Re: Regrets

1

I need better sources, I see only one so far.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:06 PM
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What's the worst part of Scalia dropping dead?

NMM.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:08 PM
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There's a second. http://www.kvia.com/news/breaking-surpreme-court-justice-scalia-dies-during-hunting-trip-in-marfa/37981652


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:09 PM
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If Bernie Sanders were 40 years younger, putting him on the court would be perfect.

Is Bernie Sanders even a lawyer?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:10 PM
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You don't have to be.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:11 PM
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It's on Fox News now so it must be true.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:13 PM
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4 Do you need to be a lawyer to sit on the Supreme Court? IANAL myself but I don't think so.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:13 PM
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That it appears that he died in his sleep.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:18 PM
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9

Why not HRC for the USC?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:19 PM
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I mean US Supreme Court, not University of South Carolina.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:20 PM
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Hillary can promise to appoint Sanders, and vice versa!


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:20 PM
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The "worst part" may be the likely insanely high Republican turnout in November. Democrats have not historically been as motivated by the makeup of the court and may be disillusioned, dispirited and dis-motivated by this year's primary battle.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:21 PM
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Gov. Abbot's statement: (So I guess if a Supreme Court guy dies in your state you get first crack at being a political dick anout it.)

"Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans. We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law. Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:22 PM
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9: way too old.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:24 PM
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God I hated Scalia. What a loathsome human being.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:25 PM
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HOLY SHIT


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:25 PM
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12 is right. (that's what comment 2 was referring to. President Cruz will outlaw it.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:25 PM
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We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law.

I am imagining Goodwin Liu accepting the wishes a la the T-1000 absorbing Arnie's bullets.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:30 PM
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18 was me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:30 PM
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Tweet from Sen. Mike Lee's spokesman

What is less than zero? The chances of Obama successfully appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:31 PM
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Is there a precedent for delaying a SC nomination a full year during an election? (I know it doesn't matter, but I'm curious.)


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:33 PM
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Also what happens to 5-4 cases that drop to 4-4? I simply recall that in case of a tie the appealed decision stands... Which way does that tip which cases?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:35 PM
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Simply -> seem to


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:35 PM
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Not a full year, but there's a tradition of delay during end of president's term: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurmond_Rule


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:36 PM
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No sitting Senator is on the record supporting The Thurmond Rule and it doesn't apply even in its strongest form ("the later half of an election year ").


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:41 PM
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There's a quite long paper at Lemieux & Stewart that discusses this in probabilistic terms. Lots of stats and such. A delay of four months is the longest in recent history, three months is common. On the other hand, a nominee can be rejected, and the authors posit only a 37% chance of the nomination succeeding when the opposition party controls the Senate and the SC is nearly evenly balanced. I've only skimmed it so there may be more interesting nuggets.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:44 PM
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4 Do you need to be a lawyer to sit on the Supreme Court? IANAL myself but I don't think so.

You don't, and that's what I'm counting on. I've got endorsements from teo, Bave, and Roberto Tigre!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:44 PM
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Repost here.

Loomis says 0% chance of a confirmation this year.

I never say never. Obama could nominate Ted Cruz (or what's her name on the DC Circuit, Janice Rogers Brown) and get hir confirmed. So something between Cruz and nothing would be discussed with Grassley of the judiciary committee.

I certainly do not want anyone this Republican Senate would confirm, but presuming the White House and Senate do not change parties, someone unbearable will get confirmed.

One question is whether Obama would want to leave the seat open for President Cruz to appoint. Maybe a horrible compromise would be the wisest choice.

An ideologically liberal appointment, sent up knowing it will fail, would fire up Repub turnout even more.

In sum, no fucking clue what Obama will do.

Important election.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:49 PM
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If circuit panel short a vote a dist judge can serve pro tem but seriously suspect circuit judges can't serve on supreme pro tem (altho this common on state sup cts).

Wonder if there might be a deal to confirm 2 middle/squish justices if Ginsberg agrees to step down, sort of like red betty going senior so Willy Fletcher could be confirmed in 9th cir?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:49 PM
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Have already heard suggestions of Sri Srinivasan. A "moderate" appointed somewhat recently by Obama to DC Circuit. Passed 97-0.

Whoever is nominated they will basically serve as a political sacrificial lamb as the Senate rejects or delays. "What's the easiest way to know for sure you'll never be on the Supreme Court? Be Obama's nominee."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:50 PM
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27 And mine!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:51 PM
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Obama could nominate Ted Cruz (or what's her name on the DC Circuit, Janice Rogers Brown) and get hir confirmed.

I know what you meant, but I'd love to think that Ted Cruz prefers non-standard pronouns.

In sum, no fucking clue what Obama will do

Yeah. As if this year weren't interesting enough already.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:52 PM
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So glad we got sotomayor, really powerful post facto argument for Obama over Clinton back in 2008.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:52 PM
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25: That won't necessarily stop Republicans from shamelessly using it to provide some supposed cover.


Posted by: Airedale | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:53 PM
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29: Could Sandra Day O'Connor do it temporarily?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:55 PM
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One question is whether Obama would want to leave the seat open for President Cruz to appoint. Maybe a horrible compromise would be the wisest choice.

I want to repeat this.

It isn't as if Nov 8 Obama will be able to change his mind.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:56 PM
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We could do worse than Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Thomas. He was on the short list in 2010, and didn't go to an Ivy League school.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 3:57 PM
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Oh hello sanctimonious fuckheads!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:01 PM
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I'm reading the comments at breitbart (I KNOW I KNOW) and they're great.

Apparently there are suspicions that it might have been an assassination, or, as one commenter put it, an assignation.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:03 PM
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There is also some confusion about the exact role of the supreme court:

Obama will pick the most extremist liberal possible to fill his position. ..then we're totally screwed...the scotus will then pass laws that you can marry your sister or your dog.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:05 PM
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I suppose I have to believe in God now, because a few days ago I said if there was a God, he would strike down Alito and/or Scalia.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:05 PM
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QUICKLY CLARIFY TO GOD THAT YOU MEANT THE "AND"!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:11 PM
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34: It provides zero cover, considering it's never even been used to defeat a SC nominee (not even by Thurmond). The fact that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tip the court is all the cover they need.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:12 PM
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||

Tax Law - retirement question. Tim and I are going to file separately which means that I won't be able to contribute to my Roth IRA going forward. I want to make the maximum contribution that I can for 2015. We got married in June, so I'd like to think that I could contribute for the part of the year that we weren't married, but it looks like the IRS says that people's status depends on Dec 31. Anyone know a good way to find out the answer quickly?

There is a backdoor way where you open a traditional IRA and convert it and pay taxes on any gains.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:16 PM
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Charles W. Cooke (NRO): Senate must simply refuse to appoint anybody. Would be outrageous to replace a giant like Scalia with a minnow like Sotomayor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:16 PM
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Holy crap. This is fantastic. If nothing else, just dramatically upped the chances that we retain public-sector unions, population-based voting districts, and what's left of affirmative action. And a couple of lower-profile but huge stakes business cases are probably dead now, too. Holy crap.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:19 PM
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46 to 22? I'm still curious which cases flip and why.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:22 PM
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47: Yeah, 4-4 means the lower court decision stands. And there are a bunch of good (or good-ish) lower court decisions under review among the big cases, which stood a good chance of being reversed by a conservative 5-4 (eg Fisher, Ewenwel, CTA). The big cases where a bad lower court decision is under review (Whole Women's Health, US v Texas) aren't really in a worse posture than they were, because no way Scalia was going to be a 5th vote to reverse.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:26 PM
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And further to 48, even if say Whole Women's Health breaks 4-4, the 5th Circuit's decision stands, but it doesn't become the law of the land. So it's comparatively a win even there.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:28 PM
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Looking back at the history of nominations, in the early days it wasn't unusual to have the nomination and confirmation within a week of each other, even the same day.

Now it's most common to have at least a month and up to three. A whole year seems very unlikely. What is likely is that if the Republicans can hold serve, they just reject anyone they don't like. Keep in mind that Obama might think, "Ah, Hillary or Sanders would nominate someone good," but once he does that and Trump or Cruz or any Republican is elected, oops. Vice versa, if he nominates someone more or less centrist (which would still move the SC to the left compared to Scalia) and the Democrat is elected, the Republicans quickly approve that nomination and the Democrat has to wait for RBG to retire.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:34 PM
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Pwnt, but going ahead anyway: In no way is the result in any case worse. In many cases it will be better.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:36 PM
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scotisblog clear and informative: http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/what-happens-to-this-terms-close-cases/


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:43 PM
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A lot depends on how unified the Republicans are, and if you check out the right-wing sites they all expect the Senate to cave. This is not a party that trusts its leadership.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:45 PM
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52 is silent on the EPA greenhouse gas case. :(


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:46 PM
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"cave" meaning "not behave in a completely unprecedented and nihilistic way"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:47 PM
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I am a terrible human being, but these NRO comments are cheering me up:

The very basis of the Republic stands teetering, hanging by a frayed thread,

No republican senator who votes to confirm a successor should be reelected. We are hurtling to the end of the Republic

Hard to imagine more dire political news than this. It's crushing.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:47 PM
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54: They haven't even heard that one yet. It wouldn't have been decided for a while anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:49 PM
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54: The missing seat is irrelevant to the greenhouse gas case, it's not yet pending before the Supreme Court and won't be until next term, by which point Scalia's seat will have been filled.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:49 PM
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That link in 52 is annoying because I don't know how the lower court ruled in the various cases.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:53 PM
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54: They haven't even heard that one yet. It wouldn't have been decided for a while anyway.

But they've already taken action, right? A friend who works for the CA Air Resource Board was just lamenting about it to me last night, said they'd done something unprecedented (and bad).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:55 PM
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Agree that whomever Obama and Grassley can get confirmed will move the Court to the left, probably a lot.

Agree that it is good news for a lot of waiting cases

The longest previous vacancy was 125 days, I think.

McConnell says wait until after the election. He obviously thinks a vacancy is good for Repubs.

I honestly don't want a right-center nominee to sit in limbo until Nov 8, and then getting confirmed in the lame duck after Repubs lose Senate and WH. In that case Obama should withdraw the appointment, but he wouldn't. Of course even Dems winning the Senate doesn't necessarily move the Senate much ideologically.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:56 PM
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60: They issued a stay on implementation of the regulations while the challenge moves through the courts. Which does suck, but is a temporary thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:57 PM
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I appreciate the link in 52.

This says something similar, but with slightly more detail on the cases: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/13/10987116/scalia-supreme-court-tie


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:57 PM
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How likely is it that the Dems take the Senate? The map does look favorable but I don't know anything about the actual races.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 4:58 PM
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62: still, this is a "time is of the essence" sort of thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:02 PM
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65: Oh, absolutely, and it really does suck. Actually, one of the lawyers might know: does the change in the composition of the Court mean they can now lift the stay?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:05 PM
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59: You can easily find out the gist of the lower court decision and the question presented on cert by clicking on the case links within the post on scOtusblog.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:06 PM
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Someone overwrought on Twitter was saying the Republicans forcing a long vacancy would be sure to make the Democrats win the Presidency. I pooh-pooh, of course, overall, but at least in a small sense, doesn't it seem like the Republicans keeping such an important body understaffed for so long might swing a small but material portion of the electorate?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:11 PM
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"cave" meaning "not behave in a completely unprecedented and nihilistic way"

Now I completely disagree with the Right's position on this, but it's perfectly reasonable to think that preventing a nomination that could undo 25+ years of work building a conservative majority, potentially protecting Roe for another generation, etc., is worth violating some Senate norms.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:15 PM
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Bets on a replacement getting confirmed this year?

"Don't bother" may be just the start of negotiations.

Someone has mentioned Grassley himself, age 80.

How likely is it that the Dems take the Senate?

45-55? But whatever, they won't take it by that awful much. And too many factors to really predict.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:26 PM
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CNN says Obama plans to nominate a replacement. (Shocker.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:48 PM
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I am sad that he ran out of chances to be a better person.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:51 PM
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55, 69. "Cave" is of course from their point of view, but on the other hand "violating some Senate norms" is overstated. There aren't any Senate norms that say you can't reject a SC nominee, particularly if you are the majority. Filibustering a SC nominee, if they try that, is at least frowned upon, but that would only happen if they can't keep everyone in line.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 5:52 PM
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So I come here wondering which thread the Scalia gloating would be buried in. Three front-page posts. I knew you folks hated him, but wow.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:10 PM
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This post is a good overview of the EPA case and its importance.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:11 PM
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72 is lovely and perfect.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:32 PM
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The Onion of course has the best headline so far:

Justice Scalia Dead Following 30-Year Battle With Social Progress


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:49 PM
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To state the obvious, how broken is your body politic that anyone can even consider leaving a top constitutional post empty for over a year?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:50 PM
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I think rejecting or filibustering a well-qualified candidate for purely partisan reasons would be pretty far out of the norm, but I'm no expert.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:50 PM
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74: One was a mistake and one was a joke FFS.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:51 PM
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I will say, I think Hillary Clinton found just the right tone in her statement: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/13/10987392/clinton-statement-scalia


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 6:54 PM
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80: I cast no aspersions! Just amused.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:00 PM
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Yeah she did good on that one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:02 PM
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81:

Yep, that's a kill shot right there.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:04 PM
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I didn't realize the threats to not replace Scalia had already become the Republicans' official position:

American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said Saturday in a statement. "Therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:05 PM
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I love that, if they choose to be dicks about this, the Senate would be accused of violating the "Thurmond Rule", which brings the opportunity to remind everybody what a shithead Strom Thurmond was, and that the modern Republican Party is very much the successor to his legacy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:07 PM
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Senate is adjourned. Obama could make a recess appointment a la Potter Stewart.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:08 PM
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Didn't the Senate do some crazy shit in Obama's first term to make sure they were never technically adjourned so he couldn't make appointments? Although I guess that would have somehow been the House. I forget how that went.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:10 PM
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Or are adjourned and in recess different states? Maybe.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:11 PM
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American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said Saturday in a statement. "Therefore this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."

Technically, the American people already voted for Obama.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:11 PM
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Twice.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:12 PM
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I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW I ONLY VO—oh you mean in two elections, nevermind.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:13 PM
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McConnell's thinking, if taken seriously, would imply that if a justice died on the first day a president was in office, the seat should remain empty for four years.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:14 PM
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Oh man, the moderator is fucking ripping Ted Cruz for making shit up.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:16 PM
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What, Republicans aren't supposed to make shit up now?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:16 PM
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I guess I hadn't really been following the news. This article says both that the senate is currently in recess and Obama could technically appoint a new justice (as has been done 12 times in the past, which is more than I would have guessed), but also that Obama has already announced that he will instead be nominating someone for Senate approval.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:16 PM
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93:

Trump was actually decent enough to admit that if he were Obama he would try to appoint someone but that if he were a Republican congressman he'd try to obstruct. Pretty up front about this crap just being political football.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:17 PM
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96:

I think if he plays this right he can either get the nominee or make the Republicans look really irresponsible in an election year for not adhering to business as usual for purely opportunistic reasons.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:20 PM
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In theory Obama could literally appoint a new justice in the middle of the republican debate. That might generate some interesting reactions from the candidates.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:21 PM
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The CBS Moderator really did go for Cruz. That might be bad for him, because there was really no reason to pick on Cruz specifically - he wasn't saying anything dumber than anyone else had.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:23 PM
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99:

He's said specifically he's going to do this with Senate approval.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:26 PM
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Thinking about this: if the Republicans successfully stall and block Obama's nomination until after the election, meaning that the next president has a chance to significantly alter the ideological tile of the court, that puts me Halfordian mood -- that even though I think things look good for the Democrats, I'd be sweating every week of that general election campaign.

