2-20-16 Hodgepodge

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Precedent for the Republican Senate

Alexander Marriott considers historical precedents for the Senate to follow with regard to the election-year Supreme Court vacancy created by Antonin Scalia's death. He concludes that there is a good one:

[W]hat lesson do Senate Republicans draw from all this? Obviously, President Obama is not a man without a political party and he has considerably more resources and talent than John Tyler ever did. But, what 1844 proves is that an antagonistic Senate can easily keep Supreme Court seats open simply by considering and rejecting nominees from a President the majority doesn't much care for. There are several useful lessons here for Senate Republicans in 2016:

1) Do not be afraid to reject nominees until you get one you like--the President is more desirous of living on through SCOTUS than you are!
2) Do not be afraid to reject nominees more than once--when he keeps reappointing rejects, he will look as silly as he says you are every time you repeal Obamacare
3) Do not stall on a nominee unless there is only a week or two left in Obama's term and/or the election is already over--the last thing you need is some sympathetic looking character constantly before the nation as they wait for consideration and are ignored (the American people can live with watching someone lose, but not with their being unable to have a shot--also, the media of 1844 hated John Tyler, whereas the media of 2016 is likely to disdain Senate Republicans
I join him in hoping that, should a Democrat win, "there is a modern day Samuel Nelson waiting for action in the Senate."

Weekend Reading

"The next time you're criticized by a significant other, a boss or friend, try this: First, don't say anything." -- Michael Hurd, in "It's Not All About You" at The Delaware Wave

"To revisit major selling points of the Iran nuclear deal is to see just how detached from reality they were." -- Elan Journo, in "The Mythology of the Iran Nuclear Deal" at The Times of Israel

"[Obama] seeks restraints on political speech by overturning Supreme Court limitations on campaign finance laws; all this is reason enough to obstruct his ability to place yet another hardcore, anti-individual rights big-government leftist on the Supreme Court." -- Michael Hurd, in "Block Obama's Attempt to Fill Scalia's Seat" at NewsMax

"Unless a person's condition is so unbearable that they can't get out of bed or leave the house, I suggest therapy and behavioral change first." -- Michael Hurd, in "Pills: The Last Resort" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Like any powerful tool, people can use them to harm others through negligence or malice." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Americans Love This Deadly Technology" at Forbes

"Even 'progressive' economist Paul Krugman (another advocate of nationalized health care) has accused Sanders of 'voodoo' economics." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Liberals Against Sanders on Health Economics" at Forbes

"The fossil fuel industry is not a necessary evil, it is a life-enhancing good -- and it needs to make that case loud and clear this election season." -- Alex Epstein, in "At CERAWeek Fossil Fuel Leaders Should Make a Moral Case for Their Industry" at Forbes

"'And hobbits as miserable slaves would please him far more than hobbits happy and free.'" -- Keith Weiner, in "I Testified Before the AZ Senate" at SNB & CHF

On Weiner Quoting Tolkien

The Weiner piece is quite interesting, as much for the bill it alludes to as for the mental connection the author makes and why.

The Silver Lining of 2016

And it may be a thin one, but it has been amusing to see, in the past week, two examples of "progressives" faulting other leftists for "magical thinking." In the first of these, Jay Michaelson of the Daily Beast cautions that "a vote for [Bernie Sanders] is a vote for Donald Trump:"
Try this: Imagine yourself as someone who sometimes votes Republican, sometimes Democrat. You're white, middle-class, basically fiscally conservative, moderate on social issues, and concerned about terrorism. You've got a family, and you live in the suburbs of North Carolina or Ohio. Are you really going to vote for a 74-year-old cantankerous socialist calling for revolution and a trillion dollars of big government?

Sure, Bernie will (hopefully) bring out younger voters. But those will be outweighed by mainstream Democrats, let alone swing-state swing-voters. And, large rallies notwithstanding, it hasn't happened yet; in New Hampshire, overall turnout on the Democratic side was 233,993, down from 282,000 in 2008. It would take a statistical miracle for these new voters to swing the [general] election. It's magical thinking.
As if "free stuff" (from where?) isn't. And then, as the second Paul Hsieh column above informs us, we have even Paul Krugman looking like a voice of reason in this election year, chiding Sanders for the "voodoo" behind his claims that fully socialized medicine will be some sort of economic cure-all.

-- CAV

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