Thursday Open Thread

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

–Benjamin Disraeli

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Do our Dear M. Bennet or President Un-Elect Obama have any fire in their bellies for the Supreme Court seat that was stolen by Republicans in another act of derring do that would bring down the wrath of the nation if Democrats had done it? (Remember IOKIYAR?)

    Desperate times requiring desperate measures, David Dayen suggests a course for Obama that he is unlikely to take:

    Come January, President Barack Obama will be consigned to the sidelines as Donald Trump occupies the Oval Office and begins the work of dismantling his legacy. But there is one action that Obama could take on January 3, 2017 that could hold off some of the worst potential abuses of a Trump administration for up to a year. Obama can appoint his nominee Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court on that date, in between the two sessions of Congress.

    Based on everything we know about Obama’s temperament and politics, he won’t resort to this. But given how Republicans relentlessly obstructed his efforts for eight years, he would be completely justified in playing one final trump card. And there’s a cost to ignoring that card. The fact that Democrats prefer to maintain governance norms, even while Republicans break them time and again, inescapably pushes the policymaking apparatus of the country to the right.

    Dahlia Lithwick seems livid at the prospect that Republicans might get away with obstructing a sitting president from making this appointment, saying flatly "it was stolen by unprecedented obstruction and contempt." She writes:

    The only proper response from progressives today must be that Donald Trump is a lame-duck president with only four years left in his term, and we must let the people decide the next justice for the Supreme Court. Less fatuously, it must be to obstruct the nomination and seating of any Trump nominee to fill Scalia’s seat. We will lose. But that’s not the point now. Democrats need to repeat Ted Cruz’s lie that eight justices will suffice. If Democrats can muster the energy to fight about nothing else, it should be this, because even if you believe the election was fair or fair enough, the loss of this Supreme Court seat was not. That seat is Merrick Garland’s.

    A recess appointment would be a "grotesque spectacle," Lithwick writes:

    If Merrick Garland is to be seated in the coming weeks at the Supreme Court it will be by way of an Obama recess appointment, if there is a recess, and in that case he will be seated for a year and no more. It will all be a grotesque spectacle, demeaning the players and diminishing and compromising the public esteem for the court. A recess appointment would be the kind of stunt-nomination Obama has eschewed throughout his presidency, guaranteed to embarrass the executive and Judge Garland, who deserved to have us fight for him long before now. But it would at least be a symbol that tantrum can be met with tantrum, and that Democrats will not be rolled. So that’s one option. It’s not a fix. But at least it’s not a capitulation.

    What's good for the lame duck, right? This travesty has gone on long enough. Democrats will lose, as Lithwick says. But fighting and losing is more palatable than getting rolled (or rolling over).

    Maybe Bennet could use some of that filibuster juice he's been saving up for the right time. Though I'm sure he'll only see the bad in such an act. He most likely can't see that many Obama voters abandoned Democrats this year because they're so hesitant to really stand up and fight for something besides renegotiating your student loan interest rate. (Oh wait, Bennet won so he's a political genius and did everything perfectly in his campaign.)

    And Bennet will never hear that from  someone like Chuck Schumer, God Help Us. 

  2. cologeek says:

    In all honesty, the Senate should have granted Garland an up or down vote.  The fact that they weren't really punished for not doing so says a lot about both political houses (D and R) are viewed.

  3. Voyageur says:

    Thank god we have our 15 minutes of hate for Michael bennet!  Too bad it obscured what could have been useful information on the recess appointment strategy

    We could decide a lot of 5-4 cases in that year.

  4. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Is Hillary getting a pardon?

    It seems some folks are pushing Obama to pardon her.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    Bill O’Reilly: Trump Should Accept Paris Climate Agreement

    President-elect Donald Trump should accept the United Nations climate agreement to appease allies who are skeptical of the future president’s capacity to govern, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said Wednesday

    Before he claimed it to be a Chinese hoax he believed it was a thing

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/282782-trump-asked-for-meaningful-climate-change-policy-in-2009

  6. mamajama55 says:

    And here's one for the head-banger: (Metallica playing classroom instruments on Fallon)

    A little change of pace from the fuming and frothing…

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