Yeah, I know, everyone is in a tizzy about President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. However, there’s a story we’re not hearing much about — some of it the media’s fault, but also the Trump administration’s fault.Consider how many members of the Trump cabinet have been confirmed? Perhaps if Donald Trump had key members of his cabinet in place there would be less policy by Twitter and better staffing and coordination of executive orders.
The vital story that’s happening is a slow roll death for the Trump cabinet by Senator Chuck Schumer, about which he appears to be proud.
Imagine this, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee said they needed more time to review papers on their own colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions. How absurd can this be for these Democrats to act as if Senator Sessions is someone who just showed up in the U.S. Senate? They’ve pushed his committee confirmation vote back, and who knows if they’ll honor the two week request they made? Let’s accept the fact that there is an ideological chasm between the far left progressives who now run the Democrat Party. But this is a shameful display of obtuse belligerence to degrade the functionality of the incoming Trump administration.
And yes, part of the responsibility does go to the Trump administration for not talking about this every day, instead of crowd sizes. The effectiveness of their administration must be a primary concern and anything constraining that must be articulated. And we’re about to see another potential slow roll by Sen. Schumer and his devious acolytes in the Senate.As reported by Time.com, “With just one week until President Trump announces his pick for the Supreme Court, three names have emerged as the top contenders. Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor are all “under very serious consideration and [in] the final throes of the process,” says a source involved in the decision. Trump is considering this choice as he’s made many others throughout his campaign and nascent presidency: without a clear chain of command, listening to the advice of many people around him in a hub-and-spokes type organization. “The reality is it’s a bit of a free for all, everybody has an opinion,” the source says.”
My objective is not to go into an analysis of the potential final three nominees, if you want we have a link here. What I’d like to do is edify you on some of the verbiage and potential shenanigans you may see coming in the next few weeks and beyond relating to President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
First, let’s put something to bed finally that is a holdover from the Obama administration. There will be an outcry from the left to stall and not allow for a hearing on the Trump SCOTUS nominee.The left will say, “do unto Trump as was done unto Obama” – deny his nominee. The issue emanates from the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — still rather interesting — on February 13, 2016, in Obama’s final year of office. There will be much angst that the GOP-controlled Senate denied Obama’s selection a hearing.
First of all, this was Obama’s final year in office, and for almost eight decades, no U.S. president has gotten a SCOTUS nominee in their final year. Of interesting note was that it was Senator Chuck Schumer who was a vehement opponent to such happening for President George W. Bush in 2007 — see his words here.As a matter of fact, it was, then Senator Joe Biden, who in 1992 delivered a Senate floor speech that articulated exactly what Senator Mitch McConnell did last year…some have called it the “Biden Rule.” And you may not believe me, but let the former Vice President speak for himself here. Therefore, the Senate Democrats, especially Chuck Schumer, have no ground on which to stand when it comes to denying President Trump his nominee, in his first year.
Next, you’ll hear lots of talk about a “nuclear option” — and for those of you who never took civics, this has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. The U.S. Senate is set up so any passing vote must achieve 60 votes. However, it was then-Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who changed what has been known as the “filibuster rule” of 60 votes, and instituted the ‘nuclear option,” meaning in certain cases only a simple majority is necessary — as it is in the U.S. House, (218 votes). One of those cases where Reid made the nuclear option stick was with the confirmation of lower court judges, meaning President Obama was able to stack the lower courts, and that is important. But, the Supreme Court still sits at 60 votes — pretty smart by ol’ Harry, after all his belief was that it would be Hillary Clinton sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania and the Democrats would win back the Senate.
The question is whether or not Senator Mitch McConnell would extend the nuclear option to the SCOTUS nominee if Sen. Schumer and the Senate Democrats play games. It is McConnell’s decision to make, not President Trump. This means Schumer and the Senate Democrats will do their best to filibuster a Trump SCOTUS nominee…kinda like they were able to do with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian nuclear deal. The Senate Democrats filibustered the agreement and the result was that it was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote…but Obama unilaterally signed it as an executive agreement.
Currently, the GOP has a 52-vote majority in the U.S. Senate, but it’s not 60-vote filibuster-proof. If the rules stay as they are, eight Democrats must vote with the Republicans for the SCOTUS nominee to be confirmed. And the Democrats can filibuster, preventing even a full Senate confirmation vote from happening because in the Senate they have a procedure called cloture.
You must achieve cloture vote in order to end debate, and move to a final vote…and the Democrat filibuster will preclude that from happening. Now, some of you may say, why is it that the cabinet nominees only need a majority? Well, thank ol’ Harry Reid.
Here’s the strategic chess the Democrats could lose. Think back to Obama’s first midterm election forward, and ponder how many U.S. Senate seats he lost. In 2018, the Democrats have many Senate seats to defend in states won by President Trump. If President Trump and his press secretary begin to message the unfounded obstructionism of Senator Schumer and what having a 60-vote GOP Senate means, “Katy bar the door.” In other words, the game of risk Schumer is playing could be very costly and result in a “filibuster-proof” GOP majority after the November 2018 midterm. Schumer may win in the near term but in the long term he will witness the ultimate consequence: the decimation of the Senate Democrats.
This should be the focused messaging of the Trump administration, and that does require strategic vision, planning and execution. There should be a clock at every White House press briefing that shows how many days the Trump administration goes without a full cabinet. Let’s all be honest, that’s exactly what the Obama administration would have done back in January to February 2009 if this were happening to them. The bottom line is that we are once again watching liberal progressive hypocrisy, but, if you don’t address it, the media will focus on protests at airports, and folks won’t understand these processes and procedures, and their ramifications.
That is why the allenbwest.com readers are the most highly competent in our Constitutional Republic when it comes to politics, policy, and procedures!