I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week

Kavanaugh was really the “safe” pick for Trump. The Dems are running a real risk of galvanizing him beyond what he would have been if they had treated him no different than the GOP treated Sotomayor or Kagan.

I just went back and looked at my high school yearbook, and I can find multiple things I would never want spun in the court of public opinion in this political climate.

I was the exact opposite of a wild child. I was so tame I think I disappointed my mother.

Based on what I heard today, Kavanaugh was probably a harder drinker than I was at 18, but maybe not at 21. The most I could be accused of at 18 is raiding mom’s wine supply in the fridge, or sneaking a beer from dad’s stash. I didn’t attend wild booze parties in high school. By my early 20s I might have done some questionably legal things that involved young men, too much alcohol, flammable gases, fresh produce, and a large body of water. And for this I would never be able to serve on the Supreme Court today, by current standards.

I watched the spectacle today, and it was a disgrace. If the Dems wanted an FBI investigation they could have brought up the allegations when they became aware of them. But they didn’t. They held them until it was politically useful as a delaying tactic… and they kept pushing for the delay.

I agree completely with Glenn Reynolds: “Had he received a normal confirmation, I suspect Kavanaugh would have been a bit of an establishment squish. I rather doubt that he’ll be that now.

65 thoughts on “I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week”

  1. Frankly, I thought the same of Trump. They torched any hope of him being receptive to their cause.

    1. Yep. That was always my greatest fear about Trump. But the Democrats couldn’t help themselves. They couldn’t bring themselves to seduce Trump.

      But perhaps we all should have seen the Democratic freakout coming. The clownish aspects of Trump conceals how the freakout really isn’t about Trump. The Democratic freakout is really about denial of power and hatred of Republicans.

      The Democrats would have freaked out just as much if we had a President Cruz instead of Trump. The Democrats are just being true to their nature.

      1. “The Democratic freakout is really about denial of power and hatred of Republicans.”

        Why those dirty bastards, huh?

        Isn’t power what our system has finally descended to being all about? Exactly what many or most of the Anti-Federalists predicted, 230 years ago? What is seeking a SCOTUS majority about, other than the denial of power to an opposing faction?

        We all have justifications for our thirst for power, and always we cite the power to do good things. But it’s more than a little disingenuous to act like it’s only those evil guys in the other faction that are hateful of anyone holding the power you covet and are willing to do anything to get or keep it.

        Bullshit is the lubricant that all politics moves on, but when you start believing your own bullshit you’re headed for trouble. Which pretty much explains the United States, these days.

        1. Say there, mister gun rights “ally”, don’t you have some election fraud to get to?

          1. “don’t you have some election fraud to get to?”

            Not since I stopped consorting with power-seekers. ;-)

            But seriously: Times I participated in election fraud included, working for non-RINO Republican challengers to “establishment” candidates, to get them on the ballot for primary elections. Our self-justification was that the ballot access laws were unfair and rigged for the establishment, which they are. I’m pretty sure you would have supported those candidates. Their support for gun rights was an absolute prerequisite for my support.

            The mainstream candidates seldom make an issue out of known fraud unless they really believe their challenger has a chance. Usually the challengers don’t. If they did, it would be because they had enough of a network working for them that there would be no need to commit fraud.

            The point of my confessions is/was, don’t believe in the purity of your ideology or cause, just because it’s yours. Both major parties use the same tactics, and usually they won’t blow the whistle on each other, because they are in sort of an equal-power Mexican standoff. They don’t want to blow the whistle on tools they know they will want to use again, themselves. For the same reason they are reticent about blowing the whistle on sleazy tactics used by gadfly dissidents in their own parties.

            If you believe that isn’t true, and your people whoever they are, are above it, that is probably a good example of “believing your own bullshit” as I alluded to. It is the kind of hypocrisy that caused me to walk away from the power-seekers. When “alliances” begin to demand that I be stupid, I tend to do that.

            1. Just on the issue of judges. Name one Democrat nominated judge who received anything like the treatment doled out to Bork, Thomas, Estrada and now Kavanaugh.

              1. I think “National Observer” is a fraud. I’m not sure what his(?) true agenda is, but I doubt it is defense of gun rights. Nothing else is as likely to provoke a response out of him as an attack on the Democratic Party, so figure that into his motives.

                1. Pretty much. I think the agenda is demoralization and the sowing of doubt. He is somewhat more subtle than the last troll to visit here though.

        2. Frankly, the Constitution is an attempt to have shifts of power without resorting to outright Civil Wars. And yes, it’s failed once in that regard — there’s probably no perfect system that will guarantee no civil war.

          Having said that, yes, factions are always trying to get power, but they are supposed to get that power within the rules of the Constitution and the civilization it was designed to protect. And among the fundamental rules of this civilization is “innocent until proven guilty”.

          Kavaunaugh’s hearing is so distasteful because one side is so determined to get power, they are willing to abandon this one principle, so they could keep someone they don’t like off the bench.

          And that is going *too far* in an attempt to secure power. If they could have proven Kavanaugh guilty, then it would have been one thing (although in that case, if Kavanaugh really was guilty, and was claiming a mixture of “statute of limitations” and “I grew up”, I don’t think the charge should have kept him off the bench), but to throw out one of the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence? I hope the Democrats *pay* for their insolence.

          What’s really sickening is that Congress has hearings specifically designed to address these issues, but the Democrats chose to sit on this one issue until *after* the hearings, rather than bring them up *during* the hearings, in a cynical attempt to delay the vote. They *clearly* don’t care about the truth here. They only care about *power*.

