Monday, February 22, 2016

Last Call For Obstruction Construction

While the early primary states are in full swing right now, the real battle is for Scalia's replacement on the Supreme Court, and conservative pundits are pretty confident that there's nothing Obama can do to beat them on this.

Taking action on a Supreme Court nominee — even through the Judiciary Committee — when Obama has less than a year left in his term would be a cardinal sin, conservative activists say.

They argue the ideological balance of the court is so important that it’s not worth playing political games to take the pressure off vulnerable Republican incumbents.

“I would rank having a conservative justice as more important than having the majority in the Senate,” said David Bozell, president of For America, a conservative advocacy group. “God knows this Republican majority in the Senate hasn’t done much anyway for conservatism, period."

“If you look at some of the conservative movement’s successes, it’s in large part due to the court doing some decent things and making some good decisions,” he added.

Two of the biggest court decisions in recent years, the District of Columbia v. Heller and Citizens United v. FEC, did far more to lift restrictions on gun ownership and political spending by outside groups — two conservative priorities — than anything passed by Republicans in Congress.

“The Senate isn’t as important on a great number of issues as the Supreme Court. The Senate is not going to determine whether or not we have Second Amendment rights, the Supreme Court is. The Senate is not going to determine marriage, the Supreme Court did. The Supreme Court, not the Senate, determined abortion,” said Mike Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

“The issues that are of great concern to the conservative movement have all been decided by the Supreme Court,” he added.

They're correct on the stakes, at least.  A fifth liberal justice would change the face of America, and they know it.  And should the next (Democratic!) president be able to replace a retiring Ginsburg and Breyer with jurists in their 50's like Justice Kagan, on top of filling Scalia's seat, it would be a quarter-century of dominance.

And that, more than anything else, would terrify the right.

But it would begin with filling Scalia's seat, and as long as the GOP controls the Senate, they can block an appointment or simply refuse to hold hearings.

The voters would have to do something about that before this situation gets resolved.

Will they in November?

PS, for those of you worried that Clinton versus Trump wouldn't motivate voters, if winning the Supreme Court for a generation doesn't motivate them, then we deserve Trump appointing Justices.

The Pucker Factor Is Setting In

Republicans, the ones that actually see Trump as an unelectable albatross anyway, are deep into the "oh God we're screwed" stage of the race after Trump's SC win, and indications that there's no good way out.

Mainstream Republicans arose on Sunday reeling from Donald J. Trump’s sweeping victory in South Carolina, with some refusing to accept that he could be the eventual nominee and others acknowledging that his insurgent candidacy might soon be unstoppable.

With their sights set on upcoming caucuses in Nevada on Tuesday and “Super Tuesday” a week later, the Republican candidates scattered across the country to regroup and prepare to take their messages to a wider audience.

The magnitude of the implications of the results in South Carolina for Republicans had only just begun to set in on Sunday morning, as the party firmly closed the door on 25 years of Bush family primacy and turned toward a New York real estate mogul as its plurality victor.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton appeared relieved that she had won in Nevada, fending off Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and dealing a blow to his momentum with their own South Carolina showdown coming on Saturday.

But the biggest questions remain in a reshuffled Republican race that saw Jeb Bush suddenly drop out and left Mr. Trump’s remaining rivals struggling to gain momentum.  
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who finished nearly tied behind Mr. Trump in South Carolina, urged the rest of the party to coalesce around their campaigns on Sunday and tried to make the case that the nominating fight was still at an early stage.

“Last night was truly the beginning of the real Republican primary,” Mr. Rubio said on CNN. “I think the race last night was reset.”

Last night the GOP party was reset, forever set on the course of racist bigots and hate-filled rhetoric. That's always good enough for 45% of the vote and they know it, but they're unable to hide it anymore.  The beast is truly loose, and there's no way to contain it any longer. Unless you think Rubio is going to save the party.

In the coming week, the campaign plans to start rolling out a parade of new endorsements as Republican leaders make a show of coalescing around the fresh-faced Florida senator.

The backstage maneuvering to boost Rubio was described to BuzzFeed News by half a dozen GOP sources — some with official ties to the candidate, others without — who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy.

A Rubio spokesman declined to comment Saturday night on these efforts, and the sources interviewed stressed that no one expects Rubio to become the frontrunner overnight. Last week, Rubio’s campaign manager began openly discussing the possibility that they would have to fight all the way to a brokered convention in Cleveland.

But already, Rubio’s path to the mantle of establishment savior is remarkable for its lack of modern precedent. This is a candidate who placed third in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire; who lags a mile behind the the leading candidate, and has yet to win a single primary. In fact, the closest Rubio has come so far to winning a contest was here in South Carolina, where he beat out Ted Cruz for second place by a microscopic margin — and proceed to celebrate this triumph with perhaps the loftiest victory speech ever given by a non-victor.

“If it is God’s will that we should win this election, then history will say that on this night in South Carolina,” Rubio told supporters on Saturday night.

But while he has been mocked lately for his habit of unearned end-zone dancing, Rubio had a real accomplishment to celebrate Saturday night. In an historically crowded and competitive field of contenders, he has outlasted every other viable candidate deemed acceptable by the Republican establishment. He may have gotten this far by process of elimination — but when the process is as brutal as it’s been in this race, Rubio’s team counts survival as a win.

They also know, however, that Washington Republicans’ rush to crown an establishment champion now is a direct response to Donald Trump, whose double-digit domination of the primary field in South Carolina inflamed the growing sense of panic among party elders. After two blowout victories in a row, the billionaire has revealed frighteningly few electoral vulnerabilities — winning moderates in New Hampshire, and evangelicals in South Carolina — and unless something dramatically changes soon, Trump appears poised to coast to the nomination. Impatient party leaders have determined they can’t wait for Rubio to fully prove himself, or for John Kasich and Ben Carson to drop out — they need an anti-Trump gladiator now.

Terror is setting in with Jeb out.  Absolute terror.  And their only hope is a guy who literally can't win.

The "Moderate" John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has closed half of the state's abortion clinics and Cincinnati is in serious danger of becoming the largest metro area in the country without abortion access at all. And now Kasich wants to finish the job.

Gov. John Kasich has signed legislation to strip government money from Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

The move from the Republican presidential candidate was expected, but he made it official Sunday. It comes a day after Kasich’s weak performance in South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary and a day before he heads to Virginia to campaign.

The bill targets roughly $1.3 million in funding that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio’s health department. The money, which is mostly federal, supports initiatives for HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prevention of violence against women. The legislation prohibits such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions.

While the measure does not specifically name Planned Parenthood, that’s who backers say would be most affected.

Never mind that similar bills in Alabama and Mississippi were overturned, but hey, he's the great moderate hope who would beat that evil Clinton bitch, right?

And yet that's what the polls show, Kasich would have by far the best shot at beating Clinton.

Go figure.


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