Victorious ACB

Last night the Senate confirmed the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, thus filling Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant seat.  Conservative constitutionalist Justice Clarence Thomas swore in Barrett, a symbolic gesture of the new justice’s constitutionalist credentials.

It’s doubly significant that Barrett’s confirmation comes just a week before Election Day, which is next Tuesday, 3 November 2020.  Nothing speaks more powerfully to conservatives about the importance of the Trump presidency than the President’s three conservative appointments to the Court.

ACB seems to be the most conservative of Trump’s appointees yet, which is a major victory for the Right.  Replacing the arch-progressive RGB with a conservative Catholic mother of seven should energize even the logiest of Republican squishes to pull the lever for Trump next Tuesday.

Recapturing the Court from progressives has been a conservative fantasy since at least Roe v. Wade, and really even earlier.  It’s taken anywhere from fifty to eighty years for conservatives to hold a decisive majority on the Court—easily a lifetime of patient political campaigning and faithful prayer.

With Democrats threatening to pack the Courts if they win the presidency and Congress, conservatives can’t rest on our laurels just yet.  We’ve got to get Trump reelected next week—and Republicans to take back the House and retain the Senate.

For South Carolinians, we must vote for Lindsey Graham next week, too.  I know he has not always been the most reliable conservative, but the Kavanaugh confirmation process red-pilled him big time.  He’s also the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and is responsible for getting Barrett—and dozens upon dozens of federal and appellate judges—out of committee and to a floor vote.  We cannot afford to lose that conservative influence at this critical juncture.

Justice Thomas is getting on in his years; we need a reliable conservative to replace him.  But there are progressive justices also approaching their expiration dates.  Justice Stephen Breyer is 82.  Respectable retirement can’t be far off for him.  Replacing Breyer would truly cement a conservative majority for a lifetime.

For now, congratulations to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.  Do us proud!

The-Surpreme-Court

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Rule of Law Matters

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Also, the delayed Universal Studios post is now available to subscribers:  “Universal Studios Trip No. 3.”

During the recent incarnation of the domestic terror organization Black Lives Matter, a group of BLM organizers in Florence, South Carolina received permission to paint a “Black Lives Matter” mural on a section of street in downtown Florence.  The mural is meant to depict various scenes from African and African-American history, including some Egyptian elements.

The mural itself was a community effort, and took around three or four days to paint.  In all fairness, it was a peaceful project with the full support of the City of Florence, and seemed to be an expressive way for the black community to participate in a project that isn’t overtly destructive.  Creating art—even historically inaccurate, propagandist art—is generally preferable to looting stores.

However, the City of Florence has decided to remove the mural.  Naturally, it’s resulted in a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth from blacks and gentry white liberals in Florence, who are accusing Mayor Wukela—a red-diaper baby and progressive Democrat—of racism, of suppressing black voices, and the usual litany of complaints.

Of course, that has nothing to do with why Florence City Council—which is overwhelming Democratic and heavily African-American—is removing the mural.

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Second Presidential Debate Review

Last night was the second and final presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.  Overall, it was far more measured in tone and richer in substance than the first debate, and it accomplished what President Trump needed to do:  reassure squishy independents and critical undecided voters that he’s not just a loose cannon, but can actually govern, and govern well.

I also found the moderator to be surprisingly fair.  The questions obviously were slanted in favor of the Democrats, as these questions always are (again, who cares about climate change anymore?), but she gave President Trump the opportunity to respond to criticisms, and also had some tough questions for Biden.

President Trump did what he should have done in the first debate:  he gave Biden the rope with which to hang himself.  It was Biden who brought up China and Ukraine, which opened the door for Trump to attack Hunter Biden’s lucrative salaries from foreign companies and governments—the result of Biden’s influence peddling.

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Presidential Debate Review

Last night was the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden.  It was a grudge match; “hard to watch” and similar sentiments are the main comments I’m seeing on social media.

As a Trump supporter, I enjoyed the debate for GEOTUS’s zingers and no-nonsense combativeness.  He was aggressive and feisty, and clearly understood the Leftist slanting of the questioning (as Milo Telegramed, “Why are we still talking about climate change?”  Chris Wallace was clearly in Biden’s corner in terms of the tack of his questions, and he didn’t interrupt Biden the way he interrupted Trump.

