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100 Days of Trump: How ignorance is fueling today’s political establishment sideshow

As the Democrats continued their spiteful (and fruitless) assault on Judge Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearings on Wednesday it caught my attention that the man Gorsuch would replace – the late Justice Antonin Scalia – was confirmed by the Senate in 1986 by a unanimous vote.

That’s right, unanimous.

Patrick HenryBack then there was no talk of filibusters, no vote counting, no mindless pontificating over precedents and predictions of future doom because of statements Scalia made years before. Deep into Ronald Reagan’s second term the senators saw a nominee who was thoroughly qualified to sit on the Supreme Court and they all went along with it, including Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy (though Biden did say years later he regretted letting Scalia get by because he was too effective)

Though I would hardly claim most Democrats in the eighties were more “principled” than their contemporary brethren – they weren’t; they just weren’t as fearless and ruthless – there is no inkling that Gorsuch will get anywhere near unanimous support this time around.

In fact, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility Gorsuch will not receive any Democrat votes, even from the ten vulnerable senators up for reelection next year in states Trump won.

That leaves the only question left for Democrats is whether to burn their filibuster power on Gorsuch.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner wrote, “Senate Democrats got into several testy exchanges with Judge Neil Gorsuch during Tuesday's 11-hour hearing, which could end up being their opening move in a strategy that calls for doing anything it takes to keep him off the Supreme Court.

“With 48 Senate seats, Democrats can't defeat Gorsuch on an up-or-down confirmation vote. But they do have the votes to filibuster his nomination, in effect forcing a 60-vote threshold Republicans cannot meet, and that's a step many on the left are encouraging Democrats to take.”

Since the politics surrounding the filibuster have already been thoroughly discussed there’s no need to raise them here. I will add it doesn’t really matter whether the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch or simply wait for the next Trump nominee to come around, because Republicans will “nuke” the procedural tool whenever the need arises.

And these days, that’s the way it should be. There just aren’t any good reasons to keep the filibuster in place for Supreme Court nominees any longer. If the filibuster is “nuked,” then the system could potentially return to the days of Scalia when there was some semblance of sanity and consensus.

For now, there’s no hope of that happening. Today’s shallower-than-all-get-out Democrats are still using the fact Donald Trump nominated Gorsuch as an excuse to oppose him, with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even arguing on Tuesday that no Trump nominees should get through while the president is under investigation for ties to Russia.

If I were the kitchen sink in the Schumer household I’d be awful worried because it’s clear the lead Democrat is prepared to throw just about everything at the media to try and make something stick against Gorsuch – and Trump. Dragging the Russians into this is really extreme even for Schumer.

Other Democrats, including the party’s new chairman (Tom Perez), are making the same case against Gorsuch. The Democrats didn’t seem to have much problem nominating a woman who was under FBI investigation for already proven (and admitted to) allegations of mishandling classified information but they now have the gall to suggest Gorsuch should be delayed because the president is being probed for connections to Russia that everyone insists they haven’t seen any evidence of.

Still other Democrats are calling for their senators to boycott the hearings altogether. Yes, it really has become that stupid.

It’s an astonishing level of hypocrisy. This is the best the Democrats can do? Seriously?

Actually, no; at least one of them can top all the other foolishness.

Kyle Feldscher of the Washington Examiner reports, “California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters said that she's ready to impeach President Trump on his 61st day in office.

“‘Get ready for impeachment,’ Waters tweeted.

“It's unknown if Waters was referring to a specific reason to impeach Trump or was just making a general statement.”

Having grown up in southern California I was aware of how nutty Maxine Waters is long before she reached the national scene in the early 1990’s. Waters has been officially tormenting the system since the mid-seventies and is one of the worst examples of a hanger-on politician from a safe Democrat district that would elect Mickey Mouse if he would take the form of a donkey and promise to continue with the corrupt work of the political favor factory.

If Waters were to carry through on her threats and bring formal impeachment charges against Trump it would be quite a spectacle, wouldn’t it?

I’ve been saying it a lot lately, but this Trump/Gorsuch/Russia/you-name-it hysteria is all part of the Democrat “show” to please their leftist donors and most high-profile supporters. The Barbara Streisands of the world are eating just too darn many pancakes smothered in maple syrup and are demanding action – any action – to trip up Trump.

To them, if a good man like Gorsuch gets caught in the crossfire, so be it. What’s he to them but a conservative American who actually believes in the wisdom of the Constitution, the legislative process and the rule of law as opposed to outcome-based jurisprudence?

Once again, Justice Scalia was confirmed 98-0. Gorsuch himself was unanimously confirmed to his current post on the Court of Appeals in 2006, just eleven years ago. A solid number of the Democrats currently in the Senate voted for him once already.

It’s truly sad to see how far the Democrats have sunk. The top layer of mud isn’t good enough for them anymore; they’re searching for rock bottom.

What will the repercussions be for the Republicans who vote for Ryancare?

It’s safe to say there have been a lot of media reports lately about the potentially serious political implications for the congressional conservatives who oppose the disastrous Ryancare bill.

Pundits claim they’ll be blamed for the collapse of the healthcare system. President Donald Trump predicted they’ll lose their seats next year. Democrats are sitting by laughing at the scene making all sorts of wild prognostications about how badly the Republicans are going to suffer at the ballot box for messing with the “increasingly popular” Obamacare law.

Fiddlesticks. There rarely is political payback for standing on principle and not acting unless you’re talking about immigration reform or not addressing terrorism (see the Democrats, 2014 and 2016). The grassroots gets it.

But what about those who actually vote to pass Ryancare? What if they succeed?

