I was right. Obama wants an election year fight over the Supreme Court.

February 14, 2016
"And you're surprised?"

“And you’re surprised?”

Do I know my community-organizer presidents, or what?

Responding to the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama declared that he will nominate a successor, breaking a nearly 100-year tradition. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican presidential candidates have encouraged him to wait for the next president, who will be elected this November.

“I plan to fulfill one of my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor, in due time,” Obama declared in a statement Saturday evening. “There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.” Obama emphasized, “These are responsibilities that I take seriously and so should everyone— they are bigger than any one party, they are about our democracy.”

No lame duck president has nominated a Supreme Court justice in an election year for eighty years, a fact which both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz mentioned in the Republican presidential debate Saturday evening.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) said that “it’s been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year.”

And there’s good reason for that: the Supreme Court, which, since the New Deal, has effectively served as a 2nd, unelected legislature, makes decisions crucial to the  daily lives of Americans on highly controversial matters. Whether the next president is a conservative Republican, a crooked cronyist progressive Democrat, or a Socialist running as a Democrat, it’s been the tradition to not make appointments during a presidential election year because there are so many issues are at stake that people feel passionately about. It behooves us to wait until the election gauges the national mood to see which direction the people, through their choice of president and senators, want the Court to go. It also avoids adding yet another inevitably politicized argument to an already contentious election.

Some writers looked at this tradition and speculated that Obama would honor it and let the Court operate with eight justices until the new president could make a choice. I’m not sure why they would think that, since Barack Obama —mentored by a Stalinist in Hawaii as a boy, a committed Marxist-Leninist as an undergraduate, and a devotee of Saul Alinsky as a community organizer– has never show any understanding or respect for American traditions.

On the contrary, I speculated yesterday that Obama would use this opportunity to pick a fight:

…and…

…followed by…

While we don’t know Obama’s choice yet (1), his statement makes me think I’m more likely right than not. Consider:

Obama’s first job out of college was as a community organizer, the profession invented by Saul Alinsky, the Socialist whose main motivation was the taking of power and who developed the tactics used by community organizers to this day — including Obama. Consider Alinsky’s Rule 12:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The community organizer wins by dividing groups, setting them against each other so that his side is ready to take action while the other is reeling. Compromise, other than a faux-compromise that gives the Alinskyist what he wants, becomes impossible because the community organizer does not want a compromise.

He wants power.

It is my belief that President Obama will choose someone wholly unacceptable to the Senate majority, but around whom he can rally his side and polarize the issue, painting the Republicans as obstructionists and even racists or sexists (or both). Someone such as California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, a very left-leaning Asian-American jurist who’s already been rejected for the federal bench by the Senate. Or Tom Perez, the Hispanic Secretary of Labor who, as an Assistant Attorney General under Eric Holder, helped push the Civil Rights Division far to the left.

The Senate would rightfully reject either man (2), and then Obama would exploit this to rally his side in the November election, with the media as his willing flacks. The news articles and network broadcasts and campaign commercials (but I repeat myself) write themselves. It wouldn’t be about judicial philosophy or the nominee’s record; instead, Obama and his allies would strongly imply that the Republicans are derelict in their duty, keeping the Court from doing it’s job, probably from racist motives.

It would be horse manure, but it would still do damage to the Republicans, who’ve shown themselves to be utterly inept at fighting back.

Obama wants this fight. He’s picked his target (Senate Republicans); he’ll freeze them, trapping them with their own words about “up or down votes;” he’ll personalize it (“They’re doing this because I’m Black.”); and he will polarize the issue to get his side fired up for the election. Getting his choice for Justice would be gravy.

Get ready for a wild ride.

Footnote:
1) Can you say “Mr. Justice Eric Holder?”
2) I’m not convinced Obama would be all that unhappy to see his choice lose, for reasons I explain above.


When all else fails, cry “RAAAAACISM!”

March 21, 2010

Yesterday there was a demonstration at the Capitol Building in DC against the possible passage of ObamaCare today. Turnout was pretty good for something called at the last minute, and the crowd was passionate. Reflecting the majority of likely voters, they were there to say, in no uncertain terms, that they do not want Congress to nationalize 17% of the American economy, make massive cuts to Medicare, drive doctors from the profession and destroy jobs, and have a real cost north of two trillion dollars.

So, how do the Democrats and their media allies respond? Intelligent debate? A discussion of the merits of the health care proposal in order to sell Americans on the idea?

Oh, don’t be silly. The correct response is “c) Bully your opponents by making false claims of racism.”

The incident The Huffington Post so breathlessly reports (and spread uncritically by Alan Fram of the AP) happened when members of the House walked past demonstrators into the Capitol. Supposedly, members of the Congressional Black Caucus were called “niggers” and Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) was called a “faggot.” And while the HuffPo piece can find a sign that clearly crossed the line (slide one in the slide-show at the bottom of the linked article), they can produce no proof of the name-calling in question. On the contrary, videos of the incident clearly show demonstrators booing the Representatives and chanting “Kill the bill,” but there’s nary an epithet to be heard. Tito’s queued up the footage, you make the call:

And, for another view:

Now, don’t you think that, with all the video cameras in the hands of professionals and amateurs that were at the event, someone would have captured those moments of bigoted hate? Until someone can provide proof, it seems more likely that this is just another attempt to intimidate, smear, and distract by those who know the facts are against them.

Saul Alinsky would approve.

LINKS: More at Big Government and Power Line.