Commentary: The Gorsuch Confirmation ‘Nuclear Option’ Deal Not Even the ‘Stupid Party’ is Dumb Enough to Take

by Jeffrey A. Rendall
March 25, 2017

Now that the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch are mercifully in the past attention turns to the inevitable upcoming votes on his nomination (Judiciary committee vote set for Monday, April 3 and full Senate on Friday, April 7).

Naturally there’s a lot of speculation on which Democrats, if any, will reject a filibuster of Gorsuch and which might be convinced to support him in a final up or down vote. Whatever strategy the Democrats ultimately Trump Gorsuchadopt will determine the Republicans’ countermoves, since they’ll know if the so-called “nuclear option” needs to be used to eliminate a potential filibuster for current and future Court nominations.

Or, as some suggested, there could be some sort of backroom “deal” in the works.

Burgess Everett of Politico reports, “The deal Democrats would be most likely to pursue, the sources said, would be to allow confirmation of Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term. The next high court opening could alter the balance of the court, and some Democrats privately argue that fight will be far more consequential than the current one.

“If Democrats move ahead with the plan — it’s still in the early discussion phase — it would require buy-in from some Republicans, but not necessarily Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or his top deputies. At least three rank-and-file GOP members would have to pledge not to vote to unilaterally change the Senate rules through a majority-only vote later in Trump’s term — the so-called nuclear option.”

A “pledge” would be non-binding, of course, but nevertheless such a guarantee would be devastating to Republicans’ future prospects for confirming a conservative Supreme Court nominee.

All the usual suspects are being bandied about as potential Republican stooges, namely Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Lindsey Graham and the always reliable for a backstab doddering old fool John McCain.

The plot bears a haunting resemblance to the infamous “Gang of 14” that formed in the spring of 2005 to stave off the need for the Republican majority to use the “nuclear option” for judicial confirmations at the time. It’s obvious from the perpetual turmoil over judicial nominations that the issue hasn’t gone away, making the “nuclear option” really the only means of solving the problem.

Simply put, judicial nominations should not be filibustered. Such a procedural stalling/blocking tactic was never envisioned by the Founding Fathers who granted constitutional “advice and consent” power to the Senate as a means to check executive (and not necessarily judicial) power.

The fact is, the issue of judicial confirmations should be part of every campaign for a senate seat. Since the judiciary has become so powerful, who sits on the federal bench at all levels is a very big matter. And who votes to confirm them is darn important too.

To think the Republicans would even consider such a “deal” is absurd, but these are “moderate” senators we’re talking about. Collins, Graham and McCain were part of the original “gang” twelve years ago and all of them have fashioned themselves as conscientious deal-makers who rise above partisanship to uphold what they see as the true purpose of the senate: wimp out and get along.

In the process they’re only agreeing to hamstring themselves and their fellow party members because Democrats truly have ZERO power in this case. If Democrats are raising such a stink over someone like Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia — and therefore just maintaining the ideological balance that existed prior to Scalia’s death — just wait until one of the liberals comes off the Court.

Reminder: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84 and Steven Breyer is 78. “Swing” vote Anthony Kennedy is 80.

And what happens should Justice Clarence Thomas want to retire in the near future (he is 68)? Would there be a similar Democrat tantrum over confirming another conservative to replace him?

Any kind of “deal” by Republicans would amount to the ultimate betrayal of the party base. There’s really no other way to put it. I’m having a hard time believing that even three or four charter members of the “stupid party” would do such a thing, but they’ve all committed crackpot acts in the past that appeared to be direct shots at conservatives.

Thankfully — as indicated by the Politico article — leftists are just as opposed to any kind of “deal” between groups of senators because it would lead to confirming Gorsuch. I’m not sure how they think they’re going to stop him otherwise, but they’re not exactly rational. Nothing during the hearings came out to disqualify the Colorado judge who seems to be just as calm and unmovable as a Justice should be.

This “deal” would be a close one to watch…what would Mitch McConnell do to punish them?

Trump and Obama haven’t spoken since January 20 and the media thinks it’s weird

Do Barack Obama and Donald Trump need to talk?

They do if some elements of the news media are to be believed.

The president and the former president apparently haven’t personally spoken since January 20 when Trump graciously thanked Obama for his help during the transition and then sent the Democrat packing on Marine One for a final flyover (on the government’s dime, at least) of Washington DC.

Ever since that time, dead silence between the two.

Amie Parnes of The Hill reports, “Lines of communication between President Trump and former President Barack Obama have gone dark.

“The two men haven’t spoken since Inauguration Day, sources tell The Hill, a drastic turn since their string of phone calls and pleasantries during the presidential transition.

“Trump and Obama — with their vastly different styles and personalities — were never likely to be friends. But the former president, perhaps hoping to preserve some influence with his surprise successor, vowed to have a cordial relationship with the 45th president when he left office…”

So much for Obama’s “vow” of a “cordial” relationship – the guy doesn’t even call, text or email now. This fake promise could very possibly have been Obama’s final lie in office.

The balance of Parnes’ article dealt mostly with what Obama’s doing these days and why he hasn’t taken a more visible public role since he left office (nine weeks today, but who’s counting?).

According to sources Obama is purposely staying out of the political limelight because he’s a “private citizen” now and believes other Democrats should come forward and lead the party in his constitutionally mandated retirement. I doubt Obama has had any problem with the outlandish antics of the Senate Democrats during the Gorsuch hearings and the over-the-top reaction of House Democrats to Jim Comey’s announcement the other day that Trump’s campaign is still under active investigation for ties to Russia.

