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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Conventions

Congratulations to Laura Loomer for her victory in the Florida US Congressional District 21 Republican primary last night.  She’ll now face off against incumbent Democrat Lois Frankel on 3 November 2020.  It’s a very blue district, but if anyone can win it, it’s LoomerConsider donating to her campaign to flip FL-21!

The Democratic Party kicked off its virtual convention Monday evening.  They’ve dubbed it “D20,” which makes me think of Dungeons & Dragons.  That (perhaps) unintentionally symbolizes the basement-dwelling, anxiety-ridden nerdiness of the modern Democratic Party.

Yesterday’s Rasmussen Number of the Day on Ballotpedia observed that it’s been forty years “since the last meaningful national convention.”  That was a reference to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, in which incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a convention floor challenge from Senator Teddy Kennedy.  Carter had enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but Kennedy challenged the convention rules in an attempt to force a floor vote.

Kennedy’s attempt failed, and Carter won the nomination with 64% of the delegates.  For the vice presidential nomination, bitter pro-Kennedy delegates skipped out on the vote; those that did show up scattered their votes between various nominees.  Nevertheless, the incumbent Vice President Walter Mondale still walked away with nearly 73% of the delegates.

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The Magna Carta Turns 805

Good old Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day observes that King John signed the venerable Magna Carta 805 years ago today.  The beleaguered king signed the great charter essentially at sword point, as his barons had him cornered at Runnymede on 15 June 1215.

The Magna Carta’s history is a fascinating one.  King John challenged the document’s legitimacy almost immediately, but his son reaffirmed it.  Essentially, the Magna Carta was not a sweeping guarantee of the rights of all Englishmen; rather, it was a guarantee of the rights of a narrow band of English nobility (the aforementioned barons), and that the king was subject to his own laws.  No taxes could be levied on the nobility without their consent.

It took another four hundred-odd years, during the events leading up to and following the English Civil War, for the Magna Carta to be applied more broadly.  The Stuart monarchs sought to aggrandize the monarchy, turning it into a form of absolute monarchy in the mode of the French kings.  Parliament—jealous of its prerogatives—dug up the Magna Carta and used it in its legal case against absolute monarchy.

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Election Season 2020: Iowa Caucuses

After all the anticipation, it’s finally here—the proper beginning of the 2020 presidential election.  The Iowa caucuses kick off tonight, and there’s no telling how it’s all going to shake out (although it looks like Bernie is on track to have a good night).

The Iowa caucuses work differently than the primaries in other States.  Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day today explains the process succinctly.  Essentially, if a candidate does not receive 15% of the votes at a precinct, his or her supporters must recast their votes for one of the remaining candidates.  That means that, while a candidate always wants to be a voter’s first choice, being the second choice can still work well.  It also makes it possible to see where support will go if a candidate drops out.

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Lazy Sunday XXXI: Trump, Part II

This week’s Lazy Sunday picks up from last week’s edition, “Lazy Sunday XXX: Trump, Part I.”  Our perpetually embattled POTUS/GEOTUS continues to fight back against the screeching Leftists:

  • Trump Up in Polls” – This piece from July looks at Trump’s rising approval ratings.  It also analyzes those numbers, and looks at MSNBC gasbag Joe Scarborough’s prediction that “bigotry and racism” would cost Trump reelection in 2020.  At the time, I wrote that “bigotry and racism” would not be much of a factor:  the epithet of “racism” has been hurled so much lately, it’s become like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”—it’s meaningless.
  • Happy Monday: President Trump’s Approval Rating at 52” – Remember the government shutdown?  That seems like an eternity ago (I wish it were still going on).  Even in the midst of that, Trump’s approval ratings crested to their highest since Inauguration 2017.  President Trump has returned to the 52% (and 53%, I believe) mark since the impeachment witch hunt has begun.
  • Babes for Trump” – This little post always seems to do well, and was seeing a steady trickle of traffic recently (consistently enough that I made it a TBT feature).  Whenever I post it to The Portly Politico‘s Facebook page, one of my Trumpian former students always likes it.  Easy, big fella!  Regardless, the post is about President Trump’s support among Republican women.  My only real fear for 2020 is that, should Fauxcahontas get the nomination, box wine aunties and suburban moms will vote for her because she’s a woman, and because Trump is a “meanie.”  Get over yourselves!
  • Breaking:  Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize” – Remember when we were supposed to be embroiled in nuclear war with North Korea?  Notice how that hasn’t happened?  A Scandinavian politician called for President Trump’s nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize.  That might have been a tad rich, but it would have been far more deserved than President Barack Obama’s receipt of the award—simply because he was a black guy who got elected President!  He won the award before he even had a chance to wreck our foreign policy.