          When the Republicans were in a similar position, they would typically vote for the Democrat nominee, or they would withhold their vote. No character assassination needed. I do *not* want to live in a Republic where character assassination was standard operating procedure.

        3. “Why those dirty bastards, huh?

          “Isn’t power what our system has finally descended to being all about?”

          And another thought: sometimes the best way to get power is to be nice to those who are *not* in power, while firmly standing up for your own agenda.

          The Democrats decided to burn their bridges when it came to Trump. Rather than be mildly annoyed, and announce that if Trump is reasonable, they’ll work with him, they decided to go all out and try to destroy him. Democrats representatives and senators, Democrat-friendly bureaucrats, Democrats in Democrat-controlled media (who specifically dropped all pretense of objectivity) came at him, guns full-on blazing. The handful of times that Trump tried to meet Democrats half-way, the Democrats opposed him.

          The Republicans don’t like Trump, either, but they generally don’t fight him tooth and nail. They try to work with him. They’ll oppose him if they disagree him, but they don’t try to destroy him.

          Is it any wonder that Trump doesn’t work with Democrats? As a result, the Democrats have almost no leverage, and all they have left is hate and destruction. It’s not at all hard to imagine this backfiring hard, and ironically shutting Democrats out of power altogether.

          All in the name of trying to get as much power as possible!

  2. This is why I was SCOTUS to uphold a federal law forcing the states to relax their laws (enforcing the 2A via the 14A) rather than forcing the 2A down the state’s throats any further on their own.

    We’re already in a position where the poles of political contention are Heller and Roe. More unpopular court decisions on either will just make things worse.

    (Citizen’s United might end up that way, but I’m not betting on it yet)

    1. In this environment, I am not prepared to eschew any tactic to get policy decisions, I want. The left certainly doesn’t show that restraint and we shouldn’t either. That is the road to losing.

      1. “I am not prepared to eschew any tactic to get policy decisions, I want.”

        Thank you for illustrating my above comments about “getting power.”

        1. I loath the idea of using any tactic, no matter how low it is, to get power. However, there gets to be a breaking point where, if a certain tactic is used again and again against *your* side, while *your* side generally stays above the fray (consider: when was the last time a Democrat nominee was “borked”? When Estrada was nominated to a *lower* court, the stress the Democrats put on *his* nomination, until he decided to withdraw, pushed his wife to suicide) you begin to wonder: shouldn’t our side adopt this tactic ourselves?

          It’s not a road I particularly want to go down, but if the Democrats don’t want this to happen to *their* nominees, then maybe, just maybe, they should stop doing it to Republican nominees.

      2. If it were my side resorting to this, I’d be uncomfortable with it. And it’s not like the GOP was all covered in glory either. If the allegation were true, I’m not really all that concerned about the fact that it happened when he was in high school. It’s still a serious enough allegation to scuttle a nominee. But the fact that it was 20 years ago, and she can’t produce witnesses or evidence to corroborate the accusation, and the fact that he believably denies it, means that it’s not a strong enough assertion to destroy someone’s career over.

        After watching the hearing and sleeping on it, I think both were telling the truth as they remember it. What is the actual truth? I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure.

        1. After watching the hearing and sleeping on it, I think both were telling the truth as they remember it. What is the actual truth? I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure.

          That’s my feeling as well.

    2. Heller is not really a pole of political contention. It might be to the base, but we’re not talking Brown, Marbury, etc. Most people don’t even know what activities the Heller decision encompasses. Most, upon hearing, would probably say it’s pretty common sense. It’s not a *huge* landmark ruling in that it affirmed what most states already recognized. I would argue that Citizens United is a more substantial ruling based on how it is framed in our sad political discourse of today.

      Heller isn’t really even in the top 10. Roe was much larger, and on a much more contentious issue. Mark my words: Roe and ***Citizens United*** will still be the top fundraising issues for the Dems as relates to the SC.

      1. I would agree that it’s not all that controversial among average people, but to the elites in certain metro areas, it’s the end of the world. Bloomberg, IMHO, is a reaction to Heller and McDonald.

        1. And how many (outside of the metro areas or well connected operative types) know who Mike Bloomberg is? Granted, we can TELL people who he is, kind of like telling them who George Soros is and what he is funding, but does it really register as a campaign issue outside of the base?

          1. You make a good point. I know exactly who Bloomberg and Soros are; and so, it didn’t dawn on me until your comment awakened me. Virtually no one in America has much of a reason to be conscious of who these two men are. Nor, do they have much of a reason to be conscious of the fact that the top echelon of wealthy men in the country have no one to play golf with except one-another. And so, when one of these guys thinks of raising money for a “worthy” cause he need only open his Rolodex and start dialing. A million here, a million there, and soon that cause is pretty well-funded.

            We have 100 million gun-owners; but, for a majority of them, their 1 or 2 guns aren’t a central point of concern in their lives. They don’t see them that way. They can’t imagine that the government will ever come for their double-barreled.

            They don’t get that it takes only a single shot to commit suicide-by-gun. Nor that it only takes a six-shooter to hold-up a 7-11. If any dent is to be made in the 22,000 suicides by gun and 11,000 homicides by gun, the gun-grabbers will eventually have to go after the single-shots and revolvers. There is NO LOGICAL ALTERNATIVE. Yes, the tiger will eat your grandfather’s gun last; but it is on the menu.

        2. When I looked into the details of Citizens United, I have lost patience with people who think the Supreme Court got the decision wrong.

