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 love-child of a Lesbian/Commie Peacenick and a Bi-racial 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 out-fox 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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