That's true no matter who the nominees are. It could be any of

Sanders/Trump
Clinton/ Cruz
Sanders/Rubio
Clinton / Kasich

I'd be anxious the entire time (and hopeful as well, it is a tremendous opportunity).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:29 PM
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100: yeah, I saw that. And it's stupid. A recess appointment, wing a possibility, is actually pretty important here. I can't believe Obama is turning it down. (I mean, sure I can believe it, but it's yet more disappointment.) The arguments in the cases this term are all happening now. If a new justice isn't confirmed for several months (does anyone believe it will be faster than that?), that justice won't be able to vote in any of these cases, even if the new justice is on the bench when the cases are all decided later in the year. These are important cases and 4-4 decisions aren't going to be helpful. (Better than 5-4 the wrong way, but a lot less good than 5-4 the right way.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:34 PM
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I really hope someone goes for Rubio hard in this debate: he genuinely does look really scared/anxious compared to how he was even in the last debate.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:37 PM
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if the Republicans successfully stall and block Obama's nomination until after the election, meaning that the next president has a chance to significantly alter the ideological tile of the court

The current president has the rare opportunity right now to foreclose that possibility, and shift the court leftward. He is apparently choosing not to take it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:38 PM
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I can't believe Obama is turning it down.

Turning it down is the most Obama possible option.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:39 PM
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The politics of a recess appointment suck for the Democrats. The politics of allowing the Republicans to obstruct are comparatively excellent.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:40 PM
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Having that Supreme Court seat sitting open is going to fuel republican turnout in November like we've never seen.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:40 PM
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If you guys aren't watching this debate you should.

Every time someone says GW Bush "kept us safe", Trump is interrupting and pointing out that

1) He lied us into Iraq. Lied. Yes, Trump is saying that he lied.
2) 9/11 was Bush's fault for not killing Bin Laden when he had the chance.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:42 PM
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And it will somehow suppress Democratic turnout?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:42 PM
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Who is Trump going to appoint?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:42 PM
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102

I'd be most nervous by Sanders/Kasich, I think Clinton's a lot stronger against a "moderate" than Sanders is.

But gut feeling in order of nervousness (most to least):

Sanders/Kasich
Sanders/Rubio
Sanders/Jeb
Clinton/Kasich
Sanders/Cruz
Sanders/Trump
Clinton/Rubio
Clinton/Jeb
Clinton/Trump
Clinton/Cruz

101

Why?? Republicans already think he's a Maoist dictator, he might as well just go for it.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:43 PM
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I think the GOP is still having trouble figuring out how Trump works. I'm not convinced that setting him against the audience is actually going to hurt him with his actual supporters, who are already convinced that everyone is out to get them. The GW Bush sucks line seemed to work well for him before, so maybe it'll work?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:44 PM
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111

NRO commenters think he'll probably appoint a former wife. Or his Democratic pro-choice judge sister. The tantrums are fun to watch.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:45 PM
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110: suppress, no, but... loss aversion. No one worse than Scalia is going to take that seat no matter who wins the presidency, and liberals know it. Whereas conservatives are already predicting the apocalypse if the court shifts to 5 reliable liberals.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:46 PM
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Having people aware of the stakes is, I think, better than the alternative -- particularly given that Democrats, if history is any guide, should be less fired up than Republicans. (Which is one among many reasons that I think a hard-fought primary is good for Clinton or Sanders.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:49 PM
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74 is hilarious.

Did Trump get booed for saying 9/11 happened on Bush's watch?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:51 PM
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I am completely unclear what you think the political consequences of a recess appointment would be. Republicans would think Obama was acting like a tyrant?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:51 PM
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I think Obama wants the fight -- either because he thinks he can win, in which case great, or because he thinks that Republican obstructionism will serves the Democrats' electoral interests in the presidential and senate races.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:53 PM
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-s


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:54 PM
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Is that plausible to you? (I don't mean plausible as to Obama's thinking, but plausible as to real world outcomes.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:55 PM
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To be honest it seems reasonable enough as a projection, assuming Obama can play it right. And gives-no-fucks Obama is doing at a lot better at that kind of thing than let's-make-a-deal Obama ever did.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 7:59 PM
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I don't know. I've sort of given up on predicting the future. The political landscape is just too weird. But I do think that a recess appointment would likely generate enormous (albeit faux) outrage from the press and probably among independents as well. And it seems to me that picking a fight with an incredibly unpopular Senate Republican caucus is a decent strategy for the reasons I gave above: either because Obama wins and gets someone on the court or because the obstructionists look bad enough that they generate enthusiasm among Democrats in a year that the Senate is ripe for the taking.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:02 PM
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Not to mention the presidency, obviously.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:03 PM
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119 - Presumably you're right, but this strikes me as insane. What real prospect is there of winning the fight? And Republicans have been obstructing for decades, with no apparent effect on democratic mobilization.
I agree with urple: the time for being gracious is long past.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:06 PM
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I was going to say something much like 123. Also, how is a recess appointment not effectively precluded by National Labor Relations Board v. Canning?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:08 PM
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And the right is permanently outraged anyway regardless of Obama's actions.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:09 PM
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It's not just about what Republicans will say; actual facts do sometimes matter. There is a substantive difference between daring to commit basic governance and completely bypassing the Senate in one of its traditional and constitutional roles.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:11 PM
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I wonder if Obama will change his mind about this after the dust clears on the Republicans' intent to obstruct.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:12 PM
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123: even just a delay in the appointment is far from harmless. See 103. It would be very different if it were now June, but Obama has a chance right now to appoint someone who can participate this term. If we wait for senate confirmation, that chance goes away. Plus it may end up throwing the election to the republicans, and then the chance to make the appointment will be gone for good.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:13 PM
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Would it be possible to put a super-liberal in as a recess appointment, while putting a more moderate nominee before the Senate. i.e., the Senate can delay, but they lose a bunch of 5-4 decisions in the meantime - and run the risk of having the super-liberal appointed by President Sanders and his 51 seat majority.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:13 PM
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Watching the debate. Turned it on to Cruz yelling at Rubio in Spanish. Not what I expected.

Wow there's a lot of yelling here. Trump's face blends into the background.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:14 PM
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128: twelve previous Supreme Court justices have been recess appointments. Twelve!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:14 PM
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I've been leaning towards the view of the Hebrew Cookie, but I'm also more than a tad drunk. Anyways, in a year where the R's are gifting us a shit show of a presidential candidate lineup maybe we shouldn't play it so safe.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:17 PM
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134:

Someone in a thread some number of months ago said something memorable that I've been repeating to people, which amounted to "These guys could lose to a lobotomy patient. This is the year to run the candidate we actually want.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:22 PM
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133: the last time was Brennan, right? That might as well have been the nineteenth century. As for what you say in 130, it seems like it's half about policy, about which I'm stumped -- I mean, I think you're right that if this gambit backfires, it will have been a bad call (yay, tautologies!) -- and half about politics, about which I've said what I think. As for Republican outrage, Mossy Character, who the fuck cares? I mean, seriously, who gives even a tiny shred of a fuck what Republicans think at this point? They're going to be outraged no matter what Obama does. Even if he just folds and says, "Mitch McConnell is right: I have no business nominating a justice to the court this close to an election." The GOP is a death cult that should be put to the flame.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:22 PM
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They're just collapsing under the weight of their own contradictions and desire to distinguish themselves in a crowded field this debate.

Marco Rubio accused Ted Cruz of lying about Planned Parenthood.

Trump gave a vigorous defense of social security.

Kasich argued in favor of expanding medicaid because of compassion for the poor.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:25 PM
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Oh my god Trump is screaming about all the wonderful things Planned Parenthood does other than abortion!


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:29 PM
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This debate really is a meltdown for him. I have no idea how any of this is going to turn out for him.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:30 PM
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He's fucking burning the whole thing to the ground and he's going to take anyone he can with him.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:30 PM
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Man, I hope that means "everyone on the stage".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:32 PM
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But really I have no idea this could absolutely be the sort of thing that helps him out. I wouldn't be surprised if it did.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:32 PM
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132 Does speaking in Spanish in front of the GOP audience for this debate strike anyone else as an own goal? Aren't their last names already enough of a liability with Republican voters?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:34 PM
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128: True, but the Republicans have been sabotaging the constitution for decades and in doing so basically destroying the country. I'd agree with you if the Ds were winning overall, but they aren't. Clean fighting isn't working.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:35 PM
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Well that debate was certainly a different one.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:56 PM
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96:

This article says both that the senate is currently in recess and Obama could technically appoint a new justice

What? No it doesn't. (Maybe it changed?)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 8:57 PM
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This CRS report goes into great detail about recesses and adjournments. If I'm interpreting it correctly, it seems that the Senate is currently in an intrasession recess, during which presidents have traditionally been considered able to make recess appointments, but that the DC Circuit decision in Canning questioned this. It appears that the Supreme Court decision in the case held that only recesses of at least ten days were long enough to allow recess appointments. The current one started yesterday and is currently scheduled to continue until February 22, but McConnell can cut it short and presumably will.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:21 PM
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I'm kind of in love with the solution in 131. Just appoint someone genuinely terrifying to them "temporarily" right before a bunch of cases actually do have to be decided and then offer them a less terrifying (by comparison) candidate for senate confirmation. Mostly I like it because I like the idea of watching them squirm, and also because I would probably really like the decisions that resulted from having that crazy person there.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:32 PM
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131, 148:

I would be honored to serve on the Supreme Court in this capacity.


Posted by: Opinionated Noam Chomsky | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:37 PM
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I know what Obama is going to do. Appoint a liberal Republican who he personally likes and trusts and sees as a giant of legal scholarship. One who is also super-old so the Senate will be ok with it. That man: Richard Posner.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:43 PM
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119: or because he thinks that Republican obstructionism will serves the Democrats' electoral interests in the presidential and senate races.

Yes. And that is why it will probably be someone like Sri Srinivasani (or someone else most of us would not really care for). Recently approved by the Senate 97-0--basically He would have been a moderate , corporatist Republican before the '90s; so all the Repubs have to oppose is 1) the "principle" of last year of Presidency, 2) someone Obama nominated so must be bad, plus 3) funny name/not real American. A heighten the Republican dickitude nomination. (And I think there is little chance he actually gets confirmed.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:48 PM
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I feel weirdly confident that Obama's got this under control and will get someone solid through this year. It just feels like the sort of thing that plays to Obama's skill set of being sensible and patient while the other side goes crazy and embarrasses themselves and then suddenly loses. It'll be like the Oregon standoff.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:52 PM
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150 refers to recess appointment, to be specific. The first thing I read said that recess appointment was likely. Which I guess was wrong.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 9:54 PM
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Even so, if he appoints a somewhat liberal Republican with an excellent track record he'll be able to play it like he's got the moral high ground, and the Republicans will have a hard time maintaining the illusion that they aren't reckless and irresponsible for the 2016 elections.

Three justices is a lot for one candidate, especially when the justice that's most antithetical to your party's principles vacates a seat. I think he needs to swing four or five Republicans his way. Surely there are enough people whose constituents will want them to look like pragmatic statesmen rather than ideologues.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 10:05 PM
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If Trump survives this I will have underestimated him, can he actually get away with telling republican voters the truth?


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 11:11 PM
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This is a pretty funny debate summary:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/431289/nobody-won-south-carolina-debate-conservatism-lost


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 11:27 PM
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Buttercup, I feel I owe a debt to you for doing the hard and unpleasant work of combing through the National Review for the stuff that's worth reading.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-13-16 11:31 PM
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So apparently there is some precedent for the Senate just refusing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee of an outgoing president, but it hasn't happened since the Tyler administration.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:16 AM
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154: Is there a pro-choice Republican out there to nominate?


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:26 AM
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Lisa Murkowski?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:33 AM
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Far the record my guess is senate caves after it rejects first nominee, confirms second.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:51 AM
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Trump is trying to show that "it's ok if you're a Republican" applies even to liberal positions. Maybe Sanders should have run for that nomination.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:16 AM
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That indignant National Review piece is something to behold. Yes, it rightly calls Trump to task for "acting like an angry drunk"... but most of its indignation is spent on moments when the candidates came perilously close to admitting realities from outside the conservative echo chamber. This is why I think the Republican slide into madness is going to be impossible to arrest; everyone can see it happening, even within the party by now, but half of all the remedies at any given time, from any of them, consist of "let's tunnel deeper into Bizzarro World."


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:18 AM
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Promising to get rid of the Mexicans goes a long way with the Republican base. They hate Mexicans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:20 AM
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And they love strong leaders who will protect them from scary Muslims. Trump really understands his audience way better than anyone else on the right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:22 AM
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True that.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:22 AM
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What I find fascinating about this election season is that the Republican establishment is finally having to deal with the fact that their policies are actually really unpopular and they've only been able to win elections by appealing to the anger, racism, and resentment of a lot of white people who feel themselves losing power in a more diverse America. Trump is basically just ignoring the policy part altogether and doubling down on the anger and resentment, and doing great.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:29 AM
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Also, as a billionaire himself, Trump isn't beholden to other billionaires the way the other candidates are and can easily pose as an economic populist in a way the others can't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:42 AM
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and the Republicans will have a hard time maintaining the illusion that they aren't reckless and irresponsible for the 2016 elections.

Being really serious: don't you think that ship has already sailed?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:17 AM
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That NRO article is great. This was the first debate I haven't watched, and it sounds like I really picked the wrong one to miss.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:20 AM
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This sure is a great debate recap.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:39 AM
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or, as one commenter put it, an assignation.

"Avait-il sa connaissance?"
"Non, elle est partie par l'escalier de service." (Félix Faure)

but it hasn't happened since the Tyler administration.

Why would that bother this lot?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:40 AM
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169: In the face of a press corps that ferociously insists that both sides are basically equivalent and the Republicans have not gone crazy it doesn't take much to keep that veil up.

I mean, Marco Rubio is basically an empty suit with a panic disorder reading off a list of extreme right policies but it's a nice looking suit or something so he's a really serious and inspiring candidate. And Kasich is just Walker but louder and dancing the robot while yelling, but sometimes he yells about "can't we all get along (now let's eliminate all unions and reproductive healthcare)!" so that means he's a moderate. With Trump or Cruz they'd have extreme trouble pulling anything like that off, though, just because they're selling themselves so directly on not being sane. But that's it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:34 AM
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171: It really is. "We shouldn't wake him. He looks so peaceful."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:38 AM
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Among the many striking things about politics in recent years, an era that began in 2000 and that has been marked by constant realizations of "they're even more vile and terrifying than I ever could have imagined," the phenomenon in 173 has been genuinely striking. I know there's no such thing as an Ovaltine Window or whatever, but it sure seems like there is.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:40 AM
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Va funculo!


Posted by: I've had a few | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:45 AM
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Obviously there won't be a filibuster. There's no way O can get a nomination in before this recess is over, and there won't ever be another. Refusal to allow a nomination to go forward probably does help with Senate elections: if O picks a reasonably left center appeals court judge, challengers will be able to bang on Class of 2010 blue state Republicans in Wisconsin, Illinois, NH, and the rest.

