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100 Days of Trump: March for Life shows crucial nature of Trump’s Supreme Court choice

While the March for Life takes place today in Washington to commemorate the tragic anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision (which surreptitiously conjured up a federal right to terminate an unborn human life over 40 years ago), conservatives and Republicans are gearing up for what looks to be an incredibly contentious and likely nasty battle with Democrats over Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court to be announced next week.

Democrats have hemmed and hawed over Trump’s cabinet appointments and made all sorts of threats in addition to utilizing stall tactics to try and stop some of them, but in the end, every single one of Trump’s Donald Trumpdepartment heads will likely get through unscathed (unless there is some sort of major public scandal or more Republicans somehow turn into John McCain).

Not true for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee since Republicans will need a higher level of support to confirm him (or her). Democrats realize it and are preparing to throw up roadblocks just like the protesters did a week ago on Inauguration Day. (Hopefully there won’t be any limos burned this time…)

Caitlin Huey-Burns of Real Clear Politics reports, “To fill the vacancy, President Trump will need eight Democrats to vote for his choice. Democrats see this appointment as a chance to flex what little political muscle they have in Washington.

“Yet the Democratic caucus isn't entirely united in its approach to the Trump administration. And there are several factors complicating the strategy when it comes to the Supreme Court fight. Ten senators are up for re-election in 2018 in states that are either ruby red or battlegrounds that voted for Trump last November; thus, they have incentives to work with the new administration. The Judicial Crisis Network has already pledged to spend $10 million to hold vulnerable Democrats accountable during the eventual confirmation process. And President Trump has shown he is capable of scrambling alliances on Capitol Hill.”

All of this is true. But the political pressures will be enormous on any potentially wavering Democrats when the time comes. Chuck Schumer will be staring down their necks. Bernie Sanders will have his people camping outside their homes. And Elizabeth Warren will threaten to personally filibuster them until they relent. If you’ve ever heard Warren speak you know how annoying that would be.

And some leftist groups are planning to play up the “illegitimate president” angle too.

If it wasn’t evident before it will certainly be crystal clear when Trump asks the Senate to consider a Supreme Court nominee that all of the Democrats’ pontificating, posturing and faux concern about the Russians and the 2016 election was solely intended to undermine the new president’s credibility to govern and appoint judges.

Even all of the blather and delays over Trump’s cabinet choices will have been small potatoes compared to the importance they’ll attach to a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land. Should the nominee end up being fairly young and a dyed-in-the-wool originalist like Scalia, it will basically guarantee no success for manufactured liberal causes for another thirty-ish years from that particular member of the Court.

Just like conservatives can expect next to nothing of judicial value from the persons of Justices Ruther Bader Ginsburg, Steven Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, liberals will basically write off this seat for the next generation.

That’s a risk they don’t want to take. But drawing themselves into a political showdown with Trump is probably not a fight they’re likely to win either, at least where the Supreme Court is concerned. A whopping 21 percent of 2016 voters named the Supreme Court vacancy as their top issue in deciding who to vote for, and of those saying so Trump prevailed over Hillary Clinton by 57 to 40 percent (according to an ABC News exit poll).

The gap is probably even larger in red states.

In other words, a lot of people are paying attention to this issue and are likely motivated enough to get involved at the grassroots level to make sure the Democrats’ excessive gamesmanship doesn’t result in taking the scalp of a deserving Court nominee.

Just who that nominee should be is a hot topic, even among conservatives.

Quin Hillyer of The American Spectator handicapped the five individuals (Neil Gorsuch, William Pryor, Thomas Hardiman, Diane Sykes, and Raymond Kethledge) who are apparently finalists in President Trump’s mind and said each one would make for a good choice. Hillyer concludes, “The truth is that these five have been vetted so well by the entirely trustworthy Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society (among others) that any one of them is sure to be of at least the admirable solidity of Justice Samuel Alito.