Why would Obama disapprove? He started the whole thing. As pointed out by many conservatives (including yours truly), the FBI investigation began last July, so there’s little doubt there was some kind of prying going on during the campaign. Obama must have known about it —or maybe he was just childishly plugging his ears and stomping his feet to block out the sound during his briefing.

The snooping was officially confirmed, too. “The wiretapping allegation took another turn on Wednesday, when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) made waves by telling the media and Trump that U.S. intelligence agencies incidentally collected information on Trump’s transition team and disseminated it widely,” Parnes additionally reported.

Incidentally? According to the Encarta Dictionary, the word means “by way” or “by chance or by accident.”

How do you accidentally collect information on a transition team? Does this mean the Obama Justice Department was listening into private communications (like Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador) and just happened to find something actionable to leak to the press to embarrass the new administration?

All of this smells funny. No wonder Trump and Obama don’t talk. If I were Obama I’d be embarrassed (and worried) and if I were Trump I couldn’t stand the thought of speaking with his predecessor. Why would Trump seek to have any kind of a relationship with someone who actively tried (as is still trying) to undermine his presidency since the day he was elected?

It’s common knowledge Obama hasn’t wandered very far from the political center of the universe. He and Michelle moved only two miles away from the White House to Georgetown where they’re working with former cronies “Night Stalker” Valerie Jarrett and Eric Holder to foster leftist causes that “incidentally” and not-so-“incidentally” undermine Trump and the Republican Party.

Trump himself has said Obama and his cohorts are behind the leftist protests that have dogged his presidency from day one. It’s not so far-fetched either.

While it does appear Obama is having a good ‘ol time in his post-presidency by chilling out in French Polynesia, attending a Broadway show with his daughter and touring the National Gallery of Art, there’s little doubt behind the scenes the former commander in chief’s “phone and pen” are still hard at work sabotaging Trump.

So there’s little reason for Trump to want to talk to Obama. And it could also be said there’s little incentive for Obama to talk to Trump either, since the current president has steadily labored to unravel whatever pathetic legacy the 44th president managed to leave.

Think about it: Obama’s leftist henchmen are being tossed out of the cabinet agencies; their regulatory work is being torn up like civil war railroad track during a raid; Obamacare will eventually be replaced by the Republicans or die on its own; Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed and the Supreme Court could go back to actually interpreting rather than making law; and the Republican governors and state legislative majorities made possible by Obama’s horrible leadership will continue to serve as laboratories of good government.

As for Obama himself? He needs to be investigated.

Roger L. Simon wrote in PJ Media, “…[A]ny legitimate investigation by a congressional committee or anyone else must encompass both Obama and Trump. This is a two-part story. If both parties are not investigated — they cannot be separated — this is no more than a partisan show. Further, the press cannot even faintly be trusted to investigate or adjudicate this matter. Their bias is so overwhelming it would sink the Titanic twice.”

Yes indeed. There’s still much to learn about what Obama did during the waning days of his presidency, not the least of which is discovering why all the leaks took place and who made them.

With all the intrigue remaining between the two presidents, there’s little wonder why they don’t feel like chatting. Only the clueless media would find it odd that they don’t talk.

Media still implying Trump is only helping the economy to enrich himself

Lost in all the recent coverage of the Republican battle over Ryancare and the lead-up to and confirmation hearings of Judge Neil Gorsuch has been the fact President Donald Trump remains a very wealthy man, one with an interest in a healthy number of family businesses.

It’s almost as though the media has forgotten to slander Trump as a selfish, self-interested tycoon who’s only interested in using the presidency to increase his already considerable fortune, all the while re-stepping on the shattered skulls of the “forgotten men” whom he duped into voting for him in the first place.

Luckily Politico has come to the rescue in revisiting the subject.

Darren Samuelsohn of Politico reports, “Donald Trump’s presidency has been good for business, with a soaring stock market, a freeze on new regulations and an Oval Office that appears to have an open door for CEOs. But Trump has been especially good news for the industries in which he has a personal interest: real estate, construction, entertainment, hospitality, gambling and, of course, golf.

“Since taking office in January, Trump has made moves — from rolling back water quality permits to signaling big changes on overtime pay and internet betting — that benefit the fields he knows best. And his former peers — partners and competitors alike — are finding familiar faces in Trump’s White House and Cabinet agencies, who have the power to make even more of their wish lists come true.”

Oh brother. Like Trump is only doing all these things to make his family and his business pals happy – and richer. Could it be the policies that are beneficial for the Trump companies are also good for the economy as a whole? Don’t the two go together?

The media used to make similar “enriching himself” claims about George W. Bush’s administration, suggesting the president was only waging war in Iraq to grab the region’s oil and fill the pockets of Dick Cheney’s Haliburton mates.

Of course the talkers also laid off the Obamas because they weren’t personally wealthy – or at least super wealthy. Being into community organizing and politics wasn’t overly lucrative for the Chicago based family, so of course they had absolutely no interests in promoting their own interests while in office, right?

The media’s ridiculous class envy never ends. It would have been the same for Mitt Romney if he’d been elected, the difference being Mitt would actually be bothered by the hypocritical scrutiny. I don’t think Trump pays much attention to it.

Everyone says Trump is so sensitive about image, but realistically speaking he has about the thickest skin of anyone I’ve ever seen when considering the awful things that have been said about him by the left.

And instead of seeing the optimism and economic growth of American companies as a good thing the left and the media is using them as an excuse to imply, once again, that Trump is a sinister fiend who plots behind the president’s desk to steal the world’s wealth.

One source quoted in the Politico piece predicts such ethical conflicts will go on with a billionaire as president. But so will the prosperity, I say. If having “conflicts” is an issue America should have elected a self-interested business billionaire long ago instead of a leftist ideologue former professor who’s never even managed a payroll.

Reprinted with permission from

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