I'm really thinking Trump is going to be the nominee. No one but Trump can beat him, and while that might end up being a close race, ultimately he can summon the discipline to avoid self-destruction.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:50 AM
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It's not clear to me that his performance in the debate won't hurt him. Protecting Social Security and sticking it to immigrants are popular positions, even among the Republican base, and he can get away with refusing to mouth Republican shibboleths on certain issues, but across the board?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 6:54 AM
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Yeah, but I don't think the affirmative positions of Republicans have been all that important to a huge portion of that electorate. They like authority and sticking it to despised minorities (including Liberals) so as long as he's solid on that, they'll follow him wherever.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:01 AM
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It could hurt him, but if anything does I think it's that Bush finally pushed back at him a bit, early on in the debate. Later on he went full in on the bullying and stopped trying to look like he was a statesman like in the last few. As far as the content of that stuff he said, just wait for "I'm not PC like those other guys. I'm rich - very rich! I can say whatever I want." And a bit of "They're lying about what I said! Lying!"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:03 AM
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I think distancing himself (and Republicans) from W's legacy is smart, even if it is supposedly heretical. W wasn't all that popular with Republicans by the end anyway, especially with the ones bitching about "amnesty," or who felt he wasn't sufficiently anti-Muslim. Those people are Trump's base.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:05 AM
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So obviously the GOP presidential candidates are going to want to deflect questions about whom they would nominate with platitudes about Constitutional conservatism and strict construction, etc.

But in a race this tight and fluid, they've got to be tempted to pander by naming names, right? Even if only in a "someone like X" sense.

So given that, what's the over-under on how many days before Cruz floats John Yoo or Roy Moore?


Posted by: Salty Hamhocks | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:16 AM
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We were driving to Hilton Head Island when Keegan texted that Scalia was dead. I was also en route to HHI when I got news that Jesse Helms had died. Perhaps I should be coming here more often.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:40 AM
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So obviously the GOP presidential candidates are going to want to deflect questions about whom they would nominate with platitudes about Constitutional conservatism and strict construction, etc.

True. And yet, this is completely at odds with Mitch McConnell's assertion that "The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice." I mean, if the point is to give American people a voice, shouldn't voters know what that voice is going to say? If this is really going to be the American people's decision, you got to name the names so they can make that decision.

Refusing to do so by hiding behind Constitutional platitudes doesn't really cut it when its Constitutional process that's being subverted in the first place.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:54 AM
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183: seems like a solid plan. If the correlation holds, more loathsome conservatives end up dead. If the correlation proves spurious, you'll have spent more time at HHI.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 8:02 AM
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184 ascribes far more logical consistency to the thought processes of public discourse than is warranted.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 8:05 AM
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So given that, what's the over-under on how many days before Cruz floats John Yoo or Roy Moore?

Either one of them sounds like a pretty promising candidate for his set of supporters so I wouldn't be overly surprised. Cruz already favorably cited Yoo (though not by name) in the debate before this last one.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 8:12 AM
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I'm sure this has been suggested, but Obama should appoint himself in a recess appointment. He's qualified and will be needing a new job in a year anyway, might as well line something up. There's a conflict of interest in being president and SCJ, but I don't think it's explicitly forbidden. The right wing conniption would be awesome to behold. We'd probably save Social Security just from all the old Fox News watching wingnuts having aneurysms.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 8:28 AM
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So, one way or another this is likely to end the current status quo of the court being entirely Catholic and Jewish. Though if it's Srinivasan (Hindu) there'd still be zero protestants. Weirdly enough I can't seem to find Paul Watford's religion mentioned anywhere.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:24 AM
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the court being entirely Catholic and Jewish

Why is this? Have there been no "qualified" protestants or whatever since God was a lad, or are there mafias? Or both.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:32 AM
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The current trend is for Republicans to nominate Catholics and Democrats women in an attempt to be as clear as possible what their Roe v. Wade vote will be without anyone having to actually say anything. So there's a good reason that there's a lot of catholics. That said, it's a bit of a coincidence that it got all the way down to zero protestants. Stevens retired and RBG didn't. Miers was protestant but totally unqualified (though her protestantism wasn't entirely irrelevant, as republicans were worried about whether she would be a dependable vote on abortion). Sotomayor's catholicism isn't linked to any broader trend in nominations.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:41 AM
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Ginsburg (~82), Kennedy (~80), and Breyer (~78) are all well over 70. As was Scalia (~80).

Decent chance the next President will get to appoint between one and three justices, even four if the Republicans really do stall until the election.

Aggregate polling for early February shows Rubio or Cruz beating HRC, and Rubio beating Sanders; Sanders beats everyone else. Either of them beat Trump. Still the margins aren't wide except against Trump.

You really can't (given current polls) predict better than 55-60% likelihood of a Dem win, unless Trump is the GOP nominee. So, given that, game theory say Obama should put up an "acceptable" SC nomination, which maximizes the joint probability of moving the center of the court left. Anyone Obama might plausibly nominate will move it left.

(Maybe it turns out that no nominee is "acceptable," and both sides are staking everything on the Presidential election. Doing that is a better deal for the GOP than for the Dems.)

Let's assume there is an "acceptable" Obama nominee.

If a Dem wins, RBG retires and you get another appointment that probably doesn't move the center at all. You have to have that plus a Breyer or Kennedy death/retirement to have a chance to move the needle significantly further left.

If a Republican wins he gets the later appointments but you've locked in at one chunk of moving left, maybe not as far as you'd want, but better than anyone President Cruz would nominate. No one Cruz (or Rubio?) would nominate successfully is even likely to be further right than Scalia, just younger.

Does this make sense?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:43 AM
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190

The Catholic bit is if you want staunch anti-abortion intellectuals, you have to go Catholic. Or if you want a left-of-center Latin@, you're going to get (nominally) Catholic as well.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:44 AM
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pwned by 191


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:45 AM
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It's a bit outdated, but here's a website about religious affiliation and Supreme Court justices. They do list all the supreme court justices and their religious affiliations. Unsurprisingly, most justices have been Episcopalian.

http://www.adherents.com/adh_sc.html


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:56 AM
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I also have to note with deep shame the only Lutheran SCJ was William Rehnquist.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:56 AM
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Now I'm trying to figure out Goodwin Liu's affiliation or lack thereof. Having trouble.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 10:03 AM
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Yeah, it might just be tricky in general to find people's religious affiliation online. Millett's (Methodist) was on her wikipedia page, and it was easy to confirm that Srinivasan was Hindu because he was sworn into office on a Hindu text. But beyond that I've struck out.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 10:05 AM
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Purely out of curiosity, does swearing on a text have the same significance for Hindus as it does for the people of the book? Or is it a question of which form of Hinduism you embrace?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 10:26 AM
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You'd think someone would have figured it out with this guy in particular, since he got all that hate in the appeals confirmation fight a few years ago. It's not on his state supreme court bio, suggesting lack of affiliation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 10:41 AM
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Does this make sense?

No, because not only is that polling totally irrelevant -- look at national polls done around this time for previous elections if you want to amuse yourself -- but also because the president won't be elected based on the popular vote. As much as I think Clinton isn't a good candidate (and I'm increasingly sure that she really, really isn't), and as much as I think Sanders is a a very unlikely standard-bearer for the Democratic Party, the electoral math for the GOP remains absolutely brutal. I'm not saying a Republican can't win. But it will take a surprising set of circumstances for it to happen.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 11:28 AM
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I'd like to restate my annoyance at Clinton for doing jack shit to promote 2014 Democratic Senate candidates in states not named Iowa and New Hampshire.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 11:41 AM
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Is it too late to mint the coin?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 11:42 AM
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Here's a question. I had thought that life tenure for justices was, like their number, something only set in federal law, but that people gave deference as if it were constitutional. But apparently the clause "shall hold their offices during good behavior" is interpreted as requiring life tenure, rather than simply prohibiting capricious/political dismissal. Is that a good interpretation, or could fixed terms be squared with the language?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 11:53 AM
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As much as I think Clinton isn't a good candidate (and I'm increasingly sure that she really, really isn't),

I'll ask you the same thing I asked Trivers earlier -- what's the baseline of comparison. If you look at the last 25 years of presidential candidates you have Clinton / Bush I / Dole / Gore / Bush II / Kerry / Obama / McCain / Romney. Without much thought* I'd break those into three tiers:

Group I (excellent campaigners, ran better than expected)
Clinton
Bush II
Obama

Group II (average, ran a more or less generic campaign)
Bush I
Kerry
Romney

Group III (bad, actively hurt themselves)
Dole
Gore
McCain

Looking at that I'd think there's a chance** that H. Clinton is as bad as Gore and ends up in Tier III, but my guess is that she's an average candidate. Not good enough to help herself, but not actively bad.

I stand by my feeling that none of the ways in which she's looked bad this campaign significantly change my assessment of her, and the point of making the list is to demonstrate that the average presidential campaign is fairly haphazard and not some political tour de force.

* I had a hard time deciding between group II and III for Kerry and McCain. I ultimately decided that Kerry was running against an incumbent in a good economy during a war, and that McCain picking Palin as VP was an actively bad choice.

** Heck, there's a chance that Sanders wins the nomination and, if that happens, it probably ends Clinton's political career -- in terms of elected offic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:12 PM
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Her performance in 2008 also makes me think she's in the "bad" category. She Mark Penned it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:19 PM
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How did McCain run worse than expected? Was it just the choice of Palin?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:25 PM
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205: I'm allowed to completely reject your taxonomy, right?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:26 PM
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I didn't think Gore was bad so much as actively meh. What really killed him was all the bullshit, from the press to the SCOTUS, but I'm not sure that he made too many affirmatively stupid decisions. Apart from Lieberman.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:27 PM
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How did McCain run worse than expected?

Remember that time he suspended his campaign to go back to Washington to fix the financial crisis?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:29 PM
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She's an at-best mediocre campaigner (poor choices, an awkward and obvious panderer) and a bad candidate (the victim of a successful 30 year, media-abetted smear campaign).
But it will take a surprising set of circumstances for it to happen.
Or a mild recession, or possibly a not obviously insane Republican opponent.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:31 PM
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205: I'm allowed to completely reject your taxonomy, right?

Of course.

As I said, that doesn't represent a lot of thought, I just think it's useful to know what you're using as a basis for comparison.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:34 PM
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I didn't think Gore was bad so much as actively meh.

I put Gore in category III for going as far in distancing himself from Clinton as he did. Perhaps that's unfair; I do think you're right that much of what we remember as Gore being bad was based on terrible press but I also didn't want to only have Republican's in Group III -- since I know I'm not objective in assessing the campaigns of Republican candidates.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:38 PM
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Or a mild recession, or possibly a not obviously insane Republican opponent.

Or Trump. If selected, Trump will run towards the "center" on all issues apart from security, where he will take a position not unlike Clinton's but more so. You saw it here first.

He will also, of course, run as Trump, with the full on showbiz pizzazz, abusive comments and grotesque sentimentality.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:42 PM
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Trying to disambiguate bad press treatment from bad campaigning is kind of an academic exercise.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:43 PM
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What a bummer of a thread. Go watch Triumph's fake Fox reporters ask Republican supporters questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KORZ8F--crY


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 12:49 PM
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112:


Sanders/Kasich
Sanders/Rubio
Sanders/Jeb
Clinton/Kasich
Sanders/Cruz
Sanders/Trump
Clinton/Rubio
Clinton/Jeb
Clinton/Trump
Clinton/Cruz

It's interesting to me that you're more nervous about Sanders losing to Cruz than to Trump, but you're more nervous about Clinton losing to Trump than to Cruz. What's the dynamic that shifts the risk there?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:01 PM
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With Sanders, I think Sanders could probably easily beat both, but if the apocalypse happened or Bloomberg entered the race, there's a not 0 chance he would lose and worst case scenario, I would prefer a president Trump to a president Cruz.

If Clinton is running against either, I think she's an automatic lock, since the press will be on her side and Bloomberg would stay out. In the tiny remote chance she would lose, she'd be more likely to lose to the quasi-fascist populist than to a man who is possibly hated by his own party as much as they hate her.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:06 PM
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If only the Dems had a great campaigner like Joe Biden who could sidle up to few biker gals in a rest stop, be totally himslef nd cruise to victory.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:14 PM
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205: The problem from what I can see with those lists is that none of them took place in situations that match the 2008/2016 primary contests very well. The biggest piece of evidence that I can think of for the claim that Clinton is a terrible campaigner is mainly that in both races she started out as the inevitable, assumed candidate and then managed to lose that status very early on in the race. In 2008 it was plausible that it was just that she was up against a genuinely brilliant campaigner who probably could have knocked anyone available out of the race.

But it's still the case that the things that hurt her the most were totally unforced errors (like, having a campaign staff constantly battling each other because no one was entirely sure who was in charge of what, or investing heavily in the first two states in the hopes that two wins would knock all the others out of the picture, or going negative not just on the opposing candidate(s) but doing it by attacking their supporters, or campaigning in states whose votes weren't being counted, or not actually knowing how votes were apportioned in the states, and so on). And as appealing as I find him the idea that Bernie Sanders is a once-in-a-generation campaigning superstar isn't really something I would stand behind so much as laugh out of the room. And yet with even more advantages than she had in 2008 - the sort that, e.g., Obama had in 2012 - she's still in genuine trouble of losing the nomination. And again we're seeing not just a series of totally unforced errors on her part, but some of the same ones as before.

And I have no idea whether these are primary-only mistakes or things that would translate through into the general election, which is different in a bunch of ways. But it's hard to imagine at least some of them not carrying through in ways that could end up in really unpredictable results.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:25 PM
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Or, TL;DR: What's really worrying isn't necessarily the mistakes she's made so far (although they really do look dangerous). What's worrying is that they're very, very similar to the mistakes that cost her the last primary too. And they're not just "some people find her unappealing in such-and-such ways" problems so much as genuine and sometimes even a little bizarre failures of political judgment, which she shouldn't have made in the first one and definitely shouldn't have made in the second.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:27 PM
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220

If she makes all the same mistakes as before, I might actually be wondering if Bill Clinton is sabotaging her campaign. (Oh sure honey, of COURSE I want you the be the real groundbreaking memorable first woman president. No, I don't care that you'd overshadow my legacy at all.) Reading the Atlantic article someone posted on here, I get the sense that Hillary isn't actually all that confident and that her biggest weakness is she listens too much to others' advice rather than trusting her own judgment or instincts (which both makes me more sympathetic to her as a person but also more nervous about her as a president.) Ironically, to me it's one of the more profound ways Hillary is the victim of sexism, that as a very smart woman she is still incapable of inhabiting a leadership role that she would be better at than the people she listens to.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:33 PM
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220 seems very on the money to me.
221.first is very funny.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:36 PM
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220 seems very on the money to me.
221.first is very funny.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:36 PM
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Oops I mean 222.first is very funny.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:37 PM
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225: I was a little confused.

Mostly unrelated:These are politically engaged people who vote! That... explains a lot about American politics really.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:44 PM
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220

Yeah, in both cases she starts as the goliath, and then she runs attacks against her opponent (and their supporters!) that are on the sleazy side of standard politics, which might be ok against a political equal but in her given situation just makes her look like she's punching down in a not very fair way. TBH, I'm an actual democratic socialist, and I'm nervous about Bernie Sanders as a candidate and as a president in lots of ways that overlap with RT's issues, so it's not like it would be hard to point out his weaknesses in a way that is fair. There are so many legitimate critiques to make about him, some of which she's doing now, but still in a clunky way.

It feels like she (or more likely her advisors) are just terrible at reading the mood, reading the populace, and constructing a message that is appealing, even though she has the raw material there to work with.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:45 PM
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||

I'm listening to Jim Hightower speak right now and reflecting on the fact that he used to be a rather mainstream figure in Texas politics. What the hell happened that the Tea Party co-opted this kind of populist spirit? What do tea partiers make of him at this point?

