It may not appear that way at the outset but this week will likely prove to be one of the most consequential of Donald Trump’s presidency – or at least his first term.
With last week’s attention-grabbing Trump-instigated fight with the House Freedom Caucus and the media’s unrelenting fascination with Russia and the intelligence community’s spying on the Trump campaign dominating the news, coverage of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s impending confirmation votes has been somewhat muted out by other matters.
That will change this week.
The Senate Judiciary committee will vote today and the full Senate will follow suit at some point before the end of business on Friday. The exact time depends on if Chuck Schumer can twist enough Democrat arms to trigger a filibuster which will then force Mitch McConnell’s hand to go “nuclear” on the Senate rules.
All signs suggest Gorsuch will be confirmed. And regardless of the outcome, looney leftist groups will count it as a victory anyway.
Elana Schor of Politico reports, “After weeks of publicly complaining that Senate Democrats were going easy on Neil Gorsuch, liberal activists are close to securing a successful filibuster of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick. But they’re not stopping there.
“Activists are now vowing to make Republicans pay a political price if they decide to rip up Senate rules to push Gorsuch through with a simple majority vote. And if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does kill the Supreme Court filibuster to confirm Gorsuch, liberals say they’ll still come out on top — having further emboldened a base that wants Democrats to brook no compromise with Trump.”
I couldn’t stifle a laugh at this one. A “win” for losing? We’ve all heard of “moral victories” of course, but this certainly doesn’t qualify even for that designation. When Gorsuch ascends to the Court on Friday, liberals = losers. Period.
Thinking they’ve “won” simply by forcing the Republicans to abandon the filibuster is just the latest outbreak of delusion-disease that’s completely infested the political left in this country. Gorsuch’s day (and the end of the filibuster) was coming no matter how many sign waving, whining freaks showed up at Chuck Schumer’s doorstep to goad him into extreme action.
Let liberals think what they want. They’re nuts. They’re even “warning” Republicans not to use the “nuclear option” because of predicted upcoming losses in the 2018 elections.
In a sense it doesn’t matter if the GOP ends up “nuking” the filibuster this week because it’s not necessarily just about the Gorsuch nomination. The filibuster for Supreme Court nominees will have to go at some point irrespective of what happens in the coming days.
It could easily be argued using the “nuclear option” is just as much about the next nomination as this one.
If leftist groups won’t allow Democrats to gracefully accept a controversy-free plain wrap nominee like Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat of the departed Justice Antonin Scalia, are they going to come up with votes to confirm a successor to swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy or one of the liberals on the Court in the future?
No way. As if they’ll suddenly hide their fangs and become more reasonable the next time. It just ain’t gonna happen.
The old FRAM oil filter advertising slogan goes “You can pay me now or pay me later.” It’s almost better for McConnell to get it over with now and boil down future nominations to a straight majority vote. The parties will then dispense with the faux procedural dance of demanding 60 votes to confirm Supreme Court nominees. They’ll know it will only take 50 plus a helpful VP from here on out.
Such knowledge will certainly empower the “moderates” in both parties for future appointments because confirmations will likely come down to a few votes on either side every time. The battle lines are drawn. This is the way it’s going to be from now on. Get used to it.
It could be said the GOP “moderates” are even dominating the current discussion because as the liberals point out, their support would be needed to ditch the filibuster. The names McCain, Collins and Corker are receiving a lot of media scrutiny as possible wrenches in the GOP’s “nuclear option” plans.
But if Democrats do call the Republicans’ bluff and get 41 votes for a filibuster, the moderates’ vote on the nuclear option essentially becomes an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch himself. If they allow Gorsuch to go down because of Democrat pressure, all h--l will break loose. They’ll have to answer to their own colleagues in the Senate as well as a miffed-beyond-all-comprehension President Trump.
And then there’s the party base to consider.
With leftist groups claiming victory no matter what and an energized base because of it, future elections will pivot on which party’s core supporters are more enthused over their candidates.
(Note: Democrats like Colorado’s Michael Bennett are feeling the heat to confirm Gorsuch, too.)
Therefore it’s critical for Donald Trump to pay attention to the concerns of conservatives since they’re the ones who will be contributing the money, walking the precincts and showing up to vote to support his agenda.
It’s something the “moderates” in the Republican Senate caucus better be thinking about too. Ignore the leftists; they don’t count -- at all. But if Republicans can’t confirm Gorsuch, what the heck are they doing there?
Both Trump and GOP congressional leaders should remember the voters come first
Speaking of party bases, as has been amply pointed out by many conservative publications lately (including this one), President Trump unwisely sided with Paul Ryan and the Republican establishment leadership in the recent dust-up over repealing and replacing Obamacare.
In essence, by threatening congressional conservatives Trump was only going against the wishes of his base, the people who put him in office. It’s a mistake that will not likely be repeated.
But there’s a lesson in all of this for the Republican congressional leadership as well. Trump was able to win the party nomination and last November’s election because he was basically running against Washington. And in the nation’s capital, GOP leaders are the ones who Trump’s people voted against.
Conservative radio host Chris Buskirk wrote in The Hill, “President Trump acts decisively, reflecting his entrepreneurially background, and expects similar alacrity from Congress. The American people entrusted the GOP with a level of power not seen in nearly a century and they expect results. This is especially true of the party’s most loyal supporters who are tired of excuses from their elected representatives. That sense of frustration, even betrayal, set the stage for the accession to power of Donald Trump.
“Remember that Republican voters categorically rejected the party’s dream team during the primary in favor of an outsider who happily overturned many conservative pieties. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Donald Trump ran against the congressional leadership of his own party and won.”
