by Jeffrey A. Rendall
One could almost sense an audible rumbling sound as the roll was called in the Senate at about half past noon (EDT) on Thursday, with the fate of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees precariously hanging in the balance.
When the votes were tallied the infamous “nuclear option” had been triggered; but those expecting a rhetorical mushroom cloud or a lot of fireworks were sorely disappointed. In fact, the moment passed without any kind of Chuck Schumerfanfare or special notation whatsoever. If one didn’t know better you’d think nothing consequential had just happened.
Many pundits have suggested through the years that there isn’t much that would unify all Republicans – especially those in the Senate — but as America watched the senators vote on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, it was evident there is at least one issue that brings the GOP together.
First every single Republican voted to end debate on Gorsuch. Then when the Democrats filibustered every Republican voted for the “nuclear option” to bury the practice for future Supreme Court nominees. From here on out it’s a straight up or down vote for Court appointments. Yesterday was a good day for America.
In between the initial cloture vote and the procedural moves to press the nuclear button Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried several times to stall the Gorsuch train. Every attempt was shot down by the unified Republicans.
It was a beautiful thing to witness, though parliamentary procedure isn’t the most entertaining “show” on TV. It’s a darn good cure for insomnia though.
Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner described the action, “McConnell started the process by raising a point of order challenging the current process for confirming Supreme Court nominees. That process required 60 votes to end debate on these nominees, although Democrats changed the process in 2013 by allowing just a simple majority vote for all others.
“To make the change, McConnell contested the ruling of the Senate parliamentarian. A vote was called on whether to maintain the ruling of the chair, or to change precedent as proposed by McConnell, and the Senate voted 48-52 against keeping the current process in place. With that vote, Republicans won the battle.”
Boom. In an instant the hopes of millions of liberals who believed the delusional Democrats when they swore a sacred oath to stop Gorsuch were incinerated. No more signs. No more slogans. No more crying in safe spaces. It’s all gone now.
After the nuclear strike, the rest was really just a formality. The senators voted again to end debate and Gorsuch prevailed 55-45 with Democrats Joe Manchin (WV), Heide Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN) voting yes along with all the Republicans.
So in essence the Democrats were fairly united too, though they did “lose” a token three votes to the Republican side (well short of the eight that would have been needed to end debate the old fashioned way). Before we herald Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly too highly it should be noted they didn’t risk a whole lot by voting in the affirmative for Gorsuch. I’m guessing they were all assured well ahead of time by the Democrat leadership that they could feel free to vote with the Republicans because the Democrats already had the necessary votes to try and stop Gorsuch.
If the vote was ever in doubt Schumer would have sent the leftist shock troops to their homes to browbeat them into submission.
How do I know? Chuck Schumer’s behavior gave it away. In the lead-up to the Gorsuch vote the minority leader predicted the GOP would have to answer for its gross manipulation of the system and historic disregard of senate tradition. The New York senator also predicted it was only a matter of time until the filibuster rules for legislation go up in smoke as well.
It that’s the case it’s because Schumer is perhaps the biggest liar in Washington. He tried to shove the blame for killing the filibuster over to the GOP when he was the one (along with Harry Reid) who devised all the tactics.
As far as the political repercussions from killing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, does Schumer know something we don’t? He isn’t on the GOP consultant payroll and his counsel has never been useful…why should anyone listen to him?
There’s really no way to tell at this point how any of this is going to play out in next year’s election. If I had to guess I doubt anyone will even be talking about this event as an issue in the campaign.
The 2018 midterm elections are still nineteen months away. In between now and then any number of big topics will come up – tax reform, healthcare (again and again), the border wall, immigration reform, defense budget outlays, trade policy, energy production, infrastructure, raising the debt ceiling…and the federal budget itself.
That’s not to mention the possibility of more terrorist attacks around the globe and a wise man would wager there will still be turmoil in the Middle East and Far East.
There will be a lot to talk about between today and November of next year. For Democrats to predict Republicans will suffer because they exercised the “nuclear” option now is pure stupidity.
Each side will likely continue “threatening” the other with electoral ultimatums, such as “If the Republicans pass this budget, the disadvantaged will lose their shelter and food. Millions will be living on the street. Families will be split up. Armageddon is happening. Republicans will have to answer to the voters.”
Meanwhile, Republicans will offer their own pro bono advice to Democrats, basically claiming “You guys made us do it. Our plan is better. Our people are better. The voters will know what to do.”
In the end, Americans will decide who’s right, just as they did last November when they put Donald Trump in office. The vacant Supreme Court seat was a huge concern for many and it certainly looks like Trump voters will be rewarded with a new justice who honors the Constitution just the way Justice Antonin Scalia did for thirty years.
And if it took pushing the “nuclear option” button to get him there, it was well worth it.
Dems talk much, say little about who knew what concerning Trump staff unmasking
While the showdown over the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch certainly drew its share of oxygen out of the Washington news bubble this week, the country’s attention was directed to other topics as well, including the budding scandal over Obama White House National Security adviser Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump campaign and transition officials before the new president took office.
Both Rice and (ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee) Rep. Adam “shifty” Schiff are out talking to the media about the matter though neither one is really saying much of value.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner wrote, “The short version of Rice’s story: I know nothing, but whatever I did, I did it legally and properly and without leaking.