>>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:46 PM
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228 is me.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:49 PM
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225

Heh Thanks. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. The main thing we know about Clinton is he's incredibly intelligent, has master campaigner, one of the most charismatic people alive today, and he has excellent people/mood-reading skills. It's odd then, that he's associated with a campaign that is so lacking in his strengths. You could say he was just a man at the right moment, but I don't think that's true at all, and I've heard otherwise from people who met him in the mid 2000s. Even personally, people have pointed out he's also suffered from foot-in-mouth disease and he's lacked charisma on the campaign trail.

The other thing we know about Clinton is he's incredibly egotistical and has issues with women (men don't seek out younger, much powerless women as compulsively as he does if they don't have power/ego issues). I could see him wanting Hillary to succeed, but only to the extent her accomplishments don't exceed his, and to the extent he can be seen as "granting" her her success. It's pretty well known she got the visibility to run and win the NY senate seat through being First Lady, which of course was due to Bill. If Hillary becomes the first woman president, she'll have equalled and in many ways surpassed him in the history books, and I can see him having a major problem with that.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 1:57 PM
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Why would that bother this lot?

It wouldn't, and I fully expect them to do it anyway. If anything, they might point to the fact that it happened back in the 1840s as precedent for doing it now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:22 PM
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Bill Clinton's latest "we're ALL mixed race" thing is pretty embarrassing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:24 PM
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Better or worse than Meryl Streep's "we are all Africans"?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:26 PM
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Building on 231, I think the 1840s might actually serve as a good Golden Age to match the current mood on the right. Weak federal government, expanding slavery, war with Mexico: It's got it all!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:27 PM
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Possibly no worse in the abstract, but worse given the speaker.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:27 PM
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I'm skeptical of the idea that there are dramatic differences in the candidates that we've seen beyond what is clearly a result of circumstance. Clinton and Obama both got to run against incumbents when the economy was in recession. The media was clearly in the tank for Clinton, Bush II, and Obama in their first elections. The elections all pretty much went the way economic fundamentals predicted. (I think both Bush elections were basically ties.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:47 PM
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232

Wow. Good fucking lord why would he say that?? I'm not sure how Clinton's comment can be interpreted as anything beside sabotage. Early onset dementia?

I agree with 235. Worse given the speaker, and worse given the audience.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 2:53 PM
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Oh noes! What will happen to Thomas Jefferson School of Law's study abroad program in Nice, featuring special guest Antonin Scalia?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:08 PM
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232: ...WHAT?

I thought 230 was clever and funny as a theory and now I'm thinking it's more plausible than any of the other ones. In what universe would Bill Clinton be dumb enough to do that accidentally? Even in 2008 I thought he could just have been being clumsy or taking the wrong tack on one of their attack lines. But this? Jesus.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:21 PM
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Also he was attacking Obama in the speech?

I have no idea.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:27 PM
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240

I also found this, which has more of the clips:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/bill-clinton-we-are-all-mixed-race-people.html

It's so...strange. It doesn't seem like he's overtly criticizing Obama, but how else do you interpret the juxtaposition of Hillary and Obama re. being able to make change? There are so many better ways to get that same point across. Even if it went over fine in the moment (and people appear to be cheering and clapping), those aren't lines you want out floating around.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:41 PM
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237, 240. That is bizarre.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:49 PM
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Bill Clinton did have quadruple bypass surgery not long ago. Sometimes older people come out of general anesthesia not quite the same as they went in. Or maybe he was the perfect campaigner for the early 90s, and doesn't quite intuit the national mood 25 years later. Shrug.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 3:51 PM
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You have to have that plus a Breyer or Kennedy death/retirement to have a chance to move the needle significantly further left.

Kennedy, sure, but Breyer?? No one a Republican senate will confirm is meaningfully to the left of Breyer.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:32 PM
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If Hillary becomes the first woman president, she'll have equalled and in many ways surpassed him in the history books, and I can see him having a major problem with that.

It's possible that he isn't the campaigner for others that he was for himself, time and again. The skill sets seem plausibly distinguishable: "I am great but humble!" vs. "So-and-so: Terrific! Cares about your local zoning issues!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 5:49 PM
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245

We'll know the truth if he can pull off looking the audience in the eyes and saying, "she feels your pain."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:35 PM
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Also, "it's the economy, stupid" has been co-opted by her opponent, so that's out.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:36 PM
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Or the media is happy to make Clinton look bad (note, I don't know anything about the linked site, but the article is fairly convincing).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:53 PM
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Wow, that's really egregious.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 7:58 PM
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249

Yeah, MSNBC did a hack job there. The fuller version is posted in 241, and even without the edit it's still weird and kind of ambiguous and pretty unhelpful to Hillary, but it's not as bad as gawker or MSNBC made it out to be.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 8:28 PM
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The fuller version is posted in 241, and even without the edit it's still weird and kind of ambiguous and pretty unhelpful to Hillary, but it's not as bad as gawker or MSNBC made it out to be.

I think the editing is worse than that. Without being primed by seeing it described as an attack on Obama I don't think anybody watching the entire clip would think that. It would seem awkward but in a fairly unimportant way. It's just a bad segue from talking about Hillary to talking about Obama (and perhaps what's going through his head is that after he praises Hillary he wants to include Obama to make sure that it isn't taken as criticism, and just gets caught in an awkward transition).

It's just annoying following the Gloria Steinem story. I think Steinem's remark was clearly problematic but it was (a) following two paragraphs of direct praise for younger women and younger feminists and (b) reported in the most "lets you and her fight" way possible -- framing it as an insult in a way that took it significantly out of context.

It just makes me slightly suspicious of any story about, "look what inflammatory thing was said by a supporter of Clinton."

(I do suspect that part of the dynamic isn't specific to Clinton, but just that the media would rather have an exciting race than a boring race, and so any story about the front-running campaign stumbling is not only newsworthy, if it makes the race closer that's better for the news.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:14 PM
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251

See, I read it as Clinton inadvertently making an attack on Obama--he wanted to let people know Hillary would get more stuff done than the current president, then realized what he was saying and corrected it by praising Obama. I don't think it's in the scheme of things terrible or reveals that Bill secretly dislikes Obama or anything, but that sort of carelessness isn't helpful to Hillary. Nothing out of Bill's mouth should be able to be parsed as him negatively comparing Obama to Hillary, given her current campaign message.

The "we're all mixed race" stuff came off as less offensive in context and was well received, but I'm not sure it's doing much to help Hillary.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-14-16 9:55 PM
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I am quite impressed that this news has got three times as many posts, and about as many comments, as this one.
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/week_2011_05_01.html#011259


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:57 AM
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That's because Osama bin Laden's not really dead. Otherwise, we would have seen pictures of the body.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:25 AM
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253. I'm not surprised at all. Bin Laden was a vile mass murderer, but his direct impact on the United States at home was restricted to a single action fourteen years ago. He had become
increasingly marginal over many years- arguably the degree of his marginalisation could be measured by the fact that the operation which killed him was able to be carried out.

Scalia, by contrast, never directly murdered anyone in his life as far as I know, though his recorded position on the death penalty was grossly immoral; but he was a very present threat to the day to day well being of the great majority of Americans up to the moment he stopped wasting oxygen.

Americans were, in my judgment, entitled to feel pleased in passing that Bin Laden had died; they must necessarily feel enormously relieved to be disencumbered of Scalia.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:40 AM
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There's a sense that OBL gave us GWB.

Not that I'd argue with anything in 255, really.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:43 AM
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Bill Clinton is a smart fellow, but has his blind spots, certainly. Including maybe less of an inclination to challenge conventional Village opinion than he might be expected to have. given everything he/we have been through. Is he any good on attack? Or is his best strength more like Obama's -- the ability to drive his opponents mad, or at least to overplay their hands.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:48 AM
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There's a sense that OBL gave us GWB.

The second term, maybe. The first? I can't see it. Bush's initial view of bin Laden was that he and Al Qaeda in general weren't anything to worry about, and the main threats to the US were Iran, Iraq, and China/North Korea.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:08 AM
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I read "There's a sense that..." as in "People feel that...", i.e. OBL opened the floodgates to Cheney and Rumsfeld getting carte blanche to do their thing. In terms of actually giving Bush II to the United States, Scalia has a far better claim, together with Kennedy, O'Connor, Rehnquist, and Thomas.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:23 AM
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Right. Pre-9/11 GWB was an entitled and probably ineffectual asshole, who lost his Senate majority through political malpractice. Post 9/11 GWB was still an entitled and ineffectual asshole, but on a way larger scale.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:33 AM
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244. "Kennedy, sure, but Breyer?? No one a Republican senate will confirm is meaningfully to the left of Breyer."

By the time another appointment comes up, there might not be a Republican majority in the Senate any more. IIRC Breyer is the most centrist of the SC "left." Also was just looking at the three oldest remaining members.

BTW, Drudge (yeah, I know) is headlining that Scalia was "found with a pillow over his head."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:25 AM
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261.3 - oh, this could be entertainingly nuts.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:29 AM
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I'm not as convinced that Mediaite is being entirely fair when calling it a really misleading edit: maybe if you took MSNBC to be arguing that it was a well planned out hit job in advance, but I suspect that was not the case. It definitely does look like Bill went from "Hillary is great! She's a real change maker, she'll actually get some real stuff done unlike...not that I'm saying he didn't get things done he totally did! it's just that [situations which clearly will not change if Hillary is elected] blocked him that's all." That's definitely attacking Obama, and then catching himself right afterwards and back tracking. It's not quite as bald faced as John Lewis coming out over the weekend to clarify that by "Well, I didn't see him at any protests" meant "Oh I wouldn't be qualified to judge" that's all, and that when he said he did see the Clintons he just meant later on, in different circumstances. But it's definitely not a more nuanced thing getting misrepresented.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:37 AM
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I assumed that was all total BS, but as with a lot of such things it apparently contains a grain of truth.

From the San Antonio newspaper (which broke the story):

When Poindexter tried to awaken Scalia about 8:30 the next morning, the judge's door was locked and he did not answer. Three hours later, Poindexter returned after an outing, with a friend of Scalia who had come from Washington with him.
"We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled," said Poindexter.
"He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap," he said.
Scalia,79, did not have a pulse and his body was cold, and after consulting with a doctor at a hospital in Alpine, Poindexter concluded resuscitation would have been futile, He then contacted federal authorities, at first encountering a series of answering services because he was calling on a weekend.
"Ultimately they became available and handled it t superbly. They flew in by helicopter. They told me to secure the ranch, which I did until this morning," he said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:38 AM
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Link for article in 264.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:40 AM
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Good for Obama. I didn't think he had it in him. I can send him a list if he needs more ideas.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:42 AM
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BTW it's a different John Poindexter. Not the Iran-Contra criminal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:44 AM
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261.3, 262, 264 Where's the left-wing Drudge-type who'll come up with the auto-erotic asphyxiation angle?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:45 AM
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NMM by, rather than NMM to.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:46 AM
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If Clarence Thomas wants to remain consistent in his long term policy of always doing what Scalia does I wouldn't object. Also it would be hilarious to watch ammunition suddenly become more expensive than gold.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:51 AM
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My favorite take so far, a tweet from Anton Voyl: Similarly, Obama should appoint Sri Srinivasan, who along with Sonya Sotomayor has Antonin Scalia's most important qualification, to SCOTUS.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:40 AM
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I don't get the joke


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:49 AM
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His last name starts with S? That's the best I got.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:52 AM
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They don't contain the letter 'e'. It's a long story.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:01 AM
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Yes, the twitter handle is @Lipogrammatical.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:18 AM
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What an unfortunate disqualification for neb.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:21 AM
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Anton Voyl is an (oddly not around) man in "A Void", a book which omits 1 of 26 symbols found in normal writing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Void


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:22 AM
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Good work, Wiki, btw:

A Void's plot follows a group of humans looking for a missing companion, Anton Vowl. It is in part a parody of noir and horror fiction, with many stylistic tricks, gags, plot twists, and a grim conclusion. On many occasions it implicitly talks about its own lipogrammatic limitation, highlighting its unusual orthography. By and by, protagonists within A Void work out which symbol is missing, but find it a risky topic to discuss, as any who try to bypass this story's constraint risk fatal injury. Philip Howard, writing a lipogrammatic appraisal of A Void in his column Lost Words, said "This is a story chock-full of plots and sub-plots, of loops within loops, of trails in pursuit of trails, all of which allow its author an opportunity to display his customary virtuosity as an avant-gardist magician, acrobat and clown."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:28 AM
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Close call there with "avant-gardist."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:42 AM
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Close call there with "avant-gardist."

It's that kind of tightrope-walkery which makes the whole so thrilling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:06 AM
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Grassley's primary isn't until June 7th. It'll be interesting to see whether a lot of people change their tune once primary season is over, or whether they'll already be too committed to obstruction at that point.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:44 AM
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Couldn't the GOP technically change the primary rules?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:59 AM
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270 -- obligatory reminder that "Thomas is (was?) Scalia's lackey" is a false and affirmatively racist meme. Thomas is crazy but he's smart and principled he's his own independent brand of crazy. That is all.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:01 AM
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So, John "torture" Yoo has thrown out Biden as an acceptable Obama consensus nominee, in the middle of an argument on how the senate shouldn't confirm anyone. Is there something I'm missing here?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431319/antonin-scalia-supreme-court-successor-obama-nomination-senate


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:35 AM
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284: One step down the road to President Ryan.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:45 AM
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Is there something I'm missing here?

Assuming you're not missing that they are an unholy mess and all over the place and have no clue what they are doing, then no.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:46 AM
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283: Thomas is far purer in his principles than Scalia was. That's for sure.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:49 AM
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Scalia had to maintain the fiction in his mind that he was some kind of principled genius so every now and then he had cases he could point to as not mere partisan stances. Thomas has no illusions about being anything but a partisan hack.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:56 AM
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Interesting that even Yoo thinks a "moderate" would be fine. Also "interesting" that this is a guy who spent his entire career advocating for unbridled executive power but whatevs. Law professors are so much hackier than lawyers -- at least it's clear who is paying us and we have professional obligations to them.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:57 AM
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288 is completely wrong. Thomas is crazy but is truer to his insane vision of the law than any of the other conservatives. What you say is true of Alito, but not Thomas.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:59 AM
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Ok, here is the new master plan. The senate has already announced they no longer believe in governance. Here's what should happen: Obama nominates a young person from the BLM leadership, which then gets blocked by Republicans. 1) This is good for Hillary, because Hillary has positioned herself as Obama 2.0, and linking herself to BLM shores up her support with progressives, and in particular, younger black progressives, whom she is beginning to lose to Sanders. 2) It's good for Sanders, because he has a lot of support from BLM, so it ties him more closely in with Obama's legacy. 3) It validates very white wingnut fever dream that Obama is secretly a Black Panther radical Maoist. This gets them angry/scared enough not to risk their primary vote on a candidate who hasn't openly embraced racism, so support for Trump skyrockets. We end up with Sanders/Clinton vs. Trump. Progressives, young people, and African-Americans are pissed off at the senate, and invigorated to go to the polls and vote for either Democrat. Mainstream Republicans are angry, but they're not going to vote for Trump, so they stay home/move to South America.

