Nuke it from orbit

“It” being the U.S. Senate’s “tradition” of needing 60 votes to defeat a presidential nominee brought before the Senate for confirmation (or not).

Background, in case you’ve been away from a news source these past three days:  Antonin Scalia passed this last Saturday.  He was a great legal thinker, a stickler for interpreting cases in the light of the actual Constitution, as understood by the framers.   As an originalist, Justice Scalia stood in stark contrast to those who fancied rights and philosophies completely absent from the foundation of our laws.   R.I.P.

And now begins the struggle to replace Justice Scalia.   The president, of course, has the constitutional right to do so any time there is a vacancy.  The current president, with less than a year to go in his term, would doubtless prefer to nominate a left-wing jurist.  Bonus points to Obama for naming any of the preferred minorities (white, heterosexual men need not apply).

But I jest.  In all seriousness, given the second-raters who have been appointed to the Supreme Court by Obama (Sotomayor, the “wise Latina,” and Kagan, the lesbian lefty), it is time that Republicans in the Senate discover that they were born with spines.  Time to use those spines and stand tall against serial violator of separation of powers Obama.

The left has already started screeching.  How dare Republicans stand in the way of the Numinous One?  Don’t they realize that they have a constitutional obligation to confirm whomever the president appoints?  Well, so long as it’s not a Republican president.  Here is Senator Schumer on President Bush’s potential nominees for the Court in 2007.

Sorry, Dems.  The Senate is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive.  They have a constitutional duty to advise and consent.  Or not.

If there is a problem with overcoming the need for 60 votes to shut down an Obama nominee, my advice to the Republicans in the Senate comes down to two words: Nuclear Option.

No, not nuking the site from orbit. It’s going to simple majority rules in the U.S. Senate if that’s what it takes to defeat another left-wing appointment by lame-duck Obama to the Supreme Court.

It’s what you do if you need to secure the greater good for the nation. The benefit? The very real chance to get a sound originalist on the Court if a Republican is elected president this year.

Against this very real benefit, what is lost is a bit of non-constitutional Senate “tradition.” Boo-hoo. The Dems showed no restraint when it suited them.  They abandoned the 60-vote “tradition” when it suited them to confirm appellate judges.

Politics ain’t beanbag; let’s give it back to them in spades.  Seems a fair trade to me.

Standards be damned

The December 2015 announcement by the Obama administration opening up all combat jobs to women should have come as no surprise.  It is a triumph of political correctness over function.   Of course, as current SecDef Carter stated, “as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”

Yes, of course they will qualify and “meet the standards.”   And if they don’t, then, by God, those standards must be biased.   But that’s for another time to argue over.

My first reaction?  The typical woman lacks the upper body strength of the typical man.  Of course, there are some women stronger than most men, and,  we’ve all met men weaker than most women.    Fine.  Very few women will actually be able to pass the screening, right?

For now.  Standards will inevitably be sacrificed so that the military doesn’t “discriminate” against women.    But consider what might be a typical duty for a female infantry grunt (gruntette?):  dragging or carrying a wounded comrade to safety.   The Marines’ weight standards for a 5’10” man (say a typical Marine) are 132 pounds (min) to 192 (max), for an average of 162 pounds.

Now, how many women are able to actually dead-lift 162 pounds, let alone carry that weight for any distance?  Not many, I’d guess.

Not to matter.  One inevitable reaction to this PC nonsense is to propose that women should register for the draft.  Makes sense, if one accepts the premise that, in the unlikely event we need to activate the draft, then all who are at potential risk for combat duty ought to share that risk.

Therein lies the lefty dilemma:  the notion that women are proud and tough and can do anything at all, crashing directly into the other lefty theme of women as helpless victims  (no means no, microagressions, etc. etc).  If women can serve in the combat arms, then they must, in fairness, also be part of the draft.  Sorry lefties.  Your women will need to leave their fainting couches at home.

In the reality, I can pretty much guarantee that a vast proportion of women would not pass realistic screening for combat jobs.  As, for that matter, far too many men would not, but almost certainly not nearly proportionally as many women.   Thereby wasting a whole lot of the military’s time and effort if we are ever as a nation so  strapped for volunteers that we must re-engage the draft.

Hey, social justice warriors:  be careful what you ask for.  You might just get truly equal treatment.

A strong woman…

…can beat Donald Trump. That’s the message conveyed by the candidate, who will not appear on the platform for tomorrow’s debate. The strong woman is not Hillary Clinton, she is Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who Trump stated had been “unfair” to him during the first GOP debate last August.

One must feel The Donald’s pain.   A woman who was “unfair” to him, and whose employer, Fox News, refused to remove her as one of the moderators.   The nerve of those people at Fox.   That Fox had provided Donald with at least weekly free air time over the past several years is now down the memory hole, I suppose.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a Fox spokesman tweeted this lovely bit of snark:

“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president…”

More to the point, is Trump afraid of another “unfair” question?  For the record, I thought Kelly’s question was unfair, directed as it was solely to Trump.  Boo hoo, Donald.  He can’t stand the heat, so he boogies out of the kitchen.