To be fair to Wallace, Trump was talking over Biden and Wallace frequently, and as the role of a moderator is to moderate the debate, Wallace’s job was to try to keep the candidates to the two-minute rule.  That said, Trump was responding to a number of inaccurate and false accusations against him, including the widely debunked but oft-repeated Charlottesville myth.

I do think on the substance of the issues, Trump hammered Biden.  Trump has facts, history, accomplishments, and morality on his side.  His first term has been wildly successful by any metric.  The irony of Trump’s presidency is that if it were anyone else in his position, they’d be lauded as the greatest president in a generation, but anyone else wouldn’t have had the cajones to accomplish what Trump has.

Unfortunately, for all that I loved Trump’s aggressive attempt to rattle the ailing Biden, I’m afraid it came across as bullying and unprofessional to squishy swing voters.  Trump’s base is with him no matter what (especially after he refused to be maneuvered into denouncing the Proud Boys, a completely benign organization unfairly slandered as “white supremacists”).  He’s got to win over those undecided folks in key swing States who probably love the president’s policies, but find the president personally distasteful.

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Anti-Court Packing

As of right now, it looks like Amy Coney Barrett will get confirmed to the Supreme Court before the election, even if she’ll be seated under the wire.  A plurality of Americans want Barrett seated, according to a Rasmussen poll.  Conservatives shouldn’t take anything for granted; to quote Marcus Cato Censorius, “many things can come between the mouth and a morsel of food.”  But it does seem that ACB will soon be Justice Barrett, and America will be better off for it.

Of course, the Democrats are in high dudgeon, and are already threatening to pack the Court should they win the presidency and gain a senatorial majority this November.  Conservatives have anticipated this potential move for some time, but haven’t done much to stymie it.  Our focus has been, understandably, affixed on merely gaining a solid constitutionalist majority on the Court, but today’s Left will do anything to demolish a conservative Court.

Just as Democrats threatened to impeach Trump [thanks to jonolan for sharing that post with his readers, too —TPP] for making a constitutional appointment, they’re not seeking to dilute the Supreme Court, cheapening its gravity and significance, by adding additional justices.  Their solution is to expand the Court enough enough to make the potentially 6-3 conservative majority irrelevant.

After all, with the Democrats, if the rules favor your opponents, change them.  If the people don’t want your ideology, force it on them via judicial or executive fiat.

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Imcheapment

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It looks like President Trump will make his Supreme Court nomination pick later this week, and that Senate Republicans will deliver the votes he needs.  Lindsey Graham, who is in a surprisingly tight race here in South Carolina, came out with full-throated support for confirming a nominee, even this close to the November election.

What came as a major surprise was Mitt Romney‘s willingness to vote for a Trump nominee.  He did qualify his support by stating that he intends “to vote based upon [the nominee’s] qualifications,” which still leaves open the possibility of his characteristic perfidy.  Even with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins demurring, that gives Senate Republicans some cushion in confirming the president’s choice.

Of course, the Left is in a full-scale, apocalyptic meltdown.  They’d turned Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a symbol for their preferred style of judicial activism, and saw her as a crotchety, sleepy champion for their pet causes.  Ginsburg never saw an abuse of judicial power she didn’t like, and was a guaranteed vote for the progressives on any case.

The prospect of replacing her with a constitutional conservative is the Left’s worst nightmare.  RBG’s refusal to step down into a peaceful (and, surely, lucrative) retirement during the Obama administration has not cost the Democrats—potentially—a reliably Leftist seat for probably another forty years.

It’s little wonder, then, that the Democrats are pulling out every trick imaginable to stall or prevent confirmation hearings, and to otherwise scuttle Trump’s eventual nominee.  That includes threats of impeachment.