          Here are the facts:

          1. Citizens United was founded to expose the problems and corruption, as they saw it, of one politician seeking power — namely, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

          2. To expose these problems, they founded a company and sought donations to create and distribute a documentary. The people who donate to Citizens United know that this is where their money is going.

          3. McCain-Feingold specifically forbade organizations like Citizens United from trying to show and distribute their documentary 90 days out from an election — the time period where it would be *most crucial* for getting their message out — because their documentary criticized a candidate running for office.

          4. When arguing against Citizens United, the government initially said they had the power to ban *books*. It is not at all hard to imagine how, if the government won against Citizens United, the government would then apply this reasoning to newspapers and unions (who were magically protected from the initial McCain-Feingold law — for now).

          McCain-Feingold is *clearly* an attack on free speech and freedom of association. It deserved to go down in flames.

          I don’t think the average person fully understands this, but I also suspect that either they don’t care, or they understand this subconsciously.

          1. Yeah, the oral arguments made during Citizens United (and D.C. v Heller) were very very revealing. And guess which Political Party remains on which side today? Very revealing indeed.

            In Citizens United, the Left argued they could ban books with political content! They attacked core free speech rights, the right to voice political opinions in the context of an election. More recently the Democrats have even put forward the “Udall Amendment”, to repeal the 1st Amendment and give Congress the power to regulate political speech. Good God.

            And of course we are all familiar (or should be) with the oral arguments of the anti-gun side during D.C. v Heller. Where the argument was made that the 2nd Amendment is so powerless that it couldn’t even stop a law which would ban ALL firearms. And that is what Democrats mean when they today say they “respect the 2nd Amendment”; they think they give away nothing when they promise to respect a powerless Amendment.

    3. “More unpopular court decisions on either will just make things worse.” You are correct here; or, at least, partially correct. And, we PotG have to figure that out.

      The Progressive justices feel free to move the ball against cultural winds without restraint. No matter how much backlash they get from conservative citizens, they will shove their agenda down the conservatives’ throats. What are conservatives going to do? Nothing! Albeit the conservatives have the guns, they will not rush to the barricades.

      Conservative justices are – well, conservative. They learned from Dred Scott that it is imprudent to move the ball too far against cultural winds.

      Since Heller + McDonald, SCOTUS has refused to hear a 2A case with – ONE – exception: Caetano. We pay no attention to Caetano – a STUN-gun not a FIREarm – and so we learn nothing from this case. Why?

      Ms. Caetano, a homeless single mother, domestic violence victim, gave SCOTUS a case they WANTED to hear and WANTED to rule in favor of the Right to Arms. They were so eager that they refused to accept briefs nor hear oral arguments. In an opinion extending a page and a half they told Massachusetts to take their opinion and stick it where the sun don’t shine. And, we learn . . . NOTHING!

      We are all so eager to eat the whole apple in one bite; those squishy compromisers among us will take half an apple at a time. And, we get . . . NOWHERE.

      When Kav ascends the bench we imagine that we have 5 solid conservative votes: Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Roberts, and Thomas. But remember, Roberts is squishy; he will be a swing vote taking Kennedy’s place. All it takes is a wink and a nod from one of these to signal to the other four that that justice won’t rule for so much additional liberty as would be required to answer the prayer for relief on each case to be considered. And, we stay stuck.

      Or worse. The wink or nod is too subtle and that squishy justice votes with the Progressive justices to vote against the 2A. Then what? By being too eager we entrench a constraint on the right to arms for decades, at least.

      The way forward is to identify the tiniest increments of liberty in the right to arms as can be carved out of all the other liberties. Look for liberties that can’t pass the rational basis test. Liberties for which there are already precedents in our favor. Sympathetic plaintiff. It does NOT MATTER if the liberty interest is trivial or incidental to gun rights.

      What matters is that five justices WANT to hear THIS case because it is EASY to rule in our favor. All the reasoning is straightforward, and, there will be left little basis to argue that their decision was mistaken. To the existing precedents they will add reasoning applicable to the new tiny slice of liberty that will serve to support a few more future tiny slices of liberty.

      Our problem is that we are NOT invested in winning. Instead, each of us is deeply invested in our particular intellectual principle which is too precious to us to sacrifice in the name of winning the war.

      1. I think there is a possibility that what the Democrats have done to Kavanaugh will put some spine into the squishy conservative judges on the court.

        1. That’s exactly my thought as well. If he is ever sympathetic to their ideas, its going to be much more rare now.

  3. What happened to Brett Kavanaugh needs to be utilized in 2020 as campaign material against the Left. I actually found out this week that Sonia Sotomayor is a diabetic, and is in very poor health as it is. Combine that with Stephen Breyer being 80 years old, and despite her family history, Ruth Bader Ginsburgh will be 85 next year.

    Donald Trump, so long as he has a GOP Senate alongside getting reelected in 2020, will have AT LEAST, 2 more SCOTUS Appointments. Clarence Thomas, IMHO, will retire in 2021 if Trump gets reelected, so there is a high possibility for a 3rd seat to fill. Just imagine how the Democrats will behave when Amey Coney Barrett and Amul Thapur are up for a potential SCOTUS Nomination.

    We need some of those scenarios to happen, considering that it looks to be John Roberts whom has been the SCOTUS Justice that has been screwing us over in denying Cert to 2nd Amendment Cases.

    1. “Donald Trump, so long as he has a GOP Senate . . . ” And here it is that some of PotG are altogether too eager to screw the pooch.

