"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“A Nicely Executed Double-Backflip”: If Bobby Jindal Can Support Trump, Any Republican Can

You’d sort of figure that of all the Republican pols who will eventually crawl their way back into the GOP tent after saying (publicly or privately) nasty things about Donald Trump, former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal would have been last and least conspicuous — you know, maybe signaling an intention to vote for the mogul in a fine-print ad (like a legal notice) published the day before the general election.

But no: The rival who called Trump an “egomaniacal madman,” among other choice epithets, came out for the Donald in The Wall Street Journal about six weeks before the Republican National Convention, and close to a half-year before the general election.

To be sure, Jindal not only acknowledged but repeated some of his abuse.

I was one of the earliest and loudest critics of Mr. Trump. I mocked his appearance, demeanor, ideology and ego in the strongest language I have ever used to publicly criticize anyone in politics. I worked harder than most, with little apparent effect, to stop his ascendancy. I have not experienced a sudden epiphany and am not here to detail an evolution in my perspective.

No, it’s all about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are in Jindal’s eyes more loathsome and dangerous than a pol he’s described as psychopathic, unprincipled, and “unserious.” Clinton will, says the grotesquely unsuccessful Louisiana governor, continue Obama’s “radical” policies without the “triangulation” that made Bill Clinton tolerable to conservatives.

It’s significant that the first data point Jindal deploys is the impact of the general election on the Supreme Court:

In my lifetime, no Democrat in the White House has ever appointed a Supreme Court justice who surprised the nation by becoming more conservative, while the opposite certainly cannot be said for Republican appointments. Mr. Trump might not support a constitutionalist conservative focused on original intent and limits on the court’s powers. He may be more likely to appoint Judge Judy. However, there is only a chance that a President Trump would nominate a bad justice, while Mrs. Clinton certainly would.

This is a nicely executed double-backflip: Republican presidents are constantly putting godless liberals like John Roberts on the Court; could Trump be a much greater risk? And even Judge Judy would be better than the baby-killing, Christian-hating, tyrant-enablers Hillary Clinton would nominate.

What Jindal’s really doing here is something we are going to see from a lot of Republicans in the very near future: an engraved invitation to Trump to reassure them with some sort of iron-clad public commitment to appoint justices that not only would blow themselves up before allowing Roe v. Wade to stand or Citizens United to fall, but who might bring the whole hog of “constitutionalist conservatism” to the Court, turning back the clock to the 1930s. For people like Jindal, a right-wing Supreme Court would covereth a multitude of Trumpite sins.

You might wonder who on Earth really cares what Bobby Jindal thinks about the general election. But by making his “lesser of evils” argument so absolute, and making it so early, he’s helped create a lot of safe space for other Republicans who haven’t called Trump a madman to cross the boundary into the Trump camp at their convenience, preferably on a slow news day.


By: Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, May 9, 2016

May 10, 2016 Posted by | Bobby Jindal, Donald Trump, GOP | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Republicans Are Breaking The Senate”: Imposing A Blockade On The Constitutional Process Itself

As I was making the news rounds this morning, I noticed a tweet from Vox’s Ezra Klein that said, simply, “The Republican Party is broken.” The five-word headline gave me pause – not because it was wrong, but because it occurred to me Ezra could have been referring to a variety of concurrent problems.

As it turns out, Ezra’s piece was about Donald Trump’s relative dominance thus far in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but I’ll confess that when I first saw “The Republican Party is broken,” one of my first thoughts went to developments in the GOP-led Senate.

Consider this Des Moines Register report published overnight.

A White House invitation for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley to discuss the current U.S. Supreme Current vacancy with President Barack Obama has so far gone unanswered.

Turning down the meeting would represent a break in protocol from two previous high court vacancies during Obama’s presidency, when the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as the Senate majority and minority leaders attended Oval Office meetings.

Remember, it was just last week when Rachel sat down with Vice President Biden, and they talked about the process of confirming Supreme Court justices. He reflected on an anecdote from 1987 in which President Ronald Reagan, following the failure of two Supreme Court nominees, met with then-Sen. Biden in the Oval Office, asking, “OK, Joe, who do you want?” The Republican president pulled out a list of potential names and they had a conversation about the prospective justices.

When Rachel asked if we should expect something similar now, the vice president quickly responded that President Obama would absolutely “reach out” to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), among others, as part of a traditional advise-and-consent process.

But that only works if senators are willing to have a conversation.

“Early this week, we extended an invitation to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Leahy to join President Obama in the Oval Office for a consultative meeting of filling the Supreme Court vacancy,” a senior White House official told the Des Moines Register. “We have not heard back from Chairman Grassley.”

I suspect for the Iowa Republican, the calculus is pretty straightforward: Grassley has no intention of ever doing his duty, so there’s no real point in going to the Oval Office to discuss whether or not Grassley is going to take his responsibilities seriously. He’s already decided not to.

But let’s recognize this for what it is: a scandal. For the first time in American history, a Senate majority party not only intends to leave a Supreme Court vacancy in place for a year, Republicans are also imposing a blockade on the constitutional process itself. As of yesterday, Grassley won’t talk to the president about potential justices, and at least five GOP senators – including the Senate Republican leadership – said they won’t even talk to the president’s nominee if he or she showed up at their offices for a visit.

Nothing like this has ever happened in the American experience. That’s not hyperbole; it’s a demonstrable fact. As Republican politics reach new levels of radicalization, the intensity of their maximalist tactics has arrived at an unprecedented and scary point.

The Republican Party may very well be broken, but just as alarming is the fact that the GOP is tearing the Senate down with it.


By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 25, 2016

February 26, 2016 Posted by | Chuck Grassley, Senate Republicans, U. S. Constitution | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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