Successful plan or Slate pitch?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:59 AM
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289

Yeah, I liked the logic. The senate shouldn't approve anyone! Except for maybe a moderate like Joe Biden! Uh...ok?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:01 AM
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The idea of Joe Biden is another piece of evidence for my strong belief that the Senate will be happy to accept a nominee over 70 years old. But it won't be Biden. It will be Richard Posner. Think Posnertive!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:02 AM
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285

Yeah, that's scary. Could Biden be both president and SCJ at the same time? I haven't read my constitution in a long time.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:06 AM
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I wonder if they promised not to compromise on a nominee to bait him into making a recess appointment so that they could wash their hands of the whole thing and get their base even more committed to showing up in November. If they work with him, their base is going to be mad. Otherwise, they can kick and scream about King Obama flouting the usual constitutional process.

You can't be an obstructionist party without something to fight.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:13 AM
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291

"You went full progressive, man. Never go full progressive."


Posted by: OPINIONATED KIRK LAZARUS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:18 AM
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bait him into making a recess appointment

I seriously doubt Obama's going to try that.

The 'fight! fight!' framing embraced by significant portions of the press is dispiriting. Here we have CNN -- or rather, Dana Bash -- explaining that Obama "still will be technically the president of the United States for the next 11 months."

I have yet to see in the mainstream media a firm repudiation of the claim on the part of some prominent Republicans that there's an 80-year precedent that outgoing Presidents don't appoint new SC justices. Maybe I missed it, but as of yesterday, this was still being confidently asserted with no challenge. The public is, I'm sure, going to take it as truth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:28 AM
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Mark Kleiman has a twisted mind.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:30 AM
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294: I could see the court not liking it. The Ineligibility Clause explicitly disallows a member of the Legislature holding an office in either of the other two branches, but it does not prevent a judge/justice from holding an executive position. John Marshall was simultaneously Secretary of State and Chief Justice. But things have evolved since then--the role of the judiciary changed greatly during Marshall's own tenure and I could reasonably see it being argued that the intent of the clause would include preventing executive/judicial dual-hatting.

(Not that any of this matters and such a scenario is probably a fantasy anyway.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:30 AM
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Yeah, Scalia's death leaves Alito totally unchallenged as the worst and most intellectually dishonest Justice. (Those are two separate awards. He wins both in a landslide.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:30 AM
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Successful plan or Slate pitch?

Slate pitch, it would look like pandering and the media would criticize Obama for being unserious. It would be amusing, however (see also the 7th person on this list.

FWIW, SCOTUSBlog makes the argument for Loretta Lynch.

It definitely does look like Bill went from "Hillary is great! She's a real change maker, she'll actually get some real stuff done unlike...not that I'm saying he didn't get things done he totally did! it's just that [situations which clearly will not change if Hillary is elected] blocked him that's all." That's definitely attacking Obama, and then catching himself right afterwards and back tracking.

It's silly to re-hash this too much, since it doesn't matter, but I was thinking last night that the whole thing makes much more sense if you think it's being driven by a reaction to Sanders not Obama.

[Sanders critique of Hillary is that she won't make important change] --> Hillary is a change agent --> Obama good too --> "Not a soul in this room believes" [that Obama would have accomplished more change if he had been more liberal].

Front to back, it makes sense as a response to Sanders.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:32 AM
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The moderator of the last Republican debate called Cruz out on it and pointed out that the Senate confirmed Anthony Kennedy in February of 1988.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:39 AM
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I wonder if the Senate is still such that it would be hard for even Republicans to vote against a sitting senator. Plausible candidates are:

Warren (too old, wouldn't be confirmed)
Amy Klobuchar (youngish, liberal)
Cory Booker (did he ever actually practice law? but might be moderate enough, also the racial angle makes it harder for Republicans to reject)
Claire McKaskill (moderate, would probably lose a senate seat in Missouri, not too young and not too old)
Gillibrand (young, excellent business lawyer)
Blumenthal (too old, probably)
Tammy Baldwin (was she ever a real lawyer?)
Casey Jr (unacceptable on abortion, was he ever a real lawyer?)
Heidi Heitkamp (was she ever a real lawyer?)
Tim Kaine (real lawyer, moderate reputation)

Obviously I've left off folks who aren't lawyers (not technically ineligible!) and people who are way too old. I'd say Booker, Gillibrand, Kaine, McKaskill and maybe Klobuchar would have shots of getting through and (maybe) make it hard for their colleagues to vote against. But this may well rest on a vision of the Senate that's about to die, or that will die if put to this particular test.



Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:45 AM
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I love the Pam Karlan suggestion.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:46 AM
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Heitkamp was a lawyer for the EPA, a tax lawyer for the state of North Dakota, and a (failed) attorney general candidate.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:49 AM
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Although if he's actually looking to get someone confirmed, I really like the idea of Klobuchar.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:50 AM
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I'm of course wrong about Heitkamp, who served as ND's attorney general; I was thinking about her failed run for governor when she stopped campaigning due to chemotherapy.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:56 AM
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Karlan would be fantastic, but I think a total pipe dream.

As someone who has to work with the actual written product I could not disagree more with the rampant praise of S as a legal writer, particularly over the last decade or so there's I think been a marked decline in the quality of his output. The dissents were becoming truly awful, cheap nasty work.

Agree re assessment of Thomas above.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:57 AM
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How about this. Gonna block anyone who gets nominated, eh McConnell? How about Supreme Court nominee Mitch McConnell?

Or Ted Cruz


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:00 PM
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302: The moderator of the last Republican debate called Cruz out on it and pointed out that the Senate confirmed Anthony Kennedy in February of 1988.

Yeah, and how many members of the American public caught that or grasped its significance?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:02 PM
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The dissents were becoming truly awful, cheap nasty work

But they made for great song lyrics.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:05 PM
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the racial angle makes it harder for Republicans to reject

I seriously doubt this is true. The Republican Party could not give a good goddamn about the black vote, never mind the theoretical sliver that could feasibly be won to their side from a SCOTUS nomination strategy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:10 PM
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her failed run for governor when she stopped campaigning due to chemotherapy.

I don't want a quitter on the Court.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:15 PM
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303, 309: I know we're fooling around at this point, but honestly I don't want Obama to preemptively compromise just in order to provide a nominee who might make things uncomfortable for the Senate. Fuck that. Come up with a suitably qualified candidate and let the chips fall where they may.

I'm not sure that it's extraordinarily important that a new Justice be confirmed before Obama leaves office, anyway: I'm not willing to call this a constitutional crisis. It makes a mess of things to leave the seat open for likely more than a year, certainly, but from a liberal perspective, most of the important pending cases are/were a danger to us, not them. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

And the calculus arguably works more against the Republicans if the new appointment is made by a new administration and Congress: Dems stand a good chance of taking the White House and regaining control of the Senate. In fact I'm surprised that Republicans aren't more cautious on this front.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:15 PM
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honestly I don't want Obama to preemptively compromise

Ha!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:19 PM
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Yeah, it's not too politically worrisome. I'm still confident that a) Dems will win 2016 so obstruction is moot at worst and b) nine months of obstruction will be costlier to the Republicans than it is to the Dems.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:21 PM
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from a liberal perspective, most of the important pending cases are/were a danger to us, not them.

Kagan's recused from a few cases, including Evenwell (the insane voting rights act case, which would require districts drawn on registered or eligible voters, not total population). So there could be a 4-3 conservative majority there, which would be pretty bad.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:25 PM
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Oh, on checking, I fucked that up. Kagan is recused from Fisher (the affirmative action case) but not Evenwell. In either case, a new solidly liberal court would probably overrule a 4-3 decision in either so it might not matter much. Unless a Republican wins the 2016 Presidential election, in which case we're unbelievably fuckedd.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:28 PM
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I barely look at Supreme Court opinions, but I thought the last decade was making differences between Scalia and Thomas even more clear.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:32 PM
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It's been mentioned upthread, but I just want to reiterate: for the numerous GOP Senators facing tough reelection (good rundown here; TL;DR is that things are very Dem-favorable), this face-off is IMO terrible. By definition, these are all Senators facing Dem-leaning electorates, most of whom only ever won because of the 2010 wave, with a completely different electorate. Furthermore, what a Senator needs to win in a purple* state is an appearance of statesmanship: he can be a partisan, but the Senate is supposed to be the dignified, grownup house of Congress. Leaving a SCOTUS seat empty for 12 months is flagrant hackery, and very high profile at that. And, since the GOP advantage is only 4 seats, they need solidarity, and there's nowhere to hide. I don't think McConnell can afford to allow even a single Senator to break ranks, because there are at least 7 of them who want/need to (how do you tell the other 6 to piss off?).

What this leaves you with is all of these vulnerable Senators with nothing but a very thin talking point on a very easily understandable issue.

I should add here that, IMO, the Senate probably flips regardless, and a Dem president will almost certainly (95%+) have a Dem Senate. I could see a Republican president squeaking through with a bare win, but still losing the Senate (Ayotte, Johnson, and Toomey are doomed, with Kirk looking vulnerable; that still leaves us needing one more, due to Republican VP).

*broadly defined


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:32 PM
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I'm with 316.

Is there another round of case selection in the next year? Is the choice to hear certain cases determined by majority vote, or does Roberts play an outsized role? Would he be allowed to stick with cases where the existing decision is favorable to Republicans?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:32 PM
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Gosh I'm ignorant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:33 PM
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312: I'm sure you're right, in that the Republican Party of 2016 is not the Republican Party of 2000, but the reason to care about the optics of it is to appeal to moderate swing voters. The 2000 Republican National Convention created the illusion of an inclusive party for just that reason.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:35 PM
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DAPA and the Texas abortion cases are the real downsides of not getting a new appointee in soon, I think. Both of them could probably be fixed in upcoming terms (assuming an eventual Dem appointee) but a lot of people will suffer in the meantime. Maybe the emissions case too though I'm not sure they'd lift the stay even with Scalia's seat filled.

321: The Court decides whether to grant review on cases on a rolling basis (with a big pause in the summer). If four Justices vote to hear a case, they hear it; no special role for Roberts.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:40 PM
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If Obama had any balls he'd recess appoint himself and be done with it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:43 PM
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318: Oh, on checking, I fucked that up.

God, don't do that, Tigre! I was about to go check and then become worried: Evenwel (the one person-one vote case) is pretty freaking important.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:43 PM
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I'm starting to become less worried about this whole circus and come around a little to the "Wow, Obama really does have some kind of magic wand of "my enemy does something incredibly stupid" position." If the Senate had just talked about how great Scalia was and then zipped a relatively moderate candidate through (after a short behind-the-scenes negotiation) as quickly as possible they could have spent the six months before the election running around with their hair on fire talking about how we need to restore the Supreme court and how Ginsberg was about to die and replacing her with a strong conservative would be necessary to save the constitution or whatever. They could have just picked out some of their least vulnerable senators, or "maverick!" ones or ones who wouldn't be up for election for another four years or something to cross the line to vote the candidate through and probably gotten away with it (though those guys would probably have needed a bodyguard or two for a while).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:46 PM
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320: Can't the other 40+ just filibuster, and let the ones who need to avoid the confrontation stay off the record?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:47 PM
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thanks, potch!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:48 PM
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I don't have any idea who this Cuellar guy is, but he's 43 years old, so I am 100% in favor of him as the nominee.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:51 PM
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327: I think that in the short run it's not really a mistake. It takes a lot to rouse the average voter from their coma, and I don't know if this is enough.

The problem in the long-run is that it raises expectations among their base that they can't meet. They went as far as they could in obstructing Obamacare, but they promised the base they would actually repeal it, so of course they don't get any credit for what the managed to do.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 12:51 PM
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328: They could have, but they've ruled that out. McConnell is saying he won't even hold a vote, possibly won't even let it go to Committee. That's why this looks like such a misplay of his hand. A lengthy debate about how shitty Obama's nominee is would be relatively neutral ground, but this sort of obstruction is not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 1:02 PM
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the reason to care about the optics of it is to appeal to moderate swing voters.

All four of them?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 1:11 PM
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332: That's the bit that's bizarre: they did it so quickly that it looked like they'd planned it out ahead of time just in case. I mean, the response was from multiple people within something like an hour of the announcement. But it seems like such obviously bad planning that it's hard to be sure what they were really going for with it. They'd certainly have gotten the same "Well they're likely to hold this up a lot and Obama will obviously have to pick a moderate like Alito if he wants to get his nominee confirmed" press even if they'd just said "It's a tragedy that great jurist Scalia is dead and we honor his legacy" and so on and then attack Obama the second he mentions a replacement for politicizing Scalia's death or something. ("HE JUST DIED TWO AND A HALF MONTHS AGO! HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR THE DEAD!")


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 1:18 PM
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334: Honestly, while I take your point, I kind of think that they've gone so far over the edge that they didn't get one step farther than the knee-jerk reaction. I mean, everybody knew immediately that they'd never approve an Obama nominee, and it may have been a small step from that tacit understanding to a foolishly bold proclamation.

And then there's the part that, from a narrow self-interest POV, this may be the best outcome* for most Republican Senators. They fear being primaried more than they fear basically anything else, and this is probably the best way to avoid that primary (because "he misapplied game theory, resulting in a worse SC justice than we otherwise would have had" is not exactly red meat).

*or perceived to be so, even after consideration


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 1:53 PM
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The dissents were becoming truly awful, cheap nasty work

But they made for great song lyrics.

That link is fascinating, thank you. I think it is less addressed to the nature of Scalia's dissents (though the chorus is well done). I hear it as a comment on the nature of political power -- as depicted in the song, Scalia has no more insight into the problems of life or the collective culture than a coffee-house songwriter does and yet his, "I dissent" carries far more weight.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 2:09 PM
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The more I read about Srivinasan, the less I like him as a nominee. Seems like he would likely fall squarely between Roberts and Breyer, somewhere around Kennedy (probably to Kennedy's left of some issues and to his right on others). We can do better than that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 2:27 PM
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Let's also remember that actuarial tables say it's quite possible a second justice will die this year (probably a liberal one). Just to make things more interesting. Especially since Obama already murdered one, why not a second?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 2:50 PM
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I don't know what incentive Obama would have to murder one of the liberal justices...?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:01 PM
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337: Kennedy is a weird comparison point because he swings so wildly between different extreme positions rather than being a moderate who's clearly somewhere in a continuum between Roberts and Kagan. O'Connor, who he clerked for, is perhaps a more apt comparison.

According to the New Yorker he's a Walter Dellinger protege. So my guess would be that he falls somewhere between O'Connor and Dellinger. At any rate if he's not clearly to the left of O'Connor than it would be crazy to nominate him. I think I trust Obama to know this.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:01 PM
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The post title has given me two alternating ear worms sustained by the sidebar. Frankie and Edith.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:20 PM
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337. Srinivasan would be at least four or five Kennedy-units left of Scalia. Not that bad, really.

Agree with everyone that "we won't confirm anyone" was utterly stupid, an own goal.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:44 PM
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Question for the open politics thread.

I was remembering one of Bernie Sanders' lines from the last debate which was (IIRC) "3 of the 4 largest banks are bigger now than they were before the financial crisis."

And it struck me, wasn't that a deliberate policy at the time -- encouraging large stable banks to buy banks which were less stable (Chase buying WaMu, for example). If I'm remembering that correctly, that seems like a lousy reason to break up the banks -- it seems like a good reason to tilt policy and regulation in favor of giving smaller banks better ability to compete (and I know I've seen proposals which would, for example, raise the capital requirements as the size of the bank increases, which would be specifically designed to give smaller banks a competitive advantage).

Am I getting that right?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 3:46 PM
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342: surely we're not using "left of Scalia" as the barometer?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:58 PM
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Just because it was a crisis-response to make banks bigger and may have made sense then in the short term, doesn't mean it was a good outcome.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 4:58 PM
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344. Why not? Gotta quantify! There is no way the current Senate is gonna go a full 10 KU left of Scalia. Maybe President Cruz goes 1 KU right of Scalia, or the GOP rejects someone 10 KU left, ad infinitum.