      In the last election I was determined to vote against Toomey. As the hours counted down before election day I had to consider the implications of my intention. If Toomey lost that would be one less Republican to vote for Majority Leader. That was too much of a slice off my nose to spite my face. I couldn’t rationalize this decision as being somehow in favor of gun-rights.

      Little did I know that The Donald would actually win the White House! A gun-rights advocate – however squishy – in the White House with a Republican controlled Senate would mean conservative appointments to SCOTUS. And, as you argue beyond 2020, likely even more conservative appointments to SCOTUS.

      If The Donald makes it through two terms as a SUCCESSFUL President then Pence “inherits” the Oval Office for another 4 – possibly 8 – years. How long can Ginsburg and Breyer last? Sotomayor? There is a reasonable likelihood of populating SCOTUS with a strong majority of conservatives for another generation.

      But too many of us are willing to abandon this historic opportunity because Trump has not done enough for gun rights; in fact, he threw bump-stocks under the bus. Each of us can make a long list of disappointments from: Trump; our Senators, our Representatives. Most of these complaints will be valid; others, reasonable tactical decisions with which we don’t agree but were not necessarily wrong. We all too often forget: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the ONLY thing.

      1. And if any of the old liberal judges die or retire there isn’t any pressing need to replace them. One leaving would give the Court a 5-3 conservative majority, another would make it 5-2 and the third 5-1.

        Seems like win-win. Conservatives can wait as long as the Dems want to hold their breath.

        1. Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!

          Trump/Pence can appoint the best available candidate and wait for the Democrats to get tired of holding their breath. Every year that goes buy allows the President to consider another – YOUNGER – candidate for this appointment.

          After the Democrats have wasted their rhetorical ammunition on one candidate, they get to waste their ammo on the next candidate, and the next and the next. Even if they hold the Senate, they can’t win. And, they will be seen eventually to be obstructionists.

          Meanwhile, you are right. Conservative justices will hold a slightly stronger majority in the absence of a vacated seat previously held by a liberal.

          1. The biggest problem will be finding someone foolish enough (brave enough? reckless enough?) to take the sort of smearing that will await them during the confirmation process. And you can be sure that female and minority candidates will not be immune. I’m positive that Democrat operatives are currently preparing attacks on every conceivable nominee.

            1. I also kindof wonder how many people will stand up, purely out of *spite*, with the attitude of “bring it on”.

    2. “Donald Trump, so long as he has a GOP Senate alongside getting reelected in 2020, will have AT LEAST, 2 more SCOTUS”

      If that happens then 6 of the last 8 justices will have been chosen by presidents who did not win the popular vote.

      1. So? The national popular vote is not how we elect our presidents. Or don’t they teach about the electoral college in school anymore?

      2. The Presidents who picked six of the last eight SC Justices won the electoral race they they intended to win – the Electoral College. The winners and losers all were campaigning to win that race, not some imaginary race the feeble minds of liberals dream about.
        Ask Gore and Clinton if they would trade their popular vote victory for an electoral college victory. What do you think their answer would be?

        1. One of the things that annoyed me deeply was when Kerry was running against Bush. Come election night, he was hoping against hope — and the Democrats were with him on this — to win Ohio, so he could win the Electoral College, even though he had already lost the popular vote.

          It’s funny how Democrats only complain about the Electoral College when they are losing. It’s odd how they never ask themselves “How can we appeal to more people in more States, so we could actually win the Electoral College?”

          They never use a election losses as times for introspection, to see if they need to adjust their message, or how they carry out their responsibilities as government officials. It’s as though they are confident that they are perfect, and the only reason why they are losing ground, is because the system is holding them back.

          1. Yeah, I remember the Democratic hypocrisy about the 2004 election. In fact, I remember the Dems continuing their 2000 Florida fraud conspiracy theory talk into their talk about the Ohio results of 2004. The Democrats sudden lack of interest in the validity of the national popular vote of 2004 tells you all you need to know about their true valuation of the popular vote of 2000 and 2016.

            But ironically, the Democratic complaints about Florida and Ohio do bring up a real problem with the electoral college system, the problem of potential election fraud to sway victory. Fraud amounting to less than a few thousand votes in Florida would have been enough to sway the national results of 2000. It would have taken more than 100,000 fraudulent votes in Ohio in 2004 to do the same thing, but that still would have swayed national results in which the true winner beat the loser by 2.4% of the total national popular vote!

            A system where we elect the President by a majority of the national popular vote, instead of a majority of the electoral college, would not be so vulnerable to fraud targeted at one or two “swing states”.

            (And I should mention that the current ‘state compact’ scheme of the Democrats to bypass the electoral college is designed to give a State’s electoral college votes to the winner of the PLURALITY of the national popular vote, not the MAJORITY of the national popular vote, which is a vital vital vital distinction!)

            1. @Brad: You make a perfectly valid point. In each state, a small amount of fraud can tip that states’ electoral votes to the candidate who lost the legitimate vote.

              On the other hand, if there were no electoral college, then a concerted effort throughout the nation could tip the popular vote. Ten votes in each precinct couldn’t be found. But, they would add-up.

              The way I see it, the states are divided between honest and dishonest. (For practical purposes, Red and Blue.) Honest elections will be held in honest states because election judges are committed to honest elections. Dishonest elections will be held in dishonest states because election judges are committed to dishonest elections. Corruption in one precinct infects adjacent precincts until large swaths of dishonest states are held in the hands of dishonest election judges.