Too true. Buskirk uses the balance of his piece to argue Republicans need to take a more reasonable approach towards passing legislation and employs a clever football analogy.
“Identify the big things that unite Republicans and pick the low hanging fruit. Build trust and a sense of momentum within the party based on victories won together. Small victories will beget bigger ones. Don’t throw 80 yard Hail Mary passes on first down.”
The same advice also applies to Trump, a man who is used to getting things done quickly and even based his campaign on his unique ability to overcome the federal government’s terminal slowness in assessing and addressing problems. If our government seems like it’s in slow motion, that’s because it is.
But with the bigger issues of our time we don’t have the luxury of instant replay, either. And to borrow from golf, there aren’t any mulligans.
The entire party would benefit simply by opening up the process and passing legislation by regular order in full view of everyone and beyond the Democrats’ petty distractions like the Russia controversy.
It’s safe to say Trump won largely because Americans were fed up with a legislative process that took away their voices and lied to them at the same time. If trust is to be restored, this must change.
It will help Trump’s future electoral prospects as well…because right now, he’d lose to Oprah.
Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reported, “Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is opening up her lead over President Trump in a potential 2020 race, winning majorities among traditional Democratic groups and even two that helped put Trump in the White House, independents and voters with no college degree.
“The latest Zogby Analytics poll, provided to Secrets, gives Winfrey a 10-point advantage over Trump. In a separate poll out two weeks ago, she had a 7-point lead. In the Zogby poll, 18 percent were ‘not sure’ who they'd pick.”
I don’t think Trump has anything to worry about from Oprah Winfrey. But he should give serious consideration to the concerns of the people who made him president.
They want effective, less intrusive, smaller, more accountable government; it’s up to congressional leaders and the president to give it to them.
Shameful liberals chastise Pence for observing Christian teachings on self-restraint
It goes without saying that liberals and the media don’t need much of an excuse to condemn conservatives on virtually any subject under the sun, but last week’s over-the-top reaction to a report on Vice President Mike Pence’s personal policy that he would refrain from dining alone with a woman who isn’t his wife was a bit much even for the politically correct anything-goes “free love” crowd.
At its heart the criticism was just another jab at moralistic Americans.
In case you missed it, Jonah Goldberg described the scenario at National Review, “The Washington Post ran a profile of Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, and lots of people are outraged or repulsed that two Evangelical Christians do things that are fairly normal for Evangelical Christians to do. Specifically, Mike Pence apparently doesn’t dine alone with women or attend events where alcohol is served if his wife doesn’t accompany him. Perhaps this practice started when he was in Congress, a place where many a politician has ruined his marriage and career by not following such rules.”
Heavy stuff, right? In a day and age where the media uses fidelity as a snickering punchline and love interests are interchangeable – at least for liberals -- the new vice president prefers to avoid even the appearance of impropriety by observing a few simple “won’t do” rules.
Naturally liberals took Pence’s private philosophies and turned them into an affront on women. They reasoned if the vice president is still willing to dine alone with a man without his wife, isn’t that like discrimination against women in the workplace? After all, a lot of business is discussed over a meal; if women aren’t permitted a one-on-one with Pence, they’re missing out on a potential opportunity to take part in something important.
On the surface such an argument could have merit. The vice president is a powerful man and has the ear of the president. Though when you think about it, if there’s an important topic that requires an audience with Pence there are more than enough venues to get it done outside of an intimate candlelight dinner for two sharing a bottle of pinot noir and truffles for dessert.
Of course liberals are also twisting Pence’s personal habits into an admission that he can’t control his own urges unless his wife is present to restrain him. It’s kind of sick what they’re saying.
I’m confident Bill Clinton probably still knows all the best cheater-spots in town – and takes advantage of them whenever he visits -- but Democrats would never question his motives for doing anything.
The liberals’ arguments don’t pass muster. But perhaps there’s a deeper motive for complaining about Pence’s personal convictions: to attack Christians.
“If the Pences were Muslims and followed similar rules, as devout Muslims indeed might, I doubt there’d be anything like this kind of liberal scorn,” Goldberg continued.
“Of course, that’s unknowable. But liberals spend a lot of time and energy defending accommodations for religious Muslims — burqas, veils, gender segregation, etc. — that they would never make for committed Christians.”
All of this is just an extension of the general liberal contempt for Christianity. It’s a well-known fact Christian businesses that have refused to cater same-sex weddings have been the subject of not only very public condemnation at the hands of the homosexual “mafia,” a good number of these people have suffered legal repercussions and the loss of their businesses in addition.
Meanwhile observant Muslims have not faced the same pressure to conform to the new standards of the 21st century. I’m certain if Muslim businesses refused to service same-sex weddings there would be little notice by the media. I’m still waiting for a court case where a Muslim business refused service to a gay couple and was sued because of it.
For his part, the president supported his vice president’s stance.
Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump is pushing back against recent criticism of certain boundaries Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have established, telling reporters on Friday that his second-in-command has a ‘good marriage going.’
“’He has one hell of a good marriage going,’ Trump said of Pence during the signing of two executive orders.
“The president patted Pence on the arm as he made the comment, a gesture Pence then returned.”
Liberals will likely see Trump’s supportive gesture as hypocritical. That’s what they do.
No one’s claiming Trump’s past would qualify him for sainthood but at least there aren’t persistent rumors of infidelity circling around the White House these days like there were with the 90s’ occupant.
The left doesn’t have enough to do in judging their own so they cast the first stone against a good man like Mike Pence. Shameful.