(As we all know, the International Standard SC Scale runs from +5 to -5. A Kennedy Unit is somewhat uncertain but seems to be the amount he tacks left or right of the zero or "mythical moderate" rating.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:10 PM
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Too bad Robert Kardashian is dead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:31 PM
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343: At least some of the plan was, indeed, to have large, stable banks buy small, unstable ones; that's how PNC Bank was (briefly) the #5 bank in the country.

I dunno. I lean heavily towards the sense that absolute size is irrelevant: a. any bank that's larger than "regional" is big enough to distort things economically; b. it's trivial for 20 large banks to lobby together and have just as malign an impact as 5 huge ones; c. Dodd-Frank has, in fact, been reasonably effective by applying stricter regulation on huge banks, which we can clearly see through their declining leverage and profitability; this presumably also reduces the odds of catastrophic failure.

I'm just not convinced that size is the definitive source of evil banking.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 5:31 PM
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I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't comment on Ogged's announcement of Scalia's death.

Anyway, I implore Obama to nominate McManus.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:05 PM
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McManus is too old!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:07 PM
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Remember when the Volohk conspiracy was supposedly the conservative but rational law professor blog?. Yeah me neither. Way to elide the difference between opposing a recess appointment and opposing the president having any role whatsoever during his last 11 months in office. Oh, look, his bio basically says, "I am a hack."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:27 PM
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If nominated I promise to be all fascist in hearings, and as justice secretly let Pam Karlan write all my opinions. Except those about dogs. And pot. And maybe IP. I will have all female interns assistants whatchaevers, some who may be on this very blog! I will do my best to get into a fistfight with John Roberts.

Nymous cause I'm already hiding my paper trail.


Posted by: Opinionated Nymous | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:32 PM
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352 is an attractive platform, but I want to hear from Neb as well before deciding who to support.

Just because it was a crisis-response to make banks bigger and may have made sense then in the short term, doesn't mean it was a good outcome.

I'm not saying it was a good outcome, just saying that it isn't evidence for needing a political revolution -- since, in that specific case, I don't think it's an example of banks working the system.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:41 PM
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||

OT for this thread, but I had to ask. Do folks think that the GOP might have a brokered convention? I can't figure out the delegate math for any of them.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:49 PM
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I promise to only say "that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in my life" at most once a day.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 6:49 PM
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since, in that specific case, I don't think it's an example of banks working the system.

Huh? Big banks had their prints all over basically every aspect of the response to the crisis, whether directly from the outside or indirectly by virtue of having friendly people on the inside.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:12 PM
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356 is right. They didn't come up with that solution in an isolation booth.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:23 PM
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I am not an expert but . . .

1) Reading Brad DeLong, one thing he emphasised in his analysis of the crisis was the need to provide more safe assets, and to turn risky assets into safer ones. His suggestion was selling Treasury bonds to have the government buy financial assets. But the political appetite for that was obviously limited. Having stable banks buy troubled banks seems like a fairly direct way to address the same issue.

2) Considering JRoth's point above, it's unclear that a policy which increases concentration in the banking sector without increasing the size of the sector is necessarily a problem -- worth trying to unwind, but not an obvious example of politics bending to the interests of the banks.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:42 PM
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354: "Might" could mean "possibly" as in 1% chance. Sure.

We will know more in about three weeks, but if Trump stays at a third, and the others don't drop out the superdelegates will keep him from clinching, and abrokering we will.

The unknown unknowns are determining this year. I strongly expect at least one umm withdrawal for health reasons. Bulletitis.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:44 PM
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Try googling "monopoly capitalism" I am not doing 150 years of evidence and argument in a blog thread.

This thread is terrible, because it isn't forgetting the problems of trust, monopolies, and oligopolies, so much as knowing and just not giving a fuck.

Neoliberalism has gotten us all.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:49 PM
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Have they cremated the fucker yet? I want to go and poke his carcass with a stick. Just to make sure.

Enjoying immensely all the speculation of what Obama will do and how it will all play out. And I agree that saying out loud that they will not even consider any nominee is a GOP own goal but I'm worried that the press is just playing along with this "Obama is still technically the president" bullshit. Is this being widely supported in the MSM there? I can't get a read from oven here.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:49 PM
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oven s/b over, it's still winter so not an oven here yet.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:51 PM
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Is it normal for the White House to fly flags at half mast when a supreme court justice dies? I don't recall that previously, but I may just not be remembering.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 7:57 PM
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Amid all the fretting about the Republicans and Obama and his tendency toward compromise, it's important that we maintain perspective and remember that no matter what happens, Scalia is still dead and the world is a better place.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:02 PM
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Rehnquist died in office in 2005, and flags went half mast for him. Before that, the last justice to die in office was Robert Jackson in 1954.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:04 PM
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Have they cremated the fucker yet?

Was he to be cremated? I thought Catholics were against cremation. Maybe that's changed.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:22 PM
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346

If you want to quantify, you should check out the Martin-Quinn scores. There's a recent article on 538, but the bottom line is that supposedly the median judge (Kennedy) is already barely liberal, and the new appointment has a chance to be the most liberal since the 60s.

Also, it's interesting that almost every judge becomes more liberal over time. Link


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 8:58 PM
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354 - As things stand I think Trump is doing fine on the way to a win. Even leaving aside winner-takes-all states, the proportional allocation in a lot of the other states isn't, well, that proportional. And at the moment he has something like 17/40 delegates even given his weaker showing in Iowa. I'm pretty sure that South Carolina's version of "proportional" is that there are 7 districts and whoever wins each one gets 3 delegates for that, and then whoever gets the most votes statewide gets an additional 29 delegates. If the current polling were to extend evenly across all the districts Trump could easily just pick up all the delegates assigned and move the numbers to 67/90, which is a pretty substantial majority.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:15 PM
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The race is still in play, I mean, and Ted Cruz has a solid shot at it as well. And if the establishment people give up and accept that Bush is their candidate (because he damn well will keep smashing up the other ones with negative ads no matter what) he has a shot, if a weaker one, at it too. But actually getting a brokered convention isn't as easy as it sounds.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:17 PM
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The most likely brokered scenario is that Trump builds up a lead early with Cruz doing ok, and then more people drop out and Rubio wins most of the delegates later on. But it's close enough that Cruz's delegates stop either side from having a majority. Not terribly likely.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:25 PM
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So what are the odds of Trump not being the R nominee but soldiering on as a candidate regardless?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 9:38 PM
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Pretty good, given that he said as much today.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:02 PM
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I thanked God earlier for Trump and his campaign. I really feel blessed by it. I may have to send Trump a card or something. Between this and calling out W's lies he really seems to be trying to earn my vote.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:17 PM
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Trump is pantsing Bush again.

http://www.jebbush.com


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:50 PM
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Ha!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 10:58 PM
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That is amazing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:13 PM
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The 2008 financial crisis was a huge opportunity for banks to make acquisitions, and the big banks' leaders saw that clearly:

"Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase," he began. "What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop."

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-15-16 11:16 PM
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376. Not merely amazing, but it implies a level of basic incompetence in the Bush campaign that's almost impossible to grasp. Unless Trump has been secretly planning this whole thing since 2012...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 4:16 AM
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Republicans don't have super delegates. They have them in name but they're pledged to vote for the winner of their state so really just additional winner take all delegates.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 6:07 AM
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I was going to say I was impressed that Republicans were actually being more democratic than Democrats here, but the whole thing is still bullshit. Its an outdated historical leftover that we are even still using delegates as part of the nomination process, instead of an aggregation of state-level popular votes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 8:07 AM
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|| NMM to Boutros, Boutros, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. |>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 8:33 AM
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Huh:

Domain Name: jebbush.com
Registry Domain ID: 635482_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.fabulous.com
Registrar URL: http://www.fabulous.com
Updated Date: 2016-02-09T04:03:33Z
Creation Date: 1997-11-19T05:00:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2024-11-18T00:00:00Z


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 8:44 AM
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Well, that sucks. I always respected him for getting railroaded by the Clinton administration.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 8:46 AM
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I don't understand what's going on with 374. Has Bush's website been hacked by Trump supporters? (Surely not by Trump's campaign itself...?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:01 AM
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382: Wayback Machine says it has has been redirecting to Trump's site since early December.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:03 AM
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384: http://www.newsweek.com/jeb-bush-dot-com-redirects-donald-trump-dot-com-402033


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:05 AM
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Apparently the Bush campaign let the domain registration expire and the Trump outfit noticed. Somebody is going to get fired, but it's probably too late.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:06 AM
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That's pretty bizarrely incompetent.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:17 AM
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I would guess that under established policy on "stolen" domains that Jeb! could get it back pretty easily. (My company firewall blocks it as "bad reputation," which is pretty funny.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:19 AM
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I don't believe they ever owned it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:34 AM
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Well that's even more bizarrely incompetent. Surely the first thing you do when you're setting up a political campaign is to buy every domain name that could conceivably be associated with it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:43 AM
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Particularly the one that 90 percent of people would try first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:51 AM
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I'm looping back around to the idea that Trump is a genius performance-artist Democratic secret agent, so pissed off by the presidency of GWB that he has agreed to go undercover in the Republican primaries simply to fuck them and the Republican message up beyond repair, and in particular make sure another Bush never gets anywhere near the White House.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:58 AM
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He's certainly having an effect like that anyway.

My suspicion though is that he entered the race largely for the opportunity to take a long desired revenge on Jeb!, and then not only managed to hideously damage his presidential prospects but also end up a frontrunner. I'm not sure what his (confirmed?) conversation with Clinton before he announced was about, but I'm guessing it was something like that. And his ego is certainly big enough that he's not going to let that go, especially since it would involve looking like a loser running away from a fight with a large chunk of the media. Also he's already damaged the career he had before so fighting for a place as a right wing spokesperson, whether or not he wins the primary, is probably a good idea too.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:09 AM
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I'd imagine that he looks around that stage, and at HRC, and says to himself 'why the hell not me?'

He's certainly entertaining.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:14 AM
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It took me a second to find but this is what I was thinking about when I said he wanted revenge above.

It has been fun to watch Trump demonstrate exactly how much better he understands the Republican base than pretty much the entire power structure that made them the way they are. I never fail to be amused by watching conservative (so-called)intellectuals try to understand how no one in the party seems to care about the principles and foundational beliefs that they've been trying to sell people as the heart of the conservative movement. The number of them who simply refuse to see what their very obvious role in the conservative movement is is genuinely hilarious.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:18 AM
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Why should he care about damaging the career he had before? He's rising 70: most billionaires his age go fishing.

What do we actually know about Trump?

* He leaned D most of his life till last year, when he started chasing the R nomination after speaking with Bill Clinton;
* He has been running his campaign exactly as he would if he had been simply seeing what he could get away with before somebody rumbled him;
* He's never had any national political ambitions before (neither had Perot, so it doesn't mean much), but he might like the idea of being president even if the campaign started as a joke, because a lot of people would kiss his arse and throw money at him, which are the things he likes most.

I think I'm with Buttercup here. I suspect that if elected he would a. do as little as constitutionally possible and b. be denounced as a RINO by the end of February 2017.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:25 AM
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Most of his career involves selling himself publicly as a badass businessman, so I'm guessing pure narcissism made being repudiated by a bunch of television networks kind of sting. Also for all his D leanings (or probable ones) he's a billionaire with a genuine (racist) hate on for Obama so I think it makes a lot more sense that the Republican party would be the ideological home for him. Most of the leaning-Democrat stuff I've seen looks more like a general disinterest in a lot of politics, a kind of New York social liberalism, and a raging hatred of the Bushes.

God only knows what he would do as President, but I certainly don't think he'd be popular among conservatives after he started doing literally anything. The conservative-ideology crackpots already find him really distasteful - that's where Cruz comes in - but I think they'd wince and vote for him in the general and then complain mightily immediately afterwards.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:37 AM
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397: He very publicly flirted with running in the Republican primaries in 2012, actually.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:48 AM
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(As I've said before) Trump is solely trying to win a reality TV show called "win the nomination" (but the ratings are going so well that he's now anticipating Season II, "the general election"). He is driven by competition and ego, and there are no tricks that are off-limits because he just wants to win, and he has given basically no thought to the idea that he'd have to govern after the election. He is doing exactly what is most expedient to win.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:54 AM
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I know conventional wisdom is that it was okay for liberals to laugh at Trump initially but we are now long since since past that point and we're supposed to be horrified and outraged by him. (I think the shift happened with force around the time he called for a ban on muslim immigration.) But I can't help it: I'm still highly amused--bordering on delighted--by his campaign, and I wish him nothing but success in the primaries.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:03 AM
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I think 400 comes closest to it, but if you read the situation that way, you also have to acknowledge that Trump is a political genius who has redefined the concept of political expediency.

This is a guy who shits all over Republican orthodoxy and gets Republican votes not in spite of this, but because of it.

Trump is an authentic Republican populist. He gives the people what they want instead of trying to force some ideological nonsense on them. How exhausting it must be to force yourself to believe GW Bush was a good president! Trump has got to be a huge relief for people with even the most rudimentary ability to recognize their own cognitive dissonance.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:06 AM
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402: How exhausting it must be to force yourself to believe Trump is a political genius!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:07 AM
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It's been kind of puzzling to watch liberal commentators freak out over Trump. As far as I can tell, he's no worse, substantively, than any of the other R candidates. The press has been acting like racist demagoguery is some entirely new campaign tactic that they've never heard of before (because the GOP never engaged in racist demagoguery before Trump came along, apparently).


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:07 AM
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But I guess political genius can just mean stupid in precisely the same way as many other people. I guess that's not a stretch.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:09 AM
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404: For a long time now nothing even close to how openly Trump is doing it. And in this case, hypocrisy is definitely a virtue.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:10 AM
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YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO USE DOG WHISTLES AND CODE WORDS! ANYTHING ELSE IS BARBARISM.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MAINSTREAM MEDIA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:10 AM
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404: His substance is that Mexicans are rapists, and all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. The rest of his campaign is fluff.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:12 AM
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404:

He also vociferously defended social security in the last debate and called Dubya a literal war criminal. He's actually better than the others in my book.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:13 AM
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401: I feel the same way, but I try to remember that this really is a hideously white-privileged point of view.

I mean, when it comes down to rounding up brown people and putting them in concentration camps, Trump really is identifiably worse than his competitors, godawful as they are.

I ain't brown, so I don't have to worry about it on a personal level. I can afford to be amused.

But yeah, on pretty much everything else, Trump is either no worse or conspicuously better than the competition. And he often skewers the GOP in exactly the way I wish Democrats would. The Iraq War was fucking ridiculous! People defending it in 2016 should be mocked mercilessly.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:14 AM
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I ain't brown, so I don't have to worry about it on a personal level. I can afford to be amused.

Do you really feel that way? I don't feel like I can afford to be amused, and I'm quite pale. Maybe because I'm Jewish.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:16 AM
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410.1 is right, although I really do believe that he's utterly unelectable. I wouldn't be so sanguine if I thought he had even a remote shot at becoming president.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:21 AM
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407 is right: the freakout is largely due to the fact that he's refusing to do it in a way they can ignore or pretend isn't happening. Also he was their idea of a joke candidate for long enough that they haven't figured out a way to turn around and promote him as a right wing but reasonable statesman which is what they want to do to whichever candidate looks most likely to win the primary.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:24 AM
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412: Don't you think he's the most likely Republican nominee at this point?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:28 AM
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He also vociferously defended social security in the last debate and called Dubya a literal war criminal

And said that Planned Parenthood did "wonderful things for women's health".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:29 AM
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Do you really feel that way?