“I’ve spent the better part of a week researching many of their writings and talking to stalwart constitutionalist leaders about them. All of them are clearly textualist-originalists to a degree Chief Justice Roberts never appeared to be, even when many on the right were applauding Roberts’ 2006 nomination due to his clear sense of one sort of judicial ‘restraint’ and generally conservative political leanings.”

Hillyer makes some valid points in his article, though no one’s talking about desiring another John Roberts on the Court. Conservatives want whoever will admirably fill Justice Scalia’s very large shoes. That’s no easy task.

While there doesn’t appear to be a clear favorite among conservatives (at least that I’ve seen) there is one member of the finalist group that has many conservatives less than impressed, and that’s Judge William Pryor.

A number of prominent conservatives are campaigning against Pryor and that should be enough to give President Trump pause, especially when it looks like he has several others to choose from that would garner near universal enthusiastic support.

(Note: Here’s a more in-depth look at Thomas Hardiman. And Trump’s sister spoke well of Hardiman also.)

I also can’t help but think Trump is still considering elevating Senator Mike Lee to the Court, though Lee’s name seems to have disappeared from the news reports. I still maintain Lee could have perhaps the easiest time of it in confirmation since as a fellow senator the Democrats would be much harder pressed to come up with reasons why Lee isn’t fit to serve on the Court.

That’s not to say they won’t dig deep to find some – after all, they’re Democrats – but Lee appears to be a strong choice all around. It’s safe to say, appointing Lee could make everyone happy…or at the very least, not make them feel like burning a limo.

To build (infrastructure) or not to build, that is the question

Although President Trump has moved rapidly this week to take care of a host of his most urgent campaign promises via executive order – the ones where he has legal authority to act unilaterally – there’s one area that he’s going to need a lot of help from Congress to achieve.

And that’s repairing the nation’s infrastructure. Apparently the Republican congressional leadership is adding it to this year’s agenda at Trump’s request.

Susan Ferrechio of the Washington Examiner reports, “Trump asked lawmakers to include the massive infrastructure spending project that he promised voters during the campaign.

“Now it's been added to the GOP's already packed to-do list, outlined at the Republican retreat at a hotel in downtown Philadelphia. It's not clear whether it will match Trump's $1 trillion proposal for repairing the nation's crumbling roads and bridges, but infrastructure is now ‘front and center,’ according to those who heard details of the GOP plan.”

The balance of Ferrechio’s article deals with the full legislative plate Republicans must try to digest this year. But clearly infrastructure is going to take up a big slice of the discussion.

I think it’s safe to say infrastructure is a sticky topic. On the surface everyone would agree America needs a massive upgrade of its roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and rail capacity as well as protection for the electrical grid, safe nuclear power and clean water.

But below the surface there’s huge disagreement on how to go about achieving what everyone wants. Trump hit the nail on the head during the campaign when he indicated infrastructure improvements are a must-do. As a builder, it’s his area of expertise.

But how to pay for it?

For Democrats, that’s an easy one. The “rich” will foot the bill by hiking taxes on top earners (after all, they’re the ones who have taken advantage to get wealthy, right?). Republicans, including Trump, will likely favor some sort of public-private partnership where companies help pay for the work in exchange for some profitable opportunity.

Some in both parties will give a nod towards user fees like gas taxes. The Democrats will want protection for their union pals to ensure a quota for minority hiring and mandatory unionization.

Members of Congress from both sides will vie for freeway onramps named after them… The whole thing breaks down at that point.

What was originally a great idea to fix what’s broken or decaying now becomes a big slush fund for special interests…at least for the Democrats and establishment Republicans. Libertarian-leaning conservatives will oppose any measure that would increase the existing budget…and so on and so on…

In this realm, what is the conservative position?

William S. Lind and Glen D. Bottoms write in The American Conservative, “President Hoover has Hoover Dam, FDR has the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Ike has the interstate highway system. Each is a memorial to a president who wanted to do something big. The opportunities are there for President Trump to do the same. Short of building a pyramid, infrastructure offers him the best opportunity to put his name up in lights.”