“Also on Tuesday, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who has actually seen the documents that started the whole unmasking controversy, spent another day saying nothing about what he has seen…
“Both Rice and Schiff spent Tuesday talking at some length about incidental collection, which certainly leaves the impression that it occurred, and that it might well have touched TrumpWorld. But the public needs to know more, soon.”
Granted I didn’t see the whole Rice interview (with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell), I wondered… Why isn’t Rice talking about Russia? Isn’t that what this is all about? Aren’t we supposed to hear how Trump colluded with the Russians? Where’s Vladimir Putin?
Russia, Russia, Russia!
And yes indeed, we do need to know more about the dirty dealings of the Obama administration but it probably won’t come from the slippery mouths of Democrats. Ever since Bill Clinton dipped and swayed through his deposition in the Monica Lewinsky affair twenty years ago we’ve known for sure Democrats are practiced and accomplished experts at avoiding saying anything truthful.
If Bill successfully obfuscated over the meaning of the word “is,” you know there’s some prevaricating talent there.
Democrats should publish a book titled “How to say the least in the most-est amount of words”.
At this point there’s really no way of knowing exactly when the powers-that-be are going to share the plain truth in this matter – if ever. There seem to be a whole lot of people who should know something but claim they don’t, all in the attempt to kick more dirt on the smoldering fire and leave additional time to come up with new reasons to point the finger at someone else. Rice and Schiff are probably the two worst offenders, but there are others.
But somehow all of this looks like it leads back to one source: Barack Obama himself.
Obama initially denied Trump’s assertion that he “wiretapped” the Republican president-elect’s phones and ever since there’s been report after report corroborating some part of Trump’s claim. First there was an admission that information was being collected (by intelligence agencies) that could involve officials tied to Trump. It was subsequently revealed the information was passed to a wide array of intelligence personnel and of course it was leaked to the press.
Then we find out this week that none other than “Benghazi happened because of a video” Obama buddy Susan Rice was the person who ordered the unmasking of the Republicans captured in legitimate intelligence community activity.
But why did Rice do it? If not for political reasons, for what?
Whatever the motivation, it isn’t something White House personnel are supposed to do…legally.
Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review wrote, “The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.”
Meanwhile the media is doing its darnedest to claim there’s nothing-to-see-here, led by all the usual Democrat-apologist suspects. Liberal journalists are huffing and puffing and blowing hoping to snuff out the flames of scandal before the wastebasket fire morphs into a raging conflagration, but they’re certainly not doing a very good job of it.
It probably won’t be long and there will be a whole new set of Susan Rice jokes and memes. Bumbling Democrats just have a talent for inspiring them.
Desperate Democrats starting rumors of a Joe Biden comeback in 2020
Considering Democrats are in a perpetual state of nostalgia over the recently ended presidency of Barack Obama it’s no surprise many of them are thinking of former vice president Joe Biden as the most viable candidate to take on President Trump in 2020.
Biden has been busy lately attending political events, giving speeches and throwing hints that he’s at least pondering a run in three years. And at age 74 (in 2020), Biden fits the ideal Democrat candidate demographic of being old, white and crazy.
Maxwell Tani of Business Insider reported, “Citing the recent death of his son, Biden declined to run in 2016. But the former vice president has recently slammed Trump on issues like proposed federal funding to National Institute of Health and the president’s failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“Further, Biden speculated that he could have beaten Trump in 2016 if he had run.
“’I think I could have won,’ Biden said earlier this month. ‘I had a lot of data. I was fairly confident that if I was the Democratic Party nominee, I had a better-than-even chance of being president.’”
There’s only one problem. Biden would’ve run head-on into Hillary and the party leadership wasn’t about to let a Clinton lose again after convincing the former first lady to act nice towards Obama in 2008. Biden would have merely taken Bernie Sanders’ place as the Democrat sacrificial lamb in the fixed primaries.
I must admit, when Biden boarded the northbound Amtrak train on Trump’s inauguration day I breathed a sigh of relief figuring it was the last time we’d have to worry about the bloviating “Uncle Joe” ever again on the political scene.
But with Biden now popping up in various conspicuous places and saying things like he would’ve won if he’d only run in 2016, it’s clear the Biden specter is ready to re-emerge from its brief obscurity.
Biden doesn’t seem to share the same addiction to golf and he isn’t constitutionally barred from running again like Obama, so it makes sense that the man who loves no one more than himself wouldn’t be kept down for long.
Even some Republicans agree with Biden that he would have won last year if he hadn’t taken himself out early.
Caitlin Yilek of the Washington Examiner reports, “President Trump would not have a had a chance at winning the election if former Vice President Joe Biden had entered the race for the White House, Republican Ben Sasse said.
“If Joe Biden would have run against Donald Trump, Biden would have won in a landslide,’ the Nebraska senator told New York Times Magazine.”
Sasse was probably the most prominent #NeverTrump Republican elected official so it’s not surprising he’d make such a claim. I disagree with Sasse’s statement for a number of reasons but it would take a while to elaborate.
It’s safe to say now that Biden didn’t run, he didn’t win in a landslide and Donald Trump is our president – and doing a pretty good job, too. The Democrats hate him, which is a testament to his effectiveness, not the truthfulness of their opinions.
Biden may or may not be one of the Obama people who were after Trump in the latest “unmasking” scandal. But unlike with most other Democrats, if Joe Biden says he truly knows nothing about anything, I’m inclined to believe him!
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