              In dishonest precincts corrupt party hacks will stuff the ballot box. There are two things to say about this. First, in such a state, the popular vote is going to the dishonest party anyway. Stuffing the ballot box only makes the “popular” vote more lop-sided. It doesn’t change the outcome. All the electoral votes of that state are going to the candidate of the dishonest party. Second. it’s a lot easier to spot the dishonesty in a precinct-by-precinct system. A precinct has, suppose, 1,000 adults according to the Census. What do you make of the fact that such a precinct has a voter turnout of 999 or 1,001? When you compare this precinct’s near 100% voter-turnout to other precincts with similar demographics you find that they have a voter-turnout of 60% or so.

              Under the Electoral College system the dishonest party has to corrupt a lot of precincts in a lot of states to win the majority in the Electoral College election. And, in so doing, they make it hard to do that in a clandestine way.

              Arguably, the same counts could be done precinct by precinct if the election were by a national vote. However, the corrupt states would probably see fit not to publicize the votes by precinct so as to disguise this fraud. Maybe if they could do so in a popular vote system they could still do so in a Electoral College system. Even so, I think there would be a much greater temptation to suppress the precinct-by-precinct vote counts in a national election system than there is in a Electoral College system.

              In any case, I think the real solution is for a majority of honest voters to stand up and insist on changes to the election system that would make fraud detectable; and, then, further changes to make fraud difficult. This will involve a REAL Voter-ID. And, it will involve a system for identifying duplicate votes. And, finally, a system of secret balloting for absentee voters. (E.g., you have to vote in a post office or other polling-place location where your blank ballot is observed before you fill it out and then the ballot is posted by the post-office or polling-place).

              For these reforms to take place we have to re-evaluate our ancient prejudices against a “national ID” system and ask ourselves whether we value whatever residual merit might remain in these prejudices vs. the merit in having honest elections. Essentially, by indulging the Democrats’ plan for fraudulent voting we are inviting them to insist on waves of immigration, legal or illegal. Which can we better deal with?

            2. This is why I want to see “assign electoral votes by House district” move beyond ME and NE. IT doesn’t reduce the power of “small” states, but it dilutes the power of big ones and makes “targeted” vote fraud harder.

            3. As MarkPA explains well, the Electoral College actually makes fraud more difficult — because it *has* to focus on the swing States, and swing States change from election to election.

              Having said that, you mentioned that the “State Compact” scheme designed to give the State’s Electoral College votes to the plurality winner — and now that I think about it, I don’t think I’d mind as much a proposal where someone who gets the MAJORITY of votes becomes President, and if it’s a plurality, it goes to the Electoral College…

              But even then, I still don’t trust straight-up votes. It’s a little too easy to manipulate via nationalized fraud.

              People like to point out that America is pretty much the only “democracy” that chooses their President via Electoral College. What most people don’t seem to realize, though, is that most other “democracies” don’t *have* a President. They have a Prime Minister, and Prime Ministers are chosen by their *parliaments*….

              Note that Justin Trudeau managed to become Prime Minister of Canada, even though his party only got about 20% of the vote. The remainder of his support came through coalitions from other parties in Canada’s Parliament.

        2. First of all, does that take into account that Bush won the popular vote in his second term, and then appointed his two justices *after* that election?

          Second, we usually, and inaccurately, associate “won the popular vote” with “won the majority vote”. How many Presidential candidates won the majority of voters? Should we look down on the Presidents who won plurality, but not majority?

          I personally think that if we take majority democracy seriously, we should. Why should a President be chosen, if that President can’t get a majority of support?

          I’m not sure what that should mean for this last election — because Hillary didn’t get majority, either, it may require a runoff election or something like that. And even then, *any* way we attempt to elect a President could (and likely *will* at some point) have problems with voter manipulation. Mathematically, it’s impossible to create a system that can’t be manipulated!

          We live in a Republic, though, so while we need *some* way to elect the President, it doesn’t need to be strictly democratic. I kindof like the Electoral College. I like how it amplifies the voices of smaller States; while it’s no guarantee that they won’t be trampled on by bigger States, it at least helps ensure that their concerns are at least nominally addressed.

          1. If I may add, the original Article II presidential election procedure, especially after ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, designed the the Electoral College to be essentially a vetting process, chosen by the State Legislatures, for the purpose (unless there was an obviously superior candidate, like George Washington) of screening out all but the top three presidential and top two vice-presidential candidates from among many gifted men. Then those three names would be sent to the House and the other two to the Senate, where the STATES would chose the President, each State getting only one vote, and the Vice-President, each State getting only two votes. So the Founders NEVER intended to elect the Chief Executive by means of a mass national “popular vote.” On the contrary, the sovereign States were to elect the President (and originally the Senate, also) through the elected representatives of the people, not by the people themselves. I personally would love to go back to that process.

            Respectfully, Arnie

      3. Just for the record, there are 57 popular votes for President, or more accurately, for presidential electors (50 States and seven districts [3 in Nebraska, 3 in Maine, and Columbia]). Mr. Trump won 34 of those popular votes to Mrs. Clinton’s paltry 23 – that’s a 60% to 40% popular vote victory for Mr. Trump, to go alongside his 57% win in the Electoral College. By political election standards, such margins are considered landslides. Mr. Trump has an election mandate by every constitutional measure, and the current justices are unquestionably legitimate.
        Respectdulky, Arnie

  4. I think this take is 100% correct. I saw comments stating how he had to withdraw because he couldn’t possibly be impartial now. Really? YOU made an enemy with your BS and you’re gonna use that as a withdrawal excuse?

