nominee and Schumer, the new Senate Majority Leader, kills the filibuster. They put some 30 year old leftist who can promise us five decades of leftist opinions.

Brando said...

"As long as the GOP holds at least one house of Congress, the action will be in the states. If the GOP loses the House, then we're looking at a full on "assault weapons" ban, but without the loopholes of the last one - basically it's Australia and semi-auto weapons would be illegal. And then we're looking at an armed insurgency, which I think we can all agree would be even worse than a Trump Presidency."

The real battle already is in the states--concealed carry, area bans, etc. The reason I think it will stay that way is even when the Dems take over Congress, they need to elect a bunch of "blue dog" types to hold the majority, and those blue dogs tend to represent rural, pro-gun communities. As long as general opinion is against widespread federal bans, it all comes down to the remaining blue states and cities (and sadly I live in one of them!).

Qwinn said...

Sadly, any plan that involves "Make Obama commit" is doomed to fail. He's committed dozens of times, been bound by law, and violated any and all at will whenever he wants. The next time he's held accountable will be the first time. Because mean racist conservatives.

rcocean said...

If Hillary nominates someone too liberal the republicans can filibuster. Funny how the Democrats can keep people like Bork off the court but republicans can't force HIllary to nominate a moderate.

rcocean said...

the so-called "conservatives" at NR must be secret Democrats. They're still trashing Trump and talking about a 3rd party - which will only hand the Presidency, Supreme Court, and the Senate to the democrats.

Some conservatives.

Hagar said...

McConnell has already publicly stated that there will be no hearings.
That is not a negotiable statement.
McConnell is not The Donald.

PB said...

if the situation were reversed, the Democrats would claim not confirming a SC justice in the last year of a president's term is a valued, time-honored, Senate tradition. The Democrats NEVER compromise. The Republicans shouldn't either, but they generally do because they so want to be liked in DC social circles.

Bay Area Guy said...

Hints of Althouse straying from her "cruel neutrality," towards her default 60s leftism:

"I thought the party already got wrecked, what with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,..."

"I could imagine that at some point the Trump-n-Ted damage could get so bad that staging some political theater around Merrick Garland might seem like a way to regain some dignity within the wreckage"

Some Facts:

Senate: 55 R, 45 Dem
House 247 R, 188 Dem
Governors: 31 R, 18 D

State Legis Control: 30 R, 11 D, 8 split


The GOP Party isn't wrecked. The party is doing fine.

At the Presidential level, however, Yes, there is a lot of turbulence. After Bush won 2 elections, Obama won 2 elections, and now we have a messy, close election in 8 months.

Messiness is the norm. (See 2000 Presidential election, SCOTUS decision, hanging chad)

Speaking of "wrecked" - the Democrat nominee is: (a) being investigated by the FBI for improperly transmitting classified documents on her "private" server as Secretary of State, while her aid, Brian Pagliano, just reached an immunity deal with the DOJ, (b) claims she's a feminist, yet rose to political power on her husband's coattails, while attacking several women whom her husband sexually harassed and/or raped, and (c) decries "income inequality," yet made $150 Million over the past 7 years, mostly through her rigged "Clinton Foundation," which took millions from foreign governments, seeking political favors from her State Department.

You wanna talk about "wrecked"?

Brando said...

"If Hillary nominates someone too liberal the republicans can filibuster. Funny how the Democrats can keep people like Bork off the court but republicans can't force HIllary to nominate a moderate."

Do you really think if the GOP filibustered and Schumer was Majority Leader he wouldn't suspend the filibuster right away? Reid did over much lower-stakes nominations just a couple years ago.

"if the situation were reversed, the Democrats would claim not confirming a SC justice in the last year of a president's term is a valued, time-honored, Senate tradition. The Democrats NEVER compromise. The Republicans shouldn't either, but they generally do because they so want to be liked in DC social circles."