Yeah, I do. I'm sorry. I'm ashamed of it, but I really do feel that way.

Or at least, I need to consciously remind myself that my gut reaction to Trump is informed by the fact that despite Trump's failure to personally threaten me, he's still an incredibly evil son of a bitch about whom I have no right to be amused.

Maybe because I'm Jewish.

Yeah, see, I get that. I'm not Jewish.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:31 AM
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414: I sure hope so, because he should lose very badly in a general election.

(Is he mostly likely? I don't know. I thought his support even among republicans was pretty well capped, and he's winning only because everyone else is splitting the remainder of the vote. That will change sooner or later, in which case I expect he will stop winning primaries. The only question is whether it will change soon enough to keep him from winning the nomination, which is unclear.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:32 AM
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And he often skewers the GOP in exactly the way I wish Democrats would. The Iraq War was fucking ridiculous!
This is so true and so incredibly frustrating.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:33 AM
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Does anyone call Trump out on his lies about having opposed the Iraq War at the time?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:40 AM
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Trump says Medicare should negotiate drug prices.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:42 AM
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419: Why would anyone do that? Does anyone think that truth-telling is a qualification for the Republican presidential nomination?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:43 AM
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And if you do think truth-telling is a qualification, why would you single out Trump?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:46 AM
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417: People have been saying he's hit his support ceiling since he was polling at something like 15%, so I don't know if there's any evidence that he can't pick up more people than he already has if someone drops out of the race. I'm not certain which person would toss him the most support, but that's mainly because he doesn't seem to have any real pattern in which groups support him most. There's some variability, but in general he doesn't seem to belong to any one of the standard Republican factions the way a lot of the other candidates do.

My guess is that he would benefit most from Cruz dropping out, which probably won't happen. But from the polling I've seen he has good second-choice polling numbers too, and as people drop out (if they drop out) there are bound to be some people who think of him as a third choice. And it's not clear to me that he doesn't already have enough support to win a three-way race already, given how the allotment of delegates works out.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:50 AM
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421; They all claim to be truth-tellers and accuse the others of being liars. It's what they do.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:50 AM
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Further, Trump isn't creating new nativist/racist sentiment. It was already there, and I have been saying for years that *that* is the true core of modern conservatism rather than the various policy preferences that give under-belt chubbies to NRO and WSJ columnists. Lifting the rock and shining a light on the profound ugliness that motivates the current GOP base is absolutely key to busting up their electoral coalition going forward. A Trump nomination is going to poison the Republican well for a long time. Defeating a Trump nomination isn't going to make his ignorant, hateful following disappear.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:52 AM
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424: And they're all lying.

Interestingly, Trump's fellow Republicans can't really call him out on this one, because the gist of that complaint is: You're just benefiting from hindsight. They can't attribute this sentiment to Trump, because it contains the implicit admission that, in hindsight, the war was wrong.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:54 AM
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422: It's not an attack on Trump by me -- it just seems like an obvious way Jeb Bush might counter Trump.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:54 AM
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Lifting the rock and shining a light on the profound ugliness that motivates the current GOP base is absolutely key to busting up their electoral coalition going forward.

What if they decide the ugly thing is beautiful? Or at least not such a big deal -- just some brown people after all....


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:57 AM
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I agreed with a lot of the commentary above, and repeat that these primaries are the Best Show Ever.

The situation really favors Obama's standard approach. He does the proper thing and the Republicans wig out for a while. We all complain that Obama doesn't understand the Republicans and why can't he negotiate. The Republicans get to some freakout and collapse, and when the dust clears, Obama had gained all the possible ground.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:58 AM
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I think that complaint is more historical than current. At this point Obama definitely knows how to get what he wants out of them, but he spent a lot of time stuck in the belief that he could negotiate with them in a more normal way and that hurt him a lot.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:02 PM
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They can't attribute this sentiment to Trump, because it contains the implicit admission that, in hindsight, the war was wrong.

That does make it a little tricky.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:02 PM
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426 to 427.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:03 PM
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these primaries are the Best Show Ever

I'd rather watch old Law and Order episodes. And I don't like Law and Order.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:04 PM
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431 to 432.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:04 PM
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435 to 434


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:20 PM
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On the delegate count, aren't y'all assuming that nobody drops out? I mean, OK: unless their support utterly collapses, neither Trump nor Cruz is leaving, because they're sociopaths. Rubio probably doesn't either (since he's quit his day job), and nobody else is polling enough to matter.

I guess my point is: what happens to delegates once their pledged nominee is gone? Can they go anywhere they like? Do they have to go where their nominee tells them to? Could it be, say, 29% Trump, 20% Cruz, 25% Rubio, and everybody else goes to Rubio? And if that were the case, would it have to be a brokered convention? I guess if it were that close, Trump and Cruz would force the issue.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:30 PM
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what happens to delegates once their pledged nominee is gone?

Aren't they taken out and shot?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:32 PM
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Back om the OP, Drum makes a convincing argument that Republicans have been conditioned to care more about SCOTUS than Dems, and so that should boost their turnout, but I think he completely overlooks that Republicans disrespecting Obama is at least equally salient the other way. You want blacks to turn out for Bernie Clinton at the same rate they did for Obama in 2012? Go ahead and treat him as a nonentity for the 9 months leading up to the election (don't forget about that budget nonsense). And then there will be whatever ethnic group is represented by the nominee who's left there to hang.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:34 PM
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And then there will be whatever ethnic group is represented by the nominee who's left there to hang.

Since this person is almost certain not to ever make it to the Supreme Court, the question of which ethnicity will help the GOTV effort the most should be Obama's primary criteria.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:40 PM
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I really do believe that he's utterly unelectable

A whole lot of Republicans and their punditry spent a whole lot of 2015 whistling past this particular graveyard.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:41 PM
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If he doesn't get the Dem nomination Sanders should run as Trump's VP. I think it would be pretty great to see how that would turn out.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:42 PM
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Also I think the rule about delegates for candidates that aren't there anymore is that they still have to vote for, e.g., Lindsey Graham the first time around. Then if the second vote comes into play they're just like everyone else except probably even more desirable because you don't have to try to steal them from someone they actually supported.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:44 PM
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Grassley is already showing signs of cracking on the question of whether the Senate should consider a nomination.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:45 PM
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(I'm thinking Trump/Kasich isn't beyond the realm of possibility. K would totally do it if promised Cheney-like powers, and why wouldn't T make that promise? He doesn't want to get bogged down in actual federal policy. All the states that went for Romney are in on this, and so it's just those few low-attention voters in those few swing states weighing how much they care about Benghazi/Email and how much they hate Mexicans/Muslims.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:51 PM
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440: The Republican punditry/establishment was in complete denial about the arc of their party over the past 20-30 years. Nobody gives a shit about tort reform or marginal tax rates, except in the very most abstract sense of "this is one of my team's cheers". All that has mattered for at least a solid plurality is giving the finger to people they don't like. But the Republican base ≠ the American electorate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:52 PM
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Trump is an authentic Republican populist.
Isn't that the niche that Buchanan tried to inhabit, and he ran three times and won NH once? So has populism become more, uh, popular since then or is Trump more popular because he's able to say whatever he wants because he has his own funding?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:54 PM
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442: I like my idea better.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:55 PM
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Buchanan ran on a set of internally coherent policies and went nowhere. Trump is running on insults and dick-swinging contests and is lapping the field.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 12:59 PM
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449

I think Trump is most definitely attracting the racist vote, and he's putting things in the crudest language, shouting it with a bullhorn rather than a dog whistle, but I'm not sure he's substantively more racist than the other candidates. Cruz is if anything trying to run to the right of Trump on illegal immigration,* as was Scott Walker (he of the two walls on both American borders), other candidates have proposed banning Muslim men, Republican governors have publicly declared they won't accept Syrian refugees, etc. Trump is merely taking what are now standard GOP positions and blasting them as loudly, crudely, and repugnantly as possible. That's he's stirring up white supremacists is a real concern, and it's having real negative consequences, the severity of which are still not totally known. But he's not introducing a new layer of racism or racist positions to the Republican platform.

*I've only seen Trump talk about it once, but he made pretty clear distinction between legal and illegal immigrants, and he also explained that his wall would have a door, so deported immigrants would have the ability to return to the US after a vetting process.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:03 PM
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446: Interesting question. I think I agree with you on your latter speculation: that Trump isn't beholden to Republican orthodoxy the way Buchanan was; that Trump is an even bigger bully than Buchanan because not only is he willing to stomp on the brown people, but he's willing to stomp on the Republican Elite that hate brown people insufficiently.

And really, as openly racist as Buchanan was, it seems to me there are several candidates who match or surpass him this year.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:03 PM
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Also, what 448 said. He's distilled the essence of the Republican party as white male rage. As long as he channels that, he can say or do anything, as he himself has noted.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:08 PM
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450

His xenophobia and racism are also really tied up in global capitalism. He's primarily hating on Mexicans as job takers from "real 'Muricans." He's channeling the rage towards Wall Street and "the elites" as much if not more so than he's channeling it towards Muslims/Mexicans. His main message is "Wall Street took your job and shipped it to Mexico." The media is simply reporting Trump's xenophobia without also noting his attack on global capital flows because the immense popularity of Trump's populist economic message isn't something they want to publicize.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:12 PM
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446. So has populism become more, uh, popular since then or is Trump more popular because he's able to say whatever he wants because he has his own funding?

Yes to both. This is a big year for populism. Despite what he says Sanders' appeal is mostly populist. Trump's is mostly populist. Sanders destroying the Democratic establishment the same way Trump is destroying the Republican one. Both party's supporters hate the 1%, both party's establishments love them.

The "hating brown people thing" is no more and no less true than the "there is no possible downside to unlimited immigration" that is the mantra of the other side of the immigration "debate" in both parties establishments). Same with "there is no possible downside to free trade/NAFTA/TPP" in both party's establishments.

There have been a lot of topics that can't be talked about, or if they are talked about are automatically labeled "crazy" (single-payer, breaking up banks, much higher taxes) or "racist" (anything that questions unlimited immigration).

Trump and Sanders are both succeeding because there is a large faction of each party that wants to hear someone talk about those topics. Trump doesn't care if people call him racist, Sanders doesn't care if people call him a socialist.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:22 PM
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449 seems right to me. Trump is a better pro-wrestling candidate, and bellowing things loudly and directly rather than using the approved slimy code words the other ones know how to use. And that works great because, let's be honest, a lot of the people he's appealing to were never entirely clear what those meant and why they had to say things that way. But there's certainly nothing less ugly in what he's promising than any of the others, and he'd probably be less scary as president than, say, Cruz.

The worry I have about Trump is that he's riling up people who were the angry muttering sort but not burning down the building. And now someone is waving a lighter around in front of them. The worry isn't what Trump would do if he won the presidency (probably nothing but make us* all look like complete morons while whoever he picked as VP ran the normal president stuff). It's what those people would decide to do now that someone is officially giving them permission to slip the leash. I still don't know if he'd do nearly as much damage as Cruz or even Rubio would, though, or at least on basic structural stuff. They're clearly just aching to eliminate the New Deal/Great Society entirely and I'm willing to believe they would do as much of that as they could too.

*Americans, that is. But people living in traditionally allied countries shouldn't be too complacent either.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:24 PM
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They're clearly just aching to eliminate the New Deal/Great Society entirely

But "Hell no I won't let anyone cut Social Security! is one of Trumps big positions that sets him apart from the other GOP candidates. And I suspect it contributes to his popularity. I'm sure the GOP base would prefer Social Security for whites only if they could get it, but they certainly aren't sympathetic to the cat food commission types who want to cut it for everyone.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:31 PM
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There have been a lot of topics that can't be talked about, or if they are talked about are automatically labeled ... "racist" (anything that questions unlimited immigration).

That's silly. There is literally no serious proposal on the table for unlimited immigration from any part of any party. I'd be impressed if you could find a single member of Congress of either party supporting such a thing.

But it also really captures Trump's appeal: Say something ridiculous, and as long as you're capturing white people's sense of persecution, you're golden. "Anyone who questions unlimited immigration is called a racist nowadays! I don't care! I tell it like it is!"


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:31 PM
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Trump, on dating in a world with STDs:

"I've been so lucky in terms of that whole world, it is a dangerous world out there, it's scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider," Trump said.

That should go over well with Veterans.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:32 PM
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449 and 454: I'm with peep in 404 on this. The hypocrisy of the remainder of the party is real, and it's a real virtue, relatively speaking.

It genuinely matters what things we are willing and able to say out loud.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:36 PM
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That should go over well with Veterans.

Just so long as he never insults a Republican war-hero POW, he'll be fine.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:37 PM
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The McCain thing was one of the first serious signs that the press/establishment have no idea what they've been doing for a long time: the press corp and commentators think of McCain as a revered elder statesman and hero and couldn't comprehend that other people didn't necessarily feel that way. But the base hated him for losing to the Kenyan Usurper. And other people (like Bush 2000) have gotten all sorts of political gain out of smearing McCain in way more vicious ways than Trump did (or, I suspect, would). So the mass freakout and predictions that he would collapse and everyone would repudiate him for that line was hilarious.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 1:45 PM
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||
NMM to Vanity
|>


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 2:34 PM
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439 has been my thought since literally the minute I heard the news.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 2:41 PM
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449: But I think most of the examples you cite are other candidates playing catchup to Trump, which doesn't work. If a candidate tries to distinguish himself with an unusual, but basically orthodox position (think health care reform in 2008 for Dems), then that's easily coöpted by fellow candidates, because if the base is down for it, why not? But Trump is blasting through the bounds of propriety, and when others follow, it's really obvious me-tooism. Nobody thinks the second guy who pulls the fire alarm is cool.

I'm not denying your basic point, that Trump hasn't really proposed anything that wasn't already e.g. on talk radio. But lots of it had never been said by a national Republican, let alone a popular Presidential candidate. If you count all the worst things Buchanan said on the trail in three runs, I doubt you get to last October before Trump had surpassed them. Republicans use dog whistles; Buchanan used regular whistles; Trump has purchased a butcher shop and thrown the doors open.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 2:48 PM
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Oh Jeb!, never change.

Seriously I've really enjoyed watching him flailing around for the last six months or so. Just a wonderful experience.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:05 PM
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(It's Belgian, not French. And they have a plant here in the US that he was touring. But it's still magnificent.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:06 PM
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There's a meme I keep seeing on Facebook that we shouldn't laugh at Trump, because people laughed at Hitler and look how that turned out. I'd like to think I'd have laughed at Hitler until the bitter end.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:18 PM
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466; Just like Jerry Lewis and Roberto Benigni?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:23 PM
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Aren't they both sad at the end? I've only seen the Benigni one. Even the Great Dictator ends with a sincere speech. The true heroes are the Three Stooges, who go with slapstick all the way.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:28 PM
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There's a meme I keep seeing on Facebook that we shouldn't laugh at Trump, because people laughed at Hitler and look how that turned out

But people also laughed at Sarah Palin, and that turned out ok.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:28 PM
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466: Unfortunately (for my own sense of moral decency) I am often not laughing at Trump. I'm laughing with Trump.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:32 PM
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||

This makes me glad for a competitive primary*. This is exactly what it means for the success of Sanders campaign to shift the conversation.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have begun speaking about racial disparities in America in very blunt terms, talking about themes of entrenched racism in ways arguably more aggressive than any Democratic presidential candidate since Jesse Jackson in 1988. Their raw rhetoric on race is revealed as the competition for black voters in the Democratic presidential primary has quickly become the focal point of the contest as it heads into states with a large percentage of African American voters.