Well, that’s it for this Sunday.  Enjoy your Columbus Day tomorrow!

–TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

May We Never Forget

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen is a poignant 9/11 memorial:  204 New York City firefighters have died due to illnesses from that fateful day.  That’s in addition to the 343 NYFD firefighters who gave their lives on September 11, 2001 (the NYFD maintains a list of “line of duty deaths” dating back to 1865; deaths 809 through 1151 were the result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks).  Rasmussen also notes that 2977 people died in the attacks.

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Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that 76% of American voters believe that illegal immigration is bad for the country.  That is a substantial majority (and it makes you wonder about the other 24%).

When breaking that number down by partisan affiliation, it’s not surprising that 90% of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is bad.  What is somewhat surprising is that 63% of Democrats believe that illegal immigration is bad.  That suggests that opposing illegal immigration and border control continue to be winning issues.

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Unspeakable Fear

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day for August 2 demonstrates the fear and distrust that grip our public discourse.  According to Rasmussen’s polling, 22% of voters are afraid to share their political views most of the time, with another 25% fearing to do so some of that time.  That means that 47% of voters are afraid to discuss politics with their co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc.

Of those voters polled, 39% who strongly approve of President Trump believe they are discriminated against because of their political views.

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TBT: Global Poverty in Decline

Yesterday I wrote about homelessness, particularly the sense that many “homeless” panhandlers are simply shakedown artists well-versed in emotional manipulation, guilt-trips, and implied violence or mental instability.

The United States enjoys incredible prosperity, unprecedented in history.  That prosperity doesn’t necessarily give our lives meaning—a key critique of traditionalists like my intellectual hero, Richard Weaver—but it’s probably a moral good to not have to worry about your ability to feed and shelter yourself.

But the United States is not the only beneficiary of wealth and abundance.  The rest of the world has enjoyed huge increases in quality of life since the end of the Second World War, and especially since the end of the Cold War.

So, contrary to Leftist myth-making, the United States has not kept the rest of the world down (and, by implication, is therefore morally responsible for taking in its impoverished, unassimilable hordes).  Instead, capitalism has lifted the world out of poverty.

That is the subject of this TBT feature, August 2018’s “Global Poverty in Decline“:

Regular readers know that I frequently cite pollster Scott Rasmussen’s #Number of the Day series from Ballotpedia.  I do so because a.) his numbers often reveal some interesting truths about our world and b.) blogging is, at bottom, the art of making secondary or tertiary commentary on what other, smarter, harder-working people have thought, written, and done.

Yesterday’s #Number of the Day dealt with global poverty; specifically, Americans’ ignorance to the fact that global poverty has declined substantially over the last twenty years.  Indeed, global poverty has been reduced by half in that time.

I’ll confess I was ignorant of the extent of this decline, too, although it makes sense that poverty has decreased, especially when you consider the rise of post-Soviet market economies in Eastern Europe and China’s meteoric rise since the 1980s.

I suspect that the perennial culprit of the Mainstream Media is to blame, in part, for this ignorance, coupled as it is with progressive politicians.  The rise of “democratic socialist” candidates—as well as the lingering effects of the Great Recession—would have Americans believe that the global economy is in terrible shape, and that “underprivileged” parts of the world labor in ever-worsening poverty (so, let’s just move them all here—that’ll solve poverty!).

It’s refreshing to see that capitalism is working its economic magic, and people all over the globe are lifting themselves out of poverty.  If representative republicanism and strong civil societies can take root and flourish in more places, the ingredients will be in place for continued economic and cultural growth.