Erick Erickson writes in The Resurgent, “Republicans promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but all they are doing is tickling it with their American Health Care Act. The legislation does not get rid of Obamacare, but ratifies it. It does not lower insurance and health care costs, but raises them. It does not repeal or replace Obamacare. It is just another in a long line of broken Republican promises.”

Everyone knows Erickson laid an egg last year in being one of the loudest of the #NeverTrump voices in the 2016 campaign, but ever since he’s at least been reasonable in his analysis of the political happenings of the Trump administration. And he’s right on here.

Republicans don’t suffer at the ballot box when they act like Republicans; they get booted out of office when they act like Democrats. It’s common sense, really. Make a promise, keep it. Voters see that you’re a man or a woman of your word; they contribute the money, time, effort and votes to make sure you keep your job.

Or, break a promise and lose like George H.W. Bush did in 1992 and the Republicans did in 2006.

Even further, it certainly looks like Paul Ryan (and then Mitch McConnell) doesn’t have the votes to pass the bill anyway.

Matthew Boyle of Breitbart reports, “[Senator Rand] Paul, one of the leading senators out of more than a dozen Republicans in the upper chamber criticizing the bill there, told Breitbart News in this exclusive interview he believes there are at least 35 House Republicans ready to vote against the bill in its current form. And he predicted that, unless some major changes come to the legislation between now and the scheduled vote on Thursday, Ryan will need to withdraw the bill and Republicans will have to start from scratch with a new bill and a new strategy on Obamacare.”

In the interview Paul makes a strong case for conservatives to hold together, which will essentially force Ryan to come back to the negotiating table and include more of what conservatives are asking for.

Needless to say, Ryan can only afford 22 defectors and still pass the bill. I’m not a mathematician, but couldn’t Ryan craft a bill that pleases those 26 conservative holdouts (as named in the article) and then risk losing a lesser number of “moderates”?

And, even if the bill passes the House, will it get by the notoriously picky Senate?

Susan Crabtree of the Washington Examiner reports, “As it stands, there are eight senators who have expressed serious reservations about the revised House bill aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare – more than enough to torpedo its passage in the closely divided, 52-48 GOP majority Senate.

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate is plowing ahead with a vote on the measure next week if it passes, as planned, in the House by Friday.”

Those “reservations” about the bill come from conservatives and the GOP’s contingent of mushy “moderates.”

This is rapidly devolving into one huge mess. It’s becoming clear the only real solution is to reject the Ryancare bill, open up the negotiations sessions to public view and hammer out a bill that flatly repeals Obamacare and finds consensus on a “fix.”

Otherwise, the alternative is to let Obamacare go down in flames…and seize the mantle of public approval from among the ashes.

To have higher quality public debate America needs higher quality and relevant education

As a frequent visitor to Colonial Williamsburg (birthplace of American freedom), one of the programs my family and I particularly enjoys is a mock debate between Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry concerning education and the establishment of public schools.

In a nutshell, Jefferson is for publicly provided education; Henry, ever the defender of individual liberty argues against it, reasoning education should be left to individuals to finance and pursue according to their own inclinations. Jefferson had a great deal of “formal” education at William and Mary and tutelage under the country’s first real law professor, George Wythe, while Henry was largely self-taught.

Both stress the absolute need for the citizenry to remain informed so they can keep an eye on the powerful.

Seeing as it’s the politically correct 21st century the majority of the audiences we’ve observed are firmly in Jefferson’s camp. It seems everybody’s now a believer in government sponsored universal education yet at the same time, hardly anyone is happy with the current public schools.

Even many of the liberals I’ve talked with believe they’re failing.

Of course Donald Trump made education reform a cornerstone of his campaign last year promising to shake up the system and provide school choice and opportunity to lower income Americans as the “civil rights issue of our time.” He selected Betsy DeVos to be his secretary of Education precisely because of her expertise in charter schools and non-traditional education.

The volume of opposition to DeVos demonstrates how entrenched the liberal attitudes (fueled by teachers unions) tend to be in our world.

That must change if we’re to get our culture back.

David Fouse writes in National Review, “As we seek to reinvigorate our nation’s education, we must consider the Founders’ approach. They wisely left the responsibility for education to local entities. We must return it to its rightful place. We must also recognize, as they did, what the proper end of education is. Merely cramming students with facts about our government or commanding them to engage in community service will not make them the kind of virtuous citizens our republic needs.

“We need citizens who understand liberty and justice, who objectively pursue truth, and who will ardently champion these values in the public square. Only a holistic form of education that takes the content and the context, the vision and the values, of our Founders into account can create such citizens and preserve their freedom in the generations to come.”

The first part of Fouse’s excellent article offers familiar statistics as to the degree of civic ignorance in our modern American society. According to Fouse, for example, “Forty-three percent of Americans don’t know that the First Amendment gives them the right to freedom of speech, and a full third can’t identify a single right it gives them.”

No wonder we’re having such difficulty making the case for religious freedom. People don’t understand where it comes from and why it’s important.

Unfortunately the American culture’s ignorance has been on full display during the Gorsuch hearings as Democrats play their cat and mouse games trying to get the nominee to say something “controversial” so they can blow it out of proportion and justify their opposition to him.

An informed public wouldn’t let them get away with it.

Fouse is correct; returning schools to local control would make a huge difference in getting people invested in truly educating the next generation. Instead of emphasizing federal mandates like sensitivity to gender-identity, schools could go back to teaching basic freedoms and the Constitution – what it says and what it means.

Only then will we be able to fulfill the Founding Fathers’ vision of an informed and vigilant free republic where liberty and individual thought are honored and respected.

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