Clinton met with a host of leaders in the African American community Tuesday and delivered a speech on race in Harlem, where she discussed "racial injustice" and "systemic racism."

Meanwhile, Sanders is participating in a prayer breakfast with mostly African American clergy in South Carolina and later will tour Atlanta University Center in Georgia, part of a larger tour of historically Black Colleges and Universities.

But it's not the events focused on gaining support for the black community that is getting attention, it's how they are talking about issues of race.

"We have to begin by facing up to the reality of systemic racism," Clinton said in Harlem. "For many white Americans it's tempting to believe that bigotry is largely behind us. Race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind."

Sanders framed his appeal in a similar way: the system is racist.

"So when you have childhood African-American poverty rates of 35 percent, when you have youth unemployment at 51 percent, when you have unbelievable rates of incarceration -- which, by the way, leaves the children back home without a dad or even a mother -- clearly, we are looking at institutional racism," he said at the PBS Democratic debate in Milwaukee last week.

* Though Clinton's big speech about Criminal Justice reform came before Sanders looked like a real threat. So this may also represent the center of the party moving left.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:42 PM
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468. +1! Moe and Curly were born to play Hitler and Goering.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 3:45 PM
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471: Oh great. Now the white working class will think of the Democrats as the party of civil rights, and we'll never win their votes. Thanks, Bernie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 4:25 PM
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My sister sent me a story about three Texas papers not endorsing Cruz.

What does he do when he loses the presidency and loses his Senate seat and everyone who has ever met him loathes him? He's pretty young to have burned his bridges so thoroughly.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 4:54 PM
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A Trump nomination is going to poison the Republican well for a long time.

I wish I believed this. I think Trump began, in the last debate, to position himself to Clinton's left on several issues of interest to working-class whites. My pie-in-the-sky guess* is that he's thinking ahead to the general election, when he plans to run against NAFTA, monied interests, brown people, and for working- and middle-class white men and women. He likely knows that very rich people will mostly vote with Clinton and never vote with Sanders, so he's not worrying about appealing to plutocrats, particularly because he really doesn't need their money. Regardless, if I'm right**, and if he pulls off that kind of pivot, he'll look relatively reasonable, which will suck.

* Because I don't think any of us have any hope of knowing what any of the candidates, except maybe Sanders (and probably not even him), are thinking.

** And there's no reason to think I am.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:05 PM
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That's definitely the dark/flip side of the "undercover Democrat performance artist" theory that was put forward earlier in the thread.

I don't think even Trump knows what his plan is. I don't think he's a "planner" type.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:13 PM
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475 seems pretty accurate - I think Trump is a serious contender* at this point both to win the primary and then fight the general hard, despite the wonderment of political insiders who are standing around shocked that a famous, skilled tv performer who is able to opportunistically exploit political flash points without constraints from donors and other party orthodoxy enforcers is doing well.

* where serious contender still means odds-on he won't win.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:14 PM
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Once again, the Republican candidate has to get no fewer votes from people of color than Romney did and get 65% of the white vote (Republicans and Democrats both).

I think Trump's campaign is the national version of Prop 187. He has greatly advanced the Republicans' demographic troubles.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:17 PM
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Also pretty much all the Republican orthodox attack lines on Trump play into his strengths: he's a straight talking maverick hardball developer/businessman - of course he swears sometimes! of course he fights dirty/exploits the law/etc! Of course he's got a heart of gold and doesn't want to see people die on the streets etc. Those are already part of the brand, and part of the attraction if anything.

The attacks are good for shifting the non-Trump vote around between Kasich/Bush/Rubio/Cruz, but I don't think they move people from the Trump column to the non-Trump column, and until they can find a way to do that they're fucked.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:18 PM
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474: That is very good news for Jeb!

where serious contender still means odds-on [Trump] won't win.

If not Trump, and Cruz is reviled in his own party, we have to look at who picks up the pieces, which won't be Kasich and probably not Rubot. Jeb! has the real money backing him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:19 PM
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Oh, I don't think Trump is going to win the presidency. Heck, I don't even think he's going to get the nomination. I'm just saying that he'll be able to position himself relatively effectively if he makes it to the general election.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:21 PM
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I guess I'm beating a dead horse on this topic, but if one of the other candidates did a non-racist (literally or facially) version of Trump's position on immigration he might attract a lot of Trump voters who are basically embarrassed but can't find that sort of talk anywhere else. I suppose only Rubio could do that, which seems freakin' unlikely. An attack on crony capitalism (something Trump mentions now and then) might not hurt either.

I think it's gonna be Trump v. Sanders, personally. This is a weird year.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:24 PM
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I don't think he is going to win the nomination but it looks almost certain at this point he'll be at least the runner-up doesn't it? Whoever is going to win out of Bush/Rubio/Cruz can only really do so once all the other non-Trump candidates drop out, if Trump can lock in his current vote, which it looks like he can now. And then, man, a two-horse race is awfully dicey - gaffes, scandals, etc can easily knock someone down and next thing you know it's Trump as nominee.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:26 PM
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I think it's gonna be Trump v. Sanders, personally. This is a weird year.

Me too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:30 PM
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I think at this point the Republican Party's best chance would come from turning it into a two-way race between Trump and Sane-Candidate as soon as possible. But this would involve knocking Cruz out of the race (fast), and there's no obvious way to do that. It's not clear what they have on him that would work - and he's so viscerally repellent that I think a lot of people who are willing to support him won't be swayed by any evidence that he's an awful person.

It would also involve the party choosing between Rubio, Kasich and Bush, all of whom have very strong incentives to stay in the race at least till the 15th of March (which would be, at best, cutting things very very close when it comes to delegates). The problem with that that I see is that each of them have a strong belief (probably not insane) that if they make it that far they have a chance of picking up a big winner-takes-all state and using that to force the party to pick them and squeeze the other two out. I suspect Kasich can be bought off with something, but Bush definitely can't and as much as they're still trying to promote Rubio as a dynamic force in the party that combover isn't going to get more convincing in the next four years so he has a really good reason to try to stay in up until the point where he literally can't win.

As it stands they're just circling each other in a kind of stalemate, and if that keeps up into March it'll be very difficult for anyone to beat Trump except maybe Cruz and I think the party (probably accurately) suspects that Cruz would be an even worse candidate in the general election.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:37 PM
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I'm also starting to think about Trump V. Sanders as a likely outcome, though I still suspect Clinton has a strong chance of smearing Sanders all the way to the nomination. I suppose she's been going after him pretty aggressively through surrogates for a while now and he's still looking like a dangerous opponent, but eventually that kind of negative barrage will take a toll if only in the Clinton-rules sense where eventually people just hear something repeated enough that it sounds accurate no matter how little evidence there is for it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:39 PM
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Predictions notwithstanding, Clinton is still the overwhelming favorite to win the democratic nomination, right?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:46 PM
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Oh, I don't think Trump is going to win the presidency. Heck, I don't even think he's going to get the nomination. I'm just saying that he'll be able to position himself relatively effectively if he makes it to the general election.

Agreed 100%. How many populist loudmouth tycoons have won presidential elections around the world in the last century? More than populists who are actually left-wing working men, that's for sure.

Given all the other weird and weak candidates I think Trump would be the favorite for the presidency if he didn't have a continuous 30-year record of insulting women whenever possible.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:47 PM
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Yeah, I would say Clinton has an 80-90% chance of winning. If Sanders loses convincingly in Nevada and South Carolina, his momentum will stall going into super Tuesday and he'll no longer be a serious threat. Even if he performs above expectations (wins or ties in Nevada, loses by close-ish margins in SC), he'll still have trouble with the south and the larger states with closed primaries. He'll probably pick off the PNW, the liberal northern midwest, and New England, but not do much outside of those regions.

It's the Republican side that's baffling. I really can't place any sort of reasonable percentages on any of them winning. Trump is the obvious front runner, except it's hard to imagine him actually getting the nomination.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 5:51 PM
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I saw a similar tweet, asking how can it be that the Republican nominee will be one of the men onstage at the debate. (Sorry I can't remember the source.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 6:12 PM
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489, 490 - Right. If you don't think Trump is going to win, you have to come up with some alternative narrative.

Trump has been a consistent front-runner basically since his announcement. And when the Republican establishment had to pick between him and Cruz, the establishment enthusiastically rejected Cruz.

Are we thinking that Trump is likely to commit some gaffe that will end his candidacy? When he actually does shoot somebody on 5th Avenue, his popularity will only increase.

I mean, Rubio is still the only semi-plausible Establishment figure in the race. And he's really only semi-semi-plausible.

I think Rubio's odds are only slightly better than Romney's. And unless Trump exits the race the way Huey Long did, I can't see how he is denied the nomination.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 6:49 PM
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I hope you're right. Trump is certainly my preferred candidate among the Republicans -- both because I think he's like to lose to either Democrat in the general, and also because, if he somehow manages to win, I suspect he'll do the least damage to the things that matter most to me (I find it hard to imagine him getting into a needless war with Iran, for example, just to prove that the nuclear deal was the debacle movement conservatives have insisted).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 6:54 PM
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But really, I'd prefer not to think about any of the Republican hopefuls in the Oval Office, thanks.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 6:55 PM
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The establishment:

https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/699706718419345408


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 8:33 PM
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To be fair, it's probably a lot harder to get your name engraved on a handgun in, say, Denmark.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:07 PM
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My greatest fear re:Trump is that he's following Schwarzenegger's (or for that matter, Jesse Ventura's) path fairly well: celebrity, populist, outsider, plain speaker, socially liberal but economically conservative (pseudo-sane libertarian), early frontrunner whom no one really believed could win it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:26 PM
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The idea of waiting for a gaffe to remove Trump is also inconsistent with public opinion. Gaffes often remove candidates who aren't used to the spotlight, so at some point their idiocy or unsavviness with handling the media eventually reveals itself. Neither of those things applies to Trump (despite his obvious flaws, he's not an idiot, and he's been in the public eye forever).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 9:31 PM
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Mind you, in a two horse race, the gaffe doesn't have to be totally fatal to Trump - just has to be enough to knock him 5% back and give the other candidate a lead. If Trump does win, some of his winning votes will be marginals who think Trump is maybe second or third best, not his hard-core support.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 10:24 PM
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Back to the question of replacing Scalia, I'm seeing a lot of support in my FB feed for Diane Humetewa. While it would definitely be cool to see a Native American SC justice, I'm skeptical of this choice for several reasons.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-16-16 11:15 PM
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My greatest fear re:Trump is that he's following Schwarzenegger's (or for that matter, Jesse Ventura's) path fairly well

Luckily, Trump wasn't in Predator, so the comparison breaks down.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 1:26 AM
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500 How could you know that? I think we all need to keep an eye out for Trump's telltale shimmer.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 2:25 AM
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Someone is going to make the obvious "Trump was the Predator" joke, so it might as well be me.

Trump was the Predator.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 2:34 AM
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Luckily, Trump wasn't in Predator

Paul Reiser played him in Aliens, though.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 3:09 AM
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502 Was 501 not obvious enough?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 3:24 AM
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503 He strikes me as more Cruz than Trump in that role.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 3:26 AM
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505: hmm, good point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 3:50 AM
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Who would Trump pick for VP? If he won the nomination and had the nous to go with a mainstream, reliable running mate, that sounds more dangerous to me?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 4:49 AM
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507 Why Jeb of course. His humiliation is just beginning.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 5:27 AM
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Do you need to be a lawyer to sit on the Supreme Court? IANAL myself but I don't think so.

In that case, Obama should nominate Kendrick Lamar.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 5:58 AM
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488.last is very true. The gap between dog whistle and steam whistle is a lot more salient wrt misogyny than racism, because Republicans actually need lots of women to vote for them. On race, it's about plausible deniability for voters: "He's not a racist, so I'm not a racist if I vote for him." On gender, it's about the candidate: "He's not a sexist pig, so I can vote for him."

In a Clinton-Trump matchup, HRC could win 60% of the women's vote, cutting across every demographic (I bet she'd even do OK among white evangelical women). The optics are just too stark, even with Trump saying positive things about PP. Against Bernie, I think that sort of window dressing is enough for women who are scared of "socialism".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 6:09 AM
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507: Someone upthread suggested Kasich, which could work very well--the press would immediately go into warm Cheney reminiscence, and of course it would put Ohio into play. And Katich's brand, such as it is, meshes well with Trump's policy positions (such as they are).

To be clear, I'm not particularly afraid of that pairing; I just think it would be a smart, effective choice. You'd have to keep them off the same stage as much as possible, but campaigning separately, you'd get to appeal to Trump's aggrieved fans as well as normal Republicans.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 6:13 AM
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504: It took me ten whole minutes to carefully craft that joke, so I didn't see it before I posted 502.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 6:22 AM
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512 And yet I pwned you with added extra Archer reference.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 6:25 AM
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Archer sucks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 6:34 AM
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494- I know next to nothing about guns, but isn't the safety off (that's why the red dot is visible?) Isn't it really really bad to put down a gun while the safety is off?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 9:12 AM
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515: I still really like the idea of making the NRA's rules for gun safety* legally binding. That is, if you're shown to have violated any of them, you're liable for anything bad that comes of it.

*eg, never hand anyone a gun with a round chambered, never switch off the safety until you're ready to fire, never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot. Those are approximations, but it's that sort of thing.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 9:22 AM
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I know this thread is dead, and it's probably time for that, but this is quite funny: Linker imagining the Republican conversation behind the scenes after Scalia's death.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 12:52 PM
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||

Really nice, favorable write-up about Clinton's speech in Harlem.

It reminds me that part of what I find so trying about the primaries is the amount of energy people spend getting cranky about what are, ultimately fairly small political differences. Perhaps it's just the corner of the internet that I've been in, but I feel like almost everything that I've read about politics recently has been one of (1) "Bernie Sanders is electable" (2) "Hillary Clinton is doing terribly" or (3) a defense of Clinton explaining why one of the accusations against her is based on something taken very much out of context. Those are all important arguments, but reading this, I remembered how much I appreciate the language of political uplift -- of both politics as a call to be better than we are, and also the moments of genuine affection.

Finally, [Khalil Gibran Muhammad] introduced one of the neighborhood's most famous (and in recent years, infamous) sons, Representative Charlie Rangel. The 85-year-old Rangel walked out on the stage, but not without a crew. Following him, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, Governor Cuomo and his partner, Sandra Lee, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton.

Prior to the posse entrance, I'd just finished a conversation about what I saw as the myth of successfully convincing black people to think one way -- and vote one way -- purely based off the endorsement of prominent black people. That myth of "the black vote" being a monolith that thinks the same way and wants the same thing. And how getting the endorsement of a collection of black preachers, or even the Congressional Black Caucus, doesn't mean as much as it did in election cycles past.

There was one moment in Rangel's introduction, however, when his presence -- and his actions -- were undeniably infectious to everyone in the room, especially the Black Harlemites: "It's been brought to my attention that some people have been following the secretary of State around to disrupt rather than to instruct. Please be informed, you are in the village of Harlem."

This was met with wild applause from the room, a big smile from Hillary, and a Holder whisper to Cuomo, followed by laughs from both men. It was one of the more street-cred-pumping moments this campaign has seen. You fuck with Hill, you fuck with Harlem. And it capped off a perfect warm-up act for Hillary -- New York State, New York City, and Harlem supporting not only Hillary being the next president, but her as someone who could do a lot of good for black people.

Soon after, he finished up and passed it off to Hillary.

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Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-17-16 3:22 PM
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