    After this I hope he goes in dry sideways at every opportunity.

    And this almost ensures they get someone even further to the right when the hag of the court croaks.

    1. I think Breyer and Sotomayor will croak and/or retire before Ginsburgh. Make no mistake though; President Trump and a GOP Senate through 2024 WILL be filling 2 more SCOTUS Seats.

    2. Of course they ignore Ginsberg’s comments about Trump. If he has to withdrawal, she has to resign!

  5. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that there were odds of many Blue States simply refusing to obey a SCOTUS ruling if they didn’t like it.

    Well… if Kavanaugh gets on that court you can bet there will be plenty of people with reasons to #Resist.

    And if the SCOTUS ruling comes in without a friendly Chief Executive? (or even with to be honest).

    Things will get… interesting.

    1. Considering that the Democrats want to turn America into something like that of Communist China under the rule of Mao Zedong,……”interesting” is putting it lightly.

      Also, Chuck Schumer used the Russia Bullshit to say through implicatiin that Trump’s Judges are illegitimate. Happened after Michael Cohen “flipped” and laid out a “guilty plea” to a crime that doesn’t exist, which was then followed by Schumer and Pelosi calling for Brett Kavanaugh to have his name withdrawn because he will be “bias” for Trump and against Mueller.

      You’ll have Democrats, should they take back the House and/or Senate after the 2018 Midterms, start calling for the expulsion of Donald Trump’s currently sitting Judicial Appointments from the Federal District and Appeals Courts, and they’ll probably go after Neil Gorsuch too.

      1. Or they just threaten to pack the courts again. Lower vote threshold than impeachment of sitting justices.

        1. There’s a real danger for Democrats to threaten to pack the court: if they threaten often enough, it may very well be the Republicans who decide to pull the trigger, particularly if the threat becomes real.

          That’s what happened to the filibuster of Supreme Court nominees. Democrats removed it for the lower courts (after blocking Republican nominees, and then Republicans responding in kind), and then Harry Reid promised to remove it for Supreme Court nominees, because he fully expected Democrats to be in power after the elections. Republicans won instead, and Democrats attempted to filibuster a nominee, so Republicans pulled the trigger.

  6. Conservatives have perennially attempted to follow the letter of the Constitution “as written”.
    Liberals wrap themselves in a cloak of emotion and “reinterpret” the Constitution to match predetermined ideals.

  7. Kavanaugh is confirmed and sworn in I expect that SCOTUS will take more 2 A cases now to reaffirm Heller.

    1. A part of me hopes not, at least until Ginsburg and/or Breyer both drop dead or retire.

      I have a horrid feeling that John Roberts is the “weak link” of the Heller 5, and that he would pull an “Obamacare” on us pertaining to things like Concealed Carry and Assault Weapons Bans. But then again, Roberts has swung to the Right on other Supreme Court Cases since Obamacare, and not only that, he seems to be more to the Right than before Obamacare.

      1. Joe, you are absolutely correct. Roberts will now be the weak link. Moreover, one commentator said that he is an “incrementalist”; he isn’t interested in having “his” court take really bold action in stepping out ahead of public sentiment.

        Now, then, one might criticize this commentator’s view. E.g., Roberts didn’t stand in the way of gay marriage. That’s a valid counter. Yet, if Roberts counted the votes for/against a case applying for cert and saw that a bold move would have 5 or 6 votes to push-it-through, he would realize that he couldn’t stand in the way of having “his” court take the case and so rule. But conversely, for a gun-rights case, he might count the votes and see that there are 4 liberals who would vote no; 4 conservatives who would vote yes, and he would be the deciding vote. In just such a case, if he felt that the 2A case moved the ball farther than he would like, then he would single to the conservatives that he would vote with the liberals. Thereupon, the conservatives would vote to deny taking the case.

        I also heard a commentator say that he voted to uphold ObamaCare because he thought that such an issue ought to be decided by the political branches of government, not the courts. That seems (to me) a perfectly legitimate point-of-view. And, he might take that view with respect to 2A cases. Whatever the 2A issue might be, he might very well hold that THAT issue is one that ought to be decided by the political branches.

        For such reasons, I am convinced that we must be very careful in picking the cases that we bring to the courts. We should look for the smallest increments so that SCOTUS is NOT asked to deliver too-big-a-bite at the apple. All Heller wanted is a permit to keep a handgun in his home. All McDonald wanted was the same thing. All Caetano wanted was to possess a stun-gun. To decide each such case – and grant just a tiny bit of relief to the plaintiff – SCOTUS had to deliver a lot of reasoning that bolstered the 2A. THAT is what we NEED – reasoning that bolsters the 2A. THAT builds the basis for finding the next case to bring.

        Roberts doesn’t need to vote a case with the liberals; all he needs to do is single to the conservatives that he MIGHT do so. And then, SCOTUS won’t take our case. We will spin our wheels forever by pursuing cases that Roberts is not quite willing to support. So, if we want to win we have to work with the system as we face it.

        There is no real point in waiting for a liberal justice to leave the bench. SCOTUS will still move slowly and incrementally. We need to learn to work within the system.

        1. I disagree with you on the idea that the SCOTUS would move slowly if we had a 6th (or in actuality, only 5th) Conservative Justice. Amey Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen, Amul Thapar, and even Thomas Hardiman (if they are indeed judges who would replace Breyer and/or Ginsburg) would seek to throw out Assault Weapons Bans across the board. Thomas, Alitto, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh would want the same thing. Those judges know damned f***ing well that the purpose of “Assault Weapons” Bans is to cast a political umbrella that is consistently expanded to ban more firearms over time. “Assault Weapon” is a political term.