This isn't about voting on the nominee out of obligation--the GOP can play the game with this as the Dems have. The issue is Obama is offering up someone the GOP surely would reject if the alternative were another Scalia, but surely would accept if the alternative were another Sotomayor. The trick is determining what the alternative will be.

"The GOP Party isn't wrecked. The party is doing fine."

Then why do I keep hearing about how the GOP keeps selling out and not stopping Obama? If it's doing fine, there wouldn't be such a groundswell against its officeholders.

Fact is, the GOP is doing fine at the congressional and state level in terms of winning elections, but at the national level it is at best just thwarting the Dems from getting all they want. That, and the presidency has been elusive for them since the '80s. The two wins they got under Bush Jr. were decided by a close shave in one swing state each. The reason is the Dems have built an electoral wall, and the living patterns of GOP voters which helps them in congressional races (by slightly dominating enough districts to hold solid majorities) works against them in presidential elections (by having a critical mass of urban areas in the larger states, negating the GOP voters in those states).

It's largely been a 50/50 country, with living patterns explaining the edge in legislative vs. presidential elections. This year might upend that dynamic.

Dan Hossley said...

I'm not a Trump fan or a Cruz fan but I don't view the current state of affairs as a "wrecked" party. More like an "interesting" party or "invigorated" party.

wildswan said...

"a decent interest in keeping the wreckage in something of a neat pile that might look like a functioning device from a respectful distance."

Some say that the GOPe will refuse to seat delegates from states that allow crossover voting - there are existing rules that ban such delegates - and other rules that allow delegates to be released before the first ballot. So that the Donald might arrive with 1237 delegates from the primaries and still be denied. In which case, "the neat pile looking like a functioning device" will resemble Stalingrad after "victory". And Trump will probably win anyhow. He was not my first, sixth or last choice but he is the party's choice by the accepted method. Hillary would be worse - entrenched corruption vs. at worst, new corruption.

Moreover the mysterious union of the GOPe and Black Lives Matter, both intent on denying the outcome of elections by their own methods (rules and riots) will probably guarantee Trump the election. Neither one is dealing with the issues voters care about - 1. the country is going in the wrong direction 2. a sustained economic downturn is impacting people unequally 3. huge illegal immigration is being encouraged during a downturn (which is taking more jobs from the blacks than any else), indifference by both the GOPe and BLM to the resulting unemployment rate 4. danger from Islamic terrorism

Donald Trump is no more insulting than GOPe/BLM and a lot more popular, a lot more willing to mention issues rather screech: "racist-redneck-American, STFU, and bow down to the suits-and-rioters.

RonF said...

Someone needs to tell me how a party that has a majority in both houses of Congress is *wrecked*. And how does Sen. Cruz symbolize a party that's wrecked?

RonF said...

The proposal I like the most is for the Senate to take the "advise" part of "advise and consent" seriously and send the President a short list of candidates that it would find acceptable and suggest he select a nominee from among them.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Brando,

The GOP Party isn't wrecked. The party is doing fine."

Then why do I keep hearing about how the GOP keeps selling out and not stopping Obama? If it's doing fine, there wouldn't be such a groundswell against its officeholders.

Perhaps, I am grading on a curve, while you are grading on a straight percentage. I see the same groundswell, I just don't think it's that exigent.

My reference point is the 60s. In that era, our political and cultural leaders were getting shot (JFK, MLK, RFK and, Yes, even George Wallace), we were entrenched in an ugly real war in Vietnam, we had Watergate (mostly overblown, though), we had the Weathermen and Black Panthers blowing up buildings and murdering people, and we had a nuclear-armed Soviet-Union invading and subverting democratic countries.

In those days, there was some serious wreckage (in my opinion).

Today, Yes, there are Ferguson riots and the occasional tragic gun massacre by Islamic extremists, but, mostly, I just see concerned folks expressing there valid frustrations out on blogs, and perhaps, at an occasional raucous political rally.