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Lazy Sunday LXXXII: Rural America

After a week of incredibly hot weather here in South Carolina, Saturday brought a blessed drop in both the temperature and humidity—a foretaste of autumn.  My girlfriend and I spent Saturday weeding my disgracefully overgrown flower beds, which were mostly weeds strangling the life out of everything but the hardiest of perennials (and my robust banana trees).  We then did some new plantings (with a few more to put in, as well as some mulch).  The results were pretty good:

Lamar House - After Planting, 5 September 2020

It felt good to get our hands (and clothes, and faces) dirty, digging through the dirt and nurturing plant life.  My mother is an expert gardener, so I’ve picked up a few simple techniques from her; otherwise, we just bought flowers we liked and plopped ’em in with some in-ground bedding soil and a some water.  Fingers crossed that everything survives.

My mind has been on the soil lately, and our connection to it.  I have a fondness—perhaps a tad romantic—for country life.  With current trends in the cities—rising home prices, rising property taxes, and rising urban violence—country life seems like an attractive, even inevitable, alternative.

As such, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s Lazy Sunday to some pieces about rural America:

  • TBT: Rustics Have Opinions, Too” – This piece dates way back 2009, when the blog was in its first iteration on Blogger, and I was still enthralled with “Randian-libertarian economic” philosophy.  Such are the follies of youth.  However, I did notice even then the deep disdain of limousine liberals for the rest of us here in “flyover country,” a disdain that, at least in part, accounts for the TEA Party movement and the Trumpian revolt of 2016.
  • High-Tech Agrarianism” – When The Virus hit, people were in a tizzy about having enough toilet paper and food.  People gained a renewed interest in gardening as a source of sustenance, not just beauty.  In this post, I mused about a possible return to small-scale homesteading, coupled with our advanced information technology.  Essentially, I posited a world in which people still work, albeit increasingly from home and on more flexible hours, and can use their time to tend to small crops to supplement their diets.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: The Future is Rural” – One of two recent posts on the lure of rural America and small town life, I argue here that life in the country offers many attractive incentives for working families.  Not only are cities pushing people away with high prices and crime; the country is ready to take in telecommuters who earn good money but want a low cost of living in a safe, healthy environment.
  • SubscribeStar Saturday: Small Town Natalism” – The second post in my Saturday series about small town and rural living, this post is a preliminary sketch of a policy proposal:  applying nationalistic, pro-birth natalist policies to the small town context.  Instead of wasting money on seldom-used public facilities, local governments could offer a stipend to married families with children to encourage increased birth rates.  That would grow towns organically and attract new residents, thereby broadening the tax bases in often distressed rural areas.

That’s it for this week.  The garden is calling to me.  Time to put down some mulch!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Small Town Natalism

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Last Saturday I argued that “The Future is Rural.”  With the rise in urban violence (that seems to turn up every presidential election year) and unsustainable living costs, coupled with the spread of telecommuting and improved Internet access, I predict that more and more Americans will flee to the countryside.

Even with the tide turning in favor of rural and small town life, local and county governments can take some proactive steps to attract residents.  If the goal is to attract working families consisting of committed parents, localities need to get creative.

The usual approach to building up revenue in small towns is to spend lavishly on parks and sports fields.  Large cities famously subsidize the NFL with billions in stadium construction, but small towns routinely fall into these construction boondoggles.  The premise is that new softball fields will bring in summer travel leagues, generating local tourism dollars, which is always how new ball fields are sold to the public.  Of course, the maintenance of these facilities are added into a locality’s annual budget, becoming recurring expenses, on top of the initial cost of production, which is often debt-financed.

Rather than spend public money on baseball diamonds and—even worse—soccer fields, small towns hoping to attract working families should use that money for something far more precious:  children.

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Overblown

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As I’ve long suspected, The Virus is not nearly as lethal as the doomsayers predicted and insisted.  It turns out that only 6% of reported COVID-related deaths were purely related to The Virus; the other 94% of victims had other underlying medical issues.

Let me be clear:  I do think The Virus is real and is potentially life-threatening, especially for the elderly and the chronically ill.  Indeed, the CDC findings indicate that is, indeed, the case.  Even when not life-threatening, it’s surely unpleasant—just like a particularly bad case of the flu is unpleasant.

But just as we’ve done in the past with bad flu seasons, we should begin returning to some degree of normality.  Indeed, Sweden’s approach to The Virus has been practical and effective:  protect the elderly and other vulnerable populations while encouraging as much normality as possible for the rest of society.  Let younger people work, play, and mingle, and develop that coveted herd immunity.

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