          If 2018 ushers in a “Blue Wave”, there will be 7-12 more States that impose Assault Weapons Bans. DE, WA, OR, NV, CO, PA, MI, WI, IL, MN, IA, NM are my 12 States that are “almost guaranteed” to see Assault Weapons Bans in the event of a Blue Wave. In my opinion, DE, WA, OR, NV, CO, and PA (I think you guys in PA are gonna go full political retard like NJ. in 2018, PA will go all out Democrat) are F***ED because those Circuit Courts are majority Democrat.

          The 6th, 7th, and 8th Circuit Courts are the 3 Circuit Courts most likely to overturn Assault Weapons Bans, and those 3 Courts cover Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Of those 5 States, all 5 State Democrat Parties have stated that if they get State Level Trifectas (Governor’s Mansions and State Legislatures), they WILL impose Assault Weapons Bans modeled off of the 2017/2018 Federal Bans that Dianne Feinstein and Chris Murphy Concocted.

          Illinois is the next State to get “whacked” by Bloomberg’s anti-gun pigs though, so the En Banc 7th Circuit WILL be seeing an Assault Weapons Ban lawsuit in the future. Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are “Toss-Ups” simply because the GOP Controlled Minnesota Senate is controlled by the State GOP by a 2 seat majority, and the Wisconsin State House of Representatives is a massive majority over the Dems right now. Michigan will be a dogfight because if Gretchen Whitmer wins my the margins the polls are projecting for her, the Michigan State House of Representatives will flip to the Democrats, but the Michigan State Senate Map is overwhelmingly in the GOP’s favor because Democrat Candidates running for those State Senate Seats are weak. Iowa is wait and see for 2019.

          As an Ohio resident, I am very worried about our State Legislature, regardless of whether or not our next Governor is DeWine (R) or Cordray (D). If Cordray wins, I see one of our State Legislature Chambers flipping to the Dems, but if DeWine wins, I see the status quo here ( still no Constitutional Carry). If DeWine wins, but if one (or maybe both) of our States Chambers flip(s) Democrat, It will be a dogfight here.

          1. @Joe: “I disagree with you on the idea that the SCOTUS would move slowly if we had a 6th (or in actuality, only 5th) Conservative Justice.” I absolutely respect your right to disagree on the idea that SCOTUS would move slowly if we had one more conservative justice.

            That immediately and cheerfully admitted, you didn’t explain WHY you thought SCOTUS would move more than slowly.

            You laid out plenty of arguments concerning AWBs; but no other arguable infringements. As to AWBs, I happen to agree with you. SCOTUS is almost certainly going to look at any state law’s definition of an “assault weapon”. Point by point, they are going to look at each “feature”. How is it that a bayonet lug gives rise to exclusion from the definition of 2A “arms”? Where the feature is cosmetic or has little to do with the dangerousness, unusual-ness, contributing to the efficiency of the militia, they are apt to find that the criteria don’t meet even the rational-basis test.

            The argument will be different with magazine capacity. Even so, larger capacity magazines are in common use and not, therefore, unusual. They contribute to the efficiency of the militia. There are good arguments for home defense. Poor arguments for mass-shooting incidents that have actually occurred.

            At most, the AWB represents 2 classes of issues (cosmetics and magazines) out of a plethora of issues. I can see SCOTUS moving quickly on the cosmetics of an AWB law. I can even see SCOTUS moving reasonably soon on a magazine limit.

            Now, then, what about everything else? Will SCOTUS take a sort of “omnibus” case that will cover a dozen or more distinct infringements? Why should we be optimistic about that happening any time soon?

            Will SCOTUS take a contentious issue? E.g., whether states can charge a fee for a permit? Whether they can require training, or testing or a live-fire qualification? Would they take a case praying for Constitutional-Carry? What are the arguments for optimism here?

            Everyone has their own favorite issue. Mine is getting to Shall-Issue; just on Open-Carry would be enough. It would seem to be a small step for SCOTUS to dictate that a state must spell-out the objective criteria for being issued a carry permit and then they must Shall-Issue to whomever meets the criteria. The Wrenn v DC case presages a SCOTUS decision to this effect. Such a move to kill “need” will be enough to open access to thousands of applicants in the 10 May-Issue states. That is what WE NEED to move to the next step.

            Only with arbitrary “May-Issue” out-of-the-way can we make real progress politically and judicially on the various barriers to being Shall-Issue’d. Each incremental step will open practical access by tens of thousands of applicants in each state, then hundreds of thousands.

            Eventually, there will be so many permits issued by the formerly May-Issue states that Congress will start to soften on the possibility of actually passing National Reciprocity. Yet, that will take a long time; it won’t happen until the May-Issue states have concluded that resistance is futile.

            Why should we be optimistic that progress will be swift and in large “bites” at the apple? What are the political or institutional rationals that support such broad and deep optimism?

            1. Cosmetic features banned under AWB’s are indeed, “in common use”, as they have existed in firearms technology since even before WW1. Bayonet lugs, for example, existed on civilian firearms going back to black-powder muzzle loaders.

              “Now, then, what about everything else? Will SCOTUS take a sort of “omnibus” case that will cover a dozen or more distinct infringements? Why should we be optimistic about that happening any time soon?”

              “Will SCOTUS take a contentious issue? E.g., whether states can charge a fee for a permit? Whether they can require training, or testing or a live-fire qualification? Would they take a case praying for Constitutional-Carry? What are the arguments for optimism here?”