In their article, Lind and Bottoms advocate greatly expanding public transportation infrastructure, such as streetcars and light rail – and to not be so entirely focused on roads and highways. Gas taxes can take care of some of the cost, they suggest. At first glance several of their ideas don’t seem very traditionally “conservative” (considering the publication) but at some point even the stingiest budget hawks have to admit money needs to be raised and spent on this.

My dad spent his career as a civil engineer touting the virtues of infrastructure. We all use it, we all need it. He is 100% right. Let’s hope our new president has the ideas and political capabilities to get beyond the usual political bickering and find a way to keep his promises in this area as well.

It’s only been a week and already Democrats are swearing to fight Trump to the death

Pundits are fond of describing today’s national political situation as “partisan” and “divided” while openly questioning whether President Trump has the abilities and temperament to try and bridge the gap.

Trump may or may not have those personal qualities – but already his political adversaries have sworn they’ve had enough of him and will fight him to their last breath.

Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico reports, “What began as a high-minded discussion about how to position the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump appears to be nearing its conclusion. The bulk of the party has settled on a scorched-earth, not-now-not-ever model of opposition…

“According to interviews with roughly two dozen party leaders and elected officeholders, the internal debate over whether to take the conciliatory path — to pursue a high-road approach as a contrast to Trump’s deeply polarizing and norm-violating style — is largely settled, cemented in place by a transition and first week in office that has confirmed the left’s worst fears about Trump’s temperament.”

I know, it’s Politico we’re talking about. But the part about Trump being the one with the “deeply polarizing, norm-violating style” really got me. For comparison, here’s the clip of Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren (again)…and here’s one of avowed communist Angela Davis, both of whom spoke at last weekend’s “Women’s March” populated with female organ hats and all sorts of vulgar signs.

Here is Trump’s Inaugural speech where he promises to give the government back to the people.

You be the judge. Who is polarizing and ill-tempered? Isn’t the slogan for the anti-Trump movement “Resist”? Resist means “fight against somebody or something; refuse to give in to something…”

This media bias in terms of who is “deeply polarizing” has reached the ridiculous level once again. No wonder Trump has cut them off in many respects.

Seeing the Democrats rant on about how awful Trump is kind of reminds me of the scene in “Blazing Saddles” when Sheriff Bart (played by Cleavon Little) returns from his morning walk furious at being rejected by the townspeople because he’s black.

Here’s the clip – warning to the sensitive, it’s not PC.

Jim “The Waco Kid” (played by Gene Wilder) says to Bart, “What did you expect? Welcome, sonny? Make yourself at home? Marry my daughter? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know . . . morons.”

In the present case the intolerant “morons” are the Democrats, a collection of ignorant elitist ideologues and race baiters who claim outrage when all Trump has done thus far, at least in terms of immigration, is threaten to take their federal money away if they refuse to enforce the nation’s laws. And all “Bart” (Trump) was trying to do was be friendly…

The president has also ditched TPP (popular with Bernie Sanders’ voters), removed the barriers to building pipelines, reinstituted the Mexico City policy defunding abortion, instituted a federal hiring freeze and made some preliminary changes to Obamacare.

These are all things Trump promised to do when he ran for the office. In other words, the “morons” had more than enough notice the new president would act and none of this should be particularly surprising. Yet they “resist” anyway – and they’re nasty about it too.

Policy disagreements have morphed into personal hatreds and vows to “resist” and defy the president have replaced any semblance of civility. Republicans fought Obama as well, though it was from a reverse standpoint, trying to prevent the federal government from overreaching. Democrats are mad because the government isn’t going to give them everything they want now.

What a collection of sore loser crybabies.

If you want to see a positive demonstration, go listen to Vice President Pence speak at the March for Life today. Note the difference in tone. Now which side has the bad temperament again?

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I think his Supreme Court

I think his Supreme Court choice, is going to SHOCK THEM ALL ! ( By "Not" being, who they THINK hes going to pick ! )