Final point:  the Hillary Clinton attack video practically produces itself.  Donald Trump, afraid to be questioned by a strong woman.   I, Hillary, am a strong woman (although unable to retain control of top secret emails, but that’s for another time…)

As for The Donald…

Trump is almost a walking definition of what it means to be vulgar. He is a blowhard. He is a bully, juvenile in his attacks. Not just juvenile, but sometimes downright mean-spirited (e.g. mocking a disabled reporter for his disability, not for his opinions).

When his supporters argue, “But what he is saying is true,” does this apply to Trump’s many insults against others? And what is the truth about vague statements that such-and-such is “going to be terrific?” Because he’s going to make “great deals,” I suppose.

Look, Donald Trump is fun to watch (except when he is cringe-worthy). And he is owed a debt for bringing issues to the fore (such as immigration and the brainless Obama plan to bring tens of thousands of un-vetted Syrian refugees into our country).

But as a potential commander-in-chief? As we might say in my native New York, fuhgeddaboudit.

Nothing much has changed

Been away since last September, for a variety of reasons, including surgery.  In the four months, little of substance has changed in the Republican primary.  Then, I wrote:

Two points. First, conservatives and Republicans (I am both) need to ask themselves: are those seeking the Republican nomination likely to be better, or worse presidents, than Hillary (or Joe or, shudder, Bernie)? There is not a single person running on our side who would not make a better president than any of those the Democrats have on offer (whatever happened to Jim Webb?).

Second, hark back to William F. Buckley’s premise: we should nominate the most conservative candidate who can win the general election. Not the perfect candidate. He (or she) does not exist.

Right now, for me at least, that would be Marco Rubio. He is smart, well-versed on the issues of the day, good on his feet, and presents the starkest possible generational contrast with the Old Folks the Dems have to offer.

Marco Rubio is still my first choice.  As for The Donald, he thunders on,  spitting his venom at those who disagree with his greatness.

State of the Republican race

It has been said many times, but bears repeating: there is no perfect candidate. Even if there were, my perfect candidate would likely be different than your perfect candidate.

Two points. First, conservatives and Republicans (I am both) need to ask themselves: are those seeking the Republican nomination likely to be better, or worse presidents, than Hillary (or Joe or, shudder, Bernie)? There is not a single person running on our side who would not make a better president than any of those the Democrats have on offer (whatever happened to Jim Webb?).

Second, hark back to William F. Buckley’s premise: we should nominate the most conservative candidate who can win the general election. Not the perfect candidate. He (or she) does not exist.

Right now, for me at least, that would be Marco Rubio. He is smart, well-versed on the issues of the day, good on his feet, and presents the starkest possible generational contrast with the Old Folks the Dems have to offer.

While The Donald might get the nomination, he is rather disliked by the general electorate. And his explosive response to any slight, perceived or real, would do him in in the general.

What about Bush, Carson, and Fiorina? The name Bush has become anathema, and we are not some third-rate monarchy that passes the throne to the next in line for coronation. Carson? Brilliant surgeon, marvelous person. Not a clue when it comes to what matters in running our military or foreign policy. We’ve already seen what on-the-job training will get you in a president. Fiorina? Failed executive, failed senate candidate. ‘Nuff said.

As for Scott Walker, for whom I had high hopes, he disappointed with his sour grapes exit. But he was right. We need to focus on dumping Trump. No-chance candidates such as Govs. Gilmore, Huckabee, Jindal, and Pataki, and Sens. Graham, Paul, and Santorum should exit gracefully before wasting any more time and money.

Summer of Trump

Ah, Donald Trump. He is now a media frenzy, a human tornado of bloviation, exaggeration, and braggadocio. I very much admire the man’s brass huevos, and love it when he gives off-the-top-of-his-head responses. But wait, as they say on the infomercials, is it possible this jamoke could gain our nomination and actually be elected president? I did not think so, but…

Anecdotal, but perhaps a leading indicator of The Donald’s electability: First, a good friend, a lifelong Democrat and liberal, very much likes Trump and says she will vote for him. First double-take.

Second, my union-forever inlaws have told me they also like Trump, and would vote for him. Second double-take.

In both cases, likely the first Republican (ok, purists – the man on the Republican ticket) they will have ever voted for.

My conclusion, albeit quite tentative, is that Trump, should he gain the Republican nomination, has a very good chance at winning.

The question for actual Republicans, including myself, is this: Is Donald Trump the best we can do? Seems to me he is a Republican of convenience. He is mercurial, and has changed his positions radically within the very recent past.

Perhaps the Summer of Trump will lead to an Autumn Awakening among Republicans, and Trump will take his proper place, trailing genuine and serious conservatives such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Perry.