Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day Madness

Thank god February 29th only comes around once every four years:

Memo to Republican leaders: Be careful what you wish for.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of the messy fight for the Republican nomination in 2012, the party drew up a calendar and delegate-selection rules intended to allow a front-runner to wrap things up quickly.

Now, with Republicans voting in 11 states on Tuesday, the worst fears of the party’s establishment are coming true: Donald J. Trump could all but seal his path to the nomination in a case of unintended consequences for the party leadership, which vehemently opposes him.
I think they mean Donald J. Drumpf, actually.
As the calendar flips to March, a whirlwind of states vote on the same days and in quick succession. By the middle of the month, 58 percent of the total delegates will have been awarded, and Mr. Trump could be unstoppable in getting the 1,237 needed to clinch the nomination.
Awesome. Meanwhile, the predicted Senate meltdown over the president nominating a new justice to SCOTUS to replace Antonin Scalia has come to pass.
Senate Republicans on Tuesday united behind an official position on how to deal with President Obama’s expected nominee to replace the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia: no hearings, no votes and no new justice until Obama is out of office.

“Presidents have a right to nominate, just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a morning floor speech. “In this case, the Senate will withhold it.”

That declaration was underscored after McConnell held a closed-door meeting with Republicans sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee. All 11 GOP panel members subsequently signed a letter pledging not to hold hearings on any replacement for Scalia until a new president is inaugurated.
Which shows what a laughing stock the entire process has become. Bad enough these goofs work 133 days a year, but vowing in February to do no more work until November is astonishingly irresponsible and reprehensible. It also begs the question: why so afraid? Why act like such (fill in favorite Trump vulgarities here)?

It has certainly been the case that this entire political season has provoked a lot of "can it get any weirder than this?" moments, followed by even stranger and sillier developments. The campaign has devolved into name calling, insults, comparing the size of the candidates codpieces, and tanning booths.

Oh, and Reagan...35 years down the road, who is the natural heir to Reagan (imagine Carter running in 1980, about who was the natural heir to Roosevelt, with a straight face, like it wasn't eons ago in the country's political and generational history). It's beyond surreal.

I'm not sure it's a question of "polarization" as it is incompetence and stupidity on behalf of the elected and those who elect them. Coming out of Citizens United, I think the greater fear was that our politics would be bought and paid for by the power elite, and the vulgar hoi polloi wouldn't have a say in the matter.

Instead, there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of money being spent and the quality of stupid being produced: thus, the more money the 1% throws into the process to buy results, the more idiotic and farcical the electoral process seems to get.

Happy Leap Day...can't wait to see where we are on the next one, four years hence.

UPDATE: Prescient piece from one of my favorite writers over at Esquire, Charles Pierce, on the destruction of the Republican party occurring today, Super Tuesday 3/1:
Trump played by the rules established by the largely vestigial Republican establishment. He won in caucus states (Nevada), and he won in primary states (South Carolina, New Hampshire). He stands poised to win states on Tuesday night from Massachusetts to Alabama. There has been no hint of scandal in any of his victories. It is delusional to pretend that he is not the overwhelming choice of the people who are voting Republican in the year of Our Lord 2016. And it is intellectually dishonest to try to concoct strategies to deny the consensus choice of your party a nomination fairly won just because the consensus choice of your party is a vulgar talking yam. If your party happens to have concocted a constituency with a sweet tooth for authoritarian nonsense, then trying (again) to push that reckoning down the road is to guarantee something even worse comes along next time.
Ironic that the destruction of this once storied party, a party called home by the likes of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Nixon (yes, him) and Reagan, is being delivered final rites by a guy wearing a Whig.

1 comment:

MRMacrum said...

The guardians of the GOP used to have backbone. Now they are nothing but petulant children who think going home with the ball will stop the game.

Personally, I would like to see Obama appoint an interim Justice. There is precedent. Eisenhower appointed Potter Stewart as an interim justice in 1958.