Weary Pilgrim – The Stone Canoe

After the Winter of Our No Content, the political spectrum is readying itself

for the next big wave – Hillary is coasting into the nomination, honing her

debating chops, filling the coffers for airtime purchases, and doing opposition

research on.....on......actually she has no idea who she is running against.

Trump? Cruz? Ryan? A Player To Be Named Later?

You would think that the amazing disarray among the Republican party

leadership would occasion schadenfreude ( the delicious feeling of seeming

to be dismayed at a friend’s distress while being gleeful that you’re not the

one whose fly is open ) among the Dem’s– but when the stakes are

leadership of the Free World, it’s a little tough to gloat – after all, it’s OUR

Free World that could be loused up by this wingdoodle of a political season.

I can’t actually believe I can side with The Donald on just about anything, but

I have a big problem with disenfranchising anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Trump has been pretty clumsy, never mind threatening, when he talks about

the ‘riots’ that may result from a brokered or contested convention. But he

has a point when he talks about the anger of the voting population when their

votes for Trump suddenly do not count.

I’m repelled at the notion of Voting ID’s, a blatant move to take away votes

from poor people. Gerrymandering ( invented right here in Massachusetts,

thank you ) has become a pretty sick way of manipulating the popular vote.

But if Trump really has the greatest number of votes by far, I don’t blame

people for getting angry that their vote no longer counts – just because

Donald doesn’t want to play by the rules of the party leadership.

There is some controversy about the distinction, but I favor the definition that

a Brokered Convention is where deals are made to eventually nominate

someone from the ranks of those who have been running all along ( think

Ted Cruz) . A Contested Convention is when none of these people can put a

deal together, and someone is chosen who hasn’t actually been running (

Paul Ryan comes to mind ).

The Republicans had been having a lot of fun slamming Ted Cruz, who is

very, very unpopular with his Senate colleagues – Lindsey Graham cracked

that, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial were in

the Senate, nobody could convict you.”

But now Lindsey Graham has endorsed Cruz – Rubio pulled the ripcord, and

Kasich can’t get enough votes for Dogcatcher, so little by little, folks are

jumping on the Cruz Bandwagon ­ if he can magically cobble together

enough votes to beat Trump, dilemma solved (he can’t ). I assume the plan

here is to set up Cruz as the Brokered Candidate, on the theory that the riots

will be smaller and more manageable than if Ryan becomes the candidate.

Meanwhile, because Misery Loves Company, and the way I see it, the

Republicans are very, very lonely, they are taking aim at their other foot with

the whole Supreme Court Thing. When it came time to find a replacement for

Scalia, Obama went out and found a guy who does everything but rescue

small dogs from raging rivers. I mean, NOBODY doesn’t like this Merrick

Garland dude.

The Republicans just love to quote the ‘Biden’ Rule, lifted from a speech of

Joe Biden’s long ago, when he recommended that there be no nomination

for the Supreme Court in the last year of a presidential term. The Democrats

counter that the speech was purely hypothetical, yadda, blah, yadda.......

You know who’s wrong? Everybody. The Constitution is pretty clear on this

matter – there is a vacancy in the court, the President nominates, the Senate

advises and consents – case closed. You want to drag your feet after

election day, sure, there’s not really time for the nomination process anyway

then, but now? NOW? Lots of time. You either believe in the Constitution or

you don’t – and every phony that says he does and refuses to follow it will

risk his or her place in the next election.

If you took an oath of office, and you’re drawing a salary, then earn that

salary or give it up – I think any senator that refuses to consider the

nomination of Merrick Garland should forego their salary until such time as

they earn it.

Back to the Republican dilemma – they are hoping to have their cake and

eat it too – refuse to consider the nomination , thereby looking very

principled, until the election. Then if Hillary wins, and you just KNOW her

nomination would be the love­child of a Lesbian/Commie Peacenick and a

Bi­racial Transgendered sous chef, they can convene the Senate, slam

through Merrick Garland’s nomination, and trust that, by the next election

cycle, there will be lots and lots of other far worse things to get blamed for

than actually deciding to do their job.

If Trump somehow steals the nomination from the steady, principled, and

wise hands of the Republican Party leadership, .....well, frankly, that ain’t

gonna happen, say the Wise Men of the G.O.P.......so why bother worrying

about whom he would nominate? The last time he was asked, he said he

thought his sister would make a great candidate (I’m not making this up –

with Trump, you don’t have to). If Cruz gets the nomination, who cares who

his nominee would be? He can’t win – which is really what makes the

Republicans nuts – they are trying to figure out how to out­fox the biggest

group of voters in their party so that they can lose.

Talk about reaching up, touching bottom, sinking like a stone canoe....with

no paddle.

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