              To address these points, our side of the aisle needs to tackle those issues that will be coming up to legal challenge, specifically the charging of fees, in the same manner that Poll-Taxes were abolished. Just like Poll-Taxes, if any level of Government is going to charge a “fee” for someone to exercise a Right, then the intended purpose is for discouraging, disuading, and disenfranchising the citizenry from exercising their Rights, thereby, forcefully stripping them of their rights through economic and monetary suppression.

              Poll-Taxes on voting were like excise taxes, in that they targeted a specific channel to ‘draw in economic revenue’, when in reality, they were designed to economically deprive people of a specific Right.

      2. That’s exactly my fear as well. Roberts becomes the new Kennedy. He’s already shown his weak on liberty principles and constitutional reading (eg “ITS NOT A PENALTY, ITS A TAX!”, “STATES ALSO MEAN FEDERAL!”)

        1. Yup. If any 2nd Amendment cases out there make it to SCOTUS, our side better bring it’s “AA” as in, it’s “Atomic Arsenal” Game with it. The “Progressive” Gun Control Agenda is now attacking ALL Amendments to the Bill of Rights.

          Good on your examples of Roberts being the Weak-Knee Bastard he is. I could see him writing in the case of an AWB, siding with the 4 scumbag leftists, that “there are weapons made for self defense specifically for civilians. Assault Weapons are ‘weapons of war’ and are therefore not needed by the civilian public”.

          Just as he rewrote Obamacare, you and I both have a 6th sense warning us that he could rewrite the 2nd Amendment with those 4 filthy leftwing hacks.

  8. @Joe: Excellent: “. . . our side of the aisle needs to tackle those issues that will be coming up to legal challenge, specifically the charging of fees, in the same manner that Poll-Taxes were abolished.” This is exactly what we need to be doing: Our homework!

    On this particular point, I am extraordinarily PESSIMISTIC. How did it come to be that poll taxes are forbidden? Do we know? It took a Constitutional amendment. Moreover, the prohibition is only on poll taxes for federal elections. A poll tax on a state or municipal election remains permissible!

    OK, so, let’s think about re-treading this path. Let’s put together a campaign to get Congress to propose a Constitutional Amendment to forbid fees for carry permits. Should be a slam-dunk, don’t you think?

    Or, we could appear to Congress to pass a law. Or, to SCOTUS to forbid such fees. The problem here is that Congress will be unwilling to tie-its-hands on any principle that they can’t tax anything they want; even to the point of imposing a prohibitive tax. Likewise, SCOTUS is unlikely to tie Congress’s hands. Nor will either such body want to tie the hands of the state legislatures to charge “user fees” or taxes on anything they like.

    PA charges $20. Another state might charge $200, another $2,000 and yet another $20,000. You and I might want to save $20 every 5 years; but, why should we throw all our energy and money to achieve this end?

    I’d like to see a state fooling enough to charge $20,000. THEN we could make a case in a Federal court that such a fee is an “infringement”. And, for just such a reason, I don’t think any state will be so foolish as to set a fee so high as to invite a law suit.

    A state might set a fee at $2,000; that would be low enough that I think we would be better off pursuing some other issues before we attack that fee which is so high. Maybe we should look for some alternative angle to attack such a state.

    The last thing we should plan on doing is attacking a state that charges $2 or 20 cents for a permit just to stand on principle.

    We need to take each prospective issue in turn. Analyze how optimistic/pessimistic we ought to be about getting traction on each issue relative to others. Analyze how much we stand to gain by winning on each such issue. $20 over 5 years? There are probably bigger fish to fry.

    Yes, we are all – in principle – disturbed by a tax for a permit to exercise a constitutional right. Will SCOTUS see things our way? Will they be likely to forbid a fee of: $20,000? $2,000? $200? $20? $2? Will Congress be likely to pass a law (or propose a Constitutional amendment)?

    1. The Constitutional Amendment that bans Poll Taxes established Legal Precedent to ban targeted excise taxes on other Rights. Legal Precedent is a characteristic of our Federal Republic in the form of Common Law.

      A Federal Law imposed through legislative text invoking the 14th Amendment would also prohibit what you and I discussed.

      1. @Joe: In the public mind, I agree that the amendment banning the poll tax serves as a precedent. However, it is a completely separate matter as to whether it has any influence on SCOTUS. I can’t think of any other case (hopefully somebody else can) where an amendment on one topic was cited as persuasive – let alone authoritative – that the principle involved could be applied by analogy to a different topic.

        I fear that precisely the opposite could be argued. Arguably, if Congress could have simply passed a law forbidding the states from imposing a tax on a right then certainly they would have done so. Alas, as plain common sense as the matter was, it was clear then – and it is clear now – that Congress has no power under the constitution to tell the states what they are forbidden to tax. The only way Congress could forbid the states for charging that one tax was to propose to the several states that they ratify an amendment to the Constitution.

        If there is an angle to pursue, I think you are right: it will be found somewhere under the 14A. Yet, off-hand, I don’t yet see precisely what that would be.

        Anyway, this is the exercise we have to go through. Carefully analyzing the avenues and arguments for and against any proposition. Try to figure out which ones are likely to play well first; and, which will have to wait until the SCOTUS precedents accumulate to our favor – and, the political winds shift in our favor. Not easy. Not pleasant. But that’s the work that must be done. Simply charging in all directions simultaneously without assessing where our strengths and weaknesses are vis a vis the enemy never won any war.

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