It sounds a bit zany, but the alleged "turbulence" caused by Trump, to me, is not a big deal. Likewise, the alleged outrage at the establishment which gave rise to Trump, to me, is very mild, compared to the 60s.

Yes, I would like to reach a nice tone and balance in our country, but we have to endure a little turbulence to get there. Hopefully, sane and sober folks will unite, during this unrest to get rid of Dems in power, who often foment the unrest.

RonF said...


"The difference is that the 2nd Amdt. right to keep and bear arms is pretty unambiguously in black and white in our Constitution."

Which is why the left is desperate to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who feels free to ignore the plain language of the Constitution if it does not fit what they think public policy should be.

"Living document" indeed. As Justice Scalia said, it's a legal document. There are things it says and things it does not say. If you want to change it, Article V has been used 5 times in my lifetime and a 6th time just previous to when I was born. It works fine - if you are willing to accept that if enough people don't agree with you then you don't get your way. If, on the other hand, you figure that your cause is so righteous and your judgement and intelligence are so superior to the rest of the country that you are justified in overriding them for their own good, then you want to cut them out of the process, bypass Article V and put a Justice on the Court that will agree with you.

Brando said...

"Yes, I would like to reach a nice tone and balance in our country, but we have to endure a little turbulence to get there. Hopefully, sane and sober folks will unite, during this unrest to get rid of Dems in power, who often foment the unrest."

To really change things conservatives need to both remain the center of intellectual debate (so as not to stagnate with warmed over ideas that don't address new challenges) and also command the cultural (and all-media) resources to win converts. Ultimately, gaining power without that sort of change means depending on "swing" voters who are not as much on board with what you want to do, so you end up diluting your program (and pissing off the base, which feels entitled to their pure goals after working to get power). But when a program or policy has broad enough support--and deep enough support to keep it on the front burner--it becomes impossible for the opposition to resist successfully.

I think the mistake the GOP made in the past was sticking to a program that was increasingly out of touch with a plurality of its constituents, who stuck with the party for lack of an alternative (now that the Dems have long jettisoned those voters as anyone to win over). I'm more surprised we haven't seen this in 2008, when the financial crisis and recession were happening and the Iraq War was most unpopular--but the party went with McCain that year (well, the voters did--it's not like he was picked by bosses). Whatever happens with Trump--and I still think there are better odds he loses this year--it has sent a signal that the GOP was behind the times.

The Dems are going through something similar, but they seem more disciplined--perhaps out of fear of the GOP, as I can't see any other reason they would stick with a sad case like Hillary.

Robert Cook said...

"As Justice Scalia said, it's a legal document. There are things it says and things it does not say."

Without any intent to address the particular issue of the 2nd Amendment, legal documents are always open to interpretation and disputation. This is what lawyers do every day...find ways to argue around unambiguously clear provisions in contracts, find the things not said--but which are implied--in efforts to get their clients out of their contractual obligations.

Scalia certainly knew that, and his pretense that the Constitution was not open to interpretation, was clear and plain--and clearly delimited--in meaning, was disingenuous, to say the least.

n.n said...

As long as they continue to reconcile their differences, and do not compromise on diametrically opposed positions, then they still maintain a semblance of integrity. Or they could just adopt a pro-choice or selective religion and avoid the controversy and effort altogether.

Amanda said...

"Wreck the party"? That was done on the day they said their goal would be to make "President Obama a one term President". That day they showed what how low they were, how low they would go. Karma has dealt with them in a Candidate Trump and I suspect she is not done dealing with them yet. Hopefully the Country survives .

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...Scalia certainly knew that, and his pretense that the Constitution was not open to interpretation,

That's not what the Scalia quote says, Robert Cook. The Scalia quote doesn't mean the document can't be interpreted (although it's surely true that Scalia thought it less open to interpretation than others)--the Scalia quote means that the document isn't all-encompassing, that it doesn't have something to say about every possible topic. Scalia had an algorithm, if you will, for how to handle topics or cases where he felt the Constitution was silent. He was arguing against the notion that the Constitution should be interpreted such that it speaks to every possible issue (and coincidentally happens to say the very thing the Justice in question wants it to say!).

holdfast said...

Blogger Brando said...

"The reason I think it will stay that way is even when the Dems take over Congress, they need to elect a bunch of "blue dog" types to hold the majority, and those blue dogs tend to represent rural, pro-gun communities.

Right, because the Dems wouldn't order their blue-dogs to commit ritual suicide to pass an important piece of legislation. Not. They did it for Obamacare and you can be damned sure they'd do it again to effectively repeal the Second Amendment.

Drago said...

Amanda: "That was done on the day they said their goal would be to make "President Obama a one term President"."

LOL

Who can forget those halcyon days when the dems bent over backwards to ensure no republican President was turned out of office after just one term?

Bruce Hayden said...

The thing is, Heller itself only struck down a very extreme gun ban in DC, and replaced it with a regime that is still quite onerous. It didn't really change the actual status quo very much.

Yes, and no. First, it put to rest, hopefully permanently, the theory that the militia clause limited the operative clause, and, therefore the right was a community right, and not a personal one. It did so using well documented historical sources. Heller stated unequivocally that the right is personal, and that the militia clause was merely prefatory.

And, second, that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right. As irrational as it seems in retrospect, the courts seemingly were treating it as a non-fundamental right, applying rational basis analysis, instead of increased scrutiny, despite the right being expressly provided in the 2nd Amdt., and the rights to privacy, abortion, and homosexual behavior being considered fundamental, despite not being mentioned in the text. No more. The Supreme Court stated that increased scrutiny is required for analyzing potential 2nd Amdt. infringements, instead of rational basis analysis. It just refused to specify whether intermediate or strict scrutiny was required, since either one of them would have resulted in finding the DC gun ordinance in question to be violative of the 2nd Amdt.

I think that the fact that the Court showed that it would fail under either strict or intermediate scrutiny means that requiring at least intermediate scrutiny is not mere dicta, but is binding precedent. And, probably ditto for the historical analysis that ultimately resulted in rejecting the defense that the 2nd Amdt. protecting a community right.

Paul said...

There will be NO HEARINGS. NONE! Got that? Obama is headed for the dustbin of history.

He has had seven years to grow up. He hasn't. He deserves NOTHING!

Brando said...

"Right, because the Dems wouldn't order their blue-dogs to commit ritual suicide to pass an important piece of legislation. Not. They did it for Obamacare and you can be damned sure they'd do it again to effectively repeal the Second Amendment."

Tricking some of them with bribes to get votes to pass a law that most of them didn't understand is one thing--and even with their supermajority they barely passed it on reconciliation. Even touching guns, on the other hand, is DOA for the Joe Manchins, Heidi Heitkamps and Jon Testers of the Senate. After Newton, when Obama thought the polls were going to help him with some gun show loophole crap, it went nowhere even though the Dems had gained seats in the Senate.

I'm less worried about Congress passing a gun ban than my state legislature doing that.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

If Cruz and Trump are ruining the republicans, what is having a candidate under FBI investigation and another running as a socialist doing for the democrats?

R. Duke said...

Trump should announce that he will nominate Cruz to the Supreme Court. Now the election will be Trump - Cruz v. Hillary - Garland. Now that's a choice. Wanna vote?

mikee said...

"Scalia certainly knew that, and his pretense that the Constitution was not open to interpretation, was clear and plain--and clearly delimited--in meaning, was disingenuous, to say the least."

Scalia wrote the decision in Heller. He noted therein (I paraphrase greatly) that the words of the 2nd Amendment mean what those words mean. Those words do not their exact opposite, which is what is necessary to believe if you supported the DC handgun ban.

Judge Garland supported the DC handgun ban and is an